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  1. #51
    Senior Member Gish's Avatar
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    Nov 2007


    From childhood's hour I have not been
    As others were---I have not seen
    As others saw---I could not bring
    My passions from a common spring.
    From the same source I have not taken
    My sorrow; I could not awaken
    My heart to joy at the same tone;
    And all I lov'd, I loved alone.
    Then---in my childhood---in the dawn
    Of a most stormy life---was drawn
    From ev'ry depth of good and ill
    The mystery which binds me still:
    From the torrent, or the fountain,
    From the red cliff of the mountain,
    From the sun that 'round me roll'd
    In its autumn tint of gold---
    From the lightning in the sky
    As it pass'd me flying by---
    From the thunder and the storm,
    And the cloud that took the form
    (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
    Of a demon in my view.


  2. #52
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    One of them moved here, as it doesn't really fit with the rest of the thread.

  3. #53
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallace Stevens
    Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

    Among twenty snowy mountains,
    The only moving thing
    Was the eye of the blackbird.

    I was of three minds,
    Like a tree
    In which there are three blackbirds.

    The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
    It was a small part of the pantomime.

    A man and a woman
    Are one.
    A man and a woman and a blackbird
    Are one.

    I do not know which to prefer,
    The beauty of inflections
    Or the beauty of innuendoes,
    The blackbird whistling
    Or just after.

    Icicles filled the long window
    With barbaric glass.
    The shadow of the blackbird
    Crossed it, to and fro.
    The mood
    Traced in the shadow
    An indecipherable cause.

    O thin men of Haddam,
    Why do you imagine golden birds?
    Do you not see how the blackbird
    Walks around the feet
    Of the women about you?

    I know noble accents
    And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
    But I know, too,
    That the blackbird is involved
    In what I know.

    When the blackbird flew out of sight,
    It marked the edge
    Of one of many circles.

    At the sight of blackbirds
    Flying in a green light,
    Even the bawds of euphony
    Would cry out sharply.

    He rode over Connecticut
    In a glass coach.
    Once, a fear pierced him,
    In that he mistook
    The shadow of his equipage
    For blackbirds.

    The river is moving.
    The blackbird must be flying.

    It was evening all afternoon.
    It was snowing
    And it was going to snow.
    The blackbird sat
    In the cedar-limbs.

    I love this poem, though I think a lot of people find it irritating because "what is it even about anyway?" (Duh, guys, it's a collection of various images of a blackbird...) I loved it more after I wrote a paper about a few Wallace Stevens' poems in college. That's how a lot of stuff goes for me. Once I write about it or teach it, I'm sold.

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  4. #54
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Eileen, for some reason I just thought of this poem and it reminded me of you. Maybe you've posted it before or maybe just because it has irreverent religion and cats in it?

    Jubilate Agno

    For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
    For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
    For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his
    For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant
    For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon
    his prayer.
    For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
    For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
    For this he performs in ten degrees.
    For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
    For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
    For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
    For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
    For fifthly he washes himself.
    For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
    For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the
    For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
    For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
    For tenthly he goes in quest of food.
    For having consider'd God and himself he will consider his neighbour.
    For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
    For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
    For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
    For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.
    For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
    For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and
    glaring eyes.
    For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
    For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
    For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
    For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
    For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he
    For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit
    without provocation.
    For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he's a good Cat.
    For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
    For every house is incomplete without him and a blessing is lacking in the
    For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the
    Children of Israel from Egypt.
    For every family had one cat at least in the bag.
    For the English Cats are the best in Europe.
    For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
    For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him
    For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
    For he is tenacious of his point.
    For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
    For he knows that God is his Saviour.
    For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
    For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
    For he is of the Lord's poor and so indeed is he called by benevolence
    perpetually -- Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.
    For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.
    For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat.
    For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in
    For he is docile and can learn certain things.
    For he can set up with gravity which is patience upon approbation.
    For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
    For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.
    For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
    For he can jump from an eminence into his master's bosom.
    For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
    For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.
    For the former is afraid of detection.
    For the latter refuses the charge.
    For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.
    For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.
    For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.
    For he killed the Ichneumon-rat very pernicious by land.
    For his ears are so acute that they sting again.
    For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.
    For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.
    For I perceived God's light about him both wax and fire.
    For the Electrical fire is the spiritual substance, which God sends from
    heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.
    For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
    For, tho' he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
    For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other
    For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.
    For he can swim for life.
    For he can creep.

    1758-63, Christopher Smart
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  5. #55
    *ears perk up* wolfmaiden14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    The God Who Loves You

    It must be troubling for the god who loves you
    To ponder how much happier you'd be today
    Had you been able to glimpse your many futures.
    It must be painful for him to watch you on Friday evenings
    Driving home from the office, content with your week
    Three fine houses sold to deserving families
    Knowing as he does exactly what would have happened
    Had you gone to your second choice for college,
    Knowing the roommate you'd have been allotted
    Whose ardent opinions on painting and music
    Would have kindled in you a lifelong passion.
    A life thirty points above the life you're living
    On any scale of satisfaction. And every point
    A thorn in the side of the god who loves you.
    You don't want that, a large-souled man like you
    Who tries to withhold from your wife the day's disappointments
    So she can save her empathy for the children.
    And would you want this god to compare your wife
    With the woman you were destined to meet on the other campus?
    It hurts you to think of him ranking the conversation
    You'd have enjoyed over there higher in insight
    Than the conversation you're used to.
    And think how this loving god would feel
    Knowing that the man next in line for your wife
    Would have pleased her more than you ever will
    Even on your best days, when you really try.
    Can you sleep at night believing a god like that
    Is pacing his cloudy bedroom, harassed by alternatives
    You're spared by ignorance? The difference between what is
    And what could have been will remain alive for him
    Even after you cease existing, after you catch a chill
    Running out in the snow for the morning paper,
    Losing eleven years that the god who loves you
    Will feel compelled to imagine scene by scene
    Unless you come to the rescue by imagining him
    No wiser than you are, no god at all, only a friend
    No closer than the actual friend you made at college,
    The one you haven't written in months. Sit down tonight
    And write him about the life you can talk about
    With a claim to authority, the life you've witnessed,
    Which for all you know is the life you've chosen.

    -- Carl Dennis. *Practical Gods*.
    Forming characters! Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence. - Elihu Burritt

    Member of the Maverick's Biker Club - Now crashing through walls instead of just..walking into them.

  6. #56
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    that one's new to me, ivy! excellent...

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  7. #57
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Has anyone mentioned TS Eliot's Four Quartets? I carried a photocopy of it/them around in my pocket for about a year so I'd always have something to read.

  8. #58
    Scream down the boulevard LadyJaye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    7w6 so/sx


    The Panther

    His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
    has grown so weary that it cannot hold
    anything else. It seems to him there are
    a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

    As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
    the movement of his powerful soft strides
    is like a ritual dance around a center
    in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

    Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
    lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,
    rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
    plunges into the heart and is gone.

    Rainer Maria Rilke

  9. #59
    Senior Member Noel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    George Herbert - The Collar

    I struck the board and cried, "No more;
    I will abroad!
    What? shall I ever sigh and pine?
    My lines and life are free, free as the road,
    Loose as the wind, as large as store.
    Shall I be still in suit?
    Have I no harvest but a thorn
    To let me blood, and not restore
    What I have lost with cordial fruit?
    Sure there was wine
    Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
    Before my tears did drown it.
    Is the year only lost to me?
    Have I no bays to crown it,
    No flowers, no garlands gay? All blasted?
    All wasted?
    Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
    And thou hast hands.
    Recover all thy sigh-blown age
    On double pleasures; leave thy cold dispute
    Of what is fit and not. Forsake thy cage,
    Thy rope of sands,
    Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
    Good cable, to enforce and draw,
    And be thy law,
    While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
    Away! take heed;
    I will abroad.
    Call in thy death's-head there; tie up thy fears.
    He that forbears
    To suit and serve his need,
    Deserves his load."
    But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild
    At every word,
    Methought I heard one calling, Childe!
    And I replied, My Lord.
    I may be bested in battle, but I shall never be defeated.

  10. #60
    Mud and rain and chaos... TickTock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Look forward to reading these. If (already posted) is incredible.

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