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Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game 
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Post Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Here is how to play: Each day we try to come up with a poem that has the number of the day in it - ex: Today is the first, so the poem needs to have the word one or first in it. Number one should be easy. Ready, set, go......
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Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:55 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
"On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," by John Keats. As I recall, this one from the Top 500 wasn't anyone's favorite Keats. It's not mine either, but I like it, since even Keats' lesser poems are good ones.

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 5
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken; 10
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.


This poem might be best known because of Keats' historical mistake. It was Balboa who is credited as the first European to have that view of the Pacific. Or did Keats say the heck with it--Cortez sounds much better and fits my meter!



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Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:09 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Considering Keats, he probably did say to heck with historical facts!


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Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:42 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


This was written in the aftermath of WWI


_________________
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


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Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:11 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Here is my offering for the number 2. Unfortunately, the formating will not hold; the second and fourth lines are indented.

Two in the Campagna
by Robert Browning


I

I wonder do you feel to-day
As I have felt since, hand in hand,
We sat down on the grass, to stray
In spirit better through the land,
This morn of Rome and May?


II

For me, I touched a thought, I know,
Has tantalized me many times,
(Like turns of thread the spiders throw
Mocking across our path) for rhymes
To catch at and let go.


III

Help me to hold it! First it left
The yellowing fennel, run to seed
There, branching from the brickwork’s cleft,
Some old tomb’s ruin: yonder weed
Took up the floating weft,


IV

Where one small orange cup amassed
Five beetles,—blind and green they grope
Among the honey-meal: and last,
Everywhere on the grassy slope
I traced it. Hold it fast!


V

The champaign with its endless fleece
Of feathery grasses everywhere!
Silence and passion, joy and peace,
An everlasting wash of air—
Rome’s ghost since her decease.


VI

Such life here, through such lengths of hours,
Such miracles performed in play,
Such primal naked forms of flowers,
Such letting nature have her way
While heaven looks from its towers!


VII

How say you? Let us, O my dove,
Let us be unashamed of soul,
As earth lies bare to heaven above!
How is it under our control
To love or not to love?


VIII

I would that you were all to me,
You that are just so much, no more.
Nor yours nor mine, nor slave nor free!
Where does the fault lie? What the core
O’ the wound, since wound must be?


IX

I would I could adopt your will,
See with your eyes, and set my heart
Beating by yours, and drink my fill
At your soul’s springs,—your part my part
In life, for good and ill.


X

No. I yearn upward, touch you close,
Then stand away. I kiss your cheek,
Catch your soul’s warmth,—I pluck the rose
And love it more than tongue can speak—
Then the good minute goes.


XI

Already how am I so far
Out of that minute? Must I go
Still like the thistle-ball, no bar,
Onward, whenever light winds blow,
Fixed by no friendly star?


XII

Just when I seemed about to learn!
Where is the thread now? Off again!
The old trick! Only I discern—
Infinite passion, and the pain
Of finite hearts that yearn.



Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:25 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Good one. I'll stick with the ordinal numbers for mine.

No Second Troy (W. B. Yeats)

WHY should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire? 5
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern? 10
Why, what could she have done being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?



Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:08 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Giggle: wonder just what it is that Yeats has with the word "second".....we both chose him. Does he have any more "seconds", I wonder?!? :)


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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


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Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:38 am
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Hi I'm Kym - May I Join?

Two Look at Two
by Robert Frost

Love and forgetting might have carried them
A little further up the mountain side
With night so near, but not much further up.
They must have halted soon in any case
With thoughts of a path back, how rough it was
With rock and washout, and unsafe in darkness;
When they were halted by a tumbled wall
With barbed-wire binding. They stood facing this,
Spending what onward impulse they still had
In One last look the way they must not go,
On up the failing path, where, if a stone
Or earthslide moved at night, it moved itself;
No footstep moved it. 'This is all,' they sighed,
Good-night to woods.' But not so; there was more.
A doe from round a spruce stood looking at them
Across the wall, as near the wall as they.
She saw them in their field, they her in hers.
The difficulty of seeing what stood still,
Like some up-ended boulder split in two,
Was in her clouded eyes; they saw no fear there.
She seemed to think that two thus they were safe.
Then, as if they were something that, though strange,
She could not trouble her mind with too long,
She sighed and passed unscared along the wall.
'This, then, is all. What more is there to ask?'
But no, not yet. A snort to bid them wait.
A buck from round the spruce stood looking at them
Across the wall as near the wall as they.
This was an antlered buck of lusty nostril,
Not the same doe come back into her place.
He viewed them quizzically with jerks of head,
As if to ask, 'Why don't you make some motion?
Or give some sign of life? Because you can't.
I doubt if you're as living as you look."
Thus till he had them almost feeling dared
To stretch a proffering hand -- and a spell-breaking.
Then he too passed unscared along the wall.
Two had seen two, whichever side you spoke from.
'This must be all.' It was all. Still they stood,
A great wave from it going over them,
As if the earth in one unlooked-for favour
Had made them certain earth returned their love.


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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Wonderful, Kym! Very happy to see you here!


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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


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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
It's the third today, and I like the word 'thrice' for three so here's a thrice poem ... I thought the third line was particularly appropo to the 'theme of three' (or thrice):

Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes

Thrice toss these oaken ashes in the air,
Thrice sit thou mute in this enchanted chair,
Then thrice three times tie up this true love's knot,
And murmur soft 'She will, or she will not.'

Go burn these pois'nous weeds in yon blue fire,
These screech-owl's feathers and this prickling briar,
This cypress gathered at a dead man's grave,
That all my fears and cares an end may have.

Then come, you fairies! dance with me a round;
Melt her hard heart with your melodious sound.
In vain are all the charms I can devise:
She hath an art to break them with her eyes.

Thomas Campion



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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Hats off, Giselle.....that really can't be beat!


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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


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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
Here's mine....

Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower
by William Wordsworth


Three years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, "A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This Child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.

"Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

"She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs;
And her's shall be the breathing balm,
And her's the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.

"The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the Storm
Grace that shall mold the Maiden's form
By silent sympathy.

"The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.

"And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell."

Thus Nature spake---The work was done---
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.


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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
A big hooray for everyone! Thanks for playing along with me. Here is my contribute to the number 3:

To the Same
by John Milton


Cyriack, this three years’ day these eyes, though clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot;
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Against Heaven’s hand or will, nor bate a jot
Of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?
The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied
In liberty’s defence, my noble task,
Of which all Europe rings from side to side.
This thought might lead me through the world’s vain mask
Content, though blind, had I no better guide.



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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
oblivion wrote:
Hats off, Giselle.....that really can't be beat!

My hats off to Giselle. Great selection!



Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:37 pm
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Post Re: Poetry by Numbers: National Poetry Month game
How did I miss these great twos and threes--well. the Campion and the Milton I didn't know at all. My "three" was one we covered in the Top 500, and it is way old, but a pretty good one.

The Three Ravens

Traditional Ballad


THERE were three rauens sat on a tree,
Downe a downe, hay down, hay downe
There were three rauens sat on a tree,
With a downe
There were three rauens sat on a tree, 5
They were as blacke as they might be.
With a downe derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe.

The one of them said to his mate,
“Where shall we our breakefast take?”

“Downe in yonder greene field, 10
There lies a knight slain vnder his shield.

“His hounds they lie downe at his feete,
So well they can their master keepe.

“His haukes they flie so eagerly,
There’s no fowle dare him come nie.” 1 15

Downe there comes a fallow doe,
As great with yong as she might goe.

She lift vp his bloudy hed,
And kist his wounds that were so red.

She got him vp vpon her backe, 20
And carried him to earthen lake. 2

She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herselfe ere euen-song time.

God send euery gentleman,
Such haukes, such hounds, and such a leman. 3



Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:57 pm
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