Poetry Thread 2
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Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poetry Thread 2

The Darkling Thrush - Poem by Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate,
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to me
The Century's corpse outleant,
Its crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind its death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervorless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead,
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited.
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small,
With blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew,
And I was unaware.

Thomas Hardy

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poetry Thread 2

"At Castle Boterel"

As I drive to the junction of lane and highway,
And the drizzle bedrenches the waggonette,
I look behind at the fading byway,
And see on its slope, now glistening wet,
Distinctly yet

Myself and a girlish form benighted
In dry March weather. We climb the road
Beside a chaise. We had just alighted
To ease the sturdy pony's load
When he sighed and slowed.

What we did as we climbed, and what we talked of
Matters not much, nor to what it led,—
Something that life will not be balked of
Without rude reason till hope is dead,
And feeling fled.

It filled but a minute. But was there ever
A time of such quality, since or before,
In that hill's story? To one mind never,
Though it has been climbed, foot-swift, foot-sore,
By thousands more.

Primaeval rocks form the road's steep border,
And much have they faced there, first and last,
Of the transitory in Earth's long order;
But what they record in colour and cast
Is—that we two passed.

And to me, though Time's unflinching rigour,
In mindless rote, has ruled from sight
The substance now, one phantom figure
Remains on the slope, as when that night
Saw us alight.

I look and see it there, shrinking, shrinking,
I look back at it amid the rain
For the very last time; for my sand is sinking,
And I shall traverse old love's domain
Never again.

March 1913


Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poetry Thread 2

A poem for David Bowie:

Bowie On Heddon Street '72
Mike Newell

The London drizzle falls the same

as softly as it did the night,

the camera caught in failing light

the famous phonebox, currant red

with Ziggy Stardust in the frame

A tinted showbiz biscuit tin

which drew the viewer in.


An atmosphere that seemed

to speak

Of basement studios, upstairs flats,

bell-push models, queenly spats

And rent collected once a week

from burned-out boys who’d known

Joe Meek.

In England, done with swinging now,

its party over, drab new nights

Of keg-beer pubs and candle stubs

the IRA and mid-week subs

Wildcat strikes at factory gates

an apathetic audience waits.

The Sixties now are firmly dead

A man from Mars arrives instead


What was it in the water then

that forged a breed of pop messiahs

From underfed suburban lads

grown up by gas convector fires?

Skinny, pale, with poor dentition

What was it in the water then
that forged a breed of pop messiahs
From underfed suburban lads
grown up by gas convector fires?
Skinny, pale, with poor dentition
Actor, clothes-horse, pop musician
In David’s case, all three in one,
An odyssey which he’d begun
in sixty watts of Bromley sun.
When Ziggy sang and played guitar
No one, yet, had gone that far
In Sutton Coldfield, Aylesbury, Bucks
and Sunderland they’d cheer
The brickies bellowed, “’Ello, ducks!”
the dads asked, “Is ’e queer?
Gets harder now to tell the boys
from girls, with every year.”
The critics, too, blew cold and hot.
But critics do.
Why would they not?
The Seventies then bedded in
in feather boa and satin fl are
The suburbs sat like Hamelin
awaiting anthems on the air
From some pied piper not yet heard
to woo them with a magic word:
the oddball kid, the bookish geek
the one their classmates labelled
Sequestered in their rooms all week.
They’re captivated by his eyes
“You’re not alone!” the Starman
Now of his band, what shall we say?
The Spiders, not from Mars but Hull
Were best of any of their day
If Kingston upon Hull, the name
did not roll off the tongue
the same,
The Spiders seemed to play guitars
as if they really were from Mars
Now all the teenage kooks
who went
To hear these boys from Hull
– and Kent
Remember, late in middle-age,
how Ziggy broke the gender cage.
And when we dig his records out
from hard-drives, iPods, racks
or shelves
And shed a tear, we find the truth
is also, that we mourn our youth.
Immortal youth, its peerless light
that twinkles in the ageless night
Until we find how frail we are
Crashing in the same old car.
In Heddon Street in January
The phone-box now is gone
Where fans took pictures of
Once Ziggy had moved on
Where did they go, those slips
of boys?
Grown up with steam trains
in their eyes
And rockets in the Dan Dare skies
Above the dingy terraced streets
of Britain after war?
America, by any score, would seem
some kind of Shangrila
Best slap some lippy on, then, kid
and bring your best guitar.
America eats talent like a wolf
devours a lamb,
With tenderising powder which can
turn your mind to spam.
That’s when you have to wrestle
with your inner Peter Pan.
Then, if the boy stops swinging,
he may just become a man.
But even politicians cough,
describing him as nice.
They missed him at the kick-off
now they’re gagging for a slice.
He helped bring down the Berlin Wall
it’s said, young Bromley Dave
Fashion icon, futurist... and genius.
Oh, behave!
The ones who’ll really miss him,
are the girls then in their teens
Recalling that one weekday night
he burst on to their screens
Instantly monopolising all their
Promoting moral panic from
St Mawes to Milton Keynes
They won’t remember mourning
any pop star in this way
And won’t know why they’re
weeping in the middle of the day.
He was Youth and he was Beauty
he was talented and clever
So stunningly original and...
They thought he’d live for ever.
In Heddon Street in January
The sun falls on a plaque
Like an actor taking encores
in a Mayfair cul-de-sac.
And here beside the doorway
are his flowers in a stack
But Ziggy Stardust’s never
coming back.
And all the worldly traffic may
resume its migraine rumble
While all the Babylonian showbiz
rumour mills can crumble.
Let legend be his epitaph
The lily needs no gilding
Ladies and gentlemen...
Mr Bowie’s left the building.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Poetry Thread 2

A lovely song from Eddi Reader for Burns' Day:

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Tue May 03, 2016 10:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poetry Thread 2

Bound for HellRelated Poem Content Details


Hell, my ardent sisters, be assured,

Is where we’re bound; we’ll drink the pitch of hell—

We, who have sung the praises of the lord

With every fiber in us, every cell.

We, who did not manage to devote

Our nights to spinning, did not bend and sway

Above a cradle—in a flimsy boat,

Wrapped in a mantle, we’re now borne away.

Every morning, every day, we’d rise

And have the finest Chinese silks to wear;

And we’d strike up the songs of paradise

Around the campfire of a robbers’ lair,

We, careless seamstresses (our seams all ran,

Whether we sewed or not)—yet we have been

Such dancers, we have played the pipes of Pan:

The world was ours, each one of us a queen.

First, scarcely draped in tatters, and disheveled,

Then plaited with a starry diadem;

We’ve been in jails, at banquets we have reveled:

But the rewards of heaven, we’re lost to them,

Lost in nights of starlight, in the garden

Where apple trees from paradise are found.

No, be assured, my gentle girls, my ardent

And lovely sisters, hell is where we're bound.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Sun May 22, 2016 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poetry Thread 2

Letter To A Friend About Girls

Philip Larkin

After comparing lives with you for years 
I see how I’ve been losing: all the while 
I’ve met a different gauge of girl from yours. 
Grant that, and all the rest makes sense as well: 
My mortification at your pushovers, 
Your mystification at my fecklessness— 
Everything proves we play in separate leagues. 
Before, I couldn’t credit your intrigues 
Because I thought all girls the same, but yes, 
You bag real birds, though they’re from alien covers.

Now I believe your staggering skirmishes 
In train, tutorial and telephone booth, 
The wife whose husband watched away matches 
While she behaved so badly in a bath, 
And all the rest who beckon from that world 
Described on Sundays only, where to want 
Is straightway to be wanted, seek to find, 
And no one gets upset or seems to mind 
At what you say to them, or what you don’t: 
A world where all the nonsense is annulled,

And beauty is accepted slang for yes. 
But equally, haven’t you noticed mine? 
They have their world, not much compared with yours, 
But where they work, and age, and put off men 
By being unattractive, or too shy, 
Or having morals—anyhow, none give in: 
Some of them go quite rigid with disgust 
At anything but marriage: that’s all lust 
And so not worth considering; they begin 
Fetching your hat, so that you have to lie

Till everything’s confused: you mine away 
For months, both of you, till the collapse comes 
Into remorse, tears, and wondering why 
You ever start such boring barren games 
—But there, don’t mind my saeva indignatio: 
I’m happier now I’ve got things clear, although 
It’s strange we never meet each other’s sort: 
There should be equal chances, I’d’ve thought. 
Must finish now. One day perhaps I’ll know 
What makes you be so lucky in your ratio

—One of those ‘more things’, could it be? Horatio.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poetry Thread 2


Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Matthew Arnold

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