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BS: Poems that speak to you.

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DECK OF CARDS
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STORY OF PETEY, THE SNAKE
THE PEE LITTLE THRIGS


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Donuel 14 Sep 21 - 08:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Sep 21 - 11:25 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Sep 21 - 07:00 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Sep 21 - 06:43 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Sep 21 - 06:36 AM
Senoufou 13 Sep 21 - 03:51 AM
The Sandman 13 Sep 21 - 03:27 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 13 - 01:33 PM
Andrez 02 Nov 13 - 08:05 AM
kendall 02 Nov 13 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,kendall 21 Jan 12 - 01:06 PM
Jean(eanjay) 21 Jan 12 - 08:18 AM
frogprince 01 May 09 - 01:10 PM
Amergin 30 Apr 09 - 11:37 PM
Jean(eanjay) 30 Apr 09 - 05:38 AM
VirginiaTam 18 Jan 09 - 01:08 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 18 Jan 09 - 05:28 AM
Nick 17 Jan 09 - 09:34 PM
akenaton 17 Jan 09 - 04:02 PM
Amos 17 Jan 09 - 03:51 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 17 Jan 09 - 03:34 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Jan 09 - 02:50 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 08 Mar 08 - 07:13 PM
kendall 08 Mar 08 - 12:29 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Sep 21 - 08:59 AM

tis bettern' Slouch-About Curse


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 11:25 AM

Thank you for reviving this old chestnut of a thread - and I have to laugh when I skim over the list of posters and see one (before the lower area was off limits to guests) one posted by GUEST, Edgar A. That sing-song twaddle serves to show how wonderful the rest of the poems are. :)

This one has occurred to me frequently in recent years, especially because one line is taken out of context and essentially turned on it's head:



Mending Wall
By Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’



In particular, the section where the narrator's reasoning for not having a wall are stated, the neighbor comes back with the memorized response, without thought:

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’

Too often politicians and pundits only remember the five words that are the least logical part of the poem. They weren't paying attention in class (or if they ever read the whole thing.)

Off of my soap box. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 07:00 AM

One more, from Henry Reed, a British WW2 poet. If you google it you can listen to him reading it, with a friend reading the ripostes at the ends of the verses:

I. NAMING OF PARTS

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: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 06:43 AM

And I love this verse:

They cut me down and I leapt up high;
I am the life that'll never die.
I'll live in you if you'll live in me:
I am the lord of the dance, said he.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 06:36 AM

This one by Dannie Abse:

They held up a stone.
I said, ‘Stone.’
Smiling they said, ‘Stone.’

They showed me a tree.
I said, ‘Tree.’
Smiling they said, ‘Tree.’

They shed a man’s blood.
I said, ‘Blood.’
Smiling they said, ‘Paint.’

They shed a man’s blood.
I said, ‘Blood.’
Smiling they said, ‘Paint.’


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 03:51 AM

Tewkesbury Road by John Masefield.
My mother used to recite this to me when I was very small (She knew many poems by heart) and the last line used to bring tears to her eyes (and mine!) : "The dear, wild cry of the birds"


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Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 03:27 AM

The importance of being Important
I know a man
Who loves to hear himself roar
Because he believes a man becomes a Man
Not through subtlety but through force
That a man becomes interesting
When he’s seen and heard
So he moves heaven and earth
To be seen and to be heard

The importance of being important
Is the core value in his life
The pillar of his existence
The creed that defines his strive
The struggle of man to become Man
And to be the center of the earth
A life defined by importance
To be seen and to be heard Oscar Wilde


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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-leggèd 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Azizi
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 04:05 PM

fot = of


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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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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