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Discussion in 'Personal' started by lanokia, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I'll be up front right away... I don't know much about poetry. In fact I have little warning lights that flash when the word pops into my head.

    But Aspens just posted a nice piece about Blackberry picking in Vince's New Years thread and it got me thinking.

    I've toyed with buying works by two poets... Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman. Both seem to deal with nature [tell me if I'm wrong] and the experience of the outdoors and wilderness... which appeals.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on that theme? Or just wish to talk about poets they like? I don't mind really.
  2. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I like TS Eliot's Ash Wednesday, especially the part that goes:
    ...because I know that time is only time, and place is always and only place, and what is actual is actual only for one
    time and only for one place, I rejoice that things are as they are...'

    I also like Christina Rosseti's Remember...

    ps. You can download the Whitman for free on www.gutenberg.org. (I imagine the Emerson as well)

    On phone at the moment so hard to do links but will later.
    IceCreamVanMan likes this.
  3. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    I don't know much about poetry either but I know what I like, iyswim. Tennyson's The Vision of Sin is my favourite because it weaves through my imagination. I have a soft spot for EE Cummins poems as my ex used to text me some of them when he was wooing me.
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter


    Ah thank you for the link... free stuff!
  5. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    I enjoyed that blackberry poem too, mainly because it reminded me of my childhood.

    Is this for pleasure? Or for teaching background?

    Does it have to be American?

    (Sorry about the interrogation. Just what you need tonight! NOT :D )
  6. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Did I imagine you posting about being and English teacher now?
    If you liked Blackberry Picking I doubt you'd like Whitman or Emerson. Look them up on Poemhunter (it's horribly adverty and glitchy but does have almost everything) before you buy.

    Try more Heaney. Or Norman MacCaig if you like the real outdoors - he wrote a lot about Northern Scotland and the islands.

    In Praise of a Collie

    She was a small dog, neat and fluid —
    Even her conversation was tiny:
    She greeted you with bow, never bow-wow.

    Her sons stood monumentally over her
    But did what she told them. Each grew grizzled
    Till it seemed he was his own mother's grandfather.

    Once, gathering sheep on a showery day,
    I remarked how dry she was. Pollóchan said, 'Ah,
    It would take a very accurate drop to hit Lassie.'

    And her tact — and tactics! When the sheep bolted
    In an unforeseen direction, over the skyline
    Came — who but Lassie, and not even panting.

    She sailed in the dinghy like a proper sea-dog.
    Where's a burn? — she's first on the other side.
    She flowed through fences like a piece of black wind.

    But suddenly she was old and sick and crippled ...
    I grieved for Pollóchan when he took her for a stroll
    And put his gun to the back of her head.
  7. aspensquiver_2

    aspensquiver_2 Senior commenter

    i carry your heart with me

    i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
    my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
    i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing, my darling)
    i fear
    no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
    no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

    e e cummings
  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    That one.

    Edit: I expect I shall now be held to a higher standard on my grammar... oh I shall fail so badly at that.
    I've been exposed to a bit of Whitman through the work of Robert Holdstock, Mythago Wood etc.
  9. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    That one is especially dear to me, in a bittersweet way.
    aspensquiver_2 and badger_girl like this.
  10. aspensquiver_2

    aspensquiver_2 Senior commenter

    How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806 - 1861

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of being and ideal grace.
    I love thee to the level of every day's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
    I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.
    badger_girl likes this.
  11. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

  12. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Oh, I'm sorry. I did wonder about posting a warning. It made me cry the first time I read it too.
    aspensquiver_2 and cissy3 like this.
  13. aspensquiver_2

    aspensquiver_2 Senior commenter

    W. H. Auden

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.
  14. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I adore Auden. Thanks, Aspen.
    aspensquiver_2 likes this.
  15. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    Don't be sorry.

    (Still blubbing) It's so true to the things that life gives us, and then takes away. Beauty and then decay etc

    It's really set me off (Still blubbing)
  16. aspensquiver_2

    aspensquiver_2 Senior commenter

    MacCaig was a very gifted poet and a delightfully, self-deprecating man. You will always find something in his poems.

    Praise of a Man

    He went through a company like a lamplighter –
    see the dull minds, one after another,
    begin to glow, to shed
    a beneficent light.

    He went through a company like
    a knifegrinder – see the dull minds
    scattering sparks of themselves,
    becoming razory, becoming useful.

    He went through a company
    as himself. But now he's one
    of the multitudinous company of the dead
    where are no individuals.

    The beneficent lights dim
    but don't vanish. The razory edges
    dull, but still cut. He's gone: but you can see
    his tracks still, in the snow of the world.

    Norman MacCaig

    from The Many Days: Selected Poems of Norman MacCaig (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2010)
    marlin and cissy3 like this.
  17. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Here's the Rossetti that I like....

    Christina Rossetti's Remember

    Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
    Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.
  18. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Although never a sheep dog, I had my wonderful X Collie until she was almost 20. I have wonderful memories of her intelligence, loyalty, fun and dignity.
    aspensquiver_2 and cissy3 like this.
  19. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    The beginning of Ash Wednesday by TS Eliot (the rest is good, but this is my favourite)

    Because I do not hope to turn again
    Because I do not hope
    Because I do not hope to turn
    Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
    I no longer strive to strive towards such things
    (Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
    Why should I mourn
    The vanished power of the usual reign?

    Because I do not hope to know again
    The infirm glory of the positive hour
    Because I do not think
    Because I know I shall not know
    The one veritable transitory power
    Because I cannot drink
    There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

    Because I know that time is always time
    And place is always and only place
    And what is actual is actual only for one time
    And only for one place
    I rejoice that things are as they are and
    I renounce the blessed face
    And renounce the voice
    Because I cannot hope to turn again
    Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
    Upon which to rejoice

    And pray to God to have mercy upon us
    And pray that I may forget
    These matters that with myself I too much discuss
    Too much explain
    Because I do not hope to turn again
    Let these words answer
    For what is done, not to be done again
    May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

    Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
    But merely vans to beat the air
    The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
    Smaller and dryer than the will
    Teach us to care and not to care
    Teach us to sit still.

    Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
    Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  20. aspensquiver_2

    aspensquiver_2 Senior commenter

    Notes on a winter journey (MacCaig)
    The snow’s almost faultless. It bounces back
    the sun’s light but can do nothing with
    those two stags, their cold noses, their yellow teeth.

    On the loch’s eye a cataract is forming.
    fistfuls of white make the telephone wires
    loop after loop of snow buntings.

    So few cars, they leave the snow snow.
    I think of the horrible marzipan
    in the streets of Edinburgh.

    The hotel at Ullapool, that should be a bang of light,
    is crepuscular. The bar is fireflied
    with whisky glasses.

    At Inchnadamph snow is falling. The windscreen wipers
    squeak and I stare through
    a segment of a circle. What more do I ever do? …

    (Seventeen miles to go. I didn’t know it, but when
    I got there a death waited for me – that segment
    shut its fan: and a blinding winter closed in.)

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