Poetry

A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.

Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:12 am

Our municipal leaders recently appointed a poet laureate for the city. They could have recycled this Pauline Johnson poem instead:

Calgary of the Plains

http://www.poems.md/emily-pauline-johnson-tekahionwake/calgary-of-the-plains-3348.html

Not of the seething cities with their swarming human hives,
Their fetid airs, their reeking streets, their dwarfed and poisoned lives,
Not of the buried yesterdays, but of the days to be,
The glory and the gateway of the yellow West is she.

The Northern Lights dance down her plains with soft and silvery feet,
The sunrise gilds her prairies when the dawn and daylight meet;
Along her level lands the fitful southern breezes sweep,
And beyond her western windows the sublime old mountains sleep.

The Redman haunts her portals, and the Paleface treads her streets,
The Indian's stealthy footstep with the course of commerce meets,
And hunters whisper vaguely of the half forgotten tales
Of phantom herds of bison lurking on her midnight trails.

Not hers the lore of olden lands, their laurels and their bays;
But what are these, compared to one of all her perfect days?
For naught can buy the jewel that upon her forehead lies--
The cloudless sapphire Heaven of her territorial skies.

Pauline Johnson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Johnson

Emily Pauline Johnson (also known in Mohawk as Tekahionwake – pronounced: dageh-eeon-wageh, literally: 'double-life')[1] (10 March 1861 – 7 March 1913), commonly known as E. Pauline Johnson or just Pauline Johnson, was a Canadian writer and performer popular in the late 19th century. Johnson was notable for her poems and performances that celebrated her First Nations heritage; her father was a Mohawk chief of mixed ancestry, and her mother an English immigrant. One such poem is the frequently anthologized "The Song My Paddle Sings".

Her poetry was published in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. Johnson was one of a generation of widely read writers who began to define a Canadian literature. While her literary reputation declined after her death, since the later 20th century, there has been renewed interest in her life and works....

Image

E. Pauline Johnson, Flint and Feather (1922)

The complete poems of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)

http://archive.org/details/flintfeathercomp00johnuoft

Through Time and Bitter Distance

http://www.poems.md/emily-pauline-johnson-tekahionwake/quotthrough-time-and-bitter-distancequot-1328.html

Unknown to you, I walk the cheerless shore.
The cutting blast, the hurl of biting brine
May freeze, and still, and bind the waves at war,
Ere you will ever know, O! Heart of mine,
That I have sought, reflected in the blue
Of these sea depths, some shadow of your eyes;
Have hoped the laughing waves would sing of you,
But this is all my starving sight descries--

I

Far out at sea a sail
Bends to the freshening breeze,
Yields to the rising gale
That sweeps the seas;

II

Yields, as a bird wind-tossed,
To saltish waves that fling
Their spray, whose rime and frost
Like crystals cling

III

To canvas, mast and spar,
Till, gleaming like a gem,
She sinks beyond the far
Horizon's hem.

IV

Lost to my longing sight,
And nothing left to me
Save an oncoming night,--
An empty sea.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:43 pm

The September 2012 Poetry magazine is online.

Jane Hirschfield, Fado

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/244410

A man reaches close
and lifts a quarter
from inside a girl’s ear,
from her hands takes a dove
she didn’t know was there.
Which amazes more,
you may wonder:
the quarter’s serrated murmur
against the thumb
or the dove’s knuckled silence?
That he found them,
or that she never had,
or that in Portugal,
this same half-stopped moment,
it’s almost dawn,
and a woman in a wheelchair
is singing a fado
that puts every life in the room
on one pan of a scale,
itself on the other,
and the copper bowls balance.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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To Autumn -- John Keats

Postby Azrael » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:03 pm

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
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An Arundel Tomb -- Philip Larkin

Postby Azrael » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:08 pm

Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd—
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.
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Annus Mirabilis -- Philip Larkin

Postby Azrael » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:13 pm

Note: I posted this in a previous forum. Someone, probably Typhoon, made the astute observation that every generation or two has an annus mirabilis.

Annus Mirabilis

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.

Up to then there'd only been
A sort of bargaining,
A wrangle for the ring,
A shame that started at sixteen
And spread to everything.

Then all at once the quarrel sank:
Everyone felt the same,
And every life became
A brilliant breaking of the bank,
A quite unlosable game.

So life was never better than
In nineteen sixty-three
(Though just too late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
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In a Station of the Metro -- Ezra Pound

Postby Azrael » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:21 pm

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

— Ezra Pound

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April and Silence -- Tomas Tranströmer

Postby Azrael » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:26 am

April and Silence

Spring lies deserted.
The velvet-dark ditch
crawls by my side without reflections.
All that shines
are yellow flowers.
I’m carried in my shadow
like a violin in its black case.
The only thing I want to say
gleams out of reach
like the silver
in a pawnshop.
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Children's Song -- R.S. Thomas

Postby Azrael » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:04 am

We live in our own world,
A world that is too small
For you to stoop and enter
Even on hands and knees,
The adult subterfuge.
And though you probe and pry
With analytic eye,
And eavesdrop all our talk
With an amused look,
You cannot find the centre
Where we dance, where we play,
Where life is still asleep
Under the closed flower,
Under the smooth shell
Of eggs in the cupped nest
That mock the faded blue
Of your remoter heaven.
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:57 pm

The October 2012 issue of Poetry magazine is out.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Marcus » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:16 pm

Antipatros wrote:The October 2012 issue of Poetry magazine is out.


I subscribed to that damn' magazine once . . a year or so ago. Couldn't understand 99-percent of the "poetry" therein . . . :?

Stuff like this is more my speed . .
Admonition for the Seventh Decade

All the bluster and conceit
All the hare-brained indiscreet
Obfuscations and obsessions,
All the ludicrous confessions,
Put them by now, put them by,
Clean them out before you die.

Even though you can’t undo
All the mess that makes up you,
Find a modicum of quiet;
Quash the long uncivil riot
That goes on inside your heart;
Clear the drunks out, make a start.

—Dick Davis
"The jawbone of an ass is just as dangerous a weapon today as in Sampson's time."
--- Richard Nixon
******************
"I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels."
—John Calvin
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Re: Poetry

Postby Farcus » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:51 pm

Connoisseur of Chaos

I

A. A violent order is a disorder; and
B. A great disorder is an order. These
Two things are one. (Pages of illustrations.)


II

If all the green of spring was blue, and it is;
If all the flowers of South Africa were bright
On the tables of Connecticut, and they are;
If Englishmen lived without tea in Ceylon,
and they do;
And if it all went on in an orderly way,
And it does; a law of inherent opposites,
Of essential unity, is as pleasant as port,
As pleasant as the brush-strokes of a bough,
An upper, particular bough in, say, Marchand.


III

After all the pretty contrast of life and death
Proves that these opposite things partake of one,
At least that was the theory, when bishops' books
Resolved the world. We cannot go back to that.
The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind,
If one may say so . And yet relation appears,
A small relation expanding like the shade
Of a cloud on sand, a shape on the side of a hill.


IV

A. Well, an old order is a violent one.
This proves nothing. Just one more truth, one more
Element in the immense disorder of truths.
B. It is April as I write. The wind
Is blowing after days of constant rain.
All this, of course, will come to summer soon.
But suppose the disorder of truths should ever come
To an order, most Plantagenet, most fixed. . . .
A great disorder is an order. Now, A
And B are not like statuary, posed
For a vista in the Louvre. They are things chalked
On the sidewalk so that the pensive man may see.


V

The pensive man . . . He sees the eagle float
For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.


Wallace Stevens
Farcus
 

Re: Poetry

Postby Marcus » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:12 pm

Written by an old duck-hunting and fishing friend . . published in Sporting Classics some years back:

Scattered Showers

On a perfect Gulf June morning
we throw monofilament
wire and steel
into the boil of scale and bone and blood.

In the slash of sea between low islands
baitfish explode
splintering the surface like summer squalls.

“Rainminnows,” Kenny says, shaking his head and answering my glance
“Rainminnows catch hell.”

Up and down the coast
Rainminnows are ambushed in eddies
slaughtered at slack tides
driven onto sandy points
pinned against jetties
hammered
nailed
blasted
blistered
gobbled, gulped, and gone.

Sweet Jesus
Dear God
what is it you ask
what must you seine from the rivers of time?

Rainminnows too, you and me
adrift in strong currents
awash in the chop.

But on this perfect Gulf June morning
gulls scream
Ospreys wheel
and Dolphin roll at Southwest Pass.

—Randy Cameron
"The jawbone of an ass is just as dangerous a weapon today as in Sampson's time."
--- Richard Nixon
******************
"I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels."
—John Calvin
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Re: Poetry

Postby Azrael » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:51 pm

Marcus wrote:
Antipatros wrote:The October 2012 issue of Poetry magazine is out.


I subscribed to that damn' magazine once . . a year or so ago. Couldn't understand 99-percent of the "poetry" therein . . . :?

Stuff like this is more my speed . .
Admonition for the Seventh Decade

All the bluster and conceit
All the hare-brained indiscreet
Obfuscations and obsessions,
All the ludicrous confessions,
Put them by now, put them by,
Clean them out before you die.

Even though you can’t undo
All the mess that makes up you,
Find a modicum of quiet;
Quash the long uncivil riot
That goes on inside your heart;
Clear the drunks out, make a start.

—Dick Davis

Very good!
cultivate a white rose
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:52 pm

Charles Kingsley, Young and Old

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/young-and-old/
http://www.bartleby.com/42/655.html

When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away!
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.

When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown;
And all the sport is stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down;
Creep home, and take your place there,
The spent and maimed among;
God grant you find one face there,
You loved when all was young.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:04 pm

Harry Harbord Morant, At the River Crossing

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/at-the-river-crossing/
http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/moranth/poetry/rivercrossing.html

Oh! the quiet river-crossing
Where we twain were wont to ride,
Where the wanton winds were to sing
Willow branches o'er the tide.

There the golden noon would find us
Dallying through the summer day,
All the weary world behind us -
All its tumult far away.

Oh! those rides across the crossing
Where the shallow stream runs wide,
When the sunset's beams were glossing
Strips of sand on either side.

We would cross the sparkling river
On the brown horse and the bay;
Watch the willows sway and shiver
And their trembling shadows play.

When the opal tints waxed duller
And a gray crept o'er the skies
Yet there stayed the blue sky's colour
In your dreamy dark-blue eyes.

How the sun-god's bright caresses,
When we rode at sunset there,
Plaited among your braided tresses,
Gleaming on your silky hair.

When the last sunlight's glory
Faded off the sandy bars,
There we learnt the old, old story,
Riding homeward 'neath the stars.

'Tis a memory to be hoarded -
Oh, the foolish tale and fond!
Till another stream be forded -
And we reach the Great Beyond.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:08 pm

I feel the need for some war poetry (mostly repeated, but some not in the Poetry thread before) in advance of Remembrance Day/Veterans' Day.

Latin text and English translation on alternate pages:

Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia

http://www.archive.org/details/lucancivilwarboo00lucauoft

Of war I sing, war worse than civil, waged over the plains of Emathia, and of legality conferred on crime; I tell how an imperial people turned their victorious right hands against their own vitals; how kindred fought against kindred; how, when the compact of tyranny was shattered, all the forces of the shaken world contended to make mankind guilty; how standards confronted hostile standards, eagles were matched against each other, and pilum threatened pilum.

What madness was this, my countrymen, what fierce orgy of slaughter? While the ghost of Crassus still wandered unavenged, and it was your duty to rob proud Babylon of her trophies over Italy, did you choose to give to hated nations the spectacle of Roman bloodshed, and to wage wars that could win no triumphs? Ah! with that blood shed by Roman hands how much of earth and sea might have been bought—-where the sun rises and where night hides the stars, where the South is parched with burning airs, and where the rigour of winter that no spring can thaw binds the Scythian sea with icy cold! Ere this the Chinese might have passed under our yoke, and the savage Araxes, and any nation that knows the secret of Nile's cradle. If Rome has such a lust for unlawful warfare, let her first subdue the whole earth to her sway and then commit self-slaughter; so far she has never lacked a foreign foe. But, if now in Italian cities the houses are half-demolished and the walls tottering, and the mighty stones of mouldering dwellings cumber the ground; if the houses are secured by the presence of no guard, and a mere handful of inhabitants wander over the site of ancient cities; if Italy bristles with thorn-brakes, and her soil lies unploughed year after year, and the fields call in vain for hands to till them,—-these great disasters are not due to proud Pyrrhus or the Carthaginian; no other sword has been able to pierce so deep; the strokes of a kindred hand are driven home....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:10 pm

Breaker Morant (End)


Harry Harbord Morant, Butchered to Make a Dutchman's Holiday

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/butchered-to-make-a-dutchman-s-holiday/

In prison cell I sadly sit,
A d__d crest-fallen chappie!
And own to you I feel a bit-
A little bit - unhappy!

It really ain't the place nor time
To reel off rhyming diction -
But yet we'll write a final rhyme
Whilst waiting cru-ci-fixion!

No matter what 'end' they decide -
Quick-lime or 'b'iling ile,' sir?
We'll do our best when crucified
To finish off in style, sir!

But we bequeath a parting tip
For sound advice of such men,
Who come across in transport ship
To polish off the Dutchmen!

If you encounter any Boers
You really must not loot 'em!
And if you wish to leave these shores,
For pity's sake, DON'T SHOOT 'EM!!

And if you'd earn a D.S.O.,
Why every British sinner
Should know the proper way to go
Is: 'ASK THE BOER TO DINNER!'

Let's toss a bumper down our throat, -
Before we pass to Heaven,
And toast: 'The trim-set petticoat
We leave behind in Devon.'

At its end the manuscript is described -
The Last Rhyme and Testament of Tony Lumpkin -
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:15 pm

John McCrae, In Flanders Fields

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/history/firstwar/vimy/vimy1a

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:16 pm

Mary Borden, The Song of the Mud

http://www.archive.org/details/2englishreview25londuoft (at 99=101)

This is the song of the mud.
The pale yellow glistening mud that covers the naked hills like satin,
The grey gleaming silvery mud that is spread like enamel over the valleys,
The frothing, squirting, spurting liquid mud that gurgles along the road-beds,
The thick elastic mud that is kneaded and pounded and squeezed under the hoofs of horses.
The invincible, inexhaustible mud of the War Zone.

This is the song of the mud, the uniform of the poilu.
His coat is of mud, his poor great flapping coat that is too big for him and too heavy.
His coat that once was blue, and now is grey and stiff with the mud that cakes it.
This is the mud that clothes him —
His trousers and boots are of mud —
And his skin is of mud —
And there is mud in his beard.
His head is crowned with a helmet of mud,
And he wears it — oh, he wears it well!
He wears it as a King wears the ermine that bores him —
He has set a new style in clothing,
He has introduced the chic of mud.

This is the song of the mud that wriggles its way into battle,
The impertinent, the intrusive, the ubiquitous, the unwelcome.
The slimy, inveterate nuisance.
That fills the trenches,
That mixes in with the food of the soldiers.
That spoils the working of motors and crawls into their secret parts.
That spreads itself over the guns,
That sucks the guns down and holds them fast in its slimy, voluminous lips,
That has no respect for destruction and muzzles the bursting of shells,
And slowly, softly, easily,
Soaks up the fire, the noise, soaks up the energy and the courage,
Soaks up the power of armies,
Soaks up the battle —
Just soaks it up and thus stops it.

This is the song of the mud, the obscene, the filthy, the putrid,
The vast liquid grave of our Armies —
It has drowned our men —
Its monstrous distended belly reeks with the undigested dead —
Our men have gone down into it, sinking slowly, and
struggling and slowly disappearing.
Our fine men, our brave, strong young men,
Our glowing, red, shouting, brawny men,
Slowly, inch by inch, they have gone down into it.
Into its darkness, its thickness, its silence,
Relentlessly it drew them down, sucking them down,
They have been drowned there in thick, bitter, heaving mud —
It hides them— oh, so many of them !
Under its smooth glistening surface it is hiding them blandly,
There is not a trace of them —
There is no mark where they went down.
The mute, enormous mouth of the mud has closed over them.

This is the song of the mud,
The beautiful, glistening, golden mud that covers the hills like satin;
The mysterious, gleaming, silvery mud that is spread like enamel over the valleys.
Mud, the fantastic disguise of the War Zone;
Mud, the extinguishing mantle of battles;
Mud, the smooth, fluid grave of our soldiers.
This is the song of the mud.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:20 pm

Image

Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19389
http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen1.html

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

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

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

Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:22 pm

John Gillespie Magee, High Flight

http://www.deltaweb.co.uk/spitfire/hiflight.htm
http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/s,johnmagee.html

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 Squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:23 pm

Henry Reed, Naming of Parts

http://www.solearabiantree.net/namingofparts/namingofparts.html

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

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

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

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

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

Judging Distances

Movement of Bodies

Unarmed Combat

Psychological Warfare

Returning of Issue
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Marcus » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:24 pm

Antipatros wrote:
. . God grant you find one face there,
You loved when all was young.


I did . . .

There is a time for love and laughter
The days will pass like summer storms
The winter wind will follow after
But there is love and love is warm

There is a time for us to wander
When time is young and so are we
The woods are greener over yonder
The path is new the world is free

There is a time when leaves are fallin'
The woods are gray the paths are old
The snow will come when geese are callin'
You need a fire against the cold

So do your roaming in the springtime
And you'll find your love in the summer sun
The frost will come and bring the harvest
And you can sleep when day is done


"The jawbone of an ass is just as dangerous a weapon today as in Sampson's time."
--- Richard Nixon
******************
"I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels."
—John Calvin
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:25 pm

Margaret Bradstock, Long Phuoc revisited

http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2011/1/long-phuoc-revisited

“Suffering is not increased by numbers: one body can contain all the suffering the world can feel.” — Graham Greene

This time
he goes down into the tunnels
claustrophobic
as a multi-level parking station
recalling scenes only ever imagined
careful not to scrape head or limbs
on the red dirt walls
lower back straining, hunkered down to fit.
They’re still crouched by the slit-windows
bayonets at the ready
no cigarette smoke to give it all away.

Napalm falling
like a kind of insanity
that doesn’t discriminate
welds into skin.
Changing film, he misses it
and someone else grabs the shot
burned into memory
in grainy black and white.

Grass flourishes on Nui Dat Hill
former task-force base
—indistinguishable in recent photographs
from any bit of landscape—
silently cropped by water buffalo
across a dry paddy
bordered with bamboo hedges.
A subjugated country, they cannot speak
regret or even sorrow
the ploughed fields
seeded with forgiveness.

Rubber trees grow in groves around
the memorial cross
milk bleeding into collection cups.
Red earth clings to his shoes.

Long Phuoc
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Poetry

Postby Antipatros » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:27 pm

Bruce Weigl, Song of Napalm

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=171470

for my wife

After the storm, after the rain stopped pounding,
We stood in the doorway watching horses
Walk off lazily across the pasture’s hill.
We stared through the black screen,
Our vision altered by the distance
So I thought I saw a mist
Kicked up around their hooves when they faded
Like cut-out horses
Away from us.
The grass was never more blue in that light, more
Scarlet; beyond the pasture
Trees scraped their voices into the wind, branches
Crisscrossed the sky like barbed wire
But you said they were only branches.

Okay. The storm stopped pounding.
I am trying to say this straight: for once
I was sane enough to pause and breathe
Outside my wild plans and after the hard rain
I turned my back on the old curses. I believed
They swung finally away from me ...

But still the branches are wire
And thunder is the pounding mortar,
Still I close my eyes and see the girl
Running from her village, napalm
Stuck to her dress like jelly,
Her hands reaching for the no one
Who waits in waves of heat before her.

So I can keep on living,
So I can stay here beside you,
I try to imagine she runs down the road and wings
Beat inside her until she rises
Above the stinking jungle and her pain
Eases, and your pain, and mine.

But the lie swings back again.
The lie works only as long as it takes to speak
And the girl runs only as far
As the napalm allows
Until her burning tendons and crackling
Muscles draw her up
into that final position

Burning bodies so perfectly assume. Nothing
Can change that; she is burned behind my eyes
And not your good love and not the rain-swept air
And not the jungle green
Pasture unfolding before us can deny it.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Posts: 721
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