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Poetry thread

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Oh wow, thanks for the thread resurrection. Some fine examples have been added.
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Caged Bird
BY MAYA ANGELOU
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
 
Thanks for posting that. I love Chesterton. One of, if not the most fertile, expansive minds of the past 100 years.
It sings like Maddy, and I’m glad you enjoyed it Owen.
Annoyingly, I’ve just seen that I made a mistake, and it should read, third verse,

‘Behind him; and the hedges, all strengthening in the Sun?’

The frustrating thing is, I did reread It before posting, but I’m taking a chemo drug which affects my concentration, and everything else.
 

JWCowboy

Probably not Al Bundy
Here's a good one for you Midwesterners that offers a great description of a place at a point in time.

Chicago
By Carl Sandburg


Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling
City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen
your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true
I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is:
On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city,
and give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head
singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job,
here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action,
Cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking,
Planning,
Building, breaking, rebuilding
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse,
and under his ribs is the heart of the people,
Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating,
proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads
and Freight Handler to the Nation.
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Here's a good one for you Midwesterners that offers a great description of a place at a point in time.

Chicago
By Carl Sandburg


Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling
City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen
your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true
I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is:
On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city,
and give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head
singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job,
here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action,
Cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking,
Planning,
Building, breaking, rebuilding
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse,
and under his ribs is the heart of the people,
Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating,
proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads
and Freight Handler to the Nation.
Nice addition.
 

emwolf

Contributor
Here's a good one for you Midwesterners that offers a great description of a place at a point in time.

Chicago
By Carl Sandburg


Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling
City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen
your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true
I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is:
On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city,
and give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head
singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job,
here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action,
Cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking,
Planning,
Building, breaking, rebuilding
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse,
and under his ribs is the heart of the people,
Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating,
proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads
and Freight Handler to the Nation.
being a midwesterner, we were introduced to this poem in grade school.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated, . . .

Excerpt of "Howl" by Ginsberg
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
Robert Lowell, For the Union Dead

Relinquunt Ommia Servare Rem Publicam.

The old South Boston Aquarium stands
in a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded.
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.
The airy tanks are dry.
Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;
my hand tingled to burst the bubbles
drifting from the noses of the crowded, compliant fish.

My hand draws back. I often sign still
for the dark downward and vegetating kingdom
of the fish and reptile. One morning last March,
I pressed against the new barbed and galvanized

fence on the Boston Common. Behind their cage,
yellow dinosaur steamshovels were grunting
as they cropped up tons of mush and grass
to gouge their underworld garage.

Parking spaces luxuriate like civic
sandpiles in the heart of Boston.
a girdle of orange, Puritan-pumpkin colored girders
braces the tingling Statehouse,

shaking over the excavations, as it faces Colonel Shaw
and his bell-cheeked Negro infantry
on St. Gaudens' shaking Civil War relief,
propped by a plank splint against the garage's earthquake.

Two months after marching through Boston,
half of the regiment was dead;
at the dedication,
William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe.

Their monument sticks like a fishbone
in the city's throat.
Its Colonel is a lean
as a compass-needle.

He has an angry wrenlike vigilance,
a greyhound's gentle tautness;
he seems to wince at pleasure,
and suffocate for privacy.

He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man's lovely,
peculiar power to choose life and die-
when he leads his black soldiers to death,
he cannot bend his back.

On a thousand small town New England greens
the old white churches hold their air
of sparse, sincere rebellion; frayed flags
quilt the graveyards of the Grand Army of the Republic

The stone statutes of the abstract Union Soldier
grow slimmer and younger each year-
wasp-waisted, they doze over muskets
and muse through their sideburns…

Shaw's father wanted no monument
except the ditch,
where his son's body was thrown
and lost with his "niggers."

The ditch is nearer.
There are no statutes for the last war here;
on Boylston Street, a commercial photograph
shows Hiroshima boiling

over a Mosler Safe, the "Rock of Ages"
that survived the blast. Space is nearer.
when I crouch to my television set,
the drained faces of Negro school-children rise like balloons.

Colonel Shaw
is riding on his bubble,
he waits
for the blessed break.

The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,
giant finned cars nose forward like fish;
a savage servility
slides by on grease.

The ancient owls' nest must have burned.
Hastily, all alone,
a glistening armadillo left the scene,
rose-flecked, head down, tail down,

and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
short-eared, to our surprise.
So soft!- a handful of intangible ash
with fixed, ignited eyes.

Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!
O falling fire and piercing cry
and panic, and a weak mailed fist
clenched ignorant against the sky!
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
Nicely crafted! Intense poem.
Much of the poem is about Saint Gaudens' monument on the Boston Common to commemorate the Massachusetts' 54th, the first Black troops in the Union army, who were slaughtered on the beach in South Carolina. Sadly, this past summer the monument was defaced and damaged by Black Lives Matter protestors.
 

JWCowboy

Probably not Al Bundy
Gents, it's the birthday of Mr. Wallace Stevens. I have just a small handful of poems committed to memory. This is one of them.

Hope you all have a nice weekend....

The Emperor of Ice-Cream
by Wallace Stevens

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
 

Billski

Here I am, 1st again.
October by Robert Frost.

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
October by Robert Frost.

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
As one walks the forests of New England he realizes that most of it hasn't been forest forever- he keeps having to climb or step over dry stone walls in the middle of an otherwise dense wilderness. 200 years ago it was all cleared and enclosed pasture- today's forests of Vermont and New Hampshire once looked like the hills of Yorkshire and Northumberland. And at this time of year as you walk those woods every once in a while you catch the scent of warm, ripened grapes from once cultivated vines long since gone wild. Usually when you find wild grapes the cellar hole of what was once a home is nearby if you take the time to look. I always stop and eat a few grapes; they're usually sour, but I stop and think of the people who planted and tended those vines hundreds of years ago and who left those stony hills for the greener fields of the Ohio territory or the mills of the Merrimack River.
Thanks for the Frost poem.
 
Linebacker, backs down.
Defensive back, too small. Little guy. BOOM!
Those your friends? BOOM! BOOM!
Hearts breaking. TOUCHDOWN

Ricky Williams
 
I've never formally studied neither literature, nor translation theory (although I've participated in a couple of university courses and seminars), but there was time when I was doing translations, and even translated poetry. A few of my poetry translations were published in different journals and appear on internet sites.
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
October by Robert Frost.

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
As one walks the forests of New England he realizes that most of it hasn't been forest forever- he keeps having to climb or step over dry stone walls in the middle of an otherwise dense wilderness. 200 years ago it was all cleared and enclosed pasture- today's forests of Vermont and New Hampshire once looked like the hills of Yorkshire and Northumberland. And at this time of year as you walk those woods every once in a while you catch the scent of warm, ripened grapes from once cultivated vines long since gone wild. Usually when you find wild grapes the cellar hole of what was once a home is nearby if you take the time to look. I always stop and eat a few grapes; they're usually sour, but I stop and think of the people who planted and tended those vines hundreds of years ago and who left those stony hills for the greener fields of the Ohio territory or the mills of the Merrimack River.
Thanks for the Frost poem.
Excellent.
 
Elegy In A Country Churchyard, by G K Chesterton.

The men that worked for England
They have their graves at home:
And bees and birds of England
About the cross can roam.

But they that fought for England,
Following a falling star,
Alas, alas for England
They have their graves afar.

And they that rule in England,
In stately conclave met,
Alas, alas for England
They have no graves as yet.
 

JWCowboy

Probably not Al Bundy
Today's the birthday of my wife's favorite poet, Diane Ackerman. Here's one of hers;

School Prayer
by
Diane Ackerman​

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.
 

Billski

Here I am, 1st again.
School Prayer
by
Diane Ackerman

Not bad. I kind of liked it. It has no big words. And it is short, and that makes it good. And I can ‘feel’ it.
 
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