Jenny kiss'd me when we met, Jumping from the chair she sat in; Time, you thief, who love to get Sweets into your list, put that in! Say I'm weary, say I'm sad, Say that health and wealth have miss'd me, Say I'm growing old, but add, Jenny kiss'd me.
May this find you happy and healthy.
Robert Reynolds Tucson AZ
Get used to disappointment. Westley in "The Princess Bride"
Post by TheCentralScrutinizer on Oct 8, 2018 2:16:32 GMT
This short work illustrating the impermanence and cosmic insignificance of even the greatest and most terrible of men and man's deeds has served me well as an existential perspective, and has long been a favorite of mine:
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert... near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings; Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
I find that it's much more satisfying to live life expecting the worst of people so that I can be pleasantly surprised from time-to-time than to always expect the best and live with near constant disappointment.
Ernest Dowson (1867-1900) sometimes gets lumped in with the “Decadent” poets (e.g. Charles Baudelaire). His major legacy is two poems from which titles were taken for a famous book & its movie and play & its movie.
See if you can spot the famous quote in this one. Bet you can. Yes, this is really where the title came from. The poem is also quoted in Eugene O’Neill’s play “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”
Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine; And I was desolate and sick of an old passion, Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head: I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat, Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay; Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet; But I was desolate and sick of an old passion, When I awoke and found the dawn was gray: I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind, Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng, Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind; But I was desolate and sick of an old passion, Yea, all the time, because the dance was long: I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
I cried for madder music and for stronger wine, But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire, Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine; And I am desolate and sick of an old passion, Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire: I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
The second Dawson poem I was talking about has the stanza:
They are not long, the days of wine and roses: Out of a misty dream Our path emerges for a while, then closes Within a dream.
AN Wilson explores the life and work of TS Eliot. From the halls of Harvard University to a Somerset village, via a Margate promenade shelter, he follows the spiritual and psychological journey that Eliot took in his most iconic poems. From The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock to The Waste Land and from Ash Wednesday to Four Quartets, Wilson traces Eliot's life story as it informs his greatest works.
Wilson travels to the places that inspired them, visiting Eliot's family's holiday home on the Massachusetts coast, following the poet to Oxford, where he met and married his first wife, Vivien Haigh-Wood, and on to London. He explores how Eliot's realisation that he and Vivien were fundamentally incompatible influenced The Waste Land and examines how Eliot's subsequent conversion to Anglicanism coloured his later works. Wilson concludes his journey by visiting some of the key locations around which the poet structured his final masterpiece, Four Quartets.
Eliot's poetry is widely regarded as complex and difficult; it takes on weighty ideas of time, memory, faith and belief, themes which Wilson argues have as much relevance today as during the poet's lifetime. And whilst hailing his genius, Wilson does not shy away from confronting the discomforting and dark side of his work - the poems now widely regarded as anti-Semitic.
Post by Feologild Oakes on Oct 11, 2018 0:35:54 GMT
The Raven - Poem by Edgar Allan Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. ''Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door- Only this, and nothing more.'
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore- For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore- Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, ''Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door- Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;- This it is, and nothing more.'
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 'Sir,' said I, 'or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you'- here I opened wide the door;- Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, 'Lenore!' This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, 'Lenore!'- Merely this, and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. 'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice: Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore- Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;- 'Tis the wind and nothing more.'
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door- Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore. 'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore- Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!' Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door- Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as 'Nevermore.'
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered- Till I scarcely more than muttered, 'other friends have flown before- On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.' Then the bird said, 'Nevermore.'
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, 'Doubtless,' said I, 'what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore- Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of 'Never- nevermore'.'
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore- What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking 'Nevermore.'
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er, She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. 'Wretch,' I cried, 'thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!' Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or devil!- Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted- On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore- Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!' Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore- Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore- Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.' Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
'Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,' I shrieked, upstarting- 'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!' Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted- nevermore!
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen: Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide, But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride; And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail: And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail, And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal; And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword, Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
As when with downcast eyes we muse and brood, And ebb into a former life, or seem To lapse far back in some confused dream To states of mystical similitude; If one but speaks or hems or stirs his chair, Ever the wonder waxeth more and more, So that we say, "All this hath been before, All this _hath_ been, I know not when or where". So, friend, when first I look'd upon your face, Our thought gave answer each to each, so true-- Opposed mirrors each reflecting each-- Altho' I knew not in what time or place, Methought that I had often met with you, And each had lived in the other's mind and speech.
All things are either sacred or profane. The former to ecclesiasts bring gain; The latter to the devil appertain. -Dumbo Omohundro
Dumble was an ignoramus, Mumble was for learning famous. Mumble said one day to Dumble: "Ignorance should be more humble. Not a spark have you of knowledge That was got in any college." Dumble said to Mumble: Truly you're self satisfied unduly. Of things in college I'm denied A knowledge-you of all beside." -Borelli
Hail satire! be thy praises ever sung In he dead language of a mummy's tongue, For thou thyself art dead, and damned as well- Thy spirit (usefully employed) in Hell. Had it been as consecrates the bible Thou hadst not perished by the law of libel. -Barney Stims