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The Poetry Thread

Statsman

The nice one, or so it seemed.
Staff member
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Nov 28, 2018
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A quiet retirement home
`Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number--
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you--
Ye are many -- they are few.'
Percy Bysshe Shelley - The_Masque_of_Anarchy, 39

‘What is Freedom?––ye can tell
That which slavery is, too well––
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.
And that worked out well, didn't it?
 

Seosamh

Member
Nov 29, 2018
10,422
7,164
Who, then, hath failed? That one who tries
To reach life far above his eyes;
Who longs to do the worthiest things,
And 'gainst all difficulties flings
The power and strength that make a man;
That one who would complete what faith began,
But, climbing on, o'ercoming all,
Bursts his strong heart, and reels, to fall
Before some last vast summit still unscaled?
He hath not failed!

There is a triumph in defeat;
And noble sorrow's tears are sweet.
The high heart raptures, though it break
In stress of agony's fierce ache.
Yes, when all strength, all will is spent
In strife where truth and honor both are blent,
The sense of worth, the thought that all
Was risked for good, to stand or fall—
These things turn blackest ruin that may be,
To victory!

Who, then, hath failed? 'Tis he whose deeds
Scorn truth and right; who hears nor heeds
Our fear, our faith, or wrath, or love.
Whose iron ambition strives above
All measures of all good and ill;
A frenzied ego with a poisoned will;
Who gains his joy, his life, his light
In triumphs of a monstrous might!
Though 'neath a world-wide power his shame be veiled,
He, he, hath failed!
 

Seosamh

Member
Nov 29, 2018
10,422
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"The Cure at Troy"

Human beings suffer,
they torture one another,
they get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
can fully right a wrong
inflicted or endured.

The innocent in gaols
beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker's father
stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
faints at the funeral home.

History says, Don't hope
on this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
the longed for tidal wave
of justice can rise up,
and hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
on the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells.

Call the miracle self-healing:
The utter self-revealing
double-take of feeling.
If there's fire on the mountain
Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing
the outcry and the birth-cry
of new life at its term.

SH
 

Statsman

The nice one, or so it seemed.
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Nov 28, 2018
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A quiet retirement home
I see Louise Gluck has won the Nobel; I've never taken to her work, I'm afraid.
 
Nov 27, 2018
4,975
6,744
A bit of an apocalyptic edge to life at the moment, so was in a mood, thinking about this, it gets the spot..

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


.. but only the first half. His big 'revelation' moment isn't doing it for me.
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854
A bit of an apocalyptic edge to life at the moment, so was in a mood, thinking about this, it gets the spot..

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


.. but only the first half. His big 'revelation' moment isn't doing it for me.
Pretty good description of the present political and social situation.
 

Shaadi

Member
Feb 16, 2019
2,594
2,890
The Season Of Love And Hate

A procession of visitors arriving without warning
Once a year hellos and hugs the veneer that covers the scars
Opening frostiness thawing as conversation begins to flow
Smiling through gritted teeth at inane chatter and enjoying the gossip
Then news of an unexpected death at home that leaves us deflated
Thinking why couldn't it have been one of you and not really meaning it


Another cup of tea and biscuits, a drop of whiskey, it must be half-time by now
Old ground gone over for the thousandth time, the career news and boasting
Okay that's enough friendliness for now and we are all sick of each other again
Finally the end comes as they must be on their way while it's still bright
Wistfully waving goodbye knowing that for some this meeting might be their last

Shaadi...


GG20s lack of enthusiasm for Christmas visitors over on the virus thread brought to mind this old take on the holiday season.
 
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T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854
The Season Of Love And Hate

A procession of visitors arriving without warning
Once a year hellos and hugs the veneer that covers the scars
Opening frostiness thawing as conversation begins to flow
Smiling through gritted teeth at inane chatter and enjoying the gossip
Then news of an unexpected death at home that leaves us deflated
Thinking why couldn't it have been one of you and not really meaning it


Another cup of tea and biscuits, a drop of whiskey, it must be half-time by now
Old ground gone over for the thousandth time, the career news and boasting
Okay that's enough friendliness for now and we are all sick of each other again
Finally the end comes as they must be on their way while it's still bright
Wistfully waving goodbye knowing that for some this meeting might be their last

Shaadi...


GG20s lack of enthusiasm for Christmas visitors over on the virus thread brought to mind this old take on the holiday season.
Your own, Shaddi?
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854
I first read this back in my school days in the ”Our Boys” magazine. It was called “He wouldn’t” but I came upon it recently again with what I presume is its correct name.

THE INCORRIGIBLE
Guy Boas

He didn't like authority; O'Kelly was his name.
He wouldn't do a stroke of work or play a single game.
They did their best to make him, but it wasn't any use.
He resisted all coercion and was deaf to all abuse.

Their efforts to instruct him he persistently ignored.
He wouldn't look at anything they wrote upon the board.
He wouldn't construe Caesar or attempt a simple sum,
And when they asked him questions he pretended he was dumb.

He wouldn't rise for early school, he wouldn't go to bed,
He wouldn't answer "Adsum" when the call-over was read;
He wouldn't blow the organ, and he wouldn't write out lines,
And when he lost the library books he wouldn't pay the fines.

He wouldn't cap the masters and he wouldn't call them "Sir;"
The prefects tried to make him fag but he declined to stir;
He was cheeky to the matron, he was saucy to the maids.
He was very insubordinate on A.T.C. parades.

He wouldn't keep in bounds, and they discovered him one day
Very early in the morning breaking out to run away.
As this clearly was the moment their authority to show,
The Head expelled O'Kelly, but O'Kelly wouldn't go.
 

seanof

Member
Nov 27, 2018
2,896
2,856
I first read this back in my school days in the ”Our Boys” magazine. It was called “He wouldn’t” but I came upon it recently again with what I presume is its correct name.

THE INCORRIGIBLE
Guy Boas

He didn't like authority; O'Kelly was his name.
He wouldn't do a stroke of work or play a single game.
They did their best to make him, but it wasn't any use.
He resisted all coercion and was deaf to all abuse.

Their efforts to instruct him he persistently ignored.
He wouldn't look at anything they wrote upon the board.
He wouldn't construe Caesar or attempt a simple sum,
And when they asked him questions he pretended he was dumb.

He wouldn't rise for early school, he wouldn't go to bed,
He wouldn't answer "Adsum" when the call-over was read;
He wouldn't blow the organ, and he wouldn't write out lines,
And when he lost the library books he wouldn't pay the fines.

He wouldn't cap the masters and he wouldn't call them "Sir;"
The prefects tried to make him fag but he declined to stir;
He was cheeky to the matron, he was saucy to the maids.
He was very insubordinate on A.T.C. parades.

He wouldn't keep in bounds, and they discovered him one day
Very early in the morning breaking out to run away.
As this clearly was the moment their authority to show,
The Head expelled O'Kelly, but O'Kelly wouldn't go.
I remember "Our Boys". I used to spend most time on the radio / electronics page although most of it went over my head at the time. They always had ads for Peats of Parnell St who used to supply components for radio building.
 

Shaadi

Member
Feb 16, 2019
2,594
2,890
A Man from Derrybrien

He had the shoulders of a horse, and the long face
of a horse, and the belly of a horse.
He clomped in his wet-concrete boots as might a horse.
He whinnied for a laugh. Threw the head
at this notion or that, flighty, suspicious as a horse.
Hired himself out in the name of a horse.
And shouted, if you were a mate of his, “Hello, horse.”
Hauled a horse-load hour after hour,
and drank by night as became a thirsty horse.
Put his money on a losing horse. Shod
and groomed himself to make ‘the odd gallop back across’.
Otherwise ‘lived horse and got grass’, cantering
memories of hills he’d never settle. Lost,
it took forty years, his wind and limb – a broken horse.
In Camden Town. Forgotten as a matter of course.

I like this. Most of Deeley's work isn't easy, but this has a lovely honest not taking itself seriously flow to it and it brings to mind the pains that lie behind the quirky characters that we often dismiss without thinking anything at all about how they have been living.
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854

I like this. Most of Deeley's work isn't easy, but this has a lovely honest not taking itself seriously flow to it and it brings to mind the pains that lie behind the quirky characters that we often dismiss without thinking anything at all about how they have been living.
Sweeping the chimney

This pleasant piece is of another time. Today chimney-sweeps have different tools .The only time I had my chimney swept, two Koreans did it. I found them in an advert. On a cold January afternoon they got lost several times before arriving as the sky darkened and the day drained away, a young woman and a young man. The woman was the spokesperson and the director. When I told her the chimney had a fan, she looked put out. Still the young man got to work with a vacuum and in less than an hour was done. The woman lit a piece of firelighter on the grate and the flame went straight up. I paid them and they left, leaving behind a government leaflet advising me to have my chimney cleaned at least once a year.



Dead of night Love Poem

Reading that poem I began to wonder how together people can ever possibly hope to be. You may be with a person day and night, but where they go in their dreams, you can’t go. I’ve just read “Anthem” by Ayn Rand, which espouses the “I”s above the “We”s. What the story is trying to say, I think, is that while there may be a collection of “I”s, that collection, cannot become a “We”, because “We” precludes variety.

All the above said, of course, everyone can only take from a poem something related to their own experiences.
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854
https://www.poetryireland.ie/publications/poetry-ireland-review/online-archive/view/when-the-women-have-gone-to-bed

watching BBC2 NI autobiographical film by Derek Mahon - lovely footage and interviews
A whiskey advising it's drinker not to drink too much! I would have a different view of it.

Watching CNN over the last few years, it inserts, in the breaks between current affairs, little segments on the histories of 100 year-old companies. And Jim Beam is one of them.
 

soccop

Pavlov rings my bell.
Staff member
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Nov 28, 2018
10,445
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Temporally dislocated.

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
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When does prose turn into poetry? Facing something like this once at a poetry workshop, I asked the question, what exactly is poetry? After a knitting of brows and a lot of hemming and humming, I was told that "poetry has never been exactly defined". Slicing and dicing lines of prose does not, to my mind, turn it into poetry. It just makes the prose fall off a cliff. And it's such commonplace prose, at that.
 

publicrealm

Member
Nov 27, 2018
7,605
10,389

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold


Critiqued

No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was
actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;
Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red
mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof?
Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say,
at the very most,
Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian
cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold


Critiqued

No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was
actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;
Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red
mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof?
Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say,
at the very most,
Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian
cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
Give the man credit - Ogden Nash.
 

Cruimh

Rhubarb fetishist and proud of it!
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Nov 28, 2018
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Under the blue skies
www.xxx-rhubarb.com

Cruimh

Rhubarb fetishist and proud of it!
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Nov 28, 2018
18,714
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Under the blue skies
www.xxx-rhubarb.com
Was watching a PBS America history of WWI earlier - they quoted Patrick MacGill - from one of his autobiographical books on his wartime experiences

Also a fine poet who deserves more attention - all in all an amazing man


Death And Fairies

Before I joined the Army
I lived in Donegal,
Where every night the Fairies
Would hold their carnival.

But now I'm out in Flanders,
Where men like wheat-ears fall,
And it's Death and not the Fairies
Who is holding carnival.


The Fly
by Patrick MacGill

Buzz-fly and gad-fly, dragon-fly and blue,
When you're in the trenches come and visit you,
They revel in your butter-dish and riot on your ham,
Drill upon the army cheese and loot the army jam.
They're with you in the dusk and the dawning and the noon,
They come in close formation, in column and platoon.
There's never zest like Tommy's zest when these have got to die:
For Tommy takes his puttees off and strafs the blooming fly.


I don't want to overdo the quoting, but here he writes about Donegal

 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854
Was watching a PBS America history of WWI earlier - they quoted Patrick MacGill - from one of his autobiographical books on his wartime experiences

Also a fine poet who deserves more attention - all in all an amazing man


Death And Fairies

Before I joined the Army
I lived in Donegal,
Where every night the Fairies
Would hold their carnival.

But now I'm out in Flanders,
Where men like wheat-ears fall,
And it's Death and not the Fairies
Who is holding carnival.


The Fly
by Patrick MacGill

Buzz-fly and gad-fly, dragon-fly and blue,
When you're in the trenches come and visit you,
They revel in your butter-dish and riot on your ham,
Drill upon the army cheese and loot the army jam.
They're with you in the dusk and the dawning and the noon,
They come in close formation, in column and platoon.
There's never zest like Tommy's zest when these have got to die:
For Tommy takes his puttees off and strafs the blooming fly.


I don't want to overdo the quoting, but here he writes about Donegal

Thanks for the post. As far as I can recall, I haven't heard of Patrick MacGill until now. A bit of exploring to do.
 

Cruimh

Rhubarb fetishist and proud of it!
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Nov 28, 2018
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Under the blue skies
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Thanks for the post. As far as I can recall, I haven't heard of Patrick MacGill until now. A bit of exploring to do.
An amazing guy - his books are worth downloading I suppose we could consider him a rural Sean O’Casey



children of the dead end and the rat pit are excellent look at life in hard times and his books about his experiences in WWI are very gritty
 

hollandia

Literally knows shit
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An amazing guy - his books are worth downloading I suppose we could consider him a rural Sean O’Casey



children of the dead end and the rat pit are excellent look at life in hard times and his books about his experiences in WWI are very gritty
Excuse my ignorance, but is that he of the political kite flying getaway summer school?
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
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1,854
An amazing guy - his books are worth downloading I suppose we could consider him a rural Sean O’Casey



children of the dead end and the rat pit are excellent look at life in hard times and his books about his experiences in WWI are very gritty
I've downloaded Children of the Dead End from Gutenberg; just need a spare moment now to put it on my reader. (I know I could download it direct to my reader, but I'm well behind the times at this stage.) I've also had a look at MacGill's page on Wikipedia.
 
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Cruimh

Rhubarb fetishist and proud of it!
Staff member
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Member
Nov 28, 2018
18,714
12,401
Under the blue skies
www.xxx-rhubarb.com
I've downloaded Children of the Dead End from Gutenberg; just need a spare moment now to put it on my reader. (I know I could download it direct to my reader, but I'm well behind the times at this stage.) I've also had a look at MacGill's page on Wikipedia.
I found quite a few pdfs of his books.
Excuse my ignorance, but is that he of the political kite flying getaway summer school?
Don't hold that against him - I suspect he would not have approved
 

ast

Member
Dec 15, 2018
230
126
Boogieland
THE FIREFLY

DOUBTLESS you have sometimes seen the Firefly, gleaming like a lamp, in the garden at night.

"Oh, Night-illumining insect," some one said to the Firefly, "why can you not also shine in the day-time?"

The modest Firefly gave an answer full of wisdom: "Because no one would ever see me, in the light of the splendid sun!"

(Sadi, The Burstan.)


and a tad poetic liberty with forum etiquette

Et war esou ëm d'Päischten,
'T stung Alles an der Bléi,
An d'Villercher di songen
Hir Lidder spéit a fréi.


 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854
THE FIREFLY

DOUBTLESS you have sometimes seen the Firefly, gleaming like a lamp, in the garden at night.

"Oh, Night-illumining insect," some one said to the Firefly, "why can you not also shine in the day-time?"

The modest Firefly gave an answer full of wisdom: "Because no one would ever see me, in the light of the splendid sun!"

(Sadi, The Burstan.)


and a tad poetic liberty with forum etiquette

Et war esou ëm d'Päischten,
'T stung Alles an der Bléi,
An d'Villercher di songen
Hir Lidder spéit a fréi.


There's a lot to be said for invisibility.
 
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