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Author Topic: Favourite Poems  (Read 12173 times) Average Rating: 0
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Liz
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« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2009, 02:23:48 PM »

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/





Your paper sounds like great fun! I love it when people can trace a similarity between apparently unrelated cultures, or when you get to think about how different cultures address the same ideas. I'd love to know how the paper goes. Nice poem too of course  Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: October 28, 2009, 05:29:04 PM »

Thou didst create the night, but I made the lamp;
Thou didst create clay, but I made the cup;
Thou didst create the deserts, mountains and forests,
I produced the orchards, gardens and groves;
It is I who made the glass out of stone,
And it is I who turned a poison into an antidote.

--Muhammad Iqbal
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Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #47 on: October 28, 2009, 06:48:49 PM »

Said an monkey as he swung by his tail,

To his offspring both female and male,

  "From your offspring, my dears,

  In a couple of years,

May evolve a professor at Yale."
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« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2009, 03:05:06 AM »

Not a poem, but I'll post it anyway, just cause I like it...  Smiley

War is peace, sure man
A retreat for the damned
A playground for the demented
A haven for those who walk this world
Bereft of heart and soul
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« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2009, 10:57:37 AM »

I came across an interesting bit of information the other day, regarding the effect of WWI on poetry/poets: According to the Scottish National War Memorial that country had nearly 150,000 casualties.  One source said that this was about 1/3 of the men suitable for military service. So that along with the overall losses of 1 out of 7 men killed or wounded in Great Britain could, I think, be a clue to how things changed so much regarding the views on poetry.  As I write this it came to me that Kipling was still writing after WWI and his poetry changed too from the Great War. 

I'll keep this on topic by adding the first two verses of one of Kipling's lighter works.  From "Poor Honest Men" aka smugglers:

Your jar of Virginny
Will cost you a guinea,
Which you reckon too much by five shillings or ten;
But light your churchwarden
And judge it according,
When I've told you the troubles of poor honest men.

From the Capes of the Delaware,
As you are well aware,
We sail which tobacco for England-but then,
Our own British cruisers,
They watch us come through, sirs,
And they press half a score of us poor honest men!

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« Reply #50 on: November 22, 2009, 12:03:03 AM »

From whence is pain derived, but a joy gone wrong?
A broken heart is not the result of love, but of love lost
And when you look into someone's eyes,
You do not see the depths of their soul,
All you see is that which their deceit is willing to reveal

People are lecherous in their deceptions
They embrace that which makes life easier
And that which verifies their beliefs, firmly held
Thus their minds are a cesspool of circularity
And they protects themsleves from the light of truth
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« Reply #51 on: April 11, 2011, 09:20:12 AM »

A soul, of lamentations worthy, sorrows and is sighing,
and with a loud and fervent voice, the name of God is crying,
and saying, my God save me now, my God, have mercy on me,
O God, You've seen my darkness now, so shed Your light upon me,
my God, don't turn away from me, but quickly hear my pleading,
enlighten my soul's eyes, O God, with spiritual leading;
because they have been blinded from the sins within my depths.
O wretched self, I cannot see; my God, I lose my steps.
Miserable me, I cannot see, my God, where I am going,
or where I stand, or that I am a stranger, passed my knowing.
Many clouds and mists my soul in darkness shroud and cover,
and without measure I embitter You, my sweetest Savior.
O wretch, within I feel upheaval, mourning pierced my side,
for Your All-Holy Spirit, Lord, to me must be denied;
my soul must weep eternally her poverty of grace,
and without ceasing to lament in tears that woeful place.
I must avenge myself for all the pain sin makes me suffer,
and with the rivers of my tears, my deep repentance offer;
the tender earth to which I will return, with weeping drench,
to cleanse and flood away the traces of my sins' foul stench.
I am no longer worthy, Lord, to hope in Your compassion,
I'm worthy only of hell-fire, and suffering damnation.
But you, my refuge is in You, my God and my Salvation...

http://www.serfes.org/poetry/gerondissaXeni.htm
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« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2011, 09:39:07 AM »

Ah, sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done-
Where the youth pined away with desire
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow
Arise from their graves and aspire
Where my sunflower wishes to go.

-- William Blake
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« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2011, 10:36:34 AM »

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes -A Dream Deferred
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« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2012, 11:04:54 PM »

By the Stream
Paul Laurence Dunbar

By the stream I dream in calm delight, and watch as in a glass,
How the clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and white-robed maidens pass,
And the water into ripples breaks and sparkles as it spreads,
Like a host of armored knights with silver helmets on their heads.
And I deem the stream an emblem fit of human life may go,
For I find a mind may sparkle much and yet but shallows show,
And a soul may glow with myriad lights and wondrous mysteries,
When it only lies a dormant thing and mirrors what it sees.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 11:05:05 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #55 on: July 06, 2012, 03:56:29 PM »

Memory
Jones Very

Soon the waves so lightly bounding
All forget the tempest blast;
Soon the pines so sadly sounding
Cease to mourn the storm that's past.

Soon is hushed the voice of gladness
Heard within the green wood's breast;
Yet come back no notes of sadness,
No remembrance breaks its rest.

But the heart,--how fond t'will treasure
Every note of grief and joy!
Oft come back the notes of pleasure,
Grief's sad echoes oft annoy.

There still dwell the looks that vanish
Swift as brightness of a dream;
Time in vain earth's smiles may banish,
There undying still they beam.
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« Reply #56 on: July 06, 2012, 05:29:34 PM »

This is sort of a poem (it's an epic); it's long, so I'll just give a part of it.

Beowulf (Prologue)

Hƿæt! Ƿe ᵹardena in ᵹear daᵹum,
þeodcyninᵹa þrym ᵹefrunon,
hu ða æþelinᵹas ellen fremedon!
Oft Scyld Scefinᵹ sceaþena þreatum,
moneᵹum mæᵹþum meodosetla ofteah,
eᵹsode eorlas, syððanærest ƿearð
feasceaft funden; he þæs frofre ᵹebad,
ƿeox under ƿolcnum ƿeorðmyndum þah,
oð þæt him æᵹhƿylc ymbsittendra
ofer hronrade hyran scolde,
ᵹomban ᵹyldan; þæt ƿæs ᵹod cyninᵹ!
Ðæm eafera ƿæs æfter cenned
ᵹeonᵹ in ᵹeardum, þone ᵹod sende
folce to frofre; fyrenðearfe onᵹeat,
þe hie ær druᵹon aldorlease
lanᵹe hƿile; him þæs Liffrea,
ƿuldres ƿealdend ƿoroldare forᵹeaf,
Beoƿulf ƿæs breme blæd ƿide spranᵹ
Scyldes eafera Scedelandum in.
Sƿa sceal ᵹeonᵹ ᵹuma ᵹode ᵹeƿyrcean,
fromum feohᵹiftumon fæder bearme,
Þa ᵹyt hie him asetton seᵹen ᵹyldenne
heah ofer heafod, leton holm beran,
ᵹeafon on ᵹarsecᵹ; him ƿæs ᵹeomor sefa,
murnende mod. Men ne cunnon
secᵹan to soðe, selerædende,
hæleð under heofenum, hƿa þæm hlæste onfenᵹ.

Edit: Sorry that it's not in modern English. Cheesy
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 05:31:29 PM by christian7777 » Logged
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #57 on: July 07, 2012, 04:34:04 AM »

A Dream of Summer
John Greenleaf Whittier

Bland as the morning breath of June
The southwest breezes play;
And, through its haze, the winter noon
Seems warm as summer's day.
The snow-plumed Angel of the North
Has dropped his icy spear;
Again the mossy earth looks forth,
Again the streams gush clear.

The fox his hillside cell forsakes,
The muskrat leaves his nook,
The bluebird in the meadow brakes
Is singing with the brook.
"Bear up, O Mother Nature!" cry
Bird, breeze, and streamlet free;
"Our winter voices prophesy
Of summer days to thee!"

So, in those winters of the soul,
By bitter blasts and drear
O'erswept from Memory's frozen pole,
Will sunny days appear.
Reviving Hope and Faith, they show
The soul its living powers,
And how beneath the winter's snow
Lie germs of summer flowers!

The Night is mother of the Day,
The Winter of the Spring,
And ever upon old Decay
The greenest mosses cling.
Behind the cloud the starlight lurks,
Through showers the sunbeams fall;
For God, who loveth all His works,
Has left His hope with all!
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« Reply #58 on: July 07, 2012, 09:18:28 AM »

This poem, as one of my children was required to memorize it in school, became a valuable teaching tool about making the right choices, even if they are not popular.

The Road Not Taken
-Robert Frost

EDIT:  I see this has already been posted.   Grin
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 09:20:19 AM by Kerdy » Logged
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« Reply #59 on: July 07, 2012, 03:15:33 PM »

With Wavering Feet
Vladimir Solovyov

With wavering feet I walked where dawn-lit mists were lying,
To find the shores of wonder and of mystery.
Dawn struggled with the final stars, frail dreams were flying,
While unto unknown gods my morning lips were crying
The prayers that my dream-imprisoned soul had whispered me.

The noon is cold and candid, the road winds on severely,
And through an unknown land once more my journey lies.
The mist has lifted now, and the stark eye sees clearly
How hard the mountain-road that rises up sheerly,
How distant looms the dream the prescient heart descries!

Yet onward with unfaltering feet I shall be going
Toward midnight onward toward the shore of my desires,
Where on a mountain-height, new stars its glory showing,
My promised temple waits, with plinth and pillar glowing,
Beaten about with flame of white, triumphal fires.
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« Reply #60 on: July 08, 2012, 10:46:15 AM »

Joy
Robinson Jeffers

Though joy is better than sorrow joy is not great;
Peace is great, strength is great.
Not for joy the stars burn, not for joy the vulture
Spreads her gray sails on the air
Over the mountain; not for joy the worn mountain
Stands, while years like water
Trench his long sides. 'I am neither mountain nor bird
Nor star; and I seek joy.'
The weakness of your breed: yet at length quietness
Will cover those wistful eyes.
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« Reply #61 on: July 08, 2012, 12:46:46 PM »

We are seven
By William Wordsworth

—A simple child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?
 
I met a little cottage girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.
 
She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
—Her beauty made me glad.
 
"Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she said,
And wondering looked at me.
 
"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, "Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.
 
"Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And in the churchyard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother."
 
"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! — I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be."
 
Then did the little maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the churchyard lie,
Beneath the churchyard tree."
 
"You run about, my little maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then ye are only five."
 
"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little maid replied,
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.
 
"My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.
 
"And often after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.
 
"The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.
 
"So in the churchyard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.
 
"And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."
 
"How many are you, then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?"
Quick was the little maid's reply,
"O master! we are seven."
 
"But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!"
'T was throwing words away; for still
The little maid would have her will,
And say, "Nay, we are seven!"
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« Reply #62 on: July 08, 2012, 12:48:02 PM »

The Container of the Uncontainable
Good Friday
George Seferis

Bells like coins falling sound today all over the city
between each peal a new space opens
like a drop of water on the earth: the moment has come,
raise me up
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« Reply #63 on: July 09, 2012, 04:48:30 AM »

Grand Is the Seen
Walt Whitman

Grand is the seen, the light, to me--grand are the sky and stars,
Grand is the earth, and grand are lasting time and space,
And grand their laws, so multiform, puzzling, evolutionary;
But grander far the unseen soul of me, comprehending, endowing all those,
Lighting the light, the sky and stars, delving the earth, sailing the sea,
(What were all those, indeed, without thee, unseen soul? of what amount without thee?)
More evolutionary, vast, puzzling, O my soul!
More multiform far--more lasting thou than they.
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« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2012, 01:30:18 AM »

Delight becomes pictorial
 When viewed through pain, —
More fair, because impossible
 That any gain.

The mountain at a given distance
 In amber lies;
 Approached, the amber flits a little, —
And that 's the skies!

--Emily Dickinson
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« Reply #65 on: July 11, 2012, 07:44:29 PM »

Her Thought And His
Paul Laurence Dunbar
 
The gray of the sea, and the gray of the sky,
A glimpse of the moon like a half-closed eye.
The gleam on the waves and the light on the land,
A thrill in my heart,—and—my sweetheart's hand.

She turned from the sea with a woman's grace,
And the light fell soft on her upturned face,
And I thought of the flood-tide of infinite bliss
That would flow to my heart from a single kiss.

But my sweetheart was shy, so I dared not ask
For the boon, so bravely I wore the mask.
But into her face there came a flame:—
I wonder could she have been thinking the same?

Source
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« Reply #66 on: July 11, 2012, 10:40:57 PM »

There once was a man from Nantucket.
He was exaggerating. 
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« Reply #67 on: July 12, 2012, 12:07:17 AM »

I love Edgar Allan Poe's poems.

Gayly bedight,
   A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
   Had journeyed long,
   Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

   But he grew old,
   This knight so bold,
And o'er his heart a shadow
   Fell as he found
   No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

   And, as his strength
   Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow:
   "Shadow," says he,
   "Where can it be,
This land of Eldorado?"

   "Over the Mountains
   Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
   Ride, boldly ride,"
   The shade replied,
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

--------------

Tennyson is another of my favorites:

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.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Some one had blundered:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!
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« Reply #68 on: July 12, 2012, 12:17:44 AM »

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.


one of my all time favorites!
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« Reply #69 on: July 12, 2012, 12:22:32 AM »

another from Frost.

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost
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« Reply #70 on: July 12, 2012, 12:44:01 AM »

another from Frost.

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost

Frost is amazing. One of my favorite American poets.
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« Reply #71 on: July 12, 2012, 01:53:02 AM »

another from Frost.

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost

Frost is amazing. One of my favorite American poets.

Indeed he is amazing! yes and mine too  Smiley
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When in doubt, say: "you lack the proper φρόνημα"


« Reply #72 on: July 12, 2012, 02:18:36 AM »

Little lamb, who made thee?
    Does thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little lamb, who made thee?
Does thou know who made thee?
 
Little lamb, I’ll tell thee;
Little lamb, I’ll tell thee:
He is callèd by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are callèd by His name.
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Little lamb, God bless thee!

-William Blake, the Lamb
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« Reply #73 on: July 12, 2012, 02:21:57 AM »

I would give my kingdom for a recorded rendition of von Goethe's "Der Erlkönig" by Orthonorm.
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« Reply #74 on: July 12, 2012, 02:27:22 AM »

"IMMORTALITY"

Two caterpillars crawling on a leaf
By some strange accident in contact came;
Their conversation, passing all belief,
Was that same argument, the very same,
That has been "proed and conned" from man to man,
Yea, ever since this wondrous world began.
The ugly creatures,
Deaf and dumb and blind,
Devoid of features
That adorn mankind,
Were vain enough, in dull and wordy strife,
To speculate upon a future life.
The first was optimistic, full of hope;
The second, quite dyspeptic, seemed to mope.
Said number one, "I'm sure of our salvation."
Said number two, "I'm sure of our damnation;
Our ugly forms alone would seal our fates
And bar our entrance through the golden gates.
Suppose that death should take up unawares,
How could we climb the golden stairs?
If maidens shun us as they pass us by,
Would angels bid us welcome in the sky?
I wonder what great crimes we have committted,
That leave us so forlorn and so unpitied.
Perhaps we've been ungrateful, unforgiving;
'Tis plain to me that life's not worth the living."
"Come, come, cheer up," the jovial worm replied,
"Let's take a look upon the other side;
Suppose we cannot fly like moths or millers,
Are we to blame for being caterpillars?
Will that same God that doomed us crawl the earth,
A prey to every bird that's given birth,
Forgive our captor as he eats and sings,
And damn poor us because we have not wings?
If we can't skim the air like owl or bat,
A worm will turn 'for a' that.'"
They argued through the summer; autumn nigh,
The ugly things composed themselves to die;
And so, to make their funeral quite complete,
Each wrapped him in his little winding sheet.
The tangled web encompassed them full soon,
Each for his coffin made him a cocoon.
All through the winter's chilling blast they lay
Dead to the world, aye, dead as human clay.
Lo, spring comes forth with all her warmth and love;
She brings sweet justice from the realms above;
She breaks the chrysalis, she resurrects the dead;
Two butterflies ascend encircling her head.
And so this emblem shall forever be
A sign of immortality.

by Joseph Jefferson
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« Reply #75 on: July 12, 2012, 02:41:27 AM »

Hiwot, that was a sweet poem.


"Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?

Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?

Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?

Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?

Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?"

Job 38, KJV
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« Reply #76 on: July 12, 2012, 02:47:05 AM »

A Book
Emily Dickinson

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
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« Reply #77 on: July 13, 2012, 12:26:16 AM »

Gold Leaves
G.K. Chesterton

Lo! I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold;
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out
The year and I are old.

In youth I sought the prince of men,
Captain in cosmic wars,
Our Titan, even the weeds would show
Defiant, to the stars.

But now a great thing in the street
Seems any human nod,
Where shift in strange democracy
The million masks of God.

In youth I sought the golden flower
Hidden in wood or wold,
But I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold
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It is later than we think.


« Reply #78 on: July 13, 2012, 09:25:34 AM »

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock    

         S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
 A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
 Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
 Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
 Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
 Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.
 
 
LET us go then, you and I, 
When the evening is spread out against the sky 
Like a patient etherized upon a table; 
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, 
The muttering retreats         5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels 
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: 
Streets that follow like a tedious argument 
Of insidious intent 
To lead you to an overwhelming question….         10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” 
Let us go and make our visit. 
 
In the room the women come and go 
Talking of Michelangelo. 
 
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,         15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes 
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, 
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, 
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, 
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,         20
And seeing that it was a soft October night, 
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. 
 
And indeed there will be time 
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, 
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;         25
There will be time, there will be time 
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; 
There will be time to murder and create, 
And time for all the works and days of hands 
That lift and drop a question on your plate;         30
Time for you and time for me, 
And time yet for a hundred indecisions, 
And for a hundred visions and revisions, 
Before the taking of a toast and tea. 
 
In the room the women come and go         35
Talking of Michelangelo. 
 
And indeed there will be time 
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?” 
Time to turn back and descend the stair, 
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—         40
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”) 
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, 
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin— 
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”) 
Do I dare         45
Disturb the universe? 
In a minute there is time 
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. 
 
For I have known them all already, known them all: 
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,         50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; 
I know the voices dying with a dying fall 
Beneath the music from a farther room. 
  So how should I presume? 
 
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—         55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, 
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, 
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall, 
Then how should I begin 
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?         60
  And how should I presume? 
 
And I have known the arms already, known them all— 
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare 
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!) 
Is it perfume from a dress         65
That makes me so digress? 
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl. 
  And should I then presume? 
  And how should I begin?
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      . 
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets         70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes 
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?… 
 
I should have been a pair of ragged claws 
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      . 
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!         75
Smoothed by long fingers, 
Asleep … tired … or it malingers, 
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me. 
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, 
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?         80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, 
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, 
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter; 
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, 
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,         85
And in short, I was afraid. 
 
And would it have been worth it, after all, 
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, 
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, 
Would it have been worth while,         90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile, 
To have squeezed the universe into a ball 
To roll it toward some overwhelming question, 
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead, 
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—         95
If one, settling a pillow by her head, 
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all; 
  That is not it, at all.” 
 
And would it have been worth it, after all, 
Would it have been worth while,         100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets, 
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor— 
And this, and so much more?— 
It is impossible to say just what I mean! 
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:         105
Would it have been worth while 
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, 
And turning toward the window, should say: 
  “That is not it at all, 
  That is not what I meant, at all.”
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .         110
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; 
Am an attendant lord, one that will do 
To swell a progress, start a scene or two, 
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, 
Deferential, glad to be of use,         115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous; 
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; 
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous— 
Almost, at times, the Fool. 
 
I grow old … I grow old …         120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. 
 
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? 
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. 
 
I do not think that they will sing to me.         125
 
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves 
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back 
When the wind blows the water white and black. 
 
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea 
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown         130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
 
T.S. Eliot
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« Reply #79 on: July 28, 2012, 03:34:22 PM »

What the Birds Said
John Greenleaf Whittier

The birds against the April wind
Flew northward, singing as they flew
They sang, "The land we leave behind"
Has swords for corn-blades, blood for dew"

"O wild-birds, flying from the South,
What saw and heard ye, gazing down?"
"We saw the mortar's upturned mouth,
The sickened camp, the blazing town!

"Beneath the bivouac's starry lamps,
We saw your march-worn children die;
In shrouds of moss, in cypress swamps,
We saw your dead uncoffined lie.

"We heard the starving prisoner's sighs,
And saw, from line and trench, your sons
Follow our flight with home-sick eyes
Beyond the battery's smoking guns."

...
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« Reply #80 on: July 28, 2012, 05:31:46 PM »

LA PALLIDA MORTE
by Odysseus Elytis

Odourless yet like blossom
Death is grasped through the
Nostrils. Square silent buildings with
Endless corridors come between but the odour
Persistently passes folds in white sheets or
crimson
Curtains throughout the room’s length
Sometimes a sudden reflection of light
Then once again only the trolley’s wheels
And the old lithograph with the scene
Of the Annunciation as it appears in the
mirror
Whereupon, with arm outstretched He
Who announces and is silent, brings and takes
away
Pale and with an air of guilt (as if not wanting
but having to)
Takes and extinguishes one by one the red
Globules inside me. As does the verger with
the candles when
At the end of the long list of prayers
For a fair wind and all of creation or
Above all, for such things as each has in mind
The congregation disperses
O Such things have I! Yet how
In what way may the “unutterable” be
revealed
For while with irises and anemones the May-months effuse
And with verdant slopes step down to the sea
When this too in whispers ever discloses
Something of its ancient secrets, men is left
speechless
The soul alone. This
Like the mother of fledglings in danger takes
under its wing
And patiently gathers from out of the storms
A few crumbs of peace; so tomorrow, the next
day
All that you have in mind with new shiny
down
May open out in the skies even if the gates to
the heavenly dwellings
Open and close without justice
The Angel knows. And furtively withdraws
his finger
So that gold becomes blue again and a
fragrance
Of burning incense ascends to the rose-coloured dome
The candles in every stand light up all at once
Then they all follow. Footsteps on the wet
leaves
Since men too like graves and with reverence
pile lovely flowers there
Yet, death, not one of them has anything to
say
Except the poet. The sun’s Jesus. The same
one who after
each Saturday
Rises. He who Is, Was and Will Be.
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« Reply #81 on: July 30, 2012, 01:08:41 AM »

When You are Old
 
When you are old and gray and full of sleep   
  And nodding by the fire, take down this book,   
  And slowly read, and dream of the soft look   
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;   
 
How many loved your moments of glad grace,            
  And loved your beauty with love false or true;   
  But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,   
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.   
 
And bending down beside the glowing bars,   
  Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled    
  And paced upon the mountains overhead,   
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

-William Butler Yeats
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« Reply #82 on: July 30, 2012, 02:24:59 AM »

Someone spoke of the poetry of WWI - these, all written by poets who died in battle, are among a vast corpus of such work that touches me deeply.

    In Flanders Fields

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

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

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands, we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

-Lt Colonel John Mcrae, Canadian Expeditionary Forces

    Rouge Bouquet

    In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet
    There is a new-made grave to-day,
    Built by never a spade nor pick
    Yet covered with earth ten metres thick.
   
    There lie many fighting men,
    Dead in their youthful prime,
    Never to laugh nor love again
    Nor taste the Summertime.
   
    For Death came flying through the air
    And stopped his flight at the dugout stair,
    Touched his prey and left them there,
    Clay to clay.
   
    He hid their bodies stealthily
    In the soil of the land they fought to free
    And fled away.
   
    Now over the grave abrupt and clear
    Three volleys ring;
    And perhaps their brave young spirits hear
    The bugle sing:
   
    “Go to sleep!
    Go to sleep!
    Slumber well where the shell screamed and fell.
   
    Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor,
    You will not need them any more.
    Danger’s past;
    Now at last,
    Go to sleep!”

    There is on earth no worthier grave
    To hold the bodies of the brave
    Than this place of pain and pride
    Where they nobly fought and nobly died.
   
    Never fear but in the skies
    Saints and angels stand
    Smiling with their holy eyes
    On this new-come band.
   
    St. Michael’s sword darts through the air
    And touches the aureole on his hair
    As he sees them stand saluting there,
    His stalwart sons;
   
    And Patrick, Brigid, Columkill
    Rejoice that in veins of warriors still
    The Gael’s blood runs.
   
    And up to Heaven’s doorway floats,
    From the wood called Rouge Bouquet,
    A delicate cloud of buglenotes
    That softly say:
   
    “Farewell!
    Farewell!
    Comrades true, born anew, peace to you!
   
    Your souls shall be where the heroes are
    And your memory shine like the morning-star.
   
    Brave and dear,
    Shield us here.
    Farewell!”

-Sgt Joyce Kilmer, 69th Infantry Regiment, NY Nat'l Guard

    I Have a Rendezvous With Death

    I have a rendezvous with Death
    At some disputed barricade,
    When Spring comes back with rustling shade
    And apple-blossoms fill the air-
    I have a rendezvous with Death
    When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

    It may be he shall take my hand
    And lead me into his dark land
    And close my eyes and quench my breath-
    It may be I shall pass him still.
    I have a rendezvous with Death
    On some scarred slope of battered hill,
    When Spring comes round again this year
    And the first meadow-flowers appear.

    God knows 'twere better to be deep
    Pillowed in silk and scented down,
    Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
    Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
    Where hushed awakenings are dear...
    But I've a rendezvous with Death
    At midnight in some flaming town,
    When Spring trips north again this year,
    And I to my pledged word am true,
    I shall not fail that rendezvous.

- French Foreign Legionnaire Alan Seeger

    War

    Why must I live in this grim age,
    When, to a far horizon, God
    Has ebbed away, and man, with rage,
    Now wields the sceptre and the rod?

    Man raised his sword, once God had gone,
    To slay his brother, and the roar
    Of battlefields now casts upon
    Our homes the shadow of the war.

    The harps to which we sang are hung,
    On willow boughs, and their refrain
    Drowned by the anguish of the young
    Whose blood is mingled with the rain.

- Private Hedd Wynn, Royal Welch Fusiliers

    When You See Millions Of The Mouthless Dead
 
    When you see millions of the mouthless dead
    Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
    Say not soft things as other men have said,
    That you'll remember. For you need not so.

    Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
    It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
    Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
    Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.

    Say only this, "They are dead." Then add thereto,
    "yet many a better one has died before."

    Then, scanning all the overcrowded mass, should you
    Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
    It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
    Great death has made all this for evermore.

- Captain Charles Sorley, Suffolk Regiment

    Achilles In The Trench

    I saw a man this morning
    Who did not wish to die;
    I ask, and cannot answer,
    if otherwise wish I.

    Fair broke the day this morning
    Upon the Dardanelles:
    The breeze blew soft, the morn's cheeks
    Were cold as cold sea-shells.

    But other shells are waiting
    Across the Aegean Sea;
    Shrapnel and high explosives,
    Shells and hells for me.

    Oh Hell of ships and cities,
    Hell of men like me,
    Fatal second Helen,
    Why must I follow thee?

    Achilles came to Troyland
    And I to Chersonese;
    He turned from wrath to battle,
    And I from three days' peace.

    Was it so hard, Achilles,
    So very hard to die?
    Thou knowest, and I know not;
    So much the happier am I.

    I will go back this morning
    From Imbros o'er the sea.
    Stand in the trench, Achilles,
    Flame-capped, and shout for me.

- Lt Commander Patrick Shaw-Stewart, Royal Navy

As does this, particularly poignant, WWII poem, written by a young Jewish heroine of the British Forces in the cell to which she was confined while awaiting execution by firing squad:

    Untitled

    One - two - three... eight feet long
    Two strides across, the rest is dark...
    Life is a fleeting question mark

    One - two - three... maybe another week.
    Or the next month may still find me here,
    But death, I feel is very near.

    I could have been 23 next July
    I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost.

- Aircraftwoman 2nd Class Hannah Szenes, Women's Auxiliary Air Force
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- Melkite Archbishop Joseph (Tawil), of blessed memory
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"My god is greater."


« Reply #83 on: July 30, 2012, 09:37:25 AM »

Two by Yeats:

"The Rose in the Deeps of His Heart"

All things uncomely and broken,
all things worn-out and old,
The cry of a child by the roadway,
the creak of a lumbering cart,

The heavy steps of the ploughman,
splashing the wintry mould,
Are wronging your image that blossoms
a rose in the deeps of my heart.

The wrong of unshapely things
is a wrong too great to be told;
I hunger to build them anew
and sit on a green knoll apart,

With the earth and the sky and the water,
remade, like a casket of gold
For my dreams of your image that blossoms
a rose in the deeps of my heart.

"Lake Isle of Innisfree"

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,   
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;   
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,   
      And live alone in the bee-loud glade.   
 
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,            5
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;   
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,   
      And evening full of the linnet's wings.   
 
I will arise and go now, for always night and day   
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;     10
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,   
      I hear it in the deep heart's core.
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« Reply #84 on: July 30, 2012, 01:25:20 PM »

Unfaithfulness
by Cavafy

So although we approve of many things in
Homer, this we will not approve of.... nor will
we approve of Aeschylus when he makes Thetis say
that Apollo sang at her wedding in celebration of
her child:
"that he would not know sickness, would live long,
      and that every blessing would be his;
and he sang such praises that he rejoiced my heart.
  And I had hopes that the divine lips of Apollo,
fluent with the art of prophecy, would not prove false.
But he who proclaimed these things....   
               he it is
who killed my son.. ."
Plato, Republic, II. 383


When Thetis and Peleus got married
Apollo stood up at the sumptuous wedding feast
and blessed the bridal pair
for the son who would come from their union.
"Sickness will never visit him," he said,
"and his life will be a long one."
This pleased Thetis immensely:
the words of Apollo, expert in prophecies,
seemed a guarantee of security for her child.
And when Achilles grew up
and all Thessaly said how beautiful he was,
Thetis remembered the god's words.
But one day some elders came in with the news
that Achilles had been killed at Troy.
Thetis tore her purple robes,
pulled off rings, bracelets,
flung them to the ground.
And in her grief, remembering that wedding scene,
she asked what the wise Apollo was up to,
where was this poet who spouts
so eloquently at banquets, where was this prophet
when they killed her son in his prime?
And the elders answered that Apollo himself
had gone down to Troy
and with the Trojans had killed her son.
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St. John Papadopoulos "The Koukouzelis"
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« Reply #85 on: August 02, 2012, 05:10:55 PM »

There are two, that are my favourites, one is "Maria" by Antoni Malczewski, second one is "Zamek kaniowski" ("The castle of Kaniov") by Seweryn Goszczyński, both written in XIX century and set in XVIII century's real events in Ukraine, albeit in a surreal tone. Alas I can't find even partial translation of Antoni, so I'll paste a beginning of "The castle of Kaniov".

"The lofty towers of Kaniov rise
Like giant arms to reach the skies:
A nation's standard crowns their steeps;
Their strength a nation's frontier keeps;
Whilst wide o'er hill and dale outspread,
Below the hamlet's dwellings lie;
As infants tranquil on the bed
That sleep beneath the nurse's eye;
And proud the giant's feet to lave
Broad Dnieper rolls his darkling wave.
Thick, virgin forests clothe the shore,
By feet of man untrodden there;
And grimly frowns the mountain's hoar:
Stern as the forehead of despair.

Tis autumn's night - a night of storm;
A browner bed the billows make;
And sullen clouds the heavens o'erswarm,
And fiends midst dangerous pathways wake.
The traveller breathes a whispered prayer;
Whistles through reeds the furious air;
The famished wolf his victim kills;
The raging wind in fury speaks;
The lofty gibbet harshly creaks;
The carcase swings; - dogs howling, moan
The death of sleep o'er nature thrown.

His sounding sabre at his side
Rings, as the gibbet-sentry's stride
Swift pacing, keeps that valley wide.
Sooth'd by the silent hour of night
His senses court some waking dream;
Yet turns he, sudden, in affright,
Roused by that gibbet's creaking scream,
And looks, as though its tenant drear
Again in life should reappear.
And, bolder now, his glance he turns
Where, o'er the sheltering castle far,
Like symbol of protecting star -
The turret's guardian watch-fire burns.
Hark! - tis a rustling sound, scarce heard
Perchance some nest-disturbing bird:
It looms - it moves his path along -
'Satan avaunt thee with thy throng!
He makes the cross's sign: - tis fled -
And murky darkness reigns instead:
He scans his musket's lock and sword,
Then paces calm with soul restored.

The moon-beam struggles thro' the cloud;
Tis something white that wanders there;
That form, half seen, the bushes shroud,
But woman's song is on the air.
The bold Cossack's fond pulses own
That well-known song's awakened tone,
Nor deem it strange if woman's voice,
Known by its dulcet notes again,
With throbes of wildest bliss rejoice
The stormy hearts of the Ukraine.
Oh - he no longer keeps the hill!
Once more the moon bath veiled her head;
Once more the mist is darkly spread;
The gibbet creaks - the wild dogs howl;
Thro' desperate paths the phantoms prowl;
The wind prolongs its moanings still."
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 05:12:49 PM by Pan Michał » Logged
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« Reply #86 on: August 07, 2012, 05:39:58 PM »

Umnos Aumnos
Arthur Hugh Clough

O Thou whose image in the shrine
Of human spirits dwells divine;
Which from the precint once conveyed,
To be to outer day displayed,
Doth vanish, part, and leave behind
Mere blank and void of empty mind,
Which wilful fancy seeks in vain
With casual shapes to fill again!

O Thou that in our bosom's shrine
Dost dwell, unknown because divine!
I thought to speak, I thought to say
"The light is here," "behold the way,"
"The voice was thus," and "thus the words,"
And "thus I saw," and "that I heard"--
But from the lips that half essayed
The imperfect utterance fell unmade

O Thou, in that mysterious shrine
Enthronesd, as I must say, divine!
I will not frame one thought of what
Thou mayest either be or not.
I will not prate of "thus" and "so,"
And be profane with "yes" and "no,"
Enough that in our soul and heart
Thous, whosoe'er Thou may'st be, art

Unseen, secure in that high shrine
Acknowledged present and divine,
I will not ask some upper air,
Some future day to place Thee there;
Nor say, nor yet deny, such men
And women saw Thee thus and then:
Thy name was such and there or here
To him or her Thou didst appear.

Do only Thou in that dim shrine,
Unknown or known, remain, divine;
There, or if not, at least in eyes
That scan the fact that round them lies,
The hand to sway, the judgment guide,
In sight and sense Thyself divide:
Be Thou be there,--in soul and heart
I will not ask to feel Thou art
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« Reply #87 on: August 07, 2012, 07:32:41 PM »

1917
1895-1961
 Lucian Blaga (1895-1961)
Focul tacu. E zi de odihna. Privim din transee
reteaua, livada cu flori, si zdrentele-n sarma.
Simti Pastile-n linisti. Inca odata cei zece tovarasi
stam intr-o groapa, asemenea barcii fara de carma.
Scumpe fapturi, fluturi multi, navalesc din apus
cu-nalte sclipiri jucause, curate.
Trec pe deasupra in palcuri, culori salvate
din alt continent, cufundat si rapus.
Mane bataia va-ncepe din nou. Fii inima  -  lemn
cand fiecare-n tacere se-ntreaba: care pe munte
cadea-va intaiul?  -  cand fiecare pe cealalta frunte
ar vrea sa citeasca un semn.
Eu singur le zic: Fiti linistiti! Odata cu zorile
cadea-vor intai nu oameni, ci florile!
Dediteii acestia cu buze albastre,
papadii cu coifuri de aur ca ale noastre!

1917

The fire stood still. Day of rest . From tranches we watch
The webs, the orchard in bloom, the rags in the wires.
Easter is palpable in this stillness. Once again, all ten of us, comrades,
Sit in a ditch like a rudder-less boat.

Dear creatures, numberless butterflies invade from the west,
Most bright , playful and chaste.
In swarms, they fly over us, colors rescued,
From a continent, now submersed and defeated.

Tomorrow the battle will start again-  heart be of wood,
when each one of us,  is silently asking himself :"Which one, on the mountain,
will fall first?". When each one of us is trying
To read a sign on the other's brow.

I alone say to them: Be still! At dawn,
Not men, but these flowers will fall first,
These pasque flowers wearing blue shirts,
These dandelions in golden helmets like ours.

My translation doesn't do justice to this poem written in the tranches of WWI, by Lucian Blaga, then a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army.
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« Reply #88 on: August 07, 2012, 08:45:58 PM »

1917
1895-1961
 Lucian Blaga (1895-1961)
Focul tacu. E zi de odihna. Privim din transee
reteaua, livada cu flori, si zdrentele-n sarma.
Simti Pastile-n linisti. Inca odata cei zece tovarasi
stam intr-o groapa, asemenea barcii fara de carma.
Scumpe fapturi, fluturi multi, navalesc din apus
cu-nalte sclipiri jucause, curate.
Trec pe deasupra in palcuri, culori salvate
din alt continent, cufundat si rapus.
Mane bataia va-ncepe din nou. Fii inima  -  lemn
cand fiecare-n tacere se-ntreaba: care pe munte
cadea-va intaiul?  -  cand fiecare pe cealalta frunte
ar vrea sa citeasca un semn.
Eu singur le zic: Fiti linistiti! Odata cu zorile
cadea-vor intai nu oameni, ci florile!
Dediteii acestia cu buze albastre,
papadii cu coifuri de aur ca ale noastre!

1917

The fire stood still. Day of rest . From tranches we watch
The webs, the orchard in bloom, the rags in the wires.
Easter is palpable in this stillness. Once again, all ten of us, comrades,
Sit in a ditch like a rudder-less boat.

Dear creatures, numberless butterflies invade from the west,
Most bright , playful and chaste.
In swarms, they fly over us, colors rescued,
From a continent, now submersed and defeated.

Tomorrow the battle will start again-  heart be of wood,
when each one of us,  is silently asking himself :"Which one, on the mountain,
will fall first?". When each one of us is trying
To read a sign on the other's brow.

I alone say to them: Be still! At dawn,
Not men, but these flowers will fall first,
These pasque flowers wearing blue shirts,
These dandelions in golden helmets like ours.

My translation doesn't do justice to this poem written in the tranches of WWI, by Lucian Blaga, then a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army.

Tried to find an English or German translation online. No luck. Thought given his importance to Romania, maybe Celan would've made a little dough translating some of it into German or perhaps French.

Oh well.

Nothing came up easily.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 08:46:18 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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"My god is greater."


« Reply #89 on: August 30, 2012, 01:08:51 PM »

From the criminally obscure Samuel Greenberg:

 Immortality
But only to be memories of spiritual gate
Leting us feel the difference from the real
Are not limits the sooth to formulate
Theories thereof, simply our ruler to feel?
Basques of statuets of Eruptions long ago,
Of power in semetry, marvel of thought
The crafts attempt, showing rare aspiration
The museums of the ancient fine stones
For bowels and cups, found Historians
Sacred adorations, the numismatist hath shown
But only to be memories of spiritual gate
Leting us feel, the difference from the real
Are not limits, the sooth to formulate
Theories thereof, simply our ruler to feel?,
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Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
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