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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:51 pm 
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Re Sitwell, have I posted this link to her Clowns' Houses before?
It seems suitable for the dark imaginations's experience of Christmas Eve.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 12:32 am 
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Yes, you did, Des, but it's well worth a second look. It was this poem which frst made me aware of Sitwell!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:00 pm 
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Having moved house over the Christmas period, I've refound some books I'd forgotten I'd had as well as receiving a few as gifts. This is from one of the first category:

Quote:
The Throstle
by Tennyson

'Summer is coming, summer is coming,
I know it, I know it,
Light again, leaf again, life again, love again.'
Yes, my wild little Poet.

Song the new year in under the blue.
Last year you sang it as gladly.
'New, new, new, new'! Is it so new
That you should carol so madly?

'Love again, song again, nest again, young again,'
Never a phrophet so crazy!
And hardly a daisy as yet, little friend,
See, there is hardly a daisy.

'Here again, here, here, here, happy year'!
O warble unchidden, unbidden!
Summer is coming, is coming, my dear,
And all the winters are hidden.


The link being that I live in hope, having a dead boiler and a bad January having been forecast. We had snow on Wednesday night...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:14 pm 
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I'd never have guessed that was tennyson - its strangely modern sounding somehow apart from 'chidden'. Lovely though - za real sense of excitement!

Good luck with the boiler!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:52 pm 
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Journeymouse wrote:
<snip>
I know that I promised no more lyrics, but how about these from a Rhodes Scholar?

Here Comes That Rainbow Again
Kris Kristofferson
<snip>

I have just been informed that this song is essentially a "transcription" of an episode in The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck (sp?), for those not in the know. I certainly wasn't, but I tend to have a fear of great literature so am unlikely to read the "original", although I might watch a movie of it. Do you think it could count as a real phobia?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:07 am 
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Some phobias are more understandable than others, Jo - Grapes of Wrath in particular!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:58 pm 
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Another little known gem:

Meeting Point

Louis MacNeice




Time was away and somewhere else,
There were two glasses and two chairs
And two people with the one pulse
(Somebody stopped the moving stairs)
Time was away and somewhere else.

And they were neither up nor down;
The stream's music did not stop
Flowing through heather, limpid brown,
Although they sat in a coffee shop
And they were neither up nor down.

The bell was silent in the air
Holding its inverted poise -
Between the clang and clang a flower,
A brazen calyx of no noise:
The bell was silent in the air.

The camels crossed the miles of sand
That stretched around the cups and plates;
The desert was their own, they planned
To portion out the stars and dates:
The camels crossed the miles of sand.

Time was away and somewhere else.
The waiter did not come, the clock
Forgot them and the radio waltz
Came out like water from a rock:
Time was away and somewhere else.

Her fingers flicked away the ash
That bloomed again in tropic trees:
Not caring if the markets crash
When they had forests such as these,
Her fingers flicked away the ash.

God or whatever means the Good
Be praised that time can stop like this,
That what the heart has understood
Can verify in the body's peace
God or whatever means the Good.

Time was away and she was here
And life no longer what it was,
The bell was silent in the air
And all the room one glow because
Time was away and she was here.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:34 pm 
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Here is a (lesser known?) poem by SYLVIA PLATH: written just before her death in 1963:

The Munich Mannequins

Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.
Cold as snow breath, it tamps the womb

Where the yew trees blow like hydras,
The tree of life and the tree of life

Unloosing their moons, month after month, to no purpose.
The blood flood is the flood of love,

The absolute sacrifice.
It means: no more idols but me,

Me and you.
So, in their sulfur loveliness, in their smiles

These mannequins lean tonight
In Munich, morgue between Paris and Rome,

Naked and bald in their furs,
Orange lollies on silver sticks,

Intolerable, without mind.
The snow drops in pieces of darkness,

Nobody's about. In the hotels
Hands will be opening doors and setting

Down shoes for a polish of carbon
Into which broad toes will go tomorrow.

O the domesticity of these windows,
The baby lace, the green-leaved confectionery,

The thick Germans slumbering in their bottomless Stolz.
And the black phones on hooks

Glittering
Glittering and digesting

Voicelessness. The snow has no voice.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:37 pm 
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Had to take some time to think about that one as I haven't seen it before. It's a very powerful expression of her view of women's role - mannequins, models, only perfect when not themselves nd mindless and voiceless.
Good one, Des.

It reminded me of one of my faves of hers, also loaded wiyh Plathian ideas of perfection:

Edge


The woman is perfected
Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity

Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty
She has folded

Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.

Sylvia Plath


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:46 pm 
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All ready for Burns Night, are we?
Kilt pleats all pressed, haggis boiling away, whisky in the jar, and a gush of poetry to rush off the tongue:

THE MAN'S THE MAN FOR ALL THAT
or IS THERE FOR HONEST POVERTY
(Robert Burns)

Is there for honest poverty
That hangs his head, an' a' that
The coward slave, we pass him by
We dare be poor for a' that
For a' that, an' a' that
Our toil's obscure and a' that
The rank is but the guinea's stamp
The man's the gowd for a' that

What though on hamely fare we dine
Wear hoddin grey, an' a' that
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine
A man's a man, for a' that
For a' that, an' a' that
Their tinsel show an' a' that
The honest man, though e'er sae poor
Is king o' men for a' that

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord
Wha struts an' stares an' a' that?
Tho' hundreds worship at his word
He's but a coof for a' that
For a' that, an' a' that
His ribband, star and a' that
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that

A prince can mak' a belted knight
A marquise, duke, an' a' that
But an honest man's aboon his might
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that
For a' that an' a' that
Their dignities an' a' that
The pith o' sense an' pride o' worth
Are higher rank that a' that

Then let us pray that come it may
(as come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth
Shall bear the gree an' a' that
For a' that an' a' that
It's coming yet for a' that
That man to man, the world o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that

glossary:
aboon:above
bear the gree: Take first place, be foremost
birkie: person
coof: fool, idle/worthless fellow
fa': fault
gowd: gold
hamely: homely, humble
hoddin grey: coarse wool
mauna: must not


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:50 pm 
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And Burns's philosophy on the lassies-o;

Green Grow the Rashes

Chor.--Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent amang the lasses, O.

THERE'S nought but care on ev'ry han',
In ev'ry hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
And 'twere na for the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

The war'ly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O
Green grow, &c.

But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my dearie, O;
An' war'ly cares, an' war'ly men,
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!
Green grow, &c.

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O:
The wisest man the warl e'er saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

Robert Burns


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:21 pm 
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================

A.S.Byatt's description of an experience of the poem below posted on the 'poetic prose' thread here:
http://ttapress.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4673#4673




Ode on a Grecian Urn
John Keats

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

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

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

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

O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:06 pm 
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Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time

One of my favourite lines, Des.

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'


And one of my least favourites!
Both in the same poem!

And here's the one referemced in the Byatt extract - 'perilous seas'. I think this is my favourite Keats overall:

Ode To A Nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness, -
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain -
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music: - Do I wake or sleep?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:38 pm 
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Just received my copy of The 2nd Annual SFPA Poetry Contest 2007 booklet of sonnets in which I've had a SF sonnet of mine published. It is rated as one of the 26 top poems out of a total of 262 which were entered. Needless to say I am extremely proud and happy to have made the cut :)

Here it is:

Orion's Lost

Are we to be known as Orion's Lost?
For upon his belt our starships but dream
Relics on whose shells our names be embossed
Scant reminder of Earth's last dying scream
Distant stars we sought, the last trace of Man
As our globe we'd squandered with sparse regard
For we would conquer worlds! that was our plan
But we have barely left our own back yard
Our foolish grasp exceeds beyond our reach
And here we rest as if to gather breath
Whilst our engines slumber and we impeach
The fickle fates that sent us to our death

The galaxies heave a relieving sigh
With a thousand year blink wish Man goodbye

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:50 pm 
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Congratulations, Bob!


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