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A Thread of Poetry

  1. May 7, 2005 #1


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    Post something you like here. We need something besides news and science. I'm posting Earth's Answer by William Blake.

    Earth raised up her head,
    From the darkness dread and drear,
    Her light fled:
    Stony dread!
    And her locks cover'd with grey despair,

    Prison'd on watry shore
    Starry Jealousy does keep my den
    Cold and hoar
    Weeping o'er
    I hear the Father of the ancient men

    Selfish father of men
    Cruel jealous selfish fear
    Can delight
    Chain'd in night
    The virgins of youth and morning bear.

    Does spring hide its joy
    When buds and blossoms grow?
    Does the sower?
    Sow at night?
    Or the plowman in darkness plow?

    Break this heavy chain,
    that does freeze my bones around
    Selfish! Vain!
    Eternal bane!
    That free Love with bondage bound.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2005 #2


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    He Had His Dream by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    He had his dream, and all through life,
    Worked up to it through toil and strife.
    Afloat fore'er before his eyes,
    It colored for him all his skies:
    The storm-cloud dark
    Above his bark,
    The calm and listless vault of blue
    Took on its hopeful hue,
    It tinctured every passing beam --
    He had his dream.

    He labored hard and failed at last,
    His sails too weak to bear the blast,
    The raging tempests tore away
    And sent his beating bark astray.
    But what cared he
    For wind or sea!
    He said, "The tempest will be short,
    My bark will come to port."
    He saw through every cloud a gleam --
    He had his dream.
  4. May 7, 2005 #3


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    A friend of mine is dying of multiple sclerosis at the age of 19. This is her favorite:

    On the Eve of His Execution

    by Chidiock Tichbourne

    My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
    My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
    My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
    And all my good is but vain hope of gain;
    The day is past, and yet I saw no sun,
    And now I live, and now my life is done.

    My tale was heard and yet it was not told,
    My fruit is fallen, yet my leaves are green,
    My youth is spent and yet I am not old,
    I saw the world and yet I was not seen;
    My thread is cut and yet it is not spun,
    And now I live and now my life is done.

    I sought my death and found it in my womb,
    I looked for life and found it was a shade,
    I trod the earth and knew it was my tomb,
    And now I die, and now I was but made;
    My glass is full, and now my glass is run,
    And now I live, and now my life is done.
  5. May 7, 2005 #4
    I had to memorize this in 1st year German in college and for some reason I've never forgotten it:


    Herr, es ist Zeit.
    Der Sommer war sehr gross.
    Leg deinen schatten auf die Sonnenuhren
    Und auf den fluren, lass die winde los.

    Befiel den letzten Fruchten voll zu sein.
    Gib ihnen noch zwei sudlicherer Tage.
    Drange sie zur vollendung hin
    Und jage die letzte susse in den schweren wein.

    Wer jetzt kein haus hat baut sich keines mehr.
    Wer jetzt allein ist wird es lange bleiben.
    Wird waschen, lesen, lange briefe schreiben,
    Und wird in den allein hin und her unruhig wandern
    Wenn die blatte treiben.
    Last edited: May 7, 2005
  6. May 7, 2005 #5
    Baisés volés
    Outside the snow was falling
    One by one, pas de deux, then a corp in relay
    Inside, sweltering shudders had shrouded the window panes
    Adagio spent, now softly in linen
    I wrap her in my flesh, warm, still moist, hours on the wane
    Baisé volé
    Everywhere it was still falling
    Flakes silver and dark, floating, still as night, naught for day
    Inside still touching, twinning the basking bodies' flow
    Murmurs, from the cries of Making Love
    Came then, our dreams upon dreams, like the drifts of snow
    And before sleep, lasting sweet stolen kisses to stay
    Ours by hours
    Comme baisés volés
  7. May 8, 2005 #6


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    Time to go old school with some Publius Ovidius Naso (aka Ovid). Not to be confused with Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving, here is

    The Art of Love: Book Two

    ...Short partings do best, though: time wears out affections,
    The absent love fades, a new one takes its place.
    With Menelaus away, Helen's disinclination for sleeping
    Alone led her into her guest's
    Warm bed at night. Were you crazy, Menelaus?
    Why go off leaving your wife
    With a stranger in the house? Do you trust doves to falcons,
    Full sheepfolds to mountain wolves?
    Here Helen's not at fault, the adulterer's blameless -
    He did no more than you, or any man else,
    Would do yourself. By providing place and occasion
    You precipitated the act. What else did she do
    But act on your clear advice? Husband gone; this stylish stranger
    Here on the spot; too scared to sleep alone -
    Oh, Helen wins my acquittal, the blame's her husband's:
    All she did was take advantage of a man's
    Human complaisance. And yet, more savage than the tawny
    Boar in his rage, as he tosses the maddened dogs
    On lightening tusks, or a lioness suckling her unweaned
    Cubs, or the tiny adder crushed
    By some careless foot, is a woman's wrath, when some rival
    Is caught in the bed she shares. Her feelings show
    On her face. Decorum's flung to the wind, a maenadic
    Frenzy grips her, she rushes headlong off
    After fire and steel...
  8. May 8, 2005 #7
    Chère Adagio Douce et Tendre:

    As I lie down,
    the room has
    but a bit and
    hint of
    an autumnal chill.
    Soon, too,
    my eyes will flicker
    and I will succumb
    to a lullaby of a far
    away place, passing,
    and chime.
    But what would
    the distances that
    have you here and
    keep you there?
    For in that terrain
    between those two
    and you and I,
    is every minute,
    every moment,
    that the mystery
    of you is for me
    to wonder,
    as you are
    now to me,
    So, when you slip
    to sleep sweetly
    and dream things
    of far away and
    here and now,
    know well,
    ma chère adagio,
    that when I close my eyes,
    you will be still here,
    and there...
    places near and far...
    and everywhere...

    Mes tendres embraces, et baisés volé

  9. May 8, 2005 #8


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    I had to write this down some time ago and I still haven't forgotten it:

    Nature's first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.

    Her early leaf's a flower,
    But only so an hour.

    Then leaf subsides to leaf,
    So eden sank to grief.

    So dawn goes down to day,
    Nothing gold can stay.

    -Robert frost
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