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BS: Poems that speak to you.

DigiTrad:
DECK OF CARDS
JIM
RINDERCELLA
STORY OF PETEY, THE SNAKE
THE PEE LITTLE THRIGS


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Subject: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 06:08 PM

I was reading a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge today. I have liked it ever since first reading it back in grade 8 or 9. I am interested in poems other people 'love' or really like for one reason or another. Anyone?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 06:13 PM

Sorry. The poem I read for the nth time is "Kubla Khan".


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 06:16 PM

That remains one of my favourites too - I can still recite it by heart.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ABOU BEN ADHEM (James Henry Leigh Hunt)
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 06:22 PM

ABOU BEN ADHEM
{James Henry Leigh Hunt}

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men."

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 06:35 PM

Rupert Brooke's "Ghosts"

But not his ghastly drum-beating pap that starts

"If I should die
Think only this of me
That there's some far corner of a foreign field
THat's for ever England".

Some war hero - killed by a mosquito!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 06:36 PM

I learned "Abou Beh Adhem" as a classroom English assignement in the 6th grade. I loved the message of the poem then and still love it today.

I also confess that the other reason why I have such warm regards for this poem was that after I had volunteered to recite it in front of the class, my teacher praised me for how well he felt I had done. He also said that I {then a shy, skinny kid} had an orator's voice & presence. That praise helped me find the courage & develop the confidence to become involved in more activities in my youth and adulthood that involved public speaking.

Teachers may not realize how much their words mean to their students. To this day, I'm grateful to that teacher for his words of praise and encouragement.

**

In googling the words to that poem, I just found out that this poem is based on a real person:

"Ibrahim Bin Adham (ی Ϫ) (death 777), also known as Abu Ben Adhem or Abou Ben Adhem was a Sufi saint"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibrahim_Bin_Adham


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 06:41 PM

There are far too many to list.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE JUGGLERS (John Gay)
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:25 PM

I am a great poetry lover and there are certainly so many that I could name including those already mentioned. I love Longfellow's Hiawatha, Lives of Great Men all Remind Us, Auguries of Innocence by William Blake, Robert Burns and the list goes on. One of my favourites is below.

THE JUGGLERS

A juggler long through all the town
Had raised his fortune and renown;
You'd think (so far his art transcends)
The devil at his fingers' ends.
Vice heard his fame, she read his bill;
Convinced of his inferior skill,
She sought his booth, and from the crowd
Defied the man of art aloud.
Is this, then he so famed for sleight,
Can this slow bungler cheat your sight,
Dares he with me dispute the prize?
I leave it to impartial eyes.
Provoked, the Juggler cried, 'tis done.
In science I submit to none.
Thus said, the cups and balls he played;
By turns, this here, that there, conveyed:
The cards, obedient to his words,
Are by a fillip changed to birds;
His little boxes change the grain,
Trick after trick deludes the train.
He shakes his bag, he shows all fair,
His fingers spread, and nothing there,
Then bids it rain with showers of gold,
And now his ivory eggs are told,
But when from thence the hen he draws,
Amazed spectators hum applause.
Vice now stepped forth and took the place,
With all the forms of his grimace.
This magic looking glass, she cries,
(There, hand it round) will charm your eyes:
Each eager eye the sight desired,
And every man himself admired.
Next, to a senator addressing;
See this bank-note; observe the blessing:
Breathe on the bill. Heigh, pass! 'Tis gone.
Upon his lips a padlock shone.
A second puff the magic broke,
The padlock vanished, and he spoke.
Twelve bottles ranged upon the board,
All full, with heady liquor stored,
By clean conveyance disappear,
And now two bloody swords are there.
A purse she to a thief exposed;
At once his ready fingers closed;
He opes his fist, the treasure's fled,
He sees a halter in its stead.
She bids ambition hold a wand,
He grasps a hatchet in his hand.
A box of charity she shows:
Blow here; and a churchwarden blows,
'Tis vanished with conveyance neat,
And on the table smokes a treat.
She shakes the dice, the board she knocks,
And from all pockets fills her box . . .
A counter in a miser's hand,
Grew twenty guineas at command;
She bids his heir the sum retain,
And 'tis a counter now again.
A guinea with her touch you see
Take every shape but Charity;
And not one thing you saw, or drew,
But changed from what was first in view.
The Juggler now, in grief of heart,
With this submission owned her art.
Can I such matchless sleight withstand?
How practice hath improved your hand!
But now and then I cheat the throng;
You every day, and all day long.

                                        John Gay


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:31 PM

Thank you all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: bobad
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:37 PM

Howl by Allen Ginsberg

                   For Carl Solomon

                           I

       I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
             madness, starving hysterical naked,
       dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
             looking for an angry fix,
       angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
             connection to the starry dynamo in the machin-
             ery of night,........


Ozymandias by Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S.Eliot

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.......


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Subject: Lyr Add: MINERS (Wilfred Owen)
From: Emma B
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:41 PM

Miners

There was a whispering in my hearth,
A sigh of the coal,
Grown wistful of a former earth
It might recall.

I listened for a tale of leaves
And smothered ferns,
Frond-frosts, and the low sly lives
Before the fauns.

My fire might show steam-phantoms simmer
From Time's old cauldron,
Before the birds made nests in summer,
Or men had children.

But the coals were murmuring of their mine,
And moans down there
Of boys that slept wry sleep, and men
Writhing for air.

And I saw white bones in the cinder-shard,
Bones without number.
Many the muscled bodies charred,
And few remember.

I thought of all that worked dark pits
Of war, and died
Digging the rock where Death reputes
Peace lies indeed.

Comforted years will sit soft-chaired,
In rooms of amber;
The years will stretch their hands, well-cheered
By our life's ember;

The centuries will burn rich loads
With which we groaned,
Whose warmth shall lull their dreaming lids,
While songs are crooned;
But they will not dream of us poor lads,
Left in the ground.

        -- Wilfred Owen


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:41 PM

I have always enjoyed Sonnet 29 by The Bard. To me, it's his best.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:46 PM

Gene, Gene, built a machine.
Frank, Frank, turned the crank.
Joe, Joe, made it go.
Art, Art, ripped a fart...
And blew the whole damn thing apart.


Geeziz, what pathos! What a life lesson. What honesty.

Makes me weep every time I read it..........................

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:53 PM

This from the man who pissed in the punch bowl at the duchess's dress ball . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 08:03 PM

I like to contribute in any way I can...........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: rich-joy
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 08:03 PM

hhmmmmm ..... "The Box" by Kendrew Lascelles, was the last one I heard recited that impacted greatly!


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: Lyr Add: AS WE ARE SO WONDERFULLY DONE...(Patchen)
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 08:07 PM

Kenneth Patchen

        
As We Are So Wonderfully Done With Each Other
        

        As we are so wonderfully done with each other
We can walk into our separate sleep
on floors of music where the milkwhite cloak of childhood
lies

oh my love, my golden lark, my soft long doll
Your lips have splashed my dull house with print of flowers
My hands are crooked where they spilled over your dear
curving

It is good to be weary from that brilliant work
It is being God to feel your breathing under me

A waterglass on the bureau fills with morning.....
Don't let anyone in to wake us


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 08:15 PM

The Highwayman


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FIDDLER'S REPLY (Joel Mabus)
From: John Hardly
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 08:25 PM

The Fiddler's Reply
Joel Mabus

It's a question that I've heard before
And all that I can say to that is -- no sir!
No sir!

I have played a tune in the dark on the porch of a prairie farm
Summer rain coming down so straight you could set your chair right there on the edge of the porch
And keep bone dry.
Such straight regular rain, they say, is good for the crop.
Good for tunes too, I say,
Deep in the night, listening to the corn.

And I remember a tune one winter afternoon up north, fiddling after chores.
The sun staring in through a wet kitchen window
All ice outside, all steam inside.
My chair tips back; the wood stove snaps loudly,
Popping irregular time to the steppy tunes,
Flannel and coffee, biscuits and boots.

I've played tunes on a fine spring evening at the town hall dance
Where everybody shows, Joking with the caller, shaking off winter,
Stretching limbs, swapping partners for neighbors.
Good healthy tempos break the first real sweat.
Long lines forward and back and -- Look! Outside!
The sun's still up on a fine green evening !

And then there is a tune I know that plays just like a cold November morning.
Sober. Inside, looking out.
A gray air that wants chords unresolved
Turning into the mist like so many leaves, riven and broken,
Returning from sky to earth after fall --The undeniable fall -- calls them home.

I have played tunes -- not songs.
Not voiceable, obvious word-infested songs -- but tunes,
Each tune a puzzle, each one a box with its own proud secret.
Each its own smile sweetly shown -- each tune is a lesson pondered.
Pattern -- at once familiar yet unique --Like snow crystals -- like footprints
Like the way the world is right...
...now.

That's what a tune is, and, no sir.
No sir.
They don't all sound the same to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 08:26 PM

I love this thread. Thank you ALL.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NEUROTICS (Philip Larkin)
From: Joe_F
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 08:27 PM

Neurotics
by Philip Larkin when he was 26 & I was 11

No one gives you a thought, as day by day
You drag your feet, clay-thick in misery.
None think how stalemate in you grinds away,
Holding your spinning wheels an inch too high
To bite on earth. The mind, it's said, is free:
But not your minds. They, rusted stiff, admit
Only what will accuse or horrify,
Like slot-machines only bent pennies fit.

So year by year your tense unfinished faces
Sink further from the light. None one pretends
To want to help you now. For interest passes
Always towards the young and more insistent,
And skirts locked rooms where a hired darkness ends
Your long defence against the non-existent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 08:43 PM

Another Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem, that we did at school, was The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Our English teacher always put so much into everything she read to us and even today when I read that poem I find that I'm saying it in exactly the same way she did!

I used to learn a lot of the poetry we did off by heart and then I'd go home from school and recite them to my mother with the same feeling that they'd been recited to us.

My mother was also a great lover of poetry and as children she was always reciting poems to us. I'm sure that this had a very positive effect on me.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A SONNET (Keats)
From: beardedbruce
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 08:59 PM

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.


Keats


A sonnet, of course...


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Subject: Lyr Add: FOUR-LANE DANCE (David Wilcox)
From: John Hardly
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 09:07 PM

FOUR-LANE DANCE
David Wilcox


The driver right in front of me is making a mistake
He's stopping on the entrance ramp, waiting for his break
The more he hits his break, the bigger break he's going to need
When a little break is plenty if he'd just been up to speed

So I say move and you'll have your place
Don't sit waiting on the human race
Just go, you got your chance
You can't be timid in the four-lane dance

Oh and now he's got it parked there and he's looking back behind
Pleading out the window, hoping someone might be kind enough
To stop and wait and hold the traffic flow
And still he's not quite confident there's room for him to go

So I say move and you'll have your place
Don't sit waiting on the human race
Just go, you got your chance
You can't be timid in the four-lane dance

The freeway's just a lesson in the way you drive your dream
If you think you'll never make it, well than that's the way it seems
But if you thought that it'd be easy, well then easy it would be
Why just a foot between the bumpers has been room enough for me

So I say move and you'll have your place
Don't sit waiting on the human race
Just go, you got your chance
You can't be timid in the four-lane dance


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE BOY BLUE (Eugene Field)
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 09:11 PM

Perhaps the first poem that "hit me" as a child was Eugene Field's "Little Boy Blue." Sad, sentimental, syrupy......a true tear jerker.......and let's face it, a bit hokey or so I thought as I grew older.

But then only a few years back, Karen and I were walking through the cemetery where my family is buried and stumbled upon the children's section. Its an old cemetery and there were probably close to two hundred graves filled with the remains of the unrealized hopes and dreams of loving parents. On a great majority of headstones there were toys, little trucks, stuffed animals..........Sad in and of itself but when I saw that many of these were new and on graves that were sometimes 50 or more years old, neither Karen nor I could hold it together. Can you imagine bringing gifts to your long dead child on a regular basis? I don't know what that kind of pain is like but we stood holding each other tightly as we cried and realized how lucky we were.

Little Boy Blue
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)

The little toy dog is covered with dust,
   But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
   And his musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
   And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
   Kissed them and put them there.

"Now, don't you go till I come," he said,
   "And don't you make any noise!"
So, toddling off to his trundle-bed,
   He dreamt of the pretty toys;
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song
   Awakened our Little Boy Blue---
Oh! the years are many, the years are long,
   But the little toy friends are true!

Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
   Each in the same old place---
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
   The smile of a little face;
And they wonder, as waiting the long years through
   In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
   Since he kissed them and put them there.


Spaw


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Subject: Lyr Add: DULCE ET DECORUM EST (Wilfred Owen)
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 09:16 PM

Okay, here's one that slammed me when I first read it years ago:

DULCE ET DECORUM EST
Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

And this one:

NAMING OF PARTS
Henry Reed

To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For to-day we have naming of parts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 09:24 PM

My mother read that to us when I was, perhaps, four years old, Spaw. My siblings and I thought it was the greatest poem ever written, and viewed from the point I am at now I agree with you about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: gnu
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 09:31 PM

Here I sit, broken hearted, paid me dime and only farted. (Anonamoose)

I am speechless.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN YOU ARE OLD (William Butler Yeats)
From: Mickey191
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 09:48 PM

WHEN YOU ARE OLD
William Butler Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.


Little Boy Blue-Thanks Spaw-Anyone else drop a tear?


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO CAN STAND (William Blake)
From: Beer
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 09:57 PM

William Blake - WHO CAN STAND?

Oh for a voice like Thunder, and a tongue to drown the voice of war,
When the soul is driven to madness,
WHO CAN STAND ?
When the souls of the oppressed fight in the troubled air that rages,
WHO CAN STAND ?
When the whirlwind of fury comes from the throne of GOD,
WHO CAN STAND ?
When the frowns of his countenance drive the nations together,
WHO CAN STAND?
When sin claps his broad wings over the battle, and sails rejoicing in the flood of death,
When the souls are torn to everlasting fire, and fiends of Hell rejoice upon the strain, Oh who can stand?
Oh who has caused this?
Oh who can answer at the throne of God?
The Kings and Nobles of the land have done it,
Hear it not Heaven,
Thy Ministers have done it !


Then there is the one that someone on Mudcat wrote about his father I believe. I will type in the first paragraph and hopefully someone will remember who submitted it. Very powerful and would stir most hard men to tears.
Beer (adrien)


He was ten times the man I could ever hope to be;
A hero to this child, like a giant over me.
Where is the muscle now? And where is the looming height?
Where is the booming voice? Surely this cannot be right?
The eyes that sparkled like the stars, why do they look so dim?
Don't do this to my father, Lord, I beg you, no, not him.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHANNEL FIRING (Thomas Hardy)
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:06 PM

CHANNEL FIRING
Thomas Hardy

That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgement-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into their mounds,

The glebe-cow drooled. Till God called, 'No;
It's gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

'All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christs sake
Than you that are helpless in such matters.

'That this is not the judgement-hour
For some of them's a blessed thing,
For if it were they'd have to scour
Hell's floor for so much threatening...

'Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need).'

So down we lay again. 'I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,'
Said one, 'than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!'

And many a skeleton shook his head.
'Instead of preaching forty year,'
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
'I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer.'

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: gnu
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:08 PM

pOWERFUL? Hey, that's co-inkydink. But, beside the point. Knocked me for a loop! Wow....I wish I had read it when it was posted... is there more?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GENIUS OF THE CROWD (Charles Bukowski
From: bobad
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:08 PM

The Genius Of The Crowd
Charles Bukowski

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:19 PM

From "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift":

... "His friendship there, to few confined,*
Were always of the middling kind:
No fools of rank, a mongrel breed,
Who fain would pass for lords indeed:
Where titles give no right or power
And peerage is a withered flower,
He would have held it a disgrace
If such a wretch had known his face.
On rural squires, that kingdom's bane,
He vented oft his wrath in vain:
Biennial squires, to market brought,
Who sell their souls and votes for naught;
The nation stripped, go joyful back
To rob the church, their tenants rack;
Go snacks with rogues and rapparees,
And keep the peace to pick up fees;
In every job to have a share,
A jail or barrack to repair;
And turn the tax for public roads
Commodious to their own abodes.
    "Perhaps I may allow the Dean
Had too much satire in his vein,
And seemed determined not to starve it
Because no age could more deserve it.
Yet malice never was his aim:
He lashed the vice, but spared the name.
No individual could resent
Where thousands equally were meant.
His satire points at no defect
But what all mortals may correct;
For he abhorred that senseless tribe
Who call it humor when they jibe.
He spared a hump, or crooked nose,
Whose owners set not up for beaux.
True genuine dullness moved his pity,
Unless it offered to be witty.
Those who their ignorance confessed
He ne'er offended with a jest;
But laughed to hear an idiot quote
A verse from Horace learned by rote.
    "He knew an hundred pleasant stories,
With all the turns of Whigs and Tories:
Was cheerful to his dying day,
And friends would let him have his way.
    "He gave the little wealth he had
To build a house for fools and mad,
And shewed by one satiric touch
No nation wanted it so much:
That kingdom* he hath left his debtor:
I wish it soon may have a better."


I've always felt it was a very nice thing if it could be said of me.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BIG NASTURTIUMS (Robert Beverly Hale)
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:21 PM

Rapaire...my favorite English teacher in college read "Naming of Parts" to us, and I could SEE the scenes, so well did he read. It has been almost 50 years now, but that remains one of my favorites.

He also read to us "The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's Church", by Browning...and made it sound like he WAS the bishop.


But one that really caught my fancy was this: I have wondered for years if some clever person could set a tune to it.

THE BIG NASTURTIUMS
Robert Beverly Hale

All of a sudden the big nasturtiums
Rose in the night from the ocean's bed,
Rested a while in the light of the morning,
Turning the sand dunes tiger red.

They covered the statue of Abraham Lincoln,
They climbed to the top of our church's spire.
"Grandpa! Grandpa! Come to the window!
Come to the window! Our world's on fire!"

Big nasturtiums in the High Sierras,
Big nasturtiums in the lands below;
Our trains are late and our planes have fallen,
And out in the ocean the whistles blow.

Over the fields and over the forests,
Over the living and over the dead
"I never expected the big nasturtiums
To come in my lifetime!" Grandpa said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Beer
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:25 PM

Gnu?
Was that meant for me??
Beer


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD PROC (Wallace McRae)
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:44 PM

OLD PROC
by Wallace McRae

Old-timers in the neighborhood
Would bandy words on who was good
At puncher jobs for hours on end when I was just a kid.
They'd get wall-eyed 'n paw and bawl
And swear, "By damn I knowed 'em all.
If'n Josh he wasn't best trailhand, I'll eat my beaver lid!"

"Down and dirty, I'm the dealer.
Old Bob Seward? Best damn peeler
Ever snapped a bronc out, jist give me one he broke."
"Give, you say? That's what I heard.
You're right that Bob's a tough ol' bird.
But better practice cactus pickin' and work on your spur stroke.

Cain't stay astraddle one of his'n
When he pops the plug and goes t' fizzin'
She'll be adios caballo and howdy to the nurse."
They'd move from bickering bronc peelers
To rawhide hands 'n fancy heelers.
"Red Carlin?" "Young Mac Philbrick?" They'd testify and curse.

They'd analyze Link Taylor's cuttin':
"His bag-splittin' way of calf denuttin'
Is pure askin' for trouble, 'sides he don't cut by the sign."
"You cut your calves by the moon?
Keep on night brandin' and pretty soon
The sheriff'll change yer address and you'll be twistin' hair and twine."

On they'd rave and postulate
'Bout who was fair 'n who was great.
As they scratched brands in the hot dust, I'd never say a word.
But in their jousting verbal battle,
Among the boasts and barbs and prattle,
I sat in youthful judgment as they sorted out the herd.

So I came early to understand
The names of every good top hand.
In my scope of country, from hearing tough hands talk.
But when they'd crow and blow and boast
The one name that came up the most
Was a wily wild horse runner they simply called "ol' Proc."


"You boys jist start 'em. I'll stop 'em."
Old Proc'd say and then he'd chop 'em
Off at some escape route. He'd wheel 'n bring them in.
"Proc thinks horse," I'd heard them say,
And finally there came the day .
That I would get to meet this fabled mounted paladin.

My mother's father, John McKay,
Up and said one fine spring day
While I was staying with them, "Minnie, get your bonnet."
"Let's go up by the Castle Rock
'N see some country, visit Proc.
If you're late, I'll be upset. You can bet your life upon it."

He never paused for her reply.
My grandma fussed around and I
Asked grandpa, "Is he the wild horse man?" "That's him," my grandpa said.
As we ricocheted and bounced our way
In a tobacco-stained green Chevrolet
My grandpa told "Proc stories" and chewed and spit and sped.

From all the tales Grandpa told me
I felt like an authority
On this ranahan, Joe Proctor, who came north with Texas cattle.
His wife had been the JO cook.
But Proc had sparked and won and took
Her for his bride. They fought and won the homestead battle.

I couldn't wait to meet Mr. Proc,
Whose peers all praised his ways with stock.
But when his calloused hand gripped mine, surprise hit me in waves.
Those old cowboys who cut no slack
Deemed it unimportant Proc was black,
And wasn't worth a mention that Joe Proctor's folks were slaves.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WE NEVER RODE THE JUDITHS (Wallace McRae)
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:47 PM

WE NEVER RODE THE JUDITHS
For Ian Tyson

Wallace McRae

We never rode the Judiths when we were grey-wolf wild.
Never gathered Powder River, Palo Duro, or John Day.
No, we never rode the Judiths when their sirens preened and smiled.
And we'll never ride the Judiths before they carry us away.

Cowboys cut for sign on back trails to the days that used to be
Sorting, sifting through chilled ashes of the past.
Or focused on some distant star, out near eternity,
Always hoping that the next day will be better than the last.

Out somewhere in the future, where spring grass is growing tall,
We rosin up our hopes for bigger country, better pay.
But as the buckers on our buckles grow smooth-mouthed or trip and fall
We know tomorrow's draw ain't gonna throw no gifts our way.

And we never rode the Judiths when we were grey-wolf bold.
Never rode the Grande Ronde Canyon out north of Enterprise.
No we never rode the Judiths, and we know we're getting old
As old trails grow steeper, longer, right before our eyes.

My horses all are twenty-some. ..ain't no good ones coming on.
The deejays and the Nashville hands won't let "... Amazed" turn gold.
We're inclined to savor evening now. We usta favor dawn.
Seems we're not as scared of dyin' as we are of growing old.

I wish we'd a' rode the Judiths when we were grey-wolf wild.
And gathered Powder River, Palo Duro, and John Day.
But we never rode the Judiths when their sirens' songs beguiled
And we'll never ride the Judiths before they carry us away.


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Subject: Lyr Add: jessehelms (Audre Lorde?)
From: Acme
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:59 PM

I like a little political anger in some of it. (This poem isn't for everyone.)

Audre Lorde

"jessehelms"

I am a Black woman
writing my way to the future
off a garbage scow knit from moral fiber
stuck together with jessehelms'
come where Art is a dirty word
scrawled on the wall
of Bilbo's memorial outhouse
and obscenity is catching
even I'd like to hear you scream
ream out your pussy
with my dildo called Nicaragua
ram Grenada up your fighole
till Panama runs out of you
like Savimbi aflame.

But you prefer to do it
on the senate floor
amid a sackful of paper pricks
keeping time to a 195 million dollar
military band
safe-sex dripping from your tongue
into avid senatorial ears.

Later you'll get yours
behind the senate toilets
where they're waiting for you jessehelms
those white boys with their pendulous rules
bumping against the rear door of Europe
spread-eagled across the globe
their crystal balls poised over Africa
ass-up for old glory.

Your turn now jessehelms
come on its time
to lick the handwriting
off the walls.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 11:04 PM

My, you folks are something else. I love reading the things that touch people's hearts, souls, minds. Funny. Because the fellows I've met in person did seem to me to be also the kind who WOULD like poetry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 02:41 AM

For those who love The Highwayman, here's a video of Phil Och's singing that poem set to song:

Phil Ochs - The Highwayman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB5vnpzm86g

Added: September 07, 2007
From: PaulJD2006

"An arrangement of a poem by Alfred Noyes. Phil Ochs was a lead player in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960's as very powerful songwriter and voice. Sorry, like many of my off-air recordings the beginning is clipped"

**

Here's another video of Phil Och's singing The Highwayman with a great collage of drawings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsKc7zQtfRU

Added: December 05, 2006
From: hassanradwan


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: John O'L
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 03:32 AM

I always loved "In A Distant City" by Salvatore Quasimodo, but I can't find it on the net so I can't post a link, and sadly, I seem to have lost my only copy, so I can't even copy it out. If you ever stumble accross it though, it's worth reading. (If you get the right translation that is. I read a different translation not long ago which was not nearly as moving.)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RUINED MAID (Thomas Hardy)
From: Emma B
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 05:20 AM

I agree SRS, a little (or even a lot) of anger can give a powerful kick to a poem. On the "lighter side", although actually a satirical dig at the hypocritical values of the time, is this one......


THE RUINED MAID
by Thomas Hardy

"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?"--
"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.

--"You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!"--
"Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.

--"At home in the barton you said 'thee' and 'thou,'
And 'thik oon' and 'thes oon' and 't'other'; but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compan-ny!"--
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.

--"Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!"--
"We never do work when we're ruined," said she.

--"You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!"--
"True. One's pretty lively when ruined," said she.

--"I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town."--
"My dear - a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain't ruined," said she.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 05:54 AM

Another favourite of mine from Yeats.....

He wishes for the cloths of heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

        -- William Butler Yeats


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: gnu
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:13 AM

Beer.... yes... regarding your post, Date: 19 Oct 07 - 09:57 PM and this

Then there is the one that someone on Mudcat wrote about his father I believe. I will type in the first paragraph and hopefully someone will remember who submitted it. Very powerful and would stir most hard men to tears.
Beer (adrien)


He was ten times the man I could ever hope to be;
A hero to this child, like a giant over me.
Where is the muscle now? And where is the looming height?
Where is the booming voice? Surely this cannot be right?
The eyes that sparkled like the stars, why do they look so dim?
Don't do this to my father, Lord, I beg you, no, not him.


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Subject: Lyr Add: EPITAPH ON MY EVER HONOURED FATHER (Burns
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:26 AM

I chose this epitaph from Robert Burns for my father's funeral - it was almost as if it had been written for him.

EPITAPH ON MY EVER HONOURED FATHER


O ye whose cheek the tear of pity stains,
Draw near with pious rev'rence, and attend!
Here lie the loving husband's dear remains,
The tender father, and the gen'rous friend.

The pitying heart that felt for human woe,
The dauntless heart that fear'd no human pride,
The friend of man to vice alone a foe;
For 'ev'n his failings lean'd to virtue's side'.


Robert Burns


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: bobad
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:27 AM

Subject: Lyr Add: BABA (George Papavgeris)
From: George Papavgeris - PM
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 08:43 AM

You buggers...this thread caused me to write another one, just now, fully for my father this time - something I have struggled to do for a couple of years but for some reason could not. It doesn't have a tune yet, though I bet it will by nightfall. Nobody has seen it yet, not my wife or daugher who usually vet my output. So here it goes to Mudcat - because you provided the inspiration.

BABA
George Papavgeris, 3rd April 2004

He was ten times the man I could ever hope to be;
A hero to this child, like a giant over me.
Where is the muscle now? And where is the looming height?
Where is the booming voice? Surely this cannot be right?
The eyes that sparkled like the stars, why do they look so dim?
Don't do this to my father, Lord, I beg you, no, not him!

The fingers that taught mine double-knotting my first tie
Disfigured now and bent, injured birds that cannot fly
The face that looked so proud when he read my first report
The smoothly shaven cheeks, now why do they look so scored?
So firm and gentle was his hold the day I learned to swim
Don't do this to my father, Lord, I beg you, no, not him!

The lips that drank my tears struggle just to take a sip
The arms that held my fears wrapped against the evening nip
The hand that steadied mine now is trembling in its turn.
The brittle voice still trying to teach things I will never learn.
The smile that shone the sun on me, why does it look so grim?
Don't do this to my father, Lord, I beg you, no, not him!

A lifetime of love such an ending should not earn,
All hapiness abaft, and all misery astern.
For if there is a Hell, how can it be worse than this?
The music of his breath, now just a laboured hiss…
The tree that one time stood so tall, now just a withered fern…
Please let the candle burn, my Lord, please let the candle burn!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:40 AM

Re: BABA by George Papavgeris

What a great poem! It absolutely deserves to be included with examples that were composed by poets who have received much more public recognition.

And when his well deserved recognition comes, as it certainly should, I will certainly be proud to say that I count George Papavgeris as a friend, even though we've never met.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:44 AM

Time, Real and Imaginary
An Allegory

On the wide level of a mountain's head
(I knew not where, but 'twas some faery place),
Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails outspread,
Two lovely children run an endless race,
A sisiter and a brother!
This far outstripp'd the other;
Yet ever runs she with reverted face,
And looks and listens for the boy behind:
For he, Alas! is blind!
O'er rough and smooth with even step he pass'd
And knows not whether he be first or last.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:49 AM

And btw, to Mudcat's credit, there are a number of other persons whose literary and/or musical compositions are worthy of much more public recognition. God willing, their creative products will also soon become better known to the public, and they will be recognized as the great writers and great composers that they are.

I'm glad that I can also count them as my friends.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 08:13 AM

Jean Richepin's Song

A poor lad once and a lad so trim
Gave his love to her that loved not him

And says she, 'fetch me tonight you rogue'
Your mother's heart to feed my dog!

To his mother's house went that young man
Killed her and took the heart, and ran.

And as he was running look you he fell
And the heart rolled to the ground as well.

And the lad, as the heart was a-rolling heard
That the heart was speaking and this was the word

The heart was a weeping and crying so small
'Are you hurt my child, are you hurt at all?'


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Subject: Lyr Add: ZACK TILMAN (Wallace Macrae)
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 08:54 AM

ZACK TILMAN
   Wallace Macrae

They say his dad was bone-deep mean;
his ma had ceased to care.
His sisters quit their home range
and they scattered everywhere,
Wherever neon glittered and booze and life was cheap.
So off Zack slipped one dark night
while the old man was asleep.
He hitched a ride to Idaho
where one sister was a whore.
"Naw, she's not here," the madam said.
"Been gone six months, or more."
An old mustanger coming through
from down Nevada way
Said he could use a maverick kid
his keep would be his pay.
They gathered up the mustang bands
and lived light off the land.
Till some buckaroos and ranchers
began to understand
They didn't own the beef they ate
nor was it store-bought
Nor did they check for brands real close
on cayuses they caught.
Now when the law came sniffin' 'round
the old man never bent.
They shot him down, as young Zack watched
just outside their tent.
"Be tough," the old man taught him,
"You gotta learn t' fight."
At "School for Boys" young Zack learned quick
the old man was dead right.
Zack never shed another tear.
He never took no guff.
He learned his bitter lessons well,
got lean and mean and tough.
Zack rode the rough strings here and there,
all up and down The West.
Old connoisseurs of cruelty
still claim "Zack was the best."
He stormed the weekend rodeos,
or so old hands relate.
A surgeon, with his locked-spur rowels,
on stock he'd operate.
The forties came, and young lack learned
some crafts not used before;
He honed his skills at killing
in the South Pacific War.
He'd finally found his place in life,
new talents were refined,
But then they up and told him
that an armistice was signed!

He scorned the peacetime army;
jeered their proffered "bars."
And only missed the battlegrounds,
grenades and BARs.
Now most men think that war's a curse,
a sojourn down in Hell.
But war to lack was heaven-sent;
a job that he did well.
A hero semicivilized
Zack was, when he got back.
He went to GI Bill trade schools
and sorta found the track
Of normal life. He sparked and won
an old-time rancher's prize.
He beat her until finally
she came to realize
That though his love for her was strong
he'd prob'ly take her life.
She left him. But he always claimed
"the bitch" was still his wife.
He fought with neighbors constantly
and shot their stock for spite.
Some say he torched a neighbor's hay
when they were gone one night.
He picked a hundred fights in bars.
He'd push, then take offense
And beat a murder rap one time
by claiming self-defense.
Soon every one was terrorized.
He couldn't find a fight.
He finally found his enemy
and killed himself one night.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WEST WIND (John Masefield)
From: Emma B
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 08:58 AM

I posted this some time ago on another thread but it never fails to fill me with a sense of "Hireath"

THE WEST WIND by John Masefield

IT'S a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries;
I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes.
For it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills.
And April's in the west wind, and daffodils.

It's a fine land, the west land, for hearts as tired as mine,
Apple orchards blossom there, and the air's like wine.
There is cool green grass there, where men may lie at rest,
And the thrushes are in song there, fluting from the nest.

"Will ye not come home brother? ye have been long away,
It's April, and blossom time, and white is the may;
And bright is the sun brother, and warm is the rain,--
Will ye not come home, brother, home to us again?

"The young corn is green, brother, where the rabbits run.
It's blue sky, and white clouds, and warm rain and sun.
It's song to a man's soul, brother, fire to a man's brain,
To hear the wild bees and see the merry spring again.

"Larks are singing in the west, brother, above the green wheat,
So will ye not come home, brother, and rest your tired feet?
I've a balm for bruised hearts, brother, sleep for aching eyes,"
Says the warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries.

It's the white road westwards is the road I must tread
To the green grass, the cool grass, and rest for heart and head,
To the violets, and the warm hearts, and the thrushes' song,
In the fine land, the west land, the land where I belong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 09:12 AM

I should have said that "Time, Real and Imaginary" is also Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FIRST WILL AND TESTAMENT (Kenneth Patchen
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:00 AM

FIRST WILL AND TESTAMENT

I here deliver you my will and testament, in which you
will find that what I am is not at all what I would: I
make no demand that you be just in weighing it, for I
know that you will be so for your own sake; but I do
charge you by the religion of poetry itself not to sneer
at some things which may seem strange to you, for I
   have burnt no house but my own and nobody will
    force you to warm yourself at its heat.

                Kenneth Patchen


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Beer
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:09 AM

Here you go Gnu. Bobad has found it and it's there for you in it's entirety. Thanks to George Papavgeris for it. I agree with you Azizi, a great piece of work
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: Lyr Add: STOP ALL THE CLOCKS... (W. H. Auden)
From: Mickey191
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:46 AM

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,

Put crpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W.H.Auden


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Subject: Lyr Add: FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE JEWS...(Niemoller
From: Cats
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:53 AM

Most 'fun' ~ I had a Hippopotamus
Most 'tongue in cheek' ~ The Ruined Maid
but the one I carry with me at all times...

First they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
~ because I was not a Jew

Then they came for the communists
And I did not speak out
~because I was not a communist

Then they came for the Trade Unionists
And I did not speak out
~because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for me
And there was no-one left
To speak out for me.

    ~ Pastor Martin Niemoller


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Subject: Lyr Add: CAMOMILE TEA (Katherine Mansfield)
From: Jeanie
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:58 AM

Thank you all for posting such wonderful poems on here. It's very timely for me personally that you've started this thread right now, Peace/Bruce, because I've just gone back to drama school part-time and most of our voice classes (when we are not lying on our backs going haa-hay-hee-hay-haa-haw-hoo or pretending to be seaweed) are spent verse-speaking.

I will second Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 as THE perfect sonnet: the content, the way it is constructed with all those encapsulated clauses, the way the whole thing "travels". Heaven.

Funny that Richard Bridge should mention Rupert Brooke, too. I had only really known his "If I should die, think only this of me..." and the Grantchester one until recently, but my parents were both great Rupert Brooke fans, and after they died and I was sorting out their books, I thought I'd find out what they saw in him....sat down with the book and all my house clearance went out of the window for an afternoon. The one that struck me the most, on first reading, and since, was Day That I Have Loved I will forever associate it with that afternoon in my parents' empty flat, thinking about them, about past memories, about time inevitably passing and how important it is to enjoy every moment we are given.

I first read Philip Larkin's An Arundel Tomb when I was 17 and I loved it so much, I used to practise reading it aloud over and over. It's interesting how the things you notice and love in a poem can change over time. Then, I really latched on to the last line: "What will survive of us is love." Now, I appreciate much more all the subtleties of it.."our almost instinct, almost true", which I didn't really see whan I was younger.

Here is one that I was given to read aloud not long ago, that I'd never come across before, and which I think is a delight:

CAMOMILE TEA by Katherine Mansfield:

Outside the sky is light with stars;
There's a hollow roaring from the sea.
And, alas! for the little almond flowers,
The wind is shaking the almond tree.
How little I thought, a year ago,
In the horrible cottage upon the Lee
That he and I should be sitting so,
And sipping a cup of camomile tea.
Light as feathers the witches fly,
The horn of the moon is plain to see;
By a firefly under a jonquil flower
A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.
We might be fifty, we might be five,
So snug, so compact, so wise are we !
Under the kitchen-table leg
My knee is pressing against his knee.
Our shutters are shut, the fire is low,
The tap is dripping peacefully;
The saucepan shadows on the wall
Are black and round and plain to see.

In the same anthology as An Arundel Tomb that I studied at school, there was a poem about a pomegranate (I think it might even have been called Pomegranate) that I have hunted for ever since (haven't been able to find it on Google) that had a huge impact on me. It was talking about what it was like inside the pomegranate, with all the seeds hidden, before it was opened. I wonder - do any of you poetry lovers recognize that poem ? I'd love to find it again.

Looking forward to reading more poems on this thread. Thanks for starting it.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 11:01 AM

Oh, so many, but especially These by Yeates,Song of The Wondering Aengus, The Second Coming, Innisfree, The Fiddler of Dooney. Also, Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold, The Belle Dame Sans Merci by Keats, The Garden by Andrew Marvel, Cargoes by Masefield. The Destruction of Sennacherib by Byron...oh so many. All of Richard 11, especiallt the bit that begins.."For Gods' sake let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings". Absalom and Achitophel by Dryden,Young Lochinvar by Scott, The Weary Blues, Langston Hughes, Funeral Blues, Auden and almost everything by Coleridge. Great thread, now I will look up more new poems to read. Thanks all.


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Subject: Lyr Add: AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING (W. H. Auden)
From: Mickey191
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 11:40 AM

Terrific Thread! Just found this by Auden & had to share. Best line (IMO) Time watches from the shadows and coughs when you would kiss.


As I Walked Out One Evening by W. H. Auden

As I walked out one evening,
   Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
   Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
   I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
   'Love has no ending.

'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
   Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
   And the salmon sing in the street,

'I'll love you till the ocean
   Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
   Like geese about the sky.

'The years shall run like rabbits,
   For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
   And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city
   Began to whirr and chime:
'O let not Time deceive you,
   You cannot conquer Time.

'In the burrows of the Nightmare
   Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
   And coughs when you would kiss.

'In headaches and in worry
   Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
   To-morrow or to-day.

'Into many a green valley
   Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
   And the diver's brilliant bow.

'O plunge your hands in water,
   Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
   And wonder what you've missed.

'The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
   The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
   A lane to the land of the dead.

'Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
   And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
   And Jill goes down on her back.

'O look, look in the mirror,
   O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
   Although you cannot bless.

'O stand, stand at the window
   As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
   With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,
   The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
   And the deep river ran


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Mickey191
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 11:46 AM

on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 12:02 PM

Being the Marxist that I am it's Oliver Goldsmith's "Deserted Village" which was written long before Marx's manifesto...

CAUTION: This poem will take you a half an hour to read and after you have read it you may want to go out an buy severals guns...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: gnu
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 12:07 PM

Thanks Bobad, Beer... and George!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 12:16 PM

Thanks for the link Bobert instead of posting it. It IS long, but you're right!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Midchuck
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 12:36 PM

When I'm really upset with someone, I like to review this excerpt from Kipling's "The Rhyme of the Three Captains:"

Had I had guns (as I had goods) to work my Christian harm,
I had run him up from his quarter-deck to trade with his own yard-arm;
I had nailed his ears to my capstan-head, and ripped them off with a saw,
And soused them in the bilgewater, and served them to him raw;
I had flung him blind in a rudderless boat to rot in the rocking dark,
I had towed him aft of his own craft, a bait for his brother shark;
I had lapped him round with cocoa husk, and drenched him with the oil,
And lashed him fast to his own mast to blaze above my spoil;
I had stripped his hide for my hammock-side, and tasselled his beard i' the mesh,
And spitted his crew on the live bamboo that grows through the gangrened flesh;
I had hove him down by the mangroves brown, where the mud-reef sucks and draws,
Moored by the heel to his own keel to wait for the land-crab's claws!


(But maybe that's not in the spirit of this thread...)

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 12:43 PM

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,         
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost (18741963)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 01:06 PM

There are just too many wonderful poems to choose from - each one I read reminds me of another.....

An Olive Fire

An olive fire's a lovely thing;
Somehow it makes me think of Spring
As in my grate it over-spills
With dancing flames like daffodils.
They flirt and frolic, twist and twine,
The brassy fire-irons wink and shine. . . .
Leap gold, you flamelets! Laugh and sing:
An olive fire's a lovely thing.

An olive fire's a household shrine:
A crusty loaf, a jug of wine,
An apple and a chunk of cheese -
Oh I could be content with these.
But if my curse of oil is there,
To fry a fresh-caught fish, I swear
I do not envy any king,
As sitting by my hearth I sing:
An olive fire's a lovely thing.

When old and worn, of life I tire,
I'll sit before an olive fire,
And watch the feather ash like snow
As softly as a rose heart glow;
The tawny roots will loose their hoard
Of sunbeams centuries have stored,
And flames like yellow chicken's cheep,
Till in my heart Peace is so deep:
With hands prayer-clasped I sleep . . . and sleep.

Robert Service

Thank you Peace for starting this thread, please share some more of YOUR favourites too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 01:10 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with the father of one of Mary Stewart's incidental heroines, who held that "poetry was awfully good stuff to think with."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Alice
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 01:25 PM

Little Boy Blue, by Eugene Fields is one my mother would recite.
It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 01:35 PM

"Love Minus Zero/No Limit" by B Dylan

My love she speaks like silence,
Without ideals or violence,
She doesn't have to say she's faithful,
Yet she's true, like ice, like fire.
People carry roses,
Make promises by the hours,
My love she laughs like the flowers,
Valentines can't buy her.

In the dime stores and bus stations,
People talk of situations,
Read books, repeat quotations,
Draw conclusions on the wall.
Some speak of the future,
My love she speaks softly,
She knows there's no success like failure
And that failure's no success at all.

The cloak and dagger dangles,
Madams light the candles.
In ceremonies of the horsemen,
Even the pawn must hold a grudge.
Statues made of match sticks,
Crumble into one another,
My love winks, she does not bother,
She knows too much to argue or to judge.

The bridge at midnight trembles,
The country doctor rambles,
Bankers' nieces seek perfection,
Expecting all the gifts that wise men bring.
The wind howls like a hammer,
The night blows cold and rainy,
My love she's like some raven
At my window with a broken wing.


Although this is, imo, Dylan's most heart-felt song, it works as a poem, too. I think all people live in split-level realities where rooms have doorways without doors and all halls lead to stairs that seem like Escher's drawings. We hold some truths to be self evident, but not all self evidences to be truths.
Our eyes will never/seldom/sometimes deceive us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 01:43 PM

Matilda.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 03:32 PM

Thanks to whomever blue clickied my above post 'cause I sho nuff didn't...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 05:44 PM

A poem from my high school days:

My father he was a moonshine man
A regular sort of feller
He kept Ma plastered for forty years
With the still he kept in the cellar.

I remember the folks who sampled his stuff
The glassy looks on their faces
One day our spaniel inhaled the fumes
And dropped dead at twenty paces.

Us boys we got in the moonshine game
And gave the business new birth.
The oldest is now at Alcatraz
The youngest at Leavenworth.

But they never caught my father though,
And they no longer raid his place,
Cuz the revenooers now buy his stuff
For use at a missile base.

(From an old issue of "Mad Magazine".)

But we were also required to memorize serious poetry and lines from drama:

"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow..."
"I go and it is done, the bell invites me...."
"Rhodora! If the sages ask thee why..."
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...."
"So live that when thy summons comes to join...."
"What a piece of work is Man! So noble in reason..."
"Whanne that Aprille with its shoures soute..."
"If I should die think only this of me...."
"When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes...."

And even in grade school:

"Captain! Oh my Captain! Our fearful trip is done...."
"Up from the meadows rich with corn...."
"The shades of night were falling fast...."

including something about "my little broom" which a classmate and I performed on a local television show when I was in the second grade.

Memory is like any other muscle. The more you exercise it the stronger it gets. My nephews and nieces, who have not had to memorize, are amazed at what my brother and I can recite and sing.

Because I think that song and poetry feed each other, and when you appreciate one you can appreciate the other. I can even now, in my dotage, dredge up and sing (usually completely) songs I haven't even thought about in twenty or thirty years.

Of course, I don't remember where I put my keys, glasses or cell phone....


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Mickey191
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 06:16 PM

Rapaire, Just sent your Moonshine poem to a friend who said he doesn't like poetry. Maybe this will wake him up--there are all kinds of verse.

You are right on about memory. My Dad at age 92 could still answer the Mass in Latin, recite poems from childhood in Ireland, Describe in the greatest detail the Dempsey/Tunney Fight - who landed what punch & with what impact, and a lot of "Ballad of Redding Gaol"

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Father can you hear me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 06:50 PM

I was reminded of "Reading Goal" earlier when I was reminded of the wonderful Wilde quote "It would require a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of Little Nell." ... with reference to some poetry:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Mickey191
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:01 PM

Emma, Had not heard that one--but love this - which some say is untrue.

Wilde was dying in a seedy rooming house, As he lay in his bed surrounded by horrible wallpaper, he said:"either it goes or I do." Then he died.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:04 PM

From the poetry of William Blake Painter Poet & abolitionist
MY mother bore me in the southern wild,
    And I am black, but O, my soul is white!
White as an angel is the English child,
    But I am black, as if bereaved of light.
My mother taught me underneath a tree,
    And, sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissd me,
    And, pointing to the East, began to say:
'Look at the rising sun: there God does live,
    And gives His light, and gives His heat away,
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
    Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.
'And we are put on earth a little space,
    That we may learn to bear the beams of love;
And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
    Are but a cloud, and like a shady grove.
'For when our souls have learn'd the heat to bear,
    The cloud will vanish; we shall hear His voice,
Saying, "Come out from the grove, my love and care,
    And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice."'
Thus did my mother say, and kissd me,
    And thus I say to little English boy.
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
    And round the tent of God like lambs we joy,
I'll shade him from the heat till he can bear
    To lean in joy upon our Father's knee;
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
    And be like him, and he will then love me.


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Subject: ADD: Gunga Din (Rudyard Kipling)-poem
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:34 PM

We also memorized this one -- and also had a great deal of fun with it and "Danny Deever" (which we also had to memorize).

GUNGA DIN
(Rudyard Kipling)

You may talk o' gin an' beer        
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,        
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;        
But if it comes to slaughter        
You will do your work on water,                 
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.        
Now in Injia's sunny clime,        
Where I used to spend my time        
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,        
Of all them black-faced crew        
The finest man I knew        
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.        

    It was "Din! Din! Din!        
    You limping lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!        
    Hi! slippy hitherao!        
    Water, get it! Panee lao!        
    You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din!"        

The uniform 'e wore        
Was nothin' much before,        
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,        
For a twisty piece o' rag        
An' a goatskin water-bag        
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.        
When the sweatin' troop-train lay        
In a sidin' through the day,        
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,        
We shouted "Harry By!"        
Till our throats were bricky-dry,        
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.        

    It was "Din! Din! Din!        
    You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?        
    You put some juldee in it,        
    Or I'll marrow you this minute,        
    If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"        

'E would dot an' carry one        
Till the longest day was done,        
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.        
If we charged or broke or cut,        
You could bet your bloomin' nut,        
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.        
With 'is mussick on 'is back,        
'E would skip with our attack,        
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire."        
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide,        
'E was white, clear white, inside        
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!        

    It was "Din! Din! Din!"        
    With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.        
    When the cartridges ran out,        
    You could 'ear the front-files shout:        
    "Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"        

I sha'n't forgit the night        
When I dropped be'ind the fight        
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.        
I was chokin' mad with thirst,        
An' the man that spied me first        
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.        

'E lifted up my 'ead,        
An' 'e plugged me where I bled,        
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water green;        
It was crawlin' an' it stunk,        
But of all the drinks I've drunk,        
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.        

    It was "Din! Din! Din!        
    'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;        
    'E's chawin' up the ground an' 'e's kickin' all around:        
    For Gawd's sake, git the water, Gunga Din!"        

'E carried me away        
To where a dooli lay,        
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.        
'E put me safe inside,        
An' just before 'e died:        
"I 'ope you liked your drink," sez Gunga Din.        
So I'll meet 'im later on        
In the place where 'e is gone        
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;        
'E'll be squattin' on the coals        
Givin' drink to pore damned souls,        
An' I'll get a swig in Hell from Gunga Din!        

    Din! Din! Din!        
    You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!        
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,        
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,        
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

"Danny Deever" was changed a bit:

"What are the bugles blowing for?"
Asked Files-On-Parade.
"To turn you out, to turn you out,"
The Colour-Sergeant said.
"...For they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'."

Our Chorus:

In the mornin', in the mornin'
Oh they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin', YEE HA!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:42 PM

Ah! Rudyard Kipling.....

The Way Through the Woods

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods . . . .
But there is no road through the woods.

        -- Rudyard Kipling

and....

The Liner she's a lady, an' she never looks nor 'eeds --
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, an' 'e gives 'er all she needs;
But, oh, the little cargo-boats, that sail the wet seas roun',
They're just the same as you an' me a-plyin' up an' down!

Plyin' up an' down, Jenny, 'angin' round the Yard,
All the way by Fratton tram down to Portsmouth 'Ard;
Anythin' for business, an' we're growin' old --
Plyin' up an' down, Jenny, waitin' in the cold!

The Liner she's a lady by the paint upon 'er face,
An' if she meets an accident they count it sore disgrace:
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, and 'e's always 'andy by,
But, oh, the little cargo-boats! they've got to load or die.

The Liner she's a lady, and 'er route is cut an' dried;
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, an' 'e always keeps beside;
But, oh, the little cargo-boats that 'aven't any man,
They've got to do their business first, and make the most they can!

The Liner she's a lady, and if a war should come,
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, and 'e'd bid 'er stay at home;
But, oh, the little cargo-boats that fill with every tide!
'E'd 'ave to up an' fight for them, for they are England's pride.

The Liner she's a lady, but if she wasn't made,
There still would be the cargo-boats for 'ome an' foreign trade.
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, but if we wasn't 'ere,
'E wouldn't have to fight at all for 'ome an' friends so dear.

'Ome an' friends so dear, Jenny, 'angin' round the Yard,
All the way by Fratton tram down to Portsmouth 'Ard;
Anythin' for business, an' we're growin' old --
'Ome an' friends so dear, Jenny, waitin' in the cold!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:48 PM

I discovered this while I was in the Army. I shared it with my brothers and I've shared it with my nephews -- and it's as true now as when it was written.

TOMMY

by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.


I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.


Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.


We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.


You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:56 PM

Linda Kelly,

I'm not fond of the imagery and sentiment of the poem that you posted on 20 Oct 07 - 07:04 PM.

But to each her or his own.

Here's one poem that does speak to me:

IF WE MUST DIE

by Claude McKay (1889-1948)
      
If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursd lot.

If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

O, kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 08:04 PM

Here's another poem that speaks to me:

[a sonnet from Counte Cullen's THE DARK TOWER]

We shall not always plant while others reap
The golden increment of bursting fruit,
Not always countenance, abject and mute,
That lesser men should hold their brothers cheap;
Not everlastingly while others sleep
Shall we beguile their limbs with mellow flute,
Not always bend to some more subtle brute;
We were not made to eternally weep.

The night whose sable breast relieves the stark,
White stars is no less lovely being dark,
And there are buds that cannot bloom at all
In light, but crumple, piteous, and fall;
So in the dark we hide the heart that bleeds,
And wait, and tend our agonizing seeds.

-snip-

Here's the online source for this poem and the one I posted right before it:

http://www.themediadrome.com/content/articles/words_articles/poems_black_poets.htm

That online article also contains information on these and various African American poets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 08:11 PM

Here's two more poems that speak to me:


MOTHER TO SON

{Langston Hughes}

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor
Bare.
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

-snip-


WE REAL COOL
{Gwendolyn Brooks}   

THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

-snip-

online source:
http://www.poemhunter.com/gwendolyn-brooks/


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Subject: Lyr Add: PHENOMENAL WOMAN (Maya Angelou)
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 08:17 PM

And here's one more:

PHENOMENAL WOMAN
   
{Maya Angelou}

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 08:56 PM

Peace, Peace, what HAVE you started?

Terence, this is stupid stuff
    A. E. Housman

"Terence, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can't be much amiss, 'tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the horned head:
We poor lads, 'tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as killed the cow.
Pretty friendship 'tis to rhyme
Your friends to death before their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad."

Why, if 'tis dancing you would be
There's brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh, many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man.
Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world's not.
And faith, 'tis pleasant till 'tis past:
The mischief is that 'twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie god knows where,
And carried half-way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad,
And I myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I've lain,
Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.

Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
I'd face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.
'Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale
Is not so brisk a brew as ale:
Out of a stem that scored the hand
I wrung it in a weary land.
But take it: if the smack is sour,
The better for the embittered hour;
It should do good to heart and head
When your soul is in my soul's stead;
And I will friend you, if I may,
In the dark and cloudy day.

There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all that springs to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white's their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt
        - I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:13 PM

"I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us--don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!"

Emily Dickenson


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:36 PM

Cloony The Clown


I'll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
Who worked in a circus that came through town.
His shoes were too big and his hat was too small,
But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes,
He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall,
But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
And every time he did a trick,
Everyone felt a little sick.
And every time he told a joke,
Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
And every time he lost a shoe,
Everyone looked awfully blue.
And every time he stood on his head,
Everyone screamed, "Go back to bed!"
And every time he made a leap,
Everybody fell asleep.
And every time he ate his tie,
Everyone began to cry.
And Cloony could not make any money
Simply because he was not funny.
One day he said, "I'll tell this town
How it feels to be an unfunny clown."
And he told them all why he looked so sad,
And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
He told of Darkness in his soul,
And after he finished his tale of woe,
Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no,
They laughed until they shook the trees
With "Hah-Hah-Hahs" and "Hee-Hee-Hees."
They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks,
They laughed all day, they laughed all week,
They laughed until they had a fit,
They laughed until their jackets split.
The laughter spread for miles around
To every city, every town,
Over mountains, 'cross the sea,
From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
And soon the whole world rang with laughter,
Lasting till forever after,
While Cloony stood in the circus tent,
With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent.
And he said,"THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT -
I'M FUNNY JUST BY ACCIDENT."
And while the world laughed outside.
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.

   Shel Silverstein


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Greg B
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:42 PM

by ee cummings

plato told

him:he couldn't
believe it(jesus

told him;he
wouldn't believe
it)lao

tsze
certainly told
him,and general
(yes

mam)
sherman;
and even
(believe it
or

not)you
told him:i told
him;we told him
(he didn't believe it,no

sir)it took
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth

avenue
el;in the top of his head:to tell

him


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:43 PM

The Printer's Error



Fellow compositors
and pressworkers!

I, Chief Printer
Frank Steinman,
having worked fifty-
seven years at my trade,
and served five years
as president
of the Holliston
Printer's Council,
being of sound mind
though near death,
leave this testimonial
concerning the nature
of printers' errors.

First: I hold that all books
and all printed
matter have
errors, obvious or no,
and that these are their
most significant moments,
not to be tampered with
by the vanity and folly
of ignorant, academic
textual editors.
Second: I hold that there are
three types of errors, in ascending
order of importance:
One: chance errors
of the printer's trembling hand
not to be corrected incautiously
by foolish professors
and other such rabble
because trembling is part
of divine creation itself.

Two: silent, cool sabotage
by the printer,
the manual laborer
whose protests
have at times taken this
historical form,
covert interferences
not to be corrected
censoriously by the hand
of the second and far
more ignorant saboteur,
the textual editor.
Three: errors
from the touch of God,
divine and often
obscure corrections
of whole books by
nearly unnoticed changes
of single letters
sometimes meaningful but
about which the less said
by preemptive commentary
the better.
Third: I hold that all three
sorts of error,
errors by chance,
errors by workers' protest,
and errors by
God's touch,
are in practice the
same and indistinguishable.

Therefore I,
Frank Steinman,
typographer
for thirty-seven years,
and cooperative Master
of the Holliston Guild
eight years,
being of sound mind and body
though near death
urge the abolition
of all editorial work
whatsoever
and manumission
from all textual editing
to leave what was
as it was, and
as it became,
except insofar as editing
is itself an error, and

therefore also divine.

   Aaron Fogel


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 10:55 PM

this one spoke to me in 1957. I'm not sure why I listened...or why I remembered it.

Herons. Sunset.
Withered Aster.
Premonitions of disaster.
Dark clouds racing;
Silent moon -
Trying not to rise too soon.
Last geese flying.
Leafless tree.
Again, November has to be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 01:48 AM

"Don't Stop Clapping Till I'm Famous . . ." by Artie Gold

It was the greatest poetry reading Canada ever heard
AJM Smith was there with his polaroid land camera
Earle Birney stood by the door flipping his lucky
both-sides-beaver nickel
The Governor-General smiled like a Parisian-born trick
you could hear everywhere hoofbeats of moose & windblown birch boughs
Everyone was related to everybody else.
Across the audience smiles broke like quebec bridges
I kept thinking the face on the very next guy to read was the
splitting image of an autumn-blown maple leaf atop Mount Royal
we threw the critics out early in the show
they asked the poets the wrong kind of questions and we just knew
they'd leave early and cause trouble for us

at the banks)
famous people read aloud and no smart-asses coughed at crucial points
the concluding speech told you what the next fifty years of canadian
poetry would be like, whereupon
All stood
And the flag
was raised & lowered by the unseen hands
of Robert Service's ghost who'd been with us since intermission.
I was proud
alka-seltzer-proud ...

a patriot was stationed at each exit and it was the patriot's duty
to after each poet had read / fling open the door to the subzero howling
winds which beat at all our faces and cold that turned the sweat on our
cheeks to icicles / while a sign was held up above the stage's dais which
read:

DON'T STOP CLAPPING FOR A MINUTE FOLKS
OR YOU'LL NEVER HOLD ANOTHER PENCIL BETWEEN
YOUR FROSTBITTEN FINGERS

--thank you,
--merci.



I don't think I could explain Artie to people who have never met him or known him. But I will say this: he was something else in a world where there are few surprises left. Artie died in February past at the age of sixty. I hung out with him in NYC and Montreal. This is a picture taken by Stephen Morrissey (himself a dynamite poet) of a self-portrait Artie did. He was an extremely well-read guy, interesting to speak with and on occasion the most frustrating, hard-headed, stubborn person I ever met.

I didn't think any thread about poetry should not have one of his posted. It would be like a rock garden made of trees or a forest made only of sand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amergin
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 01:52 AM

The Man with Night Sweats
        
        I wake up cold, I who
Prospered through dreams of heat
Wake to their residue,
Sweat, and a clinging sheet.

My flesh was its own shield:
Where it was gashed, it healed.

I grew as I explored
The body I could trust
Even while I adored
The risk that made robust,

A world of wonders in
Each challenge to the skin.

I cannot but be sorry
The given shield was cracked,
My mind reduced to hurry,
My flesh reduced and wrecked.

I have to change the bed,
But catch myself instead

Stopped upright where I am
Hugging my body to me
As if to shield it from
The pains that will go through me,

As if hands were enough
To hold an avalanche off.

Thom Gunn


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Micca
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 04:30 AM

I dont know why but This one has always "spoken" to me
(BTW Linda, I LOVED what you did with it musically)

Into my heart an air that kills
   From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
   What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
   I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
   And cannot come again.
A.E Housman
From A Shropshire Lad


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 07:18 AM

Look out how you use proud words.
They wear long boots
They wear hard boots
They walk off proudly
They can't hear you calling,
Lookout how you use proud words.

Carl Sandburg

and

The moving finger writes
And, having writ moves on
Nor all your piety and wit can lure it back
to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.

Omar Khayyam


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 07:39 AM

That Omar Khayyam poem reminds me of this one:


THE ARROW AND THE SONG

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow}

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

-snip-


I learned this poem in the 6th grade of elementary school. It's interesting that I can so clearly recall two poems that I learned from my 6th grade teacher, and none from any other teacher in elementary school.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: bobad
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 08:36 AM

I've always liked this poem for the way it encapsulates the poet, a professor and womanizer of some reputation:

MISUNDERSTANDING
by Irving Layton

I placed
my hand
upon
her thigh.

By the way
she moved
away
I could see
her devotion
to literature
was not
perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 08:45 AM

Another wry observer of the human condition -

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

Comment

Oh, life is a glorious
cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that
can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.


"One Perfect Rose"

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet--
One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;
"My fragile leaves," it said, "his heart enclose."
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 09:07 AM

HE DREW A CIRCLE

{Edwin Markham}

He drew a circle that shut me out
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout
But love and I had the wit to win
We drew a circle that took him in.

**

I first heard this poem as part of a sermon that was given by a minister at a church service that I went to in my teens. This was part of an out of town weekend conference where Black people lived with, went to workshops with, and went to church with White people and vice versa. Two years later, I ended up going to college in the same city where that conference was held, but that might have been a coincidence. No, on second thought, I don't believe in coincidences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 09:17 AM

A bit more Omar Khayyam

'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Right or Left, as strikes the Player goes;
And He that toss'd Thee down into the Field,
He knows about it all He knows He knows!

These are the 2 verses before that posted by Kendall.

... and of course:

And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the Grass
And in thy joyous Errand reach the Spot
Where I made one - turn down an empty Glass!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 09:45 AM

- with apologies to Azizi..and Longfellow:

"I sneezed a sneeze into the air.
It fell to earth, I know not where.
But hard and cold were the looks of those
In whose vicinity I had snoze."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amos
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 10:31 AM

A Prayer for my Daughter

William Butler Yeats



Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
My child sleeps on. There is no obstacle
But Gregory's wood and one bare hill
Whereby the haystack- and roof-levelling wind,
Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;
And for an hour I have walked and prayed
Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,
And under the arches of the bridge, and scream
In the elms above the flooded stream;
Imagining in excited reverie
That the future years had come,
Dancing to a frenzied drum,
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.

May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger's eye distraught,
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beauty a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.

Helen being chosen found life flat and dull
And later had much trouble from a fool,
While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray,
Being fatherless could have her way
Yet chose a bandy-leggd smith for man.
It's certain that fine women eat
A crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.

In courtesy I'd have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty's very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

May she become a flourishing hidden tree
That all her thoughts may like the linnet be,
And have no business but dispensing round
Their magnanimities of sound,
Nor but in merriment begin a chase,
Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel
Rooted in one dear perpetual place.

My mind, because the minds that I have loved,
The sort of beauty that I have approved,
Prosper but little, has dried up of late,
Yet knows that to be choked with hate
May well be of all evil chances chief.
If there's no hatred in a mind
Assault and battery of the wind
Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.

An intellectual hatred is the worst,
So let her think opinions are accursed.
Have I not seen the loveliest woman born
Out of the mouth of Plenty's horn,
Because of her opinionated mind
Barter that horn and every good
By quiet natures understood
For an old bellows full of angry wind?

Considering that, all hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
Self-appeasing, self-affrighting,
And that its own sweet will is Heaven's will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.

And may her bridegroom bring her to a house
Where all's accustomed, ceremonious;
For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony's a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.

June 1919




I first heard this poem being recited by my brother in the late 1950's; and it has rattled in the back corners of my brain ever since, one piece or another of it popping out to tweak me at odd intervals.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 10:31 AM

THE DRAGON WHO ATE OUR SCHOOL

The day the dragon came to call,
she ate the gate, the playground wall
and, slate by slate, the roof and all,
the staffroom, gym, and entrance hall,
and every classroom, big or small.

So . . .
She's undeniably great,
She's absolutely cool,
the dragon who ate
the dragon who ate
the dragon who ate our school.


Pupils panicked. Teachers ran.
She flew at them with wide wingspan.
She slew a few and then began
to chew through the lollipop man,
two parked cars and a transit van.

Wow . . . !

She bit off the head of the head.
She said she was sad he was dead.
He bled and he bled and he bled.
And as she fed, her chin went red
and then she swallowed the cycle shed.

Oh . . .

It's thanks to her that we've been freed.
We needn't write, we needn't read.
Me and my mates are all agreed,
we're very pleased with her indeed.
So clear the way, let her proceed.

Cos . . .

There was some stuff she couldn't eat.
A monster forced to face defeat,
she spat it out along the street ~
the dinner ladies' veg and meat
and that pink muck they serve for sweet.

But . . .

Nick Toczek


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 11:30 AM

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live."
         -- Dorothy Parker

        
Phil Ochs, There But for Fortune Lyrics
Looking for Phil Ochs tabs and chords? Browse alphabet (above)

Artist: Ochs Phil
Song: There But for Fortune
Album: There But for Fortune
        Buy Phil Ochs Sheet Music
Buy Phil Ochs CDs

Show me a prison, show me a jail
Show me a pris'ner whose face has grown pale

And I'll show you a young man
With many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or I

Show me an alley, show me a train
Show me a hobo who sleeps out in the rain

And I'll show you a young man
With many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or I

Show me the whiskey stains on the floor
Show me a drunk as he stumbles out the door

And I'll show you a young man
With many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or I

Show me a country where the bombs had to fall
Show me the ruins of buildings so tall

And I'll show you a young land
With many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or I
You or I
                -- Phil Ochs, of course


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 11:32 AM

Bill D, with regards to your comment with apologies to Azizi..and Longfellow, if Longfellow doesn't mind, I'm sure I don't either.

:o))


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amos
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 11:52 AM

God has given us a dark wine so potent that,
drinking it, we leave the two worlds.

God has put into the form of hashish a power
to deliver the taster from self-consciousness.

God has made sleep so
that it erases every thought.

God made Majnun love Layla so much that
just her dog would cause confusion in him.

There are thousands of wines
that can take over our minds.

Don't think all ecstacies
are the same!

Jesus was lost in his love for God.
His donkey was drunk with barley.

Drink from the presence of saints,
not from those other jars.

Every object, every being,
is a jar full of delight.

Be a conoisseur,
and taste with caution.

Any wine will get you high.
Judge like a king, and choose the purest,

the ones unadulterated with fear,
or some urgency about "what's needed."

Drink the wine that moves you
as a camel moves when it's been untied,

and is just ambling about.

Mathnawi IV, 2683-96
The Essential Rumi, Coleman Barks


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amos
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 12:05 PM

Two others by Rumi which I turn to when I am touched by the sear and loss of death:

Gone to the Unseen

At last you have departed and gone to the Unseen.
What marvelous route did you take from this world?

Beating your wings and feathers,
you broke free from this cage.
Rising up to the sky
you attained the world of the soul.
You were a prized falcon trapped by an Old Woman.
Then you heard the drummer's call
and flew beyond space and time.

As a lovesick nightingale, you flew among the owls.
Then came the scent of the rosegarden
and you flew off to meet the Rose.

The wine of this fleeting world
caused your head to ache.
Finally you joined the tavern of Eternity.
Like an arrow, you sped from the bow
and went straight for the bull's eye of bliss.

This phantom world gave you false signs
But you turned from the illusion
and journeyed to the land of truth.

You are now the Sun -
what need have you for a crown?
You have vanished from this world -
what need have you to tie your robe?

I've heard that you can barely see your soul.
But why look at all? -
yours is now the Soul of Souls!

O heart, what a wonderful bird you are.
Seeking divine heights,
Flapping your wings,
you smashed the pointed spears of your enemy.

The flowers flee from Autumn, but not you -
You are the fearless rose
that grows amidst the freezing wind.

Pouring down like the rain of heaven
you fell upon the rooftop of this world.
Then you ran in every direction
and escaped through the drain spout . . .

Now the words are over
and the pain they bring is gone.
Now you have gone to rest
in the arms of the Beloved.


"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved", Jonathan Star
New York 1997



?
How did you get away?
You were the pet falcon of an old woman.
Did you hear the falcon-drum?
You were a drunken songbird put in with owls.
Did you smell the odor of a garden?
You got tired of sour fermenting
and left the tavern.

You went like an arrow to the target
from the bow of time and place.
The man who stays at the cemetery pointed the way,
but you didn't go.
You became light and gave up wanting to be famous.
You don't worry about what you're going to eat,
so why buy an engraved belt?

I've heard of living at the center, but what about
leaving the center of the center?
Flying toward thankfulness, you become
the rare bird with one wing made of fear,
and one of hope. In autumn,
a rose crawling along the ground in the cold wind.
Rain on the roof runs down and out by the spout
as fast as it can.

Talking is pain. Lie down and rest,
now that you've found a friend to be with.


"These Branching Moments", Coleman Barks
Copper Beech Press, 1988


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Cats
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 12:34 PM

This just about sums life up...


Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

By Jenny Joseph


When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people's gardens

and learn to spit.



You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.



But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

*************
Guess what ~ I've just bought myself a purple outfit!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amos
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 05:59 PM

Cats:

Thanks so much for reminding me of one of my favorite poems. My wife swears by it.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 09:02 PM

I first heard this poem with its blend of pathos and humour sung to a haunting air by a young Sean Cannon many years ago and it lodged itself in my memory ever since.
The poet is described as spending some time reading for the priesthood before "settling for the career of rake-poet"

THE YELLOW BITTERN

By Seamus Heaney
(Translated from An Bonnn Bu in the Irish
of Cathal Bu Mac Giolla Gunna 1680-1756)

Yellow bittern, there you are now,
Skin and bone on the frozen shore.
It wasn't hunger but thirst for a mouthful
That left you foundered and me heartsore.
What odds is it now about Troy's destruction
With you on the flagstones upside down,
Who never injured or hurt a creature
And preferred bog water to any wine?



Bittern, bittern, your end was awful,
Your perished skull there on the road,
You that would call me every morning
With your gargler's song as you guzzled mud.
And that's what's ahead of your brother Cathal
(You know what they say about me and the stuff)
But they've got it wrong and the truth is simple:
A drop would have saved that croaker's life.



I am saddened, bittern, and broken hearted
To find you in scrags in the rushy tufts,
And the big rats scampering down the rat paths
To wake your carcass and have their fun.
If you could have got word to me in time, bird,
That you were in trouble and craved a sup,
I'd have struck the fetters of those lough waters
And wet your thrapple with the blow I struck.



Your common birds do not concern me,
The blackbird, say, or the thrush or crane,
But the yellow bittern, my heartsome namesake
With my looks and locks, he's the one I mourn.
Constantly he was drinking, drinking,
And by all accounts I've a name for it too,
But every drop I get I'll sink it
For fear I might get my end from drouth.



The woman I love says to give it up now
Or else I'll go to an early grave,
But I say no and keep resisting
For taking drink's what prolongs your days.
You saw for yourself a while ago
What happened to the bird when its throat went dry;
So my friends and neighbours, let it flow:
You'll be stood no rounds in eternity.

original Irish poem here


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 09:15 PM

I read this when things get tough. If you don't know about Freckles Brown and his ride, well, here:

In 1967, at the National Finals in Oklahoma City, Freckles wasn't in the running for the Championship, but perhaps he is remembered better than the bull rider that did win the Championship that year,
because that year Freckles rode the "unridable" bull called Tornado.

Tornado, owned by Jim Shoulders, was the first bull Freckles drew on the opening night of the Finals, Dec 1, 1967.

A full house of 9000 spectators were in the Oklahoma City's State Fair Arena, to see the match-up between 47-year-old Freckles and Tornado.

Tornado, in his rodeo career, had scared his share of bull riders off,
some preferring to turn him out rather than try to ride him. Freckles took it as a compliment when Ken Roberts said: "Tornado's scared a lot of guys off, but he's going to have to buck Freckles off."

Freckles said, "Tornado scared a lot of people off of him. I was real tickled when I drew him. I was wantin' him. I'd watched that bull for years. Everytime anybody jumped out of there, any time anybody drew Tornado, I was up there watching, looking over the chute. When a bull bucks that good, everything has to go right, you gotta get tapped off right."

Tornado went high and far on his first jump out, something he was known to do. He spun three or four times. He changed his pattern on Freckles, jumping straight ahead and then back to the right, but nothing he did could throw the determined man.

Freckles never heard the whistle. The crowd went wild and the bullfighters moved in, that's how he knew he had him rode!

Freckles described it as: "I just felt real good. I got where I wanted to be, and that's the first time I got just exactly where I wanted to be. Sometimes you don't feel that way. But sometimes you feel like you can ride them no matter what they do, but not very often. It was just before the whistle when I felt like I had him rode."

The first person to congratulate Freckles was Jim Shoulders, the owner of Tornado.

Tornado had gone unridden for 220 professional rides. He died in 1972 and is buried near the Cowboy Hall of Fame.


Freckles Advice                     
    Baxter Black

Though Freckles is an angel now, he ain't forgot his friends.
He drops to earth and hangs around behind the buckin' pens.
He pulls a rope or just makes sure a rider gets bucked free.
So I took it as an honor, the day he spoke to me...

"I saw you ride your bull today. You sure did yourself proud.
You had him by the short hairs, I could feel it in the crowd!"
"I really should be thankful that I even stayed aboard.
You could'a done it better, Freckles...I'm lucky that I scored!"

"Hey don't be puttin' yourself down! You know you did okay.
The time will come when you look back and hunger for today
When everything was workin' right and judges liked your style,
Your joints were smooth, your belly flat and girls liked your smile.

"Cause in between the best you rode and the last one that you'll try
You'll face your own mortality and look it in the eye.
There ain't no shame admittin' you ain't what you used to be,
The shame is blamin' Lady Luck when Father Time's the key!

"So if they know you came to ride and always did your best
Then hang your ol' spurs up with pride, 'cause that's the acid test
And, say some gunsel offers you a 'Geritol on Ice,'
Just grin 'im down, 'cause you don't have to ride Tornado twice!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: robomatic
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 11:13 PM

Straight from the grey cells:

In Time Like Glass
by Walter James Turner

In time like glass the stars are kept
And seeming fluttering butterflies
Are fixed fast in time's glass net
With mountains and with maids' bright eyes

Above the cold Cordilleras hung
The winged eagle, and the moon
The gold snow-throated orchid sprung
From gloom where peers the dark baboon

The Himalayas white wrapped brows
The jewel eyed bear that threads their caves
The lush plains lowing herds of cows
That shadow entering human graves

All these like stars in time are kept
They vanish but can never pass
The sun that with them fades is yet
Fast fixed as they in time like glass.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: s&r
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 03:22 AM

I can still hear if I close my eyes the poem below read in a rich deep strong Yorkshire accent by Mr Braillsford, the best teacher I ever had. For me it only works in Yorkshire.

Edward Thomas

Adelstrop

Yes. I remember Adlestrop
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and around him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.


Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 08:51 AM

To Iron-Founders and Others

When you destroy a blade of grass
You poison England at her roots:
Remember no man's foot can pass
Where evermore no green life shoots.

You force the birds to wing too high
Where your unnatural vapours creep:
Surely the living rocks shall die
When birds no rightful distance keep.

You have brought down the firmament
And yet no heaven is more near;
You shape huge deeds without event,
And half-made men believe and fear.

Your worship is your furnaces,
Which, like old idols, lost obscenes,
Have molten bowels; your vision is
Machines for making more machines.

O, you are busied in the night,
Preparing destinies of rust;
Iron misused must turn to blight
And dwindle to a tetter'd crust.

The grass, forerunner of life, has gone,
But plants that spring in ruins and shards
Attend until your dream is done:
I have seen hemlock in your yards.

The generations of the worm
Know not your loads piled on their soil;
Their knotted ganglions shall wax firm
Till your strong flagstones heave and toil.

When the old hollow'd earth is crack'd,
And when, to grasp more power and feasts,
Its ores are emptied, wasted, lack'd,
The middens of your burning beasts

Shall be raked over till they yield
Last priceless slags for fashioning high,
Ploughs to wake grass in every field,
Chisels men's hands to magnify.

Gordon Bottomley


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:14 AM

The golf links lie so near the mill
That almost every day
The laboring children can look out
And see the men at play.

Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:14 AM

Song of the Shirt - a poem by Thomas Hood

        


With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the "Song of the Shirt."

"Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!
And work work work,
Till the stars shine through the roof!
It's Oh! to be a slave
Along with the barbarous Turk,
Where woman has never a soul to save,
If this is Christian work!

"Work work work
Till the brain begins to swim;
Work work work
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in a dream!

"Oh, Men, with Sisters dear!
Oh, Men, with Mothers and Wives!
It is not linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives!
Stitch stitch stitch,
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
Sewing at once with a double thread,
A Shroud as well as a Shirt.

But why do I talk of Death?
That Phantom of grisly bone,
I hardly fear its terrible shape,
It seems so like my own
It seems so like my own,
Because of the fasts I keep;
Oh, God! that bread should be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!

"Work work work!
My Labour never flags;
And what are its wages? A bed of straw,
A crust of bread and rags.
That shatter'd roof and this naked floor
A table a broken chair
And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank
For sometimes falling there!

"Work work work!
From weary chime to chime,
Work work work!
As prisoners work for crime!
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumb'd,
As well as the weary hand.

"Work work work,
In the dull December light,
And work work work,
When the weather is warm and bright
While underneath the eaves
The brooding swallows cling
As if to show me their sunny backs
And twit me with the spring.

Oh! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet
With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet
For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal!

Oh! but for one short hour!
A respite however brief!
No blessed leisure for Love or Hope,
But only time for Grief!
A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop
Hinders needle and thread!"

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
Would that its tone could reach the Rich!
She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"

That for pathos,

and

this

by

Margaret Hamilton.

Lament for a Lost Dinner Ticket

See ma mammy
See ma dinner ticket
A pititnma
Pokit an she pititny
Washnmachine.

See hon burnty
Up wherra firewiz
Ma mammy says
Am no tellnyagain
No'y playnit.
A jist wen'y eatma
Pokacrisps furma dinner
Nabigwoffldoon.

The wummin sed Aver near
Clapsd
Jistur heednur
Wee wellies sticknoot

Tsed Wot heppind?
Nme'nma belly
Na bedna hospital.
A sed A pititnma
Pokit an she pititny
Washnmachine.

They sed Ees thees chaild eb slootly
Non verbal?
A sed MA BUMSAIR
Nwen'y sleep.




for joy.

Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:41 AM

For my beloved, the love of my life (and anyone else who ever loved)

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, tillwe loved ? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly,
Or snorted in the seven sleepers' den.
'Tis true - but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see
Which I desired, and got
'Twas but a dream of thee.

And now, good morrow to our waking souls
Which watch not one another out of fear
For love, all love of other things controls
And makes this little room an everwhere.
Let sea explorers to new wordls have gone.
Let maps to others, other worlds have shown.
Let us have one world ;
Each hath, and is, one.

Thy face in my eyes, thin in mine appears
And true plain hearts do in these orbs rest.
Where could we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp North, without declining West?
Whatever dyes was not mixed equally.
If out two loves be one

Then none can sicken, none can die.

'The Good Morrow', John Donne.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 10:27 AM

Speaking of Longfellow...Song of Hiawatha..

...at length the wary Roebuck started,
lept, as if to meet the arrow.
Dead he lay there in the forest,
Beat his timid heart no longer...

He was a native of Portland Maine, and was not considered a great poet, yet he is honored with a place of honor in Westminster Abbey London.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Mickey191
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 10:46 AM

The Mouse On The Barroom Floor

Some Guiness was spilt on the barroom floor
When the pub was shut for the night.
Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse
and stood in the pale moonlight.

He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor,
Then back on his haunches he sat,
And all night long you could hear him roar
"Bring on the God Damn cat!"


Don't recall where I got this or who penned it- memorized it when I was 12ish. I was not allowed to
say the curse-- that spoiled all the fun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 11:01 AM

The wonderful thing about this thread is that it has made me remember all those poems that live in the back of the mind, never totally forgotten.

Two of the ones that "speak" to me have already been quoted ; "The Tale of the Shirt" and "Adelstrop"

Re reading the latter put me in mind of the distilled (pre Beeching) nostalgia of the Flanders and Swann song -

"SLOW TRAIN"

Miller's Dale for Tideswell ...
Kirby Muxloe ...
Mow Cop and Scholar Green ...

No more will I go to Blandford Forum and Mortehoe
On the slow train from Midsomer Norton and Mumby Road.
No churns, no porter, no cat on a seat
At Chorlton-cum-Hardy or Chester-le-Street.
We won't be meeting again
On the Slow Train.

I'll travel no more from Littleton Badsey to Openshaw.
At Long Stanton I'll stand well clear of the doors no more.
No whitewashed pebbles, no Up and no Down
From Formby Four Crosses to Dunstable Town.
I won't be going again
On the Slow Train.

On the Main Line and the Goods Siding
The grass grows high
At Dog Dyke, Tumby Woodside
And Trouble House Halt.

The Sleepers sleep at Audlem and Ambergate.
No passenger waits on Chittening platform or Cheslyn Hay.
No one departs, no one arrives
From Selby to Goole, from St Erth to St Ives.
They've all passed out of our lives
On the Slow Train, on the Slow Train.

Cockermouth for Buttermere ... on the Slow Train,
Armley Moor Arram ...
Pye Hill and Somercotes ... on the Slow Train,
Windmill End.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Cats
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 11:02 AM

So, if we want to raise some money for mudcat, has anyone the time to put all these together in a book?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 11:06 AM

The Modern Hiawatha

He killed the noble Mudjokivis.
Of the skin he made him mittens,
Made them with the skin side outside.
He, to get the warm side inside,
Put the inside skin side outside.
He, to get the cold side outside,
Put the warm side fur side inside.
That's why he put the fur side inside,
Why he put the skin side outside,
Why he turned them inside outside.

        -- George A. Strong


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 11:35 AM

Cargoes
John Masefield

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 11:53 AM

Generally, war poetry brings tears to my eyes. This one is no exception.

Shiloh - A Requiem
(April 1862)


Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh -
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh -
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there -
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.


Herman Melville


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 12:03 PM

yes, Peace...I memorized this for my 8th grade English class

HOHENLINDEN

by: Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)


On Linden when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

But Linden saw another sight
When the drum beat, at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.

By torch and trumpet fast arrayed
Each horseman drew his battle blade,
And furious every charger neighed,
To join the dreadful revelry.

Then shook the hills with thunder riven,
Then rushed the steed to battle driven,
And louder than the bolts of heaven
Far flashed the red artillery.

And redder yet those fires shall glow
On Linden's hills of blood-stained snow,
And darker yet shall be the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

'Tis morn, but scarce yon lurid sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.

The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory, or the grave!
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave!
And charge with all thy chivalry!

Ah! few shall part where many meet!
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 12:07 PM

and from Kipling: (made into a very moving song by peter Bellamy)

Soldier, Soldier
By Rudyard Kipling
Born 1865


"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Why don't you march with my true love?"
"We're fresh from off the ship an' 'e's maybe give the slip,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."
         New love! True love!
         Best go look for a new love,
         The dead they cannot rise, an' you'd better dry your eyes,
         An' you'd best go look for a new love.

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
What did you see o' my true love?"
"I seed 'im serve the Queen in a suit o' rifle-green,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Did ye see no more o' my true love?"
"I seed 'im runnin' by when the shots begun to fly --
But you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Did aught take 'arm to my true love?"
"I couldn't see the fight, for the smoke it lay so white --
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
I'll up an' tend to my true love!"
"'E's lying on the dead with a bullet through 'is 'ead,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
I'll down an' die with my true love!"
"The pit we dug'll 'ide 'im an' the twenty men beside 'im --
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Do you bring no sign from my true love?"
"I bring a lock of 'air that 'e allus used to wear,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
O then I know it's true I've lost my true love!"
"An' I tell you truth again -- when you've lost the feel o' pain
You'd best take me for your true love."
         True love! New love!
         Best take 'im for a new love,
         The dead they cannot rise, an' you'd better dry your eyes,
         An' you'd best take 'im for your true love.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 12:16 PM

I heard Brian Turner being interviwed on radio recently about his book of poems from the Iraq war, he read out this one -

Here, Bullet

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta's opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you've started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel's cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue's explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.


"While in Iraq, I felt very isolated from the relevance of what felt like a prior life. All that existed was the here and now. That said, the novels of Tim O'Brien probably held the most resonance for me. The series of malaria-induced dream poems in Here, Bullet are certainly influenced by Going After Cacciato. Yusef Komunnyakaa's Dien Cai Dau was definitely in the back of my mind. Also, Whitman's care for the wounded may find its echoes in my own work. An anthology of Iraqi poetry (Iraqi Poetry Today) was very influential. Fadhil al-Azzawi, Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayyati, and Muzaffar al-Nawwab had particular impact. As a writer, I have a tendency to be overly musical and layered. I deliberately forced myself to write Here, Bullet in a more stripped-down, direct stylea choice I hoped would be honest to the events I was witnessing."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Mickey191
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 12:42 PM

GIVE ME THREE GRAINS OF CORN, MOTHER.    "   
By Amelia Blanford Edwards

Give me three grains of corn, Mother,
Only three grains of corn;
It will keep the little life I have
Till the coming of the morn.

I am dying of hunger and cold, Mother,
Dying of hunger and cold;
And half the agony of such a death
My lips have never told.

It has gnawed like a wolf at my heart, Mother,
A wolf that is fierce for blood;
All the livelong day, and the night beside,
Gnawing for lack of food.

I dreamed of bread in my sleep, Mother,
And the sight was heaven to see;
I awoke with an eager, famishing lip,
But you had no bread for me.

How could I look to you, Mother,
How could I look to you
For bread to give to your starving boy,
When you were starving too?

For I read the famine in your cheek,
And in your eyes so wild,
And I felt it in your bony hand,
As you laid it on your child.

The Queen has lands and gold, Mother,
The Queen has lands and gold,
While you are forced to your empty breast
A skeleton babe to hold-

A babe that is dying of want, Mother,
As I am dying now,
With a ghastly look in its sunken eye,
And famine upon its brow.

There is many a brave heart here, Mother,
Dying of want and cold,
While only across the Channel, Mother,
Are many that roll in gold;

There are rich and proud men there, Mother,
With wondrous wealth to view,
And the bread they fling to their dogs tonight
Would give life to me and you.

What has poor Ireland done, Mother,
What has poor Ireland done,
That the world looks on, and sees us starve,
Perishing one by one?

Do the men of England care not, Mother,
The great men and the high,
For the suffering sons of Erin's Isle,
Whether they live or die?

Come nearer to my side, Mother,
Come nearer to my side,
And hold me fondly, as you held
My father when he died;

Quick, for I cannot see you, Mother,
My breath is almost gone;
Mother! Dear Mother! Ere I die,
Give me three grains of corn.


As many times as I've read this-I still tear up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 01:06 PM

Abou ben Adham has already been mentioned, but this by the same author is worth reading.

Jenny Kissed Me

- Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

    Jenny kissed me when we met,
       Jumping from the chair she sat in;
    Time, you thief! who love to get
       Sweets into your list, put that in.
    Say I'm weary, say I'm sad;
       Say that health and wealth have miss'd me;
    Say I'm growing old, but add-
                                     Jenny kiss'd me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 01:55 PM

beardedbruce,

Would you please select a few of your own for inclusion?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:03 PM

Yellow Dog

You keep your lofty abstract god,
Myself, I choose a child of Pan,
An ordinary yellow dog
Who does for love what mortals can,
Who stretches out her mortal frame
Determinedly, although she's lame
For one more walk beside her man.

Whose ashes grace the forest way
We roamed together yesterday.
And, to the wilder god I pray:
Give her soul some woods to run,
A stick to fetch, a patch of sun.
And near her, Pan, preserve a place
For me, come from a lesser race.

Bill Levenworth


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:15 PM

Peace,

Those poems are ones where I speak, not ones that speak to me.

"A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits. "

LL (RAH)


Having stated this, I will not object should any here feel that my woprds have spoken to them, they may feel free to post them. I think some may be found on past threads.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:17 PM

The poem spoke to you before you wrote it, no?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:19 PM

The muse speaks; I transcribe.

But it would be more appropriate for others to post them, if they feel the poems worthwhile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:39 PM

From Mudcat: "In Every Thread Someone Has to Be Last"



Sonnet 04/01/05                        CMLXVIII

In every thread someone has to be last,
Though we may trade places in patterned dance.
Each one may lead, then follow: Thoughts are cast
On screen to with all others take their chance.
Come join the waltz of thousand partners: Share
Some moments with a varied crowd, or learn
Of osprey nest, or Bob. Each of us care
Enough that we to this mad dance return.
Each of us add to tune, and join in chords
That sweep across our posts: We fill the time
With what investment each of us affords.
It is just journey that gives cause to climb.
As we give, so shall each some gift receive,
And only for those gone shall we yet grieve.


by Beardedbruce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: HouseCat
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 03:04 PM

Desert Places

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh fast,
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The woods around it have it, it is theirs;
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

And lonely as it is, that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less;
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.

They cannot scare me with their desert places,
Between stars - on stars, where no human race is;
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

Robert Frost


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 06:05 PM

Here's one I hunted down today, having come across the first verse a few times and been intrigued. Having read the whole poem I am still intrigued -

Unwelcome
        
WE were young, we were merry, we were very very wise,
And the door stood open at our feast,
When there passed us a woman with the West in her eyes,
And a man with his back to the East.

O, still grew the hearts that were beating so fast,
The loudest voice was still.
The jest died away on our lips as thy passed,
And the rays of July struck chill.

The cups of red wine turned pale on the board,
The white bread black as soot.
The hound forgot the hand of her lord,
She fell down at his foot.

Low let me lie, where the dead dog lies,
Ere I sit me down again at a feast,
When there passes a woman with the West in her eyes,
And a man with his back to the East.


Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (1861 1907)

(I've got a feeling James Thurber once used this in a cartoon, but that may be unfounded.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rowan
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 06:25 PM

The first poem I recall hearing at primary school was by Adam Lindsay Gordon;

In this life of froth and bubble
two things stand like stone;
kindness in another's trouble,
courage in your own.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 07:12 PM

rowan, that says so very little and so very much too
Thanks


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 07:20 PM

THE CREATION

[James Weldon Johnson (18711938)]

AND God stepped out on space,
And He looked around and said,
"I'm lonely
I'll make me a world."

And far as the eye of God could see         
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,         
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said, "That's good!"

Then God reached out and took the light in His hands,
And God rolled the light around in His hands         
Until He made the sun;
And He set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,         
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said, "That's good!"         

Then God himself stepped down
And the sun was on His right hand,
And the moon was on His left;
The stars were clustered about His head,
And the earth was under His feet.         
And God walked, and where He trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then He stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.         
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And He spat out the seven seas;
He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed;
He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled;
And the waters above the earth came down,         
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,         
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around His shoulder.         
Then God raised His arm and He waved His hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And He said, "Bring forth! Bring forth!"

And quicker than God could drop His hand.
Fishes and fowls         
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said, "That's good!"         

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that He had made.
He looked at His sun,
And He looked at His moon,         
And He looked at His little stars;
He looked on His world
With all its living things,
And God said, "I'm lonely still."

Then God sat down         
On the side of a hill where He could think;
By a deep, wide river He sat down;
With His head in His hands,
God thought and thought,
Till He thought, "I'll make me a man!"         

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled Him down;
And there the great God Almighty         
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand;
This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,      
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till He shaped it in His own image;

Then into it He blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.         
Amen. Amen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: topical tom
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 07:27 PM

As a young lad in school and as a much older person now ,Antoine de
St. Exupury's poem has touched me like few others:Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds-
and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of-
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.

Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along,
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle flew.

And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod the high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand,
and touched the face of God


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 07:30 PM

That poem is by Tom Magee. It's called "Flight".


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 07:35 PM

Sorry. Was doing two things. Didn't mean to be so terse. My apologies, Tom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 08:53 PM

SIGNIFYIN' MONKEY
{Oscar Brown, Jr.}

Said the signifyin' monkey to the lion one day:
"Hey, dere's a great big elephant down th' way
Goin' 'roun' talkin', I'm sorry t'say,
About yo' momma in a scandalous way!"

"Yea, he's talkin' 'bout you' momma an' yo' grandma, too;
And he don' show too much respect fo' you.
Now, you weren't there an' I sho' am glad
'Cause what he said about yo' mamma made me mad!"

Signifyin' monkey, stay up in a yo' tree
You are always lyin' and signifyin'
But you better not monkey wit' me.

The lion said, "Yea? Well, I'll fix him;
I'll tear that elephant limb by limb."
Then he shook the jungle with a mighty roar
Took off like a shot from a forty-four.

He found the elephant where the tall grass grows
And said, "I come to punch you in your long nose."
The elephant looked at the lion in surprise
And said, "Boy, you better go pick on somebody your size."

But the lion wouldn't listen; he made a pass;
The elephant slapped him down in the grass.
The lion roared and sprung from the ground.
And that's when that elephant really went to town.

I mean he whupped that lion for the rest of the day
And I still don't see how the lion got away
But he dragged on off, more dead than alive,
And that's when that monkey started his signifyin' jive.

The monkey looked down and said, "Oooh wee!
What is this beat-up mess I see?
Is that you, Lion? Ha, ha! Do tell!
Man, he whupped yo' head to a fare-thee-well!

"Give you a beatin' that was rough enough;
Yu s'pposed to be king of the jungle, ain't dat some stuff?
You big overgrown pussycat! Don't choo roar
Or I'll hop down there an' whip you some more."

The monkey got to laughing and a' jumpin' up an' down,
But his foot missed the limb and he plunged to the ground.
The lion was on him with all four feet
Gonna grind that monkey to hamburger meat.

The monkey looked up with tears in his eyes
And said, "Please, Mr. Lion, I apologize,
I meant no harm, please let me go
And I'll tell you something you really need to know."

The lion stepped back to hear what he'd say,
And that monkey scampered up the tree and got away.
"What I wanted to tell you," the monkey hollered then,
"Is if you fool with me, I"ll sic the elephant on you again!"

The lion just shook his head, and said, "You jive....
If you and yo' monkey children wanna stay alive,
Up in them tress is where you better stay"
And that's where they are to this very day.

Signifyin' monkey, stay up in yo' tree
You always lyin' and signifyin'
But you better not monkey wit' me.

-snip-

{Source: Linda Goss and Marian E. Barnes, editors, Talk That Talk, An Anthology of African-American Storytelling {New York; Simon & Shuster; 1989; pp 456-457}


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:00 PM

I posted that entire "Signifyin' Monkey" poem/song instead of posting a hyperlink because I couldn't find the Oscar Brown Jr. version online.

Here's another version of that classic African American poem:

http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~boade/spring04/signifying.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 10:17 PM

Sort of a poem....

JUST WORDS
Baxter Black

They were just words:

"Tear down the Berlin Wall" Reagan to Gorbachev at the Brandenburg Gate, 1987.
"Chance of rain. " Weatherman in Iowa during the '93 flood.
"Give me liberty or give me death. " Patrick Henry, 1775.
"I wish I'd never read this book. . . so I could read it again for the first time." Dan Trimble about Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, 1992.
"The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic Tank." Erma Bombeck, 1976.

We often underestimate the value of words. "Good job, son." "Best cobbler I ever ate." "Did you paint that yourself?" "I'm really proud of you." "Thankya, love."

We underestimate their power. "You shouldn't'a let that kid beat ya." "Maybe you should lose some weight, Bon." "You should'a tried harder." "Not again; they've heard those stories before." "You do that every time!"

There are people whose opinions we truly value. There are people whose praise we'd die for. They are often two different things. Sometimes we genuinely would like to improve ourselves. "Yer lettin' your rope go too soon." "Give him his head." "Always check the hind feet when you set him up."

Sometimes we just need encouragement "You did the best you could. " "You looked like you won from where I sat." "It sure runs better after you worked on it."

Most everyone is the most important person in someone's life. It is no small responsibility. It should be a crime if we don't realize and recognize that importance, because what you say can have such long-lasting effect:

"I believe you got the makin's of a world champion." Ty Murray's mom.
"I know you can do it, but be careful." James A. Lovell, Jr.'s wife.
"Believe in yourself." Martin Luther King's Sunday School teacher.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. " JFK. "Write about what you know." My college English professor after giving me an F on a poem I wrote for a class assignment.
"You'll never amount to anything." Too many of us, too many times.
Words. . . like burrs under a blanket, like nails in a coffin.
Like a single match in a sea of gasoline.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: topical tom
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 10:20 PM

No apologies necessary, Peace. Thanks for the correction.I know what I like in poetry but I obviously need to do more research!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 11:00 PM

Thanks, Tom. Anyone who likes "The Little Prince" is OK with me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Marion
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 12:27 AM

The Lesson of the Moth
by Don Marquis

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Marion
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 12:30 AM

Dirge Without Music
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,--but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love, --
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave,
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Marion
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 12:37 AM

NICU
by Belle Waring

Dying babies need
warmth
motion
song

Dead babies need
nothing

So why am I still
rocking
singing


PS. NICU stands for neonatal intensive care unit; I found this in a book of poetry by nurses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Marion
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 12:45 AM

One more for tonight...

Elegy for the Gift (Elegy for the Light)

Sometimes, when the subway car
comes briefly out of the tunnel,
we don't look up, miss the light.
And it's as though, inattentive,
we'd never had that moment
of brightness. A life may be full
of such small losses, or full,
equally, of small, dense gifts:
the child on that same car
dipping her face into her mother's;
that perfect regard.


PS. Found on a poster in the Toronto subway. The title is sic; I know it looks like I wasn't sure and offered two versions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Mickey191
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 01:04 AM

American Tune lyrics
Paul Simon lyrics

Many's the time I've been mistaken,
and many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken,
and certainly misused.

Ah, but I'm all right, I'm all right.
I'm just weary to my bones.
Still you don't expect to be bright and bon vivant,
so far away from home,
so far away from home.

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered.
I don't have a friend who feels at ease.
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered,
or driven to its knees.

Ah, but it's all right. It's all right.
For we've lived so well so long.
Still, when I think of the road we're travelin' on,
I wonder what's gone wrong.
I can't help but wonder what's gone wrong.

And I dreamed I was dying.
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly,
and looking back down at me, smiled reassuringly.

And I dreamed I was flying,
and high up above my eyes could clearly see
the Statue of Liberty sailing away to sea.
And I dreamed I was flying.

And we come on the ship they call the Mayflower.
We come on the ship that sailed the moon.
We come in the age's most uncertain hours,
and sing an American tune.

Oh, and it's all right, it's all right,
it's all right.
You can't be forever blessed.
Still tomorrow's gonna be another working day
and I'm tryin' to get some rest;
that's all - I'm trying to get some rest.


Brilliant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Mickey191
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 01:30 AM

Remembrance

We promised we wouldn't do this But now I look into your face My legs are weak, just one hug And a kiss, for old times sake Then another hug, and I quiver
In remembrance

Your hand is so soft
As it strokes my hair and down my back
Smoothing away months and years
You light the candles
And shadows dance across the walls

We lie down just to hold
And suddenly, remembrance takes over
You are everywhere
Beside me, above me, below me, in me

Your mouth is the sweetest thing I've ever known. I can't touch enough, kiss enough, hold enough.      Like time has been standing still
You cause me to shudder.


Anonymous


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rowan
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 02:24 AM

The first few stanzas of AD Hope's "The double looking glass" reads;

See how she strips her lily for the sun;
the silk shrieks upward from her wading feet;
down through the pool her wavering echoes run;
candour with candour, shade and substance meet.

From where a wet meniscus rings the shin
the crisp air shivers up her glowing thighs,
swell round a noble haunch and whispers in
the dimple of her belly.... Surely eyes

lurk in the aurels, wher each leafy nest
darts its quick bird-glance through the shifting screen.
.... Yawn of the oxter, lift of liquid breast
splinter their white shafts through our envious green

where thuds this rage of double double hearts.
.... My foolish fear refracts a foolish dream.
Here all things have imagined counterparts:
a dragon-fly dim-darting in the stream

follows and watches with enormous eyes
his blue narcissus glitter in the air.
The flesh reverberates its own surprise
and startles at the act which makes it bare.

Laced with quick air and vibrant to the light,
now my whole animal breathes and knows its place
in the great web of being, and its right;
the mind learns ease again, the heart finds grace.

I am as all things living. Man alone
cowers from his world in clothes and cannot guess
how earth and water, branch and beast and stone
speak to the naked in their nakedness.

.... A silver rising of her arms, that share
their pure and slender crescent with the pool
plunders the braided treasure of her hair.
Loosed from their coils uncrowning falls the full

cascade of tresses whispering down her flanks,
and idly now she wades a step, and stays
tp watch the ripples widen to the banks
and lapse in mossy coves and rushy bays.

And that's the first 9 of the allegory's 42 stanzas.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Wild Flying Dove
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 05:41 AM

Jeanie - the Pomeganate poem is DH Lawrence, part of a series about fruit - the Fig poem is well known for being a partly veiled description of female genitalia. Pomegranite alludes to sex and morality - in his era he has forced to justify his actions - eg. the last 2 lines of Pomegranite ... "For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken, It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack." Bet you've never heard it described like that before! He was masterful with words.

Poems I especially like are:

Entirely by Louis MacNeice

and

The Great Lover by Robert Graves


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 06:42 AM

The cadencies of John Masefield's "Cargoes" also reminded me of another favourite one of mine.

I don't think I need to add what it "speaks" to me :)

The Rolling English Road
by G.K.Chesterton


Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread
The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,
Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run
Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?
The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,
But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.
God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jeanie
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 07:08 AM

Wild Flying Dove: The pomegranate poem I am looking for is not the DH Lawrence one. I agree, though: a master with words.

The poem came from an anthology called something like "A Book of Commonwealth Poetry". It was one of the set books for the London GCE A Level English exams in 1971. It was a wonderful collection of poems. I did see it once in a second-hand bookshop, and could kick myself for not having bought it. I am determined to track it down some time !

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 08:03 AM

WHEN MALINDY SINGS
{Paul Laurence Dunbar}

G'WAY an' quit dat noise, Miss Lucy --
Put dat music book away;
What's de use to keep on tryin'?
Ef you practise twell you're gray,
You cain't sta't no notes a-flyin'
Lak de ones dat rants and rings
F'om de kitchen to be big woods
When Malindy sings.

You ain't got de nachel o'gans
Fu' to make de soun' come right,
You ain't got de tu'ns an' twistin's
Fu' to make it sweet an' light.
Tell you one thing now, Miss Lucy,
An' I'm tellin' you fu' true,
When hit comes to raal right singin',
'T ain't no easy thing to do.

Easy 'nough fu' folks to hollah,
Lookin' at de lines an' dots,
When dey ain't no one kin sence it,
An' de chune comes in, in spots;
But fu' real melojous music,
Dat jes' strikes yo' hea't and clings,
Jes' you stan' an' listen wif me
When Malindy sings.

Ain't you nevah hyeahd Malindy?
Blessed soul, tek up de cross!
Look hyeah, ain't you jokin', honey?
Well, you don't know whut you los'.
Y' ought to hyeah dat gal a-wa'blin',
Robins, la'ks, an' all dem things,
Heish dey moufs an' hides dey faces
When Malindy sings.

Fiddlin' man jes' stop his fiddlin',
Lay his fiddle on de she'f;
Mockin'-bird quit tryin' to whistle,
'Cause he jes' so shamed hisse'f.
Folks a-playin' on de banjo
Draps dey fingahs on de strings--
Bless yo' soul--fu'gits to move em,
When Malindy sings.

She jes' spreads huh mouf and hollahs,
"Come to Jesus," twell you hyeah
Sinnahs' tremblin' steps and voices,
Timid-lak a-drawin' neah;
Den she tu'ns to "Rock of Ages,"
Simply to de cross she clings,
An' you fin' yo' teahs a-drappin'
When Malindy sings.

Who dat says dat humble praises
Wif de Master nevah counts?
Heish yo' mouf, I hyeah dat music,
Ez hit rises up an' mounts--
Floatin' by de hills an' valleys,
Way above dis buryin' sod,
Ez hit makes its way in glory
To de very gates of God!

Oh, hit's sweetah dan de music
Of an edicated band;
An' hit's dearah dan de battle's
Song o' triumph in de lan'.
It seems holier dan evenin'
When de solemn chu'ch bell rings,
Ez I sit an' ca'mly listen
While Malindy sings.

Towsah, stop dat ba'kin', hyeah me!
Mandy, mek dat chile keep still;
Don't you hyeah de echoes callin'
F'om de valley to de hill?
Let me listen, I can hyeah it,
Th'oo de bresh of angels' wings,
Sof' an' sweet, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,"
Ez Malindy sings.


-snip-

Online resource of selected Dunbar poems:

http://www.dunbarsite.org/gallery/WhenMalindySings.asp


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 09:11 AM

Grass
Carl Sandburg

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work -

       I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:

       What place is this?
       Where are we now?

       I am the grass.
       Let me work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 09:12 AM

The Loch Archre was a clipper tall
With seven and twenty hands in all
Twenty to hand and reef and haul
A skipper to sail, and Mates to bawl,
"Tally into the tackles falls,
Heave now and start her,
Heave and pawl."

Hear the yarn of a sailor
'Tis and old yarn, learned at sea.

The crew were shipped and they said "Farewell,
So long me tottie you lovely gal
We sail today should we fetch to hell
It's time we tackled the wheel a spell."

The dockside loafers talked on the Quay (Key)
the day they towed her down to the sea
"Lord, what a handsome ship she be.
Cheer her sonny boys, three times three."
They gave her a cheer as the custom is
And the crew yelled back "GIVE OUR LOVE TO LIZ!
Three cheers for the old pier head
And the bloody "stay at homes," they said.

Then the darkness, the coming on of night
She drops the tug at the Tusker Light
Her yards were trimmed and she slanted south
With her royals set, and a "bone in her mouth."

They crossed the line and all went well
They ate, they slept, they struck the bell
And I give you gospel truth when I state
The crew could find no fault with the Mate.

But, one night, off the river Platte
She freshens up and blows like thunder
Buried her deep lee scuppers under
She couldn't lay to, nor yet pay off
Her decks swept clean in the bloody trough.
Then, a fierce squall hit the Loch Archre
Buried her down to her waterways
The main shrouds gave and the forstay
Green seas carried the wheel away.





Before the watch below could dress
She was cluttered up in a blushing mess
Her masts were gone and before you knowed
She filled by the head, and down she goed.

The crew made seven and 20 dishes
For the big Jacksharks and the little fishes
Over their bones the water swishes.

Now, the wives, the girls wait in the rain
For a ship that won't come home again
"Oh, I reckon it must be them head winds," they say,
"They'll be home tomorrow, if not today.
I'll just nip home and air the sheets
Buy the fixin's and cook the meats
As my man likes, as my man eats."

Up the windy streets they go
They are thinking their men are homeward bound
With anchors hungry for English ground,
But, the bloody fun of it is, they've all drowned.

Hear the yarn of a sailor
'Tis an old yarn, learned at sea.

John Masefield

This is from memory which is not getting better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Wild Flying Dove
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 09:59 AM

Sorry Jeanie! There appear to be loads of references to pomegranates in poems, so finding it without author and title will be hard. I will ask my colleague who teaches English if he has any ideas. By the way, I did English Literature too, 1971-3, but didn't do any Commonwealth stuff. I still love all the literature I read then.
WFD


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 10:11 AM

An Immorality
   

Sing we for love and idleness,
Naught else is worth the having.

Though I have been in many a land,
There is naught else in living.

And I would rather have my sweet,
Though rose-leaves die of grieving,

Than do high deeds in Hungary
To pass all men's believing.

Ezra Pound



I am aware of Pound's difficulties during the war. That said, I like much of his poetry--especially the ones I comprehend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 11:27 AM

In my first German class, in 1957, we read this poem by Walther von der Vogelweide, ca. 1170-1230. I put the 1st verse here from memory, though I have long lost the book it was in, and cannot vouch for the spelling.

Unter den Linden, auf die Heide,
Wo Ich mit meinen Leibsten lag;
Da mgt er finden wo wir beide,
Die Blumen brachen, und das grass.
Vor dem Wald in einem Tal.
   Tanderedei!
So leiblich sang die Nachtigal.



Now, here it is in its entirety, in its original Middle High German spelling.

Under der linden
        

        Under der linden
an der heide,
d unser zweier bette was,
d muget ir vinden
schne beide
gebrochen bluomen unde gras.
Vor dem walde in einem tal,
tandaradei,
schne sanc diu nahtegal.

Ich kam gegangen
zuo der ouwe:
d was mn friedel komen .
D wart ich empfangen
(hre frouwe!)
daz ich bin slic iemer m.
Kust er mich?
Wol tsentstunt:
tandaradei,
seht wie rt mir ist der munt.

D hete er gemachet
als rche
von bluomen eine bettestat.
Des wirt noch gelachet
inneclche,
kumt iemen an daz selbe pfat:
b den rsen er wol mac,
tandaradei,
merken w mir'z houbet lac.

Daz er b mir lge,
wesse'z iemen
(nu enwelle got!), so schamte ich mich.
Wes er mit mir pflge,
niemer niemen
bevinde daz, wan er und ich,
und ein kleinez vogelln:
tandaradei,
daz mac wol getriuwe sn.

Walther von der Vogelweide

and here is a translation (not a good one, in my opinion, as the translator treats it pretty lightly - read in German, it can sound quite sensual.)(he translates 'tanderadei' as "heigh-de-ho", when I hear it as "wow..oh, my gracious!" (I have seen it translated as "Gracious Mary!")

So, here is another translation which does not even bother to translate the exclamation.
------------------------------------------------------------------
and last, a poem about Voglweide by Longfellow.

Walter Von Der Vogelweide
      Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

VOGELWEID, the Minnesinger,
When he left this world of ours,
Laid his body in the cloister,
Under Wurtzburg's minster towers.

And he gave the monks his treasures,
Gave them all with this behest
They should feed the birds at noontide
Daily on his place of rest;

Saying, "From these wandering minstrels
I have learned the art of song;
Let me now repay the lessons
They have taught so well and long."

Thus the bard of love departed;
And, fulfilling his desire,
On his tomb the birds were feasted
By the children of the choir.

Day by day, o'er tower and turret,
In foul weather and in fair,
Day by day, in vaster numbers,
Flocked the poets of the air.

On the tree whose heavy branches
Overshadowed all the place,
On the pavement, on the tombstone;
On the poet's sculptured face,

On the cross-bars of each window,
On the lintel of each door,
They renewed the War of Wartburg,
Which the bard had fought before.

There they sang their merry carols,
Sang their lauds on every side;
And the name their voices uttered
Was the name of Vogelweid.

Till at length the portly abbot
Murmured, "Why this waste of food?
Be it changed to loaves henceforward
For our fasting brotherhood."

Then in vain o'er tower and turret,
From the walls and woodland nests,
When the minster bells rang noontide,
Gathered the unwelcome guests.

Then in vain, with cries discordant,
Clamorous round the Gothic spire,
Screamed the feathered Minnesingers
For the children of the choir.

Time has long effaced the inscriptions
On the cloister's funeral stones,
And tradition only tells us
Where repose the poet's bones.

But around the vast cathedral,
By sweet echoes multiplied,
Still the birds repeat the legend,
And the name of Vogelweid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 11:34 AM

I'm not much for religion, but ever since encountering this 25 years ago I have liked it, both for sound and for meaning. Simple and elegant at once.



Fder ure,
u e eart on heofonum,
si in nama gehalgod.
Tobecume in rice.
Gewure in willa on eoran swa swa on heofonum.
Urne gedghwamlican hlaf syle us to dg.
And forgyf us ure gyltas, swa swa we forgyfa urum gyltendum.
And ne geld u us on costnunge,
ac alys us of yfele. Solice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 11:35 AM

exerpt from Carl Sandburg's "The People, Yes" -


"Get off this estate."
"What for?"
"Because it's mine."
"Where did you get it?"
"From my father."
"Where did he get it?"
"From his father."
"And where did he get it?"
"He fought for it."
"Well, I'll fight you for it."


-----------------------------------------------------------

and doesn't that say a lot about "the people"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 03:44 PM

An extract from a (tranlated) poem by Blaga Dimitrova I can really feel empathy with -

"I was always distracted
from my goal in life
I was always diverted , late ,
missed deadlines.
But now ,looking back ,
I see how much
I would have missed ,
If I had perfectly pursued my goal.
(by the way ,what was it ?)"

Here is a poem of hers that I find almost unbearably personally moving.

Blaga Dimitrova

"LULLABY FOR MY MOTHER"

At night I make her bed
in the folds of old age.
Her skinny hand
pulls mine into the dark.

Before her dreams begin,
from a brain erased of speech,
a small cracked voice calls "Mama"
and I become my mother's mother.
and am jolted
as if the earth's axis tilted
and the poles reversed.
Where am I?
I have no time for speculations.

Flustered, I wipe her dry
just as she once taught me.
"Mama", she whispers
worried at being naughty.
A draft streams from the window.

Heating pad. Glass. The pills.
I tip the lampshade back.
"Mama, don't leave me alone
all by myself in the dark."

She chokes her sobs
as I take her in my arms
so heavy with pain and fear.
She or me? In cold winter
a double cradle breaks.

"Please wake me early.
I need an early start"
Is anything left to do?
Which of us left work undone?

Mama, my child sleep.
"Little baby bunting"

             Translated by John Balaban

more information about this poet and further extracts here


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rowan
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 05:53 PM

Ever since researching lithoseres at Wilson's Promontory I've had an affinity with granite landscapes; I now live in the one described here.

South of my days
Judith Wright

South of my days' circle, part of my bloods' country,
rises that tableland, high delicate outline
of bony slopes wincing under the winter,
low trees blue-leaved and olive, outcropping granite
clean, lean, hungry country. The creek's leaf-silenced,
willow-choked, the slope a tangle of medlar and crabapple
branching over and under, blotched with a green lichen;
and the old cottage lurches in for shelter.

O cold the black-frost night. The walls draw in to the warmth
and the old roof cracks its joints; the slung kettle
hisses a leak on the fire. Hardly to be believed that summer
will turn up again some day in a wave of rambler roses,
thrusts its hot face in here to tell another yarn
a story old Dan can spin into a blanket against the winter.
Seventy years of stories he clutches round his bones.
Seventy summers are hived in him like old honey.

During that year, Charleville to the Hunter,
nineteen-one it was, and the drought beginning;
sixty head left at the McIntyre, the mud round them
hardened like iron; and the yellow boy died
in the sulky ahead with the gear, but the horse went on,
stopped at the Sandy Camp and waited in the evening.
It was the flies we seen first, swarming like bees.
Came to the Hunter, three hundred head of a thousand
cruel to keep them alive and the river was dust.

Or mustering up in the Bogongs in the autumn
when the blizzards came early. Brought them down; we brought them
down, what aren't there yet. Or driving for Cobb's on the run
up from Tamworth Thunderbolt at the top of Hungry Hill,
and I give him a wink. I wouldn't wait long Fred,
not if I was you; the troopers are just behind,
coming for that job at the Hillgrove. He went like a luny,
him on his big black horse.

                                        Oh, they slide and they vanish
as he shuffles the years like a pack of conjuror's cards.
True or not, it's all the same; and the frost on the roof
cracks like a whip, and the back-log breaks into ash.
Wake, old man. This is winter, and the yarns are over.
No one is listening.
                                        South of my days' circle
I know it is dark against the stars. the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 06:11 PM

"South of my days' circle
I know it is dark against the stars. the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep."

Wow!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 06:30 PM

W. B. YEATS

AN IRISH AIRMAN FORESEES HIS DEATH
I know that I shall meet my fate   
Somewhere among the clouds above;   
Those that I fight I do not hate   
Those that I guard I do not love;   
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,   
No likely end could bring them loss   
Or leave them happier than before.   
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,   
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight   
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,   
The years to come seemed waste of breath,   
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death
   
THE FIDDLER OF DOONEY      

When I play on my fiddle in Dooney,
Folk dance like a wave on the sea;
My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet
My brother in Mocharabuiee.*

I passed my brother and cousin:
They read in their books of prayer:
I read in my book of songs
I bought at the Sligo fair.

When we come at the end of time
To Peter sitting in state,
He will smile on three old spirits,
But call me first through the gate;

For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle,
And the merry love to dance.

And when the folk there spy me,
They will all come up to me,
With 'Here is the fiddler of Dooney!'
And dance like the wave on the sea.

* Pronounced as if spelt 'Mockrabwee'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 06:43 PM

We'll go no more a-roving
Lord Byron
   
SO, we'll go no more a-roving   
So late into the night,   
Though the heart be still as loving,   
And the moon be still as bright.   

For the sword outwears its sheath,         
And the soul wears out the breast,   
And the heart must pause to breathe,   
And love itself have rest.   

Though the night was made for loving,   
And the day returns too soon,   
Yet we'll go no more a-roving   
By the light of the moon.   

---------------------------------------------------------

Upon the Death of Sir Albert Morton's Wife
Sir Henry Wotton

He first deceased; she for a little tried
To live without him, liked it not, and died.

---------------------------------------------------------

The Lover in Winter Plaineth for the Spring
Anonymous

Western wind, when will thou blow
The small rain down can rain?
Christ, if my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Marion
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 09:14 PM

Fiddler Jones
by Edgar Lee Masters

THE EARTH keeps some vibration going   
There in your heart, and that is you.   
And if the people find you can fiddle,   
Why, fiddle you must, for all your life.   
What do you see, a harvest of clover?          5
Or a meadow to walk through to the river?   
The wind's in the corn; you rub your hands   
For beeves hereafter ready for market;   
Or else you hear the rustle of skirts   
Like the girls when dancing at Little Grove.   10
To Cooney Potter a pillar of dust   
Or whirling leaves meant ruinous drouth;   
They looked to me like Red-Head Sammy   
Stepping it off, to "Toor-a-Loor."   
How could I till my forty acres   15
Not to speak of getting more,   
With a medley of horns, bassoons and piccolos   
Stirred in my brain by crows and robins   
And the creak of a wind-millonly these?   
And I never started to plow in my life   20
That some one did not stop in the road   
And take me away to a dance or picnic.   
I ended up with forty acres;   
I ended up with a broken fiddle   
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,   25
And not a single regret.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 09:15 PM

As the long year came to an end all the world wept.
Clouds burst against the spires and minarets,
The streets melted and
Many shivered at their gray reflections.
And I was glad, as one is relieved at artificial endings.
Tomorrow, in a different year, we shave the same face
or powder it; and lawyers tell the same old laws for
or against us.
Yet the mind relaxes as midnight passes,
And I was glad this year crept out in tears,
That the dirty sky, without a lawyer's aid, should open,
And make an end of it.

-- Johanna Ross


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 10:11 PM

Another one we memorized:

Richard Cory
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was richyes, richer than a king
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: bobad
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 10:27 PM

This poem resonates with me because I grew up the "wrong" side of the tracks:

dogfight

he's a runt
he snarls and scratches
chases cars
groans in his sleep
and has a perfect star above each eyebrow

we hear it outside:
he's ripping the shit out of something out there
5 times his
size

it's the professor's dog from across the street
that educated expensive bluebook dog
o, we're all in trouble

I pull them apart
and we run inside with the runt
bolt the door
flick out the lights
and see them crossing the street
immaculate and concerned

it looks like 7 or 8 people
coming to get their
dog
that big bag of jelly with hair
he ought to know better than to cross
the railroad tracks.

Charles Bukowski


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rowan
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 04:14 AM

And whenever I watch the muttonbirds leave the island on their migration from their nests in NSW to their feeding grounds in the Bering Sea I marvel, wonder, and then think on the following.

The death of the bird
AD Hope

For every bird there is this last migration:
Once more the cooling year kindles her heart;
With a warm passage to the summer station
Love pricks the course in lights across the chart.

Year after year a speck on the map, divided
By a whole hemisphere, summons her to come;
Season after season, sure and safely guided,
Going away she is also coming home.

And being home, memory becomes a passion
With which she feeds her brood and straws her nest,
Aware of ghosts that haunt the heart's possession
And exiled love mourning within the breast.

The sands are green with a mirage of valleys;
The palm-tree casts a shadow not its own;
Down the long architrave of temple or palace
Blows a cool air from moorland scarps of stone.

And day by day the whisper of love grows stronger;
That delicate voice, more urgent with despair,
Custom and fear constraining her no longer,
Drives her at last on the waste leagues of air.

A vanishing speck in those inane dominions,
Single and frail, uncertain of her place,
Alone in the bright host of her companions,
Lost in the blue unfriendliness of space,

She feels it close now, the appointed season:
The invisible thread is broken as she flies;
Suddenly, without warning, without reason,
The guiding spark of instinct winks and dies.

Try as she will, the trackless world delivers
No way, the wilderness of light no sign,
The immense and complex map of hills and rivers
Mocks her small wisdom with its vast design.

And darkness rises from the eastern valleys,
And the winds buffet her with their hungry breath,
And the great earth, with neither grief nor malice,
Receives the tiny burden of her death.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 05:24 AM

The wondeful thing about poetry is how it can assure us that others have experienced our pain and have survived to write about it, helps to put raw feelings into words and phrases and provide meaning in a world that may feel devoid of meaning.


"Revisitation" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

...Still I must make a faithful pilgrimage
To those particular landmarks that were yours,
Or intimately haunted by your sight;
Not in the hope of finding you again,
Not in obeisance to your memory,
Nor self indulgently in search of pain.
No, I must go
Back to the places
Where you put your hand,
To see them now without you, gutted bare,
Swept hollow of your presence. I must stand
Alone and in their empty faces stare,
To find another truth I do not know;
To balance those unequal shifted planes
Of our existence, yours and mine; to fix
The whirling landscapes of the heart in which
I walk a stranger both to space and time
I must go back;
In each familiar corner wait until
I witness once again the flesh turn cold,
The spirit parting from the body's hold
And let it go, and love the landscape still;
But now on only for itself alone...

For I must meet and marry in myself
The truth of what has ended, what is new;
The past and future; death and life. And when
At last the two conflicting pairs are met;
The planes are balanced and the landscapes set;
The strands of past and future tied in one
Tough, weather-beaten, salted twist of hemp,
The present - then
I shall be able to refind myself
And also you


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 06:58 AM

EGO TRIPPING (THERE MUST BE A REASON WHY}

[Nikki Giovanni]

I was born in the congo
I walked to the fertile crescent and built
    the sphinx
I designed a pyramid so tough that a star
    that only glows every one hundred years falls
    into the center giving divine perfect light
I am bad

I sat on the throne
    drinking nectar with allah
I got hot and sent an ice age to europe
    to cool my thirst
My oldest daughter is nefertiti
    the tears from my birth pains
    created the nile
I am a beautiful woman

I gazed on the forest and burned
    out the sahara desert
    with a packet of goat's meat
    and a change of clothes
I crossed it in two hours
I am a gazelle so swift
    so swift you can't catch me

    For a birthday present when he was three
I gave my son hannibal an elephant
    He gave me rome for mother's day
My strength flows ever on

My son noah built new/ark and
I stood proudly at the helm
    as we sailed on a soft summer day
I turned myself into myself and was
    jesus
    men intone my loving name
    All praises All praises
I am the one who would save

I sowed diamonds in my back yard
My bowels deliver uranium
    the filings from my fingernails are
    semi-precious jewels
    On a trip north
I caught a cold and blew
My nose giving oil to the arab world
I am so hip even my errors are correct
I sailed west to reach east and had to round off
    the earth as I went
    The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid
    across three continents

I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal
I cannot be comprehended except by my permission

I mean...I...can fly
    like a bird in the sky...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 08:54 PM

If I was stranded on a desert island I'd need at least one of the quintesscently English poems of John Betjeman.

I've no idea why, but this never ceases to ring a wry smile to my lips!

"The Licorice Fields At Pontefract"

In the licorice fields at Pontefract
My love and I did meet
And many a burdened licorice bush
Was blooming round our feet;
Red hair she had and golden skin,
Her sulky lips were shaped for sin,
Her sturdy legs were flannel-slack'd
The strongest legs in Pontefract.

The light and dangling licorice flowers
Gave off the sweetest smells;
From various black Victorian towers
The Sunday evening bells
Came pealing over dales and hills
And tanneries and silent mills
And lowly streets where country stops
And little shuttered corner shops.

She cast her blazing eyes on me
And plucked a licorice leaf;
I was her captive slave and she
My red-haired robber chief.
Oh love! for love I could not speak,
It left me winded, wilting, weak,
And held in brown arms strong and bare
And wound with flaming ropes of hair.

.......dedicated to Mrs Duck


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 10:35 PM

Dog
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The dog trots freely in the street
and sees reality
and the things he sees
are bigger than himself
and the things he sees
are his reality
Drunks in doorways
Moons on trees
The dog trots freely thru the street
and the things he sees
are smaller than himself
Fish on newsprint
Ants in holes
Chickens in Chinatown windows
their heads a block away
The dog trots freely in the street
and the things he smells
smell something like himself
The dog trots freely in the street
past puddles and babies
cats and cigars
poolrooms and policemen
He doesn't hate cops
He merely has no use for them
and he goes past them
and past the dead cows hung up whole
in front of the San Francisco Meat Market
He would rather eat a tender cow
than a tough policeman
though either might do
And he goes past the Romeo Ravioli Factory
and past Coit's Tower
and past Congressman Doyle of the Unamerican Committee
He's afraid of Coit's Tower
but he's not afraid of Congressman Doyle
although what he hears is very discouraging
very depressing
very absurd
to a sad young dog like himself
to a serious dog like himself
But he has his own free world to live in
His own fleas to eat
He will not be muzzled
Congressman Doyle is just another
fire hydrant
to him
The dog trots freely in the street
and has his own dog's life to live
and to think about
and to reflect upon
touching and tasting and testing everything
investigating everything
without benefit of perjury
a real realist
with a real tale to tell
and a real tail to tell it with
a real live
           barking
                 democratic dog
engaged in real
                free enterprise
with something to say
                         about ontology
something to say
                about reality
                               and how to see it
                                              and how to hear it
with his head cocked sideways
                               at streetcorners
as if he is just about to have
                         his picture taken
                                             for Victor Records
                         listening for
                                His Master's Voice
        and looking
                       like a living questionmark
                                       into the
                                       great gramophone
                                  of puzzling existence
          with its wondrous hollow horn
              which always seems
               just about to spout forth
                                 some Victorious answer
                                    to everything


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 10:43 PM

And Then...

And then all that has divided us will merge

And then compassion will be wedded to power

And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind

And then both men and women will be gentle

And then both women and men will be strong

And then no person will be subject to another's will

And then all will be rich and free and varied

And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many

And then all will share equally in the Earth's abundance

And then all will care for the sick and the weak and the old

And then all will nourish the young

And then will cherish life's creatures

And then all will live in harmony with one another and the Earth

And then everywhere will be called Eden once again.

(Judy Chicago)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: maeve
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 11:43 PM

One of my favorites:

Alchemy

Because of the light of the moon,
Silver is found on the moor;
And because of the light of the sun,
There is gold on the walls of the poor.

Because of the light of the stars,
Planets are found in the stream;
And because of the light of your eyes,
There is love in the depths of my dream.

Francis Carlin (1881-1945)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:06 AM

The night has a thousand eyes and the day but one.
Yet, the light of the whole world dies with the setting sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes, the heart but one,
Yet, the light of a whole life dies when its love is done.

Wm. Shakespere


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:09 AM

Great one here from Beardedbruce.
   

Kisses are,
                but may be classified,
                according to intent.
                A kiss
                Upon the forehead
                is to seal devotion:
                A light touch on eyelids
                indicates a hope for peaceful dreams:
                On a cheek
                shows family affection.

                A kiss upon the lips
                has several meanings:
                One, a gentle brush of lips,
                offers concern,
                The other, a striving of the teeth and tongues,
                shows willingness and desire.

                To kiss the ears, the neck, or chin
                Might be to seek for trust, or just to taste the skin.

                A kiss upon the curve of breast,
                investigation:
                That upon the nipple often a plea,
                or hunger for attention.

                The kiss upon the stomach, back or arms
                is to arouse sensation.


                A kiss on back of hand,
                a greeting, or a subtle offer:
                Upon the palm, a gift of heart,
                to be tightly held, or quickly released.

                The kissing of the fingers, or the toes,
                shows a desire to please,
                or to be guided onward.

                The touch of lips to thighs, and variations,
                are preludes and will not
                be treated in this note.

                This is a partial catalog of meaning:
                Next week, we will discuss techniques.

                                                       23/2/81


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:14 AM

The Logical Vegetarian
       G. K. Chesterton

    You will find me drinking rum,
    Like a sailor in a slum,
You will find me drinking beer like a Bavarian.
    You will find me drinking gin
    In the lowest kind of inn,
Because I am a rigid Vegetarian.

    So I cleared the inn of wine,
    And I tried to climb the sign,
And I tried to hail the constable as "Marion."
    But he said I couldn't speak,
    And he bowled me to the Beak
Because I was a Happy Vegetarian.

    Oh, I knew a Doctor Gluck,
    And his nose it had a hook,
And his attitudes were anything but Aryan;
    So I gave him all the pork
    That I had, upon a fork;
Because I am myself a Vegetarian.

    I am silent in the Club,
    I am silent in the pub,
I am silent on a bally peak in Darien;
    For I stuff away for life
    Shoving peas in with a knife,
Because I am at heart a Vegetarian.

    No more the milk of cows
    Shall pollute my private house
Than the milk of the wild mares of the Barbarian;
    I will stick to port and sherry,
    For they are so very, very
So very, very, very Vegetarian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: GUEST,Edgar A.
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 12:11 PM

No one has posted any of mine!


        
Father
        

My father knows the proper way
The nation should be run;
He tells us children every day
Just what should now be done.
He knows the way to fix the trusts,
He has a simple plan;
But if the furnace needs repairs,
We have to hire a man.
My father, in a day or two
Could land big thieves in jail;
There's nothing that he cannot do,
He knows no word like "fail."
"Our confidence" he would restore,
Of that there is no doubt;
But if there is a chair to mend,
We have to send it out.

All public questions that arise,
He settles on the spot;
He waits not till the tumult dies,
But grabs it while it's hot.
In matters of finance he can
Tell Congress what to do;
But, O, he finds it hard to meet
His bills as they fall due.

It almost makes him sick to read
The things law-makers say;
Why, father's just the man they need,
He never goes astray.
All wars he'd very quickly end,
As fast as I can write it;
But when a neighbor starts a fuss,
'Tis mother has to fight it.

In conversation father can
Do many wondrous things;
He's built upon a wiser plan
Than presidents or kings.
He knows the ins and outs of each
And every deep transaction;
We look to him for theories,
But look to ma for action.

Edgar Albert Guest


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 01:25 PM

Having been called "a mercenary" and a "baby-killer" I've always liked this poem by A. E. Housman:

Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling,
And took their wages, and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amos
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 01:30 PM

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, be passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.



Emily Dickinson


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rowan
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 06:23 PM

While working, often alone and well away from civilisation in some of the more remote parts of Oz, I've often contemplated these two.

Independence
Nancy Cato
I will think of the leech-gatherer on the lonely moor. Wordsworth

How the red road stretched before us, mile on mile
narrowing into the distance, straight as though ruled
on yellow paper, away to the lilac hills
low on the horizon. Above them the storm-clouds piled
in a sky blue as though bruised, yet all ahead
was glowing in an unearthly wash of light
dry roly-poly and saltbush lit to beauty,
the sky a menace, but the wide plains bright.

And there in that lonely place an ancient swagman,
traveller, bagman, sundowner, what you will
his rolled-up blankets slung aslant his shoulders,
billy dangling, his back to the line of hills
and the coming storm; as mysterious in that place
(with his hat set straight and his grey beard blowing)
as a small ship glimpsed a moment far from land.
Where did he come from? Where could he be going?

I shall never know, for we had to race the rain
that turns the black soil plains to a gluey mud
bogging to the axles. Only a wave of the hand,
but still the imagination glows, the blood
stirs at the memory of that symbolic stranger
glimpsed in a moment of vision, and swiftly gone:
Man and his independent spirit, alone
on the vast plains, with night and rain coming on.

and

The dead swagman
Nancy Cato

His rusted billy left beside the tree;
under a root, most carefully tucked away,
his steel-rimmed glasses folded in their case
of mildewed purple velvet; there he lies
in the sunny afternoon, and takes his ease,
curled like a possum within the hollow trunk.

He came one winter evening when the tree
hunched its broad back against the rain, and made
his camp, and slept, and did not wake again.
Now white-ants make a home within his skull:
his old friend Fire has walked across the hill
and blackened the old tree and the old man
and buried him half in ashes, where he lay.

It might be called a lonely death. The tree
led its own alien life beneath the sun,
yet both belonged to the Bush, and now are one:
the roots and bones lie close among the soil,
and he ascends in leaves towards the sky.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:10 PM

Not poems, but poetic:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,        
As I foretold you, were all spirits and        
Are melted into air, into thin air:        
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,        
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,        
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,        
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve        
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,        
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff        
As dreams are made on, and our little life        
Is rounded with a sleep.


---------

I have of late,but wherefore I know not,lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.        


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amos
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:31 PM

Actually, Rapaire is being modest. Last time he posted that on the MOAB thread he admitted, though, that it was his own work!! Can you believe that!!!!



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 10:20 PM

Amos, they were both written by my old buddy, Billy Bob Shakespeare. He was drunk at the time, just swiggin' down the Old Milwaukee and tossin' the empty cans into his pickup. Then he decided to shoot tin cans, grabbed the .30-30 out of his gun rack and started blazin' away. Shot up six empty cans, the sides of the pickup, both back tires, and his gas tank before he tossed his cookies and passed out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amos
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 11:08 PM

Man, if anyone had thought to publish that varmint, he'd a-been FAMOUS!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 11:10 PM

Beautiful piece of work, Rapaire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rowan
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 11:34 PM

Celtic bluegum

Lines intertwining,
sinuously recurrent;
almost repeating.

Sensuous, lovely,
shapely, almost feminine
forms, with clean, firm, curves.

I see my love now,
through those dreamlike images;
sweet sheen, gold, blue-green.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: GUEST,rock chick
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 05:30 PM

Face to Face:

I'm me,
I know I'm me
Because
I saw myself
in the mirrow
this morning
and said 'Hello'
And I never speak
to strangers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 11:05 PM

One of my faves....


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rowan
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 11:22 PM

As I mentioned in the thread Lyr Req: The would-be Conscientious Objector I am grealy indebted to Joe Offer for digging this up; it was a piece that spoke powerfully to me at a time when conscription (to serve in Vietnam) was in full swing in Oz; I'd already ended my military involvement by the time I came across this the first time around.

Dooley is a Traitor
(James Michie)

'So then you won't fight?'
'Yes, your Honour,' I said, 'that's right.'
'Now is it that you simply aren't willing,
Or have you a fundamental objection to killing?'
Says the judge, blowing his nose
And making his words stand to attention in long rows.
I stand to attention too, but with half a grin
(In my time I've done a good many in).
'No objection at all, sir,' I said.
'There's a deal of the world I'd rather see dead --
Such as Johnny Stubbs or Fred Settle or my last landlord, Mr Syme.
Give me a gun and your blessing, your Honour, and I'll be killing them
all the time.
But my conscience says a clear no
To killing a crowd of gentlemen I don't know.
Why, I'd as soon think of killing a worshipful judge,
High-court, like yourself (against whom, God knows, I've got no
grudge --
So far), as murder a heap of foreign folk.
If you've got no grudge, you've got no joke
To laugh at after.'
Now the words never come flowing
Proper for me till I get the old pipe going.
And just as I was poking
Down baccy, the judge looks up sharp with 'No smoking,
Mr Dooley. We're not fighting this war for fun.
And we want a clearer reason why you refuse to carry a gun.
This war is not a personal feud, it's a fight
Against wrong ideas on behalf of the Right.
Mr Dooley, won't you help to destroy evil ideas?'
'Ah, your Honour, here's
the tragedy,' I said. 'I'm not a man of the mind.
I couldn't find it in my heart to be unkind
To an idea. I wouldn't know one if I saw one. I haven't one of my own.
So I'd best be leaving other people's alone.'
'Indeed,' he sneers at me, 'this defence is
Curious for someone with convictions in two senses.
A criminal invokes conscience to his aid
To support an individual withdrawal from a communal crusade
Sanctioned by God, led by the Church, against a godless, churchless
nation!'
I asked his Honour for a translation.
'You talk of conscience,' he said. 'What do you know of the Christian
creed?'
'Nothing, sir, except what I can read.
That's the most you can hope for from us jail-birds.
I just open the Book here and there and look at the words.
And I find that when the Lord himself misliked an evil notion
He turned it into a pig and drove it squealing over a cliff into the ocean,
And the loony ran away
And lived to think another day.
There was a clean job done and no blood shed!
Everybody happy and forty wicked thoughts drowned dead.
A neat and Christian murder. None of your mad slaughter
Throwing away the brains with the blood and the baby with the
bathwater.
Now I look at the war as a sportsman. It's a matter of choosing
The decentest way of losing.
Heads or tails, losers or winners,
We all lose, we're all damned sinners.
And I'd rather be with the poor cold people at the wall that's shot
Than the bloody guilty devils in the firing-line, in Hell and keeping
hot.'
'But what right, Dooley, what right,' he cried,
'Have you to say the Lord is on your side?'
'That's a dirty crooked question,' back I roared.
'I said not the Lord was on my side, but I was on the side of the Lord.'
Then he was up at me and shouting,
But by and by he calms: 'Now we're not doubting
Your sincerity, Dooley, only your arguments,
Which don't make sense.'
('Hullo,' I thought, 'that's the wrong way round.
I may be skylarking a bit, but my brainpan's sound.')
Then biting his nail and sugaring his words sweet:
'Keep your head, Mr Dooley. Religion is clearly not up your street.
But let me ask you as a plain patriotic fellow
Whether you'd stand there so smug and yellow
If the foe were attacking your own dear sister.'
'I'd knock their brains out, mister,
On the floor,' I said. 'There,' he says kindly, 'I knew you were no
pacifist.
It's your straight duty as a man to enlist.
The enemy is at the door.' You could have downed
Me with a feather. 'Where?' I gasp, looking round.
'Not this door,' he says angered. 'Don't play the clown.
But they're two thousand miles away planning to do us down.
Why, the news is full of the deeds of those murderers and rapers.'
'Your Eminence,' I said, 'my father told me never to believe the papers
But to go by my eyes,
And at two thousand miles the poor things can't tell truth from lies.'
His fearful spectacles glittered like the moon: 'For the last time what
right
Has a man like you to refuse to fight?'
'More right,' I said, 'than you.
You've never murdered a man, so you don't know what is it I won't do.
I've done it in good hot blood, so haven't I the right to make bold
To declare that I shan't do it in cold?'
The the judge rises in a great rage
And writes Dooley Is A Traitor in black upon a page
And tells me I must die.
'What, me?' says I.
'If you still won't fight.'
'Well, yes, your Honour,' I said, 'that's right.'


from the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse


James Michie

1927 -

source: http://belparis.blogspot.com/2004/05/james-michie-1927-dooley-is-traitor-so.html
I (Joe Offer) searched under books at Amazon.com for dooley is a traitor, and an excerpt of the Oxford book came up. The excerpt contained the entire poem - looks like the above is a good transcription of it, although I admit I didn't compare the two word-for-word.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 09:10 AM

I hadn't thought of Richard Cory in years. Thanks for bringing him back, Rapaire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 11:18 AM

Of all the rhymes that I have plundered

I like the ones that make Two Hundred


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:04 AM

There were two old maidens of Birmingham
And this is the story concernin' 'em....


Just to refresh....


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 03:48 PM

Paul Lawrence Dunbar showed wisdom as great as the wisdom of Churchill and a knowledge of Nature's laws as great as Emerson's knowledge when he wrote the autobiography of many individual sinners in these poetic and potent words:
THIS IS THE PRICE I PAY
{Paul Laurence Dunbar}

This is the price I pay
Just for one riotous day
Years of regret and of grief,
And sorrow without relief.
Suffer it I will, my friend,
Suffer it until the end,
Until the grave shall give relief.
Small was the thing I bought,
Small was the thing at best,
Small was the debt, I thought,
But, 0 God! the interest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 04:04 PM

I learned "This Is The Price I Pay" as a youth. Here's how I thought the first part fot that poem went:

This is the price I pay
for just one riotous day
Pay it I will till the end
until the grave my friend...

-snip-

And I couldn't remember anything that came after that but the word "relief".

I'm pleased to find this poem-if it is indeed the same one-and also pleased to know that its writer was Paul Laurence Dunbar {the religous website where I found this poem http://davidsisler.com/payday02.htm attributed it to Paul Lawrence Dunbar-I suppose he and Paul Laurence are one and the same.

But I still like "my" version of the beginning part of this poem. Maybe that's because I've lived with it so long.

Can anyone else share the words to a poem that he or she thought were the real words until learning differently?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 04:05 PM

fot = of


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 04:33 PM

I mentioned Richard Cory to an old friend today, and he figures he knows what Mr. Cory's problem was. He was gay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Peace
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 04:38 PM

Nothing wrong with being happy . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 04:54 PM

Wandering along St Annes Square the other day I noticed I was walking over verses from my all time favourite poem illustrated in ceramic blocks set into the pavement. Here it is:

maggie and milly and molly and may - by e e cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

*

I first read this on the cover of the Incus LP 'Balance' (Frank Perry, Phil Wachsmann, Ian Brighton and Radu Mafatti if memory serves me right!) at some point on 1976 & it's been with me ever since. I'm sure I've still got the album somewhere too (gifted to my brother by Frank Perry himself) but since our move to Lytham St Annes a month ago my beloved stash of vinyl now resides in storage for future reference!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 04:55 PM

In addition to destroying old folk songs (and even new ones), my family also works over poems. For example, my brother Ted once recited "Richard Cory" like this

"Whenever Richard Cory went to town,
We on the sidewalk looked at him."

and returned to his chair, performance over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Emma B
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 12:52 PM

For John O'L

I found this translation of Salvatore Quasimodo's "In a Distant City" translated by Jack Bevan

Not from the sky, but steeply down
from foliage onto the lawn
of pale alga in the northern garden, suddenly
a raven hopped. Not a symbol, in the summer
curved over with rainbows and rains, but a real
raven like an acrobat on the trapeze
at Tivoli.
               Fragile, image of cunning
entering our day that ended
with merry-go-rounds and paddle-boat wheels
and sailors' shanties
and the wail of a ship leaving,
opening furious foam wings, or of harbour women's
tears
       The hour struck on Europe's farthest
shore, insistent, craving
for innocence.
                         The raven was still a happy
omen, like others
when I tested my mind in every
one of its bounds and shapes, restraining
a cry to probe the still
world and marvelling that I too
could cry out. Game, perhaps, anticipation
or violence: but for a little irony
all is lost, and the light strikes fear
more than the shade.
                                     Were you awaiting my word,
or one unknown to you? Then the raven turned,
lifted its claws swift from the grass
and melted in the air of your green eye.

For a little irony all is lost.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Rowan
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 12:11 AM

While I think that the thread has produced some wonderful posts from its location "below the line" I'm wondering whether it ought, really, to be located above the line. Just my curiosity at work.

poems that speak out
to the heart or the mind's eye;
do they sing as well?

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 08:06 AM

Maybe they should be above the line. After all, they are songs without a tune.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 01:38 AM

Poem: "Not Only The Eskimos" by Liesel Mueller, from Alive Together (Louisiana State University Press).

Not Only The Eskimos

We have only one noun
but as many different kinds:

the grainy snow of the Puritans
and snow of soft, fat flakes,

guerrilla snow, which comes in the night
and changes the world by morning,

rabbinical snow, a permanent skullcap
on the highest mountains,

snow that blows in like the Lone Ranger,
riding hard from out of the West,

surreal snow in the Dakotas,
when you can't find your house, your street,
though you are not in a dream
or a science-fiction movie,

snow that tastes good to the sun
when it licks black tree limbs,
leaving us only one white stripe,
a replica of a skunk,

unbelievable snows:
the blizzard that strikes on the tenth of April,
the false snow before Indian summer,
the Big Snow on Mozart's birthday,
when Chicago became the Elysian fields
and strangers spoke to each other,

paper snow, cut and taped
to the inside of grade-school windows,

in an old tale, the snow
that covers a nest of strawberries,
small hearts, ripe and sweet,

the special snow that goes with Christmas,
whether it falls or not,

the Russian snow we remember
along with the warmth and smell of our furs,
though we have never traveled
to Russia or worn furs,

Villon's snows of yesteryear,
lost with ladies gone out like matches,
the snow in Joyce's "The Dead,"
the silent, secret snow
in a story by Conrad Aiken,
which is the snow of first love,

the snowfall between the child
and the spacewoman on TV,

snow as idea of whiteness,
as in snowdrop, snow goose, snowball bush,

the snow that puts stars in your hair,
and your hair, which has turned to snow,

the snow Elinor Wylie walked in
in velvet shoes,

the snow before her footprints
and the snow after,

the snow in the back of our heads,
whiter than white, which has to do
with childhood again each year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 03:01 AM

My personal favourite is John Masefields 'Cargoes' which is descriptive of three different ships in different parts of the world and the cargoes they carry....see for yourself.

Cargoes.

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amethysts,
Topazes, and cinnemon and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rail, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: topical tom
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 01:19 PM

I memorized this poem in                                                               
a small, one-room country school many moons ago. I know that its rhythm
and rhyme scheme are extremely simple but it still touches me:


                                       
Trees

by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 02:17 PM

The Banjo by Robert Winner

There is some demon turning me into an old man,
Living like a tapeworm in my gut,
Turning me into a snowman
Of cleaned-up fingernails and shaving cream,
While somewhere in the life I forgot to live
An old rapscallion banjo sleeps with dust.

I'd like to take that banjo to my job
And sit cross-legged, strum and strum
And wake those rigid people into dancing.
Those white men so white their smiles are water.
Those camouflaged men who cruise
Around each other like soft battleships.

I'd like them to remember their bare feet,
The bite of dust and sun down country roads,
The face they forgot to desire,
Now carved and wrinkled like a peach pit.

All of them nailed to their careers like handles on boxes.
There is some other game for me.
Another reality could walk in any time and become boss,
Shouting: Dance! Dance! Dance!
Dance through the partitions!
Dance through the stairwells, envelopes, telephones!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 02:26 PM

The Grain of Sound

A banjo maker in the mountains,
when looking out for wood to carve
an instrument, will walk among
the trees and knock on trunks. He'll hit
the bark and listen for a note.
A hickory makes the brightest sound;
the poplar has a mellow ease.
But only straightest grain will keep
the purity of tone, the sought-
for depth that makes the licks sparkle.
A banjo has a shining shiver.
Its twangs will glitter like the light
on splashing water. But the face
of banjo is a drum of hide
of cow, or cat, or even skunk.
The hide will magnify the note,
the sad of honest pain, the chill
blood song, lament, confession, haunt,
as tree will sing again from root
and vein and sap and twig in wind
and cat will moan as hand plucks nerve,
picks bone and cell and gut and pricks
the heart as blood will answer blood
and love begins to knock along the grain.

        -- Robert Morgan


Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Beer
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 02:28 PM

Canadian school system I guess. Had to memorize that one as well Tom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: maeve
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 06:12 PM

Thanks for those last 2 banjo poems, Dave. I love 'em both!

maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Dec 07 - 01:14 PM

What is divine love
how does it feel?
Divine love feels like a maybe.
Trust is more concrete.

Let me count the ways
in pictures that don't retreat
from year zero AD.
A disputed temple seat
started the great melee.

Outside the temple they meet.
His arrest was no surprise
A jeering crowd was on their feet
Hateful words did fly.
Three denials spelled defeat.

The crowd then multiplied
and watched the show complete.
While Crucified he never cried.
A spear released a bloody wheeze.
Some thought the man had died.

Still breathing God was regaled
The crowd still wanted a view
of the man that was nailed.
His face was red and blue.
Some were thrilled that he failed.

There was nothing left to do.
It was a trial, not an attack.
His mom with the help of a few
carried the body now slack.
Now he can't be king of the Jews.

The Romans were matter of fact.
"He started it, what could we do."
The man didn't die, he came back
with an enlightened world view.
Like the crowd that viewed this act...

that's how much he trusts you.
Like love enforced by contract.
Saving the savior is not what we do.
Saving the savior is not what we do.


If its a matter of trust
How do I trust thee ?

Let me count the ways
in pictures that don't retreat
from a jr. high school daze.
A disputed school bus seat
started the whole melee.

Out the bus door they meet.
Shoving was no surprise
A school crowd, on their feet
Fists began to fly.
Three hits spelled defeat.

The crowd then multiplied
and watched the blows repeat.
Passed out, the boy never cried.
The bully still pounded meat.
Some thought the small boy died.

Still hitting, the skull finally cracked
Yet still more wanted a view
of the boy that was whacked.
His face was red and blue
All were thrilled, thats a fact

No one wondered what to do.
Twas a fair fight, not attack.
A bus driver who had a few
moved the body that was slack.
They said the boy was a Jew.

The bully was matter of fact.
"He started it, what could I do."
The boy didn't die, he came back
with an enlightened world view.
Like the crowd this did attract...

thats how much I trust.
thats exactly how much I trust.
That only one employee stopped
what others enjoyed with glee.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Dec 07 - 01:24 PM

Some creatures build fences for their defences
like the great Blubberasore and Wincess
while others use anti attitude glue
by squirting green bile in excess.
What is anti attitude glue?
it makes thier attitude stick to you too.
Its gooey and burns and aches like the flu.
If you get any onya here's what you should do.
Shower for hours and treat yourself nice
get plenty of bed rest and eat plenty of rice.
Look in the mirror and see just who you are
then imagine the best you can be by far.
When you encounter the monsters of Tude
Pour on thier heads gobs of grey gratitude.
They will fall mute, won't know what to do
They'll roll their eyes up to cast expursions on you
But by then you're long gone while they sit and stew.
Run past the Jerkclerks and Midmanajerks too
like the Schnorfel, Gnarful, Gratchen and Chu
they appear to tread water by standing on you.
All of their status is nothing but flatus
and the worst they can do is make you feel blue.
Beware of the Bigbozzs they can be treacherous
They can be angry and ruthless but really are lecherous.
Out of their clutches is a land far away
A place for things you want to do
where your best ideas grow
where your love wants to stay
It is the Land of Iknowhatodo.
With a map you could go there today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 08 Mar 08 - 12:29 PM

At length the wary Roebuck started,
Lept, as if to meet the arrow,
Dead he lay there in the forest
Beat his timid heart no longer. (Longfellow)

Those lines get to me every time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 08 Mar 08 - 07:13 PM

Song of Hiawatha.
The form and meter of that poem is in the style of the Finnish epic, The Kalavala. I think Longfellow is unfairly neglected today. He also, I believe, produced the first American translation of Dante's works.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 02:50 PM

Benjamin Franklin, as a young man, wrote this as his own epitaph. I don't know whether it was actually used:

The Body
of
Benjamin Franklin,
Printer,
(Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents torn out,
And stript of its lettering and gilding,)
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost,
For it will, as he believed, appear once more,
In a new and more elegant edition,
Revised and corrected
by
THE AUTHOR.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:34 PM

"There once was a bear who lived in a cave
Whose greatest love was honey
He had tuppence a week which he never could save
So he never had any money

I bought him a money box, big and round
In which to keep his money
He saved and saved 'til he got a pound
Then spent it.......all on honey!"

Anon

It was my favourite poem when I was a little girl, and every time I read it, I giggled at the thought of that bear covered in sticky honey with not a penny to his name, but a big, fat, warm tummy..

I was very easily pleased. :0) lol


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:51 PM

Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
My child sleeps on. There is no obstacle
But Gregory's wood and one bare hill
Whereby the haystack- and roof-levelling wind,
Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;
And for an hour I have walked and prayed
Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,
And under the arches of the bridge, and scream
In the elms above the flooded stream;
Imagining in excited reverie
That the future years had come,
Dancing to a frenzied drum,
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.

May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger's eye distraught,
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beauty a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.

Helen being chosen found life flat and dull
And later had much trouble from a fool,
While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray,
Being fatherless could have her way
Yet chose a bandy-leggd smith for man.
It's certain that fine women eat
A crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.

In courtesy I'd have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty's very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

May she become a flourishing hidden tree
That all her thoughts may like the linnet be,
And have no business but dispensing round
Their magnanimities of sound,
Nor but in merriment begin a chase,
Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel
Rooted in one dear perpetual place.

My mind, because the minds that I have loved,
The sort of beauty that I have approved,
Prosper but little, has dried up of late,
Yet knows that to be choked with hate
May well be of all evil chances chief.
If there's no hatred in a mind
Assault and battery of the wind
Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.

An intellectual hatred is the worst,
So let her think opinions are accursed.
Have I not seen the loveliest woman born
Out of the mouth of Plenty's horn,
Because of her opinionated mind
Barter that horn and every good
By quiet natures understood
For an old bellows full of angry wind?

Considering that, all hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
Self-appeasing, self-affrighting,
And that its own sweet will is Heaven's will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.

And may her bridegroom bring her to a house
Where all's accustomed, ceremonious;
For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony's a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.

(A Prayer for my Daughter -- W.B. Yeats)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 04:02 PM

HIGH AND LOW

He stumbled home from Clifden fair
With drunken song, and cheeks aglow.
Yet there was something in his air
That told of kingship long ago.
I sighed -- and inly cried
With grief that one so high should fall so low.

He snatched a flower and sniffed its scent,
And waved it toward the sunset sky.
Some old sweet rapture through him went
And kindled in his bloodshot eye.
I turned -- and inly burned
With joy that one so low should rise so high.

-- James H. Cousins (born 1873)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Nick
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 09:34 PM

REMEMBER
by: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 05:28 AM

I am calling to you from afar
Calling to you since the very beginning of days
Calling to you across millennia
For aeons of time
Calling, calling
Since always
It is part of your being, my voice
But it comes to you faintly
And you only hear it sometimes
"I don't know" you may say
But somewhere you know
"I can't hear" you say
"What is it and where?"
But somewhere you hear and deep down you know
For I am that in you which has been always
I am that in you which will never end
Even if you say "Who is calling?"
Even if you think "Who is that?"
Where will you run?
Just tell me
Can you run away from yourself?

For I am the only one for you
There is no other
Your promise, your reward am I alone
Your punishment, your longing
And your goal.

(Author unknown)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 01:08 PM

Anne Hathaway
by Carol Ann Duffy from The World's Wife

'Item I gyve unto my wife my second best bed ...'
(from Shakespeare's will)

The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas
where we would dive for pearls. My lover's words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights, I dreamed he'd written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer's hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love -
I hold him in the casket of my widow's head
as he held me upon that next best bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 05:38 AM

I've been thinking about my father today and it reminded me about a poem by Rudyard Kipling, Gunga Din.

If we watched that film once ................


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Amergin
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 11:37 PM

This shows the grief of a father over his lost child....

My Boy Jack
Rudyard Kipling


"HAVE you news of my boy Jack? "
Not this tide.
"When d'you think that he'll come back?"
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

"Has any one else had word of him?"
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

"Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?"
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind---
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: frogprince
Date: 01 May 09 - 01:10 PM

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be."
                  Shel Silverstein


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 08:18 AM

It's difficult coming back to a thread after so long. I have scrolled down all the posts to try to make sure that I don't post something that is already here. "Phenomenal Woman" written by Maya Angelou, who is a truly remarkable woman, was posted earlier. I haven't found a poem by Maya Angelou that I do not like; they all speak to me. The way she recites her poems makes you want to listen again and again. I intend now to read some of the books she has written.

Here she is reciting Still I Rise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 01:06 PM

The Loch Archre by John Masefield.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: kendall
Date: 02 Nov 13 - 08:02 AM

A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness. (Keats)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Andrez
Date: 02 Nov 13 - 08:05 AM

Colours

When your face

appeared over my crumpled life

at first I understood

only the poverty of what I have.

Then its particular light

on woods, on rivers, on the sea,

became my beginning in the coloured world

in which I had not yet had my beginning.

I am so frightened, I am so frightened,

of the unexpected sunrise finishing,

of revelations

and tears and the excitement finishing.

I don't fight it, my love is this fear,

I nourish it who can nourish nothing,

love's slipshod watchman.

Fear hems me in.

I am conscious that these minutes are short

and that the colours in my eyes will vanish

when your face sets.

Written, Yevtushenko, recorded Joan Baez Baptism

Translated By Robin Milner-Gulland And Peter Levi

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 13 - 01:33 PM

We used this in themed feature evenings of songs and poetry - usually 'Crime and Criminals', but it works elsewhere.
We presented it starting with the children's version of The Cruel Mother - Weela, Weela, Wila, followed by the Adult set, (usually Mrs Costello's version), then the poem, which is a MacColl rewrite of the Brecht original.
Pat (Mackenzie) is a superb reader and I have seen audience members in tears after the set.
Jim Carroll

CONCERNING THE INFANTICIDE, MARIE FARRER
by Bertolt Brecht

Marie Farrer, born in April,
No marks, a minor, rachitic, both parents dead,
Allegedly up to now without police record,
Committed infanticide, it is said,
As follows: in her second month, she says,
With the aid of a barmaid, she did her best
To get rid of her child with two douches,
Allegedly painful but without success.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

She then paid out, she says, what was agreed
And continued to lace herself up tight.
She also drank liquor with pepper mixed in it
Which purged her but did not cure her plight.
Her body distressed her as she washed the dishes,
It was swollen now quite visibly.
She herself says, for she was still a child,
She prayed to Mary most earnestly.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

Her prayers, it seemed, helped her not at all.
She longed for help.
Her trouble made her falter and faint at early Mass.
Often drops of sweat
Broke out in anguish as she knelt at the altar.
Yet until her time came upon her
She still kept secret her condition.
For no one would believe such a thing could happen,
That she, so unenticing, had yielded to temptation.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

And, on that day, she says, when it was dawn,
As she washed the stairs, it seemed a nail
Was driven into her belly.
She was wrung with pain.
But still she secretly endured her travail.
All day long while hanging out the laundry,
She wracked her brains until she got it through her head
She had to bear the child, and her heart was heavy.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
It was very late when she went to bed.
She was sent for again as soon as she lay down.
Snow had fallen and she had to go downstairs.
It went on till eleven. It was a long day.
Only at night did she have time to bear.
And so, she says, she gave birth to a son.
The son she bore was just like all the others.
She was unlike the others but for this
There is no reason to despise this mother,
You to, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

With her last strength, she says, because
Her room had now grown icy cold, she then
Dragged herself to the latrine and there
Gave birth as best she could (not knowing when)
But toward morning. She says she was already
Quite distracted and could barely hold
The child for snow came into the latrine
And her fingers were half numb with cold.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

Between the latrine and her room, she says,
Not earlier, the child began to cry until
It drove her mad so that, she says,
She did not cease to beat it with her fists
Blindly for some time till it was still.
And then she took the body to her bed
And kept it with her there all through the night.
When morning came she hid it in the shed.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

Marie Farrer, born in April,
An unmarried mother, convicted, died in
The Meissen penitentiary.
She brings home to you all men's sin.
You, who bear pleasantly between clean sheets
And give the name "blessed" to your womb's weight,
Must not damn the weakness of the outcast,
For her sin was black but her pain was great.
Therefore, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.


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