poetry thread

Page 19 of 23 Previous  1 ... 11 ... 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:13 am

The Complete Poems by Philip Larkin, edited by Archie Burnett - review

An exhaustive, awe-inspiring monument to Philip Larkin

John Banville

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 25 January 2012 10.55 GMT


Sculpture of Philip Larkin by Martin Jennings in Hull's Paragon station. Photograph: Asadour Guzelian

A "Complete Poems" is a death certificate and memorial combined. After the Selected and the Collected, the Complete marks the poet's official demise and at the same time erects a carven monument designed to outlast the ages. In the case of this mighty volume of the all of Larkin, there is something too of the coroner's report. The Larkinesquely named Archie Burnett conducts a forensic examination of the poet's imaginative venture, and in the process leaves no headstone unturned. The result is awe-inspiring, exhaustive and faintly risible. Larkin himself would have made merciless fun of it, but the poet, and the librarian, in him would have been immensely pleased and proud.


The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin

Burnett, professor of English at Boston University and the editor of AE Housman's poems and letters, is a scholar to his pencil-tips; one suspects he was born with the word "definitive" stamped on his brow. A poet once Burnetted will stay Burnetted. In his introduction here he writes, managing to sound both defensive and well pleased with himself: "A major justification for a new edition is to provide, for the first time, a commentary on the poems. It covers: Larkin's many comments on his work; closely relevant historical contexts; persons and places; echoes and allusions; and linguistic usage."

Larkin is in what is probably the unique position of having two separate Collected Poems published after his death, one in 1988 and the second, for good or perhaps better measure, in 2003, both edited by Anthony Thwaite. The first time round Thwaite had come in for some stick from reviewers because of what they saw as his eccentric presentation of the poems, though all he had done was arrange them in chronological order of completion, thus mingling published and unpublished work and ignoring Larkin's own arrangements in the four slim volumes that he brought out in his lifetime. On the second go he sought to set all to rights. There are some of us who still prefer his original effort, eccentric or not.

Burnett in his acknowledgments pays rich tribute to Thwaite – "who over the years has done more than anyone for Larkin" – while taking, as he delicately puts it, "a different editorial view". The Burnett view is both panoptic and microscopic. The critical apparatus he erects approaches the shaky heights of Babel, yet the wealth and profusion of detail within it would purblind Larkin's own shivering sizar. There are moments too of unintentional mild comedy. Larkin, the most politically incorrect of poets, would have enjoyed, and snarled at, the citation Burnett offers from a fellow critic who, warning against a too literal linking of the poet's life and the poet's poems, "correctly insists that 'An April Sunday Brings the Snow' does not specify the sex of the 'you' addressed, the relationship of the speaker to that person, or indeed details of skin colour and ethnicity". True, of course, and a valid point, yet one finds it hard to resist the urge to respond as Larkin would have done in one of his outrageous letters to Kingsley Amis, by saying: "Bum".

However, we must settle down, here at the back of the class, and grant that The Complete Poems is an almost fanatically painstaking and altogether admirable piece of work. The publishers, though betraying a hint of desperation in their efforts to make the volume seem attractive to the common poetry reader – is there such a creature? – are right when they urge that "Archie Burnett's commentary establishes [Larkin] as a more complex and more literary poet than many readers have suspected." That it does, and much else besides.

Larkin had such an acute, anarchic and bleak sense of humour, or of the comic, at least – the comical and the humorous not being always synonymous – that we might be forgiven for taking him at his own face value. Although he produced some of the most delicately beautiful works of art of the 20th century, it amused him to present himself to the world as a cross between Colonel Blimp and The Archers' Walter Gabriel of old, and to adopt in his public utterances the baleful tones of an apoplectic stockbroker complaining about immigrants on the letters page of the Daily Telegraph. Self-depreciation was not second but first nature to him. Here he is in his rueful but not unfond Introduction to the 1966 Faber reissue of his first collection, The North Ship:

Looking back, I find in the poems not one abandoned self but several – the ex-schoolboy, for whom Auden was the only alternative to "old-fashioned" poetry; the undergraduate, whose work a friend affably characterised as "Dylan Thomas, but you've a sentimentality that's all your own"; and the immediately post-Oxford self, isolated in Shropshire with a complete Yeats stolen from the local girls' school.

That "local girls' school" is a quintessential Larkin detail, an interjection from his "Brunette Coleman" persona.

Yeats was one of Larkin's earliest and most compelling exemplars, thrust to his attention in a talk at Oxford by the poet Vernon Watkins – "impassioned and imperative, he swamped us with Yeats" – yet many other voices twitter in the backgrounds of his poems, early and late. For instance, what a soft surprise it is to come upon the Eliotian languishings of "Femmes Damnées" from 1943:

But the living room is ruby: there upon
Cushions from Harrods, strewn in tumbled heaps
Around the floor, smelling of smoke and wine,
Rosemary sits. Her hands are clasped. She weeps.

And who would have expected a little ode to, of all people and poets, Hart Crane – "At night / A thin mist blurred the Hudson, and he sought / Bell-bottomed sex, and the saloons like birds" – or a poem with a title in French, "(À un ami qui aime)"? And there are many other revelations. Indeed, the volume overall is one vast revelation.

Page-counting is always a vulgar and dispiriting exercise, but in this case the results are truly impressive. The book is divided roughly in half, into two large sections, "The Poems" and "Commentary", followed by a couple of brief appendices, the first devoted to Larkin's early collections that he made in 11 typescript booklets, the second to dates of composition. Of the 700-odd pages of text, a mere 90 accommodate the four volumes that Larkin published when he was alive – The North Ship (1945), The Less Deceived (1955), The Whitsun Weddings (1964) and High Windows (1974) – while nearly 300 are given to poems published but not collected, poems not published, and undated or approximately dated poems. As Burnett squarely declares: "This edition includes all of Larkin's poems whose texts are accessible," so that even "verses from letters, mainly short, and by turns sentimental, affectionate, satirical and scurrilous, are included." And yes, by the way, you will enjoy the satirical and scurrilous ones.

In the matter of publishing, Larkin was the most frugal of poets. One readily understands why he should wish to suppress or at least not display the bulk of his early work, in which, like so many (male) poets in their youth he spends so much of the time mirror-gazing. The pre-1945 poems throb with forced passion, as he struggles to give a metaphysical cast to his youthful lusts and longings for romance. But even after 1945, when he had discovered Hardy's poetry and forged his own voice, he left scores of wonderful poems undisclosed to public view.

At the same time, he made sure to preserve these pieces. Burnett quotes another Larkin scholar, James Booth, writing that "from 5 October 1944 to November 1980" – Larkin died in 1985, after five sadly fallow years – "he wrote (and carefully dated) virtually all his complete and incomplete drafts." From an early age, then, he was confidently looking forward to that "posthumous volume" that Thwaite, in his introduction to the 1988 Collected Poems, has him referring to often, even "if jocularly". As one goes through the uncollected and unpublished poems, one is confronted on every other page with first-rate work. Consider, for instance, the sonnet "And Now the Leaves Suddenly Lose Strength", a glorious evocation of autumn and one of Larkin's finest "death" poems. Only a major poet could have afforded to leave such a masterpiece unpublished. The Complete Poems reveals Larkin as a poet of great and rich abundance, and for this, and for so much else, we owe a debt of gratitude to his surely "definitive" editor.

John Banville's The Infinities is published by Picador.
avatar
eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:14 pm

FEMMES DAMNEES
by Phillip Larkin

The fire is ash: the early morning sun
Outlines the patterns on the curtains, drawn
The night before. The milk's been on the step,
The 'Guardian' in the letter-box, since dawn.

Upstairs, the beds have not been touched, and thence
Builders' estates, and the main road, are seen,
With labourers, petrol-pumps, a Green Line 'bus,
And plots of cabbages set in between.

But the living-room is ruby: there upon
Cushions from Harrod's, strewn in tumbled heaps
Around the floor, smelling of smoke and wine,
Rosemary sits. Her hands are clasped. She weeps.

She stares about her: round the decent walls
(The ribbon lost,her pale gold hair falls down)
Sees books and photos: 'Dance'; 'The Rhythmic Life';
Miss Rachel Wilson in a cap and gown.

Stretched out before her, Rachel curls and curves,
Eyelids and lips apart, her glances filled
With satisfied ferocity: she smiles,
As beasts smile on the prey they have just killed.

The marble clock has stopped. The curtained sun
Burns on: the room grows hot. There, it appears,
A vase of flowers has spilt, and soaked away.
The only sound heard is the sound of tears.


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:16 pm

Femmes Damnées - Delphine et Hippolyte
Charles Baudelaire 1857 (pub. 1866)
(trans ?)

By the pallid light of languid lamps,
On deep cushions steeped in fragrance,
Hippolyta relived the potent caresses
That had parted the veil of her virginity.

She sought, with eyes unsettled, disturbed,
The skies of innocence already remote,
Just as travellers look back to catch
A last glimpse of horizons fading by dawn.

The tears slowly filling her now vacant eyes,
Her exhaustion, her stupor, her voluptuous sorrow,
Her vanquished arms, cast down in submission,
All served to delineate her delicate beauty.

Reclining at her feet, poised in her delight,
Delphine gazed eagerly with flaming eyes
Like a powerful predator surveying her prey
Once she has marked it hers with her fangs.

Strong beauty kneeling before fragile beauty,
Superb, she voluptuously savoured
The wine of her triumph, reaching out
To gather the maiden's tenderest thanks.

She searched the face of her pale victim,
For the silent prayer that sings of pleasure,
And gratitude infinite and sublime
From fluttering eye-lids like a long sigh.

Hippolyta, my love, what is in your heart?
Do you understand now you do not have to give
The holy sacrifice of your first rose-bud
To violent storms that desecrate all?

My kisses are light as may-flies
That at dusk caress limpid lakes,
Those of men would gouge rough furrows
Like crude ploughs savaging your flesh;

Trampling you like a lumbering team
Of oxen with their brutal hooves...
Hippolyta, o my sister! turn to me,
You, my love, my heart, my bride, my all,

Turn to me your eyes of azure and starlight!
For one enchanting, heavenly, narcotic glance,
I would initiate you into darker pleasures
Entrancing you into a dream without end!

Then Hippolyta raised her youthful head:
I am not ungrateful, nor do I repent,
But my Delphine, I suffer and am distraught,
As after some sinful feast of the night.

I am paralysed by such crushing dread,
As black hordes of skeletal spectres
Drag me down ever-shifting paths
Relentlessly toward horizons of blood.

Have we done something unspeakable?
I beg you, soothe my terrors and dread;
I tremble with fear when you call me 'My angel!'
Even so my lips crave only yours.

Do not look at me like that, my soul!
You whom I love forever, my heart's only desire,
Even though you are the trap in which I am caught
And the gateway to my Damnation!

Then Delphine tossed her flowing mane of hair,
And like the tragic oracle on her tripod of fire,
Fatal-eyed, replied with a despotic voice:
Who in Love's presence dares speak of Hell?

Damned forever be that useless dreamer
Who first tried, in his stupidity,
Obsessed with arguments pointless and sterile,
To let morality intrude into matters of Love!

He who would unite in some magical harmony
Darkness with light, night with day,
Will never warm his miserable flesh,
In the red sunlight we know as Love!

Go, if you want, find some stupid youth;
Submit your virgin heart to his brutal lust;
And, filled with remorse, white lipped with horror,
Bring back to me your slaughtered breasts...

Here below you can satisfy but one sole Master!
But the girl, overcome in her distress,
Cried suddenly:- There is within me
A gaping abyss - this abyss is my heart!

Burning like lava, deep as a void!
Nothing satisfies this howling monster
Or slakes the thirst of the Furies
Who, torch in hand, burn into my blood.

Draw the shades to hide us from the world,
And from my lassitude may I find repose!
Let me annihilate myself in your deep bosom,
And find in your breast the respite of the tomb!

Descend, descend, lamentable victims,
Descend the path of eternal Hell!
Plunge the deepest gulf, where all crimes,
Are scourged by a wind not from Heaven sent,

Swirling, boiling with the noise of thunder.
Maddened shadows, run to the goal of your desires;
Never will you gratify your passions,
For from your pleasures your punishment is born.

Never more will light enter your dark cavern;
Though through cracks in the walls fevered miasmas
Filter in, and burning like censers
Suffuse your bodies with their corrupt perfumes.

Your ecstasies, sterile and bitter,
Will parch your throat and wither your skin,
And the raging tempest of your lust
Makes your flesh shudder like a torn flag.

Far from the living world, go wander, condemned,
Running like wolves across the desert,
Chase your destiny, reckless souls,
And flee the infinite you carry within you!


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:47 am

This is what I was writing in the chat:

ROMANCE DE LA LUNA, LUNA

La luna vino a la fragua
con su polisón de nardos.
El niño la mira, mira.
El niño la está mirando.

En el aire conmovido
mueve la luna sus brazos
y enseña, lúbrica y pura,
sus senos de duro estaño.

Huye luna, luna, luna.
Si vinieran los gitanos,
harían con tu corazón
collares y anillos blancos.

Niño, déjame que baile.
Cuando vengan los gitanos,
te encontrarán sobre el yunque
con los ojillos cerrados.

Huye luna, luna, luna,
que ya siento sus caballos.

Niño, déjame, no pises
mi blancor almidonado.

El jinete se acercaba
tocando el tambor del llano.
Dentro de la fragua el niño,
tiene los ojos cerrados.

Por el olivar venían,
bronce y sueño, los gitanos.
Las cabezas levantadas
y los ojos entornados.

Cómo canta la zumaya,
¡ay, cómo canta en el árbol!
Por el cielo va la luna
con un niño de la mano.

Dentro de la fragua lloran,
dando gritos, los gitanos.
El aire la vela, vela.
El aire la está velando.


Ballad of the moon

The moon came into the forge
in her bustle of flowering nard.
The little boy stares at her, stares.
The boy is staring hard.

In the shaken air
the moon moves her amrs,
and shows lubricious and pure,
her breasts of hard tin.

"Moon, moon, moon, run!
If the gypsies come,
they will use your heart
to make white necklaces and rings."

"Let me dance, my little one.
When the gypsies come,
they'll find you on the anvil
with your lively eyes closed tight.

"Moon, moon, moon, run!
I can feel their horses come."
"Let me be, my little one,
don't step on me, all starched and white!"

Closer comes the horseman,
drumming on the plain.
The boy is in the forge;
his eyes are closed.

Through the olive grove
come the gypsies, dream and bronze,
their heads held high,
their hooded eyes.

Oh, how the night owl calls,
calling, calling from its tree!
The moon is climbing through the sky
with the child by the hand.

They are crying in the forge,
all the gypsies, shouting, crying.
The air is veiwing all, views all.
The air is at the viewing.


By Federico García Lorca
Translated by Will Kirkland

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:16 am

Contra Jaime Gil de Biedma
(de Jaime Gil de Biedma)

De qué sirve, quisiera yo saber, cambiar de piso,
dejar atrás un sótano más negro
que mi reputación -y ya es decir-,
poner visillos blancos
y tomar criada,
renunciar a la vida de bohemio,
si vienes luego tú, pelmazo,
embarazoso huésped, memo vestido con mis trajes,
zángano de colmena, inútil, cacaseno,
con tus manos lavadas,
a comer en mi plato y a ensuciar la casa?

Te acompañan las barras de los bares
últimos de la noche, los chulos, las floristas,
las calles muertas de la madrugada
y los ascensores de luz amarilla
cuando llegas, borracho,
y te paras a verte en el espejo
la cara destruida,
con ojos todavía violentos
que no quieres cerrar. Y si te increpo,
te ríes, me recuerdas el pasado
y dices que envejezco.

Podría recordarte que ya no tienes gracia.
Que tu estilo casual y que tu desenfado
resultan truculentos
cuando se tienen más de treinta años,
y que tu encantadora
sonrisa de muchacho soñoliento
-seguro de gustar- es un resto penoso,
un intento patético.
Mientras que tú me miras con tus ojos
de verdadero huérfano, y me lloras
y me prometes ya no hacerlo.

Si no fueses tan puta!
Y si yo no supiese, hace ya tiempo,
que tú eres fuerte cuando yo soy débil
y que eres débil cuando me enfurezco...
De tus regresos guardo una impresión confusa
de pánico, de pena y descontento,
y la desesperanza
y la impaciencia y el resentimiento
de volver a sufrir, otra vez más,
la humillación imperdonable
de la excesiva intimidad.

A duras penas te llevaré a la cama,
como quien va al infierno
para dormir contigo.
Muriendo a cada paso de impotencia,
tropezando con muebles
a tientas, cruzaremos el piso
torpemente abrazados, vacilando
de alcohol y de sollozos reprimidos.
Oh innoble servidumbre de amar seres humanos,
y la más innoble
que es amarse a sí mismo!




This is the only translation I've found:

Against Jaime Gil de Biedma
by Jaime Gil de Biedma

why should i, i'd like to know, change flat,
leave behind a basement blacker
than my reputation -and that's saying something-
put up white net curtains
and get a maid,
give up this bohemian life
if later you come, twat
embarassing guest, dickhead dressed in my suit
beehive drone, useless, shithead
with your washed hands
to eat from my plate and dirty my house

the bars of the bars acompany you
the last of the night, the pimps, the flirts
the dead streets of the early morming
and lifts with yellow light
when you arrive, drunk,
and you stop to look at yourself in the mirror
your face destroyed
with still violent eyes
thet you dont want to shut. And if i tell you off,
you laugh, you remind me of the past
and you say i'm getting old.

I could remind you you're not funny any more.
That your casual style and your cool
seem bad tempered
when you're more than thirty
and that your charming
young man's dreamy smile
-really lovely- is the sad left-over,
a crap try.
While you look at me with your eyes
of true orphan, and you cry to me
and you promise not to do it any more.

If you weren't such a slag!
And if I knew, ages ago,
that you are strong while i am weak
and that you are weak when i get mad...
I have a blurry impression of when you come back
of panic, of sadness and unhappiness,
and the desperation
and the impatience and the resentment
of suffering again, one more time,
the unforgivable humilliation
of excessive privacy

i can hardly take you to bed,
like someone who is going to hell
to sleep with you.
Dying with each impotent step,
banging into the furniture
fumbling, we cross the flat
hugging each other ungainly, hesitating
from alcohol and from repressed tears
Oh ignoble servitude loving human beings
and the most ignoble of all
that is loving oneself!

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:52 am

Y después

Los laberintos
que crea el tiempo,
se desvanecen.

(Sólo queda
el desierto.)

El corazón
fuente del deseo,
se desvanece.

(Sólo queda
el desierto.)

La ilusión de la aurora
y los besos,
se desvanecen.

Sólo queda
el desierto.
Un ondulado
desierto.


And afterwards

The labyrinths
that time creates
vanish.

(Only the desert
remains.)

The heart,
fountain of desire,
vanishes.

(Only the desert
remains.)

The illusion of dawn
and kisses
vanish.

Only the desert
remains.
Rippling
desert.

by Federico García Lorca

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:05 am

La Casa Del Sol

Oye un canto mi corazón
me pongo a llorar
me lleno de dolor

Nos vamos entre flores
Tenemos que dejar esta tierra
Estamos prestados unos a otros

Iremos a la casa del sol

No es verdad que se vive aquí,
Aquí en la tierra
Un sueño es.

El oro se rompe
El jade se quiebra
La pluma de Quetzal se desgarra
Como una pintura, nos borraremos

Iremos a la casa del sol


translation:

I hear a song in my heart
and I start to cry
I fill up with pain

We are walking amongst a field of flowers
And we have to leave this Earth.
We are only borrowing each other.

We will go to the house of the Sun.

It is not true that we live here,
here on Earth.
It is only a dream.

Gold will be destroyed.
Jade will break.
The feather of Quetzal will tears.
Like a painting, we will be erased.
We will go to the house of the sun.


hmmm I've found this version on youtube but it seems like a combination of several ballads... telling from the ones I've read in Spanish ("Ballads of the Lords of New Spain")

If I trust the internet, the author would be Nezahualcoyotl, a philosopher, warrior, architect, poet and ruler (tlatoani) of the city-state of Texcoco in pre-Columbian Mexico.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:23 am

John Keats – autumnal idealist or trenchant social commentator?

Traditionally regarded as a bucolic idyll, Keats's ode 'To Autumn' has a hitherto unsuspected political edge, say scholars

Alison Flood

guardian.co.uk, Friday 23 March 2012 12.16 GMT


Was a burning sense of social injustice, rather than soothing walks by the river Itchen, the shaping influence behind Keats's ode To Autumn? Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

The bucolic calm of John Keats's "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" hides a searing criticism of contemporary landowners, according to a group of Aberystwyth academics.

The 23-year-old Keats spent time in Winchester in the summer of 1819, planning to finish his poem "Lamia" but instead composing "To Autumn". The ode, with its idyllic images of ripening fruit, drowsing workers and a maturing sun, was published the following year, and was originally thought to have been inspired by the poet's regular walks through the meadows by the river Itchen.

However, after analysing maps and records from the time, Professor Richard Marggraf Turley of Aberystwyth University and fellow researchers Jayne Archer and Howard Thomas believe it was the view from St Giles's Hill that informed the poem – giving it a previously unsuspected political edge.

"We found a walking guide which Keats would have used, and at the front there is an engraving of the view from St Giles's Hill," said Marggraf Turley. "People have looked at it for years, but it suddenly occurred to us that what looked like shading was actually a ploughed furrow."

They looked through archives to discover the leasehold for the field at the time, and discovered the city-facing slopes had just been appropriated for corn by the banker Nicholas Waller, who had been buying as much of Winchester's grain-producing land as possible during a period of record bread prices.

Keats, they knew, had written in a letter to his sister Fanny about climbing St Giles's Hill; the scenes of harvesting, labour, fruit and flowers that he records in the poem would all have been visible from the elevated vantage point. "The scenes don't make sense if he was by the water meadows – if he was on the hill then suddenly it is no longer a series of unconnected images," said Marggraf Turley.

The poem was written at a time of national debate around fair wages for labour as bread prices spiralled; Keats's mentor, Leigh Hunt, had railed against the practice of financial and leasehold consolidation. With this background in mind, the suggestion that Keats was looking at actual fields, rather than writing about an imagined idyll of autumnal perfection, also sheds new light on the labourer in the poem, "sitting careless on a granary floor", or "on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep".

"Suddenly the scenes of idleness in the poem seem to look more interesting," said Marggraf Turley. "It's not a charming scene of a sleeping labourer, but a worn-out labourer who can't afford to buy the corn he is harvesting."

Keats, Marggraf Turley said, is seen as a "transcendental genius, interested in the big themes – love and death and art. But we're saying no. He looked at things with an accurate poet's eye, and was able to record acute human struggle … We're suggesting that To Autumn is not a bucolic idyll, but a far angrier poem. It's been seen as a poem of solace and comfort, but a far more interesting Keats appears when you realise he was a young man who was plugged in, who was looking straight on at what he viewed as exploitation."

And the corn fields today? Buried, said Margraff Turley, under a multi-storey car park.
avatar
eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:32 am

My hero: John Keats by Andrew Motion

'It's hard – no, it's impossible – to think of another writer who suffered and achieved so much in such a short time at such an early age'

Andrew Motion

guardian.co.uk, Friday 13 April 2012 22.47 BST


'The man we discover is fierce in his dislikes, generous in his friendships, passionate in his loves.' Photograph: Mary Evans/Rue des Archives/PVDE

The story of John Keats has an irresistible pathos: the humble origins; the early death of his father; his mother's disappearance, reappearance, illness and (again) early death; the noble labours as a trainee doctor; the even more noble aspirations as a poet; the peerlessly precocious flowering (he was 23 when he wrote most of the great poetry); the appalling illness; the courage with which he endured it; the tragic journey to Rome; the miserable end. It's hard – no, it's impossible – to think of another writer who suffered and achieved so much in such a short time at such an early age.

These things alone are enough to make Keats seem heroic. But while they instantly catch our attention and keep our sympathy, they can also detain us in a way that blinds us to the actual texture of his personality – his everyday self; the self that lived beneath and within the tragic narrative of his circumstances.

This is where his real heroism resides. We can see it, of course, in the poems – in their profound concern for the deepest questions in life (what is suffering for? How can art help us enjoy and endure? How much does love weigh compared to death? ). We can find it even more clearly in his letters, which by their nature allow us to hear Keats's speaking voice – because their comparative informality encourages him to produce a different kind of immediacy.

The man we discover is fierce in his dislikes, generous in his friendships, passionate in his loves, funny, generous, big-hearted, clever, compassionate, brilliant in his apprehensions about the business of writing, seriously good fun and marvellously well able to combine what we would call highbrow seriousness with japes, larks and capers. If that's not a heroic combination I don't know what is.
avatar
eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:47 pm

Keats' "Ode on Indolence"
(from: http://englishhistory.net/keats/poetry/odeonindolence.html)

Ode on Indolence

This ode was written in spring 1819, between mid-March and early June. On 19 March Keats wrote of his 'sort of temper indolent' in a letter to his brother George and sister-in-law Georgiana. And on 9 June, he told one Miss Jeffrey that 'the thing I have most enjoyed this year has been writing an ode to Indolence'. The ode was first published in 1848.

In the letter to George and Georgiana, Keats described his indolence: 'This is the only happiness; and is a rare instance of advantage in the body overpowering the Mind.' The ode itself is the least well-known of the six great odes of 1819. Most critics consider it the least accomplished of the group.

The epigraph is from Matthew 6:28.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

'They toil not, neither do they spin.'

One morn before me were three figures seen,
With bowed necks, and joined hands, side-faced;
And one behind the other stepp'd serene,
In placid sandals, and in white robes graced:
They pass'd, like figures on a marble urn,
When shifted round to see the other side;
They came again; as when the urn once more
Is shifted round, the first seen shades return;
And they were strange to me, as may betide
With vases, to one deep in Phidian lore.

How is it, shadows, that I knew ye not?
How came ye muffled in so hush a masque?
Was it a silent deep-disguised plot
To steal away, and leave without a task
My idle days? Ripe was the drowsy hour;
The blissful cloud of summer-indolence
Benumb'd my eyes; my pulse grew less and less;
Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath no flower.
O, why did ye not melt, and leave my sense
Unhaunted quite of all but - nothingness?

A third time pass'd they by, and, passing, turn'd
Each one the face a moment whiles to me;
Then faded, and to follow them I burn'd
And ached for wings, because I knew the three:
The first was a fair maid, and Love her name;
The second was Ambition, pale of cheek,
And ever watchful with fatigued eye;
The last, whom I love more, the more of blame
Is heap'd upon her, maiden most unmeek, -
I knew to be my demon Poesy.

They faded, and, forsooth! I wanted wings:
O folly! What is Love? and where is it?
And for that poor Ambition - it springs
From a man's little heart's short fever-fit;
For Poesy! - no, - she has not a joy, -
At least for me, - so sweet as drowsy noons,
And evenings steep'd in honied indolence;
O, for an age so shelter'd from annoy,
That I may never know how change the moons,
Or hear the voice of busy common-sense!

A third time came they by: - alas! wherefore?
My sleep had been embroider'd with dim dreams;
My soul had been a lawn besprinkled o'er
With flowers, and stirring shades, and baffled beams:
The morn was clouded, but no shower fell,
Though in her lids hung the sweet tears of May;
The open casement press'd a new-leaved vine,
Let in the budding warmth and throstle's lay;
O shadows! 'twas a time to bid farewell!
Upon your skirts had fallen no tears of mine.

So, ye three ghosts, adieu! Ye cannot raise
My head cool-bedded in the flowery grass;
For I would not be dieted with praise,
A pet-lamb in a sentimental farce!
Fade softly from my eyes, and be once more
In masque-like figures on the dreary urn;
Farewell! I yet have visions for the night,
And for the day faint visions there is store;
Vanish, ye phantoms, from my idle spright,
Into the clouds, and never more return!


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:06 am


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Constance on Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:55 am

Ed and Moony, thanks for the Keats. Much enjoyed!

But I don't know about the swooning gleaner being an old, beleagurer laborer...
avatar
Constance

Posts : 500
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : New York City

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:58 pm

eddie wrote:The poem was written at a time of national debate around fair wages for labour as bread prices spiralled; Keats's mentor, Leigh Hunt, had railed against the practice of financial and leasehold consolidation. With this background in mind, the suggestion that Keats was looking at actual fields, rather than writing about an imagined idyll of autumnal perfection, also sheds new light on the labourer in the poem, "sitting careless on a granary floor", or "on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep".

"Suddenly the scenes of idleness in the poem seem to look more interesting," said Marggraf Turley. "It's not a charming scene of a sleeping labourer, but a worn-out labourer who can't afford to buy the corn he is harvesting."

...is this the part you mean, Constance?

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:05 am

Constance wrote:But I don't know about the swooning gleaner being an old, beleagurer laborer...

How true this is I don't know, but somewhere down the decades someone once told me that the reason Picasso had a "Blue" period was that he was broke- and blue was the cheapest paint you could buy.

Of course, you could argue that what matters is what he DID with the colour blue...
avatar
eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:08 am

low tide

I wish we’d stopped somewhere civilised.

We live on a ridge.
West runs a coastline whose ribbon
of sharp shell-grit sand gives way
to black mud and mangroves.
East, rubber vines dot a wasteland of saltpans,
white-streaked and cracked from the sun.

Just south is a town
where some people huddle
in caravan parks, and some camp
in water tanks or cars under trees
on the side of the road.
It looks like it changed hands
in a card game, this mottled collage
of canvas and timber and corrugated tin,
perched as it is on one side of a river.
It looks like it wants to fall in.

Under the sun in seventy-three: large pub,
small school and a rust shuttered store
selling food, pumping petrol,
and handing out mail.
Capriciously open a few hours a day
to shift-workers from the prawn factory,
deckies for the goldrush at sea.

I wish we’d stopped somewhere civilised.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:09 am

High tide'

She bounced over the dusty
corrugated track
in the rusty old truck
till she came to a stop
in a sand drift.

Goat-heads spiked
her bare feet
as she swung
the door open
and hit the ground running
towards the shore.

High tide High tide

like a mantra
ran through her mind
as she raced to the shore.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue May 01, 2012 12:59 am

I applaud
You are raving Artaud, you are mad’

Hear the madmen chant
il momo ― but
as the brows of some begin to knit,
the smiles of others lights their eyes.

I applaud you Artaud,
unfurler of passion, hurling extremes,
your excremental nightmares unleashing
piqued dreams.

In your eyes
stars swirled by Vincent,
in your ears
Vaslav's whispered ‘dance us in’

another madman chanting,
a holy fool commanding,
the fevered vision’s cataclysm for you

and like Nijinky burning
you danced the turning century
scorched by the fever you
fell foul of at four.

What crawled beneath our surface
and made us so afraid of you,
whose fever made us shiver?

Now another century turns,
no Vincent or Nijinsky or Artaud ―
so none to dance us in,
and none to laud.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Constance on Tue May 01, 2012 1:20 am

blue moon wrote:
eddie wrote:The poem was written at a time of national debate around fair wages for labour as bread prices spiralled; Keats's mentor, Leigh Hunt, had railed against the practice of financial and leasehold consolidation. With this background in mind, the suggestion that Keats was looking at actual fields, rather than writing about an imagined idyll of autumnal perfection, also sheds new light on the labourer in the poem, "sitting careless on a granary floor", or "on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep".

"Suddenly the scenes of idleness in the poem seem to look more interesting," said Marggraf Turley. "It's not a charming scene of a sleeping labourer, but a worn-out labourer who can't afford to buy the corn he is harvesting."

...is this the part you mean, Constance?

Moony, I just thought that a Marxist interpretation of "To Autumn" seems a little far-fetched.
avatar
Constance

Posts : 500
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : New York City

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Fri May 04, 2012 4:28 am

Today (Thursday 3 May) is Local/Mayoral Election polling day in the UK.

Here's a poem I came across when I was checking out the polling action. It's evidently written by a disillusioned Lib-Dem supporter who is much aggrieved that the leader of his (ex) party Nick Clegg has ushered the Tories under PM David Caneron into power:

RupertBH
3 May 2012 9:57AM


Couldnt think of much to say so here is a little tribute to the Lib Dems who kindly stole my vote in 2010 and never never again.

DE CAMERON

Sexy Tory handmaidens
Shirley, Lynn and Browne
Offering up the NHS
And shining David's crown.

Sexy Tory handmaidens
Danny, Nick and Vince
Bowing at the alter,
of Cameron the Prince.

Sexy Tory handmaidens
Lester, Tim, and Huhne
Feasting on the homeless,
And howling at the moon.

Sexy Tory handmaidens
Campbell, Bruce, and Moore
singing halleluilia,
and stamping on the poor

Ex Tory handmaidens
Lost in 015
Taken us to places
We wished we'd never been.
avatar
eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Sat May 26, 2012 12:24 am

On
by Bob Kaufman

On yardbird corners of embryonic hopes, drowned in a heroin tear.
On yardbird corners of parkerflights to sound filled pockets in space.
On neuro-corners of striped brains & desperate electro-surgeons.
On alcohol corners of pointless discussion & historical hangovers.
On television corners of cornflakes & rockwells impotent America.
On university corners of tailored intellect & greek letter openers.
On military corners of megathon deaths & universal anesthesia.
On religious corners of theological limericks and
On radio corners of century-long records & static events.
On advertising corners of filter-tipped ice-cream & instant instants
On teen-age corners of comic book seduction and corrupted guitars,
On political corners of wamted candidates & ritual lies.
On motion picture corners of lassie & other symbols.
On intellectual corners of conversational therapy & analyzed fear.
On newspaper corners of sexy headlines & scholarly comics.
On love divided corners of die now pay later mortuaries.
On philosophical corners of semantic desperadoes & idea-mongers.
On middle class corners of private school puberty & anatomical revolts
On ultra-real corners of love on abandoned roller-coasters
On lonely poet corners of low lying leaves & moist prophet eyes.


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Sat May 26, 2012 12:31 am

For Bartleby The Scrivener
by Billy Collins

"Every time we get a big gale around here
some people just refuse to batten down."

we estimate that

ice skating into a sixty
mile an hour wind, fully exerting
the legs and swinging arms

you will be pushed backward
an inch every twenty minutes.

in a few days, depending on
the size of the lake,
the backs of your skates
will touch land.

you will then fall on your ass
and be blown into the forest.

if you gather enough speed
by flapping your arms
and keeping your skates pointed

you will catch up to other
flying people who refused to batten down.
you will exchange knowing waves
as you ride the great wind north.


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Sat May 26, 2012 12:34 am

Forgetfulness
by Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.



Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  blue moon on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:42 am

The Stolen Child
by W. B. Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

avatar
blue moon

Posts : 709
Join date : 2012-08-03

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  blue moon on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:52 am

A Dream Within A Dream
by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?


avatar
blue moon

Posts : 709
Join date : 2012-08-03

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  blue moon on Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:33 pm

Great lyrics so I tracked them down, then posted Gary Wright singing Dreamweaver, and Paul Simon singing The Only Child. Couldn't find Townshend singing Body Language so was about to post another of his songs.
The computer dropped out for 2 attempts at posting so have given up that mission.



Last edited by blue moon on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:09 pm; edited 3 times in total
avatar
blue moon

Posts : 709
Join date : 2012-08-03

Back to top Go down

Re: poetry thread

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 19 of 23 Previous  1 ... 11 ... 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum