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Daily Poem 
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Post Daily Poem
The plan for this thread is to have a poem posted every day - sustenance for our hearts and minds. No big commitment, just if you notice that no poem has been posted for the day, please post one. Let's see how long we can keep up posting a poem a day. No other rules. Please feel free to post a 2nd or even a 3rd poem or to make comments about posted poems. Ready, set, go!
:up:



Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:57 am
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Post Re: Daily Poem
No pressure, maybe, but there can be that decision of whether to make the poem relatable to something in our personal world. I'm trying to think of one about a nice 8-inch snowfall ruined by rising temperatures the following day, making that snow not ski-worthy. But I'd have to write it myself, and, well, no.

This one randomly comes into my head. It forecasts some days ahead when it'll be easier to be outside. I guess I like it best for the second stanza.


At Cove on the Crooked River


At Cove at our camp in the open canyon
it was the kind of place
where one might look out
some evening and see trouble
walking away.

And the river there meant something,
always coming from snow
and flashing around boulders
after shadow-fish lurking
below the mesa.

We stood with wet towels
over our heads for shade, looking
past the Indian picture rock
and the kind of trees that act out
whatever has happened to them.

Oh civilization, I want to carve you
like this, decisively outward
the way evening comes over that kind
of twist in the scenery.

When people cramp into their station
wagons and roll up the windows,
and drive away.

By William Stafford



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Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:16 am
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Post Re: Daily Poem
:appl: A big shout out to DWill for getting us started with the Daily Poem. I especially liked this stanza -

We stood with wet towels
over our heads for shade, looking
past the Indian picture rock
and the kind of trees that act out
whatever has happened to them.

The image of wet towels and needing shelter from the sun is delightful to contemplate on this February day. It also brings to me the images of my own carefree summers. The last part of the line,

and the kind of trees that act out
whatever has happened to them.

immediately made me think of trees that are contorted by having been blown by the wind while still young - and how we all at times act out what has happened to us.



Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:18 am
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Post Re: Daily Poem
I posted this last night, but thought one poem a day to get us started and then took it down. Then this morning I saw DWill post that he had died last week, so now I must post it. This poem draws me in, I want to know who that man is leaving marks in the snow that reveal him to be big footed, slow moving and with something amiss about his right foot.

Dreaming in Swedish

by Philip Levine

The snow is falling on the tall pale reeds
near the seashore, and even though in places
the sky is heavy and dark, a pale sun
peeps through casting its yellow light
across the face of the waves coming in.
Someone has left a bicycle leaning
against the trunk of a sapling and gone
into the woods. The tracks of a man
disappear among the heavy pines and oaks,
a large-footed, slow man dragging
his right foot at an odd angle
as he makes for the one white cottage
that sends its plume of smoke skyward.
He must be the mailman. A canvas bag,
half-closed, sits upright in a wooden box
over the front wheel. The discrete
crystals of snow seep in one at a time
blurring the address of a single letter,
the one I wrote in California and mailed
though I knew it would never arrive on time.
What does this seashore near Malmo
have to do with us, and the white cottage
sealed up against the wind, and the snow
coming down all day without purpose
or need? There is our canvas sack of answers,
if only we could fit the letters to each other.

“Dreaming in Swedish” by Philip Levine from The Simple Truth.



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Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:50 am
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Post Re: Daily Poem
Reading Carl Sagan - religiously.......I was so pleased to stumble upon these two antidotes to the mundane:

Each in His Own Tongue
A fire-mist and a planet,
A crystal and a cell,
A jellyfish and a saurian,
And caves where the cavemen dwell;
Then a sense of law and beauty,
And a face turned from the clod,—
Some call it Evolution,
And others call it God.

A haze in the far horizon,
The infinite, tender sky;
The ripe, rich tints of the cornfields,
And the wild geese sailing high;
And all over upland and lowland
The charm of the goldenrod,—
Some of us call it Nature,
And others call it God.

Like tides on a crescent sea-beach,
When the moon is new and thin,
Into our hearts high yearnings
Come welling and surging in,—
Come from the mystic ocean.
Whose rim no foot has trod,—
Some of us call it Longing,
And others call it God.

A picket frozen on duty,
A mother starved for her brood,
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
And Jesus on the rood;
The millions who, humble and nameless,
The straight, hard pathway trod,—
Some call it Consecration,
And others call it God.

William Herbert Carruth.


and

Values '67

Pass by citizen
don't look left or right
Keep those drip dry eyes straight ahead
A tree? Chop it down- it's a danger
to lightning!
Pansies calling for water,
Let 'em die- queer bastards-
Seek comfort in the scarlet, labour
saving plastic rose
Fresh with the frangrance of Daz!
Sunday! Pray citizen;
Pray no rain will fall
On your newly polished
Four wheeled
God

Envoi

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Get it out with Optrex

Spike Milligan


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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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Post Re: Daily Poem
I'd never heard of Carruth, Penelope. I looked him up for background. Noted that he had been born in Osatowatomie, Kansas in 1859, just a few years after John Brown came there to defend the town against pro-slavery raiders. And Carruth has a poem about John Brown, no wonder. John Brown was hanged in 1859 just up the road from me in Charles Town, West Virginia (then Virginia).

John Brown

HAD he been made of such poor clay as we,
Who, when we feel a little fire aglow
'Gainst wrong within us, dare not let it grow,
But crouch and hide it, lest the scorner see
And sneer, yet bask our self-complacency
In that faint warmth -- had he been fashioned so,
The nation n'er had come to that birth-throe
That gave the world a new humanity.
He was no vain professor of the word --
His life a mockery of the creed; -- he made
No discount on the Golden Rule, but heard
Above the Senate's brawls and din of trade
Ever the clank of chains, until he stirred
The nation's heart on that immortal raid.

Note: Sharp-eyed saffron notified me that I had the wrong century for both Brown and Carruth. The dates are correct now.



Last edited by DWill on Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:45 pm
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Post Re: Daily Poem
DWill - I read your post on my phone before I went to sleep yesterday evening and must admit that I was puzzled by the 1959 date. But then realised what century you meant.

I only remember the song about John Brown's Body from when I was a little girl - 'and his soul goes marching on'. I didn't realise that he was a real person much less an anti-slave campaigner. I would no doubt have sung it with more gusto had I known. I thought he was a fictitious character who just happened to have a resonant name like Tom Pearce:

We used to perform this 'pantomime' at school with a two-person horse - and I once took the part of Harry Hawke because being a girl I could produce the required squeeky voice. Widecombe is in Devon on Dartmoor, so it has to be sung in a West-Country accent.

Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare.
All along, down along, out along lea.
For I want for to go to Widecombe Fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

And when shall I see again my grey mare?
All along, down along, out along lea.
By Friday soon, or Saturday noon,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

So they harnessed and bridled the old grey mare.
All along, down along, out along lea.
And off they drove to Widecombe fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

Then Friday came, and Saturday noon.
All along, down along, out along lea.
But Tom Pearce's old mare hath not trotted home,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

So Tom Pearce he got up to the top o' the hill.
All along, down along, out along lea.
And he seed his old mare down a-making her will,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

So Tom Pearce's old mare, her took sick and died.
All along, down along, out along lea.
And Tom he sat down on a stone, and he cried
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

But this isn't the end o' this shocking affair.
All along, down along, out along lea.
Nor, though they be dead, of the horrid career
Of Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

When the wind whistles cold on the moor of the night.
All along, down along, out along lea.
Tom Pearce's old mare doth appear ghastly white,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

And all the long night be heard skirling and groans.
All along, down along, out along lea.
From Tom Pearce's old mare in her rattling bones,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.


I think you might enjoy this:-


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL5orRAjoas


_________________
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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Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:48 am
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Post Re: Daily Poem
Oh, Penny, thanks for your delightful post! As I was reading I thought you were going to say you were one half of the horse! Look, see, what I found -




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Post Re: Daily Poem
That's fun. I thought the song went on and on and on, but then realized that Penelope had posted it twice--or do they really run through the whole thing again!

John Brown was a real guy, P., terrifyingly real to Southerners and even Northerners. A couple of years ago, Tony Horwitz (Saffron knows him) wrote a nifty bio of him, Midnight Rising.



Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:59 pm
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Post Re: Daily Poem
Quote:
DWill:

I thought the song went on and on and on, but then realized that Penelope had posted it twice--or do they really run through the whole thing again!


Oh I'm sorry. I must have posted it three times- because I checked before I sent it and deleted one lot. No, once is enough: some would say more than enough. :-D

This is my favourite bit:

So Tom Pearce's old mare, her took sick and died.
All along, down along, out along lea.
And Tom he sat down on a stone, and he cried
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,

I sometimes feel like sitting down on a stone and crying - and wouldn't it be great to have those others crying along with me.......very therapeutic I should think.

This is my serious poem for today - but I hope you like it.

Millenial Hymn to Lord Shiva
by Kathleen Raine (UK)

Earth no longer
hymns the Creator,
the seven days of wonder,
the Garden is over —
All the stories are told,
the seven seals broken.
All that begins
must have its ending,
our striving, desiring,
our living and dying,
for Time, the bringer
of abundant days
is Time the destroyer —

In the Iron Age
the Kali Yuga
To whom can we pray
at the end of an era
but the Lord Shiva,
the Liberator, the purifier?

Our forests are felled,
our mountains eroded,
the wild places
where the beautiful animals
found food and sanctuary
we have desolated,
a third of our seas,
a third of our rivers
we have polluted
and the sea-creatures dying.
Our civilization’s
blind progress
in wrong courses
through wrong choices
has brought us to nightmare
where what seems,
is, to the dreamer,
the collective mind
of the twentieth century —
this world of wonders
not divine creation
but a big bang
of blind chance,
purposeless accident,
mother earth’s children,
their living and loving,
their delight in being
not joy but chemistry,
stimulus, reflex,
valueless, meaningless,
while to our machines
we impute intelligence,
in computers and robots
we store information
and call it knowledge,
we seek guidance
by dialling numbers,
pressing buttons,
throwing switches,
in place of family
our companions are shadows,
cast on a screen,
bodiless voices, fleshless faces,
where was the Garden
a Disney-land
of virtual reality,
in place of angels
the human imagination
is peopled with foot-ballers
film-stars, media-men,
experts, know-all
television personalities,
animated puppets
with cartoon faces —

To whom can we pray
for release from illusion,
from the world-cave,
but Time the destroyer,
the liberator, the purifier?

The curse of Midas
has changed at a touch,
a golden handshake
earthly paradise
to lifeless matter,
where once was seed-time,
summer and winter,
food-chain, factory farming,
monocrops for supermarkets,
pesticides, weed-killers
birdless springs,
endangered species,
battery-hens, hormone injections,
artificial insemination,
implants, transplants, sterilization,
surrogate births, contraception,
cloning, genetic engineering, abortion,
and our days shall be short
in the land we have sown
with the Dragon’s teeth
where our armies arise
fully armed on our killing-fields
with land-mines and missiles,
tanks and artillery,
gas-masks and body-bags,
our aircraft rain down
fire and destruction,
our spacecraft broadcast
lies and corruption,
our elected parliaments
parrot their rhetoric
of peace and democracy
while the truth we deny
returns in our dreams
of Armageddon,
the death-wish, the arms-trade,
hatred and slaughter
profitable employment
of our thriving cities,
the arms-race
to the end of the world
of our postmodern,
post-Christian,
post-human nations,
progress to the nihil
of our spent civilization.
But cause and effect,
just and inexorable
law of the universe
no fix of science,
nor amenable god
can save from ourselves
the selves we have become —

At the end of history
to whom can we pray
but to the destroyer,
the liberator, the purifier?

In the beginning
the stars sang together
the cosmic harmony,
but Time, imperceptible
taker-away
of all that has been,
all that will be,
our heart-beat your drum,
our dance of life
your dance of death
in the crematorium,
our high-rise dreams,
Valhalla, Utopia,
Xanadu, Shangri-la, world revolution
Time has taken, and soon will be gone
Cambridge, Princeton and M.I.T.,
Nalanda, Athens and Alexandria
all for the holocaust
of civilization —

To whom shall we pray
when our vision has faded
but the world-destroyer,
the liberator, the purifier?

But great is the realm
of the world-creator,
the world-sustainer
from whom we come,
in whom we move
and have our being,
about us, within us
the wonders of wisdom,
the trees and the fountains,
the stars and the mountains,
all the children of joy,
the loved and the known,
the unknowable mystery
to whom we return
through the world-destroyer —

Holy, holy
at the end of the world
the purging fire
of the purifier, the liberator!


_________________
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 Feb 26, 2015 6:27 am
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Post Re: Daily Poem
Penelope, I feel better now! This is an extended "The world is too much with us" message. Are we now now mostly trying to distract ourselves from what we're bringing upon us? Our destiny the destruction of a world?



Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:55 pm
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Post Re: Daily Poem
Quote:
DWill:

Penelope, I feel better now!


You being sarcastic DW? I'm sorry!! I'm not going to post anything so miserable again. It is a good poem though.

Yes, of course we must distract ourselves. We can't dwell upon the probabilities. We are helpless anyway.

Here's one to make up for everything.


Penumbrae
By John Updike

The shadows have their seasons, too.
The feathery web the budding maples
cast down upon the sullen lawn

bears but a faint relation to
high summer's umbrageous weight
and tunnellike continuum—

black leached from green, deep pools
wherein a globe of gnats revolves
as airy as an astrolabe.

The thinning shade of autumn is
an inherited Oriental,
red worn to pink, nap worn to thread.

Shadows on snow look blue. The skier,
exultant at the summit, sees his poles
elongate toward the valley: thus

each blade of grass projects another
opposite the sun, and in marshes
the mesh is infinite,

as the winged eclipse an eagle in flight
drags across the desert floor
is infinitesimal.

And shadows on water!—
the beech bough bent to the speckled lake
where silt motes flicker gold,

or the steel dock underslung
with a submarine that trembles,
its ladder stiffened by air.

And loveliest, because least looked-for,
gray on gray, the stripes
the pearl-white winter sun

hung low beneath the leafless wood
draws out from trunk to trunk across the road
like a stairway that does not rise.


_________________
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: Daily Poem
Me, sarcastic? We need the bad news about ourselves.

I wondered whether Updike had been thinking of Keats' "To Autumn" when he wrote this. What an English-major thing to say. But the truth is I always found most modern poems less accessible--though this one isn't too hard on me. Keats ends with the gnats, while they're mentioned at the start here. Then there is "The shadows have their season, too" echoing Keats' address to the personified Autumn, "Think not of them, thou hast thy music, too." If Updike is paying homage to the great poem, he does it well, with subtlety. He's bringing in winter, too, though. He's right about the season of shadows, that this is primarily what the leafless months can be said to be famous for.



Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:55 am
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Post Re: Daily Poem
bears but a faint relation to
high summer's umbrageous weight
and tunnellike continuum—


I like these lines because they talk of the heavy shadows of summer. We take a walk around our local Shakerley Mere, two or three times a week. It's just about a mile around, but I like doing the same walk so that you can see the seasons changing and at this time of year we appreciate the light and sunshine so much. By summer the pathway has become shaded.

Most people are walking their dogs, but Norman and I walk each other......funny that when we see the same people every time, it is the dogs who make friends with us first.....

I love Keat's 'Ode to Autumn', and how clever of you to see the link. I didn't. Now, I always feel that 'Ode to Autumn' is really talking about 'middle age' - I learned it off by heart when I was in my forties, along with Prufrock. But now, it's winter going on spring - and I'm appreciating the sunny bits and the new shoots??


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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: Daily Poem
So nice to see poems appearing in this thread. I don't want to be found slacking off, so I will post a little piece of a poem. The poet is May Swenson (May 28, 1913 - Dec. 4, 1989). She is known for the sheer joy for life that she captures in her poems. I am posting the first and second stanza of In Love Made Visible tonight because...well, let me post it first and then explain.

In love are we made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed

With love's alertness
we recognize
the soundless whimper
of the soul
behind the eyes
A shaft opens
and the timid thing
at last leaps to surface
with full-spread wing


The language is lovely and sentiment expressed is bang on. The reason I thought to post this bit is that a newly made and already much loved friend is changing jobs to a job that will require a long commute. It has been awhile since I've made a new friend that clicked so well so fast - she saw me and I was visible. It has been a pleasure getting to know her. I am sure we will keep in touch, but the proximity of working in the same building will be greatly missed.



The following user would like to thank Saffron for this post:
Penelope
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:04 pm
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