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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 10:36 pm 
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Courtesy of The Guardian, Sean O'Brien's 'Josie':

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/ap ... urday-poem


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Michael Donaghy


The basic requirement of darkness

is that it enables us to extinguish the shape

of an object.

A girl beneath a tree, for example,

with the night behind her,

can only be forgotten by her absence

of outline, and

as the direction of darkness changed,

it would reveal less and less of the tree.

In this way we can select

and use darkness to reveal

or subdue qualities in a subject


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:07 pm 
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This made me laugh - here's Michael Donaghy reading 'Shibboleth'

http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarch ... poemId=152


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:06 pm 
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Toad
by
Norman MacCaig


Stop looking like a purse. How could a purse
Squeeze under the rickety door and sit,
Full of satisfaction in a man’s house?

You clamber towards me on your four corners –
Right hand, left foot, left hand, right foot.

I love you for being a toad,
For crawling like a Japanese wrestler,
And for not being frightened

I put you in my purse hand not shutting it,
And set you down outside directly under
Every star.

A jewel in your head? Toad,
You’ve put one in mine,
A tiny radiance in a dark place.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:27 pm 
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The Two
W.H. Auden



You are the town and we are the clock.
We are the guardians of the gate in the rock.
The Two.
On your left and on your right
In the day and in the night,
We are watching you.

Wiser not to ask just what has occurred
To them who disobeyed our word;
To those
We were the whirlpool, we were the reef,
We were the formal nightmare, grief
And the unlucky rose.

Climb up the crane, learn the sailor's words
When the ships from the islands laden with birds
Come in.
Tell your stories of fishing and other men's wives:
The expansive moments of constricted lives
In the lighted inn.

But do not imagine we do not know
Nor that what you hide with such care won't show
At a glance.
Nothing is done, nothing is said,
But don't make the mistake of believing us dead:
I shouldn't dance.

We're afraid in that case you'll have a fall.
We've been watching you over the garden wall
For hours.
The sky is darkening like a stain,
Something is going to fall like rain
And it won't be flowers.

When the green field comes off like a lid
Revealing what was much better hid:
Unpleasant.
And look, behind you without a sound
The woods have come up and are standing round
In deadly crescent.

The bolt is sliding in its groove,
Outside the window is the black removers' van.
And now with sudden swift emergence
Come the woman in dark glasses and humpbacked surgeons
And the scissors man.

This might happen any day
So be careful what you say
Or do.
Be clean, be tidy, oil the lock,
Trim the garden, wind the clock,
Remember the Two.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:46 pm 
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The Road to Kerity


Do you remember the two old people we passed
on the road to Kerity,
Resting their sack on the stones, by the drenched wayside,
Looking at us with their lightless eyes
through the driving rain, and then out again
To the rocks, and the long white line of the tide:
Frozen ghosts that were children once,
husband and wife, father, and mother,
Looking at us with those frozen eyes;
have you ever seen anything quite so chilled
or so old?
But we – with our arms about each other,
We did not feel the cold!

Charlotte Mew


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:02 am 
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After Rain

Edward Thomas




The rain of a night and a day and a night
Stops at the light
Of this pale choked day. The peering sun
Sees what has been done.
The road under the trees has a border new
of purple hue
Inside the border of bright thin grass:
For all that has
Been left by November of leaves is torn
From hazel and thorn
And the greater trees. Throughout the copse
No dead leaf drops
On grey grass, green moss, burnt-orange fern,
At the wind's return:
The leaflets out of the ash-tree shed
Are thinly spread
In the road, like little black fish, inlaid,
As if they played.
What hangs from the myriad branches down there
So hard and bare
Is twelve yellow apples lovely to see
On one crab-tree.
And on each twig of every tree in the dell
Uncountable
Crystals both dark and bright of the the rain
That begins again.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:18 am 
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I Know Not How It Is with You

By

Robert Louis Stevenson

I KNOW not how it is with you—
I love the first and last,
The whole field of the present view,
The whole flow of the past.

One tittle of the things that are,
Nor you should change nor I—
One pebble in our path—one star
In all our heaven of sky.

Our lives, and every day and hour,
One sympathy appear:
One road, one garden—every flower
And every bramble dear.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:26 am 
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MEMORY

by

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

My mind lets go a thousand things,
Like dates of wars and deaths of kings,
And yet recalls the very hour--
'T was noon by yonder village tower,
And on the last blue noon in May--
The wind came briskly up this way,
Crisping the brook beside the road;
Then, pausing here, set down its load
Of pine-scents, and shook listlessly
Two petals from that wild-rose tree.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:51 am 
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DAWN

Rupert Brooke

(From the train between Bologna and Milan, second class.)

Opposite me two Germans snore and sweat.
Through sullen swirling gloom we jolt and roar.
We have been here for ever: even yet
A dim watch tells two hours, two aeons, more.
The windows are tight-shut and slimy-wet
With a night's foetor. There are two hours more;
Two hours to dawn and Milan; two hours yet.
Opposite me two Germans sweat and snore....

One of them wakes, and spits, and sleeps again.
The darkness shivers. A wan light through the rain
Strikes on our faces, drawn and white. Somewhere
A new day sprawls; and, inside, the foul air
Is chill, and damp, and fouler than before....
Opposite me two Germans sweat and snore.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:32 pm 
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I only watch reruns now,
or films about geese,


and yet I'm waiting for the miracle
I used to find in early black and white...


Whole poem here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/au ... n-burnside


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Taken from the Guardian website:

'Notes Towards an Ending' by John Burnside

From Black Cat Bone, published by Jonathan Cape, which won the Forward prize for best collection in 2011. I've included the ordering details at the end of the post - Christmas is coming!


Notes Towards An Ending

No more conversations.
No more wedlock.
No more vein of perfume in a scarf
I haven't worn for months, her voice come back
to haunt me, and the Hundertwasser sky
Magnificat to how a jilted heart
refuses what it once mistook for mercy.


It's never what we wanted, everafter;
we asked for something else, a lifelong Reich
of unexpected gifts and dolce vita,
peach-blossom smudging the glass and a seasoned
glimmer of the old days in this house
where, every night, we tried and failed to mend
that feathered thing we brought in from the yard,
after it came to grief on our picture window.

From Black Cat Bone (Cape, £10). To order a copy for £8, or The Forward Book of Poetry 2012 (RRP £8.99) for £7.19, both with free UK p&p call Guardian book service on 0330 333 6846


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:36 am 
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Television

by

Roald Dahl

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rate and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:01 am 
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The Oxen

by

Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel,

"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so’


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:09 am 
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Robin Robertson reads "At Roane Head", a poem that may appeal to Black Static fans...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/video/2011/dec/20/robin-robertson-at-roane-head-video

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