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April 06, 2007


Don’t you wonder what Housman’s poetry would have been like if he was getting laid regularly?

Maybe something more like this:

she being Brand
-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having
thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.
K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her
up,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and
again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my
lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high like
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity
avenue i touched the accelerator and give
her the juice,good
was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on
brakes Bothatonce and
brought allofher tremB
to a:dead.

ee cummings

...Or if he were a little more laid back?


You ask how I spend my time ---
I nestle against a treetrunk
and listen to autumn winds
in the pines all night and day.

Shantung wine can't get me drunk.
The local poets bore me.
My thoughts remain with you,
like the Wen River, endlessly flowing.

Li T'ai-po
tr. Hamill

En Sourdine

Calmes dans le demi-jour
Que les branches hautes font,
Pénétrons bien notre amour
De ce silence profond.

Fondons nos âmes, nos cœurs
Et nos sens extasiés,
Parmi les vagues langueurs
Des pins et des arbousiers.

Ferme tes yeux à demi,
Croise tes bras sur ton sein,
Et de ton cœur endormi
Chasse à jamais tout dessein.

Laissons-nous persuader
Au souffle berceur et doux,
Qui vient à tes pieds rider
Les ondes de gazon roux.

Et quand, solennel, le soir
Des chênes noirs tombera,
Voix de notre désespoir,
Le rossignol chantera.

-- Paul Verlaine

sorry about the ee cummings repeat; i read the blog listing from top to bottom and didn't realize it had been posted below..

Ah, longing. Poetry's good for that.

Special to rilkefan - nice choice from Verlaine.

Here's another longing poem, by Amy Lowell, that reminds me of my own youthful folly (New York version):

The Taxi
From Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds

When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?

Also, Mallarme with the best first line ever:
"Tel qu’en Lui-même enfin l’éternité le change" - 'As finally eternity changes him into himself'...

Nice. One of my favorites hilzoy.

(Yes, death-monger wingnuts read poetry too. Don't look at me that way... It was a prerequisite alright?)

"Yes, death-monger wingnuts read sappy, over-archaicized poetry too"

The Road and the End, Carl Sandburg

I shall foot it
down the roadway in the dusk,
where shapes of hunger wander
and the fugitives of pain go by.
I shall foot it
in the silence of the morning,
see the night slur into dawn,
hear the slow great winds arise
where tall trees flank the way
and shoulder toward the sky.

The broken boulders by the raod
shall not commemorate my ruin.
Regret shall be gravel under foot.
I shall watch for
slim birds swift of wing
that go where wind and ranks of thunder
drive the wild processionals of rain.

The dust of the traveled road
shall touch my hands and face.

Yes, death-monger wingnuts read sappy, over-archaicized poetry too

Only when required to by liberal literature teachers… But it was good for me in the end.

Hey OCS (and everybody else), you might want to check out this anthology by Kingsley Amis - not conservative poems, but poems liked by a conservative. Anyway, excellent stuff.

the conspicuous way my heart leaps
when your smile beats at the door
like a neighbor on surprise
with good news, with warm cookies
is your smile
my heart is a boy with a new toy
exploding to play to show
his friends and their jealous eyes
his pride, all joy
she's mine


-- Paul Verlaine

Tom Verlaine: Marquee Moon:

I remember
how the darkness doubled
I recall
lightning struck itself.
I was listening
listening to the rain
I was hearing
hearing something else.
Life in the hive puckered up my night,
the kiss of death, the embrace of life.
There I stand neath the Marquee Moon Just waiting,
I ain't waiting
I spoke to a man
down at the tracks.
I asked him
how he done gone mad.
He said "Look here junior, don't you be so happy.
And for Heaven's sake, don't you be so sad."
Well a Cadillac
it pulled out of the graveyard.
Pulled up to me
all they said get in.
Then the Cadillac
it puttered back into the graveyard.
And me,
I got out again.

I was going to riff a la Jay Jerome & OutofContext's comments by adding 'Or if he was a terrible poet' and then posting a Rod McKuen, but then I decided I don't want to be banned permanently from ObWi.

So let me say instead 'Or if he was a fashion consultant?:'

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
The liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free,
--Oh how that glittering taketh me!

(Herrick, Upon Julia's Clothes)

Or was telling fairy tales to children:


You should have heard the old men cry,
You should have heard the biddies
When that sad stranger raised his flute
And piped away the kiddies.
Katy, Tommy, Meg and Bob
Followed, skipping gaily,
Red-haired Ruth, my brother Rob,
And little crippled Bailey,
John and Nils and Cousin Claire,
Dancin', spinnin', turnin'
'Cross the hills to God knows where-
They never came returnin'.
'Cross the hills to God knows where
The piper pranced, a leadin'
Each child in Hamlin town but me,
And I stayed home unheedin'.
My papa says that I was blest
For if that music found me,
I'd be witch-cast like all the rest.
This town grows old around me.
I cannot say I did not hear
That sound so haunting hollow-
I heard, I heard, I heard it clear ...
I was afraid to follow.

(Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends)

cleek: I repeat myself – but you are good dude.

OCSteve, thanks again.

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