Some Poems That We Might share ....

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Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:54 pm

Here I invite you to come in, have a seat, order your favorite drink and share your favorite poetry from yesteryears or yesterday. Welcome!

The true philosopher and the true poet are one, and a beauty, which is truth, and a truth, which is beauty, is the aim of both." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Oscar Wilde

I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
'THAT FELLOW'S GOT TO SWING.'

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.

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!

Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame
On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
Into an empty space.

He does not sit with silent men
Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
The prison of its prey.

He does not wake at dawn to see
Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
With the yellow face of Doom.

He does not rise in piteous haste
To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats,
and notes
Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
Fingering a watch whose little ticks
Are like horrible hammer-blows.

He does not know that sickening thirst
That sands one's throat, before
The hangman with his gardener's gloves
Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
That the throat may thirst no more.

He does not bend his head to hear
The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
Into the hideous shed.

He does not stare upon the air
Through a little roof of glass:
He does not pray with lips of clay
For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
The kiss of Caiaphas.

II

Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard,
In the suit of shabby grey:
His cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay,
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every wandering cloud that trailed
Its ravelled fleeces by.

He did not wring his hands, as do
Those witless men who dare
To try to rear the changeling Hope
In the cave of black Despair:
He only looked upon the sun,
And drank the morning air.

He did not wring his hands nor weep,
Nor did he peek or pine,
But he drank the air as though it held
Some healthful anodyne;
With open mouth he drank the sun
As though it had been wine!

And I and all the souls in pain,
Who tramped the other ring,
Forgot if we ourselves had done
A great or little thing,
And watched with gaze of dull amaze
The man who had to swing.

And strange it was to see him pass
With a step so light and gay,
And strange it was to see him look
So wistfully at the day,
And strange it was to think that he
Had such a debt to pay.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
That in the springtime shoot:
But grim to see is the gallows-tree,
With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
Before it bears its fruit!

The loftiest place is that seat of grace
For which all worldlings try:
But who would stand in hempen band
Upon a scaffold high,
And through a murderer's collar take
His last look at the sky?

It is sweet to dance to violins
When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
To dance upon the air!

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
His sightless soul may stray.

At last the dead man walked no more
Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
In the black dock's dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
In God's sweet world again.

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
We had crossed each other's way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
But in the shameful day.

A prison wall was round us both,
Two outcast men we were:
The world had thrust us from its heart,
And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
Had caught us in its snare.

III

In Debtors' Yard the stones are hard,
And the dripping wall is high,
So it was there he took the air
Beneath the leaden sky,
And by each side a Warder walked,
For fear the man might die.

Or else he sat with those who watched
His anguish night and day;
Who watched him when he rose to weep,
And when he crouched to pray;
Who watched him lest himself should rob
Their scaffold of its prey.

The Governor was strong upon
The Regulations Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called,
And left a little tract.

And twice a day he smoked his pipe,
And drank his quart of beer:
His soul was resolute, and held
No hiding-place for fear;
He often said that he was glad
The hangman's hands were near.

But why he said so strange a thing
No Warder dared to ask:
For he to whom a watcher's doom
Is given as his task,
Must set a lock upon his lips,
And make his face a mask.

Or else he might be moved, and try
To comfort or console:
And what should Human Pity do
Pent up in Murderers' Hole?
What word of grace in such a place
Could help a brother's soul?

With slouch and swing around the ring
We trod the Fools' Parade!
We did not care: we knew we were
The Devil's Own Brigade:
And shaven head and feet of lead
Make a merry masquerade.

We tore the tarry rope to shreds
With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
And clattered with the pails.

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
Terror was lying still.

So still it lay that every day
Crawled like a weed-clogged wave:
And we forgot the bitter lot
That waits for fool and knave,
Till once, as we tramped in from work,
We passed an open grave.

With yawning mouth the yellow hole
Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
To the thirsty asphalte ring:
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair
Some prisoner had to swing.

Right in we went, with soul intent
On Death and Dread and Doom:
The hangman, with his little bag,
Went shuffling through the gloom:
And each man trembled as he crept
Into his numbered tomb.

That night the empty corridors
Were full of forms of Fear,
And up and down the iron town
Stole feet we could not hear,
And through the bars that hide the stars
White faces seemed to peer.

He lay as one who lies and dreams
In a pleasant meadow-land,
The watchers watched him as he slept,
And could not understand
How one could sleep so sweet a sleep
With a hangman close at hand.

But there is no sleep when men must weep
Who never yet have wept:
So we - the fool, the fraud, the knave -
That endless vigil kept,
And through each brain on hands of pain
Another's terror crept.

Alas! it is a fearful thing
To feel another's guilt!
For, right within, the sword of Sin
Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
For the blood we had not spilt.

The Warders with their shoes of felt
Crept by each padlocked door,
And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe,
Grey figures on the floor,
And wondered why men knelt to pray
Who never prayed before.

All through the night we knelt and prayed,
Mad mourners of a corse!
The troubled plumes of midnight were
The plumes upon a hearse:
And bitter wine upon a sponge
Was the savour of Remorse.

The grey cock crew, the red cock crew,
But never came the day:
And crooked shapes of Terror crouched,
In the corners where we lay:
And each evil sprite that walks by night
Before us seemed to play.

They glided past, they glided fast,
Like travellers through a mist:
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon
Of delicate turn and twist,
And with formal pace and loathsome grace
The phantoms kept their tryst.

With mop and mow, we saw them go,
Slim shadows hand in hand:
About, about, in ghostly rout
They trod a saraband:
And the damned grotesques made arabesques,
Like the wind upon the sand!

With the pirouettes of marionettes,
They tripped on pointed tread:
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear,
As their grisly masque they led,
And loud they sang, and long they sang,
For they sang to wake the dead.

'Oho!' they cried, 'The world is wide,
But fettered limbs go lame!
And once, or twice, to throw the dice
Is a gentlemanly game,
But he does not win who plays with Sin
In the secret House of Shame.'

No things of air these antics were,
That frolicked with such glee:
To men whose lives were held in gyves,
And whose feet might not go free,
Ah! wounds of Christ! they were living things,
Most terrible to see.

Around, around, they waltzed and wound;
Some wheeled in smirking pairs;
With the mincing step of a demirep
Some sidled up the stairs:
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer,
Each helped us at our prayers.

The morning wind began to moan,
But still the night went on:
Through its giant loom the web of gloom
Crept till each thread was spun:
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid
Of the Justice of the Sun.

The moaning wind went wandering round
The weeping prison-wall:
Till like a wheel of turning steel
We felt the minutes crawl:
O moaning wind! what had we done
To have such a seneschal?

At last I saw the shadowed bars,
Like a lattice wrought in lead,
Move right across the whitewashed wall
That faced my three-plank bed,
And I knew that somewhere in the world
God's dreadful dawn was red.

At six o'clock we cleaned our cells,
At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
Had entered in to kill.

He did not pass in purple pomp,
Nor ride a moon-white steed.
Three yards of cord and a sliding board
Are all the gallows' need:
So with rope of shame the Herald came
To do the secret deed.

We were as men who through a fen
Of filthy darkness grope:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
Or to give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
And what was dead was Hope.

For Man's grim Justice goes its way,
And will not swerve aside:
It slays the weak, it slays the strong,
It has a deadly stride:
With iron heel it slays the strong,
The monstrous parricide!

We waited for the stroke of eight:
Each tongue was thick with thirst:
For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate
That makes a man accursed,
And Fate will use a running noose
For the best man and the worst.

We had no other thing to do,
Save to wait for the sign to come:
So, like things of stone in a valley lone,
Quiet we sat and dumb:
But each man's heart beat thick and quick,
Like a madman on a drum!

With sudden shock the prison-clock
Smote on the shivering air,
And from all the gaol rose up a wail
Of impotent despair,
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear
From some leper in his lair.

And as one sees most fearful things
In the crystal of a dream,
We saw the greasy hempen rope
Hooked to the blackened beam,
And heard the prayer the hangman's snare
Strangled into a scream.

And all the woe that moved him so
That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the bloody sweats,
None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.

IV

There is no chapel on the day
On which they hang a man:
The Chaplain's heart is far too sick,
Or his face is far too wan,
Or there is that written in his eyes
Which none should look upon.

So they kept us close till nigh on noon,
And then they rang the bell,
And the Warders with their jingling keys
Opened each listening cell,
And down the iron stair we tramped,
Each from his separate Hell.

Out into God's sweet air we went,
But not in wonted way,
For this man's face was white with fear,
And that man's face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
In happy freedom by.

But there were those amongst us all
Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived,
Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood,
And makes it bleed in vain!

Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb
With crooked arrows starred,
Silently we went round and round
The slippery asphalte yard;
Silently we went round and round,
And no man spoke a word.

Silently we went round and round,
And through each hollow mind
The Memory of dreadful things
Rushed like a dreadful wind,
And Horror stalked before each man,
And Terror crept behind.

The Warders strutted up and down,
And kept their herd of brutes,
Their uniforms were spick and span,
And they wore their Sunday suits,
But we knew the work they had been at,
By the quicklime on their boots.

For where a grave had opened wide,
There was no grave at all:
Only a stretch of mud and sand
By the hideous prison-wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
Such as few men can claim:
Deep down below a prison-yard,
Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
Wrapt in a sheet of flame!

And all the while the burning lime
Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by night,
And the soft flesh by day,
It eats the flesh and bone by turns,
But it eats the heart alway.

For three long years they will not sow
Or root or seedling there:
For three long years the unblessed spot
Will sterile be and bare,
And look upon the wondering sky
With unreproachful stare.

They think a murderer's heart would taint
Each simple seed they sow.
It is not true! God's kindly earth
Is kindlier than men know,
And the red rose would but blow more red,
The white rose whiter blow.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!
Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
Christ brings His will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
Bloomed in the great Pope's sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
May bloom in prison-air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
A common man's despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
By the hideous prison-wall,
To tell the men who tramp the yard
That God's Son died for all.

Yet though the hideous prison-wall
Still hems him round and round,
And a spirit may not walk by night
That is with fetters bound,
And a spirit may but weep that lies
In such unholy ground,

He is at peace - this wretched man -
At peace, or will be soon:
There is no thing to make him mad,
Nor does Terror walk at noon,
For the lampless Earth in which he lies
Has neither Sun nor Moon.

They hanged him as a beast is hanged:
They did not even toll
A requiem that might have brought
Rest to his startled soul,
But hurriedly they took him out,
And hid him in a hole.

They stripped him of his canvas clothes,
And gave him to the flies:
They mocked the swollen purple throat,
And the stark and staring eyes:
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud
In which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
By his dishonoured grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
Whom Christ came down to save.

Yet all is well; he has but passed
To Life's appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn

V

I know not whether Laws be right,
Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long.

But this I know, that every Law
That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother's life,
And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
With a most evil fan.

This too I know - and wise it were
If each could know the same -
That every prison that men build
Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
How men their brothers maim.

With bars they blur the gracious moon,
And blind the goodly sun:
And they do well to hide their Hell,
For in it things are done
That Son of God nor son of Man
Ever should look upon!

The vilest deeds like poison weeds,
Bloom well in prison-air;
It is only what is good in Man
That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
And the Warder is Despair.

For they starve the little frightened child
Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
Is a foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
In Humanity's machine.

The brackish water that we drink
Creeps with a loathsome slime,
And the bitter bread they weigh in scales
Is full of chalk and lime,
And Sleep will not lie down, but walks
Wild-eyed, and cries to Time.

But though lean Hunger and green Thirst
Like asp with adder fight,
We have little care of prison fare,
For what chills and kills outright
Is that every stone one lifts by day
Becomes one's heart by night.

With midnight always in one's heart,
And twilight in one's cell,
We turn the crank, or tear the rope,
Each in his separate Hell,
And the silence is more awful far
Than the sound of a brazen bell.

And never a human voice comes near
To speak a gentle word:
And the eye that watches through the door
Is pitiless and hard:
And by all forgot, we rot and rot,
With soul and body marred.

And thus we rust Life's iron chain
Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
And some men make no moan:
But God's eternal Laws are kind
And break the heart of stone.


And every human heart that breaks,
In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean leper's house
With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy they whose hearts can break
And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
May Lord Christ enter in?

And he of the swollen purple throat,
And the stark and staring eyes,
Waits for the holy hands that took
The Thief to Paradise;
And a broken and a contrite heart
The Lord will not despise.

The man in red who reads the Law
Gave him three weeks of life,
Three little weeks in which to heal
His soul of his soul's strife,
And cleanse from every blot of blood
The hand that held the knife.

And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,
The hand that held the steel:
For only blood can wipe out blood,
And only tears can heal:
And the crimson stain that was of Cain
Became Christ's snow-white seal.

VI

In Reading gaol by Reading town
There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
Eaten by teeth of flame,
In a burning winding-sheet he lies,
And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all 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!
........................
How I love this poem!
Last edited by Arcturus Descending on Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
User avatar
Arcturus Descending
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Re: Some of Our Favorite Poems....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:59 pm

An Irish Airman Forsees His Death
by William Butler Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My county is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
User avatar
Arcturus Descending
Consciousness Seeker
 
Posts: 15300
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: A state of unknowing

Re: Some of Our Favorite Poems....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:17 pm

Guardian Angel
by Rolf Jacobsen

I am the bird that knocks at your window in the morning,
and your companion, whom you can never know,
the blossoms that light up for the blind.

I am the glacier's crest above the forest, the dazzling one,
and the brass voices from the cathedral tower.
The thought that suddenly comes over you at mid-day
and fills you with a singular happiness.

I am the one you have loved long ago.
I walk alongside you all day and look intently at you
and put my mouth against your heart
but you don't know it.

I am your third arm, your second
shadow, the white one,
whom you don't have the heart for
and who cannot ever forget you.
............

I, myself, might call this "Loving Intuition".
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
User avatar
Arcturus Descending
Consciousness Seeker
 
Posts: 15300
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: A state of unknowing

Re: Some of Our Favorite Poems....

Postby Pandora » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 am

A poetry corner! I like this thread! =P~

Though I wouldn't call them my favorites, I like these poems by Schiller (probably because they are light and read like a story).


The Diver


"What knight or what vassal will be so bold
As to plunge in the gulf below?
See! I hurl in its depths a goblet of gold,
Already the waters over it flow.
The man who can bring back the goblet to me,
May keep it henceforward,--his own it shall be."

Thus speaks the king, and he hurls from the height
Of the cliffs that, rugged and steep,
Hang over the boundless sea, with strong might,
The goblet afar, in the bellowing deep.
"And who'll be so daring,--I ask it once more,--
As to plunge in these billows that wildly roar?"

And the vassals and knights of high degree
Hear his words, but silent remain.
They cast their eyes on the raging sea,
And none will attempt the goblet to gain.
And a third time the question is asked by the king:
"Is there none that will dare in the gulf now to spring?"

Yet all as before in silence stand,
When a page, with a modest pride,
Steps out of the timorous squirely band,
And his girdle and mantle soon throws aside,
And all the knights, and the ladies too,
The noble stripling with wonderment view.

And when he draws nigh to the rocky brow,
And looks in the gulf so black,
The waters that she had swallowed but now,
The howling Charybdis is giving back;
And, with the distant thunder's dull sound.
From her gloomy womb they all-foaming rebound.

And it boils and it roars, and it hisses and seethes,
As when water and fire first blend;
To the sky spurts the foam in steam-laden wreaths,
And wave presses hard upon wave without end.
And the ocean will never exhausted be,
As if striving to bring forth another sea.

But at length the wild tumult seems pacified,
And blackly amid the white swell
A gaping chasm its jaws opens wide,
As if leading down to the depths of hell:
And the howling billows are seen by each eye
Down the whirling funnel all madly to fly.

Then quickly, before the breakers rebound,
The stripling commends him to Heaven,
And--a scream of horror is heard around,--
And now by the whirlpool away he is driven,
And secretly over the swimmer brave
Close the jaws, and he vanishes 'neath the dark wave.

O'er the watery gulf dread silence now lies,
But the deep sends up a dull yell,
And from mouth to mouth thus trembling it flies:
"Courageous stripling, oh, fare thee well!"
And duller and duller the howls recommence,
While they pause in anxious and fearful suspense.

"If even thy crown in the gulf thou shouldst fling,
And shouldst say, 'He who brings it to me
Shall wear it henceforward, and be the king,'
Thou couldst tempt me not e'en with that precious foe;
What under the howling deep is concealed
To no happy living soul is revealed!"

Full many a ship, by the whirlpool held fast,
Shoots straightway beneath the mad wave,
And, dashed to pieces, the hull and the mast
Emerge from the all-devouring grave,--
And the roaring approaches still nearer and nearer,
Like the howl of the tempest, still clearer and clearer.

And it boils and it roars, and it hisses and seethes,
As when water and fire first blend;
To the sky spurts the foam in steam-laden wreaths,
And wave passes hard upon wave without end.
And, with the distant thunder's dull sound,
From the ocean-womb they all-bellowing bound.

And lo! from the darkly flowing tide
Comes a vision white as a swan,
And an arm and a glistening neck are descried,
With might and with active zeal steering on;
And 'tis he, and behold! his left hand on high
Waves the goblet, while beaming with joy is his eye.

Then breathes he deeply, then breathes he long,
And blesses the light of the day;
While gladly exclaim to each other the throng:
"He lives! he is here! he is not the sea's prey!
From the tomb, from the eddying waters' control,
The brave one has rescued his living soul!"

And he comes, and they joyously round him stand;
At the feet of the monarch he falls,--
The goblet he, kneeling, puts in his hand,
And the king to his beauteous daughter calls,
Who fills it with sparkling wine to the brim;
The youth turns to the monarch, and speaks thus to him:

"Long life to the king! Let all those be glad
Who breathe in the light of the sky!
For below all is fearful, of moment sad;
Let not man to tempt the immortals e'er try,
Let him never desire the thing to see
That with terror and night they veil graciously."

"I was torn below with the speed of light,
When out of a cavern of rock
Rushed towards me a spring with furious might;
I was seized by the twofold torrent's wild shock,
And like a top, with a whirl and a bound,
Despite all resistance, was whirled around."

"Then God pointed out,--for to Him I cried
In that terrible moment of need,--
A craggy reef in the gulf's dark side;
I seized it in haste, and from death was then freed.
And there, on sharp corals, was hanging the cup,--
The fathomless pit had else swallowed it up."

"For under me lay it, still mountain-deep,
In a darkness of purple-tinged dye,
And though to the ear all might seem then asleep
With shuddering awe 'twas seen by the eye
How the salamanders' and dragons' dread forms
Filled those terrible jaws of hell with their swarms."

"There crowded, in union fearful and black,
In a horrible mass entwined,
The rock-fish, the ray with the thorny back,
And the hammer-fish's misshapen kind,
And the shark, the hyena dread of the sea,
With his angry teeth, grinned fiercely on me."

"There hung I, by fulness of terror possessed,
Where all human aid was unknown,
Amongst phantoms, the only sensitive breast,
In that fearful solitude all alone,
Where the voice of mankind could not reach to mine ear,
'Mid the monsters foul of that wilderness drear."

"Thus shuddering methought--when a something crawled near,
And a hundred limbs it out-flung,
And at me it snapped;--in my mortal fear,
I left hold of the coral to which I had clung;
Then the whirlpool seized on me with maddened roar,
Yet 'twas well, for it brought me to light once more."

The story in wonderment hears the king,
And he says, "The cup is thine own,
And I purpose also to give thee this ring,
Adorned with a costly, a priceless stone,
If thou'lt try once again, and bring word to me
What thou saw'st in the nethermost depths of the sea."

His daughter hears this with emotions soft,
And with flattering accent prays she:
"That fearful sport, father, attempt not too oft!
What none other would dare, he hath ventured for thee;
If thy heart's wild longings thou canst not tame,
Let the knights, if they can, put the squire to shame."

The king then seizes the goblet in haste,
In the gulf he hurls it with might:
"When the goblet once more in my hands thou hast placed,
Thou shalt rank at my court as the noblest knight,
And her as a bride thou shalt clasp e'en to-day,
Who for thee with tender compassion doth pray."

Then a force, as from Heaven, descends on him there,
And lightning gleams in his eye,
And blushes he sees on her features so fair,
And he sees her turn pale, and swooning lie;
Then eager the precious guerdon to win,
For life or for death, lo! he plunges him in!

The breakers they hear, and the breakers return,
Proclaimed by a thundering sound;
They bend o'er the gulf with glances that yearn,
And the waters are pouring in fast around;
Though upwards and downwards they rush and they rave,
The youth is brought back by no kindly wave.



The Glove


BEFORE his lion-court
Impatient for the sport,
King Francis sat one day;
The peers of his realm sat around,
And in balcony high from the ground
Sat the ladies in beauteous array.
And when with his finger he beckoned,
The gate opened wide in a second
And in, with deliberate tread,
Enters a lion dread,
And looks around
Yet utters no sound;
Then long he yawns
And shakes his mane,
And, stretching each limb,
Down lies he again.

Again signs the king,--
The next gate open flies,
And, lo! with a wild spring,
A tiger out hies.
When the lion he sees, loudly roars he about,
And a terrible circle his tail traces out.
Protruding his tongue, past the lion he walks,
And, snarling with rage, round him warily stalks
Then, growling anew,
On one side lies down too.

Again signs the king,--
And two gates open fly,
And, lo! with one spring,
Two leopards out hie.
On the tiger they rush, for the fight nothing loth,
But he with his paws seizes hold of them both
And the lion, with roaring, gets up, - then all's still,
The fierce beasts stalk around, madly thirsting to kill.

From the balcony raised high above
A fair hand lets fall down a glove
Into the lists, where 'tis seen
The lion and tiger between.

To the knight, Sir Delorges, in tone of jest,
Then speaks young Cunigund fair;
"Sir Knight, if the love that thou feel'st in thy breast
Is as warm as thou'rt wont at each moment to swear,
Pick up, I pray thee, the glove that lies there!"

And the knight, in a moment, with dauntless tread,
Jumps into the lists, nor seeks to linger,
And, from out the midst of those monsters dread,
Picks up the glove with a daring finger.

And the knights and ladies of high degree
With wonder and horror the action see,
While he quietly brings in his hand the glove,
The praise of his courage each mouth employs;
Meanwhile, with a tender look of love,
The promise to him of coming joys,
Fair Cunigund welcomes him back to his place.
But he threw the glove point-blank in her face:
"Lady, no thanks from thee I'll receive!"
And that selfsame hour he took his leave.
8-[ :lol:
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Re: Some of Our Favorite Poems....

Postby Pandora » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:19 am

The Erl-king

WHO rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
The father it is, with his infant so dear;
He holdeth the boy tightly clasp'd in his arm,
He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.

"My son, wherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to hide?"
"Look, father, the Erl-King is close by our side!
Dost see not the Erl-King, with crown and with train?"
"My son, 'tis the mist rising over the plain."

"Oh, come, thou dear infant! oh come thou with me!
Full many a game I will play there with thee;
On my strand, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold,
My mother shall grace thee with garments of gold."

"My father, my father, and dost thou not hear
The words that the Erl-King now breathes in mine ear?"
"Be calm, dearest child, 'tis thy fancy deceives;
'Tis the sad wind that sighs through the withering leaves."

"Wilt go, then, dear infant, wilt go with me there?
My daughters shall tend thee with sisterly care
My daughters by night their glad festival keep,
They'll dance thee, and rock thee, and sing thee to sleep."

"My father, my father, and dost thou not see,
How the Erl-King his daughters has brought here for me?"
"My darling, my darling, I see it aright,
'Tis the aged grey willows deceiving thy sight."

"I love thee, I'm charm'd by thy beauty, dear boy!
And if thou'rt unwilling, then force I'll employ."
"My father, my father, he seizes me fast,
Full sorely the Erl-King has hurt me at last."

The father now gallops, with terror half wild,
He grasps in his arms the poor shuddering child;
He reaches his courtyard with toil and with dread,--
The child in his arms finds he motionless, dead.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.-- 1782.


The Fisherman

The water rushed, the water swelled,
A fisherman sat by,
And gazed upon his dancing float
With tranquil-dreaming eye.
And as he sits, and as he looks,
The gurgling waves arise;
A maid, all bright with water drops,
Stands straight before his eyes.

She sang to him, she spake to him:
"My fish why dost thou snare,
With human wit and human guile,
Into the killing air?
Couldst see how happy fishes live
Under the stream so clear,
Thyself would plunge into the stream,
And live for ever there.

"Bathe not the lovely sun and moon
Within the cool, deep sea,
And with wave-breathing faces rise
In twofold witchery?
Lure not the misty heaven-deeps,
So beautiful and blue?
Lures not thine image, mirrored in
The Fresh eternal dew?

The water rushed, the water swelled,
It clasped his feet, I wis'
A thrill went through his yearning heart,
As when two lovers kiss!
She spake to him, she sang to him:
Resistless was her strain;
Half drew him in, half lured him in;
He ne'er was seen again.
--Goethe.

(Perhaps a warning not go fishing and drinking if you're lonely and depressed) :-k
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Re: Some of Our Favorite Poems....

Postby AnitaS » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:36 am

This one is fairly tame, by rebel Rimbaud standards. There's a reason he's attained the cult status that he has...incomparable.

Première Soirée
(First Evening)

Her clothes were almost off;
Outside, a curious tree
Beat a branch at the window
To see what it could see.

Perched on my enormous easy chair,
Half nude, she clasped her hands.
Her feet trembled on the floor,
As soft as they could be.

I watched as a ray of pale light,
Trapped in the tree outside,
Danced from her mouth
To her breast, like a fly on a flower.

I kissed her delicate ankles.
She had a soft, brusque laugh
That broke into shining crystals -
A pretty little laugh.

Her feet ducked under her chemise;
"Will you please stop it!..."
But I laughed at her cries -
I knew she really liked it.

Her eyes trembled beneath my lips,
They closed at my touch.
Her head went back; she cried:
"Oh really! That's too much!

"My dear, I'm warning you..."
I stopped her protest with a kiss
And she laughed, low -
A laugh that wanted more than this...

Her clothes were almost off;
Outside a curious tree
Beat a branch at the window
to see what it could see.



And on a decidedly less carefree note:

Wild Horses

You're dangerous 'cause you're honest
You're dangerous, you don't know what you want
Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot
For any spirit to haunt

You're an accident waiting to happen
You're a piece of glass left in a beach
Well, you tell me things I know you're not supposed to
Then you leave me just out of reach

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Well you stole it 'cause I needed the cash
And you killed it 'cause I wanted revenge
Well you lied to me 'cause I asked you to
Baby, can we still be friends?

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Oh, the deeper I spin
Oh, the hunter will sin for your ivory skin
Took a drive in the dirty rain
To a place where the wind calls your name
Under the trees the river laughing at you and me
Hallelujah, heavens white rose

The doors you open
I just can't close

Don't turn around, don't turn around again
Don't turn around, your gypsy heart
Don't turn around, don't turn around again
Don't turn around, and don't look back

Come on now love, don't you look back!

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna taste your salt water kisses?
Who's gonna take the place of me?

-Bono

“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.”
- Leo Tolstoy

"Fair and softly goes far."
- Miguel de Cervantes
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Re: Some of Our Favorite Poems....

Postby Pandora » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:14 am

The sigh of the forest

One chilly autumn evening when the day was nearly spent,
A little boy beneath a tree was playing.
He saw the candles burning in God the Father's tent
And heard the rustling linden-branches swaying.
All hushed he sat, his senses in dreams had taken flight,
While blacker grew the shadows that chill September night.
Then deeply in the dark sighed the forest.

The boy then stopped to listen, and awestruck was his mood,
He rose and ran to check the rising terror,
For ugly thoughts found entrance and stirred within his blood
Till round the heath he wandered all in error.

He thought of father, mother, of brothers, sisters dear:
"Oh, help me, God, I am so small. If only I were there!"
Then deeply in the dark sighed the forest.

The moon stepped softly out from the cloud-rack overhead,
O'er all the earth a silver mantle flinging;
And straightway to the mountains' foot the frightened shadows fled,
Back to their northern home the trolls were winging.
The mountain peaks were shining, but still the woods were dim,
And in the birches murmured a sad and eerie hymn.
Then deeply in the dark sighed the forest.

The little boy sped onward across the moorland wild,
With many an ancient tale his mind was haunted;
The stars pursued their courses, the heaven smiled and smiled,
But still he could not find the path he wanted.
"Ye gentle stars that travel so high upon your way,
Ye little withered flowers, oh, tell me, tell me, pray,
Who is it sighs so deep in the forest?"

But all the stars were silent, the little flowers too;
Oh, many bitter tears the boy was shedding,
Until he reached the elves' home. With winged steps he flew,

And cried, within their charmed circle treading:
" Oh, ye who dance so nimbly along the heathery way,
Wee brothers and wee sisters, oh, tell me, tell me, pray,
Who is it sighs so deep in the forest ?"

She smiled, the little elf-queen,—her lips were passing fair,—
And said, his ruddy cheek the while caressing:
"Don't cry, my pretty fellow, although you know not where
You 've come, and fear upon your heart is pressing.
Be seated on this hillock beside the heathery way,
And dry your eyes and listen to what I now shall say
Of that which sighs so deep in the forest.

"When Night begins his journey o'er land and shining sea,
And when the signs of day at length are-vanished,
When waves have gone to rest them beneath some island's lee,

And pretty stars return that erst were banished,
Then, then the vault of heaven grows clear and mirrorbright,
A troop of blessed angels come down in silent flight
And shower on the earth their tears of silver.

"When poor Earth sees her image within the mirroring skies
And finds herself so dismally depicted,
And counts the sins: the murders, the vanities and lies
Wherewith these thousand years she's been afflicted,—
A deadly throe of horror strikes through her marrow there,
The mountains make confession, the valleys fall to prayer,
And deeply in the dark sighs the forest."

"Oh, thanks to thee,thou elf-queen! I 'll not forget thy lore,
Nor fear as I go home across the heather.
Look! there within the moonlight I see my path once more;
Good-by, we'll not forget this time together.

I 've neither goods nor treasure,I 'm as poor as poor can be,
But here I promise Heaven that not because of me
Shall come at dusk that sigh from the forest."
--Bernhard Elis Malmstrom.


------ ------- -------

A variation on the theme by Erik Gustaf Geijer:

The Charcoal Burner's Son

My father, he's at the kiln away,
My mother sits at her spinning;
But wait, I'll to be a man some day,
And a sweetheard then I'll be winning.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

At dawn I am up and off with the sun--
Hurrah! when the sun's a-shimmer.
To father then with his food I run;
Soon follows the twilight's glimmer.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

I roam the green foot-path fearlessly
As I haste through the woods alone there.
But darkly the pines look down on me,
And lone mountain shadows are thrown there.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

Tralala! As glad as a bird in flight
I'll sing as the path I follow.
But harsh the reply from the mountain height,
And the woods are heavy and hollow.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

If I were but with my old father, though!
Hark! The bear is growling with hunger.
And the bear is the mightiest fellow, I know,
And spares neither older nor younger.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

The shadows come down so thick, so thick,
As if curtains were drawn together.
There is rustle and rattle of stone and stick,
And trolls are walking the heather.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

There is one! There are two! In their net they'll take
Me, alas! - how the firs are waving!
They beckon. Oh God, do not Thou forsake!
By flight my life I'd be saving.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

The hours went by, the daylight was gone,
The way it grew ever more wild now,
There's wisp'ring and rustling o'er stick and o'er stone
As over the heath the child runs now.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

With rosy red cheek and heart beating fast
To his father's kiln swiftly fleeing
He fell, "My dear son, oh, welcome at last!"
"'T is trolls, aye and worse I've been seeing.
So dark it is far off in the forest."

"My son, it is long here I've had to dwell,
But God has preserved me from evil.
Whoever knows his Our Father well
Fears neither for troll nor for devil,
Though dark it is far off in the forest."

[An interesting interplay of pagan and christian themes]
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Re: Some of Our Favorite Poems....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:21 pm

Pandora and Anita,

Ah, I am so happy that you decided to grace me with your presence in my new establishment. I hope that you enjoyed your stay here and that you were well taken care of.

Pandora,

I especially loved the poem *The diver*...anything that has to do with the ocean I just dive right into. The whole time I was reading it, I had the chills, continued to have the chills. It was like I was experiencing it myself. At the same time, all of these wonder-filled images were coming to me. Thank you.

Anita,

I especially enjoyed *Wild Horses* - as I interpret it, I've experienced it first hand. It's both very poignant and sort of comical at the same time, if that is possible. Ah life.

Poetry is amazing!

Be sure to come again, any time girls. We are open 24-hours a day. :lol:
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Some of Our Favorite Poems....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:31 pm

I know why the caged bird sings :cry:
by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Some of Our Favorite Poems....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:47 pm

Ode on a Grecian Urn
by John Keats

Thou still unravished bride of quietness!
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flow'ry tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal -yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoyed,
For ever panting and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:06 pm

WE WEAR THE MASK
Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,
This debt we pay to human guile,
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
.............We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
.............We wear the mask!

Very poignant poem, I think. I like it a lot. The masks we wear generally, unfortunately, hide us mostly from ourselves.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby The Last Man » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:03 pm

So nice to have finally made my way here :D

~Power~

I can make the earth stop in
its tracks. I made the
blue cars go away.

I can make myself invisible or small.
I can become gigantic & reach the
farthest things. I can change
the course of nature.
I can place myself anywhere in
space or time.
I can summon the dead.
I can perceive events on other worlds,
in my deepest inner mind,
& in the minds of others.

I can

I am
~~~

People need Connectors
Writers, heroes, stars,
leaders
To give life form.
A child’s sand boat facing
the sun.
Plastic soldiers in the miniature
dirt war. Forts.
Garage Rocket Ships

Ceremonies, theatre, dances
To reassert Tribal needs & memories
a call to worship, uniting
above all, a reversion,
a longing for family & the
safety magic of childhood.
~~~

The grand highway
is crowded
w/
lovers
&
searchers
&
leavers
so
eager
to
please
&
forget

Wilderness
~~~

Now is blessed
The rest
remembered
~~~

A man rakes leaves into
a heap in his yard, a pile,
& leans on his rake &
burns them utterly.
The fragrance fills the forest
children pause & heed the
smell, which will become
nostalgia in several years
~~~

Sirens
Water
Rain & Thunder
Jet from the base
Hot searing insect cry
The frogs & crickets
Doors open & close
The smash of glass
The Soft Parade
An accident
Rustle of silk, nylon
Watering the dry grass
Fire
Bells
Rattlesnake, whistles, castanets
Lawn mower
Good Humor man
Skates & wagons
Bikes
~~~

Where’d you learn about
Satan- out of a book
Love?- out of a box
~~~

night of sin (The Fall)
-1st sex, a feeling of having
done this same act in time before
O No, not again
~~~

Between childhood, boyhood,
adolescence
& manhood (maturity) there
should be sharp lines drawn w/
Tests, deaths, feats, rites
stories, songs, & judgements
~~~

Men who go out on ships
To escape sin & the mire of cities
watch the placenta of evening stars
from the deck, on their backs
& cross the equator
& perform rituals to exhume the dead
dangerous initiations
To mark passage to new levels

To feel on the verge of an exorcism
a rite of passage
To wait, or seek manhood
enlightenment in a gun

To kill childhood, innocence
in an instant.

By Jim Morrison
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby The Last Man » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:38 pm

~Jail~

The walls screamed poetry disease & sex
an inner whine like a mad machine -
dropped in a
cave of roaches
or rodents

The Computer
faces of the men

The wall collage
reading matter

The Traders (dealers)
~~~

I am a guide to the labyrinth
Come & see me
in the green hotel
Rm. 32
I will be there after 9:30 p.m.

I will show you the girl of the ghetto
I will show you the burning well
I will show you strange people
haunted, beast-like, on the
verge of evolution

-Fear The Lords who are
secret among us
~~~

Leaving the phone-booth, I was
Struck by a whiff of
the weird.
Insane old country woman
come to nag the haunts
of town
Hairy legs w/open sores.

From what swamp or under-rock
did you crawl to remind
us what we choose
to leave
~~~

By Jim Morrison
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby The Last Man » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:42 pm

~underwaterfall~

down
  down
    down
      down
        down
          down
            deep
              below

children of the caves will let their
secret fires glow
~~~

An explosion of birds
Dawn
Sun strokes the walls
An old man leaves the Casino
A young man reading pauses
on the path to the garden
~~~

Bitter winter
Fiction dogs are starving
The radio is moaning softly
calling to the dogs
There are still a few
animals left in the yard

Sit up all night,
talking smoking
Count the dead & wait
’til morning
Will warm names & faces
come again
Does the silver forest end?
~~~

December Isles
Hot morning chambers
of the New Day
Idiot first to awaken (be born)
w/shadows of new play
learned men
in Sunday best
we’ve had our chance to rest
to mourn the passing of day
to lament the death of our
glorious member
(she whispers secret messages
of love in the garden
to her friends, the bees)
The garden would be here
forevermore
~~~

Mexican parachute
Blue green pink
Invented of Silk
& stretched on grass
Draped in the trees
of a Mexican Park
T-shirt boys in their
Slumbering art
~~~

-I fear that he’s been
maim’d beyond all
recognition

He hears them come &
murmur over his corpse.

Street Pizza.
~~~

funny,
I keep expecting a
knock on the door
well, that’s what you
get for living around
people

a Knock? would shatter
my dreams’ illusions
deportment & composure
The struggle of a poor poet
to stay out of the grips
of novels & gambling
& journalism
~~~

A quality of ignorance,
self-deception may be
necessary to the poet’s
survival.
~~~

Actors must make us think
they’re real
Our friends must not
make us think we’re acting

They are, though, in slow
Time

My wild words
slip into fusion
& risk losing
the solid ground

So stranger, get
wilder still

Probe the Highlands
~~~

Bourbon is a wicked brew, recalling
courage milk, refined poison
of cockroach & tree-bark, leaves
& fly-wings scraped from the
land, a thick film; menstrual
fluids no doubt add their splendour.
It is the eagle’s drink.
~~~

Why do I drink?
So that I can write poetry.

Sometimes when it’s all spun out
and all that is ugly recedes
into a deep sleep
There is an awakening
and all that remains is true.
As the body is ravaged
the spirit grows stronger.

Forgive me Father for I know
what I do.
I want to hear the last Poem
of the last Poet.
~~~

By Jim Morrison
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:10 pm

The Last Man,

So nice to have finally made my way here :D
Ah, I am just so happy that you finally made it and i am sorry that I was not here to greet you. Next time, the drinks will be on me and we can sit and have some conversation together. :lol:

The poetry you recited warmed my establishment. Wonderful ambiance - everyone loved them. And next time, I will be sure you get a table by the fireplace.

You are welcome any time, Sir. :banana-dance:
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:40 pm

Story Of Isaac
by Leonard Cohen

The door it opened slowly,
my father he came in,
I was nine years old.
And he stood so tall above me,
his blue eyes they were shining
and his voice was very cold.
He said, "I've had a vision
and you know I'm strong and holy,
I must do what I've been told."
So he started up the mountain,
I was running, he was walking,
and his axe was made of gold.
Well, the trees they got much smaller,
the lake a lady's mirror,
we stopped to drink some wine.
Then he threw the bottle over.
Broke a minute later
and he put his hand on mine.
Thought I saw an eagle
but it might have been a vulture,
I never could decide.
Then my father built an altar,
he looked once behind his shoulder,
he knew I would not hide.
You who build these altars now
to sacrifice these children,
you must not do it anymore.
A scheme is not a vision
and you never have been tempted
by a demon or a god.
You who stand above them now,
your hatchets blunt and bloody,
you were not there before,
when I lay upon a mountain
and my father's hand was trembling
with the beauty of the word.
And if you call me brother now,
forgive me if I inquire,
"Just according to whose plan?"
When it all comes down to dust
I will kill you if I must,
I will help you if I can.
When it all comes down to dust
I will help you if I must,
I will kill you if I can.
And mercy on our uniform,
man of peace or man of war,
the peacock spreads his fan.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby The Last Man » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:46 pm

Wow, that is very powerful.
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Ascolo Parodites » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:17 pm

Here are some poems I have translated. No English translations of them exist apart from what I have done.

First, a bit of Latin from Adrianus's Galatea.


Illa vagos quondam sensus hac voce monebat,
nescitis miseri quot mala gignat amor.
Tempore forma perit, paucisque ea carpitur annis.
Dum licet, Idalii pellite tela Dei.
His ego firmatus monitis me posse putavi innocua
Cypriam mente videre Deam.

My laments for thee, they do recall my roving lusts,
though the fruits of misery I am unwilling to let bear upon the stalk of love.
To beauty time lays waste, that is assured;
though I shan't even permit her fruit to bear;
as long as it is permitted me to drive out amor's dart,
upon Aphrodite's very temple.
For it strengthens me in this conviction,
to suppose that the Cyprian goddess, too, was innocent.


[Cyprian Goddess, ie. Eris.]



Some old Italian from Vincenzo da Filicaia's Avvertimento ali Anima.


Ahi qual fallo e mirar cio, che mirato
desta il desire, e col desir tormenta!
Le Stelle indarno, indarno accusa il fato
chi del proprio suo mal fabbro diventa:
Stassi al varco del ciglio in dolte aguato
amor dolce nemico, e ment ei tenta
nel cuor l ingresso, con felice inganno
ospite v entra, e vi riman tiranuo.

Oh! What an error to look still upon your image,
even after you have taken leave and given me your farewell,
for when desire is named, desire torments!
Desire, hence, what a fruitless star! Fruitlessly to accuse fate,
and her wrought smithy in the firmament,
and the circuit it hath thereby bore her to tread forever;
together she, with the beloved, in sweet ambush
confound love's vision, and makes of it a sweet enemy,
which, happy to be deceived, the heart entreats and welcomes,
again and again subject to your tyrannizing.
Also known as Vanitas.
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Ascolo Parodites » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:28 pm

Here is an aphorism of mine in which I translate an old French epigram I always found consolation in.



539. How beautiful is the sea! Even when I can see nothing within it. So should we learn to view a beautiful woman-- even when we cannot have her. And, failing this, we can at least console ourselves in that beautiful verse:

Ne deves pas servir en vain,
car ne serves pas vainement.

I do not serve thee, my woman, in vain,
as long as I serve not vanity. [Miserere by Barthélemy reclus de Molliens]
Also known as Vanitas.
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:35 pm

Ascolo Parodites wrote:Here is an aphorism of mine in which I translate an old French epigram I always found consolation in.



539. How beautiful is the sea! Even when I can see nothing within it. So should we learn to view a beautiful woman-- even when we cannot have her. And, failing this, we can at least console ourselves in that beautiful verse:

Ne deves pas servir en vain,
car ne serves pas vainement.

I do not serve thee, my woman, in vain,
as long as I serve not vanity. [Miserere by Barthélemy reclus de Molliens]
That is actually very beautiful. I have felt this way about a man or two. It isn't so much about possessing, at all, but rather about that feeling of being possessed by...whether it is by the Sea or a certain man.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:41 pm

Ascolo Parodites wrote:Here are some poems I have translated. No English translations of them exist apart from what I have done.

First, a bit of Latin from Adrianus's Galatea.


Illa vagos quondam sensus hac voce monebat,
nescitis miseri quot mala gignat amor.
Tempore forma perit, paucisque ea carpitur annis.
Dum licet, Idalii pellite tela Dei.
His ego firmatus monitis me posse putavi innocua
Cypriam mente videre Deam.

My laments for thee, they do recall my roving lusts,
though the fruits of misery I am unwilling to let bear upon the stalk of love.
To beauty time lays waste, that is assured;
though I shan't even permit her fruit to bear;
as long as it is permitted me to drive out amor's dart,
upon Aphrodite's very temple.
For it strengthens me in this conviction,
to suppose that the Cyprian goddess, too, was innocent.


[Cyprian Goddess, ie. Eris.]



Some old Italian from Vincenzo da Filicaia's Avvertimento ali Anima.


Ahi qual fallo e mirar cio, che mirato
desta il desire, e col desir tormenta!
Le Stelle indarno, indarno accusa il fato
chi del proprio suo mal fabbro diventa:
Stassi al varco del ciglio in dolte aguato
amor dolce nemico, e ment ei tenta
nel cuor l ingresso, con felice inganno
ospite v entra, e vi riman tiranuo.

Oh! What an error to look still upon your image,
even after you have taken leave and given me your farewell,
for when desire is named, desire torments!
Desire, hence, what a fruitless star! Fruitlessly to accuse fate,
and her wrought smithy in the firmament,
and the circuit it hath thereby bore her to tread forever;
together she, with the beloved, in sweet ambush
confound love's vision, and makes of it a sweet enemy,
which, happy to be deceived, the heart entreats and welcomes,
again and again subject to your tyrannizing.
ah, but love, there still is nothing like it in all the world...whether it be romantic love or *real* love :lol: It really is the energy that burns through the universe, isn't it? These are really romantic poems. What does Avvertimento ali Anima mean?
Last edited by Arcturus Descending on Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Ascolo Parodites » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:04 pm

Avvertimento ali Anima, the title of the poem I quoted (only a stanza from it, I might work on typing out the rest of it in English some time) means "A warning/caution to the soul."

Yes, the idea of love is important to me. I have never experienced it, in the sense of reciprocation, and most likely never will. I am indifferent to happiness and sorrow, though. I love a woman for who she is, what she is- not for how she makes me feel personally or what she does for me, and rather or not I "have" her is irrelevant.
Also known as Vanitas.
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby The Last Man » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:24 pm

Wonderful contributions here Ascolo, thanks for sharing.
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:41 pm

Ascolo Parodites"

Avvertimento ali Anima, the title of the poem I quoted (only a stanza from it, I might work on typing out the rest of it in English some time) means "A warning/caution to the soul."

Yes, the idea of love is important to me. I have never experienced it, in the sense of reciprocation, and most likely never will. I am indifferent to happiness and sorrow, though. I love a woman for who she is, what she is- not for how she makes me feel personally or what she does for me, and rather or not I "have" her is irrelevant.
I might imagine that translating these poems into English is a little like working on a very expensive watch with all of its intricacies. I think you just might have to be intimately familar with the poets' works and what they might really be trying to convey, or am I wrong? It would seem to me that it would not just be about translating Italian into English but also in conveying the real meaning and depth of what the poet might be saying and feeling. This can be challenging but oh so worthwhile especially for those to experience the fruits of your wonderful labor.

In this way, these translations, might be difficult but indeed a work of love. I can imagine you sitting hunched over at your desk, like the monks of old trying to translate old biblical text...but maybe not quite like that...but then again, maybe just like that.

Anyway, what you are doing is important. How else might we have and feel the beauty of these wonderful romantic Italian poems.

I am rather surprised that you have not experienced reciprocation in love - your ideal and sense of love is real I think.
Edited: Sat., Feb. 13th
Last edited by Arcturus Descending on Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Some Poems That We Might share ....

Postby Shepherdess » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:31 pm

The Wayfarer
Stephen Crane

The wayfarer.
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
"Ha," he said,
"I see that none has passed here
In a long time."
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
"Well," he mumbled at last,
"Doubtless there are other roads."

This drives home a very poignant fact - that the path from honesty into truth is the "road less traveled"!
"It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure."
Joseph Campbell

"In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel nothing can befall me in life, - no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, - all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields."
Thoreau
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