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Poetic Wanderings


Claire
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Early in the morning
Of a lovely summer day,
As they lowered the bright awning
At the outdoor café,
I was breakfasting on croissants
And café au lait
Under greenery like scenery,
Rue François Premier.
They were hosing the hot pavement
With a dash of flashing spray
And a smell of summer showers
When the dust is drenched away.
Under greenery like scenery,
Rue François Premier.
I was twenty and a lover
And in Paradise to stay,
Very early in the morning
Of a lovely summer day.

 

Robert Hillyer - "Early in the Morning"
Beautifully set to music by Ned Rorem, now, incredibly, 98 years old:

 

Edited by jfp
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That was a spring of storms. They prowled the night;
Low level lightning flickered in the east
Continuous. The white pear-blossom gleamed
Motionless in the flashes; birds were still;
Darkness and silence knotted to suspense,
Riven by the premonitory glint
Of skulking storm, a giant that whirled a sword
Over the low horizon, and with tread
Earth-shaking ever threatened his approach,
But to delay his terror kept afar,

And held earth stayed in waiting like a beast
Bowed to receive a blow. But when he strode
Down from his throne of hills upon the plain,
And broke his anger to a thousand shards
Over the prostrate fields, then leapt the earth
Proud to accept his challenge; drank his rain;
Under his sudden wind tossed wild her trees;
Opened her secret bosom to his shafts;
The great drops spattered; then above the house
Crashed thunder, and the little wainscot shook
And the green garden in the lightning lay.

 

Vita Sackville-West - from 'The Land'

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3 hours ago, Heather said:

That was a spring of storms.

 

There was no spring in my poem... even if there was in the one before...
There's nothing like being ignored. 🤪

Edited by jfp
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21 hours ago, jfp said:

 

There was no spring in my poem... even if there was in the one before...
There's nothing like being ignored. 🤪

Drat! Caught out by the end of the page yet again! I'm so sorry.

 

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licóur
Of which vertú engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye,
So priketh hem Natúre in hir corages,
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.
 
Geoffrey Chaucer - from 'The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue'
 
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Ruminant pillows! Gregarious soft boulders!

 

If one of you found a gap in a stone wall,

the rest of you—rams, ewes, bucks, wethers, lambs;

mothers and daughters, old grandfather-father,

cousins and aunts, small bleating sons—

followed onward, stupid

as sheep, wherever

your leader’s sheep-brain wandered to.

 

My grandfather spent all day searching the valley

and edges of Ragged Mountain,

calling “Ke-day!” as if he brought you salt,

“Ke-day! Ke-day!”

 

 First stanza of The Black-Faced SheepDonald Hall

 

The full poem can be found here

 

 

 

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My grandfather's hoose at Brechan wis staned

And him in the city guid kens hoo lang

And his sons playing waltzes at the local dances.

 

My grandfather's hoose at Brechan wis staned

And the wa's clorted 'Eyties go home!'

And his sons awa tae jyne the forces.

 

My grandfather's hoose at Brechan wis staned

And the wa's clorted 'Eyties go home!'

But he never did. He gaed til Pitlochry.

 

He gaed til Pitlochry, interned at eighty,

And him in the city guid kens hoo lang

And his sons playing waltzes at the local dances.

 

My grandfather's hoose at Brecham wis staned

And the wa's clorted 'Eyties go home!'

His windows were broken. And muckle mair.

 

Raymond Vettese - 'My grandfather's hoose at Brecham wis staned'

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GHOST

I am thy father's spirit,
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confin'd to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purg'd away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,                                  pronounced /həʊs/, i.e. with the vowel-sound of those
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine.
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.

 

Shakespeare - Hamlet I/v

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A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.
 
In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the rooftree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain
 
T.S. Eliot - from 'The Waste Land V: What the Thunder Said'
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Come To Sunny Prestatyn
Laughed the girl on the poster,
Kneeling up on the sand   
In tautened white satin.   
Behind her, a hunk of coast, a
Hotel with palms
Seemed to expand from her thighs and   
Spread breast-lifting arms.
 
She was slapped up one day in March.   
A couple of weeks, and her face
Was snaggle-toothed and boss-eyed;   
Huge tits and a fissured crotch
Were scored well in, and the space   
Between her legs held scrawls
That set her fairly astride
A tuberous cock and balls
 
Autographed Titch Thomas, while   
Someone had used a knife
Or something to stab right through   
The moustached lips of her smile.   
She was too good for this life.   
Very soon, a great transverse tear   
Left only a hand and some blue.   
Now Fight Cancer is there.
 
Philip Larkin - "Sunny Prestatyn"
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The cauld licht glimmers on the sand

And glisters on the faem:

And the sailor-lad has fund the land

Afore his boat is hame.

 

The lift looks doun wi' glitterin e'en:

The wave swurls owre the rock:

And the cauld sea comes rowin in;

And the cauld sea gangs back.

 

William Soutar - 'Poem'

 

 

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LEONTES

Apollo, pardon
My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle!
I'll reconcile me to Polixenes,
New woo my queen, recall the good Camillo,
Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy;
For, being transported by my jealousies
To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose
Camillo for the minister to poison
My friend Polixenes: which had been done,
But that the good mind of Camillo tardied
My swift command, though I with death and with
Reward did threaten and encourage him,
Not doing 't and being done: he, most humane
And fill'd with honour, to my kingly guest
Unclasp'd my practise, quit his fortunes here,
Which you knew great, and to the hazard
Of all encertainties himself commended,
No richer than his honour: how he glisters
Thorough my rust! and how his pity
Does my deeds make the blacker!

 

Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale III/ii

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