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Poetry thread

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
Thanks so much, Owen! Was hoping you saw that one.

There are times when I dive deep into Irish history and literature. That particular poem speaks to me. Now I can read the whole thing.

I'm not even an O'Neill! Though they are certainly in my Y-DNA group.


AA
Have you read any of John Boyle O'Reilly's poetry? He wasn't the greatest poet, but he's one of my fave characters in Irish American history. Here are his biography and his collected poems.

 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
This is one of John Boyle O'Reilly's best poems. I can't believe these people stick advertisements in between lines of poetry, but they do.

The poem is about the Irish exiled from home and sent off to America. In response to assertions that the Irish would not be loyal Americans O'Reilly wrote

'No treason we bring from Erin - nor bring we shame nor guilt!
The sword we hold may be broken, but we have not dropped the hilt!
The wreath we bear to Columbia is twisted of thorns, not bays;
And the songs we sing are saddened by thoughts of desolate days.
But the hearts we bring for Freedom are washed in the surge of tears;
And we claim our right by a People's fight outliving a thousand years!'
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
This is one of John Boyle O'Reilly's best poems. I can't believe these people stick advertisements in between lines of poetry, but they do.

The poem is about the Irish exiled from home and sent off to America. In response to assertions that the Irish would not be loyal Americans O'Reilly wrote

'No treason we bring from Erin - nor bring we shame nor guilt!
The sword we hold may be broken, but we have not dropped the hilt!
The wreath we bear to Columbia is twisted of thorns, not bays;
And the songs we sing are saddened by thoughts of desolate days.
But the hearts we bring for Freedom are washed in the surge of tears;
And we claim our right by a People's fight outliving a thousand years!'
What a wonderful book! I just read The Dreamer aloud to my wife. Thanks so much.

AA
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
What a wonderful book! I just read The Dreamer aloud to my wife. Thanks so much.

AA
The Cry of the Dreamer
John Boyle O'Reilly

I am tired of planning and toiling
In the crowded hives of men;
Heart-weary of building and spoiling,
And spoiling and building again.
And I long for the dear old river,
Where I dreamed my youth away;
For a dreamer lives forever,
And a toiler dies in a day.

I am sick of the showy seeming
Of a life that is half a lie;
Of the faces lined with scheming
In the throng that hurries by.
From the sleepless thoughts' endeavour,
I would go where the children play;
For a dreamer lives forever,
And a thinker dies in a day.

I can feel no pride, but pity
For the burdens the rich endure;
There is nothing sweet in the city
But the patient lives of the poor.
Oh, the little hands too skillful,
And the child-mind choked with weeds!
The daughter's heart grown willful,
And the father's heart that bleeds!

No, no! from the street's rude bustle,
From the trophies of mart and stage,
I would fly to the woods' low rustle
And the meadows' kindly page.
Let me dream as of old by the river,
And be loved for the dream alway;
For a dreamer lives forever,
And a toiler dies in a day.
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
Conscience
John Boyle O'Reilly

I CARE not for the outer voice
That deals out praise or blame;
I could not with the world rejoice
Nor bear its doom of shame—
But when the Voice within me speaks
The truth to me is known;
He sees himself who inward seeks—
The riches are his own.

Constancy
John Boyle O'Reilly

"You gave me the key of your heart, my love;
Then why do you make me knock?"
"O, that was yesterday, Saints above!
And last night—I changed the lock!"

Distance
John Boyle O'Reilly

THE world is large, when its weary leagues two loving hearts divide;
But the world is small, when your enemy is loose on the other side.
 

JWCowboy

Probably not Al Bundy
Well fellow B&B poetry lovers, today January 19th is the birthday of a 19th century American poet you've most likely heard of, here's one of his short ones....


Annabel Lee
BY EDGAR ALLAN POE
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
When I was in high school there was an old Jesuit who would require students to produce manuscript copies of Poe's "The Raven" as punishment if they misbehaved in class.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
Well fellow B&B poetry lovers, today January 19th is the birthday of a 19th century American poet you've most likely heard of, here's one of his short ones....


Annabel Lee
BY EDGAR ALLAN POE
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Very beautiful. Thanks for that.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
You know, I always liked "Casabianca"... But. 🤔

Casabianca

The boy stood on the burning deck
 Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
 Shone round him o'er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
 As born to rule the storm -
A creature of heroic blood,
 A proud, though child-like form.
The flames rolled on - he would not go
 Without his Father's word;
That father, faint in death below,
 His voice no longer heard.
He called aloud: – 'say, Father, say
 If yet my task is done?'
He knew not that the chieftain lay
 Unconscious of his son.

'Speak, father!' once again he cried,
 'If I may yet be gone!'
And but the booming shots replied,
 And fast the flames rolled on.
Upon his brow he felt their breath,
 And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death
 In still yet brave despair;
And shouted but once more aloud,
 'My father! must I stay?'
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,
 The wreathing fires made way.
They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
 They caught the flag on high,
And streamed above the gallant child,
 Like banners in the sky.
There came a burst of thunder-sound –
 The boy – oh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
 With fragments strewed the sea!–
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
 That well had borne their part –
But the noblest thing which perished there
 Was that young faithful heart.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
... But I didn't realize there are some brutal parodies over the ages. Yes, I didn't attend secondary school in Britain, so these are at least new to me.

The boy stood on the burning deck.
His feet were covered in blisters.
He'd burnt the socks right off his feet
And had to wear his sister's... 🤣

The boy stood on the burning deck,
The flames 'round him did roar;
He found a bar of Ivory Soap
And washed himself ashore.

The boy stood on the burning deck,
Eating peanuts by the peck.
His father called him, but he could not go,
For he loved those peanuts so.

AA
 
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JWCowboy

Probably not Al Bundy
Today, January 27th is the birthday of Lewis Carroll, best known of course for bringing us Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) which of course gives us the "down the rabbit hole" motif or theme that seems so popular here in this forum. So here's one of his poems that's always fun to recite out loud.

Jabberwocky
by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
The Six Strings
Guitar,
makes dreams cry.
The sob of souls
losses,
escapes from his mouth
round.
And like the tarantula
weaves a big star
to catch sighs,
that float in your black
wooden tank


Garcia Lorca

Lorca always moves me for some reason.
 

JWCowboy

Probably not Al Bundy
Well B&B poetry lovers,

Today, February 1st is the birthday of a highly esteemed American original, Langston Hughes.


Dreams
BY LANGSTON HUGHES
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Langston Hughes was the real deal. Happy birthday, LH!

This poem reminds me of the American poet from Minnesota, Gary Louris :) :

"Cold and blown like a baseball diamond waiting for the summer,

Staying inside, your toes will stay dry, but never touch the sand,

Go it alone, feet moving forward, trying to find the answer
Then you appear, like fate put you here, and then I'm finally home"
 

JWCowboy

Probably not Al Bundy
This one was the poem of the day on Writer's Almanac and I felt it was worthy of sharing. I particularly like some of the imagery and words....

Imagining It
by Kate Barnes

At eighteen, in Paris,
I just woke up out of a dream
just before dawn, and stepped through the long window
from my cold room with its red silk walls.
Shivering a little in my dressing gown,
I leaned on the balustrade
and, look, overnight a light snow had fallen;
no car had driven over it yet, it lay in the street
as white, as innocent, as snow on the open fields.
Then something approached with a calm rhythm
of hoof-beats made softer by the snow, the sound
of a quiet heart. It was a heaped-up wood cart
pulled by a gray horse who walked along slowly,
head down, while the driver
sat at the back of one shaft and hunched over
to light his cigarette.
From above, I saw clearly
the lit match in the old man's cupped hands, its glow
on his long jaw, the small well of flame
between his living palms like the flare
of the soul in his body. He went on
down the street, and the sky went on
growing lighter, and I saw how he left
his dark tracks behind him on the whiteness
of the snow, just the lines of the two wheels,
slightly wavering, and the dints of the horse's hooves
between them, a writing in an undiscovered
language, something whose meaning
we feel sure we know, and still can't quite
translate.
When I stepped inside again,
I stopped thinking about love for a minute — I thought about it
almost all the time then — and thought instead
about being alive for a while in a world
with cobblestones, new snow, and the unconscious
poem printed by hooves on the maiden street.

Of course I was not yet ready to be grateful.

Kate Barnes, "Imagining It" from Where the Deer Were. © 2000 by Kate Barnes.
 
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