Monday, February 28, 2011
"Sleep softly my old love
my beauty in the dark
night is a dream we have
as you know as you know
night is a dream you know
an old love in the dark
around you are you go
without end as you know
in the night where you go
sleep softly my old love
without end in the dark
in the love that you know."
"Now you are darker than I can believe
it is not wisdom that I have come to
with its denial and pure promises
but this absence that I cannot set down
still hearing there is nothing to hear
reaching into the blindness that was there
thinking to walk in the dark together."
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Exalts the vast and busy Library
And seems to set the bookshelves back in gloom;
Innocent, ruthless, bloodstained, sleek
It wanders through its forest and its day
Printing a track along the muddy banks
Of sluggish streams whose names it does not know
(In its world there are no names or past
Or time to come, only the vivid now)
And makes its way across wild distances
Sniffing the braided labyrinth of smells
And in the wind picking the smell of dawn
And tantalizing scent of grazing deer;
Among the bamboo's slanting stripes I glimpse
The tiger's stripes and sense the bony frame
Under the splendid, quivering cover of skin.
Curving oceans and the planet's wastes keep us
Apart in vain; from here in a house far off
In South America I dream of you,
Track you, O tiger of the Ganges' banks.
It strikes me now as evening fills my soul
That the tiger addressed in my poem
Is a shadowy beast, a tiger of symbols
And scraps picked up at random out of books,
A string of labored tropes that have no life,
And not the fated tiger, the deadly jewel
That under sun or stars or changing moon
Goes on in Bengal or Sumatra fulfilling
Its rounds of love and indolence and death.
To the tiger of symbols I hold opposed
The one that's real, the one whose blood runs hot
As it cuts down a herd of buffaloes,
And that today, this August third, nineteen
Fifty-nine, throws its shadow on the grass;
But by the act of giving it a name,
By trying to fix the limits of its world,
It becomes a fiction not a living beast,
Not a tiger out roaming the wilds of earth.
We'll hunt for a third tiger now, but like
The others this one too will be a form
Of what I dream, a structure of words, and not
The flesh and one tiger that beyond all myths
Paces the earth. I know these things quite well,
Yet nonetheless some force keeps driving me
In this vague, unreasonable, and ancient quest,
And I go on pursuing through the hours
Another tiger, the beast not found in verse.
I find that I have chosen
the strangest of all callings,
save that, in its way, any calling is strange.
Like the alchemist
who sought the philosopher's stone
I shall make everyday words--
the gambler's marked cards, the common coin--
give off the magic that was their
when Thor was both the god and the din,
the thunderclap and the prayer.
In today's dialect
I shall say, in my fashion, eternal things:
I shall try to be worthy
of the great echo of Byron.
This dust that I am will be invulnerable.
If a woman shares my love
my verse will touch the tenth sphere of the concentric heavens;
if a woman turns my love aside
I will make of my sadness a music,
a full river to resound through time.
I shall live by forgetting myself.
I shall be the face I glimpse and forget,
I shall be Judas who takes on
the divine mission of being a betrayer,
I shall be Caliban in his bog,
I shall be a mercenary who dies
without fear and without faith,
I shall be Polycrates, who looks in awe
upon the seal returned by fate.
I will be the friend who hates me.
The Persian will give me the nightingale, and Rome the sword.
Masks, agonies, resurrections
will weave and unweave my life,
and in time I shall be Robert Browning.
"Your cold mornings are filled with the heartache about the fact that although we are not at ease in this world, it is all we have, that it is ours but that it is full of strife, so that all we can call our own is strife; but even that is better than nothing at all, isn't it? And as you split the frost-laced wood with numb hands, rejoice that your uncertainty is God's will and His grace toward you that that is beautiful, and a part of a greater certainty, as your own father always said in his sermons and to you at home. And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it. And when you resent the ache in your heart, remember: You will be dead and buried soon enough." -Paul Harding
Monday, February 21, 2011
|THE rain set early in to-night,|
|The sullen wind was soon awake,|
|It tore the elm-tops down for spite,|
|And did its worst to vex the lake:|
|I listen'd with heart fit to break.||5|
|When glided in Porphyria; straight|
|She shut the cold out and the storm,|
|And kneel'd and made the cheerless grate|
|Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;|
|Which done, she rose, and from her form||10|
|Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,|
|And laid her soil'd gloves by, untied|
|Her hat and let the damp hair fall,|
|And, last, she sat down by my side|
|And call'd me. When no voice replied,||15|
|She put my arm about her waist,|
|And made her smooth white shoulder bare,|
|And all her yellow hair displaced,|
|And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,|
|And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair,||20|
|Murmuring how she loved me—she|
|Too weak, for all her heart's endeavour,|
|To set its struggling passion free|
|From pride, and vainer ties dissever,|
|And give herself to me for ever.||25|
|But passion sometimes would prevail,|
|Nor could to-night's gay feast restrain|
|A sudden thought of one so pale|
|For love of her, and all in vain:|
|So, she was come through wind and rain.||30|
|Be sure I look'd up at her eyes|
|Happy and proud; at last I knew|
|Porphyria worshipp'd me; surprise|
|Made my heart swell, and still it grew|
|While I debated what to do.||35|
|That moment she was mine, mine, fair,|
|Perfectly pure and good: I found|
|A thing to do, and all her hair|
|In one long yellow string I wound|
|Three times her little throat around,||40|
|And strangled her. No pain felt she;|
|I am quite sure she felt no pain.|
|As a shut bud that holds a bee,|
|I warily oped her lids: again|
|Laugh'd the blue eyes without a stain.||45|
|And I untighten'd next the tress|
|About her neck; her cheek once more|
|Blush'd bright beneath my burning kiss:|
|I propp'd her head up as before,|
|Only, this time my shoulder bore||50|
|Her head, which droops upon it still:|
|The smiling rosy little head,|
|So glad it has its utmost will,|
|That all it scorn'd at once is fled,|
|And I, its love, am gain'd instead!||55|
|Porphyria's love: she guess'd not how|
|Her darling one wish would be heard.|
|And thus we sit together now,|
|And all night long we have not stirr'd,|
|And yet God has not said a word!|| 60|
Sunday, February 20, 2011
You want to get married. You don't care to whom. You just want a big sparkly ring and an R nestled between the MS. that comes before your name on those late payment notices from The Student Loan Corporation. But you're not married, which is the only thing that you need out of life. You need a man like a fish needs whatever the opposite of a bicycle is. Why hasn't he appeared like a bland square jawed Disney Prince to reward you for being sweet and singing to the animals by marrying you?
Friday, February 18, 2011
"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman. With time, those who listened to me became my readers. They no longer sit in a circle, bur rather sit apart. And one doesn't know anything about the other. I'm an old man with a broken voice, but the tale still rises from the depths, and the mouth, slightly opened, repeats it as clearly, as powerfully. A liturgy for which no one needs to be initiated to the meaning of words and sentences."
Wings of Desire
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney: The tempestuous tulip.
Melissa Jackson The deliciously distraught daffodil.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The reckless rose.
Melissa Jackson The horrified hydrangea.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The persnickety poppy.
Melissa Jackson The lascivious lily.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The outrageous orchid.
Melissa Jackson The bewildered baby's breath.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The pompous petunia.
Melissa Jackson The arrogant amaryllis.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The lucid lilac.
Melissa Jackson The cantankerous clover. (I think we deserve an award at this point.)
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The hellacious hydrangea. (I agree, this must be getting near record breaking.)
Melissa Jackson The devious dahlia.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The voluptuous violets.
Melissa Jackson The jesting jasmine.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The bodacious begonia.
Melissa Jackson The magnanimous magnolia.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The analytical alyssum.
Melissa Jackson The neurotic narcissus.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The cathartic carnation.
Melissa Jackson The furtive forget-me-not.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The monstrous marigold.
Melissa Jackson The gorgeous goldenrod.
Melissa Jackson Again, with the awards. Can someone please at least give us stickers?
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The entitled edelweiss.
Melissa Jackson The hellacious heliotrop.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The funky freesia.
Melissa Jackson The persnickety plumeria.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The ticklish thyme.
Melissa Jackson The advantageous aster.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The inquisitive iris.
Melissa Jackson The bemoaning buttercup.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The disastrous dandelion.
Melissa Jackson The ferocious fern.
Caitrin Bogart Sweeney The officious oleander.
Julie Sweeney This is the best FB thread I have ever read!
The resounding rhododendron!