Author Topic: Favorite Poems  (Read 501 times)

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Offline Briven

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Favorite Poems
« on: September 24, 2018, 03:56:01 PM »
Post your favorite poems! I'll start:

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds thro' the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,
I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,
Far mark'd with the courses of clear winding rills;
There daily I wander as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;
There oft, as mild Ev'ning sweeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides,
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As gathering sweet flowrets she stems thy clear wave.

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Robert Burns
“God,”
The words rumbled:
“There is much suffering,
But the church is alive. "

 “How long, Archpriest, are we to suffer thus?” I answered: “Until our very death, Markovna!” And she replied, with a sigh: “So be it, Petrovich, let us plod on.” - Life of Avvakum by Himself

Nastasya, Nastasya, be
patient and do not cry:
Not every happiness
Comes in the clothing of fortune.

St. Avvakum, pray for us!

St. Ambrose, pray for us!

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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 04:39:04 PM »
Wonderful! Thanks.
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 04:39:31 PM »
"Hidden Things" by Cavafy (translated by Keeley/ Sherrard)

From all I did and all I said
 let no one try to find out who I was.
 An obstacle was there that changed the pattern
 of my actions and the manner of my life.
 An obstacle was often there
 to stop me when I’d begin to speak.
 From my most unnoticed actions,
 my most veiled writing—
from these alone will I be understood.
 But maybe it isn’t worth so much concern,
 so much effort to discover who I really am.
 Later, in a more perfect society,
 someone else made just like me
is certain to appear and act freely.
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Offline Apostolos

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 05:37:55 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.

(Translated by David Connolly)

"Thermopylae" by Cavafy

Honor to those who in the life they lead
define and guard a Thermopylae.
Never betraying what is right,
consistent and just in all they do
but showing pity also, and compassion;
generous when they are rich, and when they are poor,
still generous in small ways,
still helping as much as they can;
always speaking the truth,
yet without hating those who lie.
 
And even more honor is due to them
when they foresee (as many do foresee)
that in the end Ephialtis will make his appearance,
that the Medes will break through after all.

(Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard)

"Anna Dalassini" by Cavafy

In the royal decree that Alexios Komninos
put out especially to honor his mother-
the very intelligent Lady Anna Dalassini,
noteworthy in both her works and her manners-
much is said in praise of her.
Here let me offer one phrase only,
a phrase that is beautiful, sublime:
“She never uttered those cold words ‘mine’ or ‘yours.’ ”

(Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard)
Ἦχος Πρῶτος

Τέχνη μελουργός, σούς ἀγασθεῖσα κρότους
Πρώτην νέμει σοὶ τάξιν, ὦ τῆς ἀξίας
Ἦχος ὁ πρῶτος μουσική κληθείς τέχνη
Πρῶτος παρ'ἡμῶν εὐλογείσθω τοῖς λόγοις.
Τὰ πρῶτα πρῶτε τῶν καλῶν λαχῶν φέρεις
Πρωτεῖα νίκης πανταχοῦ πάντων ἔχεις.

Offline Briven

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 05:47:42 PM »
A *rough* translation from Varlam Shalamov

“Avvakum in Pustozersk”

Not just in the logs, but in the ribs
My church.
In a grin the unkind
Face of being.

We make
up the two-fingered ones. My cross rose with
Grief in Pustozersk,
Blestyaya neighborhood.

I'm everywhere glorified,
Everywhere branded,
Legend of old
In the hearts admired.

Angry and mad
I was, they say,
Suffered and died
For an old rite.

The folly of this absurdity
There is no truth in it
And reproach is heard.
But not heard.

After all, all say the essence is not in rituals,
Not in this is enmity.
For God's sight, the
Rite is nonsense.

No - We tore down the faith
In the affairs of antiquity,
Without honor, without measure,
Without any guilt.

What in childhood we loved,
What we glorified,
Suddenly broke by the
Servants of darkness.

In the holy dress,
In dark hoods,
With a cold crucifix
In cold hands

We were driven to the block,
Dragged to prison,
Fearing death
In our soul.

Our dispute is spiritual.
On the age of books.
Our dispute is a church dispute

Our dispute is also on freedom,
On the right to breathe,
On the will of the Lord
To keep and decide.

Healer of the soul
Medicine of the body.
From the intrigues of the angry
We fled into the forest.

Breaking the prohibitions,
Threw the words across the
whole world
From the lion's den.

We called for aid
For these sins.
And with the Lord together
We sang verses austere.

“God,”
The words rumbled:
“There is much suffering,
But the church is alive. “

And again, unyielding
Reading the Psalter,
In Solovetsky Monastery
Still we sang.

I was still young
And I suffered everything:
Beatings, and hunger,
And evil interrogation.

There the angel wings
As a guard closed.
And bread with cabbage soup
I was fed.

I,
I stepped out of the threshold,
Into the Siberian land
I left to the east.

On the blue Ob,
Moleben served,
Through thunder and storm
I hardly survived.

I was burned cold
Brand on my cheek,
My nostrils were torn out
On a mountain river.

But only to God the road is
Eternal
On the distant prisons
It passes.

We endure by God. A
piercing look.
Few can recall
from Jesus' time.

Nastasya, Nastasya, be
patient and do not cry:
Not every happiness
Comes in the clothing of fortune.

Do not listen to temptation,
Which is beating in your chest,
From suffering to suffering
Quietly go.

Stay on the road,
Do not be afraid of a snake,
Which bites
Your feet.

She came not from paradise
Here she crawled:
From the hell of the region, the
Messenger of Evil.

Here the bird's singing
Nobody has heard,
Here learn survival
And the wisdom of the rocks.

I am a prisoner in prison: For
fourteen years
I knew only crimson
The only color.

But that's not absurd,
Not a dream of being, a
spiritual fortress
And my will.

In a precarious step
They lead far,
But this yoke is good for me
And the burden is easy.

Silver dust
Along my track is brought
Fiery wings
Uphold the sky.

Through hunger and cold,
Through grief and fear
I come to God like a dove, I
rose from the fire.

I promise you,
Far Russia,
Forgive enemies,
God shall return from heaven.

Let me be ridiculed
And betrayed to the fire,
Let my dust be scattered
In the mountain wind.

There is no fate sweeter,
More desperate
than the ashes, knocking
At people's hearts.

In a real coffin,
I would be resurrected with happiness,
But do not force fate.
 I have no power.
“God,”
The words rumbled:
“There is much suffering,
But the church is alive. "

 “How long, Archpriest, are we to suffer thus?” I answered: “Until our very death, Markovna!” And she replied, with a sigh: “So be it, Petrovich, let us plod on.” - Life of Avvakum by Himself

Nastasya, Nastasya, be
patient and do not cry:
Not every happiness
Comes in the clothing of fortune.

St. Avvakum, pray for us!

St. Ambrose, pray for us!

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Offline Agabus

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 05:59:10 PM »
Joseph Brodsky's,   ‘Nunc Dimittis’

(Linking to avoid copyright issues)
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 06:35:02 PM »
John Donne's 1611-12 A Valediction: Forbidding Morning, (written to his wife Anne, when once he left on a journey to Continental Europe) the source of my user title. I feel like it's one of the most romantic visions of a Christian marriage ever written.

Quote
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 not 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 airy 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 the other do.

And though it in the center 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.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 06:36:33 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Jakoblaj

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 10:08:01 AM »
The Death of Saint Narcissus by T.S. Eliot has always fascinated me. 

Quote
Come under the shadow of this gray rock -
Come in under the shadow of this gray rock,
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow sprawling over the sand at daybreak, or
Your shadow leaping behind the fire against the red rock:
I will show you his bloody cloth and limbs
And the gray shadow on his lips.

He walked once between the sea and the high cliffs
When the wind made him aware of his limbs smoothly passing each other
And of his arms crossed over his breast.
When he walked over the meadows
He was stifled and soothed by his own rhythm.
By the river
His eyes were aware of the pointed corners of his eyes
And his hands aware of the pointed tips of his fingers.

Struck down by such knowledge
He could not live men’s ways, but became a dancer before God.
If he walked in city streets
He seemed to tread on faces, convulsive thighs and knees.
So he came out under the rock.

First he was sure that he had been a tree,
Twisting its branches among each other
And tangling its roots among each other.

Then he knew that he had been a fish
With slippery white belly held tight in his own fingers,
Writhing in his own clutch, his ancient beauty
Caught fast in the pink tips of his new beauty.

Then he had been a young girl
Caught in the woods by a drunken old man
Knowing at the end the taste of his own whiteness,
The horror of his own smoothness,
And he felt drunken and old.

So he became a dancer to God,
Because his flesh was in love with the burning arrows
He danced on the hot sand
Until the arrows came.
As he embraced them his white skin surrendered itself to the redness of blood, and satisfied him.
Now he is green, dry and stained
With the shadow in his mouth.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2018, 10:11:45 AM »
Excellent! Is there a real martyr/ fool for Christ named Narcissus?
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Offline Briven

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2018, 04:20:17 PM »
Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   
The darkness drops again; but now I know   
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The Second Coming by WB Yeats.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 04:21:29 PM by Briven »
“God,”
The words rumbled:
“There is much suffering,
But the church is alive. "

 “How long, Archpriest, are we to suffer thus?” I answered: “Until our very death, Markovna!” And she replied, with a sigh: “So be it, Petrovich, let us plod on.” - Life of Avvakum by Himself

Nastasya, Nastasya, be
patient and do not cry:
Not every happiness
Comes in the clothing of fortune.

St. Avvakum, pray for us!

St. Ambrose, pray for us!

Current profile picture:  Guardian Angel, St. Andrew the Apostle

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2018, 04:56:02 PM »
Digging by Seamus Heaney, not sure about copyright issues with posting it.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2018, 07:19:34 PM »
Excellent! Is there a real martyr/ fool for Christ named Narcissus?

There is a St. Narcissus martyred under Licinius.  There is also a Narcissus of Jerusalem.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Agabus

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2018, 09:29:20 AM »
Raymond Carver, "Bonnard's Nudes"
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 11:52:45 AM »
"My Friends," by Cacamatzin (from Miguel Leon-Portilla's Fifteen Poets of the Aztec World)

My friends,
listen to this:
let no one live deluded with a pretension of royalty.
The fury, the clashes,
let them be forgotten,
disappear
in due time from the earth.

Also, to me alone,
a short time ago they said,
those who were at the ball court,
they said, they murmured:
Is it possible to work mercifully?
Is it possible to act prudently?
I know only myself.
Everyone says this,
but no one speaks truly on earth.

The mist spreads,
the conch shells resound
over me and over all the earth.
Flowers rain down, they interweave, whirl about,
they come to bring joy upon the earth.

It is truly, perhaps as in His House,
our Father acts,
perhaps like quetzal plumage in springtime,
with flowers he paints,
here on the earth, the Giver of Life.
In the place where the precious drums play,
where are heard the beautiful flutes,
of the precious God, Lord of the heavens,
necklaces of red feathers
tremble over the earth.

A mist wraps round the song of the shields,
over the earth falls a rain of darts,
they darken the color of all the flowers,
there is noise of thunder in the heavens.
With shields of gold
there they dance.

I only say,
I Cacamatzin,
now alone I remember
Lord Nezahualpilli.
Perhaps they speak there,
he and Nezahualcoyotl,
in the place of the drums?
I remember them now.

Truly who will not have to go there?
If he is jade, if he is gold,
perhaps he will not have to go there?
Am I perchance a shield of turquoise,
will I as a mosaic be embedded once more in existence?
Will I come again to the earth?
Will I be shrouded in fine mantles?
Still on earth, near the place of the drums,
I remember them.
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2018, 12:14:12 PM »
Really interesting to me that even the Aztecs themselves contemplated the comparison between their ancient finery and the finitude of man. I mean, it makes sense that they would, their civilization certainly lasted long enough. But I guess I just never made the connection before.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Orthodox_Slav

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2018, 12:23:18 PM »
What is my praise before Thee?

I have not heard the cherubim singing,
that is the lot of souls sublime,
but I know how nature praises thee.

In winter I have thought about the whole earth praying quietly to Thee in the
silence of the moon,
wrapped around in a mantle of white,
sparkling with diamonds of snow.

I have seen how the rising sun rejoiced in Thee,
and choirs of birds sang forth glory.

I have heard how secretly the forest noises Thee abroad,
how the winds sing,
the waters gurgle,
how the choirs of stars preach of Thee
in serried motion through unending space.


~ A poem written by Archpriest Grigori Petrov (Gregory Petrov),
shortly before his death in a Siberian prison camp in 1942.
"Two Romes fell, a third stands, and there will not be a fourth one."-Philotheus of Pskov

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!- Paschal troparion

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2018, 12:58:44 PM »
Really interesting to me that even the Aztecs themselves contemplated the comparison between their ancient finery and the finitude of man. I mean, it makes sense that they would, their civilization certainly lasted long enough. But I guess I just never made the connection before.

The whole book is amazing. The Aztec poets are by and large a very melancholy bunch. Anguished contemplation of life's impermanence is a pretty common theme.
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2018, 10:09:32 PM »
I might have to get it!
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2018, 10:14:27 PM »
Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Needs to be read aloud to get the full effect (what Hopkins called "sprung rhythm").

Glory be to God for dappled things—
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
       For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
       And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                     Praise Him.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2018, 04:39:43 PM »
“Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
~ Robert Frost (1874-1963)
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

Offline FinnJames

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2018, 03:49:33 AM »
Seamus Heaney's poem 'Limbo' has always seemed to me to be filled with great compassion though it deals with a very tragic subject the Church would not approve of. In order not to violate copyright, here's a link to the poem on the internet:
https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/limbo-12/
(Turn off the sound and scroll down to read the entire text as the speech synthesizer voice is terrible.)

Offline Briven

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2018, 02:51:51 PM »
The Charge of the Light Brigade
BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
I
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.

II
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
   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.

III
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.

IV
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.

V
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.

VI
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!
“God,”
The words rumbled:
“There is much suffering,
But the church is alive. "

 “How long, Archpriest, are we to suffer thus?” I answered: “Until our very death, Markovna!” And she replied, with a sigh: “So be it, Petrovich, let us plod on.” - Life of Avvakum by Himself

Nastasya, Nastasya, be
patient and do not cry:
Not every happiness
Comes in the clothing of fortune.

St. Avvakum, pray for us!

St. Ambrose, pray for us!

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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2018, 03:26:03 PM »
Richard Cory
by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2018, 04:49:17 PM »

The Sacred Way, by Angelos Sikelianos

Through the new wound that fate had opened in me
 I felt the setting sun flood my heart
 with a force like that of water when it rushes in
 through a gash in a sinking ship.
                                               Because again,
 like one long sick when he first ventures forth
 to milk life from the outside world, I walked
 alone at dusk along the road that starts
 at Athens and for its destination has
 the sanctuary at Eleusis - the road
 that for me was always the Soul’s road. It bore,
 like a huge river, carts slowly drawn by oxen,
 loaded with sheaves and wood, and other carts
 that quickly passed me by, the people in them
 shadowlike.

                   But farther on, as if the world
 had disappeared and nature alone was left,
 unbroken stillness reigned. And the rock I found
 rooted at the roadside seemed like a throne
 long predestined for me. And as I sat
 I folded my hands over my knees, forgetting if
 it was today I’d set out or if
 I’d taken this same road centuries before.

But then, rounding the nearest bend, three shadows
 entered this stillness: a gypsy, and, after him,
 dragged by their chains, two heavy footed bears.

And then, as they drew near to me, the gypsy,
 before I’d really noticed him, saw me,
 took his tambourine down from his shoulder,
 struck it with one hand, and with the other tugged
 fiercely at the chains. And the two bears
 rose on their hind legs heavily.
                                              One of them,
 the larger - clearly she was the mother -
 her head adorned with tassels of blue beads
 crowned by a white amulet, towered up
 suddenly enormous, as if she were
 the primordial image of the Great Goddess,
 the Eternal Mother, sacred in her affliction,
 who, in human form, was called Demeter
 here at Eleusis, where she mourned her daughter,
 and elsewhere, where she mourned her son,
 was called Alcmene or the Holy Virgin.
 And the small bear at her side, like a big toy,
 like an innocent child, also rose up, submissive,
 not sensing yet the years of pain ahead
 or the bitterness of slavery mirrored
 in the burning eyes his mother turned on him.

But because she, dead tired, was slow to dance,
 the gypsy, with a single dexterous jerk
 of the chain hanging from the young bear’s nostril -
bloody still from the ring that had pierced it
 perhaps a few days before - made the mother,
 groaning with pain, abruptly straighten up
 and then, her head turning toward her child,
 dance vigorously.
                            And I, as I watched, was drawn
 outside and far from time, free from forms
 closed within time, from statues and images.
 I was outside, I was beyond time.

And in front of me I saw nothing except
 the large bear, with the blue beads on her head,
 raised by the ring’s wrench and her ill-fated tenderness,
 huge testifying symbol
 of all the world, the present and the past,
 huge testifying symbol
 of all the primaeval suffering for which,
 throughout the human centuries, the soul’s
 tax has still not been paid. Because the soul
 has been and still is in Hades.
                                              And I,
 who am also a slave to this world,
 kept my head lowered as I threw a coin
 into the tambourine.
                                 Then, as the gypsy
 at last went on his way, again dragging
 the slow-footed bears behind him, and vanished
 in the dusk, my heart prompted me once more
 to take the road that terminates among
 the ruins of the Soul’s temple, at Eleusis.
 And as I walked my heart asked in anguish:
“Will the time, the moment ever come when the bear’s soul
 and the gypsy’s and my own, that I call initiated,
 will feast together?”
                                   And as I moved on, night fell,
 and again through the wound fate had opened in me
 I felt the darkness flood my heart as water
 rushes in through a gash in a sinking ship.
 Yet when - as though it had been thirsting for that flood -
 my heart sank down completely into the darkness,
 sank completely as though to drown in the darkness,
 a murmur spread through all the air above me,
 a murmur,
                    and it seemed to say:
                                                    “It will come.”


Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Offline Briven

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2018, 07:27:49 AM »
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


Dulce et Decorum Est

Wilfred Owen

“God,”
The words rumbled:
“There is much suffering,
But the church is alive. "

 “How long, Archpriest, are we to suffer thus?” I answered: “Until our very death, Markovna!” And she replied, with a sigh: “So be it, Petrovich, let us plod on.” - Life of Avvakum by Himself

Nastasya, Nastasya, be
patient and do not cry:
Not every happiness
Comes in the clothing of fortune.

St. Avvakum, pray for us!

St. Ambrose, pray for us!

Current profile picture:  Guardian Angel, St. Andrew the Apostle

Online Arachne

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2018, 08:51:00 AM »
online friends

“my friend the electrical engineer,”
i say,
or of someone else:
“my friend the Canadian,”
“my friend in Denver.”
and i am down south,
states and miles away.

“how did you meet?”
they ask, puzzled by
how far-flung my friendships.
“the internet,” i say,
a little proud, a little defensive
because the next words
are inevitable.

they always ask with a mix of
amusement and horror. always.
“have you met in person? no?
how can you be sure
it’s not an old pervert
in his mother’s basement, a
serial killer on the prowl?”

how can we be sure of anyone?
the man who married a pastor’s
daughter, then shot his pregnant wife
in the back of the head–they thought
they knew him.
but these anonymous souls:
they’re my friends.

we talk of books and ideas, family and
differences in where we live and
why we do what we do, and
trade stupid jokes like candy,
sweet and inclusive and joyful.
my friends.
my soul friends, who i meet
on the internet.

friendships are not born
of handshakes.
they’re born of shared things and
shared interests and
sometimes just because you’re human
and i’m human, and that
praise God
is enough.

even over the internet, that
is enough.

(tumblr user hobbitsetal)
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox ~



Offline Briven

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Re: Favorite Poems
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2018, 09:43:25 AM »
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only Casey could but get a whack at that—
We'd put up even money now, with Casey at the bat."

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despisèd, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile lit Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his
     shirt;
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the
     air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one!" the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled
     roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his
     hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew;
But Casey still ignored it and the umpire said, "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered
     "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles
     strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children
     shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.

Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer
“God,”
The words rumbled:
“There is much suffering,
But the church is alive. "

 “How long, Archpriest, are we to suffer thus?” I answered: “Until our very death, Markovna!” And she replied, with a sigh: “So be it, Petrovich, let us plod on.” - Life of Avvakum by Himself

Nastasya, Nastasya, be
patient and do not cry:
Not every happiness
Comes in the clothing of fortune.

St. Avvakum, pray for us!

St. Ambrose, pray for us!

Current profile picture:  Guardian Angel, St. Andrew the Apostle