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  1. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    27 Aug '13 23:58
    Poetry Corner

    “The Gift”


    In 1945, when the keepers cried kaput
    Josef Stein, poet, came out of Dachau
    Like half a resurrection, his other half
    eighty pounds still in their invisible grave.
    Slowly then the mouth opened at first
    a broth, and then a medication, and then
    a diet, and all in time and the knitting mercies,
    the showing bones were buried back in flesh,

    and the miracle was finished. Josef Stein
    man and poet, rose, walked, and could even
    beget, and did, and later died of other causes
    only partly traceable to his first death.

    He noted - with some surprise at first -
    that strangers could not tell he had died once.
    He returned to his post in the library, drank his beer,
    published three poems in a French magazine,

    and was very kind to the son who at last was his.
    In the spent of one night he wrote three propositions:
    That Hell is the denial of the ordinary. That nothing lasts.
    That clean white paper waiting under a pen

    is the gift beyond history and hurt and heaven.

    (John Ciardi)

    http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/gift/gift.html

    Note: Link site graphics lend an aura to Ciardi's words. After a reading in Boston, he autographed this poem in my copy of "Modern Poets" large size paperback, which is with my belongings somewhere in a musty box in my son's home near Boston.
  2. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    28 Aug '13 00:03
    Waiting for My Clothes

    The day the doctors and nurses are having
    their weekly patient interviews, I sit waiting
    my turn outside the office, my back to the wall,
    legs curled up under my chin, playing

    with the hem of my white hospital gown.
    They have taken everything they thought
    should be taken — my clothes, my books
    my music, as if being stripped of these

    were part of the cure, like removing the sheath
    from a blade that has slaughtered.
    They said, Wait a few days, and if you're good
    you can have your things back. They'd taken

    my journal, my word made flesh, and I think
    of those doctors knowing me naked
    holding me by my spine, two fingers
    under my neck, the way you would hold a baby,

    taking my soul from between my ribs
    and leafing through the pages of my thoughts,
    as if they were reading my palms,
    and my name beneath them like a confession,

    owning this girl, claiming this world
    of blackness and lightness and death
    and birth. It lies in their hands like a life-line,
    and I feel myself fall open or apart.

    They hear my voice as they read
    and think, Who is this girl that is speaking?
    I know the end, she tells them.
    It is the last line, both source and closing.

    It is what oceans sing to, how the sun moves,
    a place for the map-maker to begin.
    Behind the door, nothing is said.
    Like dreams, my clothes come out of their boxes.

    (Leanne O’Sullivan)

    http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013%2F08%2F03

    Note: Poem's reminiscent of the environment during my sixteen month unplanned sabbatical from Red Hot Pawn.
  3. 28 Aug '13 02:29
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]Waiting for My Clothes

    The day the doctors and nurses are having
    their weekly patient interviews, I sit waiting
    my turn outside the office, my back to the wall,
    legs curled up under my chin, playing

    with the hem of my white hospital gown.
    They have taken everything they thought
    should be taken — my clothes, my books
    my music, ...[text shortened]... eminiscent of the environment during my sixteen month unplanned sabbatical from Red Hot Pawn.[/b]
    Excellent poems, both, compelling and nuanced all in one!
  4. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    28 Aug '13 07:02 / 1 edit
    "Should lanterns shine, the holy face,
    Caught in an octagon of unaccustomed light,
    Would wither up, and any boy of love
    Look twice before he fell from grace.
    The features in their private dark
    Are formed of flesh, but let the false day come
    And from her lips the faded pigments fall,
    The mummy cloths expose an ancient breast.

    I have been told to reason by the heart,
    But heart, like head, leads helplessly;
    I have been told to reason by the pulse,
    And, when it quickens, alter the actions' pace
    Till field and roof lie level and the same
    So fast I move defying time, the quiet gentleman
    Whose beard wags in Egyptian wind.

    I have heard many years of telling,
    And many years should see some change.

    The ball I threw while playing in the park
    Has not yet reached the ground."

    This Dylan Thomas poem had such a profound influence upon me in my late teens that, having committed it to memory, it haunted me continuously, and still does. Such rich imagery, and, though there is the existentialist despair slashed across every idea, there is also the beauty of hope. Poetry conquers all.
  5. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    28 Aug '13 07:30
    Nobody Loses All The Time

    nobody loses all the time

    i had an uncle named
    Sol who was a born failure and
    nearly everybody said he should have gone
    into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
    sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which
    may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

    Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
    of all to use a highfalootin phrase
    luxuries that is or to
    wit farming and be
    it needlessly
    added

    my Uncle Sol’s farm
    failed because the chickens
    ate the vegetables so
    my Uncle Sol had a
    chicken farm till the
    skunks ate the chickens when

    my Uncle Sol
    had a skunk farm but
    the skunks caught cold and
    died and so
    my Uncle Sol imitated the
    skunks in a subtle manner

    or by drowning himself in the watertank
    but somebody who’d given my Uncle Sol a Victor
    Victrola and records while he lived presented to
    him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
    scruptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
    tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything and
    i remember we all cried like the Missouri
    when my Uncle Sol’s coffin lurched because
    somebody pressed a button
    (and down went
    my Uncle
    Sol

    and started a worm farm)

    E. E. Cummings (1894 - 1962)

    http://hellopoetry.com/poem/nobody-loses-all-the-time/
  6. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    28 Aug '13 08:46
    A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London

    Never until the mankind making
    Bird beast and flower
    Fathering and all humbling darkness
    Tells with silence the last light breaking
    And the still hour
    Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

    And I must enter again the round
    Zion of the water bead
    And the synagogue of the ear of corn
    Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
    Or sow my salt seed
    In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

    The majesty and burning of the child's death.
    I shall not murder
    The mankind of her going with a grave truth
    Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
    With any further
    Elegy of innocence and youth.

    Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
    Robed in the long friends,
    The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
    Secret by the unmourning water
    Of the riding Thames.
    After the first death, there is no other.

    Dylan Thomas.
  7. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    29 Aug '13 04:50
    Anthem For Doomed Youth

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
    Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,
    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
    And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
    What candles may be held to speed them all?
    Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
    Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
    The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
    Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

    Wilfred Owen

    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/anthem-for-doomed-youth/
    http://www.poemhunter.com/wilfred-owen/biography/

    Note: The concluding lines I've continued to ponder many evenings since discovering this poet and his works
    in my early twenties (often speaking them audibly while tidying up my home before sleep when alone).
  8. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    29 Aug '13 04:54
    Originally posted by Pianoman1

    "Should lanterns shine, the holy face,
    Caught in an octagon of unaccustomed light,
    Would wither up, and any boy of love
    Look twice before he fell from grace.
    The features in their private dark
    Are formed of flesh, but let the false day come
    And from her lips the faded pigments fall,
    The mummy cloths expose an ancient breast.

    I have been told to ...[text shortened]... ist despair slashed across every idea, there is also the beauty of hope. Poetry conquers all.
    "The ball I threw while playing in the park
    Has not yet reached the ground."

    If the emotion is possible and permissible in context, I cherish this line. Thanks, Pianoman1...
  9. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    29 Aug '13 07:41
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]Anthem For Doomed Youth

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
    Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,
    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
    And b ...[text shortened]... arly twenties (often speaking them audibly while tidying up my home before sleep when alone).[/b]
    When final extinction is so exquisitly close, the poet is able to expose such raw sincerity, such simplicity of message couched in ineffable tenderness. Remember these lines? I am quoting off the top of my head and may confuse:

    "If I should die, think only this of me,
    That there is some corner of a foreign country
    That is forever England."

    Rupert Brooke?
  10. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    29 Aug '13 07:57
    Getting a bit black and gloomy.
    How about these lines by Edmund Spenser (1552 - 1599) to lighten the mood?

    "There, in a Meadow, by the Riuers side,
    A Flocke of Nymphes I chaunced to espy,
    All louely Daughters of the Flood thereby,
    With goodly greenish locks of lose vntyde.
    As each had hence a Bryde,
    And each one had a little wicker basket,
    Made of fine twigs entrayled curiously,
    In each they gathered flowers to fill their flasket:
    And with fine Fingers, cropt full feateously
    The tender stalkes on hye.
    Of euery sort which in the Meadow grew,
    They gathered some; the Violet pallid blew,
    The little Dazie, that at euening closes,
    The virgin Lillie and the Primrose trew,
    With store of vermeil Roses,
    To decke their Bridegroomes posies
    Against the Brydale day, which was not long"

    Delightful!
  11. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    29 Aug '13 14:20
    The Waking (1953)

    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    We think by feeling. What is there to know?
    I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Of those so close beside me, which are you?
    God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
    And learn by going where I have to go.

    Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
    The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Great Nature has another thing to do
    To you and me, so take the lively air,
    And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

    This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
    What falls away is always. And is near.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    Theodore Roethke

    http://www.poemhunter.com/theodore-roethke/
  12. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    30 Aug '13 06:34
    Damian Hirst

    So, Damien Hirst, you've got a fish, 
    Killed it, pickled it, ridiculed it, 
    Drowned it in formaldehyde, 
    Hung it in a see through box, 
    A clean rectangular glass box, 
    And called it Art. 

    And children come from miles around 
    Stare, boggle-eyed, starry-eyed, 
    Just a bit frightened-eyed, 
    Trapped, awed, hurt inside, 
    Raging at the cruel inhumanity 
    The sham, the shame of your Art. 

    But in the dark the shark awakes, 
    Its eyes aglint, its streamlined body 
    Streaking through the warm wastes, 
    Its silvery and lethal lines honed to kill, 
    Once more a thing of beauty, 
    A thing of wonder, a work of art. 

    Nicholas Quiney
    2012
  13. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    30 Aug '13 07:30
    Editor's Selection of Poems
    Otto
    by Theodore Roethke

    1

    He was the youngest son of a strange brood,
    A Prussian who learned early to be rude
    To fools and frauds: He does not put on airs
    Who lived above a potting shed for years.
    I think of him, and I think of his men,
    As close to him as any kith or kin.
    Max Laurish had the greenest thumb of all.
    A florist does not woo the beautiful:
    He potted plants as if he hated them.
    What root of his ever denied its stem?
    When flowers grew, ther bloom extended him."

    2

    His hand could fit into a woman's glove,
    And in a wood he knew whatever moved;
    Once when he saw two poachers on his land,
    He threw his rifle over with one hand;
    Dry bark flew in their faces from his shot,—
    He always knew what he was aiming at.
    They stood there with their guns; he walked toward,
    Without his rifle, and slapped each one hard;
    It was no random act, for those two men
    Had slaughtered game, and cut young fir trees down.
    I was no more than seven at the time.

    3

    A house for flowers! House upon house they built,
    Whether for love or out of obscure guilt
    For ancestors who loved a warlike show,
    Or Frenchmen killed a hundred years ago,
    And yet still violent men, whose stacked-up guns
    Killed every cat that neared their pheasant runs;
    When Hattie Wright's angora died as well,
    My father took it to her, by the tail.
    Who loves the small can be both saint and boor,
    (And some grow out of shape, their seed impure.)
    The Indians loved him, and the Polish poor.

    4

    In my mind's eye I see those fields of glass,
    As I looked out at them from the high house,
    Riding beneath the moon, hid from the moon,
    Then slowly breaking whiter in the dawn;
    When George the watchman's lantern dropped from sight
    The long pipes knocked: it was the end of night.
    I'd stand upon my bed, a sleepless child
    Watching the waking of my father's world.—
    O world so far away! O my lost world!
  14. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    30 Aug '13 11:07 / 1 edit
    In memory of Seamus Heaney who died today........

    Wedding Day

    I am afraid.
    Sound has stopped in the day
    And the images reel over
    And over. Why all those years,

    The wild grief on his face
    Outside the taxi? The sap
    Of mourning rises
    In our waving guests.

    You sing behind the tall cake
    Like a deserted bride
    Who persists, demented,
    And goes through the ritual.

    When I went to the gents
    There was a skewered heart
    And a legend of love. Let me
    Sleep on your breast to the airport.

    Seamus Heaney (1939 - 2013)
  15. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    30 Aug '13 12:24 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Pianoman1

    In memory of Seamus Heaney who died today........

    [b] Wedding Day


    I am afraid.
    Sound has stopped in the day
    And the images reel over
    And over. Why all those years,

    The wild grief on his face
    Outside the taxi? The sap
    Of mourning rises
    In our waving guests.

    You sing behind the tall cake
    Like a deserted bride
    Who persists, demented ...[text shortened]... nd a legend of love. Let me
    Sleep on your breast to the airport.

    Seamus Heaney (1939 - 2013)[/b]
    Los Angeles Times Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 5:12 AM PDT (with photo)

    http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-seamus-heaney-dies-20130830,0,6967474.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+(L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories)

    "Seamus Heaney, Irish poet and Nobel winner, dies at 74
    Considered Ireland's greatest poet since William Butler Yeats,
    Heaney won the 1995 Nobel Prize for literature."