Sonnet for the day


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Sonnet for the day

marraskuu 15, 2019, 4:30 am

One of the earliest British sonnets that doesn't owe everything to Petrarch. Anne Boleyn was rumoured to be the subject of this poem

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.

Sir Thomas Wyatt 1503-1542

marraskuu 15, 2019, 6:57 am

One of my favorites.

marraskuu 15, 2019, 7:04 am

Who? List alist, in seeking to shoot deer
by friends I'm known as Hell Ass the mad whore
In vain I travel wearing costumes wore
a child of poverty, circumstances queer
my brain replaced with one of wildest deer
my feet of thought so fleet of hoofies sore
I stop, I laugh, oh hunters oh wherefore
baZing, a shot, siThing: a hole in ear
Who lift a fey thought of hunger at me
He: Man, of mental grief to soothe My pain
He gravebound dipshit graven idoled gain
no thing, if even thing there be, whoopee!
No tangerine: a seizure on the moor
I dance with hooven sharp heels on this boor

Sir Flip Wordhorse Wyatt, 1509-1532

marraskuu 15, 2019, 10:06 am

Great stuff Rick

marraskuu 15, 2019, 11:18 am

Inspired by Al Suzyu

You know, I always felt bad that TC asked me about Al Suzyu and I kept the con going with some bullshit I made up and he seemed to have bought it all. I think I thought maybe he was joking at first...

marraskuu 15, 2019, 12:33 pm

Whether you are joking or not you are at risk of being locked up in the Tower of London and then taking a short walk onto Tower Green.

marraskuu 15, 2019, 1:31 pm

Does it echo?

marraskuu 15, 2019, 9:22 pm

echo homey

marraskuu 16, 2019, 5:54 pm

sonnet 98 from Astrophil and Stella

Ah bed, the field where joy’s peace some do see,
The field where all my thoughts to war be trained,
How is thy grace by my strange fortune stained!
How thy lee shores by my sighs stormed be!
With sweet soft shades thou oft invitest me
To steal some rest; but, wretch, I am constrained
(Spurr’d with love’s spur, though galled and shortly reined
With care’s hard hand) to turn and toss in thee,
While the black horrors of the silent night
Paint woe’s black face so lively to my sight,
That tedious leisure marks each wrinkled line.
But when Aurora leads out Phoebus’ dance,
Mine eyes then only wink, for spite perchance,
That worms should have their sun, and I want mine.

Sir Philip Sidney

marraskuu 17, 2019, 4:56 pm

" It is the care which ennobles the subject, and this is how Pound converts literary critics into disciples." from macumbeira on the layers thread.

Here is one to unpack or unpick from tomcat murr's favourite poet

Sir, no man’s enemy, forgiving all
But will his negative inversion, be prodigal:
Send to us power and light, a sovereign touch
Curing the intolerable neural itch,
The exhaustion of weaning, the liar’s quinsy,
And the distortions of ingrown virginity.
Prohibit sharply the rehearsed response
And gradually correct the coward’s stance;
Cover in time with beams those in retreat
That, spotted, they turn though the reverse were great;
Publish each healer that in city lives
Or country houses at the end of drives;
Harrow the house of the dead; look shining at
New styles of architecture, a change of heart.

W H Auden

marraskuu 17, 2019, 5:12 pm


marraskuu 17, 2019, 8:02 pm

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

- Wordsworth

marraskuu 18, 2019, 12:27 pm

>12 Crypto-Willobie: What would he say now when we are on the brink of destroying our planet.

marraskuu 18, 2019, 12:31 pm

>13 baswood:
I guess that he'd rather be a pagan in a creed outworn..

marraskuu 18, 2019, 12:39 pm

He would be an urban nomad seeking a vanished creed...or vanquished creeds.

marraskuu 20, 2019, 1:37 pm

I think I should not feel like shit all day
A writer must not weather absent fronts
His energy should charge the self to stunts
break laws and rules, ignite some laughs and stray
from all expectoration sent his way
eat gloom, bite fear, drop bombs of shit, be blunt!
Yes: animate thy self, never halt the hunt
for spectacle, gregarious display
Make mess of order: bleed, make blood be blood,
revenge and rage at creatures shrinking from
their mere emergence under florid drum-
ming pulsing, living, sunlit mirrored flood
Oh charlatans, I thank thee for your time
amusing me, preventing thoughts sublime.

marraskuu 20, 2019, 3:53 pm

Ricks at it again - anything to avoid those sublime thoughts and who can blame him?

marraskuu 20, 2019, 4:16 pm

Edmund Spenser with some sublime thoughts - Amoretti 3

The sovereign beauty which I do admire,
Witness the world how worthy to be praised:
The light whereof hath kindled heavenly fire
In my frail spirit, by her from baseness raised;
That being now with her huge brightness dazed,
Base thing I can no more endure to view;
But looking still on her, I stand amazed
At wondrous sight of so celestial hue.
So when my tongue would speak her praises due,
It stopped is with thought's astonishment:
And when my pen would write her titles true,
It ravish'd is with fancy's wonderment:
Yet in my heart I then both speak and write
The wonder that my wit cannot endite.

marraskuu 20, 2019, 4:19 pm

Yeah but this time no mockery...I tried to think my way out of a blue funk by rhyming.

marraskuu 20, 2019, 9:21 pm

marraskuu 21, 2019, 4:11 am

>Thanks...Sorry for the mundane opening line

marraskuu 21, 2019, 6:08 am

Lily, put that down
Bob, dig Maggie's new dress
Gullible version

Al Suzyu

marraskuu 21, 2019, 7:38 am

>22 RickHarsch: And so what does the reader need to bring to a poem?

At the moment I am reading The Poetry of the Faerie Queene by Paul J Alpers. He asks the questions: What knowledge of iconography and allegory must a modern reader bring to understand Spenser's Faerie Queene and how would this differ from a sixteenth century reader. (he goes on at some length 400 odd pages).

So to understand Al Suzyu's Haiku we would need to know the songs of Bob Dylan. But what puzzles me is how does an eighth century Japanese poet know the songs of Bob Dylan - the answer lies in the last line?

marraskuu 21, 2019, 8:20 am

Al is a Japanese modern. Tokyo, or as he likes to say good ole edo. Bilingual. Lived roughly same years as Pessoa.
So Swift and Dylan, yes.

marraskuu 21, 2019, 8:25 am

When he sneezed, he always went HAIII-KUUUUuuuu

marraskuu 21, 2019, 8:26 am

Anyway, one of his heteronyms is still alive today and penned this just for you:

Dora! Marvelous
Suzyu says Sosumi
Amusing muses

marraskuu 21, 2019, 9:26 am

Je suis honoré

Dora the explorer
not yet dead in the ditch face

marraskuu 21, 2019, 5:15 pm

I have been reading Selected Poems by Fleur Adcock and came across a sonnet


'Oblivion, that's all. I never dream' he said -
proud of it, another immunity,
another removal from the standard frame which she
inhabited, dreaming besides him of a dead
woman tucked neatly into a small bed,
a cot or a child's bunk, unexpectedly
victim of some friend or lover. 'Comfort me',
said the dreamer, 'I need to be comforted.'
He did that, not bothering to comprehend,
and she returned to her story: a doctor came
to identify the placid corpse in her dream.
It was obscure; but glancing towards the end
she guessed that killer and lover and doctor were the same;
proving that things are ultimately what they seem.

Fleur Adcock

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 21, 2019, 11:23 pm

High Flight

O, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
   And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
   Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
   High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,
I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
   My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirous, burning blue
   I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew,
   And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
   Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee (1922-1940)

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 22, 2019, 6:04 am

>29 librorumamans: Uplifting! and just how I feel today - thank you

marraskuu 22, 2019, 8:48 am

After Fifty Years

Her house is empty and her heart is old,
And filled with shades and echoes that deceive
No one save her, for still she tries to weave
With blind bent fingers, nets that cannot hold.
Once all men’s arms rose up to her, ‘tis told,
And hovered like white birds for her caress:
A crown she could have had to bind each tress
Of hair, and her sweet arms the Witches’ Gold.

Her mirrors know her witnesses, for there
She rose in dreams from other dreams that lent
Her softness as she stood, crowned with soft hair.
And with his bound heart and his young eyes bent
And blind, he feels her presence like shed scent,
Holding him body and life within its snare.

William Faulkner

marraskuu 22, 2019, 9:04 am

drunken billy!

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 22, 2019, 4:54 pm

Surprised to find a poem by William Faulkner
what's shed scent? - a stand out line.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 22, 2019, 5:36 pm

>33 baswood:

I read 'shed' as a past participle — her scent that has been shed, although I find the sestet to be obscure.

The occurrence together of 'blind' and 'bent' in both octet and sestet is interesting, also 'hair' along with a connecting idea of traps of various types.

marraskuu 22, 2019, 6:02 pm

Since it's still November, this:

After the blast of lightning from the East,
The flourish of loud clouds, the Chariot Throne;
After the drums of Time have rolled and ceased,
And by the bronze west long retreat is blown,
Shall life renew these bodies? Of a truth
All death will He annul, all tears assuage? –
Fill the void veins of Life again with youth,
And wash, with an immortal water, Age?
When I do ask white Age he saith not so:
'My head hangs weighed with snow.'
And when I hearken to the Earth, she saith:
'My fiery heart shrinks, aching. It is death.
Mine ancient scars shall not be glorified,
Nor my titanic tears, the sea, be dried.'

— Wilfred Owen

marraskuu 22, 2019, 7:48 pm

Saint Judas

When I went out to kill myself, I caught
A pack of hoodlums beating up a man.
Running to spare his suffering, I forgot
My name, my number, how my day began,
How soldiers milled around the garden stone
And sang amusing songs; how all that day
Their javelins measured crowds; how I alone
Bargained the proper coins, and slipped away.

Banished from heaven, I found this victim beaten,
Stripped, kneed, and left to cry. Dropping my rope
Aside, I ran, ignored the uniforms:
Then I remembered bread my flesh had eaten,
The kiss that ate my flesh. Flayed without hope,
I held the man for nothing in my arms.

James Wright

marraskuu 25, 2019, 11:08 am

>36 Crypto-Willobie: Read this on Wiki and thought - yes James Wright sounds like a poet:

His poetry often deals with the disenfranchised, or the American outsider. Wright suffered from depression and bipolar mood disorders and also battled alcoholism his entire life. He experienced several nervous breakdowns, was hospitalized, and was subjected to electroshock therapy.

>35 librorumamans: Brilliant from Wilfred Owen especially those first four lines.

marraskuu 26, 2019, 7:07 am


And if it snowed and snow covered the drive
he took a spade and tossed it to one side.
And always tucked his daughter up at night
And slippered her the one time that she lied.
And every week he tipped up half his wage.
And what he didn't spend each week he saved.
And praised his wife for every meal she made.
And once, for laughing, punched her in the face.

And for his mum he hired a private nurse.
And every Sunday taxied her to church.
And he blubbed when she went from bad to worse.
And twice he lifted ten quid from her purse.

Here's how they rated him when they looked back:
sometimes he did this, sometimes he did that.

Simon Armitage

joulukuu 1, 2019, 8:59 pm

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
    This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

— WS

(The image in the first quatrain suggests to me that the Shakespeares were indeed crypto-Catholics.)

joulukuu 3, 2019, 6:33 am

!6 sonnets before we have our first WS - amazing.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 3, 2019, 9:19 am

The Procession

When you have waited there so patiently
And at last the great procession passes by
With those sad, slow tunes you hummed interminably,
How will you join them? Will you somehow try
To draw attention with a slogan scratched
Hurriedly on a bit of paper, sound
A trumpet from the window where you watched,
Hope that by standing by you will be found
Among the million others? None of these.
No matter how confused and large the crowd,
Or how well-disciplined and separate
Those solemn marchers, you will step with ease
Down from the jostling pavement, be allowed
To join them. And you will not hesitate.

Anthony Thwaite

joulukuu 3, 2019, 1:18 pm

No Donne yet, although for me it's been a tough struggle.

joulukuu 3, 2019, 3:33 pm

No Donne yet: Cossacks ravaged poetry
No Donne met: Night reserved another year
No, Donne, go get yer flame and terrory
No Donne--shear opacity and trite fear
Oh, Donne, her silly laughs have spilled your cup
Oh, Donne, by all means, by ALL means demean
Oh Donne, strumpette wordsmythe: DANCE, saddle up
Oh Donne, your carpentry, your gold ballpeen
Oh Donne, John Donne, Don Juan, Don Giovan
Soft: quiet flow thee Donne, ballpeen me on
and ON, don't stop bold Donne, you horse of dance
Donne? DONNE? Oh lord--he left without his pants

joulukuu 3, 2019, 11:39 pm

>43 RickHarsch:
Where's the final couplet? or is this a sonne_?

joulukuu 4, 2019, 12:59 am


joulukuu 4, 2019, 9:36 am

No Donne yet: Cossacks ravaged poetry
No Donne met: Night reserved another year
No, Donne, go get yer flame and terrory
No Donne--shear opacity and trite fear
Oh, Donne, her silly laughs have spilled your cup
Oh, Donne, by all means, by ALL means demean
Oh Donne, strumpette wordsmythe: DANCE, saddle up
Oh Donne, your carpentry, your gold ballpeen
Oh Donne, John Donne, Don Juan, Don Giovan
Soft: quiet flow thee Donne, ballpeen me on
and ON, don't stop bold Donne, you horse of dance
Donne? DONNE? Oh lord--he left without his pants
abrupt, I'm Donne, an effort worse than crude?
Off: evanescent in my sonnetude

joulukuu 4, 2019, 9:41 am

As Marshall McCloud would say: There ye go...

joulukuu 4, 2019, 9:43 am

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore, ..
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes, the tears of two.

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning

joulukuu 5, 2019, 6:14 pm

Sonnet: “Upon a day, came Sorrow in to me”
on the 9th of June 1290

Upon a day, came Sorrow in to me,
Saying, ‘I’ve come to stay with thee a while’;
And I perceived that she had ushered Bile
And Pain into my house for company.
Wherefore I said, ‘Go forth – away with thee!’
But like a Greek she answered, full of guile,
And went on arguing in an easy style.
Then, looking, I saw Love come silently,
Habited in black raiment, smooth and new,
Having a black hat set upon his hair;
And certainly the tears he shed were true.
So that I asked, ‘What ails thee, trifler?’
Answering, he said: ‘A grief to be gone through;
For our own lady’s dying, brother dear.’

joulukuu 5, 2019, 7:30 pm

like a Greek!

joulukuu 7, 2019, 2:18 pm

Not with vain tears, when we’re beyond the sun,
We’ll beat on the substantial doors, nor tread
Those dusty high-roads of the aimless dead
Plaintive for Earth; but rather turn and run
Down some close-covered by-way of the air,
Some low sweet alley between wind and wind,
Stoop under faint gleams, thread the shadows, find
Some whispering ghost-forgotten nook, and there

Spend in pure converse our eternal day;
Think each in each, immediately wise;
Learn all we lacked before; hear, know, and say
What this tumultuous body now denies;
And feel, who have laid our groping hands away;
And see, no longer blinded by our eyes.

Rupert Brooke

joulukuu 10, 2019, 9:53 pm

Now when the leaves are driven from their trees
to huddle like refugees about the hunchback roots;
now when the flaming thatch begins to freeze
and windburn cauterizes next year's shoots;
even now the world most advances upon our lives
and the sunsown warmth is uprooted from our pores:
as light retreats from shadow, shadow drives
deep across the field-- we feel its force.

The force of what I cannot feel, the damage
we must build on, tempts me from thriving.
The trees camp at the pond-edge, surviving.

On the water's surface, in the image,
leaves surround my face, leaf-fingers clutch.
An acorn falls. I ripple at its touch.

- Piso Mojado

joulukuu 11, 2019, 10:09 am

Wet floor? - are you sure. Enjoyed the sonnet.

joulukuu 11, 2019, 12:20 pm

The floor was wet, that's why I slipped--Oh Shit
Those Swabbies--Brits! exits unfit, I spit
on Thatcher, AND those twits who followed her
but left their brains down falkland way for fur
Or wait, is sheep fur down, or shag, or blair
pray tell me what they call that curly hair
fore tweed, fore wool, foreskin of beet red fools
Ibiza drunken hairless pigs on stools
Oh publican, I don't think that I can
my gut fit in my in my trousers e'er again
EEE-YEWWW! the Irish, Scots, and Welsh appal
Exeunt! Turn ass to face the future fall
Sail England, island Nation after all,
Sail England!, Heed the flat Earth's northly call!

joulukuu 11, 2019, 12:31 pm

Brilliant Rick. A poem inspired by a wet floor. Amuse indeed.
I must remember this for tomorrow evening.

joulukuu 11, 2019, 8:47 pm

>53 baswood:

Piso is my favorite Salsa singer...

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 12, 2019, 9:33 am

Edmund Spenser from the Faerie Queene
Book 2 canto IX

OF all Gods workes, which do this world adorne,
There is no one more faire and excellent,
Then is mans body both for powre and forme,
Whiles it is kept in sober gouernment;
But none then it, more fowle and indecent,
Distempred through misrule and passions bace:
It growes a Monster, and incontinent
Doth loose his dignitie and natiue grace.
Behold, who list, both one and other in this place.

It's not a sonnet but it made me smile.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 13, 2019, 2:09 pm

A felony of fellaheen, fa FA
alLITerATE or dessiccate a rhyme
in lieu of splendoured scenes, manthoughts sublime
Take globe and spin: Stop there at Aqaba:
Islam enough, a port that's damn near square.
To write, create an intellectual thing
a bird would help, some animal at wing
to prettify this crashland from thin air.

I'm Rick wrought old--my tricks are ghosts on skis,
at best they're evanescents deep enditched.
Return in Spring to find the soil enriched
by maggotries asquirm with man disease.

Such thoughts devoid of need or solace paint
the darking void in laughing fades restraint

joulukuu 14, 2019, 2:04 pm

joulukuu 14, 2019, 2:07 pm

I was serious and then...silence...UNTIL NOW! Thanks, Mac.

joulukuu 14, 2019, 2:24 pm

because i don't speak doesn't mean i don't appreciate...

joulukuu 14, 2019, 6:03 pm

I'm insecure

joulukuu 17, 2019, 8:47 am

I have two friends with eye problems. One has been going through a series of failed fixes for a detached retina. He would enjoy a sonnet, so I would like to write Sonnet for a One-Eyed Man. But I could use help. Think we can do this as a group? He lives in Portland. He's 63. His first book of fiction is coming out from River Boat Books. He showed me his face with eye cover and I was appalled it was white, lot of gauze, some kind of plastic central orbble. There is absolutely no reason for them not to go full pirate for such things. Presuming you've swords in air and are with me, I begin

Sonnet for a One-Eyed Man

Forgot to tell you Taro's going blind

joulukuu 17, 2019, 9:01 am

Forgot to tell you Taro's going blind
No longer out of sight or out of mind

joulukuu 17, 2019, 9:44 am

Forgot to tell you Taro's going blind
No longer out of sight or out of mind
an Orb, an Orb, my wingspan for an Orb

joulukuu 17, 2019, 9:44 am

Okay, simple rhyme scheme

joulukuu 17, 2019, 9:50 am

Forgot to tell you Taro's going blind
No longer out of sight or out of mind
an Orb, an Orb, my wingspan for an Orb
cried silent synaesthetic, a bit morb-

joulukuu 17, 2019, 11:25 am

Forgot to tell you Taro's going blind
No longer out of sight or out of mind
an Orb, an Orb, my wingspan for an Orb
cried silent synaesthetic, a bit morb-
id. Hid it with a piratical patch

joulukuu 17, 2019, 6:42 pm

of gauze, cheap tape, and plastic--white! Don't scratch
Cuirasse me ass, no pirate thee. Now Tar-

The above contribution is from Rick who has been banished indefinitely from LT for reasons unknown or unexplained to me.

joulukuu 17, 2019, 7:49 pm

I thought he was gone just for a week?

joulukuu 18, 2019, 12:30 am

More from Rick (I guess this is my life now):

o: there's a corsair, Nipponesey tar
Japan health care provides both eye patch black
and genuine macaw prenamed Blacque Jacque

joulukuu 18, 2019, 7:44 am

If he is only gone for a week time to finish this sonnet:
and so the story so far:

Forgot to tell you Taro's going blind
No longer out of sight or out of mind
an Orb, an Orb, my wingspan for an Orb
cried silent synaesthetic, a bit morb-
id. Hid it with a piratical patch
of gauze, cheap tape, and plastic--white! Don't scratch
Cuirasse me ass, no pirate thee. Now Tar-
o: there's a corsair, Nipponesey tar
Japan health care provides both eye patch black
and genuine macaw prenamed Blacque Jacque
its so much better than Obama care
trump, trump, trumpeting for the world to share.

joulukuu 18, 2019, 12:43 pm

loud applause from the back benches !

joulukuu 18, 2019, 1:02 pm

Still got Rick to finish off with the final couplet

joulukuu 18, 2019, 3:09 pm

Last one from ol' Ricky, my friends:

Pray David, or Cyclops if you prefer
an eye to sun, an eye to lucifer

joulukuu 18, 2019, 3:59 pm

Thank you George and here it is in all it's gory:

Forgot to tell you Taro's going blind
No longer out of sight or out of mind
an Orb, an Orb, my wingspan for an Orb
cried silent synaesthetic, a bit morb-
id. Hid it with a piratical patch
of gauze, cheap tape, and plastic--white! Don't scratch
Cuirasse me ass, no pirate thee. Now Tar-
o: there's a corsair, Nipponesey tar
Japan health care provides both eye patch black
and genuine macaw prenamed Blacque Jacque
its so much better than Obama care
trump, trump, trumpeting for the world to share.
Pray David, or Cyclops if you prefer
an eye to sun, an eye to lucifer

joulukuu 18, 2019, 8:05 pm

My pleasure. And now the muse Himself responds. Rick sent me this which is from David V (don't ask me how it's supposed to be formatted):

Rick -
I'm touched beyond words to be the half-subject, with Taro, of a sonnet.
Yes, I am jealous of Japanese health care.
Mine gave me only the plastic and cheap tape and no Blacque Jacque.
I gazed too long at the light-bringer, and look what happened.
I've only myself to blame.
My deepest thanks to you and the other sonneteers.

joulukuu 19, 2019, 5:53 am

Thats great George

joulukuu 19, 2019, 4:10 pm

Why Brownlee Left by Paul Muldoon

Why Brownlee left, and where he went,
Is a mystery even now.
For if a man should have been content
It was him; two acres of barley,
One of potatoes, four bullocks,
A milker, a slated farmhouse.
He was last seen going out to plough
On a March morning, bright and early.

By noon Brownlee was famous;
They had found all abandoned, with
The last rig unbroken, his pair of black
Horses, like man and wife,
Shifting their weight from foot to
Foot, and gazing into the future.

joulukuu 22, 2019, 4:27 pm

The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have for suffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit......

joulukuu 23, 2019, 5:40 pm

Next up: Notes From Reading in Jail

joulukuu 23, 2019, 7:53 pm

They rolled away the stone!

joulukuu 23, 2019, 10:58 pm


Muokkaaja: joulukuu 24, 2019, 5:57 am

Two legs good, four legs bad
and poetry must be sombre and sad
satire's for prose not verse
and it's even worse if you curse
So God, all gods, bless
Tim Spalding's TOS
And forgive thy neighbour,
that scurrilous and wild boor
tis only what he says not him
dipshittery not dipshit, not dim
Oh I have learned my lesson and learned it well
during that spell
in LT purgatory, toes so close to hell
so I amb (pentam) a lamb corrected
a Fowl Christ, forgiven, resurrected

Pluck me
don't fuck me

joulukuu 24, 2019, 7:28 am

An exile sailing close upon the wind;
Tacking his cloth to keep himself downwind
From furies that are brewing up a storm
Breaking and shaking to the very bone norm.
Texan wreckers are patrolling the heights,
Watching anticipating gross delights:
Dark is the night when sensors are opposed
My God I hope he's got a change of clothes.
Let us kneel down and give our praise indeed;
Nobody likes to see a braveheart bleed.
A good soaking is the order of the day;
Time enough to repent a stupid play
Shakespeare looks down and is laughing still:
"All the worlds a stage" no its just pigswill

joulukuu 24, 2019, 10:15 am

Bravo ("My God I hope he's got a change of clothes."!)

joulukuu 25, 2019, 4:12 am

A sonnet for Christmas Day

The Nightingale

This is the month the nightingale, clod brown,
Is heard among the woodland shady boughs:
This is the time when in the vale, grass-grown,
The maiden hears at eve her lover's vows,
What time the blue mist round the patient cows
Dim rises from the grass and half conceals
Their dappled hides. I hear the nightingale,
That from the little blackthorn spinney steals
To the old hazel hedge that skirts the vale,
And still unseen sings sweet. The ploughman feels
The thrilling music as he goes along,
And imitates and listens; while the fields
Lose all their paths in dusk to lead him wrong,
Still sings the nightingale her soft melodious song.

John Clare

joulukuu 25, 2019, 10:06 am


Muokkaaja: joulukuu 29, 2019, 3:33 am

Still Life

Through the open French window the warm sun
Lights up the polished breakfast-table, laid
Round a bowl of crimson roses, for one -
A service of Worcester porcelain, arrayed
Near it a melon, peaches, figs, small hot
Rolls in a napkin, fairy rack of toast,
Butter in ice, high silver coffee-pot,
And, heaped on a salver, the morning's post.

She comes over the lawn, the young heiress,
From her early walk in her garden-wood,
Feeling that life's a table set to bless
Her delicate desires with all that's good.

That even the unopened future lies
Like a love-letter, full of sweet surprise.

Elizabeth Daryush

joulukuu 29, 2019, 9:57 am

>89 baswood:

Thank you!

joulukuu 29, 2019, 1:17 pm

Hmm.. I wasn't aware of Daryush...

joulukuu 29, 2019, 3:37 pm


joulukuu 29, 2019, 7:15 pm

English wife of a Persian. Daughter of Robert Bridges.

joulukuu 30, 2019, 10:43 am


The old man comes out on the hill
and looks down to recall earlier days
in the valley. He sees the stream shine,
the church stand, hears the litter of
children's voices. A chill in the flesh
tells him that death is not far off
now: it is the shadow under the great boughs
of life. His garden has herbs growing.
The kestrel goes by with fresh prey
in its claws. The wind scatters the scent
of wild beans. The tractor operates
on the earth's body. His grandson is there
ploughing; his young wife fetches him
cakes and tea and a dark smile. It is well.

R S Thomas

joulukuu 30, 2019, 11:20 am

Nowadays that grandson would have moved to {xxxxx} as soon as he left school and become an internet pimp. The earth heaves a sigh...

joulukuu 31, 2019, 11:25 am

Happy new year to all you tight arses
The emperor is wearing some new clothes.
Smarten up for the year quickly passes
Left behind facing a future that knows
politicians will always look down their nose,
while we keep our heads down studying our books;
our albums our games our sport and our foes.
Spenserian almost this rhyming scheme,
Buried in the Tudors is my new theme
As I party tonight up on the hill
A new year dawns with a climate extreme:
that shouts and hollers till i've had my fill.
No one tonight will have anything to say
Which makes me look forward to New years day.

tammikuu 1, 2020, 1:54 am

Happy New Year Bas

tammikuu 1, 2020, 8:21 am

>96 baswood: Bravissimo!

tammikuu 1, 2020, 8:21 am

And happy new year to all you wild thinkers.

tammikuu 2, 2020, 3:46 am



tammikuu 2, 2020, 7:00 am

The sonnet by Eavan Boland was one of those to adorn inside the London Tube so that bored commuters would be forced to read poetry as well as the adverts.

tammikuu 3, 2020, 11:34 am


I thought it made me look more 'working class'
(as if a bit of chequered cloth could bridge that gap!)
I did a turn in it before the glass.
My mother said: It suits you, your dad's cap.
(She preferred me to wear suits and part my hair:
You're every bit as good as that lot are!)

All the pension queue came out to stare.
Dad was sprawled beside the postbox (still VR) ,
his cap turned inside up beside his head,
smudged H A H in purple Indian ink
and Brylcreem slicks displayed so folks migh think
he wanted charity for dropping dead.

He never begged. For nowt! Death's reticence
crowns his life, and me, I'm opening my trap
to busk the class that broke him for the pence
that splash like brackish tears into our cap.

Tony Harrison

tammikuu 3, 2020, 11:36 am

>102 baswood: I know Tony Harrisons poem has 16 lines but in his opinion it is a 16 line sonnet.

tammikuu 5, 2020, 6:04 am

A City's Death By Fire
After that hot gospeller has levelled all but the churched sky,
I wrote the tale by tallow of a city's death by fire;
Under a candle's eye, that smoked in tears, I
Wanted to tell, in more than wax, of faiths that were snapped like wire.
All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales,
Shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar;
Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales
Torn open by looting, and white, in spite of the fire.
By the smoking sea, where Christ walked, I asked, why
Should a man wax tears, when his wooden world fails?
In town, leaves were paper, but the hills were a flock of faiths;
To a boy who walked all day, each leaf was a green breath
Rebuilding a love I thought was dead as nails,
Blessing the death and the baptism by fire.
Derek Walcott

tammikuu 6, 2020, 4:59 pm


I thought I saw in my heart a flock of crows,
          over my inside moors with their funeral swoops,
                    big crows down from famous mountains,
passing in moonlight, lamplight.

Like grief, like a circling over graves,
          they smell zebra flesh,
                    they plane down my spine in a shiver of ice—
at the beak a dangle of meat.

And this spoil licked by the demons of night
          was nothing else than my own Life in tidbits—
                    my own vast boredom circling upon her every minute,

ripping off mouthfuls—
          my soul, fleshrot dropped on a field of days
for those old crows to chew down whole.

Émile Nelligan (1879-1941)
trans. Anne Carson, Float, 2016

tammikuu 8, 2020, 10:09 am

New poets for me - always a good thing

tammikuu 8, 2020, 10:10 am

"To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage" by Robert Lowell

"It is the future generation that presses into being by means of
these exuberant feelings and supersensible soap bubbles of ours."

"The hot night makes us keep our bedroom windows open.
Our magnolia blossoms. Life begins to happen.
My hopped up husband drops his home disputes,
and hits the streets to cruise for prostitutes,
free-lancing out along the razor's edge.
This screwball might kill his wife, then take the pledge.
Oh the monotonous meanness of his lust. . .
It's the injustice . . . he is so unjust--
whiskey-blind, swaggering home at five.
My only thought is how to keep alive.
What makes him tick? Each night now I tie
ten dollars and his car key to my thigh. . . .
Gored by the climacteric of his want,
he stalls above me like an elephant."

tammikuu 8, 2020, 1:51 pm

Crow Sonnet
My wings once had I rarely used, a crow's
Prerogative, a corvid's couture
oh, mandatory at meetings, inure,
If never mentioned etiquette for those
Less formal fiends among our flockary
By which I mean our Europes and Asian
All winged gray (rained shit on Vespasian)(they say)
And we: youth unaloof caw mockery
For we, too, aim our venomous faeces...
Incontinence! This continent of fools--
I mean, of course, those humans, fetid ghouls
Rebel! A mere mad caw in sane species.

Caw Murder! Teach the sparrows, teach the wrens!
A higher call for order once again.

tammikuu 8, 2020, 3:18 pm

Crow Blacker Than Ever
By Ted Hughes
When God, disgusted with man,
Turned towards heaven,
And man, disgusted with God,
Turned towards Eve,
Things looked like falling apart.
But Crow Crow
Crow nailed them together,
Nailing heaven and earth together-
So man cried, but with God’s voice.
And God bled, but with man’s blood.
Then heaven and earth creaked at the joint
Which became gangrenous and stank-
A horror beyond redemption.
The agony did not diminish.
Man could not be man nor God God.
The agony
Crying: “This is my Creation,” Flying the black flag of himself.

tammikuu 8, 2020, 3:53 pm

I think he meant tarred doves.

tammikuu 9, 2020, 10:20 am

Amoretti LXII

The weary year his race now having run,
The new begins his compassed course anew:
With shew of morning mild he hath begun,
Betokening peace and plenty to ensue.
So let us, which this change of weather view,
Change eke our minds, and former lives amend;
The old year's sins forepast let us eschew,
And fly the faults with which we did offend.
Then shall the new year's joy forth freshly send
Into the glooming world his gladsome ray:
And all these storms, which now his beauty blend,
Shall turn to calms, and timely clear away.
     So likewise, Love! cheer you your heavy sprite,
     And change old year's annoy to new delight.

Edmund Spenser

tammikuu 9, 2020, 10:38 am

>106 baswood:

Anything you can find by Anne Carson will be worth your attention in my experience.

tammikuu 9, 2020, 1:24 pm

Good old Edmund - very appropriate

tammikuu 9, 2020, 6:43 pm

The Eyes of the Dead

The eyes of dead arrested face upwards
Nature and we survivors must hold eggs
As if a spinning oblate lumpen orb
Mistakes a moment, stout, up, for forwards.
soft...boiled: tis writ on every chicken leg
the mind such ephemerae won't absorb.
Persistence BE thy name—not folly, though,
For process must be interchanged with game
Lest lost: a skeleton rolled head to side:
Both slick and dry our eggs skid, roll, and blow
Atomic as though directed by name
As though there's two should dolts among us hide.

Grim truth: I gave my love a gold locket
But first a perfect egg in each socket

tammikuu 9, 2020, 6:53 pm

Ricks on an egg roll. number thirty please

tammikuu 10, 2020, 6:39 am

>115 baswood: Have I got to finish this myself:

Ricks on an egg roll. Number thirty please:
Plastic containers choke the burning deck
Jump! an option: Geez I can't feel my knees;
Solution as ever to write a blank cheque.
A swarm from on high it must be the bees
A buzz and a spark to ignite the bare trees
Koala country a furry pelt band
Roasting atop of an old dreaming land.
Canned music no proxy for the real thing
to live to search to void the dead hand
or at least to escape the real bee sting,
of money to find a new piston ring.

Bare arms not me I'm no Davy Crockett
I keep my hands away from my pocket.

tammikuu 10, 2020, 7:15 am


tammikuu 12, 2020, 5:24 am

An Elegy by Alexander Pushkin
The senseless years' extinguished mirth and laughter
Oppress me like some hazy morning-after.
But sadness of days past, as alcohol -
The more it age, the stronger grip the soul.
My course is dull. The future's troubled ocean
Forebodes me toil, misfortune and commotion.

But no, my friends, I do not wish to leave;
I'd rather live, to ponder and to grieve -
And I shall have my share of delectation
Amid all care, distress and agitation:
Time and again I'll savor harmony,
Melt into tears about some fantasy,
And on my sad decline, to ease affliction,
May love yet show her smile of valediction.

tammikuu 14, 2020, 6:17 am

O wary Wisdom of the Man, that would
That Carthage Towres from Spoil should be forborn!
To th' end that his victorious People should
With cankring Leisure not be overworn;
He well foresaw, how that the Roman Courage,
Impatient of Pleasure's faint Desires,
Through Idleness, would turn to civil Rage,
And be her self the Matter of her Fires.
For in a People given all to Ease,
Ambition is engendred easily;
As in a vicious Body, gross Disease
Soon grows through Humours Superfluity.
That came to pass, when swoln with Plenty's Pride,
Nor Prince, nor Peer, nor Kin they Would abide.

Extract from the Ruins of Rome by Joachim du Bellay translated by Edmund Spenser

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 17, 2020, 11:16 am

The Muse

The muse, that cabal of demonic clowns,
Never reveals without hiding, parcel-
Ing out omniscience like Zeno slicing
Cheese for beggars. What shadow overgrown,
Substanceless, lent aspect by need for farce,
A frail streetlight picked up for enticing
A lost imagination while disguised
As born, a lesser night violation,
The shadow, nothing really, a hunter
Of imagery: see the vermy brain prised—
Squirm, misplaced intestinal sensation!
The shadow, nothing really, is hunted
By minds alternately barren, bereft,
Shocked to stone density by shadow's heft.

tammikuu 16, 2020, 2:06 pm

keep on musing!

tammikuu 17, 2020, 7:04 am

I went down to the library, you know
the big one, took out my scripto pencil,
My spiral notebook: not any old Joe
Wrote down these words my brain springing tensile:
I'm a dud firecracker, ain't got no fuse
I'm a flattened out wave ain't got no curl
I'm going down slow cos I lost that muse
I'm opening up oysters can't find a pearl
Got no inspiration; think I'm braindead
Went to the desert where are you now
Doctors put electrodes into my head
Reaching upwards to find that golden bough
Went for a word but the fickle bitch barks
I need more than crossed wires to find some sparks

Apologies to Loudon Wainwright III's Muse Blues.

tammikuu 17, 2020, 10:39 am

Now finished book 2 of Anthony Burgess' The Malayan Tragedy where one of the characters talks of bad poetry and Robert Herrick :

by Robert Herrick

HELP me ! help me ! now I call
To my pretty witchcrafts all ;
Old I am, and cannot do
That I was accustomed to.
Bring your magics, spells, and charms,
To enflesh my thighs and arms ;
Is there no way to beget
In my limbs their former heat ?
Æson had, as poets feign,
Baths that made him young again :
Find that medicine, if you can,
For your dry, decrepit man
Who would fain his strength renew,
Were it but to pleasure you.

tammikuu 17, 2020, 11:10 am

The Malayan Trilogy is to my left, shoulder high, about seven inches from my reach, an easy grab, a lean that doesn't hurt at all. I can't remember if I read the third one.
I enjoyed the first two.
I thought it might be important to re-read Earthly Powers a month or so ago, and I was astonished by how off-putting it was.

tammikuu 18, 2020, 10:32 am

>124 RickHarsch:

I concur on Earthly Powers. I recall slogging through to the end many years ago seeking, and never finding, grounds for all the fuss. In all the 400+? pages I found two worthwhile sentences: the brilliant opening one and, much later, a witty description of Mahalingham's feast.

tammikuu 18, 2020, 5:25 pm

A Sentence from the Malayan Trilogy:

“Celibacy is not merely unknown in Islam it is unintelligible."

tammikuu 18, 2020, 6:13 pm

I thought I liked it the first time around, but it was only a few years ago and I remember almost nothing.

tammikuu 19, 2020, 10:06 am

So what follows Robert Herrick >123 baswood: The Earl of Rochester of course

Regime de Vivre

I rise at eleven, I dine about two,
I get drunk before seven; and the next thing I do,
I send for my whore, when for fear of a clap,
I spend in her hand, and I spew in her lap.
Then we quarrel and scold, 'till I fall fast asleep,
When the bitch, growing bold, to my pocket does creep;
Then slyly she leaves me, and, to revenge the affront,
At once she bereaves me of money and cunt.
If by chance then I wake, hot-headed and drunk,
What a coil do I make for the loss of my punk!
I storm and I roar, and I fall in a rage,
And missing my whore, I bugger my page.
Then, crop-sick all morning, I rail at my men,
And in bed I lie yawning 'till eleven again.

-- John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

tammikuu 19, 2020, 10:49 am

Here hear!

tammikuu 19, 2020, 2:59 pm

nah, can't be real

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 19, 2020, 3:01 pm

>127 RickHarsch: I remember it as quite funny.

But then again, I am easy to please.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 19, 2020, 9:33 pm

I might have thought it funny, too. I did not slog through it.

tammikuu 21, 2020, 8:22 am

from the sonnets to Orpheus by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Robert Temple

There the tree rises. Oh pure surpassing!
Oh Orpheus sings! Oh great tree of sound!
And all is silent, And from this silence arise
New beginnings, intimations, changings.

From the stillness animals throng, out of the clear
Snapping forest of lair and nest;
And thus they are stealthy not from cunning
Not from fear

But to hear. And in their hearts the howling, the cry,
The stag-call seem too little. And where before
Was but the rudest shelter to receive these,

A refuge fashioned out of darkest longing
Entered, tremulo, the doorpost aquiver, -
There You have fashioned them a temple for their hearing.

tammikuu 21, 2020, 11:22 am

There's a great book by William Gass on translating Rilke.

tammikuu 23, 2020, 8:56 am

'No worst, there is none.

No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief
Woe, wórld-sorrow; on an áge-old anvil wince and sing —
Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked 'No ling-
ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief."'

O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.

tammikuu 23, 2020, 9:17 am


tammikuu 25, 2020, 8:02 am

One Certainty

Vanity of vanities, the Preacher saith,
All things are vanity. The eye and ear
Cannot be filled with what they see and hear.
Like early dew, or like the sudden breath
Of wind, or like the grass that withereth,
Is man, tossed to and fro by hope and fear:
So little joy hath he, so little cheer,
Till all things end in the long dust of death.
To-day is still the same as yesterday,
To-morrow also even as one of them;
And there is nothing new under the sun:
Until the ancient race of Time be run,
The old thorns shall grow out of the old stem,
And morning shall be cold and twilight grey.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

tammikuu 25, 2020, 10:27 am

I wonder why, in line 11, Rossetti chooses 'under' rather than 'beneath', which reads more smoothly.

tammikuu 25, 2020, 4:14 pm

>138 librorumamans: Perhaps she wanted to keep the Biblical imagery 'Nothing new under the sun' is from the book of Ecclesiastes. Her first line "the Preacher Saith" sets the tone for the poem - just a thought.

tammikuu 25, 2020, 5:55 pm

>139 baswood:

I expect you're right.

tammikuu 27, 2020, 11:26 am

Solar Creation

The Sun of whose terrain we creatures are,
Is the director of all human love,
Unit of time, and circle round the earth,

And we are the commotion born of love
And slanted rays of that illustrious star,
Peregrine of the crowded fields of birth,

The crowded lane, the market and the tower.
Like sight in pictures, real at remove,
Such is our motion on dimensional earth.

Down by the river, where the ragged are,
Continuous the cries and noise of birth,
While to the muddy edge dark fishes move,

And over all, like death, or sloping hill,
Is nature, which is larger and more still.

Charles Madge

tammikuu 29, 2020, 5:41 pm

Cards and Kisses

CUPID and my Campaspe play'd
At cards for kisses--Cupid paid:
He stakes his quiver, bow, and arrows,
His mother's doves, and team of sparrows;
Loses them too; then down he throws
The coral of his lips, the rose
Growing on 's cheek (but none knows how);
With these, the crystal of his brow,
And then the dimple of his chin:
All these did my Campaspe win.
At last he set her both his eyes--
She won, and Cupid blind did rise.
O Love! has she done this for thee?
What shall, alas! become of me?

John Lyly

tammikuu 31, 2020, 12:23 pm

Translation from Boethius
De Consolatione Philosophie

Though countless as the grains of sand
That roll at Eurus' loud command;
Though countless as the lamps of night
That glad us with vicarious light;
Fair plenty, gracious Queen, shou'd pour
The blessings of a golden show'r,
Not all the gifts of fate combin'd
Would ease the hunger of the mind,
But swallowing all the mighty store,
Rapacity would call for more;
For still where wishes most abound
Unquench'd the thirst of gain is found;
In vain the shining gifts are sent,
For none are rich without content.

Samuel Johnson

helmikuu 2, 2020, 8:18 am

To the River Otter

Dear native brook! wild streamlet of the West!
How many various-fated years have passed,
What happy and what mournful hours, since last
I skimmed the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps! Yet so deep impressed
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey,
And bedded sand that, veined with various dyes,
Gleamed through thy bright transparence! On my way,
Visions of childhood! oft have ye beguiled
Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs:
Ah! that once more I were a careless child!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

helmikuu 3, 2020, 1:07 am

His Grandfather's Friend

He led his men on strike against the bosses
»An automated life is sacrifice—
You'll pay for food for rent for spirit lost.«
He knew every advance came with reprise.
A country poor before the war is ill.
Suburban Milano is aptly called
The architecture functionally bland
Where fields exist the poor are poorly sprawled
No floral windowed villas stoutly stand
Men paid to brandish pipes of lead appeared
»Our fasces need not tolerate you reds.«
The first our man had heard thugs use that word
His brothers, wolves, brought pipes down on his head.
A country poor before the war grotesque.

He lay, one man, the blood still pooled, congealed
The steps of fascined crows now stalked the field
Where thrown the bodies of the workers killed

helmikuu 3, 2020, 5:33 am

The voice of protest. I love the line Where fields exist the poor are poorly sprawled

helmikuu 3, 2020, 7:44 am

Fleshing out the life of Guiseppe Pinelli.

helmikuu 4, 2020, 4:16 am

American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin But there never was a black male hysteria
Terrance Hayes - 1971-

But there never was a black male hysteria
Breaking & entering wearing glee & sadness
And the light grazing my teeth with my lighter
To the night with the flame like a blade cutting
Me slack along the corridors with doors of offices
Orifices vomiting tears & fire with my two tongues
Loose & shooing under a high-top of language
In a layer of mischief so traumatized trauma
Delighted me beneath the tremendous
Stupendous horrendous undiscovered stars
Burning where I didn’t know how to live
My friends were all the wounded people
The black girls who held their own hands
Even the white boys who grew into assassins

helmikuu 4, 2020, 6:56 am


Muokkaaja: helmikuu 7, 2020, 10:31 am

Sonnet to a balloon laden with knowledge

Bright ball of flame that through the gloom of even
Silently takest thine aethereal way,
And with surpassing glory dimm'st each ray
Twinkling amid the dark blue depths of Heaven,--
Unlike the fire thou bearest, soon shalt thou
Fade like a meteor in surrounding gloom,
Whilst that, unquenchable, is doomed to glow
A watch-light by the patriot's lonely tomb;
A ray of courage to the oppressed and poor;
A spark, though gleaming on the hovel’s hearth,
Which through the tyrant’s gilded domes shall roar;
A beacon in the darkness of the Earth;
A sun which, o'er the renovated scene,
Shall dart like Truth where Falsehood yet has been.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

helmikuu 7, 2020, 9:42 am

From 145, the prose that results from using the sonnet for notes:

He led them out on strike against the bosses. I would have gone, but I was still recovering from tuberculosis (sometimes he said gout, or pneumonia). You know, Fredo, he always told them »An automated life is sacrifice, you'll pay for food for rent...for spirit lost!« For spirit lost...that's what he said.
I know, Papa. By now even Pino had it memorized. In earlier years, when his lucidity had some endurance Nono would say that Antonio Corvino was the anti-Mussolini, that had the reds struck first they would have prevailed, and his friend had all the qualities to lead a new nation, reformed, for the masses.
He never, you know, Fredo, he never sat on his, he never stopped to eat his victories. He told me once, he warned his men, he knew that every advance brought its reprise.
You remember what it was like Fredo. Before the war. We never had much, we worked hard—
Hah! Sure Papa, when you had work...
A country poor before the war is ill, Antonio Corvino said when he first understood that some indefinable transmogrification was taking place among the populace, that the confusion of rudderless statesmenship, of war hideous, embarrassments of losses and ossuaries taking in more bones than churches, yet on the side of victory, that some indefinable transmogrification was taking place: what should have been mocked was applauded, the bald midget taking up arms, choosing Fiume, yes, choosing, for once mustered in Monfalcone they had to go somewhere, and it had to be east—reason itself seethed among the uniforms that had to mean something different after the retreat to the Piave. For those like Antonio Corvino those years were tensely out of focus, something bad was coming but able only to identify its nature and not its corporeal aspect they were at best taking arms to bed to defeat nightmares.
Pino thought a lot about his living space. Suburban Milano is aptly called, he thought with the exactitude of the wandering mind of youth. The architecture functionally bland. Nono farmed this land and now where fields exist the poor are poorly sprawled. Some gardens have a month or two of fructivorous fancy, no less delusional than the ten barren months...
Where, Pino wondered, how far, lives the nearest rich man? No floral windowed villas stoutly stand where farmers once communed. An adolescent's poetic acknowledgement of the step, the abyss.
Certainly by then Nono was crazy, repetitive, but that's how history is drilled into the minds of youth, history or propaganda: Pino got history, the idiocy of the march to the east, the artifice of irredentism, even, if you believe Nono's version of Antonio Corvino, the risorgimento itself. Not the victory memorialized by lighthouses, but the defeat that engendered men paid to brandish pipes of lead appeared in the field that were fields no more. »Our fasces will not tolerate you reds,« they said and men were beaten, some dead from one blow, Corvino caught by surprise by the force of it all, the first our man had heard thugs use that word, fasces, his brothers, wolves, brought pipes down on his head.
A country poor before the war grotesque.
And as for Antonio Corvino, a legend if only to our man Pino, he lay, one man, the blood still, pooled, congealed, and Pino imagined the steps of fascined crows now stalked the field where thrown the bodies of those workers killed, taken in trucks just out of sight of their families where they were found beneath the cypruses, rowed to order. Repetition: an order arranged by slaughter, chaos most deadly, leaving space for arrangement.
This was Pino's history lesson, his philosphy lesson, and he laughed, sardonic, his language lesson.

helmikuu 7, 2020, 10:33 am

>151 RickHarsch: and where is it from Rick?

helmikuu 7, 2020, 7:14 pm

>152 baswood:, If I understand your question, Bas, it's new material that is just being added to The Assassination of Olof Palme, a People's Novel, my giant anthological novel (want to contribute?) (the goal is 50 authors' writing integrated into the text...I'm over 20 can take on an assignment, or well, what I did with mr. Iriley, I asked him to tell me about the famous US torturer and teacher of torture, Dan Mitrione. And I just put what he wrote directly into the book as a document the authors needed...another example, my son't guitar peddler and maker told me a good Tito joke that went in, so he's an author...)

The heart of the novel is the murdered anarchist Guiseppe Pinelli, and I figured it was time to start inserting little bits here and there. I started and this came out immediately: "The muse, that cabal of demonic clowns,
Never reveals without hiding, parcel-
Ing out omniscience like Zeno slicing
Cheese for beggars." And I thought: I'm writing too many sonnets, that sounds like a sonnet. So I wrote the sonnet. Then I wove the sonnet into the first piece on Pino. This one is the second. It looks like I may be imprisoned by this new method for the Pino sections.

helmikuu 8, 2020, 4:11 am

What a great idea Rick. Sonnets for Pino.
I would be happy to submit something if you want...................

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 8, 2020, 6:41 am

Great. I will get you an idea when I think of one. An assignment. There is one outstanding assignment--two people have volunteered then opted out of the Klaus Barbie assignment.
When Barbie had escaped from Lyon back into Germany he fell in easily with a network of Nazi generals, many of whom were in Augsburg working for the US military, mainly to set up a defense against a Soviet invasion that was never going to happen, but eventually to try to get some decent spying done, which did not happen either. Anyway, a linguist working for the US discovered that the notorious wanted war criminal Barbie was in town, and he went to tell his boss, who promptly told him to shut the fuck up and never mention again, to anyone.
I imagine the guy returning to his office forlorn...and who should turn up first? Klaus. I am looking for someone to write the consolation talk Barbie had with him.

ETA: the main requirements are that the author have fun writing it and feel free to make it his or her own. I suppose in this case some very dark humor would emerge.

(for those who don't know, the US kept Barbie from the French using the excuse that they needed his experties, the Surete was roiling with commies anyway...And in 1951 they exfiltrated him to S. America, where he enjoyed more than 30 years of wealth...)

helmikuu 8, 2020, 7:01 am

by John Donne

I FIX mine eye on thine, and there
Pity my picture burning in thine eye ;
My picture drown'd in a transparent tear,
When I look lower I espy ;
Hadst thou the wicked skill
By pictures made and marr'd, to kill,
How many ways mightst thou perform thy will?

But now I've drunk thy sweet salt tears,
And though thou pour more, I'll depart ;
My picture vanished, vanish all fears
That I can be endamaged by that art ;
Though thou retain of me
One picture more, yet that will be,
Being in thine own heart, from all malice free.

helmikuu 10, 2020, 10:22 am

Bears in War Time

With gait ursine all bears migrate from war
zone bombs, perhaps like animals climbing hills
in preparation for the tidal bar-
rage that nature's shaky prophecy fulfills.
From Bosna bears with stealth walked to Switz-
erland, and I can't help but laugh that they
like humans found the single place that fits
the two bizarre needs of a Nazi, say,
I mean a Nazi on the run, together--
as human as can be--indifference
and teeth of gold (death-plucked, now hid nether).
No barrier, no border, barbed wire fence
prevent the Bosna bears from going where
the moment offers life without a care

helmikuu 11, 2020, 1:31 pm

John Milton. 1608–1674

318. On His Blindness

WHEN I consider how my light is spent
E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide,
Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present 5
My true account, least he returning chide,
Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts, who best 10
Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and waite.

helmikuu 13, 2020, 9:00 am

They neuer then had sprung like Sommer Flyes:
I, and ten thousand in this lucklesse Realme,
Had left no mourning Widdowes for our death,
And thou this day, had'st kept thy Chaire in peace.
For what doth cherrish Weeds, but gentle ayre?
And what makes Robbers bold, but too much lenity?
Bootlesse are Plaints, and Curelesse are my Wounds:
No way to flye, no strength to hold out flight:
The Foe is mercilesse, and will not pitty:
For at their hands I haue deseru'd no pitty.
The ayre hath got into my deadly Wounds,
And much effuse of blood, doth make me faint:
Come Yorke, and Richard, Warwicke, and the rest,
I stab'd your Fathers bosomes; Split my brest.

Shakespeare (from Henry VI part 3)

helmikuu 16, 2020, 3:07 am

The Pity of It
April 1915
I walked in loamy Wessex lanes, afar
From rail-track and from highway, and I heard
In field and farmstead many an ancient word
Of local lineage like 'Thu bist,' 'Er war,'

'Ich woll', 'Er sholl', and by-talk similar,
Nigh as they speak who in this month's moon gird
At England's very loins, thereunto spurred
By gangs whose glory threats and slaughters are.

Then seemed a Heart crying: 'Whosoever they be
At root and bottom of this, who flung this flame
Between kin folk kin tongued even as are we,

'Sinister, ugly, lurid, be their fame;
May their familiars grow to shun their name,
And their brood perish everlastingly.'

helmikuu 17, 2020, 1:03 am

Sing to the fish, embrace the beast.
But don't get up from the pond
With half your body a horse's body
Or wings from your backbone.
Sleep as a man beside the sleeping wolves
Without longing for a special sky
To darken and fur your hands.
Animals, do not kill for the human heart
Which under breasts of scale or flesh will cry.
O swallow, be a heart in the wind's high breast,
River the limbs of the sky with your singing blood
The dead are beginning to breathe :
I see my father splashing light like a jewel
In the swamp's black mud.

— Leonard Cohen, collected 1961

helmikuu 17, 2020, 3:10 am

Ahh Leonard Cohen, an early poem from the date?

helmikuu 17, 2020, 9:43 am

>162 baswood:

The anthology I have doesn't specify the original date or collection.

helmikuu 18, 2020, 6:37 am

On Seeing the Elgin Marbles
My spirit is too weak—mortality
Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,
And each imagined pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship tells me I must die
Like a sick eagle looking at the sky.
Yet ’tis a gentle luxury to weep
That I have not the cloudy winds to keep
Fresh for the opening of the morning’s eye.
Such dim-conceived glories of the brain
Bring round the heart an undescribable feud;
So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,
That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude
Wasting of old time—with a billowy main—
A sun—a shadow of a magnitude.

helmikuu 20, 2020, 4:57 pm

There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound—
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.

helmikuu 22, 2020, 5:52 am

She left with others alone to herself
The entrance to the underground station;
She ate with others at a self service;
She sat with others in a laundromat,
But one time I saw her standing apart
In front of the shop selling bric-a-brac
She left with others from the office block;
She pressed herself with others through market stalls
She sat with others around a sand pile,
At a window she was playing chess alone,
She spread herself with others on the lawn,
She laughed with others in front of some glass;
She shouted crushed on a roller coaster,
And then I saw her alone in my dreams

After Peter Handke's The Left-handed Woman.

helmikuu 24, 2020, 9:57 pm

A. E. Housman

No one, not even Cambridge, was to blame
(Blame if you like the human situation):
Heart-injured in North London, he became
The Latin Scholar of his generation.

Deliberately he chose the dry-as-dust,
Kept tears like dirty postcards in a drawer;
Food was his public love, his private lust
Something to do with violence and the poor.

In savage foot-notes on unjust editions
He timidly attacked the life he led,
And put the money of his feelings on

The uncritical relations of the dead,
Where only geographical divisions
Parted the coarse hanged soldier from the don.

— W. H. Auden
between 1933 and 1938

helmikuu 26, 2020, 9:12 am

Street benches - an anthology of troubled times
(with apologies to Camila Jose Cela)

Black market trader warily reclines
An old man seeking to ease his asthma
The priest reading his breviary lines
The printer lunches with his wife Alma.
A young girl worn out in her deep loves moan
The musician rests his horn on his knee
Reading a romance grossly overblown
While the little girl likes to watch men pee.
A blind woman waits for the hours to pass
A woman with cancer fighting the pain
As the typist gulps lunch coarse bread crass
The morons mouth gaping dribbles again
Broad bottomed girls fat sardines in excess
Impregnate the planks with stale smells of flesh

helmikuu 26, 2020, 9:31 am

Nice one.

helmikuu 27, 2020, 4:01 am

We first recognised each other as if we were siblings,
and when we held hands your touch
made me stupidly happy.

Hold my hand, you said in the hospital .

You had big hands, strong hands, gentle
as those of a Mediterranean father
caressing the head of a child.

Hold my hand , you said. I feel
I won't die while you are here.

You took my hand on our first aeroplane
and in opera houses, or watching
a video you wanted me to share.

Hold my hand, you said. I'll fall asleep
and won't even know you're not there.

Elaine Feinstein

helmikuu 28, 2020, 10:10 am

Theatre going in Elizabethan times.

Fuscus is free, and hath the world at will;
Yet in the course of life that he doth lead,
He's like a horse which, turning round a mill,
Doth always in the self-same circle tread:
First, he doth rise at ten; and at eleuen
He goes to Gyls, where he doth eate till one;
Then sees a Play till sixe, and sups at seven;
And after supper, straight to bed is gone;
And there till ten next day he doth remaine,
And then he dines, and sees a Comedy;
And then he suppes, and goes to bed againe:
Thus round he runs without variety,
Saue that sometimes he comes not to the Play,
But falls into a whore-house by the way.

Sir John Davies

Wearing a border of rich Pearle and stone,
Esteemed at a thousand crownes alone,
To see a certaine Interlude, repaires,
To shun the press, by dark and priuat staires.
Her Page did beare a Torch that burnt but dimly.
Two cozening mates, seeing her deckt so trimly,
Did place themselues vpon the stayres to watch her,
And thus they laid their plot to cunny-catch her:
One should as 'twere by chance strike out the light;
While th'other that should stand beneath her, might
Attempt, (which modestie to suffer lothes)
Rudely to thrust his hands vnder her clothes.
That while her hands repeld such grosse disorders,
His mate might quickly slip away the borders.

Sir John Harrington

helmikuu 28, 2020, 3:15 pm

>171 baswood:

Theatre-going has become less risky for the audience; we can be thankful for electricity.

In the late '70s a group of us used to book a week in Stratford (Ontario) when Robin Phillips was Artistic Director of the festival. Our days were much like Fuscus' excepting – as far as I know – the bawdy house diversions. Those were Stratford's golden years: Maggie Smith, Peter Ustinov, Margaret Tyzack, Nicholas Pennell, and many others in unforgettable productions.

helmikuu 28, 2020, 6:49 pm

172 Sounds idyllic - good memories

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 28, 2020, 11:05 pm

The Wisdom of Old Jelly Roll

How all men wrongly death to dignify
Conspire, I tell. Parson, poetaster, pimp,
Each acts or acquiesces. They prettify,
Dress up, deodorize, embellish, primp,
And make a show of Nothing. Ah, but met-
aphysics laughs: she touches, tastes, and smells
– Hence knows – the diamond holes that make a net.
Silence resettled testifies to bells.
"Nothing" depends on "Thing", which is or was:
So death makes life or makes life's worth, a worth
Beyond all highfalutin' woes or shows
To publish and confess. "Cry at the birth,
Rejoice at the death," old Jelly Roll said,
Being on whisky, ragtime, chicken, and the scriptures fed.

A. J. M. Smith (1902-1980)

maaliskuu 1, 2020, 4:04 am

Let them not seek to discover who I was
from all that I have done and said.
An obstacle was there that transformed
the deeds and the manner of my life.
An obstacle was there that stopped me
many times when I was about to speak.
Only from my most imperceptible deeds
and my most covert writings--
from these alone will they understand me.
But perhaps it isn't worth exerting
such care and such effort for them to know me.
Later, in the more perfect society,
surely some other person created like me
will appear and act freely.

Constantine P. Cavafy (unpublished poems)

maaliskuu 1, 2020, 4:10 am

>174 librorumamans: excellent final line - captures Jelly Roll Morton if nothing else.

maaliskuu 1, 2020, 10:23 am

>176 baswood:

The Jelly Roll comment reminds me of a quote attributed to Mark Twain:

Why do we rejoice at a christening and mourn at a funeral? Is it because we are not the person involved?

>175 baswood: I mourn that I am unable to read the Cavafy in Greek.

maaliskuu 5, 2020, 8:37 am

Mine be the strength of spirit, full and free,
Like some broad river rushing down alone,
With the selfsame impulse wherewith he was thrown
From his loud fount upon the echoing lea;–
Which with increasing might doth forward flee
By town, and tower, and hill, and cape, and isle,
And in the middle of the green salt sea
Keeps his blue waters fresh for many a mile.
Mine be the power which ever to its sway
Will win the wise at once, and by degrees
May into uncongenial spirits flow;
Even as the warm gulf-stream of Florida
Floats far away into the Northern seas
The lavish growths of southern Mexico.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

maaliskuu 5, 2020, 10:45 am

>178 baswood:

A modest man, that Tennyson; self-effacing even!

maaliskuu 5, 2020, 11:13 am


maaliskuu 7, 2020, 4:10 am

There never yet was flower fair in vain,
Let classic poets rhyme it as they will;
The seasons toil that it may blow again,
And summer's heart doth feel its every ill;
Nor is a true soul ever born for naught;
Wherever any such hath lived and died,
There hath been something for true freedom wrought,
Some bulwark levelled on the evil side:
Toil on, then, Greatness! thou art in the right,
However narrow souls may call thee wrong;
Be as thou wouldst be in thine own clear sight,
And so thou shalt be in the world's erelong;
For worldlings cannot, struggle as they may,
From man's great soul one great thought hide away.

James Russell Lowell

maaliskuu 8, 2020, 2:19 pm

Mediocrity, too:
we ask far more from you

maaliskuu 9, 2020, 11:40 am

Bad enough, not to have trekked the Himalayas
or smoked a pipe in the back of a Volkswagen bus
with Storm the mechanic, who, with blessings from us
changed the oil filter en route to enlightenment.
Let's just say you were part of my dimmer days;
I turned the lights down low to cosmic bliss,
laughed at the spirit, in spirits, excited the men.
A corporeal slant. And all I wanted was this:

one little piece of that five-and-dime belief,
a novelty axe to hack at the bottom of numbers
on your PC screen. I wanted hand relief -
that is, the gentle touch just before you go under.
Nothing profound, nothing deep. Which is why
I let you drill that Black and Decker into my third eye.

Eva Salzman

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 10, 2020, 1:47 pm

Advice for a Black Hole After Its First Portrait

Consider, you are a black hole !
You are unique !
No other black hole
bends light and matter
like you do.
Your portrait, we know, isn't flattering,
blurs your dark side.
Two dimensions isn't you.
You are so many dimensions !
Let other black holes be obscure.
You are seen ! You draw in the vasty reaches
and make them part of you.
Black hole, compared to you, a mere star
Is nothing.

— Robert Thompson in Nautilus #29, p. 19
(I can't find a link to this text on the Nautilus web site.
ETA link to NASA image.)

maaliskuu 10, 2020, 7:55 pm

This space this annaly retentive hole
Where everything goes in nothing comes out
Sucking in matter deceiving the troll
Blowing through ectasy close to blackout
Come close! circle feel the relentless pull
Gravity burns the time space continuum
Setting free stars from Orions pocketful
of emptiness, no trace no residuum.
Black horror black widow spiders bite
unconscious, braindead massive relief
from the endless straightjacket padded night
repeatedly becomes the leitmotif
the poet spiralling out of control
Space oddity mixed deep in the soul

maaliskuu 12, 2020, 10:15 am

Bas on target...

maaliskuu 15, 2020, 6:59 am


(Two sonnets)


The Costa Blanca! Skies without a stain!

Eric and I at almond-blossom time

Came here and fell in love with it. The climb

Under the pine trees, up the dusty lane

To Casa Kenilworth, brought back again

Our honeymoon, when I was in my prime.

Good-bye democracy and smoke and grime{:}

Eric retires next year. We're off to Spain!

We've got the perfect site beside the shore,

Owned by a charming Spaniard, Miguel,

Who says that he is quite prepared to sell

And build our Casa for us and, what's more,

Preposterously cheaply. We have found

Delightful English people living round.

HE (Five years later)

Mind if I see your Mail? We used to share

Our Telegraph with people who've returned -

The lucky sods! I'll tell you what I've learned:

If you come out here put aside the fare

To England. I'd run like a bloody hare

If I'd a chance, and how we both have yearned

To see our Esher lawn. I think we've earned

A bit of what we had once over there.

That Dago caught the wife and me all right!

Here on this tideless, tourist-littered sea

We're stuck. You'd hate it too if you were me:

There's no piped water on the bloody site.

Our savings gone, we climb the stony path

Back to the house with scorpions in the bath.

John Betjeman

maaliskuu 19, 2020, 3:15 pm

"While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry"

While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry
And blackening east that so embitters March,
Well-housed must watch grey fields and meadows parch,
And driven dust and withering snowflake fly;
Already in glimpses of the tarnish'd sky
The sun is warm and beckons to the larch,
And where the covert hazels interarch
Their tassell'd twigs, fair beds of primrose lie.
Beneath the crisp and wintry carpet hid
A million buds but stay their blossoming;
And trustful birds have built their nests amid
The shuddering boughs, and only wait to sing
Till one soft shower from the south shall bid,
And hither tempt the pilgrim steps of spring.

Robert Bridges

maaliskuu 19, 2020, 7:16 pm

>188 baswood: Nicely timed!

maaliskuu 23, 2020, 6:48 pm

'For I Have wings equipped to fly
Up to the high vault of the sky
Once these are harnessed, your swift mind
Views earth with loathing, far behind;
Climbs through the sphere of boundless air,
Surveys the clouds below it there;
Up through the sphere of fire can go,
Ablaze with aether's supple flow;
Then to the starry halls can run,
Merge with the pathways to the sun,
Or join the frozen Ancient's car
As escort for the fiery star,
Or stellar orbit retraverse,
Where glints of dappled night disperse.

From Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy translated by P G Walsh

maaliskuu 27, 2020, 8:52 am

On the Death of Richard West
In vain to me the smiling Mornings shine,
And reddening Phœbus lifts his golden fire;
The birds in vain their amorous descant join;
Or cheerful fields resume their green attire;
These ears, alas! for other notes repine,
A different object do these eyes require;
My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine;
And in my breast the imperfect joys expire.
Yet Morning smiles the busy race to cheer,
And new-born pleasure brings to happier men;
The fields to all their wonted tribute bear;
To warm their little loves the birds complain;
I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hear,
And weep the more because I weep in vain.

maaliskuu 27, 2020, 11:23 am

1948 Italy

The clocks of war unstressed by death and horr-
ors fresh yet somehow redolent of old-
endured cat's ass tropes free to fold unfold
and tell what's told and not of peace and gore.
Oh Hindued forests thoughts of origin!
Determined indeterminate was man
In nature, as Einstein proved, without plan.
Yet dates survive in mind deranged again.
Valerio, Baldini, Loreto:
Hah! Here's election nineteen-forty-eight:
Cascading dollar bills prolong the hates
Of war in pieces, fascists fixed and so
Again the clocks, the lies of time and men:
Italia, you have been had again.

maaliskuu 27, 2020, 5:56 pm

Italia 2020 is in an even sorrier state?
Keep safe and healthy across the border.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 27, 2020, 6:28 pm

Thanks. If there is no new variable--such as a catastrophic explosion of cases in the south--Italy has passed its peak of new infections. France should reach its peak of new infections within this coming week.
(from modelling done at my ex-university that I can't figure out how to share...The modelling has been used by scientists around the world: people are contacting this guy for advice for their governments)

maaliskuu 27, 2020, 7:29 pm

Virus is as virus does its days work;
The scores on the doors watching hours passing,
Digging for victory don't be a berk
Your Country needs you! leaders are saying:
No country for old men so stop your breathing
just die quietly you ain't no young Turk,
Think of others who can carry the torch
In your space where opportunities lurk.
Pushing shoving keeping the flame held high
Olympic scenes in a rotten old church.
You gaze through windows at a world gone awry,
Little time left as you peer through the murk;
Tasting lastic bands zinging through dentures
Rubbing out thoughts of more criminal ventures.

maaliskuu 27, 2020, 7:49 pm

A bit late for a comradely sonnet, but you deserve support Bas. so tomorrow:
Viral Crimes in rhyming times.

maaliskuu 28, 2020, 12:48 pm

What's In It For Me?

What's new in ignoring the older folk?
Subterr is wherefrom fear of zombies came
Hey dirt rot leper face I know your name
Uncle Max, Aunt Clare: sit down please let's talk.
Oh shit--it's tortoise versus hair I'm fucked.
Unfair! You never said you hate the home
that time I came and asked 'That shrivelled gnome?'
I meant to say your life was short on luck.
This forest of your friends has me unnerved
What pallor range! From lead to pustulent;
That smell: warm mold and quickening lament!
Oh sure, crowd round if that's what I deserve.
Mere fright, I've come to think of you as life,
poor substitute for bitch and moan and strife.

maaliskuu 28, 2020, 5:36 pm

Is it true that if you recover from the virus you turn into a zombie, that is if you weren't already a zombie.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 28, 2020, 8:14 pm

Nope. The zombies are neglected old folks arisen from the fears of the neglecting younguns.

Sorry, I guess you got that.

huhtikuu 2, 2020, 7:18 pm

On the Lord general Fairfax

FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
Filling each mouth with envy or with praise,
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze,
And rumours loud that daunt remotest kings;
Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings 5
Victory home, though new rebellions raise
Their Hydra heads, and the false North displays
Her broken league to imp their serpent-wings.
O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand
(For what can war but endless war still breed?) 10
Till truth and right from violence be freed,
And public faith cleared from the shameful brand
Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed,
While avarice and rapine share the land.

John Milton

huhtikuu 17, 2020, 3:00 pm

From Elegy XIII (Ovid)

Would Tithon might but talk of thee awhile,
Not one in heaven should be more base and vile.
Thou leav’st his bed because he’s faint through age,
And early mount’st thy hateful carriage;
But held’st thou in thine arms some Cephalus,
Then wouldst thou cry, “Stay night, and run not thus.”
Dost punish me because years make him wane?
I did not bid thee wed an aged swain.
The moon sleeps with Endymion every day;
Thou art as fair as she, then kiss and play.
Jove, that thou shouldst not haste but wait his leisure,
Made two nights one to finish up his pleasure.
I chid no more; she blushed, and therefore heard me,
Yet lingered not the day, but morning scared me.

Translated by Christopher Marlowe (early 1590's) modern English spelling.

toukokuu 19, 2020, 8:37 am

Robert Lowell and the sonnet

"During his early years in England, Lowell's relationship to sonnets was like King Midas's to gold. If he had a thought, it became a sonnet. If he had a dream or a feeling or a memory, it could be encapsulated in 14 lines. It was octet/sextet all the way, even if some of the sonnets didn't obey any rules for the making of sonnets. When he wasn't writing sonnets, he was revising them, moving lines from one to another, giving them new titles, putting them in a new order. He turned old poems into sonnets, in the process ruining some of them...... He used bits of his mother's diary..... Anyones words could be appropriated.

Colm Tóibín (from London Review of Books)

"To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage"
Robert Lowell - 1917-197

"It is the future generation that presses into being by means of
these exuberant feelings and supersensible soap bubbles of ours."


"The hot night makes us keep our bedroom windows open.
Our magnolia blossoms. Life begins to happen.
My hopped up husband drops his home disputes,
and hits the streets to cruise for prostitutes,
free-lancing out along the razor's edge.
This screwball might kill his wife, then take the pledge.
Oh the monotonous meanness of his lust. . .
It's the injustice . . . he is so unjust—
whiskey-blind, swaggering home at five.
My only thought is how to keep alive.
What makes him tick? Each night now I tie
ten dollars and his car key to my thigh. . . .
Gored by the climacteric of his want,
he stalls above me like an elephant."

toukokuu 19, 2020, 7:20 pm

The sonnets are back!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 24, 2020, 3:34 pm

To a Millionaire*

The world in gloom and splendour passes by,
And thou in the midst of it with brows that gleam,
A creature of that old distorted dream
That makes the sound of life an evil cry.
Good men perform just deeds and brave men die,
And win not honour such as gold can give,
While the vain multitudes plod on, and live,
And serve the curse that pins them down: But I
Think only of the unnumbered broken hearts,
The hunger and the mortal strife for bread,
Old age and youth alike mistaught, misfed,
By want and rags and homelessness made vile,
The griefs and hates, and all the meaner parts
That balance thy one grim misgotten pile.

Archibald Lampman (1861–1899)

* adjusted for inflation, should read "Billionaire"
(looking at you Jeff Bezos)

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 25, 2020, 5:42 pm


Upon the Marriage of two deaf and Dumb persons

Their lips upon each other's lips are laid;
Strong moans of joy, wild laughter, and short cries
Seem uttered in the passion of their eyes.
He sees her body fair and fallen head,
And she the face whereon her soul is fed;
And by the way her white breasts sink and rise,
He knows she must be shaken by sweet sighs;
But all delight of sound for them is dead.
They dance a strange, weird measure, who knows not
The tune to which their dancing feet are led;
Their breath in kissing is made doubly hot
With flame of pent-up speech; strange light is shed
About their spirits, as they mix and meet
In passion-lighted silence, 'tranced and sweet.

Philip Bourke Marston 1850-1887

toukokuu 30, 2020, 7:26 pm

Came across this when reading Angels & insects by A S Byatt.

The Ants

What wonder strikes the curious, while he views
The black ant's city, by a rotten tree,
Or woodland bank! In ignorance we muse:
Pausing, annoy'd,--we know not what we see,
Such government and thought there seem to be;
Some looking on, and urging some to toil,
Dragging their loads of bent-stalks slavishly:
And what's more wonderful, when big loads foil
One ant or two to carry, quickly then
A swarm flock round to help their fellow-men.
Surely they speak a language whisperingly,
Too fine for us to hear; and sure their ways
Prove they have kings and laws, and that they be
Deformed remnants of the Fairy-days.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 3, 2020, 12:22 pm

On Reading Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate

Dear friend, don't be intimidated
By this, a novel penned in verse:
Perhaps you have anticipated
That it will be obscure or worse —
Solemn, pretentious, and "poetic".
Relax! You'll need no anaesthetic.
Our author tells his tale with style
And wit and charm. Before long, I'll
Bet, you'll find yourself engrossed in
Each stanza of this narrative
Of love and lust, of take and give,
Of modern times. Let's drink a toast in
Honour of the nerve it took
To publish this amazing book.

— Anon.

kesäkuu 3, 2020, 5:23 pm

Book reviews as sonnets - yeah! right on

kesäkuu 4, 2020, 6:31 pm

In the Bistro

A says 'Your right. He's brilliant but not sound.
This place has the true European fug.'
'Authentic' B inhales it like a drug.
Tomorrow they will vote, and X be found
wanting. 'We know his kind my boy. Once bitten.....
The others will be easy to convince.
Let's try Caucasian whatsit' (Curried mince.)
It must be twenty years since A has written
a useful word, B begs him to relate
old victories in academic wrangling.
He dreams of his promotion while A pours
a wine not too assertive. His hands wait
lax at his chest. One thinks of the small dangling
forelegs of the flesh-eating dinosaurs.

Gwen Harwood

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 7, 2020, 6:59 pm

Invective against courtesans by Robert Greene

What meant the Poets in invectiue verse,
To sing Medeas shame, and Scillas pride,
Calipsoes charmes, by which so many dyde?
Onely for this their vices they rehearse,
That curious wits which in this world converse,
May shun the dangers and enticing shoes,
of such false Syrens, those home-breeding foes,
That from their eyes their venim do disperse.
So soone kils not the Basiliske with sight,
The Vipers tooth is not so venemous,
The Adders tung not halfe so dangerous,
As they that beare the shadow of delight,
Who chaine blinde youths in tramels of their haire,
Till wast bring woe, and sorrow hast despaire.

kesäkuu 16, 2020, 5:56 pm

The Halted Moment

Wha hasna turn'd inby a sunny street
And fund alang its length nae folk were there;
And heard his step fa' steadily and clear
Nor wauken ocht but schedows at his feet.
Shuther to shuther in the reemlin heat
The houses seem'd to hearken and to stare;
But a' were doverin whaur they stude and were
Like wa's ayont the echo o' time's beat.
Wha hasna thocht whan atween stanes sae still,
That had been biggit up for busyness,
He has come wanderin into a place
Lost, and forgotten, and unchangeable;
And thocht the far-off traffic sounds to be
The weary waters o' mortality.

William Soutar

kesäkuu 16, 2020, 6:41 pm

I'm on the way back, fans, enemies, nightmare sufferers, dogcatchers, field mice, drifters, plainsmen, horseriders, scat dancers, bescumberers, Flems, Bulgars, Wends, fisherfolk, all of ye.

kesäkuu 17, 2020, 5:15 am

With a sonnet Rick?

kesäkuu 17, 2020, 6:49 am

I'm not that far back yet. I've been preparing a book for publication--received $4000 and then had it rejected without it having been actually read, and the rest of the energy has mostly gone toward publishing through corona/samizdat, pocket books, the first finished, An Angel of Sodom by David Vardeman: pocket? 148mm by 105! Fits in the front pocket of my jeans.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 17, 2020, 7:12 am

To publish a book one need not be divine
Tis money one needs, not literature
Can anything in this life be said pure?
Just give me money and I'll quiet my whine

Voltaire, a pimp, Jim Joyce another mick
That Melville whaler can play with his cock
An inanimate thing, a brick or rock
With money can be made an NYT pick

I descended from writer to ed: Chief
A manuscript chosen: off to the bank
No thought if brilliant or if the book stank
Now a pocket book new, cause folk like things brief

Ten dollars per and its off to the post
Your option read or eat with milqed toast

kesäkuu 18, 2020, 11:58 am

Old Threadkiller strikes again. But I SHANT be silent!

next line please

kesäkuu 18, 2020, 12:50 pm

The best melons in France come from Lectour

kesäkuu 18, 2020, 2:41 pm

I eat them early or drink grampos nectar

kesäkuu 19, 2020, 9:36 am

Juiced on the loose, sticky on this years tour

kesäkuu 19, 2020, 7:29 pm

rhyme with silent, pal

loose juiced, a sticky sack of frying tyrant (?)

kesäkuu 20, 2020, 12:17 pm

which works a treat glorious avatar

kesäkuu 22, 2020, 8:00 am

a flaming fluid gory succubine

kesäkuu 22, 2020, 3:06 pm

Bacchus Waits on heart attack and vine

kesäkuu 23, 2020, 3:46 pm

Oh Tommy sailor--easy on the brine

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 23, 2020, 5:13 pm

Make salty dog salutations divine

kesäkuu 23, 2020, 6:24 pm

Threadkiller inspired: a drunk comeback!

kesäkuu 24, 2020, 7:33 am

Ack-ack to that: under the radar Jack?

kesäkuu 30, 2020, 4:43 pm

Meanwhile while reading Edward the Second by Christopher Marlowe I came across a speech by Gaveston which could bear a title to the sonnet that follows or perish the thought a fifteen line sonnet:

I must have wanton poets, pleasant wits:

Musicians, that with touching of a string
May draw the pliant king which way I please:
Music and poetry is his delight;
Therefore I'll have Italian masks by night,
Sweet speeches, comedies, and pleasing shows;
And in the day, when he shall walk abroad,
Like sylvan nymphs my pages shall be clad;
My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns,
Shall with their goat-feet dance the antic hay;
Sometime a lovely boy in Dian's shape,
With hair that gilds the water as it glides
Crownets of pearl about his naked arms,
And in his sportful hands an olive-tree,
To hide those parts which men delight to see......

heinäkuu 4, 2020, 1:45 pm


Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate,
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet, as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time’s unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

— Claude McKay
Poetry Foundation

heinäkuu 7, 2020, 4:51 pm

Samuel Daniel one of the Elizabethan soniteers following in the footsteps of Petrarch. He wrote fifty sonnets bemoaning his love for Delia, most of which are uninspiring. No wonder she gave him a succession of disdainful looks for all his troubles. My favourite is:

Sonnet XLV.

Care-charmer sleepe, sonne of the Sable night,
Brother to death, in silent darknes borne:
Relieue my languish, and restore the light,
With darke forgetting of my cares returne
And let the day be time enough to morne,
The shipwrack of my ill-aduentred youth:
Let vvaking eyes suffice to vvayle theyr scorne,
Without the torment of the nights vntruth.
Cease dreames, th'ymagery of our day desires,
To modell foorth the passions of the morrow:
Neuer let rysing Sunne approue you lyers,
To adde more griefe to aggrauat my sorrow.
Still let me sleepe, imbracing clovvdes in vaine;
And neuer vvake, to feele the dayes disdayne.

heinäkuu 8, 2020, 1:21 pm

In an email a friend has pointed out to me that Patrick Stewart is reading through Shakespeare's sonnets — one each day — on Instagram. I'm not on Instagram, but if you are check out sirpatstew

heinäkuu 8, 2020, 7:03 pm

>231 librorumamans: Thanks for the heads up

heinäkuu 21, 2020, 11:50 am

Many times the young Archer
had already tried to wound my breast
with his arrows, because he takes pleasure
in showing contempt for and inflicting injury on others;
and although those arrows were sharp and fierce,
so much so that a diamond couldn’t have withstood the blow,
nonetheless they found such a resistant target
that he had little regard for all their power.
So he, full of indignation and fury,
In order to give proof of his exalted excellence,
Changed quiver, changed arrow and bow;
and he fired one with such violence
that I still grieve over my wounds,
and I confess and acknowledge his power.

Niccolo Machiavelli

heinäkuu 28, 2020, 6:43 pm

Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
From dusty bondage into luminous air.
O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
When first the shaft into his vision shone
Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
Who, though once only and then but far away,
Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 30, 2020, 6:15 am

Hmmm that is not an easy poem to get to grips with, but well worth thinking about and so for a complete contrast:

The Glove of the Live Lady

Her glove! It was rare Ben who sung it,
That best of gloves of the lady dead!
Another's here, as one had flung it
In anger at her lover's head.
Was it but this that it was made for,
One of a pair perhaps he'd paid for,
To have it favored in this fashion?
But gloves are gloves, and passion's passion!
And he, it may be, liked her better
For her rich anger as she threw it:
'Twas worth a glove to so upset her
And know he had the power to do it,
So he might kiss the white hands after
Her passion turned to tears and laughter!

Robert Crawford

heinäkuu 29, 2020, 7:58 pm

>235 baswood:

That's why I so enjoy the metaphysical poets!

heinäkuu 30, 2020, 9:50 pm

. . . and again:

I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body’s weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity,—let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay

elokuu 21, 2020, 3:48 pm

Anne Hathaway
from The World's Wife

'Item I gyve unto my wife my second best bed ...'
(from Shakespeare's will)

The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas
where we would dive for pearls. My lover's words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights, I dreamed he'd written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer's hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love -
I hold him in the casket of my widow's head
as he held me upon that next best bed.

Carol Ann Duffy

elokuu 21, 2020, 4:32 pm

>238 baswood:

Excellent! And a new poet to meet now that the libraries have reopened.

syyskuu 4, 2020, 5:54 pm

The Prisoners of Love

Trapped in their tower, the prisoners of love
Loose their last message on the failing air.
The troops of Tyre assault with fire the grove
Where Venus veils with light her lovely hair.

Trembles the tide beneath the tall martello
That decks the harbour with its wreck of thunder,
Fretting with flowers white and flowers yellow
The fosse of flame into its last surrender.

NIght, on my truckle-bed your ease of slumber
Sleep in salt arms the steering night away,
Abandoned in the fireship moon, one ember
Glows with the rose that is the distant day.

The prisoners rise and rinse their skies of stone,
But in their jailers' eyes they meet their own.

Charles Causley

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 19, 2020, 3:37 pm

An anarchist must be utopian
supporting equal strikers and women
in shirt and pants and ties fallopian:
their laughter free incites to violence
the Pope's own fascists. Makes a lot of sense,
you know: their abuses include the sacred
word union--free sex--carping per diem,
speeches without megaphones: How flagrant!
At night in Trastavere you'll see em
They park in parks encloaked in dark alone
freed genitals resacralize nine holes
and whatever else they get up to stoned.
Ask Spartacus how best to use light poles!

Pasolini (asshole! weenie!), please die
where wretched-made land/sea line meets the sky

syyskuu 14, 2020, 7:19 pm

While we wait for Rick's next four lines ......................


How often have I carried our family word
For the hot water bottle
To a strange bed,
As my father would juggle a red-hot half-brick
In an old sock
To his childhood settle.
I have taken it into so many lovely heads
Or laid it between us like a sword.

An hotel room in New York City
With a girl who spoke hardly any English,
My hand on her breast
Like the smouldering one-off spoor of the yeti
Or some other shy beast
That has yet to enter the language.


Muokkaaja: syyskuu 23, 2020, 6:00 pm

I think Gilbert Sorrentino added a line, or removed one

syyskuu 30, 2020, 3:40 am

1973, 4-Stroke, 600 ccs
Peter Spagnuolo

I just wanted to ride the thing, not toil
curbside, wrenching on a stripped-out bolt –
bowing on blacktop, pledged to a mystery cult
of grimy devotion – when it broke, and tranny oil
loosed down my arm, warm, gloving my wrist
in metamorphic ooze, that whiff of hell
spun through her gears, a dirty Zinfandel
of shifting struggle, and I could taste the schist,
the underworlds in her. To keep it running –
this iron mistress weeping from her seals –
it’s steady work: but paid off in delight
when her frame shimmies between the legs, gunning
the empty highway in black unspooling night,
and she surges, takes me with her over the hills.

Published in the LRB

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 2, 2020, 4:13 am

One of a series of Elizabethan Love sonnets from Henry Constable from the collection known as Diana:

Ready to seek out death in my disgrace,
My mistress 'gan to smooth her gathered brows,
Whereby I am reprievèd for a space.
O hope and fear! who half your torments knows?
It is some mercy in a black-mouthed judge
To haste his prisoner's end, if he must die.
Dear, if all other favour you shall grudge,
Do speedy execution with your eye;
With one sole look you leave in me no soul!
Count it a loss to lose a faithful slave.
Would God, that I might hear my last bell toll,
So in your bosom I might dig a grave!
Doubtful delay is worse than any fever,
Or help me soon, or cast me off for ever!

And another one:

Each day, new proofs of new despair I find,
That is, new deaths. No marvel then, though I
Make exile my last help; to th'end mine eye
Should not behold the death to me assigned.
Not that from death absence might save my mind,
But that it might take death more patiently;
Like him, the which by judge condemned to die,
To suffer with more ease, his eyes doth blind.
Your lips in scarlet clad, my judges be,
Pronouncing sentence of eternal "No!"
Despair, the hangman that tormenteth me;
The death I suffer is the life I have.
For only life doth make me die in woe,
And only death I for my pardon crave.

lokakuu 8, 2020, 10:35 pm


Well, November's hit Paris again.
The Times records a mean temperature
Of thirty-eight. Bunched about the Madeleine,
Flower sellers ostrich the future
With their noses rigorously immersed
In stale roses. Or so I remember.
Incredibly, it was the twenty-first
Last week. And my affections turned out limber
After all: oh Stephen, we'd have been
Married now. I've still got our
China, some broken, and some linen
But the first I've really thought of you for
Months was just tonight when with my fork
Suspended I was saying how I loved New York.

— Louise Glück

lokakuu 9, 2020, 6:11 am

lokakuu 15, 2020, 11:03 am

Sonnet V

Excerpt from In Time of War
by W. H. Auden

His care-free swagger was a fine invention:
Life was to slow, too regular, too grave.
With horse and sword he drew the girls’ attention,
A conquering hero, bountiful and brave,

To whom teen-agers looked for liberation:
At his command they left behind their mothers,
Their wits were sharpened by the long migration,
His camp-fires taught them all the horde were brothers.

Till what he came to do was done: unwanted,
Grown seedy, paunchy, pouchy, disappointed,
He took to drink to screw his nerves to murder,

Or sat in offices and stole,
Boomed at his children about Law and Order,
And hated life with heart and soul

lokakuu 24, 2020, 1:39 pm

To My Mother

Most near, most dear, most loved, and most far,
Under the huge window where I often found her
Sitting as huge as Asia, seismic with laughter,
Gin and chicken helpless in her Irish hand,
Irresistible as Rabelais but most tender for
The lame dogs and hurt birds that surround her,—
She is a procession no one can follow after
But be like a little dog following a brass band.

She will not glance up at the bomber or condescend
To drop her gin and scuttle to a cellar,
But lean on the mahogany table like a mountain
Whom only faith can move, and so I send
O all her faith and all my love to tell her
That she will move from mourning into morning.

George Barker

lokakuu 24, 2020, 2:49 pm

>249 baswood:

A lovely portrait!

I'm puzzled by the 'O' that begins the penultimate line.

lokakuu 24, 2020, 4:36 pm

>250 librorumamans: I thought it might have been a typo (my typo after an excellent glass or two of champagne) but no it is as printed in the penguin modern poet's series. That does not stop it being puzzleing.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 25, 2020, 4:08 pm

Which excellent Champagne makes you write typos ?

lokakuu 25, 2020, 6:11 pm

>252 Macumbeira: It was a bottle of Collard-Picard cuvée des Merveilles Premier Cru - Rosé
We were celebrating my French Citizenship with came through on Friday.

lokakuu 26, 2020, 3:22 pm

a rosé de saigné ? I can't but applaud your choice.
Mes félicitations Bas, you are now officially a frog. : )

lokakuu 30, 2020, 1:05 pm

A Due Commendation of the Quipping Author

Greene the cony-catcher, of this dream the author,
For his dainty device deserveth the halter,
A rake-hell, a makeshift, a scribbling fool,
A famous Bayard in city and school,
Now sick as a dog, and ever brainsick,
Where such a raving and desperate Dick?
Sir-reverence, a scurvy Master of Art,
Answered enough with a Doctor's fart.
He scorns other answer, and Envy salutes
With shortest vowels, and with longest mutes.
For farther trial, himself he refers
To proof and sound judgment, that seldom errs.
Now good Robin Good-fellow, and gentle Greene-sleeves,
Give him leave to be quiet that none aggrieves.

Gabriel Harvey?

What did Robert Greene do to deserve this - well he did bad mouth Shakespeare.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 2, 2021, 12:02 am

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, —
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

— Wilfred Owen

marraskuu 11, 2020, 5:29 pm

>256 librorumamans: good to see this on Remembrance Day

marraskuu 15, 2020, 6:35 pm

Roddy Lumsden, “Yeah Yeah Yeah”

No matter what you did to her, she said,
There’s times, she said, she misses you, your face
Will pucker in her dream, and times the bed’s
Too big. Stray hairs will surface in a place
You used to leave your shoes. A certain phrase,
Some old song on the radio, a joke
You had to be there for, she said, some days
It really gets to her; the way you smoked
Or held a cup, or her, and how you woke
Up crying in the night sometimes, the way
She’d stroke and hush you, and how you broke
Her still. All this she told me yesterday,
Then she rolled over, laughed, began to do
To me what she so rarely did with you.

marraskuu 17, 2020, 10:11 am

HI folks, advert here: several of my sonnets were used in prose passages about Giuseppe Pinelli in The Assassination of Olof Palme, an anthological novel by Rick Harsch et al. The first volume just came out. If interested check here:

thanks, back to the publishing sworld

marraskuu 27, 2020, 6:14 pm


Glaucoma won't let my mother knit:
fine wool is a problem, her most intricate stitch

no longer viable. Unravelling doesn't require sight.
Look into her eyeball and you'll see light

receptors twinkling like stars. Ganglion cells die,
darken the supernovae,

lovely eclipses for others to see
in our intimate, sighted jelly.

On the coast, each village had a different style
of fisherman's sweater, they say. The tide

reads blackberry stitch like Braille
with dexterous pressure, untangling the wool

of tendons. Tears are a retreating sea
full of dark fish swimming. Knit one, purl three.

Gwyneth Lewis

joulukuu 3, 2020, 5:36 pm

Shakespeare Richard III from Richard's opening soliloquy:

But I-that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass-
I-that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph-
I-that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them-
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.

joulukuu 3, 2020, 11:25 pm

That brings vividly back to mind seeing Brian Bedford play Richard alongside Maggie Smith forty-some years ago. His portrayal was one of those electrifying theatre experiences that make one reluctant to see anyone else tackle the role again.

joulukuu 17, 2020, 7:12 pm

“The Middle of a War,” Roy Fuller

My photograph already looks historic.
The promising youthful face, the matelot’s collar,
Say ‘This one is remembered for a lyric.
His place and period—nothing could be duller.’

Its position is already indicated—
The son or brother in the album; pained
The expression and the garments dated,
His fate so obviously preordained.

The original turns away: as horrible thoughts,
Loud fluttering aircraft slope above his head
At dusk. The ridiculous empires break like biscuits.
Ah, life has been abandoned by the boats—
Only the trodden island and the dead
Remain, and the once inestimable caskets.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 23, 2020, 2:28 pm

The accendino fire too cold to light
His cigarette in fascist post war jail
The Pope will come, the Pope will come all right!
Why me, where jailors carry pipes to scale

And cops' batons are made of solid oak
'A sceptre boys, is best', the Pope will say
'To stab out eyes, to gouge out hearts, and choke
These commie atheists who think today

Intends to tolerate a dogma past
That war and hell on earth has left behind!'
My back was cracked, when Licia angeli-
ic flew through mists of fascist blood, refined

She waits for me outside the fascist walls:
A woman, Gramsci-read, to brace my fall

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 20, 2020, 2:11 pm

Marxists always suffer the most: and their women suffer the mostest.

joulukuu 23, 2020, 4:37 am

Festive facists dressed in the old corsage
And they come with a mighty entourage:
Dinner and diktats will all come to pass
over the heads of the poor serving class.
The American gangster and the Eton Mess;
Fat boy fiddlers whiter than driven snow,
Tune up the playbook of songs of duress
To launch again at their crude wild west show.
Bolsheviks can really get up ones nose;
Working within their insidious pride,
Beavering away to find a new rose
Committed to appear at your bedside.
Celebrate freedom friendship for now
Worrying not about the holy cow.

joulukuu 23, 2020, 11:49 am

Bravo Bas!

tammikuu 11, 2021, 4:12 am

George Chapman's coronet for his mistress philosophy

An Elizabethan sonneteer critical of other Elizabethan sonneteers.

"Muses that sing Love's sensual empery,
And lovers kindling your enragèd fires
At Cupid's bonfires burning in the eye,
Blown with the empty breath of vain desires,
You that prefer the painted cabinet
Before the wealthy jewels it doth store ye,
That all your joys in dying figures set,
And stain the living substance of your glory,
Abjure those joys, abhor their memory,
And let my love the honoured subject be
Of love, and honour's complete history;
Your eyes were never yet let in to see
The majesty and riches of the mind,
But dwell in darkness; for your god is blind."

maaliskuu 4, 2021, 4:07 pm

Moby Dick - poem by Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton

Moby-Dick In those days priests preached of whales—devils
they called them—their tiny eyes and pitchfork fins.
Ahab talked to the whale’s severed head, sphinx-
like and dumb as sand, said, “Tell me the secrets
of underwater breathing and small-boned fish.”
Moby-Dick’s ear was a mere pinprick, his heart
unreachable under all that flesh. Shark-

riddled waters and mermaid-lush islands

dotted Ahab’s maps, inspiring lust
and lunar dreaming. The crew liked to sing rounds
that sounded lovely when the whales joined.

 Even the harpooners swooned, teary-eyed,
their hands trembling like fish before they died.
When they hit the high notes—chords of angels.

huhtikuu 11, 2021, 8:23 am

“Miles Away,” Carol Ann Duffy

I want you and you are not here. I pause
in this garden, breathing the colour thought is
before language into still air. Even your name
is a pale ghost and, though I exhale it again
and again, it will not stay with me. Tonight
I make you up, imagine you, your movements clearer
than the words I have you say you said before.

Wherever you are now, inside my head you fix me
with a look, standing here whilst cool late light
dissolves into the earth. I have got your mouth wrong,
but still it smiles. I hold you closer, miles away,
inventing love, until the calls of nightjars
interrupt and turn what was to come, was certain,
into memory. The stars are filming us for no one.

huhtikuu 13, 2021, 5:16 am

Night Wind

Darkness like midnight from the sobbing woods
Clamours with dismal tidings of the rain
Roaring as rivers breaking loose in floods
To spread and foam and deluge all the plain
The cotter listens at his door again
Half doubting whether it be floods or wind
And through the thickening darkness looks afraid
Thinking of roads that travel has to find
Through night's black depths in danger's garb arrayed
And the loud glabber round the flaze soon stops
When hushed to silence by a lifted hand
Of fearing dame who hears the noise in dread
And thinks a deluge comes to drown the land
Nor dares she go to bed until the tempest drops

John Clare

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 13, 2021, 1:34 pm

>271 baswood:

Thanks for that! What little I knew of John Clare I had forgot. A sad story brought to recollection.

toukokuu 17, 2021, 7:05 pm

This one has been attributed to Shakespeare (its from The Passionate Pilgrim) it is missing a line.

Fair was the morn when the fair queen of love,
Paler for sorrow than her milk-white dove,
For Adon's sake, a youngster proud and wild;
Her stand she takes upon a steep-up hill:
Anon Adonis comes with horn and hounds;
She, silly queen, with more than love's good will,
Forbade the boy he should not pass1 those grounds:
"Once", quoth she, "did I see a fair sweet youth
Here in these brakes deep-wounded with a boar,
Deep in the thigh, a spectacle of ruth!
See, in my thigh", quoth she, "here was the sore."
She showed hers: he saw more wounds than one,
And blushing fled, and left her all alone.

toukokuu 20, 2021, 3:36 pm

Pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
– electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
          A world of made
is not a world of born – pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if – listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

      — e e cummings

toukokuu 21, 2021, 12:59 pm

Reading Thomas Nashe's Unfortunate Traveller (1594) I found this witty comment on his fellow Elizabethan Love poets "and truth it is, many become passionate lovers only to win praise to their wits." However he spoils his irony by almost immediately including one of his own sonnets:

If I must die, O let me choose my death;
Suck out my soul with kisses, cruel maid,
In thy breasts’ crystal balls embalm my breath,
Dole it all out in sighs when I am laid;
Thy lips on mine like cupping-glasses clasp,
Let our tongues meet and strive as they would sting,
Crush out my wind with one strait-girting grasp,
Stabs on my heart keep time whilst thou dost sing;
Thy eyes like searing-irons burn out mine,
In thy fair tresses stifle me outright,
Like Circes change me to a loathsome swine,
So I may live forever in thy sight;
Into heaven’s joys none can profoundly see,
Except that first they meditate on thee.

kesäkuu 1, 2021, 2:54 pm


The wind was in another country, and
the day had gathered to its heart of noon
the sum of silence, heat, and stricken time.
Not a ripple spread. The sea mirrored
perfectly all the nothing in the sky.
We had to walk about to keep our eyes
from seeing nothing, and our hearts from stopping
at nothing. Then most suddenly we saw
horizon on horizon lifting up
out of the sea's edge a shining mountain
sun-yellow and sea-green; against it surf
flung spray and spume into the miles of sky.
Somebody said mirage, and it was gone,
but there I have been living ever since.

— R. P. Blackmur (1904–1965)

kesäkuu 1, 2021, 6:23 pm

R P Blackmur is described as an autodidact and that can't be bad. I enjoyed his sonnet.

kesäkuu 1, 2021, 9:20 pm

I am admiring of people who are smart enough to be autodidacts and also smart enough to dodge becoming destructive kooks.

elokuu 3, 2021, 12:25 am

Menelaus And Helen

Hot through Troy's ruin Menelaus broke
To Priam's palace, sword in hand, to sate
On that adulterous whore a ten years' hate
And a king's honour. Through red death, and smoke,
And cries, and then by quieter ways he strode,
Till the still innermost chamber fronted him.
He swung his sword, and crashed into the dim
Luxurious bower, flaming like a god.

High sat white Helen, lonely and serene.
He had not remembered that she was so fair,
And that her neck curved down in such a way;
And he felt tired. He flung the sword away,
And kissed her feet, and knelt before her there,
The perfect Knight before the perfect Queen.

So far the poet. How should he behold
That journey home, the long connubial years?
He does not tell you how white Helen bears
Child on legitimate child, becomes a scold,
Haggard with virtue. Menelaus bold
Waxed garrulous, and sacked a hundred Troys
'Twixt noon and supper. And her golden voice
Got shrill as he grew deafer. And both were old.

Often he wonders why on earth he went
Troyward, or why poor Paris ever came.
Oft she weeps, gummy-eyed and impotent;
Her dry shanks twitch at Paris' mumbled name.
So Menelaus nagged; and Helen cried;
And Paris slept on by Scamander side.

— Rupert Brooke (born this day in 1887)

elokuu 8, 2021, 8:18 am

The Card Players

Jan van Hogspeuw staggers to the door
And pisses at the dark. Outside, the rain
Courses in cart-ruts down the deep mud lane.
Inside, Dirk Dogstoerd pours himself some more,
And holds a cinder to his clay with tongs,
Belching out smoke. Old Prijck snores with the gale,
His skull face firelit; someone behind drinks ale,
And opens mussels, and croaks scraps of songs
Towards the ham-hung rafters about love.
Dirk deals the cards. Wet century-wide trees
Clash in surrounding starlessness above
This lamplit cave, where Jan turns back and farts,
Gobs at the grate, and hits the queen of hearts.

Rain, wind and fire! The secret, bestial peace!

Philip Larkin

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 10, 2021, 7:25 am

Je me veux rendre Hermite, et faire penitence
De l’erreur de mes yeux pleins de temerité,
Dressant mon hermitage en un lieu deserté,
Dont nul autre qu’Amour n’aura la connoissance.
D’ennuis et de douleurs je feray ma pitance,
Mon bruvage de pleurs : et par l’obscurité
Le feu, qui m’ard le cueur, servira de clairté,
Et me consommera pour punir mon offense.
Un long habit de gris le corps me couvrira,
Mon tardif repentir sur mon front se lira,
Et le poignant regret, qui tenaille mon ame,
D’un espoir languissant mon baston je feray,
Et tousjours pour prier devant mes yeux j’auray
La peinture d’Amour & celle de Madame.
Philippe Desportes

Like to a Hermite Poore.

Like to a hermit poor in place obscure
I mean to spend my days of endless doubt,
To wail such woes as time cannot recure,
Where none but love will ever find me out

My food shall be of care and sorrow made
My drink nought else but tears fallen from mine eyes,
And for my light in such obscured shade
The flames shall serve which from my heart arise.

A gown of grey my body shall attire,
My staff of broken hope whereon I'll stay,
Of late repentance linked with long desire
The couch is framed whereon my limbs I'll lay,

And at my gate despair shall linger still,
To let in death when Love and Fortune will.

Sir Walter Ralegh

tammikuu 10, 2022, 6:02 pm


The flag is listless, limp. It dances not.
As deep the sea breathes from a gentle breast
As any bride who dreams at love's behest,
And wakes and sighs, then casts with dreams her lot.
Sails hang upon the masts—useless—forgot—
Like folded standards which the warriors wrest
And bring home broken from the battle's crest.
The sailors rest them in some sheltered spot.

O Sea! within your unknown deeps concealed,
When storms are wild, your monsters dream and sleep,
And all their cruelty for the sunlight keep.
Thus, Soul of Mine, in your sad deeps concealed
The monsters sleep—when wild are storms. They start
From out some blue sky's peace to seize my heart.

From sonnets from the Crimea by Adam Mickiewicz translated by Edna W. Underwood

tammikuu 11, 2022, 11:25 am

Started reading through the 154 sonnets of William Shakespeare. Starting with the first 17 so-called pro-creation sonnets

Number 12 is fairly well known:

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls, all silvered o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

But I prefer no. 15:

When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with decay
To change your day of youth to sullied night,
And all in war with Time for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

tammikuu 11, 2022, 12:57 pm

>283 baswood:

I agree. I hadn't read #15 with close attention for a long time. Thanks for encouraging that.

tammikuu 16, 2022, 1:12 pm

Shakespeares sonnets..18-27

my favourite no24

Mine eye hath play’d the painter and hath steel’d,
Thy beauty’s form in table of my heart;
My body is the frame wherein ’tis held,
And perspective it is best painter’s art.
For through the painter must you see his skill,
To find where your true image pictur’d lies,
Which in my bosom’s shop is hanging still,
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes.
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee;
Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art,
They draw but what they see, know not the heart.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 2022, 5:06 pm

>285 baswood:

These sonnets are for me like heav'n's bread
That falls by day and feeds me thru' the night;
I eye that dish that might stand in their stead
And know that these, not it, are my delight.

tammikuu 16, 2022, 5:26 pm

>286 librorumamans: Just another ten lines to go

tammikuu 21, 2022, 9:08 am

Shakespeare sonnets 28-49. There are a few in this section of the sonnets come in pairs and so 45 can be read as following on from 44. Earth and water fire and air.

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then despite of space I would be brought,
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.
No matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth remov’d from thee;
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land,
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But, ah! thought kills me that I am not thought,
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
But that so much of earth and water wrought,
I must attend time’s leisure with my moan;
Receiving nought by elements so slow
But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe.

The other two, slight air, and purging fire
Are both with thee, wherever I abide;
The first my thought, the other my desire,
These present-absent with swift motion slide.
For when these quicker elements are gone
In tender embassy of love to thee,
My life, being made of four, with two alone
Sinks down to death, oppress’d with melancholy;
Until life’s composition be recured
By those swift messengers return’d from thee,
Who even but now come back again, assured
Of thy fair health, recounting it to me:
This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,
I send them back again, and straight grow sad.

toukokuu 1, 2022, 11:43 pm

Wordsworth speaks to the way I'm feeling these days:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

toukokuu 2, 2022, 7:19 pm

>289 librorumamans: indeed - I wonder what Wordsworth would have thought about climate change?

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 7, 2022, 5:28 pm

From Zepheria printed anonymously in 1594

Canzon 5
ANON, Fear (Sentinel of sad Discretion!
Strangling Repentance in his cradle age!
Care’s Usher! Tenant to his own Oppression!)
Forced my thoughts’ quest upon an idle rage.
Enraged Passion (Scout to Love untrue!) 5
Commenting glosses on each smile and frown,
Christening the heavens and Erebus anew,
(Intolerable yoke to Love and Reason!
Footstool to all affects! Beauty’s sour handmaid!
The heart’s hermaphrodite, passive in action!) 10
Hope now serenes his brow, anon dismayed,
A pleasing death, a life in pleased distraction.
Thou on thy Mother, Fear! begot Despair;
To whom, my Fate conveys me son and heir.

kesäkuu 7, 2022, 11:41 pm

>291 baswood:

Is it me? Or is that pretty much incoherent?

Who is the Mother of Fear?

kesäkuu 8, 2022, 4:10 am

>292 librorumamans: Yes incoherent. I am still struggling with it, but I like some of the individual lines.

Is fear the mother that begot despair?

kesäkuu 8, 2022, 11:17 am

I was reading line 13 as:
Thou, Fear, on thy Mother begot Despair
although I see, on careful parsing, that 'thou' may refer to 'passion' in line 5:
Thou, Passion, on thy Mother, Fear, begot Despair.
Perhaps that makes sense; either way, I find the Oedipal allusion rather tangled.

kesäkuu 29, 2022, 10:54 am

From 1994, an unimplemented proposal for SONET to SONNET conversion for data transmission.

heinäkuu 1, 2022, 6:19 am

Glad it was unimplemented - owch

heinäkuu 1, 2022, 6:31 am

Time for another sonnet then:

Sonnet 25
Sometimes the night echoes to prideless wailing
Low as I hunch home late and fever-tired,
Near you not, nearing the sharer I desired,
Toward whom till now I sailed back... but that sailing
Yaws, from the cabin orders like a failing
Dribble, the stores disordered and then fired
Skid wild, the men are glaring, the mate has wired
Hopeless: Locked in, and humming, the Captain's nailing
A false log to the lurching table. Lies
And passion sing in the cabin on the voyage home,
The burgee should fly Jolly Roger: wind
Madness like the tackle of a crane (outcries
Ascend) around to heave him from the foam
Irresponsible, since all the stars rain blind.

John Berryman

He published his sonnet collection, but I have only read a few in his selected poems publication. Alcoholism or drinking seem to feature a great deal.

heinäkuu 3, 2022, 9:37 am

He was bipolar when not much was known about it and he self-medicated with alcohol.

heinäkuu 5, 2022, 10:11 am

>298 Crypto-Willobie: I have placed an order for the sonnet collection - should be winging its way to my post box as we speak.

heinäkuu 5, 2022, 10:13 am

SONNET I - Fulke Greville: Caelica

Love, the delight of all well-thinking minds ;
Delight, the fruit of virtue dearly lov'd ;
Virtue, the highest good, that Reason finds ;
Reason, the fire wherein men's thoughts be prov'd ;
Are from the world by Nature's power bereft,
And in one creature, for her glory, left.

Beauty, her cover is, the eyes' true pleasure ;
In Honour's fame she lives ; the ears' sweet music ;
Excess of wonder grows from her true measure ;
Her worth is Passion's wound, and Passion's physic ;
From her true heart, clear springs of wisdom flow,
Which imag'd in her words and deeds, men know.

Time fain would stay, that she might never leave her ;
Place doth rejoice, that she must needs contain her ;
Death craves of Heaven, that she may not bereave her ;
The heavens know their own, and do maintain her ;
Delight, Love, Reason, Virtue, let it be,
To set all women light, but only she.

An eighteen line sonnet starts off the sonnet collection by Fulke Greville.

heinäkuu 9, 2022, 7:03 pm


by Fulke Greville


Cupid, my pretty boy, leave off thy crying,
Thou shalt have bells or apples, be not peevish ;
Kiss me, sweet lad ; beshrew her for denying ;
Such rude denials do make children thievish.

Did Reason say that boys must be restrain'd?
What was it, tell ; hath cruel Honour chidden ?
Or would they have thee from sweet Myra wean'd ?
Are her fair breasts made dainty to be hidden ?

Tell me—sweet boy—doth Myra's beauty threaten ?
Must you say grace when you would be a-playing?
Doth she cause thee make faults, to make thee beaten ?

Is Beauty's pride in innocent's betraying ?
Give me a bow, let me thy quiver borrow,
And she shall play the child with Love or Sorrow.

heinäkuu 15, 2022, 7:16 pm

I think this poem would be more effective without lines 13-16. Their omission would leave a memorable sonnet. Reactions?

    Thoughts in a Zoo
    They in their cruel traps, and we in ours,
    Survey each other’s rage, and pass the hours
    Commiserating each the other’s woe,
 4  To mitigate his own pain’s fiery glow.
    Man could but little proffer in exchange
    Save that his cages have a larger range.
    That lion with his lordly, untamed heart
 8  Has in some man his human counterpart,
    Some lofty soul in dreams and visions wrapped,
    But in the stifling flesh securely trapped.
    Gaunt eagle whose raw pinions stain the bars
12  That prison you, so men cry for the stars!
    Some delve down like the mole far underground,
    (Their nature is to burrow, not to bound),
    Some, like the snake, with changeless slothful eye,
16  Stir not, but sleep and smoulder where they lie.
    Who is most wretched, these caged ones, or we,
    Caught in a vastness beyond our sight to see?

    — Countee Cullen

heinäkuu 16, 2022, 6:26 am

Immediate reaction - if you wished to make a sonnet then the final two lines could be employed to sum up or enforce the main theme of the poem and so it would make perfect sense to leave out lines 13-16. I agree 'less is more'.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 1, 2022, 10:29 am

Amour 11

Thine eyes taught mee the Alphabet of love,
To con my Cros-rowe ere I learn'd to spell;
For I was apt, a scholler like to prove,
Gave mee sweet lookes when as I learned well.
Vowes were my vowels, when I then begun
At my first Lesson in thy sacred name:
My consonants the next when I had done,
Words consonant, and sounding to thy fame.
My liquids then were liquid christall teares,
My cares my mutes, so mute to crave reliefe;
My dolefull Dypthongs were my lives dispaires,
Redoubling sighes the accents of my griefe:
My loves Schoole-mistris now hath taught me so,
That I can read a story of my woe.

Michael Drayton
This poem published in 1594 was part of his original sonnet sequence called Ideas Mirror.

syyskuu 1, 2022, 10:32 am

I enjoyed Amour 12 as well >304 baswood:

Some Atheist or vile Infidell in love,
When I doe speake of thy divinitie,
May blaspheme thus, and say I flatter thee,
And onely write my skill in verse to prove.
See myracles, ye vnbeleeving! see
A dumbe-born Muse made to expresse the mind,
A cripple hand to write, yet lame by kind,
One by thy name, the other touching thee.
Blind were mine eyes, till they were seene of thine,
And mine eares deafe by thy fame healed be;
My vices cur'd by vertues sprung from thee,
My hopes reviv'd, which long in grave had lyne:
All uncleane thoughts, foule spirits, cast out in mee
By thy great power, and by strong fayth in thee.

syyskuu 1, 2022, 10:16 pm

>304 baswood: & 305

Thanks for those! They are both new to me.

syyskuu 13, 2022, 7:02 pm

( 1 )

I wished, all the mild days of middle March
This special year, your blond good-nature might
(Lady) admit - kicking abruptly tight
With will and affection down your breast like starch -
Me to your story, in Spring, and stretch, and arch.
But who not flanks the wells of uncanny light
Sudden in bright sand towering? A bone sunned white.
Considering travellers bypass these and parch.

This came to less yes than an ice cream cone
Let stand...though still my sense of it is brisk:
Blond silky cream, sweet cold, aches: a door shut.
Errors of order! Luck lies with the bone,
Who rushed (and rests) to met your small mouth, risk
Your teeth irregular and passionate.

John Berryman

This is the first sonnet in John Berryman's Berryman's sonnets
There are 115 in the collection. His idea was to write a modern love sonnet sequence, a sort of modern version of the Elizabethan sonnet cycles.

I think the first five lines are brilliant and there is so much to enjoy throughout the poem. Wow what a great start.

syyskuu 26, 2022, 8:26 pm

A proem rather than a strict sonnet. Interesting, in this particular month, to have stumbled across this introduction to a longer work by a poet I've never encountered before:

In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen ELIZABETH

Although great Queen, thou now in silence lie,
Yet thy loud Herald Fame, doth to the sky
Thy wondrous worth proclaim, in every clime,
And so has vow'd, whilst there is world or time.
So great's thy glory, and thine excellence,
The sound thereof raps every human sense
That men account it no impiety
To say thou wert a fleshly Deity.
Thousands bring off'rings (though out of date)
Thy world of honours to accumulate.
'Mongst hundred Hecatombs of roaring Verse,
'Mine bleating stands before thy royal Hearse.
Thou never didst, nor canst thou now disdain,
T' accept the tribute of a loyal Brain.
Thy clemency did yerst esteem as much
The acclamations of the poor, as rich,
Which makes me deem, my rudeness is no wrong,
Though I resound thy greatness 'mongst the throng.

Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)

syyskuu 27, 2022, 4:04 pm

>308 librorumamans: New to me also. Elizabeth 1 died in 1603 well before Anne Bradstreet was born. I followed your link and then discovered there is much about her on Wiki - fascinating I will make a point of reading more

joulukuu 13, 2022, 10:15 pm

Naming the Animals

Having commanded Adam to bestow
Names upon all the creatures, God withdrew
To empyrean palaces of blue
That warm and windless morning long ago,
And seemed to take no notice of the vexed
Look on the young man's face as he took thought
Of all the miracles the Lord had wrought,
Now to be labelled, dubbed, yclept, indexed.

Before an addled mind and puddled brow,
The feathered nation and the finny prey
Passed by; there went biped and quadruped.
Adam looked forth with bottomless dismay
Into the tragic eyes of his first cow,
And shyly ventured, "Thou shalt be called 'Fred.' "

Anthony Hecht

tammikuu 6, 4:55 am

O Dreams, O Destinations
sonnet 9

To travel like a bird, lightly to view
Deserts where stone gods founder in the sand,
Ocean embraced in a white sleep with land;
To escape time, always to start anew.
To settle like a bird, make one devoted
Gesture of permanence upon the spray
Of shaken stars and autumns: in a bay
Beyond the crestfallen surges to have floated.
Each is our wish. Alas, the bird flies blind,
Hooded by a dark sense of destination:
Her weight on the glass calm leaves no impression,
Her home is soon a basketful of wind.
Travellers, we are fabric of the road we go;
We settle, but like feathers on time's flow.

C. Day Lewis

tammikuu 7, 4:56 pm

A sonnet for the new year by Edmund Spenser (Amoretti No.4)

New yeare, forth looking out of Janus gate,
Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight,
And, bidding th’old adieu, his passed date
Bids all old thoughts to die in dumpish* spright;
And calling forth out of sad Winters night
Fresh Love, that long hath slept in cheerlesse bower,
Wils him awake, and soone about him dight
His wanton wings and darts of deadly power.
For lusty Spring now in his timely howre
Is ready to come forth, him to receive;
And warns the Earth with divers colord flowre
To decke hir selfe, and her faire mantle weave.
Then you, faire flowre! in whom fresh youth doth raine,
Prepare your selfe new love to entertaine.

maaliskuu 11, 8:56 am

The Ornithologists

Keen spotters but wise about their habits
we watch closely for the season starting.
then trim the drainpipe with strips of plastic;
they catch the wind and scare off house martins.

The charms they bring to the eaves they nest in
doesn't change the price of disinfectant,
caustic soda or even sandblasting,
and the pile of money we might have spent

is safely tucked away or has been put
to better, brighter things. Tits and finches
are different, easier; we feed them nuts
and break the ice when the birdbath freezes.

It's how to live. Minds should be like houses:
clean, open, and in order like ours is.

Simon Armitage (from Kid)

kesäkuu 23, 9:21 am

Welcome to the Irish Alps

In memory of Charles Simic

That the Gallic tribes were the ‘people of the hills’

(sharing an Indo-European root with collis),

is an idea wherein their heirs in the Eastern
still find a smidgin of solace.

That the Gauls were the ‘people of the milky skin’

from a galaxy far, far away

that supplied Greece with boatloads of tin

is another concept that holds sway.

That the Gallic tribes were the ‘people of the woods’

(sharing an Indo-European root with coill),

is a theory on which the bronzers of pine cones

find themselves at odds with those who’ve stood

behind the notion, based on the Old Irish gall,

that the Gauls were the ‘people of the raised stone’.

Paul Muldoon

kesäkuu 23, 1:20 pm