Let's talk about the pleasures and puzzles of the smaller mystery--mystery novels and other fiction--and the bigger one--life.
I lurve that poem.Also that photo by Andif.Whatcha got?
Indian SummerIn youth, it was a way I had To do my best to please,And change, with every passing lad, To suit his theories.But now I know the things I know, And do the things I do;And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love with you. Dorothy Parker
I love Dorothy Parker!Apropos to fall, a haiku I posted exactly three years ago:A fallen red leaf,Calls its brothers and sisters:“We’ll cover the world!”
Emily Dickinson, yummy--I swear that woman was an ancient Japanese sage writing haiku--and just well camouflaged.
I couldn't pick between my two choices so you all get both of them but they're kind of a pair.Hereby Grace PaleyHere I am in the garden laughingan old woman with heavy breastsand a nicely mapped facehow did this happenwell that's who I wanted to beat last a womanin the old style sittingstout thighs apart undera big skirt grandchild slidingon off my lap a pleasantsummer perspirationthat's my old man across the yardhe's talking to the meter readerhe's telling him the world's sad storyhow electricity is oil or uraniumand so forth I tell my grandsonrun over to your grandpa ask himto sit beside me for a minute Iam suddenly exhausted by my desireto kiss his sweet explaining lips.
And the other one.Danse Russeby William Carlos WilliamsIf when my wife is sleepingand the baby and Kathleenare sleepingand the sun is a flame-white discin silken mistsabove shining trees,—if I in my north roomdance naked, grotesquelybefore my mirrorwaving my shirt round my headand singing softly to myself:"I am lonely, lonely,I was born to be lonely,I am best so!"If I admire my arms, my face,my shoulders, flanks, buttocksagainst the yellow drawn shades,—Who shall say I am notthe happy genius of my household?
I almost did Emily D too, Nancy. I love the spareness of her language.Great choice, Mary -- it sounds just like you. ;)Love the haiku, Farf. Conda, you seem to have shown up empty-worded. :)
Come In From The Cold by Joni MitchellBack in 1957We had to dance a foot apartAnd they hawk-eyed us from the sidelinesHolding their rulers without a heartAnd so with just a touch of our fingersI could make our circuitry explodeAll we ever wantedWas just to come in from the cold ...I feel your leg under the tableLeaning into mineI feel renewedI feel disabledBy these bonfires in my spineI don't know who the arsonist wasWhich incendiary soulBut all I ever wantedWas just to come in from the cold (I was talking to my students a few weeks ago about subtle/symbolic language verses in-your-face sex in lyrics.)For me, this blog--you folks are Coming In From The Cold.
Already the words are so Great!!LOVE poetry day.MaryB--So much me vs my students.Farf--Fall's my favorite time-the colorsAndi--description and feeling I so much relate toNancy--Big beautiful words.I look forward to visiting all day.
Lovely!Here's my contribution:Instructionsby Neil GaimanTouch the wooden gate in the wall you neversaw before.Say "please" before you open the latch,go through,walk down the path.A red metal imp hangs from the green-paintedfront door,as a knocker,do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eatnothing.However, if any creature tells you that it hungers,feed it.If it tells you that it is dirty,clean it.If it cries to you that it hurts,if you can,ease its pain.From the back garden you will be able to see thewild wood.The deep well you walk past leads to Winter'srealm;there is another land at the bottom of it.If you turn around here,you can walk back, safely;you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.Once through the garden you will be in thewood.The trees are old. Eyes peer from the under-growth.Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. Shemay ask for something;give it to her. Shewill point the way to the castle.Inside it are three princesses.Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.In the clearing beyond the castle the twelvemonths sit about a fire,warming their feet, exchanging tales.They may do favors for you, if you are polite.You may pick strawberries in December's frost.Trust the wolves, but do not tell them whereyou are going.The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-man will take you.(The answer to his question is this:If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free toleave the boat.Only tell him this from a safe distance.)If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; thatwitches are often betrayed by their appetites;dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;hearts can be well-hidden,and you betray them with your tongue.Do not be jealous of your sister.Know that diamonds and rosesare as uncomfortable when they tumble fromone's lips as toads and frogs:colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.Remember your name.Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found.Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helpedto help you in their turn.Trust dreams.Trust your heart, and trust your story.When you come back, return the way you came.Favors will be returned, debts will be repaid.Do not forget your manners.Do not look back.Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that iswhy it will not stand.When you reach the little house, the place yourjourney started,you will recognize it, although it will seemmuch smaller than you remember.Walk up the path, and through the garden gateyou never saw before but once.And then go home. Or make a home.And rest.---And, if you want to watch/hear him read it: YouTube Link
Good morning :o)an excerpt...My Son"For what matters to them of a million deathsWhen war is the tender of life they promote?You can be sure when their reelection comes up,They won’t get my vote!For the enemy is now my chosen leader,The enemy called peace that all governments abhor!And you can be sure they won’t get any more of my sons,Till they end all war."
AUTUMN------The autumn coloursfiery displayforetell the comingof winter's dayAnd the leaves that fallon frosted groundnature's toys on herendless playgroundand those of us wholeap into pilesand hide beneath thosechildlike smileswe can walk awayour playtime doneawait the snow tocontinue our funMe!---CHAPTER 72----------The horse shook his head wishing for breakfast instead. A hawk screached above. Had to moved, or I'd die of. I couldn't name it.
You guys! What a feast!
I apologize for potentially breaking the rules with length here but I remember Nancy liking this piece some time ago.----Herd Remorse in Nietzsche's TermsCome children, see the Master.He is seated at an outside tablebehind the Tortured Artiste Café.He's ready to lecture to all who would listen, andhe's buying rounds of the special of the day:melancholy on six-grain toast;coffee with cream & extra angst; andto brighten up your darkest dreams,he's serving up his theory for free."New truths?"he begins, as a smile plays with his lips,"There are too many old ones as it is.German philosophy is frosted glass,making men into the ruins of gods...but that is not really the problem.The problem is with my Actor.He has Falseness with a Good Conscience.If you're a poet, you'll know the game becomes serious here."All poets are liars & thieves,compulsively attracted to imperfection, andthe building of dungeons in the air.O, how I detesta tale told by an idiot,a gloomy question mark at the end,an exception that wants to be the rule."It takes the most dangerous point of viewto ridicule the spirit of gravity,to move the crowd without envy.Pity spoils the taste of the party just as muchas the sigh of the fruitless search for knowledge.(And, children, nobody forgives that.)"Spirit and character equal work and artunless one falls into the trap of fame--seeming profound instead of being profound.But then, the lack of personality always takes its revengeon people who only want to say,`Yes'."One must learn to love the evil hour,the ivory tower of academic power--this is a painful age for a Thinker;`Tis a good age for selfish spirits with materialistic Notions,for all the preparatory human beingswho believe in nothing they understand."For the music of the best future isa rather offensive presentation:bad manners,stuttering spirits, andluxuriously expensive secret enemies.Given that nature is evil,Let us therefore be natural out loud; andLet us beware of thinking the world is a living thing--upon what would such a creature feed?"
Thanks Lisa, Maria, Super, anon, and Jen for the wonderful words and evocative writing. And shock of shocks ... I can't resist illustrating a couple of those poems (sad to say, I don't have anything that will work for Jen's).Poetry Visualized 1 [LINK]Poetry Visualized 2 [LINK]
Forget the rule of brevity. It's all so good to read. Bring whatever you like. Okay, well, maybe not the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Or Chaucer. We hates Chaucer, we does, with the fire of a million suns, we does. U No Can Haz Chaucer!! You can haz Shakespeare, though,k?
Wow, quite the feast…My good friends, online,In a virtual caféReciting verses.
N, did you ever see A Knight's Tale? It's a charmingly stupid movie and one of my favorites of all time, and in it, Chaucer is a compulsive gambler who keeps losing everything, including his clothes, thus spending ~1/3 of the film running around nude. It's worth the price of a rental both for the cast, all of whom are great, and the hilarity of the intentional anachronisms, like a medieval court dancing to David Bowie. Every single time I watch that movie, I cry, I laugh out loud, and I stand up and cheer.
Jen, I've never seen that. Must See. Will it make me laugh as hard as I do at the scene in Scrooged where Carol Kane beats up Bill Murray? Which gives you an idea of the sophistication level of my sense of humor. :D
That's exactly the tone of its humor, which is a major reason I love it so dearly. And fwiw, Chaucer does get punched in the face at least once. ;)
Oh, Jen - I ADORE A Knight's Tale. So much fun!Enjoying poetry day, because my RL day is pretty much craptastic. (stupid work stuff)
lol, Jen. Okay, now I know I'll really like it.Maria, RL! ::rolls eyes::
I'm embarrassed by my lack of poetry knowledge - and am frantically noting all of these writers, to read their work. This is great!!Following Lisa's lead, I'm borrowing from Dan Fogelberg, one of my favorite singers - and I have to believe he borrowed from Robert Frost - it's from Netherlands (and I still don't know which road I'd take):Once in a vision I came on some woods And stood at a fork in the road My choices were clear yet I froze with the fear Of not knowing which way to go One road was simple acceptance of life The other road offered sweet peace When I made my decision My vision became my release
Okay, Andif--here's my contribution of my favorite childhood poem:Second figSafe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!Edna St. Vincent Millay
What a great day. Far, I love that haiku - it goes with all of Andi's woods picuturs. (and I'm not a great lover of haiku).Andi - I've never read that Grace Paley. I'm glad you introduced me. Lisa, Maria, Super, Jen, Beth, Conda - all good choices. Tonight I'll have to take the time to re-read slowly.
Wow, great poetry, y'all! Thanks for doing this, Nancy.Would that happen to be my fav, anonymous poet who strolled by?!:-DAndif, love the pix as always. They remind me of this little ditty:The Sun and Fog ContestedEmily DickinsonThe Sun and Fog ContestedThe Government of Day The Sun took down his Yellow WhipAnd drove the Fog away ----I like the sense of movement in this one.The RiderBy Naomi Shihab NyeA boy told meif he roller-skated fast enoughhis loneliness couldn't catch up to him,the best reason I ever heardfor trying to be a champion.What I wonder tonightpedaling hard down King William Streetis if it translates to bicycles.A victory! To leave your lonelinesspanting behind you on some street cornerwhile you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,pink petals that have never felt loneliness,no matter how slowly they fell.
Oh, Bono, "The Rider" is lovely, and I've never before heard of that poet. Got more of hers?
Thanks, Nancy. I like that one, too.Here's another one that I like because it reminds me that it's enough to be oneself.FamousNaomi Shihab NyeThe river is famous to the fish.The loud voice is famous to silence,which knew it would inherit the earthbefore anybody said so.The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birdswatching him from the birdhouse.The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.The idea you carry close to your bosomis famous to your bosom.The boot is famous to the earth,more famous than the dress shoe,which is famous only to floors.The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries itand not at all famous to the one who is pictured.I want to be famous to shuffling menwho smile while crossing streets,sticky children in grocery lines,famous as the one who smiled back.I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,but because it never forgot what it could do.///And we can't have poetry day without some Billy Collins!Walking Across the AtlanticBilly CollinsI wait for the holiday crowd to clear the beachbefore stepping onto the first wave.Soon I am walking across the Atlanticthinking about Spainchecking for whales, waterspoutsI feel the water holding up my weightTonight I will sleep on its rocking surfaceBut for now I try to imagine whatthis must look like to the fish belowthe bottoms of my feet appearing, disappearing.:-D
Hi All,If you see a panther crouch,prepare to say ouch!Or better yet,If called by a panther,Don't anther.Ogden Nash.Just slipping in for a moment on some free wifi I found in an obscure corner of my hotel. I'm probably happy I didn't find it sooner since I got 9,000 words done over the last four days and very limited net access gave me not a lot of alternatives to writing. Now I just need 20,000 more before it turns into November and I can put this book to bed. However, since my brain is currently dribbling out my ears and spattering on the keyboard, I'm pretty sure I need the break.Anyway, hello again, and goodbye, since I shall probably have to go do spousy things before anyone answers back.
Finally, some Billy Collins. Thanks anon. Nancy predicted we'd have a lot but we haven't. So I'll add one of his I particularly like because Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts is one of my favorite poems. http://tinyurl.com/4svwz8And I like Bosch. http://tinyurl.com/3q8u9dMusee des Beaux Arts RevisitedAs far as mental anguish goes,the old painters were no fools.They understood how the mind,the freakiest dungeon in the castle,can effortlessly imagine a crab with the face of a priestor an end table complete with genitals.And they knew that the truly monstrouslies not so much in the wildly shocking,a skeleton spinning a wheels of fire, say,but in the small prosaic touchadded to a tableau of the hellish,the detail at the heart of the horrid.In Bosch's The Temptation of St. Anthony,for instance, how it is not so muchthe boar-faced man in the pea-green dressthat frightens, but the white mandolin he carries,not the hooded corpse in a basket,but the way the basket is rigged to hang from a bare branch;how, what must have driven St. Anthonyto the mossy brink of despairwas not the big, angry-looking fishin the central panel,the one with the two mouselike creaturesconferring on its tail,but rather what the fish is wearing;a kind of pale orange officer's capeand, over that,a metal body-helmet secured by silvery wires,a sensible buckled chin strap,and, yes, the ultimate test of faith-the tiny sword that hangs from the thing,that nightmare carp,secure in its brown leather scabbard.Billy Collins
Yes! Thanks, Maryb! I was surprised there was no Billy Collins. Thanks for adding one!
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