Poetry

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niji

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening​

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

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

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

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

Alli

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That is the poem I was thinking of when looking at a photo posted by AFB yesterday.

This is mine:

Invictus​

by William Ernest Henley


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 

Arkitect

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening​

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

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

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

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
The last lines put me in mind of the Cowboy Junkies song 200 More Miles.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Ozymandias

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
 

lizkat

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California Hills in August​
--by Dana Gioia​
I can imagine someone who found​
these fields unbearable, who climbed​
the hillside in the heat, cursing the dust,​
cracking the brittle weeds underfoot,​
wishing a few more trees for shade.​
An Easterner especially, who would scorn​
the meagerness of summer, the dry​
twisted shapes of black elm,​
scrub oak, and chaparral, a landscape​
August has already drained of green.​
One who would hurry over the clinging​
thistle, foxtail, golden poppy,​
knowing everything was just a weed,​
unable to conceive that these trees​
and sparse brown bushes were alive.​
And hate the bright stillness of the noon​
without wind, without motion,​
the only other living thing​
a hawk, hungry for prey, suspended​
in the blinding, sunlit blue.​
And yet how gentle it seems to someone​
raised in a landscape short of rain—​
the skyline of a hill broken by no more​
trees than one can count, the grass,​
the empty sky, the wish for water.​


(published in The New Yorker and in Gioia's book "99 Poems")
 

Arkitect

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One of my favourite poets is W.H. Auden and his poem, September 1, 1939, on the outbreak of WWII, also holds true for us in these turbulent times.

I also think it is quite apt for an online forum such as this, where we do "Flash out" our "points of light"

I don't quote the whole poem (But I highly recommend you read it!), just the last stanza:

"…
Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame."
 

lizkat

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The last lines put me in mind of the Cowboy Junkies song 200 More Miles.

Hah, yes.... and the lyrics of that as well as the Frost poem had me thinking about the wrap lines of W.S.Merwin's “Words from a Totem Animal”, at once an affirmation of life and sense of duty but also acceptance that --as who we are today-- we will not persist forever in the particulars of right now.

“Send me out into another life​
lord because this one is growing faint​
I do not think it goes all the way.”​
In the 200 more miles song I liked this part

"But I heard there is a light​
drawing me to reach an end​
and when I reach there, I'll turn back​
and you and I can begin again"​
 

lizkat

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@Alli @Arkitect @Scepticalscribe @lizkat

i knew you would all be kind to this thread with your favourite poetry.
more to come, im sure, since poetry is what sustains us, describes us, inspires us.

with special acknowledgement to @Alli for the inspiration to start this thread

🙇🏻

I''m looking forward to more poetry and less front page politics over the next few years. I can make that my choice no matter what's gong on in those front pages.. I have somehow come to forget that during this era of Trump's constant gaslighting.
 

Arkitect

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It would be nice to contribute some of our own poetry. Even if it’s just a haiku or baudy limerick.
That's an excellent idea.
Though, I'll spare you my scribblings! 😱 😄

Way back, many decades ago, when I was an angstful teenager — make that twenty year old… thirty year old… I spent a lot of time sucking at my pen, writing. Most of it stream of consciousness writing.
As I finished one journal I'd tie it up and seal it.

And then when I turned 40 — for some reason. A fit of pique? Despair? I set fire to them.
I regret that. Now.

I still write. But not in a structured way — and never poetry. I can never get past my own embarrassment of how bad it is.

What I do have plenty of are Moleskine or Leuchtturm notebooks, small journalist size. Shopping lists. To do lists. Knitting instructions. Quotations. Bits of news. Train times. Paint formulas. Recipes. Passwords (*sigh* yes, I do). Historical factoids. A little sketch or measurement. All jumbled up — and actually finding anything is a major pain. But…

To flick through them years later is to see life zoom by like one of those flip books of many years ago.
 

Arkitect

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“Send me out into another life​
lord because this one is growing faint​
I do not think it goes all the way.”​
Perfect.

Last night I spent quite a while getting acquainted with Mr Merwin. Thank you for the introduction. Unfortunately he is just not known well enough over here. I ordered from the local library The moon before morning and Sir Gawain And The Green Knight.
 

lizkat

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This was the first I ever saw of David Hernandez' poetry, encountered on the web. I knew I would seek out more of his work. When I read his poem Mosul, I could not stop crying.


Museum Guard
--by David Hernandez​
My condolences to the man dressed​
for a funeral, sitting bored​
on a gray folding chair, the zero​
of his mouth widening in a yawn.​
No doubt he's pictured himself inside​
a painting or two around his station,​
stealing a plump green grape​
from the cluster hanging above​
the corkscrew locks of Dionysus,​
or shooting arrows at rosy-cheeked cherubs​
hiding behind a wooly cloud.​
With time limping along​
like a Bruegel beggar, no doubt​
he's even seen himself taking the place​
of the one crucified: the black spike​
of the minute hand piercing his left palm,​
the hour hand penetrating the right,​
nailed forever to one spot.​



Flip side from fate of the museum guard: the energy of Regina Spektor's All the Rowboats. To roam freely around a museum... to let the imagination set free even the paintings.
"First there’s lights out, then there’s lock up​
Masterpieces serving maximum sentences​
It’s their own fault for being timeless​
There’s a price to pay and a consequence​
All the galleries, the museums​
They will stay there forever and a day​
All the rowboats in the oil paintings​
They keep trying to row away, row away..."​



"All The Rowboats"

All the rowboats in the paintings
They keep trying to row away
And the captains’ worried faces
Stay contorted and staring at the waves
They’ll keep hanging in their gold frames
For forever, forever and a day
All the rowboats in the oil paintings
They keep trying to row away, row away

Hear them whispering French and German
Dutch, Italian, and Latin
When no one’s looking I touch a sculpture
Marble, cold and soft as satin
But the most special are the most lonely
God, I pity the violins
In glass coffins they keep coughing
They’ve forgotten, forgotten how to sing, how to sing

First there’s lights out, then there’s lock up
Masterpieces serving maximum sentences
It’s their own fault for being timeless
There’s a price to pay and a consequence
All the galleries, the museums
Here’s your ticket, welcome to the tombs
They’re just public mausoleums
The living dead fill every room
But the most special are the most lonely
God, I pity the violins
In glass coffins they keep coughing
They’ve forgotten, forgotten how to sing

They will stay there in their gold frames
For forever, forever and a day
All the rowboats in the oil paintings
They keep trying to row away, row away

First there’s lights out, then there’s lock up
Masterpieces serving maximum sentences
It’s their own fault for being timeless
There’s a price to pay and a consequence
All the galleries, the museums
They will stay there forever and a day
All the rowboats in the oil paintings
They keep trying to row away, row away
All the rowboats in the oil paintings
They keep trying to row away, row away…
 

Clix Pix

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“Hope” is the thing with feathers​

BY EMILY DICKINSON
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
 
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