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Poem on your mind 
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
A Poem on the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by Nikki Giovanni

Trees are never felled … in summer … Not when the fruit …
is yet to be borne … Never before the promise … is fulfilled …
Not when their cooling shade … has yet to comfort …

Yet there are those … unheeding of nature … indifferent to
ecology … ignorant of need … who … with ax and sharpened
saw … would … in boots … step forth damaging …

Not the tree … for it falls … But those who would … in
summer’s heat … or winter’s cold … contemplate … the
beauty …


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Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.

Harper Lee - Go set a Watchman


Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:56 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Code:

Pilgrim's Progress

At the start, it goes like this--
One's childhood has a tremendous shape,
                                    and moves like a wild animal
Through the deadfall and understory.
It's endlessly beautiful,
                        elusive and on to something.
It hides out but never disappears.

Later, the sacred places Delphi and Italy on us,
Flicking and flashing through the forest,
                                        half seen, half remembered.
And with them the woods itself,
Each tree, each interlude of marsh grass and beaver shade
Something to tug the sleeve with.

In the end, of course, one's a small dog
At night on the front porch,
                           barking into the darkness
At what he can't see, but smells, somehow, and is suspicious of.
Barking, poor thing, and barking,
With no one at home to call him in,
                                 with no one to turn the light on.


Charles Wright, Scar Tissue
from the 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology



Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:11 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
I like the Charles Wright poem. Serendipity that it ends with the dog - I was just going to post a poem I heard today called "Dog". Now I have to go find it.


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Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:51 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Saffron wrote:
I like the Charles Wright poem. Serendipity that it ends with the dog - I was just going to post a poem I heard today called "Dog". Now I have to go find it.


Poem found!

Dogs

by Aaron Kramer

Looking foolish next to the tree in a one o'clock rain:
umbrella aloft, the leash in my other hand—
I wanted my late-coming neighbor to understand
that dogs are worth the expense, inconvenience, and pain;

their tails are truthful, no coiled rebellion beneath
a loving look; they are quick to kiss you, and quick
to fetch for you, and —should you raise a stick
threateningly—they are quick to show their teeth;

and better still (but this I never revealed),
when you bring downfall home, the death of a hope,
their nonchalant manner does more for you than a drink;
and best of all, when triumph's to be unsealed,
such lack of respect they show for the envelope,
—your fingers halt, the brain cools, and you think.

"Dogs" by Aaron Kramer, from Wicked Times. © University of Illinois Press, 2004.


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In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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DWill, giselle
Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:54 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Saffron wrote:
I like the Charles Wright poem. Serendipity that it ends with the dog - I was just going to post a poem I heard today called "Dog". Now I have to go find it.

That is kind of coincidental! Thanks for the 'Dog' poem, its great. I thought the Wright poem was quite clever in its transition to the dog (is that like 'going to the dogs'?!) ... its an interesting thought ... we might end as a small dog stuck on the porch barking into the darkness at the unknown and unseen. Almost funny in a dark way, definitely ironic and kind of sad at the same time ... much like life is sometimes.



Last edited by giselle on Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:11 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
This poem reminds me of some of Robert Frost's poetry.

Men Untrained to Comfort
by Wendell Berry

Jason Needly found his father, old Ab, at work
at the age of eighty in the topmost
tier of the barn. "Come down!" Jason called.
"You got no business up there at your age."
And his father descended, not by a ladder,
there being none, but by inserting his fingers
into the cracks between the boards and climbing
down the wall.

And when he was young
and some account and strong and knew
nothing of weariness, old man Milt Wright,
back in the days they called him "Steady,"
carried the rastus plow on his shoulder
up the high hill to his tobacco patch, so
when they got there his mule would be fresh,
unsweated, and ready to go.

Early Rowanberry,
for another, bought a steel-beam breaking plow
at the store in Port William and shouldered it
before the hardly-believing watchers, and carried it
the mile and a half home, down through the woods
along Sand Ripple.

"But the tiredest my daddy
ever got," his son, Art, told me one day
"was when he carried fifty rabbits and a big possum
in a sack on his back up onto the point yonder
and out the ridge to town to sell them at the store."

"But why," I asked, "didn't he hitch a team
to the wagon and haul them up there by the road?"

"Well," Art said, "we didn't have but two
horses in them days, and we spared them
every way we could. A many a time I've seen
my daddy or grandpa jump off the wagon or sled
and take the end of a singletree beside a horse."


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In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:30 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
He had me at the title. Wendell Berry, like Robert Frost, never tries to obscure a subject. I think readers who don't generally like modern poetry might like him, because he doesn't care at all to be fashionable, he's direct and concrete. He must have a collected poems, and it would be well worth reading.

Checked on Amazon. He has Collected Poems, but the pub. date is 1987! A number of books of poems after that, but no updated collected poems, which is odd.


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Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness


Last edited by DWill on Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:07 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
DWill wrote:
He had me at the title. Wendell Berry, like Robert Frost, never tries to obscure a subject. I think readers who don't generally like modern poetry might like him, because he doesn't care at all to be fashionable, he's direct and concrete. He must have a collected poems, and it would be well worth reading.

Checked on Amazon. He has Collected Poems, but the pub. date is 1987! A number of books of poems after that, but no updated collected poems, which is odd.


Thanks! I have read a bit of Berry's poetry. I definately think it is worth looking into a collection.


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In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:54 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Code:
Deep Midwinter

   Snow had fallen, snow on snow
   snow on snow
       -- Christina Rosetti

Once upon a time the sky's
eternal silence broke up into bits, fresh
new-angled nothings
sowing the wind with pique.
                           Not wing,
though it flies, nor spirit,
though it isn't and it is, nor song,
though it could be said to sing
inaudibly, and though it falls
it's liable to forget and float
or sift, indulged by gravity, as though
that hard-and-fast rule had gone
soft and slow.
               Finally,
it settles in the earth, eternal
silence once again, but
tangible, depthed, an unbreathed
breath.
     Long ago -
it is always long ago -
before there were beds,
or blankets, or animals to wish
they had them, snow:
                   snow on snow
on snow.
       
Don McKay from The 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology



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Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:26 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
I am sorry that this is so bleak - but it is also so beautiful:-

In Life after Death, Ted Hughes recalls in painful and moving detail how he and the children coped with the immediate aftermath of the suicide of Silvia Plath, in a flat in Primrose Hill, near London Zoo, in the frozen weeks of one of the coldest winters of the century. Only to find a strange sort of solace:

Dropped from life,
We three made a deep silence
In our separate cots.

We were comforted by wolves.
Under that February moon and the moon of March
The Zoo had come close.
And in spite of the city
Wolves consoled us. Two or three times each night
For minutes on end
They sang. They had found where we lay....

They wound us and enmeshed us
In their wailing for you, their mourning for us,
They wove us into their voices. We lay in your death,
In the fallen snow, under falling snow.


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Harper Lee - Go set a Watchman


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Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:31 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Penny: Nice poem. I didn't find it bleak but rather a sensitive way to deal with a terrible event and very difficult feelings and to find consolation. And I think it is the job of poetry to help us deal with difficult times and emotions. I liked the imagery of the wolves howling in London, so unexpected. I'm only slightly familiar with London so I googled Primrose Hill and the Zoo and they are close enough that it's quite likely they could hear wolves howling if the city was fairly quiet. When you look at the overall view of London with the Zoo fairly close to the center, it creates such an interesting image of 'wild animals' in the midst of millions of people and all the related urban development.



Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:18 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Thanks giselle, I also particularly loved that imagery of being comforted by Wolves, howling on bitter February and March nights, in London.

They would be echoing that feeling of 'more than bereavement'.


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Harper Lee - Go set a Watchman


Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:33 am
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
The wolf imagery is really interesting, consoling but at the same time, vaguely threatening. There is so much mythology and many stories about wolves, and expressions that capture our dread of wolves, "wolf at the door" or "like a pack of wolves". I think Hughes does touch on this aspect of our feelings toward wolves in the line "They had found where we lay.... " (the '....' is a nice touch), but then goes on in the last verse to focus on the consolation element which is the theme. I think he creates a tension in the poem through these contrasting feelings about wolves .. beauty and consolation of song and vague threat. It is a beautiful poem but also quite clever.



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Post Re: Poem on your mind
I like the way that the early poems of poets who were later judged as great, give glimpses into that development even though the poems themselves clearly lack mastery. "In Drear-Nighted December" is one that prefigures themes Keats was to make distinctively his own. He contrasts the simple, memory-free, painless being of objects in nature with the complicated, sometimes cursed, being of conscious humans. Unlike trees and brooks, we can't help but sense the pain of loss from our former happy states ("The feel of not to feel it"). This poem is also topical just now for my latitude. I prefer a more thorough winter than we get in the north part of Virginia, but it'll do.


This work was written in December 1817 and first published in the Literary Gazette in 1829.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.


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No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live as we dream--alone.

Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness


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Post Re: Poem on your mind
The Layers

BY STANLEY KUNITZ

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face,
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.



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