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Poetry Thread 2
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Author:  Marion Arnott [ Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Poetry Thread 2

A belated Happy New Year to all. 2011 kicks off with

Shooting stars
By
Carol Ann Duffy

After I no longer speak they break our fingers
to salvage my wedding ring. Rebecca Rachel Ruth
Aaron Emmanuel David, stars on all our brows
Beneath the gaze of men with guns. Mourn for our daughters,

upright as statues, brave. You would not look at me.
You waited for the bullet. Fell. I say, Remember.
Remember those appalling days which make the world
forever bad. One saw I was alive. Loosened

his belt. My bowels opened in a ragged gape of fear.
Between the gap of corpses I could see a child.
The soldiers laughed. Only a matter of days separate
this from acts of torture now. They shot her in the eye.

How would you prepare to die, on a perfect April evening
with young men gossiping and smoking by the graves?
My bare feet felt the earth and urine trickled
down my legs. I heard the click. Not yet. A trick.

After immense suffering someone takes tea on the lawn.
After the terrible moans a boy washes his uniform.
After the history lesson children run to their toys the world
turns in its sleep the spades shovel soil Sara Ezra…

Sister, if seas part us, do you not consider me?
Tell them I sang the ancient psalms at dusk
inside the wire and strong men wept. Turn thee
unto me with mercy, for I am desolate and lost.

Author:  iansales [ Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

Been a while since I was last around here. But I've been keeping up the good fight - posting poems to my blog sferse; and expanding my collection of poetry books - the original Oasis chapbook, some more by Terence Tiller, for example....

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

And does that ellipsis mean that some of that Tiller, or an Oasis or two, is coming our way, Ian :lol

Happy New Year, BTW!

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

For Burns's Night:

O wert thou in the cauld blast,
On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
My plaidie to the angry airt,
I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee;
Or did Misfortune's bitter storms
Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be my bosom,
To share it a', to share it a'.

Or were I in the wildest waste,
Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
The desert were a Paradise,
If thou wert there, if thou wert there;
Or were I Monarch o' the globe,
Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign,
The brightest jewel in my Crown
Wad be my Queen, wad be my Queen.

You can hear the poem read here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/robertburns/works/ ... uld_blast/

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:19 am ]
Post subject: 

Ulysses

Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers;
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle —
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me —
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads — you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

A little Valentine's Day treat for everyone, courtesy of the Guardian:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/fe ... love-poems

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

Love After Love

by

Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

R.S. Thomas -

Ninetieth Birthday

You go up the long track
That will take a car, but is best walked
On slow foot, noting the lichen
That writes history on the page
Of the grey rock. Trees are about you
At first, but yield to the green bracken,
The nightjars house: you can hear it spin
On warm evenings; it is still now
In the noonday heat, only the lesser
Voices sound, blue-fly and gnat
And the stream's whisper. As the road climbs,
You will pause for breath and the far sea's
Signal will flash, till you turn again
To the steep track, buttressed with cloud.

And there at the top that old woman,
Born almost a century back
In that stone farm, awaits your coming;
Waits for the news of the lost village
She thinks she knows, a place that exists
In her memory only.
You bring her greeting
And praise for having lasted so long
With time's knife shaving the bone.
Yet no bridge joins her own
World with yours, all you can do
Is lean kindly across the abyss
To hear words that were once wise.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:33 am ]
Post subject: 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksbl ... NETTXT3487

Author:  des2 [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:59 am ]
Post subject: 

I saw Sir Tom Courtenay live last night at the Mercury Theatre Colchester – in a one-man show depicting the character and poems of Philip Larkin. An amazing experience – like a ghost come to live in flesh, even though Sir Tom did not attempt to *look* like Larkin, but simply to *be* Larkin. Both amusing and poignant. Including this Ligottian poem by Larkin:

Aubade
I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what’s really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused – nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear – no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anasthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can’t escape,
Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

Philip Larkin

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

Oh, wow!
I hadn't seen that one before, Des. Strong stuff indeed. Thanks for posting it.
And I envy you seeing Tom Courtemnay recite - he;s a great favourite of mine. Packs more power into a glance that most actors can in a soliloquy!

Author:  des2 [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Marion Arnott wrote:
Oh, wow!
I hadn't seen that one before, Des. Strong stuff indeed. Thanks for posting it.
And I envy you seeing Tom Courtenay recite - he;s a great favourite of mine. Packs more power into a glance that most actors can in a soliloquy!


Hi, Marion
It was not excatly a recital. It was Tom Courtenay playing the part of Larkin, in conversation, monologue about his life etc that included reading some poems *as* Larkin.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

No matter - I'm still envious!

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Carol Ann Duffy on politics and also the cuts to Arts funding:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/ju ... duffy-poem


http://www.writeoutloud.net/public/blog ... ryid=20365

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

I shall forget you presently, my dear

Edna St Vincent millay

I SHALL forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favourite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And oaths were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far, --
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

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