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Poems for All Hallow's Eve 
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Post Re: Poems for All Hallow's Eve
Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl- ... childe.htm


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Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:25 pm
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Post Re: Poems for All Hallow's Eve
Like in The Man in the Long Dark Coat, Dylan repeats his central image, the locusts, in this poem in different ways at the end of each verse, a pattern that I notice in his poems/songs quite often and perhaps is common in the 'ballad'. I don't generally find insects scary but swarms of locusts singing, singing for me ...

"Day Of The Locusts"
Oh the benches were stained with tears and perspiration
The birdies were flying from tree to tree
There was little to say, there was no conversation
As I stepped to the stage to pick up my degree
And the locusts sang off in the distance
Yeah the locusts sang such a sweet melody
Oh, the locusts sang off in the distance
Yeah, the locusts sang and they were singing for me.

I glanced into the chamber where the judges were talking
Darkness was everywhere, it smelled like a tomb
I was ready to leave, I was already walkin'
But the next time I looked there was light in the room
And the locusts sang, yeah, it give me a chill
Oh, the locusts sang such a sweet melody
Oh, the locusts sang their high whining trill
Yeah, the locusts sang and they were singing for me.

Outside of the gates the trucks were unloadin'
The weather was hot, a-nearly 90 degrees
The man standin' next to me, his head was exploding
Well, I was prayin' the pieces wouldn't fall on me
Yeah,the locusts sang off in the distance
Yeah the locusts sang such a sweet melody
Oh, the locusts sang off in the distance
And the locusts sang and they were singing for me.

I put down my robe, picked up my diploma
Took hold of my sweetheart and away we did drive
Straight for the hills, the black hills of Dakota
Sure was glad to get out of there alive
And the locusts sang, yeah, it give me a chill
Yeah, the locusts sang such a sweet melody
And the locusts sang with a high whining trill
Yeah, the locusts sang and they were singing for me
Singing for me, well, singing for me.

Bob Dylan



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Post Re: Poems for All Hallow's Eve
My Last Duchess

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat”: such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
—E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

- by Robert Browning



This link has a reading of the poem.

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15701

Interesting use of run-ons in this poem. It's also quite a spooky poem, especially when we get to the line about when the first duchess' "smiles stopped."


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Post Re: Poems for All Hallow's Eve
I like Poe's "The Raven" as well; however, I am submitting the following: Though not specifically a Halloween poem, I think it captures the spirit of the season.

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?


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geo, Saffron
Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:24 pm
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Post Re: Poems for All Hallow's Eve
Thanks, Cattleman. Yeats's poem seems to be a grand post-apocalyptic vision. I like the image of the sphinx near the end.


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Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:20 pm
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