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Poetry thread

oc_in_fw

Contributor
I thought it would be fun to have a poetry thread. This thread will be for a good place to post a poem that you enjoy, or maybe one of your own creation. So, let's have at it. Note- we probably should stay away from any involving the word "Nantucket" :biggrin:
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Okay, I have started reading Robert Frost, and stumbled upon this. Right now, Texas is hot and far too humid, so what better than his poem Birches?

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust--
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows--
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
 
Okay, I have started reading Robert Frost, and stumbled upon this. Right now, Texas is hot and far too humid, so what better than his poem Birches?

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
Robert Frost is fantastic :thumbup:

I'm on a bit of a Emily Dickinson trip at the moment. Her poems can be quite cryptic to say the least, but they are rewarding if you are patient.

Of Bronze—and Blaze—

The North—Tonight—
So adequate—it forms—
So preconcerted with itself—
So distant—to alarms—
And Unconcern so sovereign
To Universe, or me—
Infects my simple spirit
With Taints of Majesty—
Till I take vaster attitudes—
And strut upon my stem—
Disdaining Men, and Oxygen,
For Arrogance of them—


My Splendors, are Menagerie—
But their Competeless Show
Will entertain the Centuries
When I, am long ago,
An Island in dishonored Grass—
Whom none but Daisies, know.
 
A creepy fragment from W. H. Auden

(The Two)

I shouldn't dance.

We're afraid in that case you'll have a fall.
We've been watching you over the garden wall
For hours.
The sky is darkening like a stain,
Something is going to fall like rain
And it won't be flowers.

When the green field comes off like a lid
Revealing what was much better hid:
Unpleasant.
And look, behind you without a sound
The woods have come up and are standing round
In deadly crescent.

The bolt is sliding in its groove,
Outside the window is the black remov-
ers' van.
And now with sudden swift emergence
Come the woman in dark glasses and humpbacked surgeon
And the scissors man.

This might happen any day
So be careful what you say
Or do.
Be clean, be tidy, oil the lock,
Trim the garden, wind the clock,
Remember the Two.
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Unity by Pablo Neruda

There is something dense, united, settled in the depths,
repeating its number, its identical sign.
How it is noted that stones have touched time,
in their refined matter there is an odor of age,
of water brought by the sea, from salt and sleep.

I'm encircled by a single thing, a single movement:
a mineral weight, a honeyed light
cling to the sound of the word "noche":
the tint of wheat, of ivory, of tears,
things of leather, of wood, of wool,
archaic, faded, uniform,
collect around me like walls.

I work quietly, wheeling over myself,
a crow over death, a crow in mourning.
I mediate, isolated in the spread of seasons,
centric, encircled by a silent geometry:
a partial temperature drifts down from the sky,
a distant empire of confused unities
reunites encircling me.
 
Each Spring starts here, for me:

The Waste Land

BY T. S. ELIOT
FOR EZRA POUND
IL MIGLIOR FABBRO


I. The Burial of the Dead



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.

Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee

With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,

And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,

And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.

Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s,

My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,

And I was frightened. He said, Marie,

Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.

In the mountains, there you feel free.

I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter. . . .




 

Red Roses, by Anne Sexton



Tommy is three and when he's bad
his mother dances with him.
She puts on the record,
'Red Roses for a Blue Lady'
and throws him across the room.
Mind you,
she never laid a hand on him.
He gets red roses in different places,
the head, that time he was as sleepy as a river,
the back, that time he was a broken scarecrow,
the arm like a diamond had bitten it,
the leg, twisted like a licorice stick,
all the dance they did together,
Blue Lady and Tommy.
You fell, she said, just remember you fell.
I fell, is all he told the doctors
in the big hospital. A nice lady came
and asked him questions but because
he didn't want to be sent away he said, I fell.
He never said anything else although he could talk fine.
He never told about the music
or how she'd sing and shout
holding him up and throwing him.

He pretends he is her ball.
He tries to fold up and bounce
but he squashes like fruit.
For he loves Blue Lady and the spots
of red roses he gives her



 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
[MENTION=22392]auk1124[/MENTION]- that is powerful. I have been thinking about it since I read it last night. I just do not know what to say.
 
@auk1124- that is powerful. I have been thinking about it since I read it last night. I just do not know what to say.
Anne Sexton was a tortured soul, no doubt. Many of her poems are very powerful and dark. The horrible irony of Red Roses is that she allegedly abused her own children.
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Anne Sexton was a tortured soul, no doubt. Many of her poems are very powerful and dark. The horrible irony of Red Roses is that she allegedly abused her own children.
I will check her out the next time I go to the book store.
 
So, I'm no Robert Frost but my poem does rhyme. Had a coworker (buddy) come down to Windsor for work. After work we had a couple of beers. (Yeah, let's go with a couple). Anyway late at night he got locked out of his hotel room naked. I wrote a poem about it. Enjoy. (Apparently his wife enjoyed it so much, she put it to music)

[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]"Early morning rain"[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Woke up in my hotel room[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]It was just a bit past three [/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Dashed across the bed room[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I really had to pee[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Walked into the bathroom[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I didn't shut the door[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Though I was quite tired[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I didn't pee on the floor[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I stood and did my business [/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]And gave a second shake[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I flushed the porcelain toilet [/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Still not quite awake[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Walked into the hallway[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]On my way to bed once more[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Woke up as behind me[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Came the closing of my door[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Locked outside of my hotel room[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Wasn't trying to be cute[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Unsure of what to do next[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I was in my birthday suit[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]A sticky situation [/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I doubt the Hilton would approve[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I had to call the front desk[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Which meant I had to move[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Racing down the hallway[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Slinking along walls[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I kept an earnest lookout[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]While trying to hide my balls[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Used a phone by the elevators[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Reception asked me why[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Locked out of my hotel room[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]They sent the front desk guy[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]He didn't bring me towels[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]To cover up my shame[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]He got to see me naked[/COLOR][COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I didn't even get his name[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]He didn't bat an eyelash[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Up on this fourteenth floor[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I felt a little better[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]He'd seen this stuff before[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I think I learned my lesson[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]A resolution I'm sure to keep[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]Next time in a hotel room[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]I'll chain door before I sleep[/COLOR]
 

August West

Moderator Emeritus
Buffalo Bill's
defunct
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
stallion
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
Jesus
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

e e cummings
 
This is a poem that I recalled from a PC game that I used to play several years ago. The game is called Interstate '76. One of the protagonists can be prompted over the radio to quote a poem, and this one is my favorite. The game's script writer wrote all of the poems; this one was written while he lived in Edinburgh and was at the time in love.

I'm a storm torrent across a slate-gray sea
I rush in billowed reflections a fast, fast dark sky over an Edinburgh's meadow's wet
I bolt white high through snowfall cold
I am lightning in the night
I sprint like fire across a match head
And leap across lakes of dream-stuff
Over ancient walls
Past armies fast as fast is
Faster than quicksilver can fall into the sun
I, bounding, prance unstoppable to you
My all
My everything dream
 

Those Winter Sundays

by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?
 
Okay, no thread like this would complete without the master of the macabre. The gent who basically invented the whodunit police detective type novella. Edgar Allen Poe.

The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

Only this and nothing more.”



Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Nameless here for evermore.



And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—

This it is and nothing more.”



Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

Darkness there and nothing more.



Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—

Merely this and nothing more.



Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

’Tis the wind and nothing more!”



Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.



Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”



Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as “Nevermore.”



But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—

Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

Then the bird said “Nevermore.”



Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”



But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”



This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!



Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”



“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”



“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”



“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”



And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted—nevermore!
 
I was Born Humble, by James Still


I was born humble. At the foot of mountains
My face was set upon the immensity of earth
And stone; and upon oaks full-bodied and old.
There is so much writ upon the parchment of leaves,
So much of beauty blown upon the winds,
I can but fold my hands and sink my knees
In the leaf-pages. Under the mute trees
I have cried with this scattering of knowledge,
Beneath the flight of birds shaken with this waste
Of wings.

I was born humble. My heart grieves
Beneath this wealth of wisdom perished with the leaves.



 
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