Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by Harp, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. kokopelli

    kokopelli One of the Regulars

    East Tennessee
    That's nice.. Cheers.. Ron
  2. John Boyer

    John Boyer A-List Customer

    Kingman, Kansas USA
    When Death Comes

    When death comes
    like the hungry bear in autumn;
    when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

    to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
    when death comes
    like the measle-pox

    when death comes
    like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

    I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
    what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

    And therefore I look upon everything
    as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
    and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
    and I consider eternity as another possibility,

    and I think of each life as a flower, as common
    as a field daisy, and as singular,

    and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
    tending, as all music does, toward silence,

    and each body a lion of courage, and something
    precious to the earth.

    When it's over, I want to say all my life
    I was a bride married to amazement.
    I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

    When it's over, I don't want to wonder
    if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

    I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
    or full of argument.

    I don't want to end up simply having visited this world

    --Mary Oliver
  3. John Boyer

    John Boyer A-List Customer

    Kingman, Kansas USA
    Afternoon in February

    The day is ending,
    The night is descending;
    The marsh is frozen,
    The river dead.

    Through clouds like ashes
    The red sun flashes
    On village windows
    That glimmer red.

    The snow recommences;
    The buried fences
    Mark no longer
    The road o'er the plain;

    While through the meadows,
    Like fearful shadows,
    Slowly passes
    A funeral train.

    The bell is pealing,
    And every feeling
    Within me responds
    To the dismal knell;

    Shadows are trailing,
    My heart is bewailing
    And tolling within
    Like a funeral bell.

    -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  4. McMurdo

    McMurdo One of the Regulars

    Robert Burns would have to be my favourite poet, here is a video of me reciting his masterpiece Tam O'Shanter, I hope you enjoy it. The video is from Burns Night 2011, I have done this for 5 years now, but I think that this was the best rendition that I have on video.

    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  5. HadleyH

    HadleyH I'll Lock Up

    Top of the Hill
    A Noiseless Patient Spider

    A noiseless, patient spider,
    I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
    Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
    It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
    Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them.

    And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
    Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
    Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;
    Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;
    Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

    Walt Whitman
  6. John Boyer

    John Boyer A-List Customer

    Kingman, Kansas USA
    When You are Old

    When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

    How many loved your moments of glad grace,
    And loved your beauty with love false or true,
    But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

    --W. B. Yeats

  7. John Boyer

    John Boyer A-List Customer

    Kingman, Kansas USA
    Loving him, the mother takes thread in hand;
    Leaving her, he'll have this coat on his shoulders.
    Now that he's about to go, she mends with fine, fine stitches;
    She knows the fear that he'll be gone a long, long time.

    Who would say the heart of a tiny blade of grass
    Could repay the sun for all the warmth of spring?

    -Meng Chiao
  8. countryclubjoe

    countryclubjoe Banned

    I don't drink because I'm a Poet.
    I drink because I"m not a Poet.

  9. Flicka

    Flicka One Too Many

    I love Swedish poet Gustaf Fröding. I never found any good translations of him so I made a quick attempt myself. It botches his perfect sense of rhythm and rhyme (didn't even attempt rhyming) but at least it keeps the meaning intact:

    I purchased my love for money
    For me, it was all I could get.
    Sing prettily, o jangling strings,
    Sing prettily of love just the same.

    The dream that never came true,
    As a dream it was lovely to have.
    To him who was banished from Eden
    Eden is Eden still.
    - Gustav Fröding, 1898
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  10. John Boyer

    John Boyer A-List Customer

    Kingman, Kansas USA

    After a black day, I play Haydn,
    and feel a little warmth in my hands.

    The keys are ready. Kind hammers fall.
    The sound is spirited, green, and full of silence.

    The sound says that freedom exists
    and someone pays no taxes to Caesar.

    I shove my hands in my haydnpockets
    and act like a man who is calm about it all.

    I raise my haydnflag. The signal is:
    “We do not surrender. But want peace.”

    The music is a house of glass standing on a slope;
    rocks are flying, rocks are rolling.

    The rocks roll straight through the house
    but every pane of glass is still whole.

    -Tomas Transtromer
  11. John Boyer

    John Boyer A-List Customer

    Kingman, Kansas USA
    Dim as the borrowed beams of moon and stars
    To lonely, weary, wandering travelers,
    Is Reason to the soul; and, as on high
    Those rolling fires discover but the sky,
    Not light us here, so Reason’s glimmering ray
    Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way;
    But guide us upward to a better day.

    -John Dryden
  12. JazzyDame

    JazzyDame One of the Regulars

    A Nation’s Strength

    What makes a nation's pillars high
    And its foundations strong?
    What makes it mighty to defy
    The foes that ‘round it throng?

    It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
    Go down in battle shock;
    Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
    Not on abiding rock.

    Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
    Of empires passed away;
    The blood has turned their stones to rust,
    Their glory to decay.

    And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
    Has seemed to nations sweet;
    But God has struck its luster down
    In ashes at His feet.

    Not gold but only men can make
    A people great and strong;
    Men who for truth and honor's sake
    Stand fast and suffer long.

    Brave men who work while others sleep,
    Who dare while others fly...
    They build a nation's pillars deep
    And lift them to the sky.

    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  13. ^^Wonderful poem by Emerson, the Transcendentalist.
  14. JazzyDame

    JazzyDame One of the Regulars

    One day through the primeval wood
    A calf walked home, as good calves should,
    But made a trail all bent askew,
    A crooked trail, as all calves do.
    Since then three hundred years have fled,
    And I infer, the calf is dead;
    But still behind he left this trail,
    And thereon hangs my moral tale.

    The trail was taken up next day
    By a lone dog that passed that way,
    And then a wise bell-weather sheep
    Pursued that trail o’er dale and steep,
    And drew the flock behind him, too,
    As good bell-weathers always do,
    And from that day o’er hill and glade
    Through those old woods a path was made.

    And many men wound in and out,
    And dodged and turned and bent about,
    And uttered words of righteous wrath
    Because ‘twas such a crooked path;
    But still they follow—do not laugh—
    The first migrations of that calf.
    The forest became a lane
    That bent and turned and turned again;
    This crooked lane became a road
    Where many a poor horse with his load
    Toiled on beneath that burning sun,
    And traveled some three miles in one.

    The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
    The village road became a street,
    And this, before men were aware,
    A city’s crowded thoroughfare.
    And soon a central street was this
    In a renowned metropolis;
    And men two centuries and a half
    Followed the wanderings of this calf.

    Each day a hundred thousand strong
    Followed this zigzag calf along;
    And o’er his crooked journey went
    The traffic of a continent.
    A hundred thousand men were led
    By one poor calf, three centuries dead.
    For just such reverence is lent
    To well established precedent.

    A moral lesson this might teach
    Were I ordained and called to preach.
    For men are prone to go it blind
    Along the calf paths of the mind;
    And work away from sun to sun
    To do what other men have done.

    They follow in the beaten track,
    And in and out, and forth and back,
    And still their devious paths pursue,
    To keep the paths that others do,
    They keep the path a sacred grove
    Along which all their lives they move
    And how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
    Who saw the first primeval calf.

    ~The Cow Path, Samuel Foss

    ...this poem might as well be titled, "stare decisis".

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  15. JazzyDame

    JazzyDame One of the Regulars

    To be glad of life,
    because it gives you the chance to love
    and to work and to play and to look up to the stars;
    to be satisfied with your possessions, but not contented with yourself
    until you have made the best of them;
    to despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness,
    and to fear nothing except cowardice;
    to be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts;
    to covet nothing that is your neighbors'
    except their kindness of heart and gentleness of manners;
    to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends
    and every day of Christ; and to spend as much time as you can
    with body and spirit, in God's out-of-doors--
    these are the little guideposts on the footpath of peace.

    ~Henry van Dyke
  16. ^^You come up with some beautiful examples, JazzyDame.
  17. JazzyDame

    JazzyDame One of the Regulars

    Thank you, Widebrim--very kind of you to say. I've always enjoyed meaningful poetry, prose and literature, in general.

    I see you're also located in California--a pleasure making your acquaintance, neighbor. Cheers!
  18. JazzyDame

    JazzyDame One of the Regulars

    If on the closed curtain of my sight
    My fancy paints thy portrait far away,
    I see thee still the same, by night or day;
    Crossing the crowded street, or moving bright
    'Mid festal throngs, or reading by the light
    Of shaded lamp some friendly poet's lay,
    Or shepherding the children at their play,--
    The same sweet self, and my unchanged delight.

    But when I see thee near, I recognize
    In every dear familiar way some strange
    Perfection, and behold in April guise
    The magic of thy beauty that doth range
    Through many moods with infinite surprise,--
    Never the same, and sweeter with each change.

    ~Portrait and Reality, Henry van Dyke

    (...a little respite from my job results in much reading and perhaps a few too many poetry posts. :) )
  19. Likewise, and greetings from L.A. (And Proverbs 3:5,6 is foundational.)
  20. JazzyDame

    JazzyDame One of the Regulars

    Thank you, and yes, it is, indeed. (And John 3:16,17, well...there is no greater Love.) God bless you, new friend.

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