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Author Topic: Favourite Poems  (Read 10654 times) Average Rating: 0
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Catherine
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« on: August 19, 2009, 09:59:10 PM »

I thought it might be a good idea to share our favourite poems, religious or secular.

Robert Frost: The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 10:05:02 PM by Catherine » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2009, 09:59:34 PM »

Elizabeth Barret Browning

VI

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore--
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.



XIV

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
"I love her for her smile--her look--her way
Of speaking gently,--for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day"--
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,--and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,--
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.


XLIII

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009, 10:03:07 PM »

To His Lady by Giacomo Leopardi

Beloved beauty who inspires
love in me from afar, your face obscured
except when your celestial image
stirs my heart in sleep, or in the fields
where light and nature's laughter shine more lovely—
was it maybe you who blessed
the innocent age called golden,
and do you now, blithe spirit,
fly among men? Or does that miser fate
who hides you from us save you for the future?


No hope of seeing you alive
remains for me now,
except when, naked and alone,
my soul will go down a new street
to its unknown home. Already at the dawn
of my dark, uncertain day
I imagined you a fellow traveler
on this arid ground. But there's no thing
that resembles you on earth. And if someone
had a face like yours, in act and word she'd be,
though something like you, far less beautiful.


In spite of all the suffering
fate decreed for human time,
if there were anyone on earth
who truly loved you as my thought depicts you,
this life for him would be a blessing.
And I see clearly how your love
would lead me still to strive for praise and virtue,
as I used to in my early years.
Though heaven gave no comfort for our troubles,
yet with you mortal life would be
like what in heaven leads to divinity.


In the valleys, where the song
of the weary farmer sounds,
and when I sit and mourn
the illusions of youth fading,
and on the hills where I recall
and grieve for my lost desires
and my life's lost hope, I think of you
and start to shake. If only I, in this
sad age and unhealthy atmosphere,
could keep hold of your noble look; for since the real thing's
missing I must make do with the image.


Whether you are the only one
of the eternal ideas eternal wisdom
refuses to see arrayed in sensible form
to know the pains of mortal life
in transitory spoils,
or if in the supernal spheres another earth
from among unnumbered worlds receives you
and a near star lovelier than the Sun
warms you and you breathe benigner ether,
from here, where years are both ill-starred and brief,
accept this hymn from your unnoticed lover.
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009, 10:03:45 PM »

When the yellowing wheat field ripples,

And the fresh forest rustles before the sound of the Breeze,

And a raspberry-colored plum hides

Under the shade of a delightful green leaf.

When, sprinkled with fragrant dew,

In the glowing evening or in the golden hour of morning

From under a shrub the silvery lily of the valley

Affably nods its head to me.

When a very cold stream plays along the ravine,

And, a thought, submerging in some vague dream or Other,

Babbles to me a mysterious saga

About a peaceful land from where it is rushing.

Then the uneasiness of my soul is subdued,

Then the wrinkles on my brow scatter,

And I perceive happiness on Earth,

And in Heaven I see God.

M. Lermontov (1814 - 1841).
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2009, 10:04:18 PM »

Perichoresis

O elegant and gentle Leader of the dance,
we do not know the meaning of each step
nor how to rightly turn this way or hold this pose.
Each spinning step or angled movement's twist
does sometimes give us vertigo here where we stand;
this mystery of how the rhythm's pulse
and how the music's lilt are tuned to only You
has caught us up, and we are overwhelmed.

O grace-filled, grace-bestowing Leader of the dance,
please teach me how to twirl and how to move;
please teach me how the song pervades each dancer's form,
these dancers who have learned to dance with You
throughout the ages of the song, the holy song
You sang in ages past to Abraham,
to Isaac and to Jacob and his Hebrew seed:
Now sing to me and give me, too, this life.

O Leader of the dance, this perfect partnership
of Leader and of led, of God and man,
this Incarnation's holy dance we see in You,
You now invite us to accompany.
This awesome dance, a truly cosmic synergy,
the interpenetration of us men
with Deity -- with Trinity! -- the universe
beholds and stands amazed and bows its head.

O holy Leader of this cosmic circling dance,
the union of both man and God is here
and imaged in the holy mystery of life
conjoined, a woman and a man conjoined.
He takes Your role as gentle leader, she as Church,
she follows him, and he must die for her;
their dance together joins the dance eternal now,
and in that human dance we see our God.

O Holy Trinity, Your dance eternal now
descends on us and consecrates our own,
the revelation here as Body and as Blood;
herein we taste the God become a man,
and men become as gods as David prophesied.
The Trinitarian rhythm has become
our own, to guide our dance, to grasp our hands and lead
us in the dance of stillness perfectly.

Andrew Stephen Damick
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2009, 10:08:46 PM »

Keats

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kissed
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Imprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty -Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veiled Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine:
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2009, 10:11:36 PM »



Teach me to love Thee, O Lord,
With all my mind, all comprehension,
To entrust my soul into Thy care
And my life with each heartbeat’s ascension.
Teach me to heed and fulfill
Only Thy merciful will,
Teach not to grumble or complain
Of my toilsome and sorrowful lot.
All whom Thou came to redeem
With Thy purest and holiest Blood, –
With a deep and unselfish love
Teach me to love, O my God.

- K.R. (Grand-Duke Konstantin Romanov)
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2009, 10:41:58 PM »

That gentle spirit that departs,
called to the other life before its time,
will join the most blessed region of the sky
when it is welcomed as it is sure to be.

If it passed between Venus, the third light, and Mars,
it would lessen the brightness of the sun,
since noble spirits would gather round her
merely to gaze at her infinite beauty.

If it passed below the fourth, the Sun
all the lesser lights would seem less lovely,
and it alone would have the fame and glory:

it could not exist in Mars' fifth sphere:
but if it flies higher, I believe truly
Jupiter will be conquered and every star.

From Petrarch's The Canzoniere
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2009, 10:52:11 PM »

William Wordsworth's "Matthew"

Nature, for a favourite child,
In thee hath tempered so her clay,
That every hour thy heart runs wild,
Yet never once doth go astray,
 
Read o'er these lines; and then review
This tablet, that thus humbly rears
In such diversity of hue
Its history of two hundred years.
 
—When through this little wreck of fame,
Cipher and syllable! thine eye
Has travelled down to Matthew's name,
Pause with no common sympathy.
 
And; if a sleeping tear should wake,
Then be it neither checked nor stayed:
For Matthew a request I make
Which for himself he had not made.
 
Poor Matthew, all his frolics o'er,
Is silent as a standing pool;
Far from the chimney's merry roar,
And murmur of the village school.
 
The sighs which Matthew heaved were sighs
Of one tired out with fun and madness;
The tears which came to Matthew's eyes
Were tears of light, the dew of gladness.
 
Yet, sometimes, when the secret cup
Of still and serious thought went round,
It seemed as if he drank it up—
He felt with spirit so profound.
 
—Thou soul of God's best earthly mould!
Thou happy Soul! and can it be
That these two words of glittering gold
Are all that must remain of thee?
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2009, 12:07:03 AM »

I've always found poetry to be sort of sappy; just not my cup of tea I guess. But if I had to choose something, I suppose I would take one of David's:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
   He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
           
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
   He restoreth my soul:
           
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
   Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
           
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
   Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
           
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
           
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2009, 07:47:13 PM »

I've always found poetry to be sort of sappy

 laugh A very dear Brother in Christ recently said.. "the theatre does not have a strong draw. I think it is the same with poetry as well.  Since most men's prime worry is making sure to appear masculine, any art form they view as being "feminine", they avoid like the plague." I agree with him...  laugh

A Valediction: forbidding mourning


As virtuous men pass mildly away,
 And whisper to their souls, to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
 The breath goes now, and some say, no:

So let us melt, and make no noise,
 No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move,
'Twere profanation of our joys
 To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th'earth brings harms and fears'
 Men reckon what it did and meant,
But trepidation of the spheres,
 Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers' love
 (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
 Those things which elemented it.

But we by a love, so much refined,
 That our selves know what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
 Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
 Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
 Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
 As stiff twin compasses are two,
Thy soul the fixed foot, makes no show
 To move, but doth, if th'other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
 Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
 And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must
 Like th'other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
 And makes me end, where I begun.


John Donne

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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2009, 07:47:54 PM »

Methought I saw my late espoused Saint
   Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
   Whom Jove's great Son to her glad Husband gave,
   Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint.
Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint,
   Purification in the old Law did save,
   And such, as yet once more I trust to have
   Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
   Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight,
   Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
   But O as to embrace me she enclin'd
   I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.

John Milton
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2009, 07:53:13 PM »

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend:
That I may rise, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, t'another due,
Labour t'admit you, but oh! to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak, or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy:
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, deliver me, for I,
Except you enthral me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, unless you ravish me.

John Donne
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2009, 07:56:51 PM »

A HYMN TO GOD THE FATHER
by John Donne

I.

WILT Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
    Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
    And do run still, though still I do deplore?
        When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
                    For I have more.

II.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
    Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
    A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
        When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
                    For I have more.

III.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
    My last thread, I shall perish on the shore ;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
    Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore ;
        And having done that, Thou hast done ;
                    I fear no more.

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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2009, 10:57:15 PM »

C.S. Lewis...

Love's as warm as tears,

Love is tears:

Pressure within the brain,

Tension at the throat,

Deluge, weeks of rain,

Haystacks afloat,

Featureless seas between

Hedges, where once was green.


Love's as fierce as fire,

Love is fire:

All sorts - infernal heat

Clinkered with greed and pride,

Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,

Laughing, even when denied,

And that empyreal flame

Whence all loves came.


Love's as fresh as spring,

Love is spring:

Bird-song hung in the air,

Cool smells in a wood,

Whispering 'Dare! Dare!'

To sap, to blood,

Telling 'Ease, safety, rest,

Are good: not best.'


Love's as hard as nails,

Love is nails:

Blunt, thick, hammered through

The medial nerves of One

Who, having made us, knew

The thing He had done,

Seeing (with all that is)

Our cross, and His.


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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2009, 01:45:35 PM »

The Charge of the Light Brigade by Tennyson

Half a league, half a league,
 Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.


2.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
 Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.


3.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
 Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
 Rode the six hundred.


4.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
 All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
 Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
 Not the six hundred.


5.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
 Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
 Left of six hundred.


6.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
 All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
 Noble six hundred.
 

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« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2009, 08:22:54 PM »

If

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;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!


Rudyard Kipling
 

 
 
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2009, 08:15:30 AM »

Deep within the soul's dark night
Rejected by all conscious thought
the Seed whom sight full sprung
transcends all knowing
Wrought of a longing and a wonder
struggle fought and struggle won
In the end as in the beginning
temporal halls reveal the Beloved Son.

Many years ago when I was a varsity student, the time of the Vietnam War, I found this poem on a piece of paper on the ground and have never been able to track down the author.  Does anybody know?  Or maybe it was just something written by another student.
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2009, 03:38:20 PM »

I've always found poetry to be sort of sappy

 laugh A very dear Brother in Christ recently said.. "the theatre does not have a strong draw. I think it is the same with poetry as well.  Since most men's prime worry is making sure to appear masculine, any art form they view as being "feminine", they avoid like the plague." I agree with him...  laugh

And  yet, in many cultures around the world through history, to be a poet was counted as a masculine skill that a man of renown should have.  Egil Skallagrimson was both a ferocious warrior and a skilled Norse poet. He was also the first to use end rhyming and with a poem kept Erikr Bloodax from taking his life.  Sir Philip Sidney was a soldier and a poet.  Japanese samurai and daimyo were expected to count writing or reciting poems as part of their lives.  The Illiad and The Odyssey are Greek hexameter poetic works.  It is only recently, I think, that poetry has become regarded as not "manly" by some.  I wonder what could be the root...


Basho -

The silent old pond
a mirror of ancient calm,
a frog-leaps-in splash.

Kipling -

When Earth's Last Picture is Painted

    When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded
And the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
Lie down for an aeon or two
'Till the Master of all good workmen
Shall put us to work anew
And those that were good shall be happy
They'll sit in a golden chair
They'll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet's hair
They'll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
They'll work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us.
And only the Master shall blame.
And no one will work for the money.
No one will work for the fame.
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!

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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2009, 10:15:11 AM »

Seven Stanzas at Easter
by John Updike

Make no mistake: If he rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as his Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of his eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that -- pierced -- died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

and does a song lyric qualify? "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen (also has a haunting melody)

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
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« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2009, 12:44:32 PM »

If, of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left
Sell one and from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul.

              -Muslih-uddin Sadi
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« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2009, 02:12:55 PM »

I don't looke like this but I am a romantic kind of person:

Янка Купала - Курган (English version)
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2009, 04:50:11 PM »

FYI, the Leondard Cohen song on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIMOdVXAPJ0
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« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2009, 05:16:42 PM »

I love this poem, which pretends to be about human love but which is actually about the sorrow we're born with and the love we have from Christ. It's in Middle English (which you say exactly as it sounds). I've translated the words that need it.

The fowls in the frith,                            fowls=birds; frith=forest
The fishes in the flood,                          flood=sea
And I mon waxe wod,                            mon waxe wod=must go mad (ie. with sorrow)
Much sorrow I walk with,
For best of bone and blood.                    best of bone and blood=Christ

I love this poem, it always makes me think of the disciples being called to leave their homes and go with Christ into the world ('the foxes have their holes and the birds of the air have their nests, but the Son of man has not a place to lay His head'). And it makes me think of their desolation when Christ was crucified, and they were sad and terrified - but still loved Him and knew He was the Lord.

Yes ... I'm a medieval geek ... but I do love this poem. It is so simple but so good.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 05:17:07 PM by Liz » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2009, 08:37:38 PM »

Deep within the soul's dark night
Rejected by all conscious thought
the Seed whom sight full sprung
transcends all knowing
Wrought of a longing and a wonder
struggle fought and struggle won
In the end as in the beginning
temporal halls reveal the Beloved Son.

Many years ago when I was a varsity student, the time of the Vietnam War, I found this poem on a piece of paper on the ground and have never been able to track down the author.  Does anybody know?  Or maybe it was just something written by another student.
 

 I have no idea, I am afraid. The quickest solution might be to to ask a friend's tutor. I now have the resources of Oxford at my disposal.  I shall put it in an email.

 

« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 08:38:04 PM by Catherine » Logged
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« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2009, 09:08:04 PM »

A man of low degree was sore oppressed,
Fate held him under iron-handed sway,
And ever, those who saw him thus distressed
Would bid him bend his stubborn will and pray.
But he, strong in himself and obdurate,
Waged, prayerless, on his losing fight with Fate.

Friends gave his proffered hand their coldest clasp,
Or took it not at all; and Poverty,
That bruised his body with relentless grasp,
Grinned, taunting, when he struggled to be free.
But though with helpless hands he beat the air,
His need extreme yet found no voice in prayer.

Then he prevailed; and forthwith snobbish Fate,
Like some whipped cur, came fawning at his feet;
Those who had scorned forgave and called him great—
His friends found out that friendship still was sweet.
But he, once obdurate, now bowed his head
In prayer, and trembling with its import, said:

“Mere human strength may stand ill-fortune’s frown;
So I prevailed, for human strength was mine;
But from the killing pow’r of great renown,
Naught may protect me save a strength divine.
Help me, O Lord, in this my trembling cause;
I scorn men’s curses, but I dread applause!”

--Paul Laurence Dunbar
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« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2009, 09:11:22 PM »

I've always found poetry to be sort of sappy

 laugh A very dear Brother in Christ recently said.. "the theatre does not have a strong draw. I think it is the same with poetry as well.  Since most men's prime worry is making sure to appear masculine, any art form they view as being "feminine", they avoid like the plague." I agree with him...  laugh

And  yet, in many cultures around the world through history, to be a poet was counted as a masculine skill that a man of renown should have.  Egil Skallagrimson was both a ferocious warrior and a skilled Norse poet. He was also the first to use end rhyming and with a poem kept Erikr Bloodax from taking his life.  Sir Philip Sidney was a soldier and a poet.  Japanese samurai and daimyo were expected to count writing or reciting poems as part of their lives.  The Illiad and The Odyssey are Greek hexameter poetic works.  It is only recently, I think, that poetry has become regarded as not "manly" by some.  I wonder what could be the root...


Also Beowulf, of course.  Smiley Did you miss the wonderful Michael Wood programme on BBC 4 on Beowulf......? Smiley and of course the whole of Jewish history is a great example. (It sort of amuses me when atheists refer to the Jews as illiterate, by the way, since, of course, they were nothing of the sort - all Jews had to be literate and numerate.) I think it is an example of a result of the distorted view of sexuality and gender - the roles of the sexes and the changes in society. The men who are still men no longer wish to be associated with the modern idea of "girlie stuff"....aaaaa......does that work?  ........Hmm, I haven't thought this through yet. Until my theory is scuppered, I shall stick with it. I shall put it in an email, again...  It is an interesting point...

Edit:
FYI, the Leondard Cohen song on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIMOdVXAPJ0

I adore this song. Leonard Cohen's autobiography is worth a read and so is his poetry. Nothing beats Jeff Buckley's version, in my opinion; this comes very close, though. . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJTiXoMCppw
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 09:12:50 PM by Catherine » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2009, 09:24:36 PM »

Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799 - 1837)
Prophet

The poet describes a path leading from an initial longing for the spirit all the way to mature acceptance of a mission. The path leads from society to the loneliness and desolation of the desert, through personal transformation, and then back to society:

http://www.artandpedagogy.org/soundings/poems/pushkin_prophet.html


Tormented by spiritual thirst
I dragged myself through a somber desert.
And a six-winged seraph
appeared to me at the crossing of the ways.
He touched my eyes
with fingers light as a dream:
and my prophetic eyes opened like those of a frightened eagle.
He touched my ears
and they were filled with noise and ringing:
and I heard the shuddering of the heavens,
and the flight of the angels in the heights,
and the movement of the beasts of the sea under the waters,
and the sound of the vine growing in the valley.
He bent down to my mouth
and tore out my tongue,
sinful, deceitful, and given to idle talk;
and with his right hand steeped in blood
he inserted the forked tongue of a wise serpent
into my benumbed mouth.
He clove my breast with a sword,
and plucked out my quivering heart,
and thrust a coal of live fire
into my gaping breast.
Like a corpse I lay in the desert.
And the voice of God called out to me:
"Arise, O prophet, see and hear,
be filled with My will,
go forth over land and sea,
and set the hearts of men on fire with your Word."
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« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2009, 10:37:30 PM »

One of the sons of Harun-ur-Rashid went to his father and angrily informed him that the son of an official had used insulting expressions towards him whereon Harun asked his courtiers what requital he deserved. One of them proposed capital punishment, another the amputation of the tongue whilst a third recommended fine and imprisonment. Then Harun said: 'Oh my son, it would be generous to pardon him but, if thou art unable to do so, use likewise insulting expressions concerning his mother; not however to such a degree as to exceed the bounds of vengeance because in that case the wrong will be on thy side.'

He is not reputed a man by the wise
Who contends with a furious elephant
But he is a man in reality
Who when angry speaks not idle words.

An ill-humoured fellow insulted a man
Who patiently bore it saying: 'O hopeful youth,
I am worse than thou speakest of me
For I am more conscious of my faults than thou.'


--From the Gulistan of Sa'di
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 10:41:06 PM by Andrew21091 » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2009, 10:40:29 PM »

I saw A'bd-u-Qader Gaillani in the sanctuary of the Ka'bah with his face on the pebbles and saying: 'O lord, pardon my sins and, if I deserve punishment, cause me to arise blind on the day of resurrection that I may not be ashamed in the sight of the righteous.'

With my face on the earth of helplessness
I say Every morning as soon as I become conscious:
O thou whom I shall never forget
Wilt thou at all remember thy slave?


--From the Gulistan of Sa'di
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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2009, 01:13:34 AM »

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him, thy son.
Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

--The Parable of the Old Man and the Young
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2009, 01:21:22 PM »

John Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV

Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
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« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2009, 12:20:38 AM »

This poem is too long to post all of it here, but here's the beginning of it, and I'll provide a link to the rest of it for anyone interested.

The vision of Christ that thou dost see 
Is my vision’s greatest enemy. 
Thine has a great hook nose like thine; 
Mine has a snub nose like to mine. 
Thine is the Friend of all Mankind;
Mine speaks in parables to the blind. 
Thine loves the same world that mine hates; 
Thy heaven doors are my hell gates. 
Socrates taught what Meletus 
Loath’d as a nation’s bitterest curse,
And Caiaphas was in his own mind 
A benefactor to mankind. 
Both read the Bible day and night, 
But thou read’st black where I read white.

--William Blake, The Everlasting Gospel
« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 12:20:58 AM by Asteriktos » Logged
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« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2009, 11:18:30 AM »

I've always found poetry to be sort of sappy

 laugh A very dear Brother in Christ recently said.. "the theatre does not have a strong draw. I think it is the same with poetry as well.  Since most men's prime worry is making sure to appear masculine, any art form they view as being "feminine", they avoid like the plague." I agree with him...  laugh

And  yet, in many cultures around the world through history, to be a poet was counted as a masculine skill that a man of renown should have.  Egil Skallagrimson was both a ferocious warrior and a skilled Norse poet. He was also the first to use end rhyming and with a poem kept Erikr Bloodax from taking his life.  Sir Philip Sidney was a soldier and a poet.  Japanese samurai and daimyo were expected to count writing or reciting poems as part of their lives.  The Illiad and The Odyssey are Greek hexameter poetic works.  It is only recently, I think, that poetry has become regarded as not "manly" by some.  I wonder what could be the root...


Also Beowulf, of course.  Smiley Did you miss the wonderful Michael Wood programme on BBC 4 on Beowulf......? Smiley and of course the whole of Jewish history is a great example. (It sort of amuses me when atheists refer to the Jews as illiterate, by the way, since, of course, they were nothing of the sort - all Jews had to be literate and numerate.) I think it is an example of a result of the distorted view of sexuality and gender - the roles of the sexes and the changes in society. The men who are still men no longer wish to be associated with the modern idea of "girlie stuff"....aaaaa......does that work?  ........Hmm, I haven't thought this through yet. Until my theory is scuppered, I shall stick with it. I shall put it in an email, again...  It is an interesting point...


I am pondering a theory as to whether the change in the idea that men could/should know and create poetry could be related to the losses of WWI.  As I recall, 1 in 7  of the men who were of the right age group for military service were killed or wounded.  That is a huge loss and it caused many changes in British society from what I have read.  Another aspect might be some of the umm less then stellar poetry that came out of the later 19th century some of which could be rather 'twee'.

I'm in the US so I dodn't get the BBC channels.  Did you enjoy the program on "Beowulf"?  I'm writing a paper right now that is partly about him.

Ebor
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« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2009, 02:18:27 PM »


I am pondering a theory as to whether the change in the idea that men could/should know and create poetry could be related to the losses of WWI.  As I recall, 1 in 7  of the men who were of the right age group for military service were killed or wounded.  That is a huge loss and it caused many changes in British society from what I have read.  Another aspect might be some of the umm less then stellar poetry that came out of the later 19th century some of which could be rather 'twee'.

I'm in the US so I dodn't get the BBC channels.  Did you enjoy the program on "Beowulf"?  I'm writing a paper right now that is partly about him.

Ebor

That is such an interesting theory - I'd never heard it before, but the more I think of it, the more it makes sense. So many of those men fighting wrote poetry, didn't they? And then huge numbers of them died or were very damaged by their experiences. Anecdotally, you heard of people in my parents/grandparents generation being brought up by very distant, emotionally repressive fathers who'd been in the war (I'm not trying to stereotype, only I think that treatment for shock and trauma was very little understood). So ... yes, that makes sense.

Btw, I love Beowulf too ;-)
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« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2009, 05:00:47 PM »

I do not love thee, Dr Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not love thee, Dr Fell.
--Translated by Tom Brown, a miscreant at King's College threatened with expulsion by the Dean, Dr. John Fell unless he translated a poem by the Roman satirist, Martial, on the spot to his satisfaction.  The original Latin:

Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare;
Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te.


The joke also comes as the name of the original lampooned character, Sabidius, is replaced with Fell's.

My students get a kick out of it.  Martial is a favorite of mine.  Here's another gem:

Nuper erat medicus, nunc est uispillo Diaulus:
     quod uispillo facit, fecerat et medicus.


Translated (not with the subtle eloquence of Mr. Brown)

Diaulus recently was a doctor, and now is an undertaker:
    What he does as an undertaker, he had done even as a doctor.
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« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2009, 11:56:42 AM »


I am pondering a theory as to whether the change in the idea that men could/should know and create poetry could be related to the losses of WWI.  As I recall, 1 in 7  of the men who were of the right age group for military service were killed or wounded.  That is a huge loss and it caused many changes in British society from what I have read.  Another aspect might be some of the umm less then stellar poetry that came out of the later 19th century some of which could be rather 'twee'.

I'm in the US so I dodn't get the BBC channels.  Did you enjoy the program on "Beowulf"?  I'm writing a paper right now that is partly about him.

Ebor



That is such an interesting theory - I'd never heard it before, but the more I think of it, the more it makes sense. So many of those men fighting wrote poetry, didn't they? And then huge numbers of them died or were very damaged by their experiences. Anecdotally, you heard of people in my parents/grandparents generation being brought up by very distant, emotionally repressive fathers who'd been in the war (I'm not trying to stereotype, only I think that treatment for shock and trauma was very little understood). So ... yes, that makes sense.

Btw, I love Beowulf too ;-)

It's just an idea that I've been thinking over for a while. There were many poets in the Great War.  I have seen collections that were published during the war years of poems writtten by men who were in the trenches.  Some of them were put up on line.  And many of the poets died because of wounds or infection or disease such as Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke and Edward Thomas.  Others suffered other trauma and the horrors of the war and the trenches, from what I've read, scarred many men so that they were emotionally damaged. THen there were so many with who were physically broken due to the gas or other injuries. 

I'm glad that you think it's an interesting idea. Smiley

Do you have a particular translation of "Beowulf" that you like?  I have a couple around the house and I'm using Seamus Heaney's for my paper.

Ebor
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« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2009, 01:52:34 PM »

The Dark Night of the Soul

1. One dark night,
fired with love's urgent longings
- ah, the sheer grace! -
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

2. In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
- ah, the sheer grace! -
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.


3. On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.


4. This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
- him I knew so well -
there in a place where no one appeared.


5. O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.


6. Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.


7. When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.


8. I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

-St. John of the Cross
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« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2009, 08:48:04 PM »


I am pondering a theory as to whether the change in the idea that men could/should know and create poetry could be related to the losses of WWI.  As I recall, 1 in 7  of the men who were of the right age group for military service were killed or wounded.  That is a huge loss and it caused many changes in British society from what I have read.  Another aspect might be some of the umm less then stellar poetry that came out of the later 19th century some of which could be rather 'twee'.

I'm in the US so I dodn't get the BBC channels.  Did you enjoy the program on "Beowulf"?  I'm writing a paper right now that is partly about him.

Ebor



That is such an interesting theory - I'd never heard it before, but the more I think of it, the more it makes sense. So many of those men fighting wrote poetry, didn't they? And then huge numbers of them died or were very damaged by their experiences. Anecdotally, you heard of people in my parents/grandparents generation being brought up by very distant, emotionally repressive fathers who'd been in the war (I'm not trying to stereotype, only I think that treatment for shock and trauma was very little understood). So ... yes, that makes sense.

Btw, I love Beowulf too ;-)

It's just an idea that I've been thinking over for a while. There were many poets in the Great War.  I have seen collections that were published during the war years of poems writtten by men who were in the trenches.  Some of them were put up on line.  And many of the poets died because of wounds or infection or disease such as Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke and Edward Thomas.  Others suffered other trauma and the horrors of the war and the trenches, from what I've read, scarred many men so that they were emotionally damaged. THen there were so many with who were physically broken due to the gas or other injuries. 

I'm glad that you think it's an interesting idea. Smiley

Do you have a particular translation of "Beowulf" that you like?  I have a couple around the house and I'm using Seamus Heaney's for my paper.

Ebor

I like Heaney's translation too. There's a version I have on cassette tape of him reading it, which my parents bought me when I was much younger; he reads it very well. I was also lucky enough to study it with some very talented people, including one guy who read some really clever translations in class that he'd made. What's your paper title? And are you reading other OE lit?

I love The Wanderer and The Ruin.
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« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2009, 09:33:47 PM »

I've always found poetry to be sort of sappy

 laugh A very dear Brother in Christ recently said.. "the theatre does not have a strong draw. I think it is the same with poetry as well.  Since most men's prime worry is making sure to appear masculine, any art form they view as being "feminine", they avoid like the plague." I agree with him...  laugh

And  yet, in many cultures around the world through history, to be a poet was counted as a masculine skill that a man of renown should have.  Egil Skallagrimson was both a ferocious warrior and a skilled Norse poet. He was also the first to use end rhyming and with a poem kept Erikr Bloodax from taking his life.  Sir Philip Sidney was a soldier and a poet.  Japanese samurai and daimyo were expected to count writing or reciting poems as part of their lives.  The Illiad and The Odyssey are Greek hexameter poetic works.  It is only recently, I think, that poetry has become regarded as not "manly" by some.  I wonder what could be the root...


Also Beowulf, of course.  Smiley Did you miss the wonderful Michael Wood programme on BBC 4 on Beowulf......? Smiley and of course the whole of Jewish history is a great example. (It sort of amuses me when atheists refer to the Jews as illiterate, by the way, since, of course, they were nothing of the sort - all Jews had to be literate and numerate.) I think it is an example of a result of the distorted view of sexuality and gender - the roles of the sexes and the changes in society. The men who are still men no longer wish to be associated with the modern idea of "girlie stuff"....aaaaa......does that work?  ........Hmm, I haven't thought this through yet. Until my theory is scuppered, I shall stick with it. I shall put it in an email, again...  It is an interesting point...


I am pondering a theory as to whether the change in the idea that men could/should know and create poetry could be related to the losses of WWI.  As I recall, 1 in 7  of the men who were of the right age group for military service were killed or wounded.  That is a huge loss and it caused many changes in British society from what I have read.  Another aspect might be some of the umm less then stellar poetry that came out of the later 19th century some of which could be rather 'twee'.

The odd thing is that poetry is still very much a masculine past-time in Wales, although there certainly is quite a gap between the "old guard" and the "young turks."  I can't recall where, but I recently read an article about the Welsh poets.  The author discussed how the older generation (say, those who fought in WW2 and older) were afraid that their art would die out because their children did not, for the most part, learn the tradition.  They are, however, pleasantly surprised that their grandchildren have taken up the standard, so to speak, and how the younger folks are giving the older ones a run for their money. 

I never really had an interest in poetry until a few years ago even though I was, through my songwriting, a poet of sorts (albeit a BAD one).  I've recently turned to taking great care in crafting the lyrics for songs I do write them for (I normally just write music) largely because I've taken to reading poetry.  I recently rediscovered Beowulf (through Heaney's splendid translation) and have fallen in love with the alliterative metre all over again and even employed it somewhat in a new song (tongue-in-cheekly entitled 'Ragnarocknrolla'). 

At present, I've really enjoyed Tolkien's translation of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," although "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth" is my favorite poetic work by him.

I'm very partial to Wilfred Owens "Anthem for Doomed Youth":

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, —
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
  Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
      The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
  Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
  And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

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« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2009, 09:47:14 PM »

Once I looked down at my bootlaces
Who gave me my bootlaces?
The bootmaker? Bah!
Who gave the bootmaker himself?
What did I ever do that I should be given bootlaces?

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« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2009, 10:17:54 PM »

I've always found poetry to be sort of sappy

 laugh A very dear Brother in Christ recently said.. "the theatre does not have a strong draw. I think it is the same with poetry as well.  Since most men's prime worry is making sure to appear masculine, any art form they view as being "feminine", they avoid like the plague." I agree with him...  laugh

And  yet, in many cultures around the world through history, to be a poet was counted as a masculine skill that a man of renown should have.  Egil Skallagrimson was both a ferocious warrior and a skilled Norse poet. He was also the first to use end rhyming and with a poem kept Erikr Bloodax from taking his life.  Sir Philip Sidney was a soldier and a poet.  Japanese samurai and daimyo were expected to count writing or reciting poems as part of their lives.  The Illiad and The Odyssey are Greek hexameter poetic works.  It is only recently, I think, that poetry has become regarded as not "manly" by some.  I wonder what could be the root...


Also Beowulf, of course.  Smiley Did you miss the wonderful Michael Wood programme on BBC 4 on Beowulf......? Smiley and of course the whole of Jewish history is a great example. (It sort of amuses me when atheists refer to the Jews as illiterate, by the way, since, of course, they were nothing of the sort - all Jews had to be literate and numerate.) I think it is an example of a result of the distorted view of sexuality and gender - the roles of the sexes and the changes in society. The men who are still men no longer wish to be associated with the modern idea of "girlie stuff"....aaaaa......does that work?  ........Hmm, I haven't thought this through yet. Until my theory is scuppered, I shall stick with it. I shall put it in an email, again...  It is an interesting point...


I am pondering a theory as to whether the change in the idea that men could/should know and create poetry could be related to the losses of WWI.  As I recall, 1 in 7  of the men who were of the right age group for military service were killed or wounded.  That is a huge loss and it caused many changes in British society from what I have read.  Another aspect might be some of the umm less then stellar poetry that came out of the later 19th century some of which could be rather 'twee'.

The odd thing is that poetry is still very much a masculine past-time in Wales, although there certainly is quite a gap between the "old guard" and the "young turks."  I can't recall where, but I recently read an article about the Welsh poets.  The author discussed how the older generation (say, those who fought in WW2 and older) were afraid that their art would die out because their children did not, for the most part, learn the tradition.  They are, however, pleasantly surprised that their grandchildren have taken up the standard, so to speak, and how the younger folks are giving the older ones a run for their money. 

I never really had an interest in poetry until a few years ago even though I was, through my songwriting, a poet of sorts (albeit a BAD one).  I've recently turned to taking great care in crafting the lyrics for songs I do write them for (I normally just write music) largely because I've taken to reading poetry.  I recently rediscovered Beowulf (through Heaney's splendid translation) and have fallen in love with the alliterative metre all over again and even employed it somewhat in a new song (tongue-in-cheekly entitled 'Ragnarocknrolla'). 

At present, I've really enjoyed Tolkien's translation of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," although "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth" is my favorite poetic work by him.

I'm very partial to Wilfred Owens "Anthem for Doomed Youth":

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, —
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
  Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
      The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
  Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
  And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.



Yes, it's interesting about Wales isn't it? Especially when you think of David Jones surviving the war and then becoming a very brilliant but very edgy poet. And the Anthem never fails to make me pause.

I could do with hearing the Ragnarocknrolla!
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« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2009, 12:10:48 AM »

Having grown up in the former USSR, I neither know English-language poetry nor like it all that much, but I like simple, strong, crisp, deep, and (if you think about it) rather mysterious lines of Robert Frost:

*****************************************

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

*************************

Also this poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson, even though my deeply postmodernist daughter does not like it and calls it "quaint" (which is a death warrant in her mind), called "Her Eyes":

*********************************

Up from the street and the crowds that went,
Morning and midnight, to and fro,
Still was the room where his days he spent,
And the stars were bleak, and the nights were slow.

Year after year, with his dream shut fast,
He suffered and strove till his eyes were dim,
For the love that his brushes had earned at last, --
And the whole world rang with the praise of him.

But he cloaked his triumph, and searched, instead,
Till his cheeks were sere and his hairs were gray.
"There are women enough, God knows," he said. . . .
"There are stars enough -- when the sun's away."

Then he went back to the same still room
That had held his dream in the long ago,
When he buried his days in a nameless tomb,
And the stars were bleak, and the nights were slow.

And a passionate humor seized him there --
Seized him and held him until there grew
Like life on his canvas, glowing and fair,
A perilous face -- and an angel's, too.

Angel and maiden, and all in one, --
All but the eyes. -- They were there, but yet
They seemed somehow like a soul half done.
What was the matter? Did God forget? . . .

But he wrought them at last with a skill so sure
That her eyes were the eyes of a deathless woman, --
With a gleam of heaven to make them pure,
And a glimmer of hell to make them human.

God never forgets. -- And he worships her
There in that same still room of his,
For his wife, and his constant arbiter
Of the world that was and the world that is.

And he wonders yet what her love could be
To punish him after that strife so grim;
But the longer he lives with her eyes to see,
The plainer it all comes back to him.
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« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2009, 11:45:26 AM »

Quote
I like Heaney's translation too. There's a version I have on cassette tape of him reading it, which my parents bought me when I was much younger; he reads it very well. I was also lucky enough to study it with some very talented people, including one guy who read some really clever translations in class that he'd made. What's your paper title? And are you reading other OE lit?

I love The Wanderer and The Ruin. 

I didn't know that Heaney had made such a recording.  I wonder if it's available here; I'll have to look for it at the library.  Oh yes, I have read OE and Norse literature and history like the Anglo Saxon Chronicles It all started with a roommate long ago who are a grad student of English specializing in those topics.  There are some places here on OC.net where I'm rather geek on the subject.  Smiley  I like "The Seafarer" and "The Wanderer", too.  I enjoy much of the A-S and Norse work for the skill with word shaping and the images.

My paper's title is "Hero in Silk, Hero in Steel" It is a comparison of incidents that fit the idea of the Hero (as in "the Hero's Journey" in literature) as depicted in Beowulf and The Tale of Genji.  Both works were written down roughly around the year 1000 A.D., two classics of literature from very different cultures that existed at the same time.  It may sound totally off the wall, but within the cultural context there I hope that I showed that there are similarities.  (Plus it fits with my interest in both Anglo-Saxons and Japan Wink  )   And there are, I think some things that both cultures had in common.  (I'd better post a poem, too, just to keep this on track Wink )

One that I memorized when I was a kid. Just one verse, since it's long:

The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding--
Riding--riding--
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

"The Highwayman" By Noyes

 
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-highwayman/



« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 11:48:58 AM by Ebor » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2009, 12:02:13 PM »

Once I looked down at my bootlaces
Who gave me my bootlaces?
The bootmaker? Bah!
Who gave the bootmaker himself?
What did I ever do that I should be given bootlaces?

--G.K. Chesterton
Chesterton is awesome.
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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