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  1. #1
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    Default Poetry

    So i thought maybe if i asked for something uncontentious - a name, a line of verse, a poem - i might get some joy.

    do we read poetry anymore?

    if we do, then whom do we read?

    ancient or modern, i don't mind - the faber gang; the prynne obsessives; famous seamus; logue reading hill sinclair or the dear dead ones, even ruth padel, even carson...

    go on

  2. #2
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    something to get the ball rolling

    A Map Of Love

    Donald Justice

    Your face more than others' faces
    Maps the half-remembered places
    I have come to I while I slept—
    Continents a dream had kept
    Secret from all waking folk
    Till to your face I awoke,
    And remembered then the shore,
    And the dark interior.


    I am making no claims that it is the greatest poem, just one i like and enjoy reading when the kids are in bed

  3. #3
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    i like this one of drydens - "A Song for St. Cecilia's Day". it was used by phillip k dick in counter clock world. its supposed to be rapturous in a religious sense but in dick's context its very creepy.

    So when the last and dreadful hour
    This crumbling pageant shall devour
    The trumpet shall be heard on high
    The dead shall live, the living die
    And Music shall untune the sky

    http://www.bartleby.com/101/399.html
    Last edited by bassnation; 29-01-2006 at 10:20 PM.

  4. #4

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    Last edited by martin; 29-01-2006 at 10:48 PM.

  5. #5

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    Actually, most stuff by Kenneth Patchen, he was genius. He did this incredible, surreal radio play called 'The City Wears A Slouch Hat' back in 1942, with John Cage doing backing 'sounds'. Cortical Foundation stuck it out on CD about 5 years ago.

    I'm also a sucker for Baudelaire, Yeats, Byron, Shelley, Padraig Pearse and 'The Rubaiyat of Omaar Khayyam" which I've possibly spelt wrong

  6. #6
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    I'll give you this Jenks, you're nothing if not tenacious.

    I love the New York poet John Ashbery, at 82 the greatest living writer in English, funny, melancholy, profound and surreal by turns. His best book is The Double Dream of Spring,
    but my favourite poem is As One Put Drunk into the Packet Boat, this is the last verse

    “…The night sheen takes over. A moon of Cistercian pallor
    Has climbed to the center of heaven, installed.
    Finally involved with the business of darkness.
    And a sigh heaves from all the small things on earth,
    The books, the papers, the old garters and union-suit buttons
    Kept in a white cardboard box somewhere, and all the lower
    Versions of cities flattened under the equalizing night.
    The summer demands and takes away too much,
    But night, the reserved, the reticent, gives more than it takes.”

  7. #7
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    This is really great. Please can someone recommend me some more poetry to read?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenks View Post
    A Map Of Love

    Donald Justice

    Your face more than others' faces
    Maps the half-remembered places
    I have come to I while I slept—
    Continents a dream had kept
    Secret from all waking folk
    Till to your face I awoke,
    And remembered then the shore,
    And the dark interior.[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
    Another one I like:

    Medusa
    BY LOUISE BOGAN

    I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
    Facing a sheer sky.
    Everything moved,—a bell hung ready to strike,
    Sun and reflection wheeled by.

    When the bare eyes were before me
    And the hissing hair,
    Held up at a window, seen through a door.
    The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead
    Formed in the air.

    This is a dead scene forever now.
    Nothing will ever stir.
    The end will never brighten it more than this,
    Nor the rain blur.

    The water will always fall, and will not fall,
    And the tipped bell make no sound.
    The grass will always be growing for hay
    Deep on the ground.

    And I shall stand here like a shadow
    Under the great balanced day,
    My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind,
    And does not drift away.

  8. #8
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    That Medusa one is great.

    Here's an obscure one that nobody's ever heard of:

    Leda and the Swan

    A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
    Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
    By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
    He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

    How can those terrified vague fingers push
    The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
    And how can body, laid in that white rush,
    But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

    A shudder in the loins engenders there
    The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
    And Agamemnon dead.
    Being so caught up,
    So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
    Did she put on his knowledge with his power
    Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

    W. B. Yeats, 1865 - 1939

  9. #9
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    That's nice, although it fuels my suspicion that I need a better grasp of Greek mythology to get the most from older poetry (though, upon checking, I see that Yeats wrote that in the 20thC )!

    Louise Bogan is a briliant poet; After the Persian is another of hers that's well worth reading.

  10. #10
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    its not so much greek mythology that offers the key to that poem (leda gets raped by zeus in the form of a swan) its yeats personal system of symbology, to which a vision offers the clearest guide.

  11. #11
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    I agree with you that I feel like I'd get more out of poetry if I was familiar with classical mythology, but for the purposes of this poem, all you need to know is:

    'Leda and the Swan is a story and subject in art from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces or rapes Leda. According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, while at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta.'

    Helen = abducted, kick starting the Trojan war

    and

    Clytemnestr = the wife of Agamemnon, ruler of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Mycenae or Argos. In the Oresteia by Aeschylus, she murdered Agamemnon – said by Euripides to be her second husband

    I'm sure I've read somewhere that Yeats might have intended a parallel with the Virgin Mary's impregnation by God - and the resulting suffering of Christ (not to mention all the religious wars).

    I like what I've read of Yeats but I am intimidated (or put off) by the mythology and mysticism (his PERSONAL mythological system) that seems to be important to understand in order to appreciate the poems. E.G. Need to know about his theory of historical 'gyres' in order to understand 'The Second Coming'.

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