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Thread: Poetry

  1. #106
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    leigh on sea


    John Ashbery died yesterday at 90. He had a varied and, at times patchy, oeuvre but I have always liked this:

  2. #107
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    Bequeeth unto me,
    That sweetest sensation,
    Beyond taste or aroma,
    The gentle restlessness from which I find,
    Stale certainties,
    In jest,
    grant this,
    Your top 100 albums list

    Federico García Luka

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  4. #108
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Coincidentally I was reading Lorca's poetry for the first time last week. V good, but the man was obsessed with spiders and carnations for some reason. I imagine he'd have written something interesting about the events of yesterday.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 02-10-2017 at 12:59 PM.

  5. #109
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    ok. maybe not 100 though. but only if you and corpsey and crowley do too

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  7. #110
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Do you poesy ponces consider Tony Harrison worth reading?

    I happened to read a review of his collected prose/poems in the LRB and I quite liked the extracts that were included.

  8. #111

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  10. #112
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

  11. #113
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    kenneth goldsmith:

    "I'm interested in things that are useless. I think that's the beautiful thing about poetry, its uselessness. When you try to make poetry that does something, you betray poetry's essential element of resistance. I think in a culture that is profoundly based on use, to do something useless, to provide a space where something doesn't happen, is about as radical a thing as we can do."

  12. #114
    Join Date
    Jun 2017


    there are 2 Seamus Heaney's poems that have haunted me through time, Casualty & Bye Child, with so many themes that catch the unfathomable nature of the world & life

    Casualties is the finest artistic expression given to The Troubles & the ending is so stark

    Dawn-sniffing revenant,
    Plodder through midnight rain,
    Question me again.
    & Bye Child is plucked from an otherworldly story that melts into the general freak show reality net

    With a remote mime
    Of something beyond patience,
    Your gaping wordless proof
    Of lunar distances
    Travelled beyond love.
    never fails to give the heebie-jeebies

    Learned a lot from Auden's "In Memory of Ernst Toller" when facing death & grief, it has something unique & universal, a paradox that seems to cut through to your core & i try n send it to anyone dealing with grief, the last two segments are transcendental but its immense in its scope it feels a bit like butchering it including edited portions

    We are lived by powers we pretend to understand:
    They arrange our loves; it is they who direct at the end
    The enemy bullet, the sickness, or even our hand.

    It is their tomorrow hangs over the earth of the living
    And all that we wish for our friends; but existing is believing
    We know for whom we mourn and who is grieving.
    A Peasant by RS Thomas is similar for ambiguities extolling human virtues & arguments aligned with nationalism, its only now that i appreciate the work of certain English teachers when too young too long ago to fully appreciate their dedication to the cause. I do now.
    Last edited by cwmbran-city; 21-12-2017 at 08:49 PM.

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  14. #115
    Join Date
    Dec 2017


    There was a Young Lady of Portugal,
    Whose ideas were excessively nautical:
    She climbed up a tree,
    To examine the sea,
    But declared she would never leave Portugal.

    - Edward Lear
    'Lear was one of the first writers to deal in pure fantasy, with imaginary countries and made-up words, without any satirical purpose. His poems are not all of them equally nonsensical; some of them get their effect by a perversion of logic, but they are all alike in that their underlying feeling is sad and not bitter. They express a kind of amiable lunacy, a natural sympathy with whatever is weak and absurd. Lear could fairly be called the originator of the limerick, though verses in almost the same metrical form are to be found in earlier writers, and what is sometimes considered a weakness in his limericks — that is, the fact that the rhyme is the same in the first and last lines — is part of their charm. The very slight change increases the impression of ineffectuality, which might be spoiled if there were some striking surprise.'

    - George Orwell

  15. #116
    Join Date
    Dec 2017


    Been enjoying some Thomas Wyatt poems this week

    'They flee from me that sometime did me seek
    With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
    I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
    That now are wild and do not remember
    That sometime they put themself in danger
    To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
    Busily seeking with a continual change.

    Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise
    Twenty times better; but once in special,
    In thin array after a pleasant guise,
    When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
    And she me caught in her arms long and small;
    Therewithall sweetly did me kiss
    And softly said, “Dear heart, how like you this?”

    It was no dream: I lay broad waking.
    But all is turned thorough my gentleness
    Into a strange fashion of forsaking;
    And I have leave to go of her goodness,
    And she also, to use newfangleness.
    But since that I so kindly am served
    I would fain know what she hath deserved.'
    And last night, unable to sleep, I ended up reading some Shakespeare sonnets and had one of those 'click' moments where I had to marvel at his genius - making every other poet look mentally pedestrian

    (This has 100% been posted in here before but it's high time for the reload)

    'Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
    Is lust in action; and till action, lust
    Is perjured, murd'rous, bloody, full of blame,
    Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
    Enjoyed no sooner but despisèd straight,
    Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had
    Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
    On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
    Mad in pursuit and in possession so,
    Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
    A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe;
    Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
    All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
    To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.'
    I actually think I appreciate this sonnet more having gained a better appreciation of the plays, because this is like a soliloquy of regret and self-recrimination, and encompasses a lofty theme, the same theme - I suppose - as Othello. I think I've already said in here how it's hard to sometimes sense the emotion in Shakespeare because it's not littered with exclamation points, e.g.
    Last edited by CORP$EY; 05-01-2018 at 11:40 AM.

  16. #117
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Despite my self-imposed, solemnly sworn oath against buying a book in January, I cracked almost instantly and bought several second hand books while out and about. At least I picked up an anthology of poetry compiled and commented upon by Harold Bloom, as insightful and mystifying as ever. I struggled through some Chaucer (enjoying the struggle but not feeling I got much out of it) and have been hopping about the rest, but have been particularly struck, so far, by John Donne. This is probably the poetic equivalent of Do U Really Like It Is Is It Wicked but it captured me as long poems usually fail to:

    The Ecstasy
    Where, like a pillow on a bed
    A pregnant bank swell'd up to rest
    The violet's reclining head,
    Sat we two, one another's best.
    Our hands were firmly cemented
    With a fast balm, which thence did spring;
    Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
    Our eyes upon one double string;
    So to'intergraft our hands, as yet
    Was all the means to make us one,
    And pictures in our eyes to get
    Was all our propagation.
    As 'twixt two equal armies fate
    Suspends uncertain victory,
    Our souls (which to advance their state
    Were gone out) hung 'twixt her and me.
    And whilst our souls negotiate there,
    We like sepulchral statues lay;
    All day, the same our postures were,
    And we said nothing, all the day.
    If any, so by love refin'd
    That he soul's language understood,
    And by good love were grown all mind,
    Within convenient distance stood,
    He (though he knew not which soul spake,
    Because both meant, both spake the same)
    Might thence a new concoction take
    And part far purer than he came.
    This ecstasy doth unperplex,
    We said, and tell us what we love;
    We see by this it was not sex,
    We see we saw not what did move;
    But as all several souls contain
    Mixture of things, they know not what,
    Love these mix'd souls doth mix again
    And makes both one, each this and that.
    A single violet transplant,
    The strength, the colour, and the size,
    (All which before was poor and scant)
    Redoubles still, and multiplies.
    When love with one another so
    Interinanimates two souls,
    That abler soul, which thence doth flow,
    Defects of loneliness controls.
    We then, who are this new soul, know
    Of what we are compos'd and made,
    For th' atomies of which we grow
    Are souls, whom no change can invade.
    But oh alas, so long, so far,
    Our bodies why do we forbear?
    They'are ours, though they'are not we; we are
    The intelligences, they the spheres.
    We owe them thanks, because they thus
    Did us, to us, at first convey,
    Yielded their senses' force to us,
    Nor are dross to us, but allay.
    On man heaven's influence works not so,
    But that it first imprints the air;
    So soul into the soul may flow,
    Though it to body first repair.
    As our blood labors to beget
    Spirits, as like souls as it can,
    Because such fingers need to knit
    That subtle knot which makes us man,
    So must pure lovers' souls descend
    T' affections, and to faculties,
    Which sense may reach and apprehend,
    Else a great prince in prison lies.
    To'our bodies turn we then, that so
    Weak men on love reveal'd may look;
    Love's mysteries in souls do grow,
    But yet the body is his book.
    And if some lover, such as we,
    Have heard this dialogue of one,
    Let him still mark us, he shall see
    Small change, when we'are to bodies gone.

    EDIT: Jesus that's long! Obviously find a printed version if you can and read that instead.
    Last edited by Corpsey; 10-01-2018 at 12:31 PM.

  17. #118
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    leigh on sea


    I've just been marking essays by 17 year olds on Donne - I wish they had your enthusiasm!

  18. #119
    Join Date
    Dec 2017


    I think I probably would have found him completely dull as a 17 year old (the age at which I loathed Wuthering Heights).

    As an already considerably pretentious 17 year old I think I was mainly reading off syllabus (Kerouac, Bukowski, Burroughs, Henry Miller, Joyce, Kafka), but of the stuff we were taught I was taken with Keats and 'Hamlet'.

    The appeal/lackthereof to teenagers of poetry puts me in mind of this Yeats poem:

    Bald heads forgetful of their sins,
    Old, learned, respectable bald heads
    Edit and annotate the lines
    That young men, tossing on their beds,
    Rhymed out in love’s despair
    To flatter beauty’s ignorant ear.
    All shuffle there; all cough in ink;
    All wear the carpet with their shoes;
    All think what other people think;
    All know the man their neighbour knows.
    Lord, what would they say
    Did their Catullus walk that way?

  19. #120
    Join Date
    Dec 2017


    The first bit that grabbed me in the Donne poem above is

    'Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
    Our eyes upon one double string;'

    Because it's such a vivid, cartoon-ish, even faintly grotesque, image.

    Then I liked

    'This ecstasy doth unperplex,
    We said, and tell us what we love;'

    As a statement on love, but also as a statement on anything that makes you happy. It seems, at least temporarily, to 'unperplex', and simplify existence.

    'When love with one another so
    Interinanimates two souls,
    That abler soul, which thence doth flow,
    Defects of loneliness controls.'

    Again, the phrase 'Defects of loneliness' for me has a more general application than in connection with romantic love.

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