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Thread: Read Serious Poetry with me & Corpsey

  1. #106
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Last night I was stoned as fuck and high on life too and I came across this Keats poem which I've never read before:

    After dark vapors have oppress’d our plains
    For a long dreary season, comes a day
    Born of the gentle South, and clears away
    From the sick heavens all unseemly stains.
    The anxious month, relieved of its pains,
    Takes as a long-lost right the feel of May;
    The eyelids with the passing coolness play
    Like rose leaves with the drip of Summer rains.
    The calmest thoughts came round us; as of leaves
    Budding—fruit ripening in stillness—Autumn suns
    Smiling at eve upon the quiet sheaves—
    Sweet Sappho’s cheek—a smiling infant’s breath—
    The gradual sand that through an hour-glass runs—
    A woodland rivulet—a Poet’s death.

    I was totally transfixed by this poem. It seemed Shakespearean ("when to the sessions of sweet silent thought...") to me. I love the "anxious month" taking "as a long-lost right the feel of May", and the images, particularly the "eyelids with the passing coolness" fluttering like leaves under "Summer rains".

    Then I read "Ode to a Nightingale" which of course I have read before. I think this might be one of the greatest poems I've read, an incomparably transportive poem about being transported. I also realised that there's a conneciton to Yeats's "Byzantium" in the form of the nightingale, whose song transcends time (like the golden birds in Yeats), an image of poetry itself. It's the phrase "No hungry generations tread thee down" that evoked Yeats for me "Those dying generations"...

    Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
    No hungry generations tread thee down;
    The voice I hear this passing night was heard
    In ancient days by emperor and clown:

    Also, I recognised that Keats use of the word "Poesy" is a turn-off for the modern reader, because it seems mock-medieval, but that for Keats it wasn't a ridiculous word. And the Grecian references, which seem stock and flowery to us, are metaphorical - so that he calls the moon a "queen" but we aren't perhaps supposed to picture a faery queen, but the moon, vivified by association.

    "And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
    Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;"

    I mean this could make you puke but remember he's describing the moon, not a Queen, and it's less sickening. Perhaps.
    Last edited by Corpsey; 09-05-2019 at 09:13 AM.

  2. #107
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Listening to a reading of "Augeries of Innocence" by Blake kicked this all off.

    It suddenly seemed so obvious, so self-evident to me, last night - why rhythm is "good" as melody is. How studying metre won't unlock that for you, just as studying notation and harmony won't unlock the beauty of melody.

  3. #108
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Found this - never heard Yeats's voice before, quite interesting - reminds me very much of Joyce's voice.

    Much MORE interesting is how he reads his poetry. Like he's singing it, really.

  4. #109
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    A Little Girl Lost

    Children of the future age,
    Reading this indignant page,
    Know that in a former time,
    Love, sweet Love, was thought a crime!

    In the Age of Gold,
    Free from winter’s cold,
    Youth and maiden bright
    To the holy light,
    Naked in the sunny beams delight.

    Once a youthful pair,
    Fill’d with softest care,
    Met in garden bright
    Where the holy light
    Had just remov’d the curtains of the night.

    There, in rising day,
    On the grass they play;
    Parents were afar,
    Strangers came not near,
    And the maiden soon forgot her fear.

    Tired with kisses sweet,
    They agree to meet
    When the silent sleep
    Waves o’er heaven’s deep,
    And the weary tired wanderers weep.

    To her father white
    Came the maiden bright;
    But his loving look,
    Like the holy book,
    All her tender limbs with terror shook.

    ‘Ona! pale and weak!
    To thy father speak:
    O! the trembling fear.
    O! the dismal care,
    That shakes the blossoms of my hoary hair!’

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