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BS: Poems that speak to you.


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Jean(eanjay) 20 Oct 07 - 08:13 AM
Rapparee 20 Oct 07 - 08:54 AM
Emma B 20 Oct 07 - 08:58 AM
Jean(eanjay) 20 Oct 07 - 09:12 AM
Bill D 20 Oct 07 - 10:00 AM
Beer 20 Oct 07 - 10:09 AM
Mickey191 20 Oct 07 - 10:46 AM
Cats 20 Oct 07 - 10:53 AM
Jeanie 20 Oct 07 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,HiLo 20 Oct 07 - 11:01 AM
Mickey191 20 Oct 07 - 11:40 AM
Mickey191 20 Oct 07 - 11:46 AM
Bobert 20 Oct 07 - 12:02 PM
gnu 20 Oct 07 - 12:07 PM
catspaw49 20 Oct 07 - 12:16 PM
Midchuck 20 Oct 07 - 12:36 PM
Emma B 20 Oct 07 - 12:43 PM
Emma B 20 Oct 07 - 01:06 PM
Mrrzy 20 Oct 07 - 01:10 PM
Alice 20 Oct 07 - 01:25 PM
Peace 20 Oct 07 - 01:35 PM
John MacKenzie 20 Oct 07 - 01:43 PM
Bobert 20 Oct 07 - 03:32 PM
Rapparee 20 Oct 07 - 05:44 PM
Mickey191 20 Oct 07 - 06:16 PM
Emma B 20 Oct 07 - 06:50 PM
Mickey191 20 Oct 07 - 07:01 PM
Linda Kelly 20 Oct 07 - 07:04 PM
Rapparee 20 Oct 07 - 07:34 PM
Emma B 20 Oct 07 - 07:42 PM
Rapparee 20 Oct 07 - 07:48 PM
Azizi 20 Oct 07 - 07:56 PM
Azizi 20 Oct 07 - 08:04 PM
Azizi 20 Oct 07 - 08:11 PM
Azizi 20 Oct 07 - 08:17 PM
Rapparee 20 Oct 07 - 08:56 PM
Bill D 20 Oct 07 - 10:13 PM
Bill D 20 Oct 07 - 10:36 PM
Greg B 20 Oct 07 - 10:42 PM
Bill D 20 Oct 07 - 10:43 PM
Bill D 20 Oct 07 - 10:55 PM
Peace 21 Oct 07 - 01:48 AM
Amergin 21 Oct 07 - 01:52 AM
Micca 21 Oct 07 - 04:30 AM
kendall 21 Oct 07 - 07:18 AM
Azizi 21 Oct 07 - 07:39 AM
bobad 21 Oct 07 - 08:36 AM
Emma B 21 Oct 07 - 08:45 AM
Azizi 21 Oct 07 - 09:07 AM
Jean(eanjay) 21 Oct 07 - 09:17 AM

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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

   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


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 crêpe 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.


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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


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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...


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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!


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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...)


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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 (1874–1963)

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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


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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...


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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 kissèd 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 kissèd 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).

(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


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.


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:


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 accurséd 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 Countée 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.


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

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:


{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—
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.


{Gwendolyn Brooks}   


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.


online source:

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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:

{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
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
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

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
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 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

certainly told
him,and general

and even
(believe it

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

sir)it took
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth

el;in the top of his head:to tell


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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,
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
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


--thank you,

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


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:


(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.


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:

by Irving Layton

I placed
my hand
her thigh.

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

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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)


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


{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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