Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poetry Day!

And me without my poem! I'll bring one later on.
The poetic photo is, "Majesty," by Jimf.


FARfetched said...

Even the mountains
No matter how tall or wide
Hide behind the clouds.

maryb said...

A Slice of Wedding Cake
by Robert Graves

Why have such scores of lovely, gifted girls
Married impossible men?
Simple self-sacrifice may be ruled out,
And missionary endeavour, nine times out of ten.

Repeat 'impossible men': not merely rustic,
Foul-tempered or depraved
(Dramatic foils chosen to show the world
How well women behave, and always have behaved).

Impossible men: idle, illiterate,
Self-pitying, dirty, sly,
For whose appearance even in City parks
Excuses must be made to casual passers-by.

Has God's supply of tolerable husbands
Fallen, in fact, so low?
Or do I always over-value woman
At the expense of man?
Do I?
It might be so.

Lisa M said...

Out Among the Big Things
by Arthur Chapman--1917

Out among the big things —
The mountains and the plains —
An hour ain’t important,
Nor are the hour’s gains;
The feller in the city
Is hurried night and day,
But out among the big things
He learns the calmer way.

Out among the big things —
The skies that never end —
To lose a day ain’t nothin’,
The days are here to spend;
So why not give ‘em freely,
Enjoyin’ as we go?
I somehow can’t help thinkin’
The good Lord means life so.

Out among the big things —
The heights that gleam afar —
A feller gets to wonder
What means each distant star;
He may not get an answer,
But somehow, every night
He feels, among the big things,
That everything’s all right.

AndiF said...

Photo by JimF.

Although I wrote this long ago and for a different philosopher king, it's like I knew George W would show up. So in honor (read this dripping with sarcasm) of his imminent departure ...

The Philospher King Makes a Valid Syllogism

Once upon a time there was a rabbi
name Hillel
who did tricks
like standing one foot
and explaining Judaism.
And once he said,
"If am not for myself, who will be for me?"
which is very wise.
But then he said,
"But if I am only for myself, what am I?"
which is a trick.
And then he said,
"If not now, when?"
which is crazy.
And only goes to show
that if you are someone
who is wise
and does tricks
you'll end up crazy.

AndiF said...

Nice haiku, Farf.

Perfect choice for the picture, Lisa.

That's an interesting choice Mary -- the poem seems to hate both men and women and both sexes might hate it right back. Still working on my reaction.

Lisa M said...

Thanks Jim for the picture.
Poem Please!!!

Less is often so good, yeah Farf.

MaryB, your blog explained a bit of the slant of this poem. A different slice of life.

Andi--Life mirrors art, twisting it a step further.
I went looking at Cowboy poetry last night and picked several pieces. Several talked of mountains so I was on the right wavelength.

Look forward to many more poems today.
On your mark,
get set,
Almost Weekend!!

Jen said...

Lyrics count, right? I can't get this Melissa Etheridge song out of my head lately.

I'm feelin' kinda loose
I'm feelin' kinda mean
I've been feelin' kinda wild since I turned seventeen
Is it madness
Tell me where can a woman find any kind of peace
When does the fury and the agony cease
How long have I got to say please
There's a hole in my jeans I only wanted to fade
I've been ripping out seams somebody else made

ain't it heavy
ain't the night heavy

Maria Lima said...

Just over those majestic mountains, nestled in a hidden valley lies...

The Goblin Market
by Christina Rossetti

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
'Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpecked cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;--
All ripe together
In summer weather,--
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.'

MORE HERE @ Project Gutenberg

(in other news, interview with yours truly is up at Lori Devoti's blog for her 30 Days of Vampires blog series. said...

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us--don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog.

Emily Dickinson.

FARfetched said...

Mornin' all!

Mary, my take on the Wedding Cake poem was that the @$$holes always get the girls… seems like that's how it works all too often.

Lisa, that one fits really well… and rings quite true over 90 years later.

Andi, I've always been partial to Hillel. Nice one.

Jen, I get songs stuck in my head sometimes too. I can think of worse than that though. My remedy is to play them a few times.

Maria, I like that one! But do the goblins sell true fruit, or something tainted (by magic or other)?

Ghost, that reminds me of the man on the stairs. Did ED write that too?

FARfetched said...

Hokay. I don't have many books of poetry kicking around the manor. But I have one. A hardbound (but paperback-size) copy of Sir Walter Scott's Marmion… one book, one poem. But the opening, titled "Introduction to Canto First," is appropriate for this rainy November morning:

November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is read and sear :
Late, gazing down the steepy linn,
That hems our little garden in,
Low in its dark and narrow glen,
You scarce the rivulet might ken,
So thick the tangled green-wood grew,
So feeble trilled the streamlet through :
Now, murmuring hoarse, and frequent seen
Through bush and brier, no longer green,
An angry brook, it sweeps the glade,
Brawls over rock and wild cascade,
And, foaming brown with double speed,
Hurries its waters to the Tweed.

In the flyleaf is written:
Frank Leauer,
Aug. 31, 1916.
Steelville, Mo.

(Steelville is SW of St. Louis, off I-44.)

I don't remember how I came by this book.

Kimberly Frost said...

by Edgar Allan Poe

Romance, who loves to nod and sing.
With drowsy head and folded wing,
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been -- a most familiar bird--
Taught me my alphabet to say--
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child -- with a most knowing eye.
Of late, eternal Condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky.
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings--
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away-- forbidden things!
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings

Kimberly Frost said...

P.S. I love the awesome picture!

Jen said...

Jen, I get songs stuck in my head sometimes too. I can think of worse than that though. My remedy is to play them a few times.

lol, I love that song, so this is not a situation that requires a remedy. :)

that the @$$holes always get the girls… seems like that's how it works all too often.

Wow, ime that's not even a little bit true. Perspective is a curious thing, I suppose.

Kelly McCullough said...

Here's one of mine, originally published in Weird Tales:

Cry Werewolf

Don’t you pity the werewolf’s plight?
A man by day, a beast by night.
Alone in his office cube he waits,
Cursing heaven and the fates.
For they’ve decreed the full moon’s rise,
When he must don his lupine guise,
Is of a month of nights but one.
And it’s only then he’s free to run.
For the office worker’s oft neglected,
While wolves are all by law protected.

Nicola Slade said...

Wrong time of year but this one always makes me laugh:

Da spring has sprung
Da grass is riz
I wonder where dem boidies is?
Da little boid is on da wing -
Ain't that absoid?
Da little wing is on da boid.

Janet said...

For Olivia & my daughter

Hockey Haiku:

"you go to the box,
you know, feel shame, two minutes,
and den you get free"

Denis Lemieux, Slap Shot

Anonymous said...

Sorry, no poem from me today - off to the beach. But I'll enjoy the ones y'all come up with! Heading home tomorrow to cold, wind and rain. Calling for mid 80's here today - I got burned at the beach yesterday - anyone feeling sorry for me?

Stay dry and warm, and thanks for the intellectual stimulation!

maryb said...

FaR and Lisa and Maria - I'm glad you decided to use the picture as inspiration. Good choices.

Andi - I love that poem. Very appropriate.

Jen, love Melissa Etheridge. I think her lyrics are underrated - and I say that as someone who seldom notices lyrics. So when I do, I know he or she has a real way with words.

Kelly - that last line made me laugh, I loved it. Kimberly, I always forget how much I like Poe.

On my poem, I like it because it is ambiguous. I think I interpreted it that men always THINK that the unworthy men get the good women and nice guys always finish last. Because they always think they are the worthy, nice guy. When you know the life story of Robert Graves - you know he wasn't such a nice guy and could be a bit of a jerk, which sorta puts the poem in a different perspective. Especially that last phrase where he tries to let himself off the hook. :)

Nancy P said...

This grim thing is my very favorite Emily Dickinson poem:

After great pain, a formal feeling comes--
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round--
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought--
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment,
like a stone--

This is the Hour of Lead-
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow-
First-Chill-then Stupor-
then the letting go-

Janet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Janet said...

Hmmm... I believe I've shared this once before with a few of you elsewhere.

It's a not exactly poetry... but it's about my writing (yes, dyslexics are capable of writing... when they want to LOL) and putting off writing, my fear of sharing what I write and that dark, quiet time when I find the words spilling out of me that I then later criticize. For me, writing and sharing poetry is a form of intimacy.

Here goes:

Caught myself...

drifting along the playground of the "What?" section of my Azure galaxy. A dandylion parachuting into and through my grey matter.

No. That's just too much thought. Let's drift deeper. Let's fall away into a mindpuddle. Ker-plop. Feels better. Languid. Warm. ... Free.

Clarity at just 6 after midnight. Clarity the consistency of mud perhaps but much clearer than the past few days. Why? I've been pushing, pulling, prying. Pretending... naw too strong of word. It means malice; some dastardly intent. I've been... inhibited. Still too intense a term. I've been... forcing myself. I can almost bite into that.

The nooks and crannies of my mind that I like most come out in this hour of shuffle of snores and thoughtless patterns - or is that patternless thoughts(?). I think it will be more of me if I write this time. It's like I'm channeling when I can accomplish that ... how can it be termed? That "zone"? That moment when you realize the fingers have stopped and something is before your eyes. Be it a poem. A recollection given substance, weight. Tossing out cobwebs of thoughts and seeing them materialize into shimmers that slowly spin into another creation. Either of their own. Of mine. Or neither. Just another path that might call to your curiosity than the route you had intended.

Right now if I continue on this thought train trampoline, it will be not what it could be. Sometimes I can almost hear it breathing. Did it just roll over as I assumed it was asleep? Can it be as fun as I dream it and still be appropriate? As I watch it change and turn, regress, expand, and change again?

Also, I'm scared. I throw too much of my heartsongs heartstrings heartclings, take your pick, into it. I could fall away. You are touching the face of my dream as I watch you peer or skim. You are mouthing my secrets, my hidden thoughts, my courageous cowardliness of this little imaginary cove of isolation.

Falling away. Let's fall away again. Slide.

I'm slowly approaching the foamy tide as it sweeps closer to my moon drenched toes. The wind prickling my skin. My hair slapping into tangles. I know it's cold. I know it's taste. Salt. I know it's beckoning me. I know I could forever be satisfied standing at this moment, at this place. But I know the frustrations it unleashes and unfurls. The angular anger. The sharpness of it's spray.

Chaos can be coy and clever in it's clawing ways of lulling you into submission. Comforting chaos. Why? because it's known. It's around. Focus. That's my fear. Direction. Purpose... these call up expectations that can bludgeon me before I begin. Or maybe I don't need to "swim" but instead need to succumb. To let it funnel out like a typhoon. Let it rush out. Let it spiral, undulate, ... let it take over? Maybe I'm just afraid of the "under toad" that will pull me out past my liking? Maybe I just need to drown. Feel the control bubble out of me. Let the reigns fall away fall away fall away.

Maybe in letting it go it won't turn into a stranger you didn't expect but instead you will evolve into something you've always loved and wanted more of? Maybe I can just for now let myself feel the water come up to my temples, my lips. Feel the coldness wander over my eyelids as my hair streaks outward. As I float along the shallow end, just for now, all the while magically keeping my toes out of the water.

See? The clarity of mud. Fumbling. Stumbling. Bumbling. But it's okay. It's known. I know where the sand sifts, and where the pebbles pinch. I've walked here before. Again. Always? I am my own drug of choice. I'm addicted to my own limits. I can just barely taste the limitlessness that only I can offer myself.

Nancy P said...

(I removed a duplicate post--even though it was equally wonderful the second time.)

Manuél said...

Forgotten Language
by Shel Silverstein

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly
in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions
of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying
flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?

Kelly McCullough said...

An old favorite:

Frost's Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

bono said...

Good reading here today! Thanks for the offerings. I planned to present something from Billy Collins' new book but found it rather depressing - many poems about death, separation and divorce. Although, I still love the imagery. For example, in the one on divorce he writes of spoons turning into forks with lawyers depicted as knives. I found one in an earlier book that reminds me of blog friends. Here's an excerpt. See if you agree.

You Reader
Billy Collins
I wondered if they had become friends
after all these years
or if they were still strangers to one another

like you and I
who manage to be known and unknown
to each other at the same time--

me at this end of the table with a bowl of pears,
you leaning in a doorway somewhere
near some blue hydrangaes, reading this.

Nancy P said...

Oh, bono, that's lovely. I had forgotten that poem. But I'm sorry to hear his new book is dreary.

AndiF said...

Just wanted to thank everybody for their contributions -- lots to enjoy and think about.

Lisa M said...

The thing I love most about poetry day is the variety. Some words bring fond memories, others are new introductions. All entertaining!! Thanks guys and gals for all the great words today.

bono said...

Thanks for Poetry Day, Nancy. I love these. Always take something away from them.

boran2 said...

Another beautiful photo!

JimF said...

Thanks for the comments on the photo. It was a spring trip to southern Utah. We'd spent the day hiking through 6" of snow where we'd hoped to be hiking in shorts. We pulled out of the tunnels on the east side of Zion valley to clouds, light, and rocks putting on a show for us.

Here in Indiana the leaf show is over so here's one of my favorite poems.

BY Eleanor Averitt

Old haggard wind has
plucked the trees
like pheasants, held
between her knees.

In rows she hangs them,
bare and neat,
their brilliant plumage at
her feet.

Family Man said...

I have no poetry, but Jim I have to say that is one of the most beautiful photos I've ever seen.

Everyone's poetry and haiku has been wonderful. I look forward to the next.

olivia said...

Thanks Janet ... :)