Poetry

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I'm sure Craner posted this before on Dissensus somewhere (it'll probably turn out to be in this thread, but I'm too lazy to check now), but it's amazingly good so it merits the rewind. More sixth form business:

SONNET 129

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd 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.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I'm sure Craner posted this before on Dissensus somewhere (it'll probably turn out to be in this thread, but I'm too lazy to check now), but it's amazingly good so it merits the rewind. More sixth form business:

SONNET 129

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd 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.
Nope, not me, although I do love that poem, and consider Shakespeare's sonnets essential reading, and formally only rivalled by Manley Hopkins and Ben Jonson. Luke quoted me as liking a Zukofsky poem at the time this thread started (10 years ago), but reading it now, I can't endorse my former enthusiasm.

Of all those post-Pound Modernists, I still feel Bunting is worth the effort, and some of WCW's longer, later, free-form efforts.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Of other post-war poets I only unequivably endorse Frank O'Hara and ee cummings, with a mild soft spot for Vernon Watkins for geographical and nostalgic reasons. Can't stand Larkin.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Yeah, the Zukofsky poem he posted is bad Hopkins pastiche with contemporary subject matter. Embarrassing experiment. But still bolder than any of the milk-faced, Coldplay-morose, lite-Movement bollocks published by Faber and most other publishing houses these days.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
http://www.dissensus.com/showthread...72829&highlight=past reason hunted#post172829 you don't give yourself enough credit. Spot on about the commas.

O'Hara is very good. Lack of commas works in this one:

Lana Turner has collapsed!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
LANA TURNER HAS COLLAPSED!
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up
 

jenks

thread death
Nope, not me, although I do love that poem, and consider Shakespeare's sonnets essential reading, and formally only rivalled by Manley Hopkins and Ben Jonson. Luke quoted me as liking a Zukofsky poem at the time this thread started (10 years ago), but reading it now, I can't endorse my former enthusiasm.

Of all those post-Pound Modernists, I still feel Bunting is worth the effort, and some of WCW's longer, later, free-form efforts.
I just finished the final volume of the Pound biography by Moody. Been spending quite a bit of my time looking at the Pisan cantos again and also the early stuff in conjunction with reading Villon and Cavalcante.

I have the Bloodaxe edition of Briggflatts that has a CD of Basil reading it and it makes a big difference. These boys really had an ear for cadence.
 
Last edited:

jenks

thread death
I have always liked this by O'Hara

ANIMALS


Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners

the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
W.B. Yeats (1865–1939). The Wild Swans at Coole. 1919.

33. Ego Dominus Tuus


Hic. ON the grey sand beside the shallow stream
Under your old wind-beaten tower, where still
A lamp burns on beside the open book
That Michael Robartes left, you walk in the moon
And though you have passed the best of life still trace 5
Enthralled by the unconquerable delusion
Magical shapes.

Ille. By the help of an image
I call to my own opposite, summon all
That I have handled least, least looked upon. 10

Hic. And I would find myself and not an image.

Ille. That is our modern hope and by its light
We have lit upon the gentle, sensitive mind
And lost the old nonchalance of the hand;
Whether we have chosen chisel, pen or brush 15
We are but critics, or but half create,
Timid, entangled, empty and abashed
Lacking the countenance of our friends.

Hic. And yet
The chief imagination of Christendom 20
Dante Alighieri, so utterly found himself
That he has made that hollow face of his
More plain to the mind’s eye than any face
But that of Christ.

Ille. And did he find himself, 25
Or was the hunger that had made it hollow
A hunger for the apple on the bough
Most out of reach? and is that spectral image
The man that Lapo and that Guido knew?
I think he fashioned from his opposite 30
An image that might have been a stony face,
Staring upon a bedouin’s horse-hair roof
From doored and windowed cliff, or half upturned
Among the coarse grass and the camel dung.
He set his chisel to the hardest stone. 35
Being mocked by Guido for his lecherous life,
Derided and deriding, driven out
To climb that stair and eat that bitter bread,
He found the unpersuadable justice, he found
The most exalted lady loved by a man. 40

Hic. Yet surely there are men who have made their art
Out of no tragic war, lovers of life,
Impulsive men that look for happiness
And sing when they have found it.

Ille. No, not sing, 45
For those that love the world serve it in action,
Grow rich, popular and full of influence,
And should they paint or write still it is action:
The struggle of the fly in marmalade.
The rhetorician would deceive his neighbours, 50
The sentimentalist himself; while art
Is but a vision of reality.
What portion in the world can the artist have
Who has awakened from the common dream
But dissipation and despair? 55

Hic. And yet
No one denies to Keats love of the world;
Remember his deliberate happiness.

Ille. His art is happy but who knows his mind?
I see a schoolboy when I think of him, 60
With face and nose pressed to a sweet-shop window,
For certainly he sank into his grave
His senses and his heart unsatisfied,
And made—being poor, ailing and ignorant,
Shut out from all the luxury of the world, 65
The coarse-bred son of a livery stablekeeper—
Luxuriant song.

Hic. Why should you leave the lamp
Burning alone beside an open book
And trace these characters upon the sands; 70
A style is found by sedentary toil
And by the imitation of great masters.

Ille. Because I seek an image, not a book.
Those men that in their writings are most wise
Own nothing but their blind, stupefied hearts. 75
I call to the mysterious one who yet
Shall walk the wet sands by the edge of the stream
And look most like me, being indeed my double,
And prove of all imaginable things
The most unlike, being my anti-self, 80
And standing by these characters disclose
All that I seek; and whisper it as though
He were afraid the birds, who cry aloud
Their momentary cries before it is dawn,
Would carry it away to blasphemous men. 85


CONTENTS BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I cant remember who said (in essence) The Poem tells the Poet what he thinks. Does anyone know? (Paul Valery?) Need to know urgently.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
'IF you, that have grown old, were the first dead,
Neither catalpa tree nor scented lime
Should hear my living feet, nor would I tread
Where we wrought that shall break the teeth of Time.
Let the new faces play what tricks they will
In the old rooms; night can outbalance day,
Our shadows rove the garden gravel still,
The living seem more shadowy than they.'

William Butler Yeats - have you heard of him?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i read ed dorn's gunslinger the other day. i enjoyed that a lot. done it in two days. first 2 books are better than the last two but worth finsihing it still. good laugh tbh.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Aristeas, in Seven Years.
gathering the heat to himself, in one thermic
hazard, he took himself out: to catch up with
the tree, the river, the forms of alien vantage
And hence the first way
By theft into the upper world – “a
natural development from the mixed
economy in the drier or bleaker
regions, where more movement was
necessary” – and thus the
floodloam, the deposit, borrowed for
the removal. Call it inland, his
nose filled with steam & his brief cries,
Aristeas took up it
seems with the
singular as the larch
tree, the
Greek sufficient
for that. From Marmora
And sprang with that double twist into the
Middle world and thence took flight over the
Scythian hordes and to the Hyperborean,
Touch of the north wind
carrying with him Apollo. Song
his transport but this divine
insistence the pastural clan:
sheep, elk, the wild deer. In each case
the presence in embryo, god of the shep-
herd and fixed in the movement of flock.
Wrung over the real tracts. If he was
frozen like the felted eagle of Pazyryk,
he too had the impossible lower twist,
the spring into the middle, the air.
From here comes
the north wind, the
remote animal
gold – how did
he, do we, know
or trust this>
Following the raven and
sniffing hemp as the
other air, it was
himself as the singular that he knew and
could outlast in the long walk by the
underground sea. Where he was as
the singular
location so completely portable
that with the merest black
wings he could survey the
stones and rills in their
complete mountain courses,
in name the displacement
Scythic.
And his songs were invocations in no frenzy
of spirit, but clear and spirituous tones from the
pure base of his mind; and he heard the small
currents in the air & they were truly his aid:
In breath he could speak out into the northern
air and the phrasing curved from his mouth
and nose, into the cold mountain levels. It
was the professed Apollo, free of the festive line,
powdered with light snow.

And looking down, then, it is no outlay
to be seen in
the forests, or
scattered rising
of ground. No
cheap cigarettes nothing
with the god in this
climate is free of duty
moss, wormwood as the cold
star, the dwarf Siberian pine
as from the morainal deposits
of the last deglaciation.
Down there instead the long flowing hair,
of great herds of sheep and cattle, the
drivers of these, their feet more richly
thickened in use than
any slant of their
mongoloid face or
long, ruched garments.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
With his staff, the larch-pole, that again the
singular and one axis of the errant world.
Prior to the pattern of settlement then, which
is the passing flocks fixed into wherever
they happened to stop,
the spirit demanded the orphic metaphor
as fact
that they did migrate and the spirit excursion
was no more than the need and will of the
flesh. The term, as has been pointed out,
is bone, the
flesh burned or rotted off but the
branch calcined like what
It was: like that: as itself
the skeleton of the possible
in a heap and covered with
stones or a barrow.
Leaving the flesh vacant then, in a fuller’s shop,
Aristeas removed himself for seven years
Into the steppes, preparing his skeleton and the
Song of his departure, his flesh anyway touched
by the in-
vading Cimmerian
twilight. “ruinous”
as the old woman’s
prophecy.
And who he was took the
collection of seven
years to thin out, to the
fume laid across where
he went, direction north,
No longer settled
but settled now into length; he wore that
as risk. The garment of bird’s feathers,
while he watched the crows fighting the
owls with the curling tongues
of flame proper to the Altaic
hillside, as he was himself
more than this. The
spread is more, the
vantage is singular
as the clan is without centre.


Each where as
the extent of day deter-
mines, where the
sky holds (the brightness
dependent on that).
And Apollo is in any case seasonal, the
divine “used only of a particular god,
never as a general term.” The Hyper
borean paradise was likewise no general
term but the mythic duration of
spirit into the bone
laid out in patterns
on the ground
“the skulls are sent on hunting
journeys, the foot-prints alongside;
that towards which they journey
they turn them towards, so that
they will follow behind.”
From the fuller’s shop as from
The camp of the seal hunter,
Some part of the bone must be twisted
& must twist, as the stages of Cimmerian
Wandering, viz:
1. 1800-13th Century B.C, north
of the Caucasus, then
2. 13th-8th Centuries, invaded
by the Scythians and deflected
Southwards & to the west. And
3. After that, once more displaced
(8th Century to maybe 500 B.C.),
The invasion of Asia Minor,
“ruinous”, as any settled and complaisant fixture
on the shoreline would regard the movement of
pressure irreducible by trade or bribery. Hence
the need to catch up, as a response to cheap money
and how all that huddle could
be drawn out
into the tenuous upper
reach, the fine chatter
of small birds under the
head of the sky
(sub divus columine)
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
on the western slope of the Urals and the scatter
of lightning, now out of doors and into
the eagle span,
the true condition of bone
which is no more singular or settled or the
entitled guardian even, but the land of the
dead. Why are they lost, why do they
always wander, as if seeking
their end and drawing after them
the trail and fume of burning hemp?
Or they are not lost but
Passing: “If thoughtless abandonment
To the moment were really a blessing, I
Had actually been in ‘the Land of the
Blessed’.”
But it was not blessing, rather a fact so
hard-won that only the twist in the middle
air would do it anyway, so even he be wise
or with any recourse to the darkness of
his tent. The sequence of issue is no
more than this,
Apollo’s price, staff
leaning into the
ground and out

through the smoke-hole.
It is the spirit which dies
As the figure of change, which
Is the myth and fact of extent,
Which thus does start from
Marmora, or Aklavik, right
Out of the air.

No one harms these people: they
are sacred and have no
weapons. They sit or pass, in
the form of divine song,
They are free in the apt form of
displacement. They change
their shape, being of the essence as
a figure of extent. Which
for the power in rhyme
is gold, in this northern clime
which the Greeks so held to themselves and
which in the steppe was no more
than the royal figment.

This movement was of
course cruel beyond belief, as this
was the risk Aristeas took
with him. The conquests were for the motive of
sway, involving massive slaughter as the
obverse politics of claim. That is, slaves and
animals, life and not value. “the western Sar-
matian tribes lived side by side not in a loose
tribal configuration, but had been welded
into an organised imperium
under the leadership of one
royal tribe.” Royalty
as plural. Hence the calender as taking of
life, which left gold as the side-issue, pure
figure.

Guarded by the griffins, which lived close to the
mines, the gold reposed as the divine brilliance,
petrology of the sea air, so far from the shore
The beasts dug the metal out with
their eagle beaks, rending in the
cruel frost of that earth, and
yet they were the guardians, the figure of flight
and heat and the northern twist of the axis.
His name Aristeas, absent for
these seven years: we should
pay them or steal, it is no
more than the question they ask.


JH PRYNNE-
From
THE WHITE STONES
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Sonnets from The River Duddon: After-Thought
By William Wordsworth

I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide,
As being past away.—Vain sympathies!
For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes,
I see what was, and is, and will abide;
Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide;
The Form remains, the Function never dies;
While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,
We Men, who in our morn of youth defied
The elements, must vanish;—be it so!
Enough, if something from our hands have power
To live, and act, and serve the future hour;
And if, as toward the silent tomb we go,
Through love, through hope, and faith's transcendent dower,
We feel that we are greater than we know.
 

qwerty south

no use for a witticism
The Young British Soldier by Rudyard Kipling

WHEN the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts -
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts -
An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

When the cholera comes - as it will past a doubt -
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
An' it crumples the young British soldier.
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You must wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it's beer for the young British soldier.
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old -
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . .

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em - you'll swing, on my oath! -
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both,
An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.
Front, front, front like a soldier . . .

When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She's human as you are - you treat her as sich,
An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .

When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o' the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine,
For noise never startles the soldier.
Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .

If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Night Club (Louis MacNiece)

After the legshows and the brandies
And all the pick-me-ups for tired
Men there is a feeling
Something more is required.

The lights go down and eyes
Look up across the room;
Salome comes in, bearing
The head of God knows whom.
 
Top