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4 months ago

Share you favourite poems/poets!

Pine Forest by Gabriel Mistral
4 months ago

Pine Forest

Let us go now into the forest.
Trees will pass by your face,
and I will stop and offer you to them,
but they cannot bend down.
The night watches over its creatures,
except for the pine trees that never change:
the old wounded springs that spring
blessed gum, eternal afternoons.
If they could, the trees would lift you
and carry you from valley to valley,
and you would pass from arm to arm,
a child running
from father to father.

Gabriela Mistral
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose by Pablo Neruda
4 months ago

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of the carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I live you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

The Orange by Wendy Cope
4 months ago

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave
They got quarters and I got a half.

And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It's new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I'm glad I exist.

Wendy Cope

4 months ago

Somebody's Dog


My best friend

was a dog.  He

was pretty old

and wrinkled.  I

do not know

his name or

how old he is.

All I know is

that he was

mangy and

slow and skinny

as a pencil.

He made a sound

like a donkey.

Not to be mean

but he was pretty dumb

and stupid.  He always

messed everything up.

I felt pretty sad about

this dog even though

he wasn't my dog.  I

wished he was

my dog even

before he died

of his ugly

wrinkled itchy

mange.

I liked this dog

like he was my

brother.


by a 5th grade student at

Indian Oasis Intermediate School

Sells, Arizona

2003-04



This post was modified from its original form on 04 May, 9:11
4 months ago

This young poet is amazing! Thank you Miranda for sharing! Was he a pupil of yours?

4 months ago

Yes, he was my pupil in 4th-6th grades, and as talented an artist as he was a poet, with a wonderfully idiosyncratic sense of humor.

4 months ago

Fulvia, great topic!

Miranda, what do you teach?

4 months ago

One of my last favourite: Born in a gentle country by Janet Frame


Born in a gentle country
mothered by peace and mercy
I’ve never learned to stay in the forbidding House of Judgement
where guests are warned to speak one sentence only,
‘Humanity is no excuse for Humanity.”

I’ve discovered it’s not mercy
nor peace nor being born in a gentle country
that deters me: the rent is too high
decision on decision paid out to a total
terrifying lifelong responsibility.

Besides, who is to know whether the true owner, Love,
who first toiled and planted the walled garden, may wander now, 
himself an insane prisoner in the House of Judgement?

4 months ago

Fulvia and Valentina, I'm enjoying all the poems.  Thank you both.

Valentina, I taught 4th and 5th graders all core subjects...Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies.  I also taught Language Arts a few times at the middle school (8th grade) level.  I most usually taught 5th grade.  I also taught Special Education Language Arts and Math for two years.  I retired after the 2010/11 school year.

4 months ago

You're welcome, gals, my pleasure!

Thank you for posting Janet Frame, Valentina.

Now, I want you to know a work by an Italian writer/poet, Gabriele d'Annunzio, which is a masterpiece of synesthesia!

These are not human words, it's Nature speaking here!

The Rain in the Pine Wood



Hush. On the edge

Of the woods I do not hear

Words which you call

Human; but I hear

Words which are newer

Spoken by droplets and leaves

Far away.

Listen. Rain falls

From the scattered clouds.

Rain falls on the tamarisks

Briny and parched.

Rain falls on the pine trees

Scaly and bristling,

Rain falls on the myrtles-

Divine,

On the broom-shrubs gleaming

With clustered flowers,

On the junipers thick

With fragrant berries,

Rain falls on our faces-

Sylvan,

Rain falls on our hands-

Naked,

On our clothes-

Light,

On the fresh thoughts

That our soul discloses-

Renewed,

On the lovely fable

That yesterday

Beguiled you, that beguiles me today,

O Hermione.

Do you hear?

The rain is falling

On the solitary

Greenness

With a crackling that persists

And varies in the air

According to the foliage

Sparser, less sparse.

Listen.

The weeping is answered

By the song

Of the Cicadas

Which are not frightened

By the weeping of the South wind

Or the ashen sky

And the pine tree

Has one sound, and the myrtle

Another sound, and the juniper

Yet another, instruments

Different

Under numberless fingers.

And we are

Immersed in the spirit

Of the woodland,

Alive with arboreal life;

And your ecstatic face

Is soft with rain

As a leaf

And your hair

Is fragrant like

The bright broom-flowers,

O earthly creature

Whose name is

Hermione.

Listen, listen. The harmony

Of the high-borne cicadas

Gradually becomes

Fainter

Beneath the weeping

That grows stronger;

But a song mingles with it-

Hoarser,

Rising from down there,

From the far damp shade.

Fainter and weaker

It slackens, fades away.

Only one note

Still trembles, fades away.

Rises again, trembles, fades away.

One hears no sea voice.

Now one hears upon all the foliage,

Pelting,

The silvery rain

That cleanses,

The pelting that varies

According to the foliage

Thicker, less thick.

Listen.

The daughter of the air

is mute; but the daughter

Of the miry swamp, in the distance,

The frog,

Is singing in the deepest shade,

Who knows where, who knows where!

And rain falls on your lashes,

Hermione.

Rain falls on your black eyelashes

So that you seem to weep

But from pleasure; not white

But made almost green,

You seem to emerge from bark.

And within us all life is fresh,

Fragrant,

The heart in our breasts is like a peach

Untouched,

The eyes between the eyelids

Are like springs in the grass,

The teeth in their sockets

Are like bitter almonds.

And we go from thicket to thicket,

Now joined, now apart

(And the rough green vigour

Entwines our ankles,

Entangles our knees)

Who knows where, who knows where!

And rain falls on our faces-

Sylvan,

Rain falls on our hands-

Naked,

On our clothes-

Light,

On the fresh thoughts

That our soul discloses-

Renewed,

On the lovely fable

That yesterday

Beguiled me, that beguiles you today,

O Hermione.

Gabriele d'Annunzio

4 months ago

My favourite poem is by Robert Burns, The Bard. He was born, lived and wrote in the town in which I grew up in and live, Ayr, on the west cost of Scotland. Because it's written in Auld Scots (old Scots) I am posting the original version and the English translation so as everyone who isn't Scottish will actually know what Burns was talking about.

Burns original

Tae a Mouse

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An' fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't.

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!


Standard English Translation

To a Mouse

Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
O, what a panic is in your little breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With argumentative chatter!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor little beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse grass green!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel plough passed
Out through your cell.

That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blest, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

4 months ago

Arline, I love Burns too! Of course I am familiar only with English translations of his poetry, but even like that it is amazing! From sadly romantic “The Love and the Poverty” to a bit ruffian “Poor Mailie's Elegy” and “Death And Dying Words Of Poor Mailie, The Author's Only Pet”. And “To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough” is one of my favourite!

4 months ago

Miranda, such work as yours is of great importance! It is pity, but I have less and less reasons do not agree with Chuck Palahniuk who wrote somewhere in his narrative something like “The age of enlightenment is fairly finished and we live in the age of impenetrable ignorance”…

4 months ago

Robert Frost: Happiness Makes Up In Height For What It lacks in Length

O stormy, stormy world, 
The days you were not swirled
Around with mist and cloud,
Or wrapped as in a shroud,
And the sun's brilliant ball
Was not in part or all
Obscured from mortal view--
Were days so very few
I can but wonder whence
I get the lasting sense
Of so much warmth and light.
If my mistrust is right
It may be altogether
From one day's perfect weather,
When starting clear at dawn
The day swept clearly on
To finish clear at eve.
I verily believe
My fair impression may
Be all from that one day
No shadow crossed but ours
As through its blazing flowers
We went from house to wood
For change of solitude. 

Page of writing by Jacques Prévert
4 months ago

Page d'écriture: Jacques Prévert

Deux et deux quatre
quatre et quatre huit
huit et huit font seize…
étez! dit le maître
Deux et deux quatre
quatre et quatre huit
huit et huit font seize.
Mais voilà l’oiseau-lyre
qui passe dans le ciel
l’enfant le voit
L’enfant l’entend
l’enfant l’appelle:
Sauve-moi
joue avec moi
oiseau!
Alors l’oiseau descend
et joue avec l’enfant
Deux et deux quatre…
étez! dit le maître
et l’enfant joue
l’oiseau joue avec lui…
Quatre et quatre huit
huit et huit font seize
et seize et seize qu’est-ce qu’ils font?
Ils ne font rien seize et seize
et surtout pas trente-deux
de toute façon
et ils s’en vont.
Et l’enfant a caché l’oiseau
dans son pupitre
et tous les enfants entendent sa chanson
et tous les enfants
entendent la musique
et huit et huit à leur tour s’en vont
et quatre et quatre et deux et deux
à leur tour fichent le camp
et un et un ne font ni une ni deux
et un à un s’en vont également.
Et l’oiseau-lyre joue
et l’enfant chante
et le professeur crie:
Quand vous aurez fini de faire le pitre!
Mais tous les autres enfants
écoutent la musique
et les murs de la classe
s’écroulent tranquillement
Et les vitres redeviennent sable
l’encre redevient eau
les pupitres redeviennent abres
la craie redevient falaise
le porte-plume redevient oiseau.

Two and two four
Four and four eight
Eight and eight makes sixteen…
Repeat! says the teacher
Two and two four
Four and four eight
Eight and eight makes sixteen.
But there is a lyrebird
Who flies through the sky
The child sees it
The child hears it
And the child calls to it
Save me
Play with me
Bird!
So the bird descends
And plays with the child
Two and two four…
Repeat! says the teacher
And the child plays
And the bird plays with him…
Four and four eight
Eight and eight makes sixteen
And what’s sixteen and sixteen?
It makes nothing, 16 and 16
Especially not thirty-two
In any case
And it leaves
And the child hides the bird
In his desk
And the children hear his song
And all the children
Hear the music
And 8 and 8 leave in their turn
And 4 and 4 and 2 and 2
And in their turn clear out
And one and one don’t make 1 or 2
And 1 to 1 leave equally
And the lyrebird plays
And the child sings
And the teacher cries:
When you are done acting like clowns!
But the other children
Listen to the music
And the walls of the class
Crumble gently
And the glass panes become sand again
And the ink becomes water again
And the desks become trees again
And the chalk becomes cliffs again
And the quill becomes the bird again.



This post was modified from its original form on 05 May, 15:09



This post was modified from its original form on 05 May, 15:11
4 months ago

Sorry, struggled to have those emoticons removed, by no way!



This post was modified from its original form on 05 May, 15:15
4 months ago

I meant BUT no way, sorry! terribly clumsy of me!

4 months ago

Fulvia, I love Jacques Prévert too!

Jacques Prévert, Pour toi, mon amour


Je suis allé au marché aux oiseaux
Et j'ai acheté des oiseaux
Pour toi
Mon amour
Je suis allé au marché aux fleurs
Et j'ai acheté des fleurs
Pour toi
Mon amour
Je suis allé au marché à la ferraille
Et j'ai acheté des chaînes
De lourdes chaînes
Pour toi
Mon amour
Et je suis allé au marché aux esclaves
Et je t'ai cherchée
Mais je ne t'ai pas trouvée
Mon amour

 

For You My Love 

I went to the market of birds
And I bought birds
For you
my love
I went to the market of flowers
And I bought flowers
For you
my love
I went to the market of ironwork
And I bought chains
Heavy chains
For you
my love
And then I went to the market of slaves
And I searched for you
But I did not find you
My love.

A moment of Happiness by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273)
4 months ago

Thank you, Valentina! Prévert is one of my favourite!

But I love Rumi too, this ancient Persian poet, here you are!

A Moment of Happiness

A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden's beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
4 months ago

Walt Whitman, Poem of Perfect Miracles.

 

REALISM is mine, my miracles,

Take all of the rest—take freely—I keep
         but my own—I give only of them,

I offer them without end—I offer them to you
         wherever your feet can carry you, or your
         eyes reach.

 

Why! who makes much of a miracle?

As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,

Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,

Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward
         the sky,

Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in
         the edge of the water,

Or stand under trees in the woods,

Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in
         the bed at night with any one I love,

Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother,

Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,

Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of an
         August forenoon,

Or animals feeding in the fields,


Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the
         air,

Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of
         stars shining so quiet and bright,

Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new-
         moon in May,

Or whether I go among those I like best, and that
         like me best—mechanics, boatmen, farmers,

Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to
         the opera,

Or stand a long while looking at the movements
         of machinery,

Or behold children at their sports,

Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or
         the perfect old woman,

Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to
         burial,

Or my own eyes and figure in the glass,

These, with the rest, one and all, are to me
         miracles,

The whole referring—yet each distinct and in its
         place.

 

To me, every hour of the light and dark is a
         miracle,

Every inch of space is a miracle,

Every square yard of the surface of the earth is
         spread with the same,


Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the
         same;

Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs,
         of men and women, and all that concerns
         them,

All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

 

To me the sea is a continual miracle,

The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion
         of the waves—the ships, with men in them
         —what stranger miracles are there?

 

4 months ago

How wonderful to know that you're a fan of Burns too Valentina!

Tae a Mouse is my all time favourite, followed up by A Red, Red Rose, which if you have ever loved and lost can make your heart swell or break, depending on which part of the relationship you are in

He was a true man of the people, and the majority of his work was a social commentary of the times he was living in, like the wonderfully funny To a Louse (head lice) in which he tells of the lice crawling in the head of the women at the local Kirk (church) or Is There Honest Poverty where he speaks of slavery, class difference and social injustice and how he hopes that we as a people can learn from it and start to treat each other well.

Burns will forever be to me the most adroit poet there ever was, and probably ever will be.

4 months ago

Here is the ever funny To a Louse, in both the Auld Scots and the English translation!

Burn's Original

Ha! Whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly,
I canna say but ye strut rarely
Owre gauze and lace,
Tho' faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her --
Sae fine a lady!
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body.

Swith! in some beggar's hauffet squattle:
There you may creep, and sprawl, and spr
Wi' ither kindred, jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations;
Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.

Now haud you there! ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rils, snug an' tight;
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right,
Till ye've got on it ---
The vera tapmost, tow'ring height
O' miss's bonnet.

My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose ou
As plump an' grey as onie grozet:
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,
I'd gie ye sic a hearty dose o't,
Wad dress your droddum!

I wad na been surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy:
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,
On's wyliecoat;
But Miss's fine Lunardi! fye!
How daur ye do't.

O Jenny, dinna toss your head,
An' set your beauties a' abread!
You little ken what cursed speed
The blastie's makin!
Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin'!

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!


English Translation

Ha! Where are you going, you crawling wonder?
Your impudence protects you sorely,
I can not say but you swagger rarely
Over gauze and lace,
Though faith! I fear you dine but sparingly
On such a place

You ugly, creeping, blasted wonder,
Detested, shunned by saint and sinner,
How dare you set your foot upon her -
Such fine a lady!
Go somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body

Off! in some beggar's temples squat:
There you may creep, and sprawl, and scramble,
With other kindred, jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations;
Where horn nor bone never dare unsettle
Your thick plantations

Now hold you there! you are out of sight,
Below the falderals, snug and tight;
No, faith you yet! you will not be right,
Until you have got on it ---
The very topmost, towering height
Of misses bonnet.

My sooth! right bold you set your nose out,
As plump and gray as any gooseberry:
O for some rank, mercurial resin,
Or deadly, red powder,
I would give you such a hearty dose of it,
Would dress your breech!

I would not have been surprised to spy
You on an old wife's flannel cap:
Or maybe some small ragged boy,
On his undervest;
But Miss's fine balloon bonnet! fye!
How dare you do it.

O Jenny do not toss your head,
And set your beauties all abroad!
You little know what cursed speed
The blastie's making!
Those winks and finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takiing!

O would some Power the gift to give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!

This post was modified from its original form on 07 May, 20:59

4 months ago

This is one of Burns' most powerful poems in my opinion.

Is There for Honest Poverty.

Burns Original

Is there for honest poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that?
The coward slave, we pass him by --
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Our toils obscure, an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.
2.
What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a' that?
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine --
A man's a man for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that,
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.
3.
Ye see yon birkie ca'd 'a lord,'
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that?
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a cuif for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that,
The man o' independent mind,
He looks an' laughs at a' that.
4.
A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that!
But an honest man's aboon his might --
Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities, an' a' that,
The pith o' sense an' pride o' worth
Are higher rank than a' that.
5.
Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth
Shall bear the gree an' a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's comin yet for a' that,
That man to man the world o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that


English Translation.


Is there for honest poverty
That hangs his head, and all that?
The coward slave, we pass him by -
We dare be poor for all that!
For all that, and all that,
Our toils obscure, and all that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gold for all that.

What though on homely fare we dine,
Wear course grey woolen, and all that?
Give fools their silks, and knaves their wine -
A man is a man for all that.
For all that, and all that,
Their tinsel show, and all that,
The honest man, though ever so poor,
Is king of men for all that.

You see yonder fellow called 'a lord,'
Who struts, and stares, and all that?
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He is but a dolt for all that.
For all that, and all that,
His ribboned, star, and all that,
The man of independent mind,
He looks and laughs at all that.

A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and all that!
But an honest man is above his might -
Good faith, he must not fault that
For all that, and all that,
Their dignities, and all that,
The pith of sense and pride of worth
Are higher rank than all that.

Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth over all the earth
Shall have the first place and all that!
For all that, and all that,
It is coming yet for all that,
That man to man the world over
Shall brothers be for all that.

4 months ago

It is pity that Burns passed away so early, as well as another British poet, whom I admire - John Keats.  I'm always wondering how much they could do if they would have a bit  more time… By the way, I have never been in love with autumn before my study in Italy. This season there is of especial beauty: quite warm and incredibly picturesque. Once I accidently found the ode by Keats, devoted to autumn and fall in love with:

Ode to Autumn

 

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

CONSIDER THE LILIES OF THE FIELD by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
4 months ago

Flowers preach to us if we will hear:--

The rose saith in the dewy morn:

I am most fair;

Yet all my loveliness is born

Upon a thorn.

The poppy saith amid the corn:

Let but my scarlet head appear

And I am held in scorn;

Yet juice of subtle virtue lies

Within my cup of curious dyes.

The lilies say: Behold how we

Preach without words of purity.

The violets whisper from the shade

Which their own leaves have made:

Men scent our fragrance on the air,

Yet take no heedOf humble lessons we would read.

But not alone the fairest flowers:

The merest grass

Along the roadside where we pass,

Lichen and moss and sturdy weed,

Tell of His love who sends the dew,

The rain and sunshine too,

To nourish one small seed.

Christina Rossetti

I'll tell thee everything I can by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
4 months ago

I'll tell thee everything I can; 
There's little to relate, 
I saw an aged, aged man, 
A-sitting on a gate. 
"Who are you, aged man?" I said. 
"And how is it you live?" 
And his answer trickled through my head 
Like water through a sieve. 
  
He said, "I look for butterflies 
That sleep among the wheat; 
I make them into mutton-pies, 
And sell them in the street. 
I sell them unto men," he said, 
"Who sail on stormy seas; 
And that's the way I get my bread
A trifle, if you please." 
  
But I was thinking of a plan 
To dye one's whiskers green, 
And always use so large a fan 
That they could not be seen. 
So, having no reply to give 
To what the old man said, 
I cried, "Come, tell me how you live!"
And thumped him on the head. 
  
His accents mild took up the tale; 
He said, "I go my ways, 
And when I find a mountain-rill,
I set it in a blaze; 
And thence they make a stuff they call
Rowland's Macassar Oil-- 
Yet twopence-halfpenny is all 
They give me for my toil." 
  
But I was thinking of a way 
To feed one's self on batter, 
And so go on from day to day 
Getting a little fatter. 
I shook him well from side to side,
Until his face was blue, 
"Come, tell me how you live," I cried,
"And what it is you do!" 
  
He said, "I hunt for haddocks' eyes 
Among the heather bright, 
And work them into waistcoat-buttons
In the silent night. 
And these I do not sell for gold
Or coin of silvery shine, 
But for a copper halfpenny, 
And that will purchase nine. 
  
"I sometimes dig for buttered rolls, 
Or set limed twigs for crabs; 
I sometimes search the grassy knolls
For wheels of hansom-cabs. 
And that's the way" (he gave a wink)
"By which I get my wealth 
And very gladly will I drink 
Your honor's noble health." 
  
I heard him then, for I had just 
Completed my design 
To keep the Menai bridge from rust
By boiling it in wine. 
I thanked him much for telling me
The way he got his wealth, 
But chiefly for his wish that he 
Might drink my noble health. 
  
And now, if e'er by chance I put 
My fingers into glue, 
Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot 
Into a left-hand shoe, 
Or if I drop upon my toe 
A very heavy weight, 
I weep, for it reminds me so
Of that old man I used to know 
Whose look was mild, whose speech was slow,
Whose hair was whiter than the snow, 
Whose face was very like a crow, 
With eyes, like cinders, all aglow, 
Who seemed distracted with his woe, 
Who rocked his body to and fro, 
And muttered mumblingly and low, 
As if his mouth were full of dough, 
Who snorted like a buffal
That summer evening long ago, 
A-sitting on a gate.

Lewis Carroll

4 months ago

Illusions



They say our best illusions soonest fly –

Bring, many-tinted birds on rainbow wing,

Adown the dim dawn-valleys vanishing

Long ere our noon be white upon the sky:

Nay, never so, in sooth; ourselves go by,

Leaving the sun that shines, the birds that sing,

The hazy, golden glamours of the Spring,

The summer dawning’s clear obscurity.

O woven sorceries of sun and shade!

O bare brown Downs by grasslands glad and green!

Deep, haunted woods, with shadows thick between;

Young leaves, with every year, new-born, remade;

Fair are ye still, and fair have ever been –

While we, ephemera, but fail and fade.

Graham R. Tomson (Rosamund Marriott Watson)



This post was modified from its original form on 23 May, 3:42
Fernando Pessoa
4 months ago

This 

They say I pretend or lie 
All that I write. No. 
I simple feel 
With my imagination, 
I do not use the heart. 

All that I dream or pass, 
that falls short or ends on me, 
is like a terrace 
over another thing still. 
That is the thing that is beautiful. 

That’s why I write in the middle 
Something that’s not at the feet, 
Free of my own confusion, 
Serious of what is not. 
Feel? Let them feel who read! 

Fernando Pessoa 
1933? 

All Love Letters Are Ridicolous
4 months ago

The following is by Fernando Pessoa as well, but one of his literary alter ego, Alvaro de Campos, signed it. 

All Love Letters Are Ridicolous 

All letters of love are 
Ridiculous. 
They wouldn’t be love letters if they were not 
Ridiculous. 

In my days I too wrote letters of love, 
Like others, 
Ridiculous. 

Love letters, if there’s love, 
Have to be 
Ridiculous. 

But at the end 
Only those who never wrote 
Letters of love 
Are really 
Ridiculous. 

I wish I were in the times 
When I wrote love letters 
Not thinking how 
Ridiculous. 

But today the truth is 
My memories Of those love letters 
Are the ones that are 
Ridiculous. 

(All the strange words, 
Like the strange feelings, 
Are naturally 
Ridiculous.) 

Alvaro de Campos 
21 October 1935

4 months ago

When I consider every thing that grows

Holds in perfection but a little moment,

That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows

Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;


When I perceive that men as plants increase,

Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky,

Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,

And wear their brave state out of memory;


Then the conceit of this inconstant stay

Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,

Where wasteful Time debateth with decay

To change your day of youth to sullied night,


And all in war with Time for love of you,

As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

Sonnet 15 by William Shakespeare 

1 month ago

Robert Frost

 

The Road Not Taken

 

 

 

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

        

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

        

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

        

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

      

1 month ago

Valentina - The Robert Frost poem "The Road Not Taken" is my all time favorite poem. When I was in high school (oh so very long ago) my music teacher found a version put to music. I'm not much for poetry so don't have any to add except a little 4 line poem I wrote when we were building our home:
Here sits the tree house on the hill
Built with hand unknowing but willing still
One pair soft but eager
One pair strong with experience meager.
So there you go - my contribution to poetry!

1 month ago

Nice coincidence, Nancy!

1 month ago

Yes, Valentina, the more we share the more we realize what a wonderfully small world we live in.

1 month ago

I agree with you absolutely, Nancy!

 

Phenomenal Woman

 

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. 

 

Maya Angelou



This post was modified from its original form on 31 Jul, 4:56
1 month ago

Thank you, Valentina, for posting one of my favorite poems.

1 month ago

It is my pleasure, Miranda! She is amazing, isn't it?

3 days ago

La petite chérie

La petite chérie arrive à Paris.
Paris fait du bruit. Paris fait du bruit

La petite chérie traverse la rue.
La bruit tombe en pluie. La bruit tombe en pluie

La petite chérie est sur le trottoir
Où de gros messieurs cossus et tout noirs

Empêchent son cœur de faire trop de bruit.

1915

Paul Éluard