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Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game 
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
My "24" (before somebody beats me to it). I'm not very much with this poem. It seems like a trance.

Dylan Thomas - Twenty-Four Years

Twenty-four years remind the tears of my eyes.
(Bury the dead for fear that they walk to the grave in labour.)
In the groin of the natural doorway I crouched like a tailor
Sewing a shroud for a journey
By the light of the meat-eating sun.
Dressed to die, the sensual strut begun,
With my red veins full of money,
In the final direction of the elementary town
I advance as long as forever is.


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Clifford Geertz


Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:17 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Want to laugh, I haven't read this poem yet either! I just found it and figured I'd better post it - what other poem am I going to find with a 24 in it. Although, I see DWill found one.

24/7
Alan Shapiro

The one cashier is dozing—
head nodding, slack mouth open,
above the cover girl spread out before her on the counter
smiling up
with indiscriminate forgiveness
and compassion for everyone
who isn’t her.


Only the edge
is visible of the tightly spooled
white miles
of what is soon
to be the torn off
inch by inch receipts,
and the beam of green light in the black glass
of the self scanner
drifts free in the space that is the sum
of the cost of all the items that tonight
won’t cross its path.


Registers of feeling too precise
too intricate to feel
except in the disintegrating
traces of a dream—
panopticon of cameras
cutting in timed procession
from aisle to aisle
to aisle on the overhead screens
above the carts asleep inside each other—
above the darkened
service desk, the pharmacy, the nursery,
so everywhere inside the store
is everywhere at once
no matter where—
eternal reruns
of stray wisps of steam
that rise
from the brightly frozen,
of the canned goods and food stuffs
stacked in columns onto columns
under columns pushed together
into walls of shelves
of aisles all celestially effacing
any trace
of bodies that have picked
packed unpacked and placed
them just so
so as to draw bodies to the
pyramid of plums,
the ziggurats
of apples and peaches and
in the bins the nearly infinite
gradations and degrees of greens
misted and sparkling.


A paradise of absence,
the dreamed of freed
from the dreamer, bodiless
quenchings and consummations
that tomorrow will draw the dreamer
the way it draws the night tonight
to press the giant black moth
of itself against the windows
of fluorescent blazing.


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- e.e. cummings


Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:02 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
DWill wrote:
That was a neat trifecta, giselle. It also makes 3 Neil Young songs that have been used in the month. You know, I don't recall hearing "Powderfinger," but maybe I just can't hear the song and will have to listen to it. I had an inkling that Milton had a 23 poem, but couldn't zero in on it. It's a good one, too, but I like Milton anyway. Speaking of Neil Young, I got into browsing through youtube videos yesterday and saw him doing "When the Levee Breaks" with Led Zeppelin. He was pretty ferocious. Made me appreciate his versatility. C, S, & N couldn't match him there.

Ditto what he said, giselle. I enjoyed your selection. I love Neil Young's song Old Man. DW did you mean this Milton -

SONNET VII.

ON HIS BEING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF 23.

HOW soon hath time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom sheweth.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arrived so near,
And inward ripeness doth much less appear
That some more timely happy spirits indueth.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot however mean or high,
Toward which time leads me and the will of heaven.
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great taskmaster's eye.


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- e.e. cummings


Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:11 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
That's the same poem that giselle posted. It's formatted as a conventional sonnet in your posting. Now....for 25...let's see. Got it. It's just one stanza from Tennyson's long poem "Maud" (923 lines--anyone want to take it on?)

Ah, what shall I be at fifty 220
Should Nature keep me alive,
If I find the world so bitter
When I am but twenty-five?
Yet, if she were not a cheat,
If Maud were all that she seem’d, 225
And her smile were all that I dream’d,
Then the world were not so bitter
But a smile could make it sweet.


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Clifford Geertz


Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:06 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
DWill wrote:
That's the same poem that giselle posted. It's formatted as a conventional sonnet in your posting. Now....for 25...let's see. Got it. It's just one stanza from Tennyson's long poem "Maud" (923 lines--anyone want to take it on?)

As in read it and discuss? You know me, I'm game for just about anything.


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Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:19 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
25 has been the hardest number for me so far. In fact, I think I have a poem for every number for the rest of April. I am amazed at how good I've gotten at breezing over the pages and spotting numbers in poems. I found my 25 in a book that somehow, most like a daughter, made its way onto my shelves. The book: 108 American Poems of Protest, The Writing On The Wall ed Walter Lowenfels. The poem: Award by Ray Durem.


Award [A Gold Watch To The FBI Man Who Has Followed Me For 25 Years]

Share
Well, old spy
looks like I
led you down some pretty blind alleys,
took you on several trips to Mexico,
fishing in the high Sierras,
jazz at the Philharmonic.
You've watched me all your life,
I've clothed your wife,
put your two sons through college.
what good has it done?
sun keeps rising every mourning.
Ever see me buy an Assistant President?
or close a school?
or lend money to Somoza?
I bought some after-hours whiskey in L.A.
but the chief got his pay.
I ain't killed no Koreans,
or fourteen-year-old boys in Mississippi
neither did I bomb Guatemala,
or lend guns to shoot algerians.
I admit I took a Negro child
to a white rest room in Texas,
but she was my daughter, only three,
and she had to pee,
and I just didn't know what to do,
would you?
see, I'm so light, it don't seem right
to go to the colored res room;
my daughter'
s brown, an folks frown on that in Texas,
I just don't know how to go to the bathroom in the free world!

Now, old FBI man,
you've done the best you can,
you lost me a few jobs,
scared a few landlords,
You got me struggling for that bread,
but I ain't dead.
and before it's all through,
I may be following you!


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- e.e. cummings


Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:58 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Ah me, I do have a missing number after all! I am without a #27. The only poem with 27 that I've found had a 22 - another number I could only find one of. No worries, I've a plan for the 27th if I do not find a poem to post. I have three poems that are linked in the way they are structured around numbers. All three remind one of a nursery rhyme or children's poem.


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Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:30 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Well, how about my 26 now. I'm not as likely to be able to post it tomorrow as today. It's actually a good one, as any Phillip Larkin is likely to be. Longer than others of his I've read. Heavy-duty, too. From my point of view, Larkin left himself nothing about which to lament when he became really old. I mean, 26 is just a baby, after all, and all the world is before you.

On Being Twenty-six
By Philip Larkin

I feared these present years,
The middle twenties,
When deftness disappears,
And each event is
Freighted with a source-encrusting doubt,
And turned to drought.

I thought: this pristine drive
Is sure to flag
At twenty-four or -five;
And now the slag
Of burnt-out childhood proves that I was right.
What caught alight

Quickly consumed in me,
As I foresaw.
Talent, felicity—
These things withdraw,
And are succeeded by a dingier crop
That come to stop;

Or else, certainty gone,
Perhaps the rest,
Tarnishing, linger on
As second-best.
Fabric of fallen minarets is trash.
And in the ash

Of what has pleased and passed
Is now no more
Than struts of greed, a last
Charred smile, a clawed
Crustacean hatred, blackened pride—of such
I once made much.

And so, if I were sure
I have no chance
To catch again that pure
Unnoticed stance,
I would calcine the outworn properties,
Live on what is.

But it dies hard, that world;
Or, being dead,
Putrescently is pearled,
For I, misled,
Make on my mind the deepest wound of all:
Think to recall

At any moment, states
Long since dispersed;
That if chance dissipates
The best, the worst
May scatter equally upon a touch.
I kiss, I clutch,

Like a daft mother, putrid
Infancy,
That can and will forbid
All grist to me
Except devaluing dichotomies:
Nothing, and paradise.


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Clifford Geertz


Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:23 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Here is my 26, not sure I quite get it. I'll have to read over a few more times. The poet is Jackson Mac Low.


Twenties 26

Undergone swamp ticket relative
whist natural sweep innate bicker
flight notion reach out tinsel reckoning
bit straddle iniquitous ramble stung

Famous furniture instant paschal
passionate Runnymede licorice
feature departure frequency gnash
lance sweat lodge rampart crow

Neck Bedlam philosophaster rain drape
lack fragile limitation bitartrate
fence lenghen tinge impinge classed
Fenster planetary knocked market

Glass killjoy vanity infanta part song
king cleanse vast chromium watch it
neat intense yellow cholera
ornithology insistence pantry

Torque normal fax center globe host
yammer ratchet zinc memory
yield texture tenure Penelope
reed liter risible stashed incomprehension


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- e.e. cummings


Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:27 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
OMG--those are words, but as Wordsworth said (not exact quote), "by what species of courtesy can we extend it the name of poetry?" Maybe it's some kind of metrical exercise or is supposed to be a word collage? I always thought a poem needed more than three or four verbs. A preposition or two would be nice as well.


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Clifford Geertz


Last edited by DWill on Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:25 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
DWill wrote:
OMG--those are words, but as Wordsworth said (not exact quote), "by what species of courtesy can we extend it the name of poetry?" Maybe it's some kind of metrical exercise or is supposed to be a word collage? I always thought a poem needed more than three or four verbs. A preposition or two would be nice as well.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
When I made my post it originally included a comment by me, but I decided to nix the quote because I thought that if any reader made sense of the poem I'd reveal myself a dolt. I only posted it because it had a 26 in it and was the only one I could find. Maybe it would have been better to take a pass on 26?!

The poet, one Jackson Mac Low was born in 1922 or I would have suspected him of being a Dada poet (Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922.[1] "Dada was born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I. This international movement was begun by a group of artists and poets associated with the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, anarchy, irrationality and intuition. wikipedia). It turns out though that I was not too far off in that thought. Here is was Wikipedia has to say about Low.

Jackson Mac Low (September 12, 1922 – December 8, 2004) was an American poet, performance artist, composer and playwright, known to most readers of poetry as a practioneer of systematic chance operations and other non-intentional compositional methods in his work, which Mac Low first experienced in the musical work of John Cage, Earle Brown, and Christian Wolff.

One type of non-intentional composition that he used relied on an algorithm he dubbed "diastic", by analogy to acrostic. He used words or phrases drawn from source material to spell out a source word or phrase, with the first word having the first letter of the source, the second word having the second letter, and so forth, reading through (dia in Greek) the source. During the last 25 years of his life, he often collaborated with Anne Tardos.

Me again (not wiki), systematic chance operations explains the poem to me and it seems again I was not to far off in thinking the poem was meaningless or rather maybe all the meaning is in the method by which the poem was created.


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Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:15 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
This is a contribution from Oblivion via a pm to me earlier in the month for #27.


Kurt Schwitters
To Anna Blume

You, oh you, beloved of my twenty-seven senses, I
love ya! - You thine thou yours, I you, you me.
- Us?
This (incidentally) does not belong here.
Who are you, countless woman? You are
- are you? - People say you are - let
them say it, they don't know where the steeple is.
You wear a hat on your feet and stand
on your hands, on your hands you walk.
Hello, your red clothes, sawed into white pleats.
Red I love, Anna Blume, red I love ya! - You
thine thou yours, I you, you me. - Us?
That (incidentally) belongs in the cold embers.
Red flower, red Anna Blume, what are people saying?
Prize question: 1. Anna Blume has a bird.
2. Anna Blume is red.
3. What color is the bird?
Blue is the color of your yellow hair.
Red is the cooing of your green bird.
You plain girl in an everyday dress, you dear
green animal, I love ya! - You thine thou yours, I
you, you me - us?
That (incidentally) belongs in the ember box.
Anna Blume! Anna, a-n-n-a, I am dripping your
name. Your name drips like soft suet.
Do you know, Anna, do you know yet?
You can also be read from back to front, and you, you
most marvelous creature of them all, you are from the back
as you are from the front: »a-n-n-a.«
Suet drips caress my back.
Anna Blume, you droppy animal, I love ya!

To Anna Blume

This is a translation of a German Expressionist poem into English.



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Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:54 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
SPEECH NUMBER TWENTY-SEVEN – Kishwar Naheed


Kishwar Naheed was born in 1940 at Bulundshehr, she was educated at Punjab University. She is a leading woman poet in Urdu. Her book of poems, Streets, Sunshine and Doors, won wide acclaim. Kishwar Naheed writes in free verse and has translated poets such as Pablo Neruda into Urdu. She lives in Pakistan.

SPEECH NUMBER TWENTY-SEVEN

My voice is the voice of my city.
My voice is the voice of my age.
My voice will influence generations.
What do you think it is,
that you call my voice a clamour?
How can you call my voice
the voice of madness?
How can you think
the coming storm a mere illusion?

I am no prophet,
I only see today with open eyes.
Your barbaric acts
diffused like the stink of money,
you recline in the back seat
of your limousine
so that the harsh sunlight of poverty
will not destroy the surgical creation
that is your face.
Now you can remember each speech
by it’s number:
Speech number 10, To arouse the poor
Speech number 15, To create consciousness amongst women
Speech number 27, To advise the writers and intellectuals.

Voices, voices, voices -
What is a clamour?
A crescendo of conflicting sounds,
or waves of unconnected speeches?
Stones rolling down the hillside -
Throw a stone in a desert
and it sinks noiselessly in the sand.
But my voice is not a stone,
it is lightening;
after its flash everyone can hear the thunder.
Putting your hands to your ears
will not stop the storm.

Why should those who read about the weather
and make speeches
come to see the flowing gutters in the alley?
Sowing a little seed of revolution
in its season
will not create a forest of revolution.
You can buy red colour cheaply
but scarves stained with the red of blood
are not so easily bought.

If I am aware of all this,
why aren’t you?
I speak the truth.
I am no prophet,
I only see today with open eyes.
That is all.


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Clifford Geertz


Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:53 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Since I do not have a poem for April 27th I've decide to do something else. Earlier in the month I made a post about how some poems seem to be constructed on a frame of numbers. I have three poems that fit this description - all quite different, but share a connection in that all three by the use of numbers convey the complexity of the competing aspects of the human mind. The first poem is quite a simple little thing and address just the basics of the human being. The other two are more alike and quite a bit longer. I will post 2 poems in this post and then the 3rd in a seperate post - for readability sake. One more thing, I believe the Li-Young Lee poem is referencing The Seven Sorrows of Mary (the Virgin Mother).
#1
The Tree
by Alfred Kreymborg

I am four monkeys.
One hangs from a limb,
tail-wise,
chattering at the earth;
another is cramming his belly with cocoanut;
the third is up in the top branches,
quizzing the sky,
and the fourth—
he's chasing another monkey.
How many monkeys are you?

#2
THE SEVENTH
BY ATTILA JOZSEF

If you set out in this world,
better be born seven times.
Once, in a house on fire,
once, in a freezing flood,
once, in a wild madhouse,
once, in a field of ripe wheat,
once, in an empty cloister,
and once among pigs in sty.
Six babes crying, not enough:
you yourself must be the seventh.

When you must fight to survive,
let your enemy see seven.
One, away from work on Sunday,
one, starting his work on Monday,
one, who teaches without payment,
one, who learned to swim by drowning,
one, who is the seed of a forest,
and one, whom wild forefathers protect,
but all their tricks are not enough:
you yourself must be the seventh.

If you want to find a woman,
let seven men go for her.
One, who gives heart for words,
one, who takes care of himself,
one, who claims to be a dreamer,
one, who through her skirt can feel her,
one, who knows the hooks and snaps,
one, who steps upon her scarf:
let them buzz like flies around her.
You yourself must be the seventh.

If you write and can afford it,
let seven men write your poem.
One, who builds a marble village,
one, who was born in his sleep,
one, who charts the sky and knows it,
one, whom words call by his name,
one, who perfected his soul,
one, who dissects living rats.
Two are brave and four are wise;
You yourself must be the seventh.

And if all went as was written,
you will die for seven men.
One, who is rocked and suckled,
one, who grabs a hard young breast,
one, who throws down empty dishes,
one, who helps the poor win;
one, who worked till he goes to pieces,
one, who just stares at the moon.
The world will be your tombstone:
you yourself must be the seventh.


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- e.e. cummings


Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:03 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
And the final poem

#3
Seven Marys
Li-Young Lee

Father John,
I have seven Marys.
What am I to do?

Ancient when I was born,
each sings to me in three colors.

Growing younger while I die faster
every year, they speak to me
in four languages; Thinking, dreaming,
drowning, and guitar.

And one never knows what to do with her hair.
And one rocks me in and out of moonlight.
One cauterizes broken wing joints with black honey.
And one lifts my heart
onto the weighing pan opposite hunger.

Seven Marys, Father, and one
sets me on her lap and opens a book
and moves her finger from word to word

while I sound out evening’s encrypted sentences.
And one is the book itself.

Seven, Father John, Marys, Father John,
the fulcrum, the eye, the heart enthroned, the dove
without person, homing.

And I can’t tell the one who’s always looking ahead
from the one who’s always looking behind,

the one who’s late for everything
from the one who’s quick to remind me:

who stays too long at childhood’s window
leaves earth’s shadow unsung.


Seven Marys, Father John, seven laughing Sarahs.

One to kiss my mouth and one to tie my hands.
One to build the pyre and one to assure me:

Don’t be afraid. Find yourself
inside good-bye, one with life,
one with death.


Seven mothers, their backs turned,
walk ahead of me forever.

Rachels underneath my bed, they decide
the fate of my sleep.

Bells tolling my solitude,
they’re seven zeroes
trumping every count.

Marys, Father, Rachels and Sarahs,
and I can’t tell one from the other.

Is it Rachel who sings to remember the flood?
Is it Sarah who sings to forget it?
Is it Mary making my bed?
Which one can tell me
the shape of my destiny?


_________________
"may my mind stroll about hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple"
- e.e. cummings


Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:09 am
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