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A Favorite Poem 
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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
DWill:

Thomas Hardy was a old grumps. I don’t know that any of his books have any humour. Life isn’t like that. Even the prisoners in Hitler’s death camps found things to laugh at, or was that because the ones who wrote about it were mostly Jewish? They think they are God’s chosen because they have the best sense of humour. It is a gift.

Pied Beauty
BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.


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He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


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Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:38 am
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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
Penelope wrote:
DWill:

Thomas Hardy was a old grumps.

He was indeed! LOL! I love how the Darkling Thrush ends on a hopeful note though. Why is this bloody bird singing so happily? Does he know something I don't know? Hardy doesn't have an answer, but it's enough to know that the bird doesn't need a reason to be joyful. Nature brings about this epiphany. Love it.

Gerard Manley Hopkins could be pretty grumpy too. But he always ends up seeing the grandeur of God in everything, even in things not usually considered to be beautiful—all things counter, original, spare, strange. He's annoyingly optimistic at times, but an excellent counterpoint to Hardy. Two poets, one glass half-empty and the other glass half-full. Thanks.


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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
Penelope wrote:
DWill:
Thomas Hardy was a old grumps. I don’t know that any of his books have any humour. Life isn’t like that. Even the prisoners in Hitler’s death camps found things to laugh at, or was that because the ones who wrote about it were mostly Jewish? They think they are God’s chosen because they have the best sense of humour. It is a gift.

Well! How do you really feel? I can't rise to TH's defense on the humor matter, because that would mean giving examples, which I can't provide. BUT, that might be because I haven't read Hardy lately. Don't you think that there are a good many charming bits in Hardy, and isn't charm allied to humor? I'm going to say it is.

I didn't say I was keen on the unrelenting pessimism of Jude the Obscure. But I do like a good tragedy. Shakespeare would lighten the mood with clowns & buffoons, but he needed to please the folks in the cheap seats.

I haven't read The Return of the Native since high school when it was forced on us. I didn't like it then but should now give it another chance. Weren't those furze-cutters kind of comical and madcap?



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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
Yes, DWill, The Woodlanders is quite charming:




He Looked and smelt like Autumn's very brother, his face being sunburnt to wheat-colour, his eyes blue as corn-flowers, his sleeves and leggings dyed with fruit-stains, his hands clammy with the sweet juice of apples, his hat sprinkled with pips, and everywhere about him the sweet atmosphere of cider which at its first return each season has such an indescribable fascination for those who have been born and bred among the orchards.
Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders

I do like the way nature and the landscape permeate his work. That’s why his books make such good fils, they say. I think he must have gained a lot of consolation from the landscape and, come to think of it, so do I the older I get.

Still, I like my books to cheer me up rather more these days. I have read quite a few of Hardy’s in the past though.


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He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
Yes, DWill, The Woodlanders is quite charming:




He Looked and smelt like Autumn's very brother, his face being sunburnt to wheat-colour, his eyes blue as corn-flowers, his sleeves and leggings dyed with fruit-stains, his hands clammy with the sweet juice of apples, his hat sprinkled with pips, and everywhere about him the sweet atmosphere of cider which at its first return each season has such an indescribable fascination for those who have been born and bred among the orchards.
Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders

I do like the way nature and the landscape permeate his work. That’s why his books make such good films, they say. I think he must have gained a lot of consolation from the landscape and, come to think of it, so do I the older I get.

Still, I like my books to cheer me up rather more these days. I have read quite a few of Hardy’s in the past though.


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Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:50 am
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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
Yes, DWill, The Woodlanders is quite charming:




He Looked and smelt like Autumn's very brother, his face being sunburnt to wheat-colour, his eyes blue as corn-flowers, his sleeves and leggings dyed with fruit-stains, his hands clammy with the sweet juice of apples, his hat sprinkled with pips, and everywhere about him the sweet atmosphere of cider which at its first return each season has such an indescribable fascination for those who have been born and bred among the orchards.
Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders

I do like the way nature and the landscape permeate his work. That’s why his books make such good films, they say. I think he must have gained a lot of consolation from the landscape and, come to think of it, so do I the older I get.

Still, I like my books to cheer me up rather more these days. I have read quite a few of Hardy’s in the past though.


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Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
Funny you should mention The Woodlanders. I have that sitting at the ready, but I really don't know where it is in the queue. We just moved (yesterday-today), and at this point I'm not sure I'll be organized enough to read ever again. I'm aghast as the amount of stuff that had to come with us. So much for the pretense of the simple life.

I did like your critical summary of Thomas as an old grumpus. I really do think he must have cared about common people, though. He seemed so attuned to their lives, like Tolstoy. He got the details of their livelihoods right, and I think that's important.

Have you ever read his early book A Pair of Blue Eyes? I liked it, but you could tell he was new at his craft, taking the conventional route with his heroine, Elfride. She starts off full of spunk but Hardy turns her into a conventional fainting Victorian by the end.



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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
TO THE MEMORY OF MY BELOVED
MASTER WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE,
AND WHAT HE HATH LEFT US
by Ben Jonson



To draw no envy, SHAKSPEARE, on thy name,
Am I thus ample to thy book and fame ;
While I confess thy writings to be such,
As neither Man nor Muse can praise too much.
'Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these ways
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise ;
For seeliest ignorance on these may light,
Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right ;
Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance ;
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise,
And think to ruin where it seemed to raise.
These are, as some infamous bawd or whore
Should praise a matron ; what could hurt her more ?
But thou art proof against them, and, indeed,
Above the ill fortune of them, or the need.
I therefore will begin: Soul of the age!
The applause ! delight ! the wonder of our stage!
My SHAKSPEARE rise ! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room :
Thou art a monument without a tomb,
And art alive still while thy book doth live
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
That I not mix thee so my brain excuses,
I mean with great, but disproportioned Muses :
For if I thought my judgment were of years,
I should commit thee surely with thy peers,
And tell how far thou didst our Lyly outshine,
Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty line.
And though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek,
From thence to honour thee, I would not seek
For names : but call forth thund'ring Aeschylus,
Euripides, and Sophocles to us,
Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
To life again, to hear thy buskin tread
And shake a stage : or when thy socks were on,
Leave thee alone for the comparison
Of all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show
To whom all Scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time !
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm !
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines !
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please ;
But antiquated and deserted lie,
As they were not of Nature's family.
Yet must I not give Nature all ; thy art,
My gentle Shakspeare, must enjoy a part.
For though the poet's matter nature be,
His art doth give the fashion : and, that he
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat,
(Such as thine are) and strike the second heat
Upon the Muses' anvil ; turn the same,
And himself with it, that he thinks to frame ;
Or for the laurel he may gain a scorn ;
For a good poet's made, as well as born.
And such wert thou ! Look how the father's face
Lives in his issue, even so the race
Of Shakspeare's mind and manners brightly shines
In his well torned and true filed lines;
In each of which he seems to shake a lance,
As brandisht at the eyes of ignorance.
Sweet Swan of Avon ! what a sight it were
To see thee in our waters yet appear,
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames,
That so did take Eliza, and our James !
But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere
Advanced, and made a constellation there !
Shine forth, thou Star of Poets, and with rage
Or influence, chide or cheer the drooping stage,
Which, since thy flight from hence, hath mourned like night,
And despairs day, but for thy volume's light.



Source:
Jonson, Ben. The Works of Ben Jonson, vol. 3.
London: Chatto & Windus, 1910. 287-9.


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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
The famous phrase, "small Latin and less Greek," is to my mind almost the key to explaining what has so baffled critics and other writers after Shakespeare's time. How could a man with scanty education and little acquaintance with affairs of the court or the military produce these works that have earned him the title of world's greatest writer? Had he undergone the classical training of, say, Ben Jonson himself, would Shakespeare have had the freedom from restraint to give reign to his inventiveness, his "native wood-notes wild" (John Milton)? I think it's less likely that his creativity would have flourished if he had been more in the mold of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the favorite of the"anti-Stratfordians" who deny that Shakespeare is the author of the works bearing his name.



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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
Shakespeare ‘s genius was more than education anyway. He does entertain such as me (in the cheap seats) but such use of the English language and such facility for invention is something inate, I reckon. He also wasn’t inhibited by the need to spell correctly!


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He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:37 pm
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Post Re: A Favorite Poem
“Long Live The Weeds”- By Theodore Roethke

Long live the weeds that overwhelm
My narrow vegetable realm! –
The bitter rock, the barren soil
That force the son of man to toil;
All things unholy, marked by curse,
The ugly of the universe.
The rough, the wicked and the wild
That keep the spirit undefiled.
With these I match my little wit
And earn the right to stand or sit,
Hope, look, create, or drink and die:
These shape the creature that is I.



Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:20 pm
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