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A Place of Poems
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Orlion
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:48 am    Post subject: A Place of Poems Reply with quote

Perhaps there is all ready a thread for poems, perhaps I do not care Razz

In either case, here we can post, and discuss if we wish, poems that have struck us for whatever reason...

The following is a fragment from a play by James Elroy Flecker. A portion was quoted in a book I'm reading, and I decided to look it up for context:

Quote:
The Golden Road to Samarkand
HASSAN:
Sweet to ride forth at evening from the wells,
When shadows pass gigantic on the sand,
And softly through the silence beat the bells
Along the Golden Road to Samarkand.
ISHAK:
We travel not for trafficking alone;
By hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned:
For lust of knowing what should not be known
We take the Golden Road to Samarkand.
MASTER OF THE CARAVAN:
Open the gate, O watchman of the night!
THE WATCHMAN:
Ho, travellers, I open. For what land
Leave you the dim-moon city of delight?
MERCHANTS (with a shout):
We take the Golden Road to Samarkand!
(The Caravan passes through the gate)
THE WATCHMAN (consoling the women):
What would ye, ladies? It was ever thus.
Men are unwise and curiously planned.
A WOMAN:
They have their dreams, and do not think of us.
VOICES OF THE CARAVAN (in the distance singing):
We take the Golden Road to Samarkand.


Then another poem of Flecker somewhat related:

Quote:
The Golden Journey To Samarkand

I
We who with songs beguile your pilgrimage
And swear that Beauty lives though lilies die,
We Poets of the proud old lineage
Who sing to find your hearts, we know not why, -

What shall we tell you? Tales, marvellous tales
Of ships and stars and isles where good men rest,
Where nevermore the rose of sunset pales,
And winds and shadows fall towards the West:

And there the world's first huge white-bearded kings
In dim glades sleeping, murmur in their sleep,
And closer round their breasts the ivy clings,
Cutting its pathway slow and red and deep.

II
And how beguile you? Death has no repose
Warmer and deeper than the Orient sand
Which hides the beauty and bright faith of those
Who make the Golden Journey to Samarkand.

And now they wait and whiten peaceably,
Those conquerors, those poets, those so fair:
They know time comes, not only you and I,
But the whole world shall whiten, here or there;

When those long caravans that cross the plain
With dauntless feet and sound of silver bells
Put forth no more for glory or for gain,
Take no more solace from the palm-girt wells.

When the great markets by the sea shut fast
All that calm Sunday that goes on and on:
When even lovers find their peace at last,
And Earth is but a star, that once had shone.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Single verses from just some of the many poems that have struck (and stuck with) me for whatever reason. Points for identifying them... Wink

Quote:
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.


Quote:
The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you'll find him;
His father's sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him


Quote:
I have only seen the dark side of magic,
Strange enchantments, through the smoke of many cigarettes.
Drugged fantasy, the jewelled tunnels tawdry in the light,
golden arcades where money changes hands,
red-glass gems and witless bawling laughter.


Quote:
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;


Quote:
The mountain sheep are sweeter,
But the valley sheep are fatter;
We therefore deemed it meeter
To carry off the latter.


Quote:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;


Quote:
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods,


Quote:
My first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the working of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored
Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby.


Quote:
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.


Quote:
Each thing I do, I rush through so I can do something else. In such a way do the days pass---a blend of stock car racing and the never ending building of a gothic cathedral. Through the windows of my speeding car I see all that I love falling away: books unread, jokes untold, landscapes unvisited...


I'll stop there for now. There are plenty more. Very Happy

--A
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, Av,,,that snip from Eliot is one of the handful of pieces from an assignment when I was in High School that made me say "DAMN, some poetry if AMAZING."
It's still one of my favorite passages/images in all of poetry.

In fact that poem is the reason I bought King's Wasteland book [then the first and second, then waited centuries for him to finish the series and suck at it.]

[[I notice Roland/Browning is right above that Eliot, too. Smile

Another from either that exact assignment or within a week or two that always stuck with me is the ee cummings that begins:

Quote:
what Got him was Noth
ing & nothing's exAct
ly what any one Living
(or some
body
Dead like even a Poet)could
hardly express

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a thread that introduced me to poets (and poems) I'd never heard of before.

I spotted some Byron, Av, probably one by Ogden Nash and likely the Bard.

I like this one by Geoffrey Hill:

Quote:
Mercian Hymns XII

Their spades grafted through the variably-resistant soil.
...They clove to the hoard. They ransacked epiphanies,
...vertebrae of the chimera, armour of the wild bees’ larvae.
...They struck the fire-dragon’s faceted skin.

The men were paid to caulk water pipes. They brewed and
...pissed amid splendour; their latrine seethed its estuary
...through nettles. They are scattered to your collations,
...moldywarp.

It is autumn. Chestnut-boughs clash their inflamed leaves
...the garden festers for attention: telluric creatures enriched
...with shards, corms, nodules, the sunk solids of gravity.
...I have raked up a golden and stinking blaze.


u.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
Here's a thread that introduced me to poets (and poems) I'd never heard of before.


Damn, u....no wonder folk sometimes think we're one person playing two.
I'd never seen that thread that I recall [I flirted with some ABC threads, but that one either eluded me or I wasn't in the mood if/when I noticed it].
BUT I knew every poet you listed but one, and every poem but 2.
[[to be fair, roughly the same was true of Lucimay's postings...and I like her selections better...but Lucimay pretty much ignores me so can't be me playing games.] Shocked
But, here's a couple snippets from one piece by someone who should be better known.
Lyn Hejinian:


Quote:
the house I toss in is known
by its address
but it might have been named
credulity
and called a film
Quote:


I want to speak
of revolutions in beauty
but I hear hordes
counting down to midnight

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are better at being u than me! Laughing

To be fair, I was doing that Contemporary American Poetry course when I posted a lot of those poems. Looking at the thread I don't recognise half of the people I posted (which just proves that it was really u (V) all along), most likely I googled them or used the Poetry Foundation website to find them. (In my defence I did choose the pieces that I posted Razz )

I liked the Lyn Hejinian stuff that I have read. Here's a bit from My Life (and just happens to echo nicely with the Geoffrey Hill poem I quoted above):
Quote:
........................................................On that still day
my grandmother raked up the leaves beside a particular
pelargonium. With a name like that there is a lot you can do.
Children are not always inclined to choose such paths. You
can tell by the eucalyptus tree, its shaggy branches scatter
buttons...


And a bit of Caroline Bergvall, just for the hell of it! Big Grin (I read this aloud recently at a reading and as someone in my mid-forties I found it a sobering experience Shocked) :

Quote:
(Excerpts from) VIA
By Caroline Bergvall

48 Dante Variations

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
che la diritta via era smarrita

The Divine Comedy – Pt. 1 Inferno – Canto 1 – (1-3)

1. Along the journey of our life half way
.....I found myself again in a dark wood
.....wherein the straight road no longer lay
...........(Dale, 1996)

2. At the midpoint in the journey of our life
.....I found myself astray in a dark wood
.....For the straight path had vanished.
...........(Creagh and Hollander, 1989)

3. HALF over the wayfaring of our life,
.....Since missed the right way, through a night-dark wood
.....Struggling, I found myself.
...........(Musgrave, 1893)

4. Half way along the road we have to go,
.....I found myself obscured in a great forest,
.....Bewildered, and I knew I had lost the way.
...........(Sisson, 1980)

5. Halfway along the journey of our life
.....I woke in wonder in a sunless wood
.....For I had wandered from the narrow way
...........(Zappulla, 1998)

6. HALFWAY on our life’s journey, in a wood,
.....From the right path I found myself astray.
...........(Heaney, 1993)

7. Halfway through our trek in life
.....I found myself in this dark wood,
.....miles away from the right road.
...........(Ellis, 1994)

8. Half-way upon the journey of our life,
.....I found myself within a gloomy wood,
.....By reason that the path direct was lost.
...........(Pollock, 1854)

9. HALF-WAY upon the journey of our life
.....I roused to find myself within a forest
.....In darkness, for the straight way had been lost.
...........(Johnson, 1915)

10. In middle of the journey of our days
.....I found that I was in a darksome wood
.....the right road lost and vanished in the maze
...........(Sibbald, 1884)


u.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:

[[I notice Roland/Browning is right above that Eliot, too. Smile


Well, one sort of lead to the other. Wink

ussusimiel wrote:

I spotted some Byron, Av, probably one by Ogden Nash and likely the Bard..


Right on the Byron, U, but not the others I'm afraid. The only Shakespeare I'm likely to quote at length is the prologue to Henry V.

Oh yes, these are all poems I have committed to memory...that Byron was the second poem I ever learned by heart...The Destruction of Sennacherib. The first, funnily enough, was Eliot...but not The Wasteland (I was only a little kid), it was Macavity The Mystery Cat.

Here are a couple more that spring to mind when I think of poems I love:

Quote:
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.


Quote:
The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.


--A
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, some good ol' Sammie T-C Cool I'll have to dig out his ballad about the bull, in which the bull feeling good just sorta jumps around and the villagers mistake it for madness and try to hunt him down.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The mountain sheep are sweeter,
But the valley sheep are fatter;
We therefore deemed it meeter
To carry off the latter.

Thought this one was Nash. Here's why:
Ogden Nash wrote:
The Cow

The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other, milk.


Quote:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

I meant to say that this is Kipling!

u.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kipling it is.

The other there is Thomas Love Peacock, and the poem is The War-Song of Dinas Vawr.

Funnily enough, my first ever short story, written at 8, was inspired by the name of the territory that they were raiding, Dyfed in Wales. I gave that name to the monster it featured. Very Happy (And it was published in our school magazine. Laughing )

I still have the anthology that contains most of those quoted...my first ever poetry book. (At the time it was my fathers of course.)

--A
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good old STC! I have a friend who considers 'Kubla Khan' to be pound-for-pound (not Ezra Laughing ) the best poem in the English language. He's really old-school and is a demon for 'masterpieces', another favourite (much disliked by feminists) of his is:

W.B Yeats wrote:
Leda and the Swan

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.

................................Being so caught up,

So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

u.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orlion wrote:
Ah, some good ol' Sammie T-C Cool


As a Maiden fan you will no doubt be familiar with their rendition of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Wink

--A
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
Good old STC! I have a friend who considers 'Kubla Khan' to be pound-for-pound (not Ezra Laughing ) the best poem in the English language.


Ok, I wouldn't go anywhere NEAR that far. However...STC has something going on inspiration/identification-wise. He didn't [IMO] produce start-to-finish great poems.
But he has a ton of great ideas/phrases/insights...which is something special in itself...that are the root/seed of OTHER peoples impressive and generative works.

I have argued before in my life that feminists offended by Leda [and by logical inference an anti-feminists who loves it] have...[to off-topically and perhaps inappropriately] fuck with Alanis Morissette song]...their sweaters on backwards and inside out and think it is appropriate.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never too early for a bit of Willy!

Quote:
Sonnet CXXXV

Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,
And Will to boot, and Will in over-plus;
More than enough am I that vexed thee still,
To thy sweet will making addition thus.
Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious,
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
Shall will in others seem right gracious,
And in my will no fair acceptance shine?
The sea, all water, yet receives rain still,
And in abundance addeth to his store;
So thou, being rich in Will, add to thy Will
One will of mine, to make thy large will more.
. Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill;
..Think all but one, and me in that one Will.

I hear this one last week end, can be read straight or saucy.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell me octopus I begs
Is those things arms or is they legs
I marvel at thee octopus
If I were you I'd call me us.


---------0---------

There once was a Bishop called Tate
Who dined with a friend at eight eight
I'm sorry to state, I just can't relate
What Tate's tete-a-tete ate at eight eight!

-------0-----------

Amelia mixed the mustard
She mixed it good and thick
She mixed in in the custard
And made her mother sick
And showing satisfaction
With many a loud 'Hurrah'
Observe, she said, the action
Of mustard on mamma!

Wink
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'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You tempted me, peter, [though not because you have a pink cadillac, crushed velvet seats] to post a pair of limericks [one mine, one a friend of mine's, one penile, one clitoral]...but no.

Instead...I've probably said before I think Willy is over-rated in some ways [but not others]. One of the ways over-rated is sonnets. Yet some have their moments, and this is one:

Quote:
Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murd'rous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoyed no sooner but despisèd straight,
Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so,
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


Related to an earlier thing: that is both much better written and at the same time much more sexist than "Leda."

BTW, you DON't have a pink cadillac with crushed velvet seats, do you?

I hope not.
Christ, temptation.

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No V., but I should have! Laughing

Here's one by notorious rake and poet John Willmot, Earl of Rochester who 'embarked on his career of epic debauchery at the age of 12 and was dead [of syphyllis] by the age of 32:-



Regime de Vivre.


I rise at eleven. I dine about two
I get drunk before seven and the next thing I do
I send for my whore, where for fear of the clap
I spend in her hand, and I spew in her lap;
Then we quarrel and scold, till I fall fast asleep
When the bitch growing bold, to my pocket does creep

Then slyly she leaves me, and to avenge the affront,
At once she bereaves me of money and cunt.
If by chance then I wake, hot-headed and drunk
What a coil do I make for the loss of my punk!
I storm, and I roar, and I fall in a rage,
And missing my whore, I bugger my page.
Then crop-sick all morning I rail at my men,
And in bed I lie yawning till eleven again.



[Incidentally on the sonnet. On one occasion I wrote a sonnet for my wife's birthday celebrating how lady luck had engineered our meeting in the face of insuperable odds etc... I followed every rule in respect of the sonnets construction [shakesperian rather than petrarchan] - it had the ab, ab, cd, cd .... thing going on, the turn and the final couplet - and the result was unmitigated doggerel. It sits in it's [cheap] frame on the kitchen wall to this day, a salutory reminder to all who would attempt to fly higher than the good Lord has intended them so to do.....Wink.]
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'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never a fan of sonnets really. Shakespeare's prose was much better...

"Oh for a muse of fire, that would ascend the greatest heaven of invention, a kingdom for a stage, princes to act, and monarchs to behold the swelling scene!"

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed in the strict sense Av, but was not part of Shakespears genius that he could blur the lines between the two, applying the tecniques of the one to great effect in the other. Take your example below as a case in point - the line can easily be scanned into two iambic tetrameters up to the word 'invention'. Often [I would think] with WS it becomes almost impossible to sepparate prose from poetry.
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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'Then let it end.'

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True enough, and surely the best prose sounds like poetry itself. I refer you to the "opening lines" thread. Very Happy

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