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Old 06-05-2009, 09:43 AM   #61
Trilby
Slattern of the Swail
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 15,654
Witch - Jean Tepperman


They told me
I smile prettier with my mouth closed.
They said--
better cut your hair--
long, it's all frizzy,
looks Jewish.
They hushed me in restaurants
looking around them
while the mirrors above the table
jeered infinite reflections
of a raw, square face.
They questioned me
when I sang in the street.
They stood taller at tea
smoothly explaining
my eyes on the saucers,
trying to hide the hand grenade
in my pants pocket,
or crouched behind the piano.
They mocked me with magazines
full of breasts and lace,
published in their triumph
when the doctor's oldest son
married a nice sweet girl.
They told me tweed-suit stories
of various careers of ladies.
I woke up at night
afraid of dying.
They built screens and room dividers
to hide unsightly desire
sixteen years old
raw and hopeless
they buttoned me into dresses
covered with pink flowers.
They waited for me to finish
then continued the conversation.
I have been invisible,
weird and supernatural.
I want my black dress.
I want my hair
curling wild around me.
I want my broomstick
from the closet where I hid it.
Tonight I meet my sisters
in the graveyard.
Around midnight
if you stop at a red light
in the wet city traffic,
watch for us against the moon.
We are screaming,
we are flying,
laughing, and won't stop.
__________________
In Barrie's play and novel, the roles of fairies are brief: they are allies to the Lost Boys, the source of fairy dust and ...They are portrayed as dangerous, whimsical and extremely clever but quite hedonistic.

"Shall I give you a kiss?" Peter asked and, jerking an acorn button off his coat, solemnly presented it to her.
—James Barrie


Wimminfolk they be tricksy. - ZenGum
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:27 AM   #62
skysidhe
~~Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.~~
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,828
cold cold world by W. Jude Aher

in the night
the deep deep night
do i dance
where mirror images
are lost within

i bleed across
the shattered hopes
the ice reflections

would you
that a child
might live,
without seeing their eyes
without hearing their cries

black in light
am i wandering
in dreams
where only
shadows dance

oh,
this cold cold world
of chance

i see their eyes
i hear their cries
that a child
might live,
would i…

- jude

This guy looks like elsp. to me. Or maybe it's just a generational thing that I see similarities in.



http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/w__jude_aher/photo
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:21 PM   #63
Gravdigr
The Un-Tuckian
 
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Location: South Central...KY that is
Posts: 29,223
An Indian At the Burial Place Of His Fathers
by William Cullen Bryant


It is the spot I came to seek,--
My fathers' ancient burial-place
Ere from these vales, ashamed and weak,
Withdrew our wasted race.
It is the spot--I know it well--
Of which our old traditions tell.

For here the upland bank sends out
A ridge toward the river-side;
I know the shaggy hills about,
The meadows smooth and wide,--
The plains, that, toward the southern sky,
Fenced east and west by mountains lie.

A white man, gazing on the scene,
Would say a lovely spot was here,
And praise the lawns, so fresh and green,
Between the hills so sheer.
I like it not--I would the plain
Lay in its tall old groves again.

The sheep are on the slopes around,
The cattle in the meadows feed,
And labourers turn the crumbling ground,
Or drop the yellow seed,
And prancing steeds, in trappings gay,
Whirl the bright chariot o'er the way.

Methinks it were a nobler sight
To see these vales in woods arrayed,
Their summits in the golden light,
Their trunks in grateful shade,
And herds of deer, that bounding go
O'er hills and prostrate trees below.

And then to mark the lord of all,
The forest hero, trained to wars,
Quivered and plumed, and lithe and tall,
And seamed with glorious scars,
Walk forth, amid his reign, to dare
The wolf, and grapple with the bear.

This bank, in which the dead were laid,
Was sacred when its soil was ours;
Hither the artless Indian maid
Brought wreaths of beads and flowers,
And the gray chief and gifted seer
Worshipped the god of thunders here.

But now the wheat is green and high
On clods that hid the warrior's breast,
And scattered in the furrows lie
The weapons of his rest;
And there, in the loose sand, is thrown
Of his large arm the mouldering bone.

Ah, little thought the strong and brave
Who bore their lifeless chieftain forth--
Or the young wife, that weeping gave
Her first-born to the earth,
That the pale race, who waste us now,
Among their bones should guide the plough.

They waste us--ay--like April snow
In the warm noon, we shrink away;
And fast they follow, as we go
Towards the setting day,--
Till they shall fill the land, and we
Are driven into the western sea.

But I behold a fearful sign,
To which the white men's eyes are blind;
Their race may vanish hence, like mine,
And leave no trace behind,
Save ruins o'er the region spread,
And the white stones above the dead.

Before these fields were shorn and tilled,
Full to the brim our rivers flowed;
The melody of waters filled
The fresh and boundless wood;
And torrents dashed and rivulets played,
And fountains spouted in the shade.

Those grateful sounds are heard no more,
The springs are silent in the sun;
The rivers, by the blackened shore,
With lessening current run;
The realm our tribes are crushed to get
May be a barren desert yet.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:29 AM   #64
Trilby
Slattern of the Swail
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 15,654
I'm feeling all nostalgic-like.


DULCE ET DECORUM EST

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 lime9 . . .
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.
__________________
In Barrie's play and novel, the roles of fairies are brief: they are allies to the Lost Boys, the source of fairy dust and ...They are portrayed as dangerous, whimsical and extremely clever but quite hedonistic.

"Shall I give you a kiss?" Peter asked and, jerking an acorn button off his coat, solemnly presented it to her.
—James Barrie


Wimminfolk they be tricksy. - ZenGum
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:35 AM   #65
Sundae
polaroid of perfection
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 24,185
Turns out I have a closer connection to a poet I much admire than I thought.
The arts centre where I do occupational therapy (pottery) is an old school.
I knew this - I was in two musicals based in the theatre there.
But the blue plaque was put up well after my am-dram days - after his death in 2007.

Vernon Scannell was Aylesbury born, and I did not know this.
My first English teacher almost definitely did - she was the one who read us A Case of Murder (here).
And he went to school in the building now known as the Queens Park Arts Centre.

So as this thread reminded me that there are other poetry lovers out there, I'm also sharing this one of his. Which I find delightfully creepy. Reminds me very much of Betjamin's False Security, which I also found disturbing, but memorable. And dare I say it, a bit Dr Who?!

I probably should have posted one of Scannell's war poems - to continue the theme - but to be honest, it's always been the childhood ones that appealed to me.

Hide & Seek.
Call out, call loud -
"I'm ready. Come and find me!"
The sacks in the tool-shed smell like the seaside.
They'll never find you in the salty dark,
But be careful that your feet aren't sticking out,
Wiser not to risk another shout.
The floor is cold.
They'll probably be searching the bushes, near the swing.
Whatever happens you mustn't sneeze
When they come prowling in.
And here they are, whispering at the door
You've never heard them sound so hushed before.
Don't breathe, don't move, stay dumb.
Hide in your blindness, they're moving closer
Someone stumbles, mutters
Their words and laughter scuttle and they're gone,
But don't come out just yet, they'll try the lane
And then the greenhouse and back here again.
They must be thinking that you're very clever,
Getting more puzzled as they search all over.
It seems a long time since they went away.
Your legs are stiff, the cold bites through your coat.
The dark damp smell of sand moves in your throat.
It's time to let them know that you're the winner
Push off the sacks, uncurl and stretch.
That's better! Out of the shed and call to them -
"I've won! Here I am! Come and own up! I've caught you!"
The darkening garden watches, nothing stirs
The bushes hold their breath, the sun is gone
Yes, here you are - But where are they who sought you?

Vernon Scannell
(late of Aylesbury)
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Last edited by Sundae; 08-07-2009 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Location, location, location
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:17 PM   #66
DanaC
We have to go back, Kate!
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 24,982
@ Bri: that was probably the first poem that ever really got me. I remember our English teacher reading it out to us at school.
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Quote:
There's only so much punishment a man can take in pursuit of punani. - Sundae
http://sites.google.com/site/danispoetry/
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:40 PM   #67
Trilby
Slattern of the Swail
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 15,654
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaC View Post
@ Bri: that was probably the first poem that ever really got me. I remember our English teacher reading it out to us at school.
It really got me, too, when I first read it. A great poem, isn't it?
__________________
In Barrie's play and novel, the roles of fairies are brief: they are allies to the Lost Boys, the source of fairy dust and ...They are portrayed as dangerous, whimsical and extremely clever but quite hedonistic.

"Shall I give you a kiss?" Peter asked and, jerking an acorn button off his coat, solemnly presented it to her.
—James Barrie


Wimminfolk they be tricksy. - ZenGum
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:49 AM   #68
skysidhe
~~Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.~~
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,828
Under One Small Star


My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minutes to those who cry from
the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep
today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful
of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the
same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional
thread from your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and
each man.
I know I won't be justfied as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.


- Wislawa Symborska
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:58 PM   #69
TheMercenary
“Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo”
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Posts: 21,393
"Invictus" by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:05 PM   #70
TheMercenary
“Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo”
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Posts: 21,393
I am the Reaper

I am the Reaper.
All things with heedful hook
Silent I gather.
Pale roses touched with the spring,
Tall corn in summer,
Fruits rich with autumn, and frail winter blossoms—
Reaping, still reaping—
All things with heedful hook
Timely I gather.

I am the Sower.
All the unbodied life
Runs through my seed-sheet.
Atom with atom wed,
Each quickening the other,
Fall through my hands, ever changing, still changeless.
Ceaselessly sowing,
Life, incorruptible life,
Flows from my seed-sheet.

Maker and breaker,
I am the ebb and the flood,
Here and Hereafter,
Sped through the tangle and coil
Of infinite nature,
Viewless and soundless I fashion all being.
Taker and giver,
I am the womb and the grave,
The Now and the Ever


William Ernest Henley
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:09 PM   #71
TheMercenary
“Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo”
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Posts: 21,393
Double Ballade on the Nothingness of Things

The big teetotum twirls,
And epochs wax and wane
As chance subsides or swirls;
But of the loss and gain
The sum is always plain.
Read on the mighty pall,
The weed of funeral
That covers praise and blame,
The -isms and the -anities,
Magnificence and shame:--
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

The Fates are subtle girls!
They give us chaff for grain.
And Time, the Thunderer, hurls,
Like bolted death, disdain
At all that heart and brain
Conceive, or great or small,
Upon this earthly ball.
Would you be knight and dame?
Or woo the sweet humanities?
Or illustrate a name?
O Vanity of Vanities!

We sound the sea for pearls,
Or drown them in a drain;
We flute it with the merles,
Or tug and sweat and strain;
We grovel, or we reign;
We saunter, or we brawl;
We search the stars for Fame,
Or sink her subterranities;
The legend's still the same:--
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

Here at the wine one birls,
There some one clanks a chain.
The flag that this man furls
That man to float is fain.
Pleasure gives place to pain:
These in the kennel crawl,
While others take the wall.
She has a glorious aim,
He lives for the inanities.
What come of every claim?
O Vanity of Vanities!

Alike are clods and earls.
For sot, and seer, and swain,
For emperors and for churls,
For antidote and bane,
There is but one refrain:
But one for king and thrall,
For David and for Saul,
For fleet of foot and lame,
For pieties and profanities,
The picture and the frame:--
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

Life is a smoke that curls--
Curls in a flickering skein,
That winds and whisks and whirls,
A figment thin and vain,
Into the vast Inane.
One end for hut and hall!
One end for cell and stall!
Burned in one common flame
Are wisdoms and insanities.
For this alone we came:--
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

Envoy
Prince, pride must have a fall.
What is the worth of all
Your state's supreme urbanities?
Bad at the best's the game.
Well might the Sage exclaim:--
"O Vanity of Vanities!"


William Ernest Henley
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #72
skysidhe
~~Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.~~
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,828
good finds Merc. I enjoyed those.
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:09 PM   #73
monster
hoots from the ship
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Perpetual Chaos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMercenary View Post
"Invictus" by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I loved this, it made me think of my friend fighting breast cancer... and then the last line made me think of this.....






....ah, well, can't win every time
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:40 PM   #74
TheMercenary
“Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo”
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Posts: 21,393
Beautiful...
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:45 AM   #75
DanaC
We have to go back, Kate!
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 24,982
So many wonderful poems. Larkin's poem that Sundae posted takes me back to my English A-levels, when I and a bunch of other 17 year olds 'discovered' Larkin for the first time. Ah bliss.

@ Merc: Invictus is one my favourite poems of all time. Utterly beautiful.

Here's one of my other favourite poems. It's a little long; but I think it's marvellous. Oliver Goldsmith's The Deserted Village. Written after the death of the poet's brother, and in the wake of the Inclosure Act, and the 'death of the countryside' which followed. I think it captures so much of the anger and sorrow at a world which was changing, forcibly; and the coldness of the new age of capital:

The Deserted Village (part 1)
by Oliver Goldsmith

Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheered the labouring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed:
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, where every sport could please,
How often have I loitered o'er your green,
Where humble happiness endeared each scene;
How often have I paused on every charm,
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topped the neighbouring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made;
How often have I blessed the coming day,
When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
And all the village train, from labour free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree:
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old surveyed;
And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground,
And sleights of art and feats of strength went round;
And still as each repeated pleasure tired,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired;
The dancing pair that simply sought renown
By holding out to tire each other down!
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter tittered round the place;
The bashful virgin's sidelong look of love,
The matron's glance that would those looks reprove:
These were thy charms, sweet village; sports like these,
With sweet succession, taught even toil to please;
These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed,
These were thy charms -But all these charms are fled.
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There's only so much punishment a man can take in pursuit of punani. - Sundae
http://sites.google.com/site/danispoetry/
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