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Monday, March 21, 2005

World Poetry Day

I'm thrusting my English major-yness on you all in celebration of World Poetry Day. See below for some excerpts, but mainly links, to a smattering of some of my favorite poetry. Read it. Read it all. Feed your head. Marvel at others' brilliance and be inspired to capture some of your own.

Yeats, When You Are Old
When you are old and grey 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;...

Elizabeth Bishop, The Moose
...Goodbye to the elms,
to the farm, to the dog.
The bus starts. The light
grows richer; the fog,
shifting, salty, thin,comes closing in...

John Donne, The Cannonization
FOR God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love ;...

Sylvia Plath, April Aubade

Worship this world of watercolor mood
in glass pagodas hung with veils of green
where diamonds jangle hymns within the blood
and sap ascends the steeple of the vein.

A saintly sparrow jargons madrigals
to waken dreamers in the milky dawn,
while tulips bow like a college of cardinals
before that papal paragon, the sun...

<>Walt Whitman, Out Of The Cradle Endlessly Rocking
...I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond them,...
A reminiscence sing...

Emerson, The Problem
I like a church; I like a cowl;
I love a prophet of the soul;
and on my heart monastic aisles
Fall like sweet strains, or pensive smiles;
Yet not for all his faith can see
Would I that cowled churchman be.

Why should the vest on him alure,
Which I could not on me endure?...

Shakespeare, Sonnet 130 - My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (remembered vividly by My So-Called Life fans:
"And why is that? Why is he in love with her? What is it? What is it about her?"
"She's not just a fantasy. She's got like, flaws. She's real.")

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet V
...Behold and see
What a great heap of grief lay hid in me,
And how the red wild sparkles dimly burn
Through the ashen greyness...

Denise Levertov, Variation on a Theme by Rilke
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.

Emily Dickinson, After Great Pain

...This is the Hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--

W.H. Auden, Lullaby
...Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful...

Frank O'Hara, Meditations In An Emergency
Am I to become profligate as if I were a blonde? Or religious
as if I were French?

Each time my heart is broken it makes me feel more adventurous
(and how the same names keep recurring on that interminable
list!), but one of these days there'll be nothing left with
which to venture forth...

Ginsberg, A Supermarket In California
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for
I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache
self-conscious looking at the full moon...


Blogger ike said...

Them thar's a lotta poems.

Which begs the question: they were all poets, but did they know it(s)?

2:36 PM  
Anonymous lizzer said...

My english major-yness needs to be displayed as well, and since I have no blog of my own, the following are my selections of favorite poems:

"Piece of the Storm" Mark Strand--

From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,
A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room
And made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up
From your book, saw it the moment it landed.
That's all There was to it. No more than a solemn waking
To brevity, to the lifting and falling away of attention, swiftly,
A time between times, a flowerless funeral. No more than that
Except for the feeling that this piece of the storm,
Which turned into nothing before your eyes, would come back,
That someone years hence, sitting as you are now, might say:
"It's time. The air is ready. The sky has an opening."

Epitaph Zion: Anne Carson

Murderous little world once our objects had gazes. Our lives
Were fragile, the wind
Could dash them away. Here lies the refugee breather
Who drank a bowl of elsewhere."

I am looking for some more of my favorites.......but those are two for now to chew over!

3:14 PM  
Anonymous lizzer said...

William B. Yeats:
"HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. "

Yeats "The Magi"--

"Now as at all times I can see in the mind’s eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of Silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor."

Ezra Pound: In a Station at the Metro

"The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough."

More to come! i love posting poems online!

3:50 PM  
Blogger Blogs t r e t c h said...

Check out Drew's Blog (ReDrewvination on the blogroll) for a crucial Baraka poem. And yay Liz, those are GREAT! I'm traveling back to Ramazani's class in my mind...

3:51 PM  
Anonymous lizzer said...

I guess my post got lost last worries, I am posting again! more poems, more fun, who can live without poetry, really??

excerpt from "An Agony As Now"-- Amiri Baraka

"Slits in the metal, for sun. Where
my eyes sit turning, at the cool air
the glance of light, or hard flesh
rubbed against me, a woman, a man,
without shadow, or voice, or meaning."

(This is by far one of my favorite poems, totally devastating.....doesnt seem to be very well known though, as i can't seem to find the entire thing anywhere on the internet).

"High Windows"- Phillip Larkin

"When I see a couple of kids
And guess he's fucking her and she's
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise

Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives--
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side
Like an outdated combine harvester,
And everyone young going down the long slide

To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if
Anyone looked at me, forty years back,
And thought, That'll be the life;
No God any more, or sweating in the dark

About hell and that, or having to hide
What you think of the priest. He
And his lot will all go down the long slide
Like free bloody birds. And immediately

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless."

"This Moment"- Eaven Boland

"A neighbourhood.
At dusk.

Things are getting ready
to happen
out of sight.

Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around fruit.

But not yet.

One tree is black.
One window is yellow as butter.

A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her arms
this moment.

Stars rise.
Moths flutter.
Apples sweeten in the dark."

"Digging" Seamus Heaney

"Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground.
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away

Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it."

**sigh** And that poem is just incredible.

5:40 PM  

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