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January 13th, 2008, 03:59 PM

Tonight, my forehead gleams
and sweat drips in each eye,
my thouguthts blaze through dreams,
tonight, of beauty I shall die.

The souls core is pure passion, deep
in the pit of night, a blazing cone.
Hush, weep in silence. Let us weep
and let us die. We¨ll die alone.

Augustin Tin Ujevic - Croatia

January 13th, 2008, 06:22 PM
tonight, of beauty I shall die.
That line gave me a thrill.


January 13th, 2008, 07:48 PM
A poetry thread is long overdue. Do we have any other poets out there?

January 14th, 2008, 05:04 AM
One of my favourite poets, John Donne:

by John Donne

STAY, O sweet, and do not rise ;
The light that shines comes from thine eyes ;
The day breaks not, it is my heart,
Because that you and I must part.
Stay, or else my joys will die,
And perish in their infancy.

January 14th, 2008, 05:47 AM
Blessen morning, you cascade
roaring lightfalls in this room.
How can pain make me afraid,
dead already, in my tomb?

Well, perhaps you ca ignite
buried sparks from ash and dust
since the lilac and the light
still swell longing in your breast.

When I lift your vell, you show
lines of quiet, forms of grace
in shelveas of books, row on row--
then the whole rooms careworn face.

Yet, theres something still I miss
from this crib without a cross,
a smile on darling lips, the kiss
of flowers in a waterglass.

Blassed morning, while you dress
this room in your translucent robe,
I have no fear of death´s caress.
Only give love back to this Job.

A. T. Ujevic

January 14th, 2008, 06:02 AM
I loved you; even now I may confess,
some embers of my love their fire retain;
but do not let it cause you more distress,
i do not want to sadden you again.

Hopeless and tongue-tied, yet Iloved you dearly
with pangs the jealous and the timid know;
so tenderly I loved you, so sincerely,
I pray God grand another love you so.

Alexsander Sergejevich Pushkin

January 14th, 2008, 06:17 AM
There is a Smille of Love,
and there is a Smile of Deceit,
and there is a Smile of Smiles,
in which these two Smiles meet;

And there is a Frown of Hate,
and there is a Frown of Disdain,
and there is a Frown of Frowns
which you strive to forget in vain,

For it sticks in the Heart´s deep Care,
and it sticks in the deep Back bone,
and no Smile that ever was smil˙d,
But only one Smile alone.

That betwixt the Cradle and Grave
it only once Smil´d can be,
but when it once is Smil´d,
there˙s an end to all Misery.

William Blake

January 18th, 2008, 07:15 AM
A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London

Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

The majesty and burning of the child's death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.

--Dylan Thomas.

January 18th, 2008, 07:32 AM
A Poison Tree by William Blake (Songs of Innocence and of Experience, 1789)

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree

To his Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell (1650 approx.)

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv'd virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp'd power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

January 18th, 2008, 09:53 AM
City Girls

City girls, quiet and sleek
cocktail smile, politic.

City girls with Prada coats
and Italian high-heeled boots

City girls, Mont Blanc pen
rob you as good as any man

City girls that live alone,
have a drink, cry at home

January 19th, 2008, 10:49 AM
I like the work of the late Spike Milligan, I appreciate it can be classed as doggerel rather than pure poetry but it brings a smile to the face:

Silly Poem

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

- Spike Milligan

Have A Nice Day
'Help, help, ' said a man. 'I'm drowning.'
'Hang on, ' said a man from the shore.
'Help, help, ' said the man. 'I'm not clowning.'
'Yes, I know, I heard you before.

Be patient dear man who is drowning,
You, see I've got a disease.
I'm waiting for a Doctor J. Browning.
So do be patient please.'

'How long, ' said the man who was drowning. 'Will it take for the Doc to arrive? '
'Not very long, ' said the man with the disease. 'Till then try staying alive.'
'Very well, ' said the man who was drowning. 'I'll try and stay afloat.
By reciting the poems of Browning
And other things he wrote.'

'Help, help, ' said the man with the disease, 'I suddenly feel quite ill.'
'Keep calm.' said the man who was drowning, ' Breathe deeply and lie quite still.'

'Oh dear, ' said the man with the awful disease. 'I think I'm going to die.'
'Farewell, ' said the man who was drowning.
Said the man with the disease, 'goodbye.'

So the man who was drowning, drownded
And the man with the disease past away.
But apart from that,
And a fire in my flat,
It's been a very nice day.

- Spike Milligan

January 19th, 2008, 02:01 PM



And a poet said, "Speak to us of Beauty."

Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?

And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle.

Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."

And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.

Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."

The tired and the weary say, "beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.

Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."

But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,

And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."

At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."

And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, "we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."

In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."

And in the summer heat the reapers say, "We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."

All these things have you said of beauty.

Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.

It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,

But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.

It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,

But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

But you are life and you are the veil.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

January 19th, 2008, 03:19 PM
There is a smile and a gentleness inside.
When I learned the name and address of that,

I went to where you sell perfume.
I begged you not to trouble me so with longing.

Come out and play! Flirt more naturally.
Teach me how to kiss.

On the ground a spread blanket, flame that´s caught
and burning well, cumin seeds browning,
I am inside all of this with my soul.

Jelaludin Rumi

Translatet by Coleman Barks

January 19th, 2008, 09:00 PM
This is Dulce et decorum est written in 1917 by one of my favourite poets - Wilfred Owen the war poet (he came from my home town), who was killed in action on 4th November 1918 aged just 25, a few days before the end of world war 1. My grandfathers brother died the same day as Wilfred at Etaples camp in northern France after being gassed in the trenches (he was 23), so for my family this poem is very special.

Dulce et decorum est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

The Sentry.

We'd found an old Boche dug-out, and he knew,
And gave us hell, for shell on frantic shell
Hammered on top, but never quite burst through.
Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime
Kept slush waist high, that rising hour by hour,
Choked up the steps too thick with clay to climb.
What murk of air remained stank old, and sour
With fumes of whizz-bangs, and the smell of men
Who'd lived there years, and left their curse in the den,
If not their corpses. . . .
There we herded from the blast
Of whizz-bangs, but one found our door at last.
Buffeting eyes and breath, snuffing the candles.
And thud! flump! thud! down the steep steps came thumping
And splashing in the flood, deluging muck —
The sentry's body; then his rifle, handles
Of old Boche bombs, and mud in ruck on ruck.
We dredged him up, for killed, until he whined
"O sir, my eyes — I'm blind — I'm blind, I'm blind!"
Coaxing, I held a flame against his lids
And said if he could see the least blurred light
He was not blind; in time he'd get all right.
"I can't," he sobbed. Eyeballs, huge-bulged like squids
Watch my dreams still; but I forgot him there
In posting next for duty, and sending a scout
To beg a stretcher somewhere, and floundering about
To other posts under the shrieking air.
Those other wretches, how they bled and spewed,
And one who would have drowned himself for good, —
I try not to remember these things now.
Let dread hark back for one word only: how
Half-listening to that sentry's moans and jumps,
And the wild chattering of his broken teeth,
Renewed most horribly whenever crumps
Pummelled the roof and slogged the air beneath —
Through the dense din, I say, we heard him shout
"I see your lights!" But ours had long died out.

January 20th, 2008, 06:40 AM
Anne Stevenson, 1990:


I call for love
But help me, who arrives?
This thug with broken nose
And squinty eyes.
'Eros, my bully boy,
Can this be you,
With boxer lips
And patchy wings askew?'

'Madam,' cries Eros,
'Know the brute you see
Is what long overuse
Has made of me.
My face that so offends you
Is the sum
Of blows your lust delivered
One by one.

We slaves who are immortal
Gloss your fate
And are the archetypes
That you create.
Better my battered visage,
Bruised but hot,
Than love dissolved in loss
Or left to rot.'

January 20th, 2008, 10:26 AM
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love,
I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge,
And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love,
I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
And though I give my body to be burned, and have not love,
It profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude or self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love delights not in iniquity but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

But where there be prophecies, they shall fail.
Where there be tongues, they shall cease.
Where there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child,
I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
But the greatest of these is love.

January 20th, 2008, 06:23 PM
^ who wrote this?

January 20th, 2008, 06:31 PM
^ St. Paul.

But he'd say he had a little help.

January 20th, 2008, 08:06 PM
I wandered lonely as a cloud:
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars
that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils

William Wordworth (1804).

I was tempted to add all of 'The hunting of the snark', by Lewis Carroll, here's the first section:

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.
"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What i tell you three times is true."
The crew was complete: it included a Boots--
A maker of Bonnets and Hoods--
A Barrister, brought to arrange their disputes--
And a Broker, to value their goods.
A Billiard-maker, whose skill was immense,
Might perhaps have won more than his share--
But a Banker, engaged at enormous expense,
Had the whole of their cash in his care.
There was also a Beaver, that paced on the deck,
Or would sit making lace in the bow:
And had often (the Bellman said) saved them from wreck,
Though none of the sailors knew how.
There was one who was famed for the number of things
He forgot when he entered the ship:
His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,
And the clothes he had bought for the trip.
He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
With his name painted clearly on each:
But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
They were all left behind on the beach.
The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
He had seven coats on when he came,
With three pairs of boots--but the worst of it was,
He had wholly forgotten his name.
He would answer to "Hi!" or to any loud cry,
Such as "Fry me!" or "Fritter my wig!"
To "What-you-may-call-um!" or "What-was-his-name!"
But especially "Thing-um-a-jig!"
While, for those who preferred a more forcible word,
He had different names from these:
His intimate friends called him "Candle-ends,"
And his enemies "Toasted-cheese."
"His form in ungainly--his intellect small--"
(So the Bellman would often remark)
"But his courage is perfect! And that, after all,
Is the thing that one needs with a Snark."
He would joke with hyenas, returning their stare
With an impudent wag of the head:
And he once went a walk, paw-in-paw, with a bear,
"Just to keep up its spirits," he said.
He came as a Baker: but owned, when too late--
And it drove the poor Bellman half-mad--
He could only bake Bridecake--for which, I may state,
No materials were to be had.
The last of the crew needs especial remark,
Though he looked an incredible dunce:
He had just one idea--but, that one being "Snark,"
The good Bellman engaged him at once.
He came as a Butcher: but gravely declared,
When the ship had been sailing a week,
He could only kill Beavers. The Bellman looked scared,
And was almost too frightened to speak:
But at length he explained, in a tremulous tone,
There was only one Beaver on board;
And that was a tame one he had of his own,
Whose death would be deeply deplored.
The Beaver, who happened to hear the remark,
Protested, with tears in its eyes,
That not even the rapture of hunting the Snark
Could atone for that dismal surprise!
It strongly advised that the Butcher should be
Conveyed in a separate ship:
But the Bellman declared that would never agree
With the plans he had made for the trip:
Navigation was always a difficult art,
Though with only one ship and one bell:
And he feared he must really decline, for his part,
Undertaking another as well.
The Beaver's best course was, no doubt, to procure
A second-hand dagger-proof coat--
So the Baker advised it-- and next, to insure
Its life in some Office of note:
This the Banker suggested, and offered for hire
(On moderate terms), or for sale,
Two excellent Policies, one Against Fire,
And one Against Damage From Hail. Yet still, ever after that sorrowful day,
Whenever the Butcher was by,
The Beaver kept looking the opposite way,
And appeared unaccountably shy. I'm tempted to put it all on here (would that be too much??), it goes on for ages - so here's a link for the rest of it;

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/carroll/lewis/snark/ (http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/carroll/lewis/snark/)

January 21st, 2008, 03:10 AM
^ St. Paul.

But he'd say he had a little help.


Not least from the accomplished poets who wrote the KIng James' original. Some of od the best writing in English.


Ezra Loomis Pound


The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.

January 21st, 2008, 06:44 AM

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

e.e. cummings 1931

January 21st, 2008, 08:38 AM
Not least from the accomplished poets who wrote the KIng James' original. Some of of the best writing in English.
Widely speculated to have been on that anonymous committee was William Shakespeare --and why not, he was recently-retired and well-respected in 1611. He's not, however, the Source of help that Paul would have claimed.

The committee's work is also bowdlerized as posted. Revisions have been made by lesser writers in the interest of modern readability and clearer meaning. This version in all its particulars you'll find on Wired New York, not elsewhere.

January 21st, 2008, 12:19 PM
"Relax (take it easy)"

Took a ride to the end of the line
Where no one ever goes.
Ended up on a broken train
with nobody I know.
But the pain and the
longing's the same
when you're dying.
Now I'm lost and I'm
screaming for help.

Relax, take it easy
For there is nothing that we can do.
Relax, take it easy
Blame it on me or blame it on you.

It's as if I'm scared.
It's as if I'm terrified.
It's as if I'm scared.
It's as if I'm playing with fire.
It's as if I'm terrified.
Are you scared?
Are we playing with fire?

There is an answer to
the darkest times.
It's clear we don't
understand it but the last
thing on my mind
Is to leave you.
I believe that we're in this together.
Don't scream - there are
so many roads left.

Relax, take it easy
For there is nothing that we can do.
Relax, take it easy
Blame it on me or blame it on you.

Relax, take it easy
For there is nothing that we can do.
Relax, take it easy
Blame it on me or blame it on you.

Relax, take it easy
For there is nothing that we can do.
Relax, take it easy
Blame it on me or blame it on you.

Relax, take it easy
For there is nothing that we can do.
Relax, take it easy
Blame it on me or blame it on you.

It's as if I'm scared.
It's as if I'm terrified.
It's as if I'm scared.
It's as if I'm playing with fire.
It's as if I'm terrified.
Are you scared?
Are we playing with fire?



January 22nd, 2008, 11:57 AM
"Streets of Philadelphia"

I was bruised and battered and I couldn't tell
what I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
Saw my reflection in a window I didn't know
my own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me
wasting away
On the streets of Philadelphia

I walked the avenue till my legs felt like stone
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone
At night I could hear the blood in my veins
Just as black and whispering as the rain
On the streets of Philadelphia

Ain't no angel gonna greet me
It's just you and I my friend
And my clothes don't fit me no more
I walked a thousand miles
just to slip this skin

The night has fallen, I'm lyin' awake
I can feel myself fading away
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss
or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of Philadelphia

Bruce Spingsteen

September 27th, 2009, 01:10 PM
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties,

in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel,

in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet,

to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me—nor woman neither.