Poetry, chaps.

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« on: April 08, 2014, 12:54:18 am »
What poetry do we enjoy, if any?
I'll kick off with some Yeats, a poem that I feel relates tonally to TSA.

The Second Coming  W. B. Yeats
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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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 02:33:27 pm »
Now that's probably not a good topic with me around as I might flood it.

As you might guess from my sig, one of my favourite poets is William Blake. It all started with a short quote which I encountered by accident, as a motto somewhere, I think. This was from his "London":
And the hapless Soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.
It struck me so much that I started to look for his other works. For example, "Marriage of Heaven and Hell" and "Proverbs of Hell" (this is the source of my sig).

And then there's T.S. Eliot, whom I absolutely love. For lines like this ("The Hollow Men"):
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

     For thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
    Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
     For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.

or this ("Waste Land"):
April is the cruellest month, breeding   
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing   
Memory and desire, stirring   
Dull roots with spring rain.   
Winter kept us warm, covering            
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding   
A little life with dried tubers.

And then there are English romantic poets, like Byron or Coleridge, poets of with, like Donne or Marvell - the list could go on and on.
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake


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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 12:58:17 am »
Flood away.  I enjoy some poetry but I don't get exposed to a lot, so I like it when people share their favourites.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 09:27:37 am »
Flood away. I could use some instruction in poetry.
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer


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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 04:41:23 pm »
Well, you've been warned.

S.T. Coleridge, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". Worth reading whole, so here is a link: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/151/151-h/151-h.htm

Byron. Just a very short poem, but one which really speaks to me:
So, we'll go no more a-roving   
So late into the night,   
Though the heart be still as loving,   
And the moon be still as bright.   
For the sword outwears its sheath,            
And the soul wears out the breast,   
And the heart must pause to breathe,   
And love itself have rest.   
Though the night was made for loving,   
And the day returns too soon,    
Yet we'll go no more a-roving   
By the light of the moon.

Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress" (it's a poem of wit, based on a conceit, not everyone may like it. OK, it's basically "Let's f* before we get too old", but the way he says it  8) )

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love would grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near:
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vaults, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball,
And tear our pleasure with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

And then there's Donne, about death (or rather Death, himself). Look at the last line, now that's a paradox.

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow
And soonest our best men with thee do go
Rest of their bones and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppies or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swellst thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 04:43:21 pm by Alia »
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake


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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2014, 12:55:21 am »
Thanks Alia, I love Coleridge and I love RotAM. 
Enjoyed Marvell, have not heard of him before.  :D
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2014, 08:28:30 pm »
Don't know much about poetry, but I like this one:

The Frivolous Cake

A freckled and frivolous cake there was
That sailed upon a pointless sea,
Or any lugubrious lake there was
In a manner emphatic and free.
How jointlessly, and how jointlessly
The frivolous cake sailed by
On the waves of the ocean that pointlessly
Threw fish to the lilac sky.

Oh, plenty and plenty of hake there was
Of a glory beyond compare,
And every conceivable make there was
Was tossed through the lilac air.

Up the smooth billows and over the crests
Of the cumbersome combers flew
The frivolous cake with a knife in the wake
Of herself and her curranty crew.
Like a swordfish grim it would bounce and skim
(This dinner knife fierce and blue) ,
And the frivolous cake was filled to the brim
With the fun of her curranty crew.

Oh, plenty and plenty of hake there was
Of a glory beyond compare -
And every conceivable make there was
Was tossed through the lilac air.

Around the shores of the Elegant Isles
Where the cat-fish bask and purr
And lick their paws with adhesive smiles
And wriggle their fins of fur,
They fly and fly 'neath the lilac sky -
The frivolous cake, and the knife
Who winketh his glamorous indigo eye
In the wake of his future wife.

The crumbs blow free down the pointless sea
To the beat of a cakey heart
And the sensitive steel of the knife can feel
That love is a race apart
In the speed of the lingering light are blown
The crumbs to the hake above,
And the tropical air vibrates to the drone
Of a cake in the throes of love.

from Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake


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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 06:49:07 pm »
Here is a link to Blake's "Proverbs of Hell" from "Marriage of Hell". It's not exactly poetry as such but many of them are really witty. And some are pretty revolutionary for someone who lived at the turn of 18th century.
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2014, 10:45:59 pm »
This popped up on my FacedancerBook feed, reminding me how I love EAP.
Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
-Edgar Allan Poe
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 09:48:34 pm »
I don't read much poetry, even though I do enjoy it (just never really think about it enough to be honest), but I came across this poem by Lord Dunsany and it instantly became one of my favorite ever.

Who treads these level lands of gold,
The level fields of mist and air,
And rolling mountains manifold
And towers of twilight over there?

No mortal foot upon them strays,
No archer in the tower dwells,
but feet too airy for our ways
Go up and down their hills and dells.

The people out of old romance,
And people that have never been,
And those that on the border dance
Between old history and between.

Resounding fable, as the king
Who held his court at Camelot.
There Guinevere is wandering
And there the knight Sir Lancelot.

And by yon precipice of white,
As steep as Roncesvalles, and more,
Within an inch of fancy's sight,
Roland the peerless rides to war.

And just the tip of Quixote's spear,
The greatest of them all by far,
Is surely visible from here!
But no, it is the Evening Star.


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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2015, 04:49:57 am »
You end up studying a lot of poetry as an English major, sometimes more than you care to and some in styles that are unwieldy, but inevitably some stick. One that can't seem to shake is Ozymandias by Percy 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.”

It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm too near to being a hippie that I'd be remiss if I didn't throw out a little beat poetry. This is probably the most casual and comedic performance of America by Allen Ginsberg out there, and it is all the better for it in my opinion: