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Old 01-08-2007, 06:59 PM   #51
Ruby Ripples
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John Masefield's Sea Fever is my favourite, but has already been chosen here, so I won't show it again. My next favourites are:-


To An Isle In The Water

SHY one, Shy one,
Shy one of my heart,
She moves in the firelight
pensively apart.
She carries in the dishes,
And lays them in a row.
To an isle in the water
With her would I go.
With catries in the candles,
And lights the curtained room,
Shy in the doorway
And shy in the gloom;
And shy as a rabbit,
Helpful and shy.
To an isle in the water
With her would I fly.

by William Butler Yeats

~~~~~~~~


The Pobble Who Has No Toes

The Pobble who has no toes
Had once as many as we;
When they said "Some day you may lose them all;"
He replied "Fish, fiddle-de-dee!"
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink
Lavender water tinged with pink,
For she said "The World in general knows
There's nothing so good for a Pobble's toes!"

The Pobble who has no toes
Swam across the Bristol Channel;
But before he set out he wrapped his nose
In a piece of scarlet flannel.
For his Aunt Jobiska said "No harm
Can come to his toes if his nose is warm;
And it's perfectly known that a Pobble's toes
Are safe, -- provided he minds his nose!"

The Pobble swam fast and well,
And when boats or ships came near him,
He tinkledy-blinkledy-winkled a bell,
So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the further side -
"He has gone to fish for his Aunt Jobiska's
Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!"

But before he touched the shore,
The shore of the Bristol Channel,
A sea-green porpoise carried away
His wrapper of scarlet flannel.
And when he came to observe his feet,
Formerly garnished with toes so neat,
His face at once became forlorn,
On perceiving that all his toes were gone!

And nobody ever knew,
From that dark day to the present,
Whoso had taken the Pobble's toes,
In a manner so far from pleasant.
Whether the shrimps, or crawfish grey,
Or crafty Mermaids stole them away -
Nobody knew: and nobody knows
How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes!

The Pobble who has no toes
Was placed in a friendly Bark,
And they rowed him back, and carried him up
To his Aunt Jobiska's Park.
And she made him a feast at his earnest wish
Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish, -
And she said "It's a fact the whole world knows,
That Pobbles are happier without their toes!"

by Edward Lear

~~~

Nae Hair On't

Yestreen I wed a lady fair,
An ye wad believe me,
On her c*nt there growes nae hair,
That's the thing that grieves me.

It vexed me sair, it plagued me sair,
It put me in a passion,
To think that I haed wad a wife,
Whase c*nt was oot o fashion.

by Robert Burns

And many more of Rabbie Burns' poetry that I'm too scared to copy onto here, lol!

Last edited by Ruby Ripples; 01-08-2007 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:25 PM   #52
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OH my gosh, what a fabulous thread! And look how we all pounced on it!! All my littry strings are twanging hard. I'm a total sucker for Prufrock, We Real Cool, Daddy. My favorite poet is probably morbid old obvious Philip Larkin (esp. classick biggies "The Explosion," "An Arundel Tomb," "Church Going," "When First We Faced," "Aubade," "At Grass," "Faith Healing" and always "Toads" on bad days at work). Few other favs are Lucille Clifton, Stevie Smith, Elizabeth Bishop, Kingsley Amis, Wallace Stevens, Byron; also "light verse"--love Dorothy Parker, Keith Preston, John Updike...

Cut Grass
Philip Larkin

Cut grass lies frail:
Brief is the breath
Mown stalks exhale.
Long, long the death

It dies in the white hours
Of young-leafed June
With chestnut flowers,
With hedges snowlike strewn,

White lilac bowed,
Lost lanes of Queen Anne's lace,
And that high-builded cloud
Moving at summer's pace.
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:32 PM   #53
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Kahlil Gibran is my favorite... from "The Prophet"

On Pain

And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain."

And he said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.


On Children

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable



On Joy & Sorrow

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."

And he answered:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


"The Prophet" is hosted online and is free to read for everyone
http://www.columbia.edu/~gm84/gibtable.html
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:50 PM   #54
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Proof that I'm a total English major dork: Didn't realize how old some of these postings were (thought it was an all-new thread). Hehe! DUH. *quiets down*
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:50 PM   #55
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Two of my favorites have already been posted - Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and "Stopping By The Wood on a Snowy Evening". I pulled out my old college copy of "Introduction to Literature - Poems" and flipped over to the Robert Frost section - I had this one highlighted:

"Fire and Ice"
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Here is another favorite by Carl Sandburg:

"Fog"
The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:58 AM   #56
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Wink The Jabbernappy. ;)

Another favorite poem of mine is one that brought out the child in me. It is a perfect poem for the campfire on a camping trip and I had a friend that could do the perfect voice for this poem by Lewis Carroll. It's called the 'Jabberwoky'.

Now some might think that the 'Jabberwoky' is a mythical creature from the depths of Carroll's mind, but there has been recent discovery in the south eastern area that this creature is a cousin to the 'Jabberwoky'. It was subsequentially named the Jabbernappy. The Jabbernappy is a more docile creature from the 'Jabberwoky' and here in this picture you can see her being tamed by a simple teddy.

The Jabbernappy:





And now without further ado...

Jabberwoky
By, Lewis Carroll.



'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

'Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!'

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

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Old 03-10-2007, 12:54 AM   #57
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before spring there are days like these
anna akhmatova

before spring there are days like these:
under the dense snow the meadow rests
the trees merrily, drily rustle,
and the warm wind is tender and supple.
and the body marvels at its lightness,
and you don't recognize your own house,
and that song that you were tired of before,
you sing like a new one, with deep emotion.



*
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:14 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliena View Post
My most favorite poem was penned by Theodore Roethke.
As is mine. It's called 'In a Dark Time'.

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.


A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is--
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.


Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:13 PM   #59
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Default mejix - Thanks so much for resurrecting this thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mejix View Post
before spring there are days like these
anna akhmatova

before spring there are days like these:
under the dense snow the meadow rests
the trees merrily, drily rustle,
and the warm wind is tender and supple.
and the body marvels at its lightness,
and you don't recognize your own house,
and that song that you were tired of before,
you sing like a new one, with deep emotion.



*
I remember it from the beginning. I meant to add my 2 cents worth but, in searching through my own favorites for one that I wasn't ashamed of posting in such erudite company, I nodded off and the thread disappeared.

Your post gives me the perfect opportunity to post a link to some visual poetry which was just forwarded to me. The website was forwarded to me by a lifelong friend. We grew up together in Duluth, Minnesota (site of the snowstorm portrayed on the website) but he has lived in California for many decades, chiding me occasionally for sticking it out in what he considers to be a frozen wasteland. However, even at it's worst, it has a mesmerizing beauty - a visual poem. I hope you will agree with me.

From "The Mikado"
Katisha.
There is beauty in the bellow of the blast,
There is grandeur in the growling of the gale,
There is eloquent outpouring
When the lion is a-roaring,
And the tiger is a-lashing of his tail!

Just as true of a rattling good blizzard too!

I offer two links to the different portions of the same site. The first shows shots of ice formations on Lake Superior. The second is a slide show of the most recent snowstorm, one which buried much of the town, especially that projection into the lake known as Minnesota Point, connected to the city of Duluth by the famous Aerial Bridge. The buried car, and hopelessly mired snowplow, are situated on the only road leading the length of the Point - in the summertime, a beautiful, flat five mile bike ride.

I include a bit of correspondence that I had with my friend.

*************************************************

-------------- Original message ----------------------

From Roger:

> So, it looks like heavy snowfall in Duluth didn't end in the 50's afterall.
> Almost makes a fellow want to start folding and delivering newspapers, eh?
> Roger

On Top of picture click on next. These are really some good pictures. What a mess down there.
>
> To view pictures of the March blizzard on Park Point, log on to this URL...
>
> http://www.northernimages.com/blizza...272_large.html

Yeah, Rog -

About time that Duluth got a bit of respect again! Actually, we had thought of holing up in our condo for the duration of the blizzard, but [Mrs Ho Ho] couldn't get the time off. Great set of pix! How did you come across them? There are other neat pix there also. See
http://northernimages.com/lakesuperior/index.php


If you look closely at some of those Minn. Point shots, you can see the polar
bears who wandered down from the spa-like temps of the ice-free arctic.

I think that MN Point got most of the snow, which is a shame. It will just melt and run back into the lake. It would have been more useful if it had fallen farther inland. Apparently, it was one of those 'perfect storms', with a low pressure cyclonic bringing up moisture from the gulf, but also sitting just right so that the counterclockwise winds blew straight down the lake, from Whitefish Bay all the way to Duluth, a fetch of maybe 300 miles. It picked up a lot more moisture SINCE, BECAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING, MOST OF THE LAKE HAD NOT YET FROZEN AND THE WATER WAS STILL RELATIVELY WARM. SO TAKE THAT, YOU SKEPTIC!
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:20 PM   #60
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nice poem ho ho tai. i should pay more attention to gilbert and sullivan lyrics. those are quite nice. and the pics are surreal, quite spectacular, like gaudi architecture. thnx for the link!


*
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:48 PM   #61
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Default mejix - thanks for the accolade . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mejix View Post
nice poem ho ho tai. i should pay more attention to gilbert and sullivan lyrics. those are quite nice. and the pics are surreal, quite spectacular, like gaudi architecture. thnx for the link!


*
. . . but I think that it does me no credit to be able to recall some lines from Gilbert & Sullivan. In fact, I quite agree with the words that they put into the mouth of one of their own characters, the Major General ("I am the very model of the modern major general") who went on to say,

"I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies
I know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of Aristophanes
Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's din afore
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore

And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinapinafore"

Sometimes very clever and entertaining, but certainly nothing that one would hold one's head up high while proclaiming. I threw it in just because those words seemed to bridge the gap between your poem and the Duluth slides.

Glad you enjoyed them, by the way. If it wasn't obvious, that is my home town, though I wasn't actually born there. But I did go all the way through school and college there, and had a paper route for six years as a kid. That is what my friend was referring to.

I do hope that this thread stays lit, and I have a few favorites which I may offer in support of that - though nothing on the scholarly level of most of the preceding.
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:54 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightyseven View Post
I'm curious as to everyone's favorite poems and lines from said poems... so post the name and a little snippet

Mine's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

"Mornings, evenings, afternoons
I have measured out my life in coffee spoons..."
I love that poem as well...I'm a big T.S. Eliot fan
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:26 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightyseven View Post
I'm curious as to everyone's favorite poems and lines from said poems... so post the name and a little snippet

Mine's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

"Mornings, evenings, afternoons
I have measured out my life in coffee spoons..."
It was 1950, or '51. I still had five years to go before I would graduate from high school. A very impressionable young man who didn't care much for the world around him. At every opportunity, his head was either in the stars, or his nose in a book of sci-fi.

Ray Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles" had just been published, and I think I practically walked into walls, as I walked along reading it, absorbing every scene, every word of a Mars which existed only in Bradbury's imagination.

Spender. Biggs. Wilder. Spender, the poet and archeologist, trying to save the remains of the old Martian civilization. Biggs, determined to trash it with his beer bottles and vomit. Wilder, the captain, caught in between and bound by duty. As I read it, I was Spender, of course. In later times, this would have been interpreted very differently - the stuff that led to Columbine.

But in the middle of that turmoil, Spender quoted a poem to Wilder, calling it the epitaph of that beautiful, and dead, civilization. It was, of course,

We'll Go No More A-roving

So, we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

Lord Byron (George Gordon)
(1788-1824)

Not, perhaps, poetry to stand against the many deep and beautiful poems already posted in this thread, but, at that age (12?) I had never read - and EXPERIENCED - a poem in quite that way. The elements of the story, and my life, combined to impress it on my heart and mind forever.

I have had many - too many - occasions to recollect it over the years, and to quote it, to others, to myself, at times of loss - of a friend, a relationship - someone who had walked with me beneath the moon and stars, and did so no longer.

And someday, in the far future I hope, when the ashes of Ho Ho and Mrs Ho Ho rest in repose beneath their tree, perhaps we will have that poem posted nearby. We will still be under that moon, but no longer roving.

We will be home.
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:59 AM   #64
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Reincarnation

Wallace McRae




"What does reincarnation mean?"

A cowpoke ast his friend.

His pal replied, "It happens when

Yer life has reached its end.

They comb yer hair, and warsh yer neck,

And clean yer fingernails,

And lay you in a padded box

Away from life's travails.



"The box and you goes in a hole,

That's been dyg into the ground.

Reincarnation starts in when

Yore planted 'neath a mound.

Them clods melt down, just like yer box,

And you who is inside.

And then yore just beginnin' on

Yer transformation ride.



"In a while the grass'll grow

Upon yer rendered mound.

Till some day on yer moldered grave

A lonely flower is found.

And say a hoss should wander by

And graze upon this flower

That once wuz you, but now's become

Yer vegetative bower.



"The posey that the hoss done ate

Up, with his other feed,

Makes bone, and fat, and muscle

Essential to the steed.

But some is left that he can't use

And so it passes through,

And finally lays upon the ground.

This thing, that once wuz you.



"Then say, by chance, I wanders by

And sees this upon the ground,

And I ponders, and I wonders at,

This object that I found.

I thinks of reincarnation,

Of life, and death, and such,

And come away concludin': Slim,

You ain't changed, all that much."
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:04 AM   #65
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-- I like the narration "as told by Shel Silverstein" ---


Peanut-Butter Sandwich
by Shel Silverstein (1932-1999)



I’ll sing you a story of a silly young king
Who played with the world at the end of a string,
But he only loved one single thing --
And that was just a peanut-butter sandwich.

His scepter and his royal gowns,
His regal throne and golden crowns
Were brown and sticky from the mounds
And drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich.

His subjects all were silly fools
For he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut-butter sandwich.

He would not eat his sovereign steak,
He scorned his soup and kingly cake,
And told his courtly cook to bake
An extra-sticky peanut-butter sandwich.

And then one day he took a bite
And started chewing with delight,
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut-butter sandwich.

His brother pulled, his sister pried,
The wizard pushed, his mother cried,
“My boy’s committed suicide
From eating his last peanut-butter sandwich!”

The dentist came, and the royal doc.
The royal plumber banged and knocked,
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked.
Oh darn that sticky peanut-butter sandwich!

The carpenter, he tried with pliers,
The telephone man tried with wires,
The firemen, they tried with fire,
But couldn’t melt that peanut-butter sandwich.

With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil,
With steam and lubricating oil --
For twenty years of tears and toil --
They fought that awful peanut-butter sandwich.

Then all his royal subjects came.
They hooked his jaws with grapplin’ chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against that stubborn peanut-butter sandwich.

Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their ploughs and pots and toys
And pulled until kerack! Oh, joy --
They broke right through that peanut-butter sandwich.

A puff of dust, a screech, a squeak --
The king’s jaw opened with a creak.
And then in voice so faint and weak --
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, “How about a peanut-butter sandwich?”
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:01 AM   #66
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Default re: " I like the narration as told by Shel Silverstein"

Quote:
Originally Posted by swamptoad View Post
-- I like the narration "as told by Shel Silverstein" ---


Peanut-Butter Sandwich
by Shel Silverstein (1932-1999)


Thanks for the warning! My old dad lived on sardines, popcorn and peanut butter sandwiches. The poor fellow died a few years ago at age 99. Just think. He might still be alive today, if he had just heeded the advice of those around him and steered clear of those horrible things. But all his advisors were dust decades before that filthy habit finally took him to his grave.

Unfortunately, the habit continues in his progeny. I have broken numerous bad habits in my life - sometimes for long days at a time - but peanut butter just sticks to me.

Do we need a Peanut Butter Anonymous? I know all the best brands.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:02 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ho Ho Tai View Post
Thanks for the warning! My old dad lived on sardines, popcorn and peanut butter sandwiches. The poor fellow died a few years ago at age 99. Just think. He might still be alive today, if he had just heeded the advice of those around him and steered clear of those horrible things. But all his advisors were dust decades before that filthy habit finally took him to his grave.

Unfortunately, the habit continues in his progeny. I have broken numerous bad habits in my life - sometimes for long days at a time - but peanut butter just sticks to me.

Do we need a Peanut Butter Anonymous? I know all the best brands.
But Peanut Butter Sandwiches are oh so good!
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:08 PM   #68
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Oh yeah!

e.e. cummings is another poet I like. And this poem is awesome!

"may i feel said he"
by e. e. cummings



(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let's go said he
not too far said she
what's too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
it is love said she)
if you're willing said he
(but you're killing said she

but it's life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don't stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(cccome?said he
ummm said she
you're divine!said he
(you are Mine said she)
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:38 PM   #69
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My True Love Has My Heart
by Philip Sidney

My true-love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given;
I hold his dear and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a better bargain driven.
My true-love hath my heart and I have his,

His heart in me keeps him and me in one;
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;
He loves my heart for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides.
My true-love hath my heart and I have his,
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:44 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamptoad View Post
Oh yeah!

e.e. cummings is another poet I like. And this poem is awesome!

"may i feel said he"
by e. e. cummings

I guess we could daisy chain on e.e. just about forever!

While I was aware of him earlier in my life, it was during our (Mrs Ho Ho and I) courtship and early years of marriage that we became acquainted with some of his poetry through the old TV series, "Beauty and the Beast" (Linda Hamilton, Ron Perlman, et al). Gad! I don't know yet what it was about that program, but we hung on every episode, song, glance - and found some way to project ourselves into it. We still do, but not quite with that urgency - that was nearly 20 years ago.

We didn't have the internet in those days, but I recorded the cummings poem and also the song by Melanie (The first time I loved forever) and played them over and over AND OVER again, until I was pretty sure that I had copied them out correctly.

This cummings poem was uttered by 'Vincent' as part of the intro to each episode.

To this day, we're still not quite sure of the meaning of every word and line, nor why they seemed to apply to us. But the fragments we did understand, we will carry with us forever.


the voice of her eyes

somewhere i have never travelled, 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 enclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your with 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 color 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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Old 03-13-2007, 11:07 PM   #71
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--- I like these poetic lyrics from Run DMC ---

RUN DMC LYRICS

"It's Like That
"

[Run]
Unemployment at a record highs
People coming, people going, people born to die
Don't ask me, because I don't know why
But it's like that, and that's the way it is

[D.M.C.]
People in the world tryin to make ends meet
You try to ride car, train, bus, or feet
I said you got to work hard, you want to compete
It's like that, and that's the way it is
Huh!

[Run & D.M.C. alternate lines for the remainder of the song]
Money is the key to end all your woes
Your ups, your downs, your highs and your lows
Won't you tell me the last time that love bought you clothes?
It's like that, and that's the way it is

Bills rise higher every day
We receive much lower pay
I'd rather stay young, go out and play
It's like that, and that's the way it is
Huh!

Wars going on across the sea
Street soldiers killing the elderly
Whatever happened to unity?
It's like that, and that's the way it is

Disillusion is the word
That's used by me when I'm not heard
I just go through life with my glasses blurred
It's like that, and that's the way it is
Huh!

You can see a lot in this lifespan
Like a bum eating out of a garbage can
You noticed one time he was your man
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is

You should have gone to school, you could've learned a trade
But you laid in the bed where the bums have laid
Now all the time you're crying that you're underpaid
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is
Huh!

One thing I know is that life is short
So listen up homeboy, give this a thought
The next time someone's teaching why don't you get taught?
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is

If you really think about it times aren't that bad
The one that flexes with successes will make you glad
Stop playing start praying, you won't be sad
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is
Huh!

When you feel you fail sometimes it hurts
For a meaning in life is why you search
Take the bus or the train, drive to school or the church
It's like that, and that's the way it is

Here's another point in life you should not miss
Do not be a fool who's prejudiced
Because we're all written down on the same list
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is
Huh!

You know it's like that, and that's the way it is
Because it's like that, and that's the way it is
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:48 AM   #72
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Default Thank you, Esme!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esme View Post
What a great idea Eightyseven! You DO dare disturb the universe it seems.

My, all-time, favorite poem is "The Journey" by Mary Oliver.


"...little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world..."
Thank you, Esme!

There are many fine and meaningful poems in this thread - many with which I was unacquainted. Part of my ignorance lie in never having heard of Mary Oliver. But the portion of "The Journey" which you quoted is the story of so many lives, especially those which, after much turmoil and uncertainty, end well, or come to a place of integrity and peace with one's self. It certainly describes mine.

I Google it (how many great adventures begin with that phrase) and the first website offered to me was this one.
http://www.allspirit.co.uk/maryoliver.html
It is a rich website - one to which I will have to return for further exploration.

Mrs Ho Ho and I are currently involved with scholarship funds at the university from which I graduated. In my late years, it is an act of meaning, a bridge from the past to the future, and a way of giving back to a source upon which my current happiness is based. That poem, "The Journey", I intend to forward to the development person we work with. I think that many of the students - scholarship recipients - would take courage and hope from it, as they recognize and take possession of their own paths through life.

Other poems by Mary Oliver listed on that website are these:
* Mockingbirds
* The Buddha's Last Instruction
* The Summer Day
* Moccasin Flowers
* Wild Geese
* When Death Comes
* The Journey

Others here touch my life as well.

In "Mockingbirds", she references a legend which I'm sure is an alternate version of the "Philemon & Baucis" story, first described in Ovid's 'Metamorphoses'. In the version with which we are familiar, the old couple does make a wish, which is honored by the gods by turning the old couple, at the time of their death, into a pair of embracing trees. Our plans for the disposal of our remains (at a point far into the future) are based on this story.

"Buddha's Last Instruction" begins with these words:
"Make of yourself a light "
said the Buddha,
before he died.

Again, our association with scholarship funds could be said to follow this principle, not so much in being the light, or carrying the torch, but in passing on the torch.

From "When Death Comes", I quote the following:

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
. . . . .

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Even before I read the poem that you quote, your entry caught my attention because "The Journey" is also the title of a poem by Edward Field which, in an odd way, describes something similar. I was unable to find an on-line version of it, so will type it out here.

From "Stand Up, Friend, With Me" copyright 1963
"The Journey"
by Edward Field

"When he got up that morning everything was different:
He enjoyed the bright spring day
But he did not realize it exactly, he just enjoyed it.

And walking down the street to the railway station
Past magnolia trees with dying flowers like old socks
It was a long time since he had breathed so simply.

Tears filled his eyes and it felt good
But he held them back
Because men didn't walk around crying in that town.

And waiting on the platform at the station
The fear came over him of something terrible about to happen:
The train was late and he recited the alphabet to keep hold.

And in its time it came screeching in
And as it went on making its usual stops,
People coming and going, telephone poles passing,

He hid his head behind a newspaper
No longer able to hold back the sobs, and willed his eyes
To follow the rational weavings of the seat fabric.

He didn't do anything violent as he had imagines.
He cried for a long time, but when he finally quieted down
A place in him that had been closed like a fist was open,

And at the end of the ride he stood up and got off that train:
And through the streets and in all the places he lived in later on
He walked, himself at last, a man among men,
With such radiance that everyone looked up and wondered."

I first heard this poem on one of Garrison Keillor's programs, probably in the '70s. I knew nothing about Edward Field at the time. I have never seen any scholarly interpretation, but I think it is a description of the process by which Mr. Field admitted to himself that he was gay (well confirmed in biographies.) I myself was in transition at the time (though not that one), and the poem resonated with that process.

Whether one is 'coming out' as gay, or coming to terms with almost any major life issue, the first step in the process is 'coming out' to one's self - taking possession and ownership of whatever it is that your introspection has revealed. In this sense, it is a journey we all must take; else we live a lie.

And it really is the same journey that Mary Oliver describes, isn't it. Your own voice comes to the fore, finally drowning out the fears, the hesitations, the lies we tell ourselves, and becomes the voice of a leader; ourselves, leading ourselves.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:02 PM   #73
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I must admit, when reading these poems, I do fear death.

Maybe one day, we discover that our life,
was just a dream within a dream, within a dream.
And you my friends, dream this dream with me.

George
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:42 PM   #74
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One of my favorites is...

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:49 PM   #75
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Two more favorites of mine...

[IF]
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son! --Rudyard Kipling
Count That Day Lost by George Eliot
If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard,
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went --
Then you may count that day well spent.

But if, through all the livelong day,
You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay --
If, through it all
You've nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face--
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost --
Then count that day as worse than lost.

Last edited by Lovelyone; 03-22-2007 at 08:53 PM.
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