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Poems and Poets

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23 Nov 2011 07:29

[SIZE="2"]Okay, this is a lot more serious than the other two. Last year two of my online friends, living in Kiev, were victims of a serious hate-crime which landed one of them in hospital for several months. This was my reaction.[/SIZE]

What is the reason?
Why do people keep hating?
Hating because
others are loving?
They cannot see
that love remains pure.
So they walk throughout life
with eyes firmly closed,
seeing only life as they think it should be.
I say no! Let's stop all this hating, stand firm together,
believing in love.
Aka The Ginger One.
User avatar RedheadDane
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23 Nov 2011 08:07

Be Drunk

You have to be always drunk. That's all there is to it--it's the
only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks
your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually
drunk.
But on what?Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be
drunk.
And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of
a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again,
drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave,
the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything
that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is
singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and
wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you:"It is time to be
drunk!"

Charles Baudelaire
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23 Nov 2011 09:38

Libertine Seguros wrote:Easily my favourite piece of poetry, and one of the most powerful pieces of literature anywhere:


Meh. That never really did it for me. The images are alright I guess but for some reason I find them rather simplistic and they are repeated all the time.

When it comes to poetry about WWII I find these much more powerful:

Günter Eich: Inventur

Dies ist meine Mütze,
dies ist mein Mantel,
hier mein Rasierzeug
im Beutel aus Leinen.

Konservenbüchse:
Mein Teller, mein Becher,
ich hab in das Weißblech
den Namen geritzt.

Geritzt hier mit diesem
kostbaren Nagel,
den vor begehrlichen
Augen ich berge.

Im Brotbeutel sind
ein Paar wollene Socken
und einiges, was ich
niemand verrate,

so dient es als Kissen
nachts meinem Kopf.
Die Pappe hier liegt
zwischen mir und der Erde.

Die Bleistiftmine
lieb ich am meisten:
Tags schreibt sie mir Verse,
die nachts ich erdacht.

Dies ist mein Notizbuch,
dies meine Zeltbahn,
dies ist mein Handtuch,
dies ist mein Zwirn.

Günter Grass: Am Atlantikwall

(part of the "Blechtrommel", with the famous chorus "Wir nähern uns dem Biedermeier")
piccoli equivoci senza importanza.

Visit my blog on spanish history: http://www.histoires-espagnoles.blogspot.fr
User avatar Christian
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23 Nov 2011 09:40

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine

Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
Tandis que sous
Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l'onde si lasse

Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

L'amour s'en va comme cette eau courante
L'amour s'en va
Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l'Espérance est violente

Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine

Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

- Apollinaire
piccoli equivoci senza importanza.

Visit my blog on spanish history: http://www.histoires-espagnoles.blogspot.fr
User avatar Christian
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23 Nov 2011 17:18

Ah, good old poetry. Love the stuff.

Lately, I'm a big fan of Richard Brautigan, Philip Larkin, Jack Kerouac (Haikus) amongst other stuff. I'm a bit selective with Romantic period stuff... but I really, really liked Keats' Hyperion. That said, my favourites are the old epics. If I can get my hands on anything Medieval and earlier, it gets read... eventually.

I've been a writer of poetry too. I did a self-published book a while back... sold 5 copies!! And a blog of original stuff with one follower. So, it looks like I'll be keeping the day job.:)
User avatar Bag_O_Wallet
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23 Nov 2011 17:21

The Hitch wrote:There was a couple of years back some major honour or award (cant remember what exactly) bestowed on Salman Rushdie.

Too celebrate this there was a - in conversation with Salman Rushdie type event. Very good stuff. More intelligence displayed in an hour than in 60 years of Jay leno type shows around the world.

For the second part Salmans great friend going back 40 years - my avatar, came on to if possible make the conversation even more epic.

On the undercard (before that main event) first 1 other friend of Salman and then Christopher spoke alone to a questioner and the audience about Salman and their friendship.

Hitchens and Salman were each challenged to recite a major poem from memory.

Here is what happened :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdtADw9a6H8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1la_ykW3n2g



especially loved the walrus and the carpenter. Salman is one of my fav authors actually
great people, both of them. some unbeliavable Hitchens quotes as well, lined up amongst the videos offered by utube :D thx
woodenswan
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23 Nov 2011 17:33

gregod wrote:i'm not trolling, but i just don't get poetry. the reason i'm even bothering to comment is because it is fascinating to me that many people do appear to be moved by poetry. it just seems like pretentious twaddle to me....


Obviously I can't speak for others, but I appreciate the ability to articulate complex things, things that I cannot quite express even if I fully understand them. Poetry is just one style to convey those meanings, among literature, film, music, lectures/speakers, ect.

For example, as a teacher, I have my answer for why I want to be a teacher rooted in my experience and philosophy. I know my answer well from my preparation, interviews, or socializing. But still, Taylor Mali (the video I posted) puts into words some of those ambiguous and abstract feelings into words that I hadn't felt comfortable or competent to express myself.

That ability is not unique to poets, but people who specialize in exploring the human condition.
More Strides than Rides
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23 Nov 2011 17:52

I have somewhat Dickensian memories of cram-learning the poems of WH Auden by rote in the half-light of a winter's morning before the dreaded 'Double English'. I'll now recite a few lines entirely from memory...

Night Train, WH Auden (recite in train-style rhythm)

This is the night train crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order.
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner, the girl next door...

There were over 100 lines in total. These are the only ones I still remember almost 20 years later.

Now I enjoy poetry set to music. I'm thinking here of Linton Kwesi Johnson, a poet who documents the Jamaican experience in London. He was an important figure in the troubles of the 1980s in South London.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAdEBed3BSE
User avatar L'arriviste
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23 Nov 2011 18:17

at school we had to learn by heart a new poem every year.

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

an Irish airman foresees his death. W B Yeats
lancaster
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23 Nov 2011 20:40

Christian wrote:Meh. That never really did it for me. The images are alright I guess but for some reason I find them rather simplistic and they are repeated all the time.

When it comes to poetry about WWII I find these much more powerful:

Günter Eich: Inventur


I remember studying that.

As to the constant repetition in Todesfuge, that's kind of the point - a) it increases with intensity with repetition as well as reinforcing the daily grind that survival was in that position (with Celan being the only survivor of his family of course), and b) it imitates the form taken by a musical fugue, as referenced in the title, with the same refrains coming in and out.
User avatar Libertine Seguros
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23 Nov 2011 20:57

Libertine Seguros wrote:I remember studying that.

As to the constant repetition in Todesfuge, that's kind of the point - a) it increases with intensity with repetition as well as reinforcing the daily grind that survival was in that position (with Celan being the only survivor of his family of course), and b) it imitates the form taken by a musical fugue, as referenced in the title, with the same refrains coming in and out.


You are right of course but still - for some reason the images "schwarze Milch" and "goldenes Haar/aschenes Haar" just seem a little simple to me. Maybe I just prefer Eich's style to portray this particular theme. Some people even said there could be no poetry after Auschwitz, hence the very reduced style of the time. I was unaware that Celan was a concentration camp survivor, so if that's the way he sees best to write about it he has every right to do so, I just prefer Eich's style.

Another example you might know is Neruda's "Oda al átomo", similarly concise as Eich but still a very refined language. A very rare example of how poetry can go together with such horrific events:

La aurora
se había consumido.
Todos los pájaros
cayeron calcinados.
Un olor
de ataúd,
gas de las tumbas,
tronó por los espacios.
Subió horrenda
la forma del castigo
sobrehumano,
hongo sangriento, cúpula,
humareda,
espada
del infierno.
Subió quemante el aire
y se esparció la muerte
en ondas paralelas
(...)
piccoli equivoci senza importanza.

Visit my blog on spanish history: http://www.histoires-espagnoles.blogspot.fr
User avatar Christian
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23 Nov 2011 21:58

This Is the First Thing

This is the first thing
I have understood:
Time is the echo of an axe
Within a wood.

Philip Larkin

------

November 3

I'm sitting in a cafe,
drinking a Coke.

A fly is sleeping
on a paper napkin.

I have to wake him up,
so I can wipe my glasses.

There's a pretty girl I want to look at.

Richard Brautigan

----

The cow taking a big
dreamy crap, turning
to look at me

Jack Kerouac
User avatar Bag_O_Wallet
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23 Nov 2011 21:59

Christian wrote:You are right of course but still - for some reason the images "schwarze Milch" and "goldenes Haar/aschenes Haar" just seem a little simple to me. Maybe I just prefer Eich's style to portray this particular theme. Some people even said there could be no poetry after Auschwitz, hence the very reduced style of the time. I was unaware that Celan was a concentration camp survivor, so if that's the way he sees best to write about it he has every right to do so, I just prefer Eich's style.

Another example you might know is Neruda's "Oda al átomo", similarly concise as Eich but still a very refined language. A very rare example of how poetry can go together with such horrific events:

La aurora
se había consumido.
Todos los pájaros
cayeron calcinados.
Un olor
de ataúd,
gas de las tumbas,
tronó por los espacios.
Subió horrenda
la forma del castigo
sobrehumano,
hongo sangriento, cúpula,
humareda,
espada
del infierno.
Subió quemante el aire
y se esparció la muerte
en ondas paralelas
(...)


I think the reason for the simple imagery was that life in the camps was simply a matter of those very basic things; there wasn't even the variety shown by Eich in his Inventur. Celan's style of reading certainly alienated many of his contemporaries too. Plus also, there is a distinct lack of willingness to describe the harsh realities of the situation in flowery, pretentious language; the same lack of pretension is shown in a different way by Eich.

Celan's later stuff becomes very obtuse and abstract, whimsical and something I can't really get into, perhaps as a reaction to the directness with which he dealt with some pretty horrific experiences in his work.
User avatar Libertine Seguros
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23 Nov 2011 22:34

This is cool
Testing the bounds of reality.
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23 Nov 2011 22:46

Libertine Seguros wrote:Celan's later stuff becomes very obtuse and abstract, whimsical and something I can't really get into, perhaps as a reaction to the directness with which he dealt with some pretty horrific experiences in his work.


I don't know any of his other poems, it appears he is mostly known for his Todesfuge. I think it is also the most famous poem (there are probably very few) regarding this topic, giving me personally the sense that it is overused. Kind of like a good song that you have just heard too often over the years and then gets a little old.

On another note here is my favourite extract from Faust. In this particular scene, (verses 1224 - 1237), he is attempting to translate the new testament ("Das heilige Original") into German ("mein geliebtes Deutsch"):

Geschrieben steht: "Im Anfang war das Wort!"
Hier stock' ich schon! Wer hilft mir weiter fort?
Ich kann das Wort so hoch unmöglich schätzen,
Ich muss es anders übersetzen,
Wenn ich vom Geiste recht erleuchtet bin.
Geschrieben steht: Im Anfang war der Sinn.
Bedenke wohl die erste Zeile,
Dass deine Feder sich nicht übereile!
Ist es der Sinn, der alles wirkt und schafft?
Es sollte stehn: Im Anfang war die Kraft!
Doch, auch indem ich dieses niederschreibe,
Schon warnt mich was, dass ich dabei nicht bleibe,
Mir hilft der Geist! Auf einmal seh ich Rat
Und schreibe getrost: Im Anfang war die Tat!
piccoli equivoci senza importanza.

Visit my blog on spanish history: http://www.histoires-espagnoles.blogspot.fr
User avatar Christian
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27 Nov 2011 16:40

First part of my advent-poem

Today we light a candle clear
an angel sings in sky.
Sings of peace
upon this earth,
to each and everyone.
Sings of a time
when wars all end
and we join hands together,
to firm a circle throughout the world
where no one is left out.

[SIZE="1"]The rest will follow... later[/SIZE]
Aka The Ginger One.
User avatar RedheadDane
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27 Nov 2011 17:16

RedheadDane wrote:First part of my advent-poem

Today we light a candle clear
an angel sings in sky.
Sings of peace
upon this earth,
to each and everyone.
Sings of a time
when wars all end
and we join hands together,
to firm a circle throughout the world
where no one is left out.

[SIZE="1"]The rest will follow... later[/SIZE]


i was just about to ask you to share more of your poems
Testing the bounds of reality.
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27 Nov 2011 21:43

Haven't read poetry for a while, but certainly did do a few years back

I like Szymborska, seemingly simple, but subtle and can be read at different levels.
Jabberwocky is sheer genius.

As for the common tongue, here's a bit of Dylan .... Thomas that is

A Process in the Weather of the Heart

A process in the weather of the heart
Turns damp to dry; the golden shot
Storms in the freezing tomb.
A weather in the quarter of the veins
Turns night to day; blood in their suns
Lights up the living worm.

A process in the eye forwarns
The bones of blindness; and the womb
Drives in a death as life leaks out.

A darkness in the weather of the eye
Is half its light; the fathomed sea
Breaks on unangled land.
The seed that makes a forest of the loin
Forks half its fruit; and half drops down,
Slow in a sleeping wind.

A weather in the flesh and bone
Is damp and dry; the quick and dead
Move like two ghosts before the eye.

A process in the weather of the world
Turns ghost to ghost; each mothered child
Sits in their double shade.
A process blows the moon into the sun,
Pulls down the shabby curtains of the skin;
And the heart gives up its dead.
It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black - Dylan

Your hair is like meadow grass on the tide
And the raindrops on my window
And the ice in my drink
Baby all I can think of is Alice - Waits

Katedra (The Cathedral) - Bagiński
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msIjWthwWwI

I talk in maths - adapted from Yorke
User avatar Tank Engine
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pure poetry

28 Nov 2011 12:35

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

e.e.cummings
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28 Nov 2011 12:50

I really need to get me some E.E. Cummings. I like the few bits I've read. Very much. Here's his poem "I Sing of Olaf Glad and Big" turned into a folk song by Bread & Roses.
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