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Poem on your mind 
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
This is a song by The Band, written by Robbie Robertson

King Harvest (Has Surely Come)

Corn in the fields.
Listen to the rice when the wind blows ‘cross the water...
King Harvest has surely come.

I work for the union,
‘Cause she’s so good to me;
And I’m bound to come out on top,
That’s where she said I should be.
I will hear every word the boss may say,
For he’s the one who hands me down my pay.
Looks like this time I’m gonna get to stay,
I’m a union man, now, all the way.

The smell of the leaves,
From the magnolia trees in the meadow...
King Harvest has surely come.

Dry summer, then comes fall,
Which I depend on most of all.
Hey, rainmaker, can you hear the call?
Please let these crops grow tall.
Long enough I’ve been up on Skid Row;
And it’s plain to see, I’ve nothing to show.
I’m glad to pay those union dues,
Just don’t judge me by my shoes.

Scarecrow and a yellow moon,
Pretty soon a carnival on the edge of town...
King Harvest has surely come.

Last year this time, wasn’t no joke,
My whole barn went up in smoke.
Our horse Jethro, well he went mad,
And I can’t ever remember things being that bad.
Then here comes a man with a paper and a pen,
Telling us our hard times are about to end.
And then, if they don’t give us what we like,
He said, “Men, that’s when you gotta go on strike.”

Corn in the fields.
Listen to the rice when the wind blows ‘cross the water...
King Harvest has surely come.


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If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced? - Percy Shelley


Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:27 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but look at that last verse:

"Last year this time, wasn’t no joke,
My whole barn went up in smoke. . . ."

This makes me think that the real reason the narrator has joined the union is because they burned his barn down as a scare tactic to get him to join. And the earlier lines, "I work for the union because she's been so good to me" and "I'm a union man now all the way" now come across as ironic. I'm so intrigued with this interpretation that I went off on the web, looking for more information.

Here, we have the Reason To Rock page:

Quote:
Given all of these variations from a normal chorus form, it may be better to view these lines as something else altogether. To me they seem to form another song that is combined with the central one. To use terms from William Blake’s poetry, it is as if we have a Song of Innocence intertwined with a Song of Experience. The haiku-like stanzas present the innocent perspective, focusing on simple sensual experiences of nature: the sound of the wind, the smell of the magnolia leaves, the vision of a yellow moon. And then the reference to “King Harvest,” a seemingly mythical symbol of the power of nature. All of these images work at a very simple, primitive level of consciousness, referring to timeless aspects of the natural world.

This effect is reinforced by the music. These three lines begin with simple, unadorned, hushed vocals, emphasizing the simplicity and naturalness of the images. When Levon Helm sings “Listen to the rice when the wind blows ‘cross the water,” we are waiting, expecting to hear something. Then, Levon Helm responds with a quiet, repeated, slightly rising tapping of his cymbal, mixed with Garth Hudson’s slowly emerging, swirling organ. The sounds and rhythms are natural ones, like the wind blowing through the trees, or cicadas on a summer evening. (Audio clip - 132K.)

Listen to the difference, though, when the band makes the transition to the verse. Nothing is simple or natural! The drums hold everything together, but the guitar, organ and vocals all seem to be fighting each other, straining under some heavy load. One organ line stops and starts, playing off the beat, keeping the listener off-balance. Robertson’s guitar crackles while Manuel is singing, and also between his lines, competing for attention. Richard hesitates in his delivery of the vocals, again as if under some stress, lagging a bit behind the beat. Another organ line quietly builds in the background during the first half of the verse, with long, sustained chords, in defiance of everything else going on. The musical message is clear: undercutting the hopeful optimism of the words in the first verse, there are powerful conflicts at work.


http://www.reasontorock.com/tracks/king_harvest.html

Interesting lyrics. What a great song too. It closes out side two of The Band's classic second album known as the "brown album."


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If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced? - Percy Shelley


Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Interesting verses geo. Farmers must be devastated when they are driven to give up their land because I think people are born farmers as they are born gardeners, one can't really 'become' a farmer; it seems to be inate.


farmers still

at the kitchen table
we cup our hands around coffee mugs
to fight off the chill of fall rains
we talk about late harvest and sprouting swaths
and the whims of marketing boards money-lenders
and mother nature
we remember past years with bumper crops
and how the north-east quarter always produces
but this year the swaths are under water
and tough as things seem it's not so bad as Harrisons
after their auction last year they moved to the city
they say they used to lie awake wondering if the old boss cow
made it through the winter if the brockle-faced heifer
calved on her own
they drive out to check other people's crops
on land their grandfather homsteaded
stop in at coffee row talk about the weather
like they were still here

From Maverick Western Verse 1994 Gibbs Smith Publisher


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Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:21 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
I like this one -


You and Your Ilk
by Thomas Lux

I have thought much upon
who might be my ilk,
and that I am ilk myself if I have ilk.
Is one of my ilk, or me, the barber
who cuts the hair of the blind?
And the man crushed by cruelties
for which we can't imagine sorrow,
who would be his ilk?
And whose ilk was it
standing around, hands in pockets, May 1933,
when 2,242 tons of books were burned?
Not mine. So: what makes my ilkness my
ilkness? No answers, none forthcoming.
To be one of the ilks, that's all
I hoped for; to say hello to the mailman,
nod to my neighbors, to watch
my children climb the stairs of a big yellow bus
which takes them to a place
where they learn to read
and write and eat their lunches
from puzzle trays—all around them, amid
the clatter and din,
amid bananas, bread, and milk.
all around them: them and their ilk.


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Mon May 07, 2012 5:51 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Boy, Gerard Manley Hopkins sure did know how to put energy and intensity into a poem.

No worst, there is none
Gerard Manley Hopkins


"No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief
Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing -
Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked 'No ling-
-ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief'.

O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep."


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Mon May 14, 2012 6:12 am
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
This guy certainly does love alliteration, doesn't he? Certainly adds to the energy and dynamics, though.


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Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --André Gide

Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Mon May 14, 2012 7:56 am
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
I'm thinking about my two grandsons - one is 10 years old and today is the first day of his SATs Exams to see which grade he will be allocated at secondary school.....he was quietly confident this morning....

My other grandson is 10months old and is just full of pure joy.......

Benediction

Bless this little heart, this white soul that has won the kiss of
heaven for our earth.
He loves the light of the sun, he loves the sight of his
mother's face.
He has not learned to despise the dust, and to hanker after
gold.
Clasp him to your heart and bless him.
He has come into this land of an hundred cross-roads.
I know not how he chose you from the crowd, came to your door,
and grasped your hand to ask his way.
He will follow you, laughing and talking, and not a doubt in
his heart.
Keep his trust, lead him straight and bless him.
Lay your hand on his head, and pray that though the waves
underneath grow threatening, yet the breath from above may come and
fill his sails and waft him to the heaven of peace.
Forget him not in your hurry, let him come to your heart and
bless him.

Rabindranath Tagore


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Mon May 14, 2012 9:24 am
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Honestly, I am rubbish!!!! I posted that poem 'Benediction' because I was thinking about my grandsons, and it was 'On my Mind'.

But I was originally thinking about the Manley Hopkins poem....and its intensity and the comparison with my own favourite poet, on a similar theme, but with a very different more lyrical 'attitude' - attitude????? is that the word?

Closed Path

I thought that my voyage had come to its end
at the last limit of my power,---that the path before me was closed,
that provisions were exhausted
and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity.

But I find that thy will knows no end in me.
And when old words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.

Rabindranath Tagore


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Mon May 14, 2012 9:44 am
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Great poem Penny, I love Tagore poems, he just has such a grasp of the human condition.



Mon May 14, 2012 10:22 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
I'm glad you like him too giselle, although I have to admit that I love his face and when I see it unexpectedly, as recently occurred in our daily newspaper, my heart skips a beat.....which is a bit ridiculous at my age.....but I like it. :mrgreen:


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Tue May 15, 2012 3:32 am
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
giselle wrote:
Great poem Penny, I love Tagore poems, he just has such a grasp of the human condition.

Thanks, Penny for posting. Tagore is a poet that is new to me - thanks for introducing me.


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Tue May 15, 2012 6:21 am
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Hi Penelope,
Thanks for the poem. I received a tome of Tagore long ago and it somehow ended up way, way up high on my bookshelf. Thanks to your post, I've retrieved it and am digging in!


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Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --André Gide

Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Tue May 15, 2012 7:25 am
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
I have posted this poem before, a while ago, but I am reposting because I think it demonstrates Tagore's deep human understanding and I think any discussion of Tagore is not complete without it. His ability to convey the deeper feelings and meanings going on between these people is amazing in my view. Each time I read it I catch something new.

And Penny, I like Tagore's face too .. but perhaps for not quite the same reason!

A Sudden Encounter

A sudden encounter in a train compartment,
just what I thought could never happen.

Before, I used to see her most frequently in red,
the red of pomegranate blossoms.
Now she was in black silk,
the end lifted to her head
and circling her face as fair and comely as the dolonchampa.
She seemed to have gathered, through that blackness,
a deep distance round herself,
the distance that is in a mustard-field’s far edge
or in a sal forest’s dark kohl.
My mind paused, seeing someone I knew
touched with the solemnity of the unknown.

Suddenly she put her newspaper down
and greeted me.
The path for socializing was opened
and I started a conversation –
‘How are you? How’s the family?’ And so forth.
She kept looking out through the window in a gaze
that seemed to be beyond the contamination of near-by days,
gave one or two extremely brief replies,
left some questions unanswered,
let me understand through her hand’s impatient gestures
that it was pointless to raise such matters,
better to keep quiet.

I was on another seat
with her companions.
She beckoned me with her fingers to come and sit next to her.
I thought it was bold of her to do so
and did and she asked.
Softly she spoke,
her voice shielded by the train’s rumble,
‘Please don’t mind.
We’ve no time to waste time.
I’ve got to get off at the next station
and you’ll go further.
Never again shall we meet.
I want to hear from your mouth
the answer to the question that’s been postponed for so long.
Will you speak the truth?’

‘I shall’, said I. And she,
still looking out – at the sky – put this question,
‘Those days of ours that are gone –
have they gone entirely?
Is nothing left?’

For a minute I held my tongue,
then replied,
‘The stars of night are all within the deep
of the light of day.’

I was bothered with my answer. Had I made it up?
She said, ‘Never mind. Now go back to your seat.’
They all got off at the next station;
I continued alone.

Rabindranath Tagore
from I Won’t Let you Go, Selected Poems
Translated by Ketaki Kushari Dyson



Tue May 15, 2012 1:09 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Thank you giselle - Oooooh, I love him. No wonder he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. Just before the great war and all that loss of young life.


Yes, he writes about the nature of love, heartrendingly beautifully, I think. This is the first one which I think seduced me:-

Desire

A fast damp wind blows sharply from the east,
sweeping dark-blue clouds on the sunrise-path.
Far off, on the Ganga - not a boat! - the sand drifts
I sit and wonder: who's where today!

Withered leaves are blown on empty paths.
from a distance comes the woodland's mad commotion.
The morning birds are silent. Their nests shake.
I think continually: where is she today?

Ah, how long she was near me, and I said nothing!
And the days went by, one after another.
Laughter and jokes, throwing words at each other:
within them lurked the heart's intended hints.

If I could have her by me today, I feel
I could tell her all I wanted to say.
Clouds would cast dark shadows across my words
and the wind would lend its wildness to my breath.

From afar it would gather - the stillness before a storm.
Clouds, woods riverbanks - all would merge into one.
Her loose hair would cascade over her face
and her eyes would hold back the dewy drops.

Speeches most solemn, cover life and death,
inner longing, like the forest's uproar,
vital throbbing - from here to hereafter,
hymns of grandeur, high effusive hopes,

huge sadness-shadows, deep absence-pangs,
restless desires, locked up, heart concealed,
half-formed whispers, not for elaboration,
would fill the solitude like clouds heaped on clouds.

As at the end of day, in midnight's mansion
the universe displays its planets and stars,
so in my heart, freed from laughter and jests,
she would perceive infinity's outbursts.

The noise, the games, the merriment would be below;
the spirit's tranquil sky would soar above.
In light you see but the gambling of a moment;
in darkness alone am I myself without end.

How small I was when she left me and went away!
How small that farewell,spoken with trivial words!
I neither showed her imagination's true realm,
nor made her sit in my soul's dark solitude.

If in such privacy, stillness, grand ambience
two minds could spend an eternal night together -
in the sky no laughter, no sound, no sense of direction,
just four loving eyes waking like four stars!

No weariness, no satiety no road-blocks;
life expanding from one world to the next!
From the strings of twin spirits in full unison
a duet would rise to the throne of the limitless.

Ghazipur - 1st May 1888.


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Tue May 15, 2012 6:40 pm
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Post Re: Poem on your mind
Rainer Maria Rilke's "Time and Again" (and yes, it does sound better in the original German)
Time and Again


Time and again, however well we know the landscape of love,
and the little church-yard with lamenting names,
and the frightfully silent ravine wherein all the others
end: time and again we go out two together,
under the old trees, lie down again and again
between the flowers, face to face with the sky.


Rainer Maria Rilke


_________________
Gods and spirits are parasitic--Pascal Boyer

Religion is the only force in the world that lets a person have his prejudice or hatred and feel good about it --S C Hitchcock

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --André Gide

Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Thu May 24, 2012 7:05 am
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Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

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