The Return of Talking Time

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  #31  
Old 01-14-2011, 12:06 AM
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Kishi Kishi is offline
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Default Suicide's Note

The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.
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  #32  
Old 01-14-2011, 12:38 AM
Dizzy Dizzy is offline
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Default Remembrance of Things Past

I remember a time. . .

When people posted their favorite poems. . .

GTFO
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  #33  
Old 01-14-2011, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
I remember a time. . .

When people posted their favorite poems. . .

GTFO
Man, I completely forgot that I arsed up the last poetry thread too.
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  #34  
Old 01-14-2011, 09:48 AM
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More of you guys should be attributing these things so as to further our edumacation.

Anyway, here's my favorite poem snippet, which has been in various sig files of mine for... well over a decade, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e. e. cummings
listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go
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  #35  
Old 01-14-2011, 10:03 AM
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Default Knowing When

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirin View Post
More of you guys should be attributing these things so as to further our edumacation.
I'll edit mine to add attribution, not a bad idea. And here's another:

Sun buries its face
in dark brown
landscape of the West Mesa.

Woman I love
buries my chin
in her breast with pleasure,

teaches me,
to have a good spring,
I need a good winter.

-Jimmy Santiago Baca
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  #36  
Old 01-14-2011, 10:16 AM
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Default For Anne

With Annie gone,
whose eyes to compare
with the morning sun?

Not that I did compare,
But I do compare
Now that she's gone.
- Leonard Cohen
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  #37  
Old 01-14-2011, 10:23 AM
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concentrate
 
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Default obviously

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?
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  #38  
Old 01-14-2011, 10:53 AM
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Default From when I was a wee lad!

Far over the misty mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere the break of day,
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient kings and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught,
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light and moon and sun.

For over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
We must away ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they lay long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by man or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
Laid low like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale,
And men looked up with faces pale,
Then dragon's ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountains smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

For over misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!
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  #39  
Old 01-14-2011, 11:01 AM
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Default Lament For Gandalf (If we're doing Tolkien)

(Although technically these are more songs than poems, and have been set to music several times)

When evening in the Shire was grey
his footsteps on the Hill were heard;
before the dawn he went away
on journey long without a word.

From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darkling woods he walked at will.

With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongues he spoke.

A deadly sword, a healing hand,
a back that bent beneath its load;
a trumpet-voice, a burning brand,
a weary pilgrim on the road.

A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
swift in anger, quick to laugh;
an old man in a battered hat
who leaned upon a thorny staff.

He stood upon the bridge alone
and Fire and Shadow both defied;
his staff was broken on the stone,
in Khazad-dum his wisdom died.
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  #40  
Old 01-14-2011, 11:21 AM
Dizzy Dizzy is offline
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Fiiiiiiiiiine.

Winter suxx

Quote:
Depression in Winter
Jane Kenyon

There comes a little space between the south
side of a boulder
and the snow that fills the woods around it.
Sun heats the stone, reveals
a crescent of bare ground: brown ferns,
and tufts of needles like red hair,
acorns, a patch of moss, bright green....

I sank with every step up to my knees,
throwing myself forward with a violence
of effort, greedy for unhappiness--
until by accident I found the stone,
with its secret porch of heat and light,
where something small could luxuriate, then
turned back down my path, chastened and calm.
black metal poetry -- life suxx

Quote:
Death Fugue
Paul Celan

Black milk of daybreak we drink it at evening
we drink it at midday and morning we drink it at night
we drink and we drink
we shovel a grave in the air there you won't lie too cramped
A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes
he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
he writes it and steps out of doors and the stars are all sparkling, he whistles his hounds to come close
he whistles his Jews into rows has them shovel a grave in the ground
he commands us to play up for the dance.

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at morning and midday we drink you at evening
we drink and we drink
A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes
he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
Your ashen hair Shulamith we shovel a grave in the air there you won't lie too cramped

He shouts jab the earth deeper you lot there you others sing up and play
he grabs for the rod in his belt he swings it his eyes are so blue
jab your spades deeper you lot there you others play on for the dancing

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at midday and morning we drink you at evening
we drink and we drink
a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margareta
your aschenes Haar Shulamith he plays his vipers
He shouts play death more sweetly this Death is a master from Deutschland
he shouts scrape your strings darker you'll rise then as smoke to the sky
you'll have a grave then in the clouds there you won't lie too cramped

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at midday Death is a master aus Deutschland
we drink you at evening and morning we drink and we drink
this Death is ein Meister aus Deutschland his eye it is blue
he shoots you with shot made of lead shoots you level and true
a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margarete
he looses his hounds on us grants us a grave in the air
he plays with his vipers and daydreams der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

dein goldenes Haar Margarete
dein aschenes Haar Shulamith
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  #41  
Old 01-14-2011, 11:35 AM
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My beard grows down to my toes
I never wears no clothes
I wraps my hair
Around my bare
And down the road I goes

-Shel Silverstein
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  #42  
Old 01-14-2011, 02:11 PM
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Default "So Does Everybody Else, Only Not So Much" by Ogden Nash

O all ye exorcizers come and exorcize now, and ye clergymen draw nigh and clerge,
For I wish to be purged of an urge.
It is an irksome urge, compounded of nettles and glue,
And it is turning all my friends back into acquaintances, and all my acquaintances into people who look the other way when I heave into view.
It is an indication that my mental buttery is butterless and my mental larder lardless,
...And it consists not of "Stop me if you've heard this one," but of "I know you've heard this one because I told it to you myself, but I'm going to tell it to you again regardless,"
Yes I fear I am living beyond my mental means.
When I realize that it is not only anecdotes that I reiterate but what is far worse, summaries of radio programs and descriptions of caroons in newspapers and magazines.
I want to resist but I cannot resist recounting the bright sayins of celebrities that everybody already is familiar with every word of; I want to refrain but cannot refrain from telling the same audience on two successive evenings the same little snatches of domestic gossip about people I used to know that they have never heard of.
When I remember some titlating episode of my childhood I figure that if it's worth narrating once it's worth narrating twice, in spite of lackluster eyes and dropping jaws,
And indeed I have now worked my way backward from titllating episodes in my own childhood to titillating episodes in the childhood of my parents or even my parents-in-laws,
And what really turns my corpuscles to ice,
I carry around clippings and read them to people twice.
And I know what I am doing while I am doing it and I don't want to do it but I can't help doing it and I am just another Ancient Mariner,
And the prospects for my future social life couldn't possibly be barrener.
Did I tell you that the prospects for my future social life couldn't be barrener?
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  #43  
Old 01-14-2011, 02:17 PM
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Default Gentildonna

She passed and left no quiver in the veins, who now
Moved among the trees, and clinging
in the air she severed,
Fanning the grass she walked on then, endures:

Grey olive branches beneath a rain-cold sky.

-Pound
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  #44  
Old 01-14-2011, 02:20 PM
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Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate,
And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate,
Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan shore.
Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore,
And in the doubtful war, before he won
The Latian realm, and built the destin'd town;
His banish'd gods restor'd to rites divine,
And settled sure succession in his line,
From whence the race of Alban fathers come,
And the long glories of majestic Rome.
O Muse! the causes and the crimes relate;
What goddess was provok'd, and whence her hate;
For what offense the Queen of Heav'n began
To persecute so brave, so just a man;
Involv'd his anxious life in endless cares,
Expos'd to wants, and hurried into wars!
Can heav'nly minds such high resentment show,
Or exercise their spite in human woe?
Against the Tiber's mouth, but far away,
An ancient town was seated on the sea;
A Tyrian colony; the people made
Stout for the war, and studious of their trade:
Carthage the name; belov'd by Juno more
Than her own Argos, or the Samian shore.
Here stood her chariot; here, if Heav'n were kind,
The seat of awful empire she design'd.
Yet she had heard an ancient rumor fly,
(Long cited by the people of the sky,)
That times to come should see the Trojan race
Her Carthage ruin, and her tow'rs deface;
Nor thus confin'd, the yoke of sov'reign sway
Should on the necks of all the nations lay.
She ponder'd this, and fear'd it was in fate;
Nor could forget the war she wag'd of late
For conqu'ring Greece against the Trojan state.
Besides, long causes working in her mind,
And secret seeds of envy, lay behind;
Deep graven in her heart the doom remain'd
Of partial Paris, and her form disdain'd;
The grace bestow'd on ravish'd Ganymed,
Electra's glories, and her injur'd bed.
Each was a cause alone; and all combin'd
To kindle vengeance in her haughty mind...

It goes on for 12 more books and all of it is beautiful! More so in the original Latin
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  #45  
Old 01-14-2011, 09:12 PM
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boot101 boot101 is offline
← ↔ →
 
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Default The Emperor of Ice Cream by Wallace Stevens

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
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  #46  
Old 01-14-2011, 09:38 PM
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I'm partial to this.
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  #47  
Old 01-15-2011, 08:05 AM
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who's she
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivam View Post
i thank You God for most this amazing
day
Have you heard this choral arrangement?
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  #48  
Old 01-15-2011, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate,
And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate
Oh god instant high school AP Latin flashbacks. *twitch*
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  #49  
Old 01-16-2011, 07:52 PM
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Default A bit clichéd, but...

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

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
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....
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,
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,
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;
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;
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
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--
(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
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,
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--
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?
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
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
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 doors of silent seas.
. . . . . . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers.
Stretched on 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?
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,
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,
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"--
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,
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:
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."
. . . . . . . . .
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,
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 ...
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.

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
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
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  #50  
Old 01-16-2011, 08:17 PM
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Karzac Karzac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajr82 View Post
With Annie gone,
whose eyes to compare
with the morning sun?

Not that I did compare,
But I do compare
Now that she's gone.
- Leonard Cohen
I've always liked that one.

This is one of my favourites:

SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

--Lord Byron
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  #51  
Old 01-16-2011, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karzac View Post
I've always liked that one.

This is one of my favourites:

SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

--Lord Byron
Does that mean I'm going to "learn something" from this episode?
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  #52  
Old 01-17-2011, 10:13 PM
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Luana Luana is offline
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The best? Not necessarily. However, they serve their purpose, in that they make me yearn:

Quote:
Barefoot
Anne Sexton

Loving me with my shoes off
means loving my long brown legs,
sweet dears, as good as spoons;
and my feet, those two children
let out to play naked. Intricate nubs,
my toes. No longer bound.
And what's more, see toenails and
all ten stages, root by root.
All spirited and wild, this little
piggy went to market and this little piggy
stayed. Long brown legs and long brown toes.
Further up, my darling, the woman
is calling her secrets, little houses,
little tongues that tell you.

There is no one else but us
in this house on the land spit.
The sea wears a bell in its navel.
And I'm your barefoot wench for a
whole week. Do you care for salami?
No. You'd rather not have a scotch?
No. You don't really drink. You do
drink me. The gulls kill fish,
crying out like three-year-olds.
The surf's a narcotic, calling out,
I am, I am, I am
all night long. Barefoot,
I drum up and down your back.
In the morning I run from door to door
of the cabin playing chase me.
Now you grab me by the ankles.
Now you work your way up the legs
and come to pierce me at my hunger mark.
Quote:
Dear Miss Emily
James Galvin

I knew the end would be gone before I got there.
After all, all rainbows lie for a living.
And as you have insisted, repeatedly,
The difference between death and the Eternal
Present
is about as far as one
Eyelash from the next, not wished upon.
Rainbows are not forms or stories, are they?
They are not doors ajar so much as far-
Flung situations without true beginnings
Or any ends--why bother--unless, as you
Suggest--repeatedly---there's nothing wrong
With this life, and we should all stop whining.
So I shift my focus now on how to end
A letter. In XOXOXO,
For example, Miss, which are the hugs
And which the kisses? Does anybody know?
I could argue either way: the O's
Are circles of embrace, the X is someone
Else's star burning inside your mouth;
Unless the O is a mouth that cannot speak,
Because, you know, it's busy.
X is the crucifixion all embraces
Are, here at the nowhere of the rainbow's end,
Where even light has failed its situation,
Slant the only life it ever had,
Where even the most gallant sunset can't
Hold back for more than a nonce the rain-laden
Eastern sky of night. It's clear. It's clear.
X's are both hugs and kisses, O's
Where stars that died gave out, gave up, gave in--
Where no one meant the promises they made.
Oh, and one more thing. I send my love
However long and far it takes--through light,
Through time, thorough all the faithlessness of men,

James Augustin Galvin,

X,

His mark.
I do have a favorite poem. However, I want to share it with someone else before I share it with the rest of you.
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  #53  
Old 02-08-2011, 08:22 PM
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Lady Lady is offline
actually an eevee
 
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Default

no more candy?


Dont' be glum.

Suck your nice sweet juicy thumb.
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  #54  
Old 11-10-2012, 03:34 AM
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gahitsu gahitsu is offline
le petite mort
 
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Location: Nilbog
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so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

- William Carlos Williams
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  #55  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:18 PM
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Nucular Nucular is offline
Democratic Robot
 
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Ladies, on whom my attentions have waited
If you consider my merits are small
Etiolated, alembicated,
Orotund, tasteless, fantastical,
Monotonous, crotchety, constipated,
Impotent galamatias
Affected, possibly imitated,
For Christ's sake stick it up your ass.

Ladies, who find my intentions ridiculous
Awkward, insipid and horribly gauche
Pompous, pretentious, ineptly meticulous
Dull as the heart of an unbaked brioche
Floundering versicles freely versiculous
Often attenuate, frequently crass
Attempts at emotion that turn isiculous,
For Christ's sake stick it up your ass.

Ladies who think me unduly vociferous
Amiable cabotin making a noise
That people may cry out "this stuff is too stiff for us"-
Ingenuous child with a box of new toys
Toy lions carnivorous, cannon fumiferous
Engines vaporous- all this will pass;
Quite innocent, -"he only wants to make shiver us."
For Christ's sake stick it up your ass.

And when thyself with silver foot shall pass
Among the theories scattered on the grass
Take up my good intentions with the rest
And then for Christ's sake stick them up your ass.
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  #56  
Old 11-10-2012, 07:49 PM
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Alixsar Alixsar is offline
The Shogun of Harlem
 
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Location: Harlem
Posts: 23,644
Default #1 Best Haiku Ever by Alixsar

Poetry, the worst?
Yes, it is the worst thing ever
I hate it a lot

How can this be true?
Poets like the smell of their
Own farts; beans, musty, silent
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  #57  
Old 11-10-2012, 08:38 PM
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Nodal Nodal is offline
:O
 
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Musty is two syllables.
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  #58  
Old 11-11-2012, 02:12 AM
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Alixsar Alixsar is offline
The Shogun of Harlem
 
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Location: Harlem
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You're two syllables
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  #59  
Old 11-11-2012, 09:32 AM
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Behemoth Behemoth is offline
Dostoevsky is immortal!
 
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"A Whippoorwill in the Woods" by Amy Clampitt:

Night after night, it was very nearly enough,
they said, to drive you crazy: a whippoorwill
in the woods repeating itself like the stuck groove
of an LP with a defect, and no way possible
of turning the thing off.

And night after night, they said, in the insomniac
small hours the whipsawing voice of obsession
would have come in closer, the way a sick
thing does when it’s done for—or maybe the reason
was nothing more melodramatic

than a night-flying congregation of moths, lured in
in their turn by house-glow, the strange heat
of it—imagine the nebular dangerousness, if one
were a moth, the dark pockmarked with beaks, the great
dim shapes, the bright extinction—

if moths are, indeed, after all, what a whippoorwill
favors. Who knows? Anyhow, from one point of view
insects are to be seen as an ailment, moths above all:
the filmed-over, innumerable nodes of spun-out tissue
untidying the trees, the larval

spew of such hairy hordes, one wonders what use
they can be other than as a guarantee no bird
goes hungry. We’re like that. The webbiness,
the gregariousness of the many are what we can’t abide.
We single out for notice

above all what’s disjunct, the way birds are,
with their unhooked-up, cheekily anarchic
dartings and flashings, their uncalled-for color—
the indelible look of the rose-breasted grosbeak
an aunt of mine, a noticer

of such things before the noticing had or needed
a name, drew my five-year-old attention up to, in
the green deeps of a maple. She never married,
believed her cat had learned to leave birds alone,
and for years, node after node,

by lingering degrees she made way within for
what wasn’t so much a thing as it was a system,
a webwork of error that throve until it killed her.
What is health? We must all die sometime.
Whatever it is, out there

in the woods, that begins to seem like
a species of madness, we survive as we can:
the hooked-up, the humdrum, the brief, tragic
wonder of being at all. The whippoorwill out in
the woods, for me, brought back

as by a relay, from a place at such a distance
no recollection now in place could reach so far,
the memory of a memory she told me of once:
of how her father, my grandfather, by whatever
now unfathomable happenstance,

carried her (she might have been five) into the breathing night.
“Listen!” she said he’d said. “Did you hear it?
That was a whippoorwill.” And she (and I) never forgot.
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  #60  
Old 11-11-2012, 01:00 PM
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Karzac Karzac is offline
Dinger!
 
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Apropos of today:

Quote:
Originally Posted by "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae
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.
I really like the first two stanzas of this poem, but the third is so "rah rah" that I have a hard time stomaching it.
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