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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:52 pm 
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Posts: 296
Location: Scotland
Not about a cat, but one from a dog's point of view.

Ian

The Revenant - Billy Collins
I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you--not one bit.

When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair to eat,
a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and--greatest of insults--shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all of my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner--

that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and the others in prose.

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Ian Hunter
http://www.ian-hunter.co.uk
Editor/Publisher of Unspoken Water
http://www.ian-hunter.co.uk/unspoken-water
Poetry Editor of the BFS Journal
Director of Read Raw Ltd
http://www.readraw.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:05 pm 
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A secretly rebellious dog, slave to slave master, silently resentful!

But I take exception to 'cats in prose'. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Location: Portsmouth
I love it! I'm teaching Collins to my class at the moment and that'll go down a treat.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:06 am 
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Location: The Village
"There is a lake between sun and moon"
original poem by Pye Dubois, 1992
http://www.2112.net/powerwindows/transc ... unmoon.htm

This was revised into a song, Between Sun and Moon, for the album Counterparts by Rush.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyFPgZjxPkI

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:39 pm 
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Posts: 296
Location: Scotland
Ray

Glad you like the Collins poem, I picked up the collection it is in a couple of years ago when he appeared at the Edinburgh Book Festival. You can catch him on You Tube reading it.

Ian

_________________
Ian Hunter
http://www.ian-hunter.co.uk
Editor/Publisher of Unspoken Water
http://www.ian-hunter.co.uk/unspoken-water
Poetry Editor of the BFS Journal
Director of Read Raw Ltd
http://www.readraw.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Location: Portsmouth
I do like his stuff, and it's particularly good to hear the poet reading it.

I love this one:

Wolf

A wolf is reading a book of fairy tales.
The moon hangs over the forest, a lamp.

He is not assuming a human position,
say, cross-legged against a tree,
as he would in a cartoon.

This is a real wolf, standing on all fours,
his rich fur bristling in the night air,
his head bent over the book on the ground.

He does not sit down for the words
would be too far away to be legible,
and it is with difficulty that he turns
each page with his nose and forepaws.

When he finishes the last tale
he lies down in pine needles.
He thinks about what he has read,
the stories passing over his mind
like the clouds crossing the moon.

A zigzag of wind shakes down hazelnuts.
The eyes of owls yellow in the branches.

The wolf now paces restlessly in circles
around the book until he is absorbed
by the power of its narration,
making him one of its illustrations,
a small paper wolf, flat as print.

Later that night, lost in a town of pigs,
he knocks over houses with his breath.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:10 pm 
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I haven't seen that one before - excellent!


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:18 pm 
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/ju ... urday-poem


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Church Going

Philip Larkin -

Once I am sure there's nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence.

Move forward, run my hand around the font.
From where I stand, the roof looks almost new -
Cleaned, or restored? Someone would know: I don't.
Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant.
The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,
Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.

Yet stop I did: in fact I often do,
And always end much at a loss like this,
Wondering what to look for; wondering, too,
When churches will fall completely out of use
What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep
A few cathedrals chronically on show,
Their parchment, plate and pyx in locked cases,
And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep.
Shall we avoid them as unlucky places?

Or, after dark, will dubious women come
To make their children touch a particular stone;
Pick simples for a cancer; or on some
Advised night see walking a dead one?
Power of some sort will go on
In games, in riddles, seemingly at random;
But superstition, like belief, must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,

A shape less recognisable each week,
A purpose more obscure. I wonder who
Will be the last, the very last, to seek
This place for what it was; one of the crew
That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were?
Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique,
Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff
Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh?
Or will he be my representative,

Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt
Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground
Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
So long and equably what since is found
Only in separation - marriage, and birth,
And death, and thoughts of these - for which was built
This special shell? For, though I've no idea
What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth,
It pleases me to stand in silence here;

A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognized, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.


Merry Christmas everyone!
x


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Carol Ann Duffy

Wenceslas

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/de ... stmas-poem


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:21 pm 
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The Passing of the Year
by
Robert W. Service


My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,
My den is all a cosy glow;
And snug before the fire I sit,
And wait to feel the old year go.
I dedicate to solemn thought
Amid my too-unthinking days,
This sober moment, sadly fraught
With much of blame, with little praise.

Old Year! upon the Stage of Time
You stand to bow your last adieu;
A moment, and the prompter's chime
Will ring the curtain down on you.
Your mien is sad, your step is slow;
You falter as a Sage in pain;
Yet turn, Old Year, before you go,
And face your audience again.

That sphinx-like face, remote, austere,
Let us all read, whate'er the cost:
O Maiden! why that bitter tear?
Is it for dear one you have lost?
Is it for fond illusion gone?
For trusted lover proved untrue?
O sweet girl-face, so sad, so wan
What hath the Old Year meant to you?

And you, O neighbour on my right
So sleek, so prosperously clad!
What see you in that aged wight
That makes your smile so gay and glad?
What opportunity unmissed?
What golden gain, what pride of place?
What splendid hope? O Optimist!
What read you in that withered face?

And You, deep shrinking in the gloom,
What find you in that filmy gaze?
What menace of a tragic doom?
What dark, condemning yesterdays?
What urge to crime, what evil done?
What cold, confronting shape of fear?
O haggard, haunted, hidden One
What see you in the dying year?

And so from face to face I flit,
The countless eyes that stare and stare;
Some are with approbation lit,
And some are shadowed with despair.
Some show a smile and some a frown;
Some joy and hope, some pain and woe:
Enough! Oh, ring the curtain down!
Old weary year! it's time to go.

My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that's true,
For we've been comrades, you and I --
I thank God for each day of you;
There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!

And all the best to you all for 2013
Marion x


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:28 pm 
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The Saturday poem: Talking to Myself

by Dannie Abse



In the mildew of age
all pavements slope uphill


slow slow
towards an exit.


It's late and light allows
the darkest shadow to be born of it.


Courage, the ventriloquist bird cries
(a little god, he is, censor of language)


remember plain Hardy and dandy Yeats
in their inspired wise pre-dotage.


I, old man, in my new timidity,
think how, profligate, I wasted time


– those yawning postponements on rainy days,
those paperhat hours of benign frivolity.


Now Time wastes me and there's hardly time
to fuss for more vascular speech.


The aspen tree trembles as I do
and there are feathers in the wind.


Quick quick
speak, old parrot,
do I not feed you with my life?


• From Speak, Old Parrot, published by Hutchinson, RRP £15. To order a copy for £12 with free UK p&p call Guardian book service on 0870 836 0875 or go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:16 pm 
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Extract from Little Gidding
T. S Eliot

V

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always--
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:19 am 
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A BURNT SHIP.

John Donne


Out of a fired ship, which by no way
But drowning could be rescued from the flame,
Some men leap'd forth, and ever as they came
Near the foes' ships, did by their shot decay ;
So all were lost, which in the ship were found,
They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drowned.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 8:42 pm 
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The Unborn



Sometimes I can almost see, around our heads,
Like gnats around a streetlight in summer,
The children we could have,
The glimmer of them.

Sometimes I feel them waiting, dozing
In some antechamber - servants, half-
Listening for the bell.

Sometimes I see them lying like love letters
In the Dead Letter Office

And sometimes, like tonight, by some black
Second sight I can feel just one of them
Standing on the edge of a cliff by the sea
In the dark, stretching its arms out
Desperately to me.


Sharon Olds


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