wherever he wakes this morning, he knows the big bang is irreparable
the following appraisal of saturn's rings: water, electrically charged particles
specks of obliterated satellites & largely unoccupied dark bands--
yes, they seem beautiful from this distance, as do so many colliding forms
on the newsfeed, rockets spray across the lacquered box often
& often, in a world which is now so completely occupied
a freighter spills its tenebrous rings into the overburdened bay
maybe he's eyeing his own depleted sac, remembering the humps of jellyfish
littering the shore with their baggy lappets and plasticine bells
maybe remembering carries no import now, since--space: relativity
roseate sunset, the way the rays refract through the pollution
the rays remind him of the little jellies on the beach, tentacles splayed
with a certain tilt of the mind, an imperial flower might mean forgiveness
& might even the most remote explosion be read as a sign of triumph.
CHORUS OF HOURS
Whence come ye, so wild and so fleet,
For sandals of lightning are on your feet,
And your wings are soft and swift as thought,
And your eyes are as love which is veilèd not?
CHORUS OF SPIRITS
We come from the mind
Which was late so dusk, and obscene, and blind;
Now 't is an ocean
Of clear emotion,
A heaven of serene and mighty motion.
From that deep abyss
Of wonder and bliss,
Whose caverns are crystal palaces;
From those skyey towers
Where Thought's crowned powers
Sit watching your dance, ye happy Hours!
From the dim recesses
Of woven caresses,
Where lovers catch ye by your loose tresses;
From the azure isles,
Where sweet Wisdom smiles,
Delaying your ships with her siren wiles.
From the temples high
Of Man's ear and eye,
Roofed over Sculpture and Poesy;
From the murmurings
Of the unsealed springs,
Where Science bedews his dædal wings.
Years after years,
Through blood, and tears,
And a thick hell of hatreds, and hopes, and fears,
We waded and flew,
And the islets were few
Where the bud-blighted flowers of happiness grew.
Our feet now, every palm,
Are sandalled with calm,
And the dew of our wings is a rain of balm;
And, beyond our eyes,
The human love lies,
Which makes all it gazes on Paradise.
I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.
Originally Posted by Edgar
Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"
It's only common sense (not that they know the score,
they don't avoid it). And so one's life story
is begun on a paper napkin and folded into a coat pocket
to be retrieved later when its darker
and cooler, and closer. And onward
to rockier ground, where conversation is impassable
and human beings matter more than
the light that glimmers beneath the horizon
before sinking into our own inaudible sigh (a long way
from these fur-covered hands). And somehow
the deal is struck. Money gets made.
And the small shocks one undergoes for no reason,
the bus driver handing you a transfer, a steamy
saxophone ascending the jungle. The city
lays down its blanket of rippling
lamplight as though exhaustion too
was achieved by consensus, and what one does
and how one feels have nothing to do with one's self.
No, this can't be the place, but it must be
the road that leads there, always beginning
when morning is slow and hazy, suffering to get somewhere
with all the memorable mistakes along the way,
piecing them together, arriving,
believing that one arrives at a point different from
the starting point, admitting things still aren't clear.
A rag doll on a dark lawn injures the heart
as deeply as the salt sea air filling one's lungs
with a sadness once felt in a classroom
a sadness older than any of us.
And the dogs barking, challenging cars. And the willows
lining the sidewalk, lifting their veils
to the inscrutable surface of wood. (Someone
is trying to get a message through. Someone thinks
you'll understand it).
O Little Root of a Dream by Paul Celan
Translated by Heather McHugh and Nikolai Popov
O little root of a dream
you hold me here
undermined by blood,
no longer visible to anyone,
property of death.
Curve a face
that there may be speech, of earth,
of ardor, of
things with eyes, even
here, where you read me blind,
to the letter.
I'm glad this was posted in this thread, as I love Celan.
I read a lot of poetry...I even get to read poetry as part of my work these days! (working on an anthology for recital.) It would be really hard for me to pick favourite poems or even poets, at least a list that's not very long. But here are a couple:
Come into Animal Presence
by Denise Levertov
Come into animal presence.
No man is so guileless as
the serpent. The lonely white
rabbit on the roof is a star
twitching its ears at the rain.
The llama intricately
folding its hind legs to be seated
not disdains but mildly
disregards human approval.
What joy when the insouciant
armadillo glances at us and doesn't
quicken his trotting
across the track into the palm brush.
What is this joy? That no animal
falters, but knows what it must do?
That the snake has no blemish,
that the rabbit inspects his strange surroundings
in white star-silence? The llama
rests in dignity, the armadillo
has some intention to pursue in the palm-forest.
Those who were sacred have remained so,
holiness does not dissolve, it is a presence
of bronze, only the sight that saw it
faltered and turned from it.
An old joy returns in holy presence.
By Derek Mahon
The kind of rain we knew is a thing of the past –
deep-delving, dark, deliberate you would say,
browsing on spire and bogland; but today
our sky-blue slates are steaming in the sun,
our yachts tinkling and dancing in the bay
like racehorses. We contemplate at last
shining windows, a future forbidden to no one.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
The Sick Rose by William Blake
O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm.
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wile
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you’ll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.
PLANET EARTH (P K Page)
It has to be spread out, the skin of this planet,
has to be ironed, the sea in its whiteness;
and the hands keep on moving,
smoothing the holy surfaces.
—In Praise of Ironing by Pablo Neruda
It has to be loved the way a laundress loves her linens,
the way she moves her hands caressing the fine muslins
knowing their warp and woof,
like a lover coaxing, or a mother praising.
It has to be loved as if it were embroidered
with flowers and birds and two joined hearts upon it.
It has to be stretched and stroked.
It has to be celebrated.
O this great beloved world and all the creatures in it. It has to be spread out, the skin of this planet.
The trees must be washed, and the grasses and mosses.
They have to be polished as if made of green brass.
The rivers and little streams with their hidden cresses
and pale-coloured pebbles
and their fool’s gold
must be washed and starched or shined into brightness,
the sheets of lake water
smoothed with the hand
and the foam of the oceans pressed into neatness. It has to be ironed, the sea in its whiteness.
and pleated and goffered, the flower-blue sea
the protean, wine-dark, grey, green, sea
with its metres of satin and bolts of brocade.
And sky – such an 0! overhead – night and day
must be burnished and rubbed
by hands that are loving
so the blue blazons forth
and the stars keep on shining
within and above and the hands keep on moving.
It has to be made bright, the skin of this planet
till it shines in the sun like gold leaf.
Archangels then will attend to its metals
and polish the rods of its rain.
Seraphim will stop singing hosannas
to shower it with blessings and blisses and praises
and, newly in love,
we must draw it and paint it
our pencils and brushes and loving caresses smoothing the holy surfaces.
The people cast themselves down by the fuming boards
while servants cut the roast, mixed jars of wine and water,
and all the gods flew past like the night-breaths of spring.
The chattering female flocks sat down by farther tables,
their fresh prismatic garments gleaming in the moon
as though a crowd of haughty peacocks played in moonlight.
The queen’s throne softly spread with white furs of fox
gaped desolate and bare, for Penelope felt ashamed
to come before her guests after so much murder.
Though all the guests were ravenous, they still refrained,
turning their eyes upon their silent watchful lord
till he should spill wine in libation for the Immortals.
The king then filled a brimming cup, stood up and raised
it high till in the moon the embossed adornments gleamed:
Athena, dwarfed and slender, wrought in purest gold,
pursued around the cup with double-pointed spear
dark lowering herds of angry gods and hairy demons;
she smiled and the sad tenderness of her lean face,
and her embittered fearless glance, seemed almost human.
Star-eyed Odysseus raised Athena’s goblet high
and greeted all, but spoke in a beclouded mood:
“In all my wandering voyages and torturous strife,
the earth, the seas, the winds fought me with frenzied rage;
I was in danger often, both through joy and grief,
of losing priceless goodness, man’s most worthy face.
I raised my arms to the high heavens and cried for help,
but on my head gods hurled their lightning bolts, and laughed.
I then clasped Mother Earth, but she changed many shapes,
and whether as earthquake, beast, or woman, rushed to eat me;
then like a child I gave my hopes to the sea in trust,
piled on my ship my stubbornness, my cares, my virtues,
the poor remaining plunder of god-fighting man,
and then set sail; but suddenly a wild storm burst,
and when I raised my eyes, the sea was strewn with wreckage.
As I swam on, alone between sea and sky,
with but my crooked heart for dog and company,
I heard my mind, upon the crumpling battlements
about my head, yelling with flailing crimson spear.
Earth, sea, and sky rushed backward; I remained alone
with a horned bow slung down my shoulder, shorn of gods
and hopes, a free man standing in the wilderness.
Old comrades, O young men, my island’s newest sprouts,
I drink not to the gods but to man’s dauntless mind.”
All shuddered, for the daring toast seemed sacrilege,
and suddenly the hungry people shrank in spirit;
They did not fully understand the impious words
but saw flames lick like red curls about his savage head.
The smell of roast was overpowering, choice meats steamed,
and his bold speech was soon forgotten in hunger’s pangs;
all fell to eating ravenously till their brains reeled.
Under his lowering eyebrows Odysseus watched them sharply:
"This is my people, a mess of bellies and stinking breath!
These are my own minds, hands, and thighs, my loins and necks!"
He muttered in his thorny beard, held back his hunger
far from the feast and licked none of the steaming food. — Nikos Kazantzakis (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel)