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About jfp

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  • Birthday February 20


  • Biography
    jfp = John from Paris [where I've now been "from" for over 28 years]
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    Reading (mainly fiction, in English and French...); baritone in semi-professional choir; pianist.
  • How did you hear about this site?
    Thanks to my Aussie friend Kimberley

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  1. MACBETH I hear it by the way; but I will send: There's not a one of them but in his house I keep a servant fee'd. I will to-morrow, And betimes I will, to the weird sisters: More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know, By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good, All causes shall give way: I am in blood Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o'er: Strange things I have in head, that will to hand; Which must be acted ere they may be scann'd. Shakespeare, Macbeth III/iv
  2. Let us walk in the white snow In a soundless space; With footsteps quiet and slow, At a tranquil pace, Under veils of white lace. I shall go shod in silk, And you in wool, White as white cow's milk, More beautiful Than the breast of a gull. We shall walk through the still town In a windless peace; We shall step upon white down, Upon silver fleece, Upon softer than these. We shall walk in velvet shoes: Wherever we go Silence will fall like dews On white silence below. We shall walk in the snow. Elinor WYLIE, "Velvet Shoes"
  3. Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul Of the wide world dreaming on things to come, Can yet the lease of my true love control, Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom. The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured And the sad augurs mock their own presage; Incertainties now crown themselves assured And peace proclaims olives of endless age. Now with the drops of this most balmy time My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes, Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme, While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes: And thou in this shalt find thy monument, When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 107
  4. We were a noisy crew; the sun in heaven Beheld not vales more beautiful than ours; Nor saw a band in happiness and joy Richer, or worthier of the ground they trod. I could record with no reluctant voice The woods of autumn, and their hazel bowers With milk-white clusters hung; the rod and line, True symbol of hope's foolishness, whose strong And unreproved enchantment led us on By rocks and pools shut out from every star, All the green summer, to forlorn cascades Among the windings hid of mountain brooks. --Unfading recollections! at this hour The heart is almost mine with which I felt, From some hill-top on sunny afternoons, The paper kite high among fleecy clouds Pull at her rein like an impetuous courser; Or, from the meadows sent on gusty days, Beheld her breast the wind, then suddenly Dashed headlong, and rejected by the storm. William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book I
  5. In summer, making quest for works of art, Or scenes renowned for beauty, I explored That streamlet whose blue current works its way Between romantic Dovedale's spiry rocks; Pried into Yorkshire dales, or hidden tracts Of my own native region, and was blest Between these sundry wanderings with a joy Above all joys, that seemed another morn Risen on mid noon; blest with the presence, Friend Of that sole Sister, her who hath been long Dear to thee also, thy true friend and mine, Now, after separation desolate, Restored to me--such absence that she seemed A gift then first bestowed. The varied banks Of Emont, hitherto unnamed in song, And that monastic castle, 'mid tall trees, Low standing by the margin of the stream, A mansion visited (as fame reports) By Sidney, where, in sight of our Helvellyn, Or stormy Cross-fell, snatches he might pen Of his Arcadia, by fraternal love Inspired;--that river and those mouldering towers Have seen us side by side, when, having clomb The darksome windings of a broken stair, And crept along a ridge of fractured wall, Not without trembling, we in safety looked Forth, through some Gothic window's open space, And gathered with one mind a rich reward From the far-stretching landscape, by the light Of morning beautified, or purple eve; Or, not less pleased, lay on some turret's head, Catching from tufts of grass and hare-bell flowers Their faintest whisper to the passing breeze, Given out while mid-day heat oppressed the plains. William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book VI
  6. [...] 'Fondling,' she saith, 'since I have hemm'd thee here Within the circuit of this ivory pale, I'll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer; Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale: Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry, Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie. Within this limit is relief enough, Sweet bottom-grass and high delightful plain, Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough, To shelter thee from tempest and from rain Then be my deer, since I am such a park; No dog shall rouse thee, though a thousand bark.' At this Adonis smiles as in disdain, That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple: Love made those hollows, if himself were slain, He might be buried in a tomb so simple; Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie, Why, there Love lived and there he could not die. [...] From Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis
  7. That Whitsun, I was late getting away: Not till about One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out, All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense Of being in a hurry gone. We ran Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence The river’s level drifting breadth began, Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet. All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept For miles inland, A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept. Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and Canals with floatings of industrial froth; A hothouse flashed uniquely: hedges dipped And rose: and now and then a smell of grass Displaced the reek of buttoned carriage-cloth Until the next town, new and nondescript, Approached with acres of dismantled cars. [...] Philip LARKIN, "The Whitsun Weddings"' (first two stanzas)
  8. Rise up, thou monstrous ant-hill on the plain Of a too busy world! Before me flow, Thou endless stream of men and moving things! Thy every-day appearance, as it strikes - With wonder heightened, or sublimed by awe - On strangers, of all ages; the quick dance Of colours, lights, and forms; the deafening din; The comers and the goers face to face, Face after face; the string of dazzling wares, Shop after shop, with symbols, blazoned names, And all the tradesman's honours overhead: Here, fronts of houses, like a title-page, With letters huge inscribed from top to toe, Stationed above the door, like guardian saints; There, allegoric shapes, female or male, Or physiognomies of real men, Land-warriors, kings, or admirals of the sea, Boyle, Shakspeare, Newton, or the attractive head Of some quack-doctor, famous in his day. William WORDSWORTH, The Prelude, Book VII
  9. Oops ... but it does say betwitched on the usually reliable opensourcesshakespeare.org site...I've amended it... [...] Of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense Distending wide, and man beloved as man, Where France in all her towns lay vibrating Like some becalmèd bark beneath the burst Of Heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud Is visible, or shadow on the main. For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded, Amid the tremor of a realm aglow, Amid the mighty nation jubilant, When from the general heart of human kind Hope sprang forth like a full-born Diety ! -- Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down, So summoned homeward, thenceforth calm and sure From the dread watch-tower of man's absolute self, With light unwaning on her eyes, to look Far on--herself a glory to behold, The Angel of the vision ! Then (last strain) Of Duty, chosen Laws controlling choice, Action and Joy !--An Orphic song indeed, A song divine of high and passionate thoughts To their own music chaunted! O great Bard! [...] Samuel Taylor Coleridge - "To William Wordsworth"
  10. CHORUS Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie, And young affection gapes to be his heir; That fair for which love groan'd for and would die, With tender Juliet match'd, is now not fair. Now Romeo is beloved and loves again, Alike bewitched by the charm of looks, But to his foe supposed he must complain, And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks: Being held a foe, he may not have access To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear; And she as much in love, her means much less To meet her new-beloved any where: But passion lends them power, time means, to meet Tempering extremities with extreme sweet. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II
  11. All day within the dreamy house, The doors upon their hinges creak'd; The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek'd, Or from the crevice peer'd about. Old faces glimmer'd thro' the doors Old footsteps trod the upper floors, Old voices called her from without. She only said, "My life is dreary, He cometh not," she said; She said, "I am aweary, aweary, I would that I were dead!" Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Mariana" (penultimate stanza)
  12. Ay, tear her tattered ensign down! Long has it waved on high, And many an eye has danced to see That banner in the sky; Beneath it rung the battle shout, And burst the cannon’s roar;— The meteor of the ocean air Shall sweep the clouds no more! Her deck, once red with heroes’ blood Where knelt the vanquished foe, When winds were hurrying o’er the flood And waves were white below, No more shall feel the victor’s tread, Or know the conquered knee;— The harpies of the shore shall pluck The eagle of the sea! O, better that her shattered hulk Should sink beneath the wave; Her thunders shook the mighty deep, And there should be her grave; Nail to the mast her holy flag, Set every thread-bare sail, And give her to the god of storms,— The lightning and the gale! Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "Old Ironsides"
  13. Midwinter spring is its own season Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown, Suspended in time, between pole and tropic. When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire, The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches, In windless cold that is the heart's heat, Reflecting in a watery mirror A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon. And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier, Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing The soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smell Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time But not in time's covenant. Now the hedgerow Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom Of snow, a bloom more sudden Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading, Not in the scheme of generation. Where is the summer, the unimaginable Zero summer? From T.S.ELIOT, "Little Gidding" (Four Quartets)
  14. Beyond all this, the wish to be alone: However the sky grows dark with invitation-cards However we follow the printed directions of sex However the family is photographed under the flag-staff - Beyond all this, the wish to be alone. Beneath it all, the desire for oblivion runs: Despite the artful tensions of the calendar, The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites, The costly aversion of the eyes away from death - Beneath it all, the desire for oblivion runs. Philip Larkin - "Wants"
  15. Momac, A lot of poetry is easily available online, for example here: http://www.bartleby.com/verse/ I have a number of anthologies, but they tend to be at the bottoms of piles of other books... Most of what I put on this thread is copied and pasted, although I sometimes copy something out...