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Chibiabos83
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:35 pm    Post subject: A poetry thread  Reply with quote

I'd like a thread for posting poems on, so that I don't have to start a new thread each time I want to post one.

From 'Songs for a Condemned Queen'

I wove this thread,
Gold, blue and red,
A thousand times till fingers bled.
     But it was all for show
     And I am weary now.

A thousand times,
A thousand times,
The stitches met like little rhymes.
     But it was all for show
     And I am weary now.

Bull, fish and lark
And half the Ark
And pretty dogs that try to bark.
     But it was all for show
     And I am weary now.

The fowls and apes
Are simply shapes:
The frozen fancy glares and gapes.
     For it was all for show
     And I am weary now.

The silver moth
Is still and wroth
To suffer in the prisoned cloth.
     For it was all for show
     And I am weary now.

The needle's art
Has played its part
To animate my heavy heart.
     But it was all for show
     And I am weary now.

The water roars
On death's dark shores
And what I thought was mine is yours.
     For it was all for show
     And I am weary now.

John Fuller


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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gareth. Thanks for posting that lovely John Fuller whose name I know, but not his work. M


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Mikeharvey



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Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bears by Adrienne Rich

                   Wonderful bears that walked my room all night,
                   Where have you gone, your sleek and fairy fur,
                   Your eyes’ veiled and imperious light?

                   Brown bears as rich as mocha or musk,
                   White opalescent bears whose fur stood out
                   Electric in the deepening dusk.

                   And great black bears that seemed more blue than black,
                   More violet than blue against the dark –
                   Where are you now?  Upon what track

                    Mutter your muffled paws that used to tread
                    So softly, surely, up the creakless stair
                    While I lay listening in bed?

                    When did I lose you? Whose have you become?
                    Why do I wait and wait and never hear
                    Your thick nocturnal pacing in my room?
                    My bears, who keeps you now, in pride and fear?


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Chibiabos83
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Zacheus

Me thinks, I see, with what a busie hast,
Zacheus climb'd the Tree: But, O, how fast,
How full of speed, canst thou imagine (when
Our Saviour call'd) he powder'd downe agen!
He ne’re made tryall, if the boughs were sound,
Or rotten; nor how far 'twas to the ground:
There was no danger fear'd; At such a Call,
Hee'l venture nothing, that dare feare a fall;
Needs must hee downe, by such a Spirit driven;
Nor could he fall, unlesse he fell to Heaven:
Downe came Zacheus, ravisht from the Tree;
Bird that was shot ne’re dropt so quicke as he.

Francis Quarles


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Chibiabos83
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's something I never realised - Langston Hughes was descended from Francis Quarles. Fascinating and barely credible. A line stretching across the generations.


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Mikeharvey



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Quarles poem is highly intriguing...and so is the Langston Hughes connection....


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Chibiabos83
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Quarles poem is of course about Zacchaeus the tax collector, who climbed up a tree to spot Jesus in a crowd and was unexpectedly asked to tea. One of the first Bible stories I remember learning. I preserve the spelling from Helen Gardner's Penguin anthology of the Metaphysicals.

Here's a different poem.

The Wall-flower

The place where soon I think to lie,
In its old creviced nook hard-by
     Rears many a weed:
If parties bring you there, will you
Drop slily in a grain or two
     Of wall-flower seed?

I shall not see it, and (too sure!)
I shall not ever hear that your
     Light step was there;
But the rich odour some fine day
Will, what I cannot do, repay
     That little care.

Walter Savage Landor


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Mikeharvey



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't imagine Landor is read much nowadays.  He's most famous for his 'Imaginary Conversations'  Which I have never read.


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TheRejectAmidHair



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tonight is All Soul's Night. I am afraid that, not being religious, its significance as a religious festival escapes me. But as a poetry lover, I can't help but think of this magnificent poem by Yeats:

ALL SOUlS' NIGHT

Midnight has come and the great Christ Church bell
And many a lesser bell sound through the room;
And it is All Souls' Night.
And two long glasses brimmed with muscatel
Bubble upon the table. A ghost may come;
For it is a ghost's right,
His element is so fine
Being sharpened by his death,
To drink from the wine-breath
While our gross palates drink from the whole wine.

I need some mind that, if the cannon sound
From every quarter of the world, can stay
Wound in mind's pondering,
As mummies in the mummy-cloth are wound;
Because I have a marvellous thing to say,
A certain marvellous thing
None but the living mock,
Though not for sober ear;
It may be all that hear
Should laugh and weep an hour upon the clock.

Horton's the first I call. He loved strange thought
And knew that sweet extremity of pride
That's called platonic love,
And that to such a pitch of passion wrought
Nothing could bring him, when his lady died,
Anodyne for his love.
Words were but wasted breath;
One dear hope had he:
The inclemency
Of that or the next winter would be death.

Two thoughts were so mixed up I could not tell
Whether of her or God he thought the most,
But think that his mind's eye,
When upward turned, on one sole image fell;
And that a slight companionable ghost,
Wild with divinity,
Had so lit up the whole
Immense miraculous house
The Bible promised us,
It seemed a gold-fish swimming in a bowl.

On Florence Emery I call the next,
Who finding the first wrinkles on a face
Admired and beautiful,
And by foreknowledge of the future vexed;
Diminished beauty, multiplied commonplace;
Preferred to teach a school
Away from neighbour or friend,
Among dark skins, and there
Permit foul years to wear
Hidden from eyesight to the unnoticed end.

Before that end much had she ravelled out
From a discourse in figurative speech
By some learned Indian
On the soul's journey. How it is whirled about
Wherever the orbit of the moon can reach,
Until it plunge into the sun;
And there, free and yet fast,
Being both Chance and Choice,
Forget its broken toys
And sink into its own delight at last.

I call MacGregor Mathers from his grave,
For in my first hard spring-time we were friends,
Although of late estranged.
I thought him half a lunatic, half knave,
And told him so, but friendship never ends;
And what if mind seem changed,
And it seem changed with the mind,
When thoughts rise up unbid
On generous things that he did
And I grow half contented to be blind!

He had much industry at setting out,
Much boisterous courage, before loneliness
Had driven him crazed;
For meditations upon unknown thought
Make human intercourse grow less and less;
They are neither paid nor praised.
but he'd object to the host,
The glass because my glass;
A ghost-lover he was
And may have grown more arrogant being a ghost.

But names are nothing. What matter who it be,
So that his elements have grown so fine
The fume of muscatel
Can give his sharpened palate ecstasy
No living man can drink from the whole wine.
I have mummy truths to tell
Whereat the living mock,
Though not for sober ear,
For maybe all that hear
Should laugh and weep an hour upon the clock.

Such thought — such thought have I that hold it tight
Till meditation master all its parts,
Nothing can stay my glance
Until that glance run in the world's despite
To where the damned have howled away their hearts,
And where the blessed dance;
Such thought, that in it bound
I need no other thing,
Wound in mind's wandering
As mummies in the mummy-cloth are wound.



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Mikeharvey



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I should ever by chance grow rich
                             I’ll buy Codham, Cockridden, and Childerditch,
                             Roses, Pyrgo, and Lapwater,
                             And let them all to my eldest daughter.
                             The rent I shall ask of her will be only
                             Each year’s first violets, white and lonely,
                             The first primoses and orchises –
                             She must find them before I do, that is.
                             But if she finds a blossom on furze
                             Without rent they shall all for ever be hers,
                             Whenever I am sufficiently rich:
                             Codham, Cockridden, and Childertditch,
                             Roses, Pyrgo, and Lapwater, -
                             I shall give them all to my eldest daughter.  
                                                               
                                              Edward Thomas



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