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Poetry ABCs 
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Mantis by Louis Zukofsky


Mantis! praying mantis! since your wings’ leaves
And your terrified eyes, pins, bright, black and poor
Beg-”look, take it up” (thoughts’ torsion) ! “save it! ”
I who can’t bear to look, cannot touch, -You-
You can-but no one sees you steadying lost
In the cars’ drafts on the lit subway stone.

Praying mantis, what wind-up brought you, stone
On which you sometimes prop, prey among leaves
(Is it love’s food your raised stomach prays?) , lost
Here, stone holds only seats on which the poor
Ride, who rising from the news may trample you -
The shop’s crowds a jam with no flies in it.

Even the newsboy who now sees knows it
No use, papers make money, makes stone, stone,
Banks, “it is harmless, ” he says moving on-You?
Where will he put you? There are no safe leaves
To put you back in here, here’s news! too poor
Like all the separate poor to save the lost.

Don’t light on my chest, mantis! do-you’re lost,
Let the poor laugh at my fright, then see it:
My shame and theirs, you whom old Europe’s poor
Call spectre, strawberry, by turns; a stone-
You point-they say-you lead lost children-leaves
Close in the paths men leave, saved, safe with you.

Killed by thorns (once men) , who now will save you
Mantis? what male love bring a fly, be lost
Within your mouth, prophetess, harmless to leaves
And hands, faked flower, -the myth: is dead, bones, it
Was assembled, apes wing in wind: On stone
Mantis, you will die, touch, beg, of the poor.

Android, loving beggar, dive to the poor
As your love would even without head to you,
Graze like machined wheels, green from off this stone
And preying on each terrified chest, lost
Say, I am old as the globe, the moon, it
Is my old shoe, yours, be free as the leaves.

Fly, mantis, on the poor, arise like leaves
The armies of the poor, strength: stone on stone
And build the new world in your eyes, Save it!


There are some interesting bits of essays on this guy at http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/zukofsky/zukofsky.htm


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I've always found it rather exciting to remember that there is a difference between what we experience and what we think it means.


Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:44 am
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I can has reading?

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Here is my contribution to Z --


Zebra Question
by Shel Silverstein



I asked the Zebra,
Are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy day?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.
I'll never ask a zebra
About stripes
Again.


Ok, folks, what for tomorrow? How about we do poems with numbers. I'd love to hear suggestions.



Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:54 pm
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Post Numbers in poetry
Numbers in Poetry

1,2,3...



Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:55 pm
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I can has reading?

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The Great Figure

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
fire truck
moving
tense
unheeded
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city

William Carlos Williams



Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:51 pm
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Likes the book better than the movie


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One

And when like her, O Sákí, you shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scattered on the Grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made One -- turn down an empty Glass!



Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:01 am
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