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Re: Poetry

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:19 pm
by Heith
I return once again to the English renaissance composer John Dowland. The following is from his composition "Go crystal tears". I find said era incredibly fascinating. As a lute enthusiast, Dowland is a must. I am also very fond of old English language.

Go crystal tears, like to the morning show'rs
And sweetly weep into thy lady's breast.
And as the dews rerive the drooping flow'rs,
So let your drops of pity be address'd,
To quicken up the thoughts of my desert,
Which sleeps too sound whilst I from her depart.

Haste restless sighs, and let your burning breath
Dissolve the ice of her indurate heart,
Whose frozen rigour like forgetful Death,
Feels never any touch of my desert:
Yet sighs and tears to her I sacrifice,
Both from a spotless heart and patient eyes

Re: Poetry

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:56 pm
by obnoxion
Writer of many great ghost poems, Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928) pauses here on an August night (perhaps not unlike the one that we're having at the moment here in Finland) to contemplate the wisdom of the insects:

Thomas Hardy

A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
On this scene enter—winged, horned, and spined—
A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore;
While 'mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands...


Thus meet we five, in this still place,
At this point of time, at this point in space.
—My guests besmear my new-penned line,
Or bang at the lamp and fall supine.
"God's humblest, they!" I muse. Yet why?
They know Earth-secrets that know not I.

Re: Poetry

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:02 pm
by obnoxion
I suppose Emily Dickinson needs no introduction. Her decision to remain a recluse, to live her richly imaginative life in her room is something I can strongly relate to. Charles L. Crow writes in "American Gothic" (University of Wales Press 2009, page 62. The book is part of the excellent Gothic Literary Studies -series):

"She was aware of the dangers of eccentricity, and this is one of the reasons she chose to publish almost none of her poems. Her view of art was Platonic, and she knew that the poet returning from visions of blazing truth and beauty would be considered mad. Society enforces its view of normalcy"

But however unpleasant encountets with differing individuals and societies might be, the encounter with the Self is more demanding Perhaps this is one of the aspects that give mirrors their haunting symblic dimension of depth...? Be that as it may, here is Dickinson's Gothic poem about encountering the self, shared by Charles L. Crowe on the same page mentioned above:

One need not be a Chamber - to be Haunted -
One need not be a House -
The Brain has Corridors - surpassing
Material Place -

Far safer, of a Midnight Meeting
External Ghost
Than its interior Confronting -
That Cooler Host.

Far safer, through an Abbey gallop,
The Stones a'chase -
Than Unarmed, one's a'self encounter -
In lonesome Place -

Ourself behind ourself, concealed -
Should startle most -
Assassin hid in our Apartment
Be horror's least.

Re: Poetry

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:31 pm
by obnoxion
Jean Delville
Trans. Donald Flanell Friedman

Behold the hour for your clairvoyant eyes to shine,
Intent Pythoness, inert in the silent heart of evening!
Your spirit has departed, lost amid the soul of the world,
Seeking the treasure, as your desire weaves its magic.

The sacred flame, which reabsorbs your fleshly being,
Will soon transform the chasms of life into blazing pyres,
As the powers summon you to most secret sabbaths,
Reality of the firmament or infernal nightmare!

The holy aromatic burns in bright vessels;
For you, the world is a pure enchantment,
Where you hover, dazzled, above the element,

And the angel, whom your world calls the twilight,
Will come to reflect in the depths of a black temple,
The brilliance of his golden brow, in a magic mirror.

Re: Poetry

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:14 pm
by Heith
I Have Learned So Much

So much from God
That I can no longer

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me

That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.


Re: Poetry

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:13 am
by obnoxion
Amy Lowell

My cup is empty to-night,
Cold and dry are its sides,
Chilled by the wind from the open window.
Empty and void, it sparkles white in the moonlight.
The room is filled with the strange scent
Of wistaria blossoms.
They sway in the moon's radiance
And tap against the wall.
But the cup of my heart is still,
And cold, and empty.

When you come, it brims
Red and trembling with blood,
Heart's blood for your drinking;
To fill your mouth with love
And the bitter-sweet taste of a soul.

Re: Poetry

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:54 pm
by obnoxion
I must share yet another one from the prestigious American imagist, Amy Lowell. It took me a while to find a decent collection of her poetry, but now I have it:
Honor Moore's edition "Amy Lowell - Selected Poems"(2004), which seems to be a part of American Poets Project. It is dedicated to the menory of James Merrill - A Poet to whose work I will definately be returning to on this forum. As in her previous poem, I think there are both Near and Far Eastern influnces in style. Unlike the previous one, this one was not instantly found from the internet. It has some of my favourite subjects in it - a hint of erotic love, a warm moment of solitude, a wakeful contemplation inspired by a nightmare and a dark autumn night.

The poem invites multiple modes of reading, of which two seem obvious to me
- a leasurely moment in the night that is building up to erotic encounter
- a paranoid horror story of a shared nightmare

Amy Lowell

Why do you not sleep, Beloved

It is so cold that the stars stand out of the sky
Like golden nails not driven home.
The fire cracles pleasently,
And I sit here listening
For your regular breathing from the room above.

What keeps you awake, Beloved?
Is it the same nightmare that keeps me strained with
So that I cannot read?

Re: Poetry

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:16 am
by obnoxion
One of the many Baudelaire-inspired poets of China, Shao Xunmei (1905 - 1968) writes in the fine style of the Decadent School. I came across this poem in Gloria Bien's magnificent book "Baudelaire in China - A Study in Literary Reception" (2013, University of Delaware Press; page 122)

Quiet, quiet, dark night comes again,
She wears the grey habit of a nun,
Embracing melancholy and sorrow;
She is the executioner of light.

She has hidden God's abode;
Oxen, horses, cocks, dogs, turtles, men,
Grope in the darkness
And finally find the devil's dwelling.

Here is a garden of yesterday,
Green leaves have yellowed,
Fresh flowers withered,
Lively birds have died.

Still there is a pair of lovers,
Locked in an embrace, kissing,
Without breath and without sound,
Ah, they are God’s beloved children.

Gloria Bien comments the poem: "By comparing night with a nun and an executioner, Shao brings the images of nature into the human realm. The human pair of lovers 'without breath and without sound' may well be statues. Here Shao fulfills the European Decadents' goal to 'dethrone life, and put art in its place'."

Re: Poetry

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:56 am
by Cancer
This small autumnal poem, which opens Plath's first collection, The Colossus, mixes images of depression and hopeful foreboding in a fascinating way. White heather is associated with good luck. "The family wolves" could be either protective or predatory presences. And while two suicides are definitely a troublesome thing to inherit, occasional "hours of blackness" I, for one, can't do without. (They are given as "hours of blankness" in many versions online, but I prefer this version, printed in a 1967 edition of The Colossus.)

The hard stars yellowing the heavens also strike me as similar to the ones in Amy Lowell's poem above.

by Sylvia Plath

The fountains are dry and the roses over.
Incense of death. Your day approaches.
The pears fatten like little buddhas.
A blue mist is dragging the lake.

You move through the era of fishes,
The smug centuries of the pig-
Head, toe and finger
Come clear of the shadow. History

Nourishes these broken flutings,
These crowns of acanthus,
And the crow settles her garments.
You inherit white heather, a bee’s wing,

Two suicides, the family wolves,
Hours of blackness. Some hard stars
Already yellow the heavens.
The spider on its own string

Crosses the lake. The worms
Quit their usual habitations.
The small birds converge, converge
With their gifts to a difficult borning.

Re: Poetry

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:33 am
by obnoxion
Cancer wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:56 am
The hard stars yellowing the heavens also strike me as similar to the ones in Amy Lowell's poem above.
Oh they absolutely must be the same stars! Those are the autumnal stars, the most blazing stars of all. And those are in both cases the stars of the North-American skies, where they have stars eve in the flag.

What a great poem that was. There are dozens of stories there, each meriting a long reverie. I must have gone over this poem many times before, but only now that I saw it standing out like this, here on the our forum, that I had an instant awakening to its greatness. I think it is now my new favourite by Plath.

It is actually very nice how you said a few words about the poem you posted. Although poems stand on their own, I am pretty sure that people not used to reading poems can more easily enjoy them, if they know why someone feels they are great and worth sharing.