Poem of the Moment

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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 5 April 2021, 22:09

Another poem, which while still dealing in the subject of death, is far superior to the previous one I posted. Here's Dylan Thomas' And Death Shall Have No Dominion. I've read it often in the past and, as with many of the poems I've shared on here, sometimes find myself in such a mood as to be driven to return to it.

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 19 April 2021, 02:48

I've been a fan of this poem since I was in the 8th grade. The translation pales in comparison to the original French; hence I've included both versions. The poem is Chanson d'automne (or, Autumn Song) by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896).

Original French

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l'heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure;

Et je m'en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m'emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.


English Translation

When a sighing begins
In the violins
Of the autumn-song,
My heart is drowned
In the slow sound
Languorous and long.

Pale as with pain,
Breath fails me when
The hours toll deep.
My thoughts recover
The days that are over,
And I weep.

And I go
Where the winds know,
Broken and brief,
To and fro,
As the winds blow
A dead leaf.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 20 April 2021, 05:22

Claude McKay's If We Must Die.

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.

If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead.

O kinsmen! We must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 9 May 2021, 21:48

Below is Walt Whitman's poem, The Mystic Trumpeter, which is an apparent recounting of a mystical experience.

1.

Hark, some wild trumpeter, some strange musician,
Hovering unseen in the air, vibrates capricious tunes tonight.

I hear thee trumpeter, listening alert I catch thy notes,
Now pouring, whirling like a tempest round me,
Now low, subdued, now in the distance lost.

2.

Come nearer bodiless one, haply in thee resounds
Some dead composer, haply thy pensive life
Was fill'd with aspirations high, unform'd ideals,
Waves, oceans musical, chaotically surging,
That now ecstatic ghost, close to me bending, thy cornet echoing, pealing,
Gives out to no one's ears but mine, but freely gives to mine,
That I may thee translate.

3.

Blow trumpeter free and clear, I follow thee,
While at thy liquid prelude, glad, serene,
The fretting world, the streets, the noisy hours of day withdraw,
A holy calm descends like dew upon me,
I walk in cool refreshing night the walks of Paradise,
I scent the grass, the moist air and the roses;
Thy song expands my numb'd imbonded spirit, thou freest, launchest me,
Floating and basking upon heaven's lake.

4.

Blow again trumpeter! and for my sensuous eyes,
Bring the old pageants, show the feudal world.

What charm thy music works! thou makest pass before me,
Ladies and cavaliers long dead, barons are in their castle halls, the troubadours are singing,
Arm'd knights go forth to redress wrongs, some in the quest of the holy Graal;
I see the tournament, I see the contestants incased in heavy armor seated on stately champing horses,
I hear the shouts, the sounds of blows and smiting steel;
I see the Crusaders' tumultuous armies—hark, how the cymbals clang,
Lo, where the monks walk in advance, bearing the cross on high.

5.

Blow again trumpeter! and for thy theme,
Take now the enclosing theme of all, the solvent and the setting,
Love, that is pulse of all, the sustenance and the pang,
The hart of man and woman all for love,
No other theme but love—knitting, enclosing, all-diffusing love.

O how the immortal phantoms crowd around me!
I see the vast alembic ever working, I see and know the flames that heat the world,
The glow, the blush, the beating hearts of lovers,
So blissful happy some, and some so silent, dark, and nigh to death;
Love, that is all the earth to lovers—love, that mocks time and space,
Love, that is day and night—love, that is sun and moon and stars,
Love that is crimson, sumptuous, sick with perfume,
No other words but words of love, no other thought but love.

6.

Blow again trumpeter—conjure war's alarums.

Swift to thy spell a shuddering hum like distant thunder rolls,
Lo, where the arm'd men hasten—lo, mid the clouds of dust the glint of bayonets,
I see the grime-faced cannoneers, I mark the rosy flash amid the smoke, I hear the cracking of the guns;
Nor war alone—thy fearful music-song, wild player, brings every sight of fear,
The deeds of ruthless brigands, rapine, murder—I hear the cries for help!
I see ships floundering at sea, I behold on deck and below deck the terrible tableaus.

7.

O trumpeter, methinks I am myself the instrument thou played,
Thou melt'st my heart, my brain—thou movest, drawest, changest them at will;
And now thy sullen notes send darkness through me,
Thou takest away all cheering light, all hope,
I see the enslaved, the overthrown, the hurt, the opprest of the whole earth,
I feel the measureless shame and humiliation of my race, it becomes all mine,
Mine too the revenges of humanity, the wrongs of ages, baffled feuds and hatreds,
Utter defeat upon me weighs—all lost—the foe victorious,
(Yet 'mid the ruins Pride colossal stands unshaken to the last,
Endurance, resolution to the last.)

8.

Now trumpeter for thy close,
Vouchsafe a higher strain than any yet,
Sing to my soul, renew its languishing faith and hope,
Rouse up my slow belief, give me some vision of the future,
Give me for once its prophecy and joy.

O glad, exulting, culminating song!
A vigor more than earth's is in thy notes,
Marches of victory—man disenthral'd—the conqueror at last,
Hymns to the universal God from universal man—all joy!
A reborn race appears—a perfect world, all joy!
Women and men in wisdom, innocence and health—all joy!
Riotous laughing bacchanals fill'd with joy!
War, sorrow, suffering gone—the rank earth purged—nothing but joy left!
The ocean fill'd with joy—the atmosphere all joy!
Joy! Joy! In freedom, worship, love! Joy in the ecstasy of life!
Enough to merely be! enough to breathe!
Joy! Joy! all over joy!
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 21 May 2021, 23:10

I figured I'd post a poem or two. Here is Rainer Maria Rilke's Symbols.

From infinite longings finite deeds rise
As fountains spring toward far-off glowing skies,
But rushing swiftly upward weakly bend
And trembling from their lack of power descend—
So through the falling torrent of our fears
Our joyous force leaps like these dancing tears.

And here is his poem, Lament.

Oh! All things are long passed away and far.
A light is shining but the distant star
From which it still comes to me has been dead
A thousand years . . . In the dim phantom boat
That glided past some ghastly thing was said.
A clock just struck within some house remote.
Which house?—I long to still my beating heart.
Beneath the sky's vast dome I long to pray . . .
Of all the stars there must be far away
A single star which still exists apart.
And I believe that I should know the one
Which has alone endured and which alone
Like a white City that all space commands
At the ray's end in the high heaven stands.
Last edited by McTaggartfan on 22 May 2021, 04:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby René » 22 May 2021, 02:10

I actually sort of appreciated those. :runaway:
The first one particularly.

Anyway, I keep seeing this poet Rilke pop up... first in the movie JoJo Rabbit, then in erti's signature, and now in your post here, Nick. :P
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 22 May 2021, 04:10

René wrote:I actually sort of appreciated those. :runaway:
The first one particularly.

Anyway, I keep seeing this poet Rilke pop up... first in the movie JoJo Rabbit, then in erti's signature, and now in your post here, Nick. :P


Well perhaps it's easier to like those two poems since neither contains any reference to death (unlike almost all the others I've posted on here). But in any case, I rather prefer to think I'm just rubbing off on you.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 22 May 2021, 10:26

One of my favorite poems written by Wallace Stevens is his, The Ultimate Poem is Abstract.

This day writhes with what? The lecturer
On This Beautiful World of Ours composes himself
And hems the planet rose and haws it ripe,

And red, and right. The particular question—here
The particular answer to the particular question
Is not in point—the question is in point.

If this day writhes, it is not with revelations.
One goes on asking questions. That, then, is one
Of the categories. So said, this placid space

Is changed. It is not so blue as we thought. To be blue,
There must be no questions. It is an intellect
Of windings round and dodges to and fro,

Writhings in wrong obliques and distances,
Not an intellect in which we are fleet: present
Everywhere in space at once, cloud-pole

Of communication. It would be enough
If we were ever, just once, at the middle, fixed
In This Beautiful World of Ours and not as now,

Helplessly at the edge, enough to be
Complete, because at the middle, if only in sense,
And in that enormous sense, merely enjoy.

Despite my disagreeing with its underlying message, another poem of Stevens that I appreciate is his, Invective Against Swans.

The soul, O ganders, flies beyond the parks
And far beyond the discords of the wind.

A bronze rain from the sun descending marks
The death of summer, which that time endures

Like one who scrawls a listless testament
Of golden quirks and Paphian caricatures,

Bequeathing your white feathers to the moon
And giving your bland motions to the air.

Behold, already on the long parades
The crows anoint the statues with their dirt.

And the soul, O ganders, being lonely, flies
Beyond your chilly chariots, to the skies.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby Brenden » 23 May 2021, 20:51

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 23 May 2021, 22:04

Brenden wrote:Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.


Omg! First off, thank you for posting on my little thread! Nobody ever does and it makes me the tiniest bit sad.

But! But! Second, did you post this knowing I'd recently posted a video in Song of the Moment of Billie Holiday singing this?
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby Brenden » 23 May 2021, 22:10

McTaggartfan wrote:
Brenden wrote:Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.


Omg! First off, thank you for posting on my little thread! Nobody ever does and it makes me the tiniest bit sad.

But! But! Second, did you post this knowing I'd recently posted a video in Song of the Moment of Billie Holiday singing this?

No, I hadn’t noticed!

I was just reminded of this poem/song while watching an episode of Watchmen.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 23 May 2021, 23:26

A poem I've liked for some time and which I find some amusement in reading. Below is T.S. Eliot's Hysteria

As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: “If the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden ...” I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 30 May 2021, 09:06

Paul Verlaine's poem, Clair de Lune.

Original French:

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau,
Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

Translation:

Your soul is a chosen landscape
Where charming masquerades and dancers are promenading,
Playing the lute and dancing, and almost
Sad beneath their fantastic disguises.

While singing in a minor key
Of victorious love, and the pleasant life
They seem not to believe in their own happiness
And their song blends with the light of the moon,

With the sad and beautiful light of the moon,
Which sets the birds in the trees dreaming,
And makes the fountains sob with ecstasy,
The slender water streams among the marble statues.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby sloomingbla » 31 May 2021, 01:41

A lot of this stuff is just beautiful, and makes me want to delve more into poetry. I still have some to look through, and enjoyed most of the ones I've read.

I don't know many poems, but I do write poetry from time to time, and I wrote a short and simple poem a while ago I figured I'd share.

Some people might be horrified..
Some people might be delighted.
Most people don't think anything of it.
There's no point to elaborate..
And regardless of meaning, class, description or form,
perception, opinion, estimate or judgment,
You can't deny that it's beautiful.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 1 June 2021, 23:29

Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem, When You, That at This Moment are to Me.

When you, that at this moment are to me
Dearer than words on paper, shall depart,
And be no more the warder of my heart,
Whereof again myself shall hold the key;
And be no more—what now you seem to be—
The sun, from which all excellences start
In a round nimbus, nor a broken dart
Of moonlight, even, splintered on the sea;
I shall remember only of this hour—
And weep somewhat, as now you see me weep—
The pathos of your love, that, like a flower,
Fearful of death yet amorous of sleep,
Droops for a moment and beholds, dismayed,
The wind whereon its petals shall be laid.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby rogonandi » 2 June 2021, 07:29

I can’t afford treats.
My bank account is empty.
Well, not really, but…
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 7 June 2021, 02:54

rogonandi wrote:I can’t afford treats.
My bank account is empty.
Well, not really, but…


You should finish this by turning it into a haiku sequence!
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby rogonandi » 7 June 2021, 03:04

I have to walk home;
travelled many steps tonight…
Thirty five thousand.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 7 June 2021, 03:24

Below is Pablo Naruda's poem, If You Forget Me.

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 7 June 2021, 09:34

I just read William Shakespeare's poem, Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds, and found it delightful.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

A few thoughts are in order, I think.

(1) If the love is true, complete, and as perfect as it shall ever be in this world of change and time, then the lover will not cease to love the beloved even should the latter change or become other than she once was. Hence, he writes: "Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds."

(2) Love is, indeed, a supreme source of comfort and boundless strength! It is true, then, as wrote Thomas à Kempis: "Love feels no burden, regards not labors, strives toward more than it attains, argues not of impossibility, since it believes that it may and can do all things. Therefore, it avails for all things, and fulfills and accomplishes much where one not a lover falls and lies helpless." To be overwhelmed by, and lost in, the love one has for another—that is, surely, the greatest wellspring of hope and joy, strength and beauty, that can ever be found. Hence Shakespeare writes: "O no! it is an ever-fixed mark / That looks on tempests and is never shaken."

(3) If anything in this world—which seems always to be becoming, to be in infinite motions of multifarious sorts—should be not only unbroken, but unbreakable, not only unchanging, but immutable, and not only long-lived, but timeless, it should certainly be love. In a word, then, genuine and perfected love is timeless (or at least eternal) and admits not of change or alteration. It is as was written by Julian of Norwich: "Love was without beginning, is, and shall be without ending." For this reason, Shakespeare declares: Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks / Within his bending sickle’s compass come; / Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, / But bears it out even to the edge of doom."
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