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Subject: the poetry thread

Written By: Tia on 03/31/08 at 2:49 pm

"The Old Men" by Rudyard Kipling

This is our lot if we live so long and labour unto the end –
Then we outlive the impatient years and the much too patient friend:
And because we know we have breath in our mouth and think we have thoughts enough in our head,
We shall assume that we are alive, whereas we are really dead.

We shall not acknowledge that old stars fade or stronger planets arise
(That the sere bush buds or the desert blooms or the ancient well-head dries),
Or any new compass wherewith new men adventure ‘neath new skies.

We shall lift up the ropes that constrained our youth, to bind on our children’s hands;
We shall call to the waters below the bridges to return and to replenish our lands;
We shall harness (Death’s own pale horses) and scholarly plough the sands.

We shall lie down in the eye of the sun for lack of a light on our way –
We shall rise up when the day is done and chirrup, “Behold, it is day!”
We shall abide till the battle is won ere we amble into the fray.

We shall peck out and discuss and dissect, and evert and extrude to our mind,
The flaccid tissues of long-dead issues offensive to God and mankind –
(Precisely like vultures over an ox that the army left behind).

We shall make walk prespammersite ghosts of the glories we once created –
Immodestly smearing from muddled palettes amazing pigments mismated –
And our friend will weep when we ask them with boasts if our natural force be abated.

The Lamp of our Youth will be utterly out, but we shall subsist on the smell of it;
And whatever we do, we shall fold our hands and suck our gums and think well of it.
Yes, we shall be perfectly pleased with our work, and that is the Perfectest Hell of it!

This is our lot if we live so long and listen to those who love us –
That we are shunned by the people about and shamed by the Powers above us.
Wherefore be free of your harness betimes; but, being free be assured,
That he who hath not endured to the death, from his birth he hath never endured!




Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: ladybug316 on 03/31/08 at 3:01 pm

Yay, poetry.  Karma for the great thread.  This is one of my very favorites (that I believe I have shared here before)

Keeping Things Whole

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

by Mark Strand

Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: Philip Eno on 03/31/08 at 4:30 pm

If by Rudyard Kipling

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: wildcard on 03/31/08 at 6:15 pm

I open up the poem book I got as a kid.

Pachycephalosaurus

Among the later dinosaurs
Though not the largest, strongest
Pachycephalosaurus had
The name that was the longest.

Yet he had more then syllables,
As you may well suppose.
He had great knobs upon his cheeks
And spikes upon his nose.

Ten inches thick, atop his head,
A bump of boneprojected.
By this his brain, though hardly worth
Protecting was protected.

No claw or tooth, no tree that fell
Upon his head kerwhacky
Could crack or crease or jar or scar
That stony part of Paky.

And so he nibbled plants in peace
And lived untroubled days.
Sometimes in fact, as Paky proved,
To be a bonehead pays.


-Richard Armour

Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: midnite on 03/31/08 at 10:53 pm

I was torn between A Light In the Attic and Where The Sidewalk Ends, but this little poem sums up how I am feeling:

Reflection

Each time I see the Upside-Down Man
Standing in the water,
I look at him and start to laugh,
Although I shouldn't oughtter.
For maybe in another world
Another time
Another town.
Maybe HE is right side up
And I am upside down.

Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: Philip Eno on 04/01/08 at 5:19 am

My Sister Laura by Spike Milligan

My sister Laura's bigger than me
And lifts me up quite easily.
I can't lift her, I've tried and tried;
She must have something heavy inside.

Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: KKay on 04/03/08 at 2:43 pm

my favorite:


A speck that would have been beneath my sight
On any but a paper sheet so white
Set off across what I had written there.
And I had idly poised my pen in air
To stop it with a period of ink
When something strange about it made me think,
This was no dust speck by my breathing blown,
But unmistakably a living mite
With inclinations it could call its own.
It paused as with suspicion of my pen,
And then came racing wildly on again
To where my manuscript was not yet dry;
Then paused again and either drank or smelt--
With loathing, for again it turned to fly.
Plainly with an intelligence I dealt.
It seemed too tiny to have room for feet,
Yet must have had a set of them complete
To express how much it didn't want to die.
It ran with terror and with cunning crept.
It faltered: I could see it hesitate;
Then in the middle of the open sheet
Cower down in desperation to accept
Whatever I accorded it of fate.
I have none of the tenderer-than-thou
Collectivistic regimenting love
With which the modern world is being swept.
But this poor microscopic item now!
Since it was nothing I knew evil of
I let it lie there till I hope it slept.

I have a mind myself and recognize
Mind when I meet with it in any guise
No one can know how glad I am to find
On any sheet the least display of mind.

-- Robert Frost

Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: Philip Eno on 04/03/08 at 3:16 pm

Casabianca by Mrs. Felicia Dorothea Hemans

The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
Shone round him o'er the dead.

Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
A proud, though childlike form.

The flames roll'd on...he would not go
Without his father's word;
That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.

He call'd aloud..."Say, father, say
If yet my task is done!"
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.

"Speak, father!" once again he cried
"If I may yet be gone!"
And but the booming shots replied,
And fast the flames roll'd on.

Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death,
In still yet brave despair;

And shouted but one more aloud,
"My father, must I stay?"
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud
The wreathing fires made way,

They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
And stream'd above the gallant child,
Like banners in the sky.

There came a burst of thunder sound...
The boy-oh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
With fragments strewed the sea.

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part;
But the noblest thing which perished there
Was that young faithful heart.

Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: Philip Eno on 04/03/08 at 3:17 pm


Casabianca by Mrs. Felicia Dorothea Hemans

The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
Shone round him o'er the dead.

Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
A proud, though childlike form.

The flames roll'd on...he would not go
Without his father's word;
That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.

He call'd aloud..."Say, father, say
If yet my task is done!"
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.

"Speak, father!" once again he cried
"If I may yet be gone!"
And but the booming shots replied,
And fast the flames roll'd on.

Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death,
In still yet brave despair;

And shouted but one more aloud,
"My father, must I stay?"
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud
The wreathing fires made way,

They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
And stream'd above the gallant child,
Like banners in the sky.

There came a burst of thunder sound...
The boy-oh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
With fragments strewed the sea.

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part;
But the noblest thing which perished there
Was that young faithful heart.

Casablance by Spike Milligan

The boy stood on the burning deck,
whence all but he had fled.

Twit.

Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: thereshegoes on 04/07/08 at 11:10 am

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Subject: Re: the poetry thread

Written By: Philip Eno on 04/11/08 at 4:31 pm

Funeral Blues by W H Auden
 
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good. 

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