Poetry Thread
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Author:  Marion Arnott [ Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:06 pm ]
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My Heart's Fit To Break

Lady Caroline Lamb

My heart's fit to break, yet no tear fills my eye,
As I gaze on the moon, and the clouds that flit by;
The moon shines so fair, it reminds me of thee,
But the clouds that obscure it are emblems of me.

They will pass like the dreams of our pleasures and youth,
They will pass like the promise of honor and truth,
And bright thou shalt shine when these shadows are gone,
All radiant, serene, unobscur'd-but alone.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:56 am ]
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Came across this piece by Brooke about a fellow opera goer. he was only 20 when he wrote it!


Rupert Brooke

Creeps in half wanton, half asleep,
One with a fat wide hairless face.
He likes love-music that is cheap;
Likes women in a crowded place;
And wants to hear the noise they're making.

His heavy eyelids droop half-over,
Great pouches swing beneath his eyes.
He listens, thinks himself the lover,
Heaves from his stomach wheezy sighs;
He likes to feel his heart's a-breaking.

The music swells. His gross legs quiver.
His little lips are bright with slime.
The music swells. The women shiver.
And all the while, in perfect time,
His pendulous stomach hangs a-shaking.

Queen's Hall, 1908.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:06 pm ]
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I forgot to post this page last weekend: Guardian's selection of sports poems. Some very nice stuff here: ... -ann-duffy

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:58 pm ]
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The Life of Fiction
Thomas Lynch

Everything must, of course, advance the cause
of atmosphere or character or narrative:
the walk up the coast road, the sudden rain,
the stone shed at the sea's edge to shelter in,
the two of them waiting out the weather,
pressed into the corner, alone at last.
This is an old movie. It's Hollywood.
Each gets to tell the other everything –
old dreams and longings, slow regrets, how things
happen as they are supposed to happen,
or so they will console each other.
Of course, the usual embraces. They smile and weep.
They touch each others' faces wordlessly
then step out into the eventual sun,
each knowing what the other wanted known.
Or here's another possibility:
It doesn't rain. Or when it does,
a helpful pilgrim happens by and shouts,
"Hop in, you'll be perished, I'll get you home!"
And they get back safely, dry and comforted,
grateful for their dispensations. Life goes on.
The sea and the weather keep coming and going.

From Walking Papers by Thomas Lynch, published by Cape Poetry (£10).

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:47 pm ]
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We That Were Friends

James Elroy Flecker

We that were friends to-night have found
A sudden fear, a secret flame:
I am on fire with that soft sound
You make, in uttering my name.
Forgive a young and boastful man
Whom dreams delight and passions please,
And love me as great women can
Who have no children at their knees.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:31 pm ]
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Carol Ann Duffy having fun with the proposal to replace county names with numbers:

The counties

But I want to write to an Essex girl,

greeting her warmly.

But I want to write to a Shropshire lad,

brave boy, home from the army,

and I want to write to the Lincolnshire Poacher

to hear of his hare

and to an aunt in Bedfordshire

who makes a wooden hill of her stair.

But I want to post a rose to a Lancashire lass,

red, I'll pick it,

and I want to write to a Middlesex mate

for tickets for cricket.

But I want to write to the Ayrshire cheesemaker

and his good cow

and it is my duty to write to the Queen at Berkshire

in praise of Slough.

But I want to write to the National Poet of Wales at Ceredigion

in celebration

and I want to write to the Dorset Giant

in admiration

and I want to write to a widow in Rutland

in commiseration

and to the Inland Revenue in Yorkshire

in desperation.

But I want to write to my uncle in Clackmannanshire

in his kilt

and to my scrumptious cousin in Somerset

with her cidery lilt.

But I want to write to two ladies in Denbighshire,

near Llangollen

and I want to write to a laddie in Lanarkshire,

Dear Lachlan …

But I want to write to the Cheshire Cat,

returning its smile.

But I want to write the names of the Counties down

for my own child

and may they never be lost to her …

all the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire...

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:53 pm ]
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The black radiance
was Lucifer falling.
Space grieved for him
shuddering at its own guilt
and moons were never the same
after passing through
the gauze of wings.
The crystal battlements shook
to hear him laughing;
and somewhere amid
the angelic jubilations
there was a small weeping,
of the time to come.

Norman McCaig

Author:  des2 [ Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:53 pm ]
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Of whom do you think this poem refers as symbolised by Lucifer, i.e. who of those who've lately 'passed through the gauze of wings'?

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:08 am ]
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Of whom do you think this poem refers as symbolised by Lucifer, i.e. who of those who've lately 'passed through the gauze of wings'?

it could well be a literal account of the fallen angel and the impact of evil on the world - it works well on that level.
But as a poet of the 20th century (born 1906 0r 1910), McCaig saw the rise of Nazis and so on. The black radiance might well be a reference to a Hitler (fondness for black uniforms and swastikas and such; the feeling of pessimism and impending doom which coloured the thinking of the 1930s );
the moons might be the satellite saluters and hysterical cheerers on which revolved round him and were indeed never the same again after it all; they might also represent a collapse in the moral certainties of the time - Heaven's 'crystal battlements' shuddered- old moral codes and certainties fragile and breakable?;
Lucifer is powerful - his 'black gauze' distorts blurs a clear view of the reality of evil; his new moral codes are insubstantial.
There were 'angelic jubilations' when he was cast down - but there is time to come because the universe has changed for ever and wickedness, once loosed, cannot be, eradicated.
The poem reminds me of Yeat's 'rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem'.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:55 am ]
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Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Langston Hughes

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:58 pm ]
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Performance poet Taylor Mali discourses on the subject of the rising terminal :lol: ... re=related

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:31 pm ]
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Hilda Doolittle

Over and back,
the long waves crawl
and track the sand with foam;
night darkens, and the sea
takes on that desperate tone
of dark that wives put on
when all their love is done.

Over and back,
the tangled thread falls slack,
over and up and on;
over and all is sewn;
now while I bind the end,
I wish some fiery friend
would sweep impetuously
these fingers from the loom.

My weary thoughts
play traitor to my soul,
just as the toil is over;
swift while the woof is whole,
turn now, my spirit, swift,
and tear the pattern there,
the flowers so deftly wrought,
the borders of sea blue,
the sea-blue coast of home.

The web was over-fair,
that web of pictures there,
enchantments that I thought
he had, that I had lost;
weaving his happiness
within the stitching frame,
weaving his fire and frame,
I thought my work was done,
I prayed that only one
of those that I had spurned
might stoop and conquer this
long waiting with a kiss.

But each time that I see
my work so beautifully
inwoven and would keep
the picture and the whole,
Athene steels my soul.
Slanting across my brain,
I see as shafts of rain
his chariot and his shafts,
I see the arrows fall,
I see the lord who moves
like Hector lord of love,
I see him matched with fair
bright rivals, and I see
those lesser rivals flee.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:38 am ]
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For music lovers, a startlingly good poem by Fiona Sampson: ... son-poetry

Author:  des2 [ Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:48 am ]
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Thanks for that.
Fascinating as I've long considered Schubert's String Quintet as the greatest work of Chamber Music.

Author:  Mike A [ Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:04 am ]
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Somewhere back on this thread I posted "How the Owl and the Pussycat met". I read this (plus a few other pieces) at an open mic poetry event last night, and it went down pretty well (despite severe nerves on my part - I've never read in public before!).

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