A few poems I like

Orhan Veli & Nazım Hikmet poems

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Re: A few poems I like

#41  Postby orpheus » Dec 19, 2014 11:56 pm

These two villanelles in honor of Mark Strand, who died a few weeks ago.

Two de Chiricos

by Mark Strand

1. The Philosopher's Conquest


This melancholy moment will remain,
So, too, the oracle beyond the gate,
And always the tower, the boat, the distant train.

Somewhere to the south a Duke is slain,
A war is won. Here, it is too late.
This melancholy moment will remain.

Here, an autumn evening without rain,
Two artichokes abandoned on a crate,
And always the tower, the boat, the distant train.

Is this another scene of childhood pain?
Why do the clockhands say 1:28?
This melancholy moment will remain.

The green and yellow light of love's domain
Falls upon the joylessness of fate,
And always the tower, the boat, the distant train.

The things our vision wills us to contain,
The life of objects, their unbearable weight.
This melancholy moment will remain,
And always the tower, the boat, the distant train.


Image




2. The Disquieting Muses


Boredom sets in first, and then despair.
One tries to brush it off. It only grows.
Something about the silence of the square.

Something is wrong; something about the air,
Its color; about the light, the way it glows.
Boredom sets in first, and then despair.

The muses in their fluted evening wear,
Their faces blank, might lead one to suppose
Something about the silence of the square,

Something about the buildings standing there.
But no, they have no purpose but to pose.
Boredom sets in first, and then despair.

What happens after that, one doesn't care.
What brought one here--the desire to compose
Something about the silence of the square,

Or something else, of which one's not aware,
Life itself, perhaps--who really knows?
Boredom sets in first, and then despair...
Something about the silence of the square.



Image
Let's try for peace in 2018, shall we?
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Re: A few poems I like

#42  Postby orpheus » Dec 20, 2014 12:06 am

Further about Mark Strand:

A fascinating interview with him is here: http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/ ... ard-of-one. In it he reads the second of these villanelles (a fucking hard form of poetry to write). He says he thinks it's better than the first. Also, toward the end of the episode he reads a beautiful poem written in memory of Joseph Brodsky -- and then articulates perhaps most profound statement of the purpose of poetry that I've ever heard.

Incidentally, this is an episode of "KCRW's Bookworm" - a great radio show of conversations with writers. You may know about it; I just discovered it. Michael Silverblatt, the host, is keenly intelligent and an acute reader. The conversations are fascinating, and he interviews some heavy hitters. (Kurt Vonnegut is one, for example; W.G. Sebald is another. Salman Rushdie appears several times, as does Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, and Anne Carson.) The website has the entire archive of interviews; the most recent are on the podcast of the same name.

Enjoy.
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Re: A few poems I like

#43  Postby orpheus » Dec 20, 2014 1:40 am

And further about Michael Silverblatt, the host of Bookworm (mentioned above):

Discovering Silverblatt and his show has been such an odd experience! My first reaction (I mean within the first three minutes of the first episode I heard) was really negative: there was something about Silverblatt's voice that I just didn't like. I have nothing against the guy — it was just a gut reaction to the tone quality of his voice. But then as I listened, I realized that he is a really good radio host, and my discomfort at his voice melted away. After a little while longer I realized I was wrong: he's not a good radio host. He's an extraordinary radio host. I've never heard an arts interview/talk show like this. He clearly reads everything, and is very well-educated: his teachers included Barth and Barthelme. Writers love him - with good reason. According to this article/interview about him, Norman Mailer called him the best reader in America and Susan Sontag named him a national treasure. He knows each guest's work intimately, and has this great combination of an active, strong mind and a welcoming, gentle manner. There's a lovely bit from that article:

BLVR: Do you ever become friends with your guests?

MS: Kurt [Vonnegut] didn’t sign books, he didn’t stay on, he was escorted into a car immediately through a back door, but he said, “Give me your book,” and drew a picture of himself and a bubble coming out of his mouth saying, “Would you be my friend?” and gave me his phone number and he looked at me and said, “I’m so lonely.”


Also, I said above that he's had some heavy-hitters on his show, and I named some names. Well, here are a few more: Martin Amis, Karl Ove Knausgaard, David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, Gore Vidal, Oliver Sacks, W.S. Merwin, Harold Bloom, John Ashbery, David Markson, Leonard Cohen, Seamus Heaney, John Barth, Joyce Carol Oates, and Umberto Eco.

(Just to name a few.)

Sorry to be gushing about this, but I can't recall ever being so excited by a podcast/radio show. I've downloaded a lot (a lot a lot) of episodes and am happily listening away. Highly recommended.
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Re: A few poems I like

#44  Postby kennyc » Dec 20, 2014 2:11 am

Bookworm: http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/bookworm
I found an interview with Lydia Davis one of my new favorites! :)

Sort of fits this topic cause she writes flash fiction/prose poetry. :D
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Re: A few poems I like

#45  Postby epepke » Dec 20, 2014 3:11 am

For Lewis Carroll and the Children by Walt Kelley

The gentle journey jars to stop
The drifting dream is done
The long-gone goblins loom ahead
The deadly, that we thought were dead
Stand waiting, every one.
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Re: A few poems I like

#46  Postby THWOTH » Jun 25, 2015 11:44 am

Shakespeare, sonnet 121.

    'Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed,
    When not to be, receives reproach of being,
    And the just pleasure lost, which is so deemed,
    Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing.

    For why should others' false adulterate eyes
    Give salutation to my sportive blood?
    Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
    Which in their wills count bad what I think good?

    No, I am that I am, and they that level
    At my abuses, reckon up their own,
    I may be straight though they themselves be bevel;
    By their rank thoughts, my deeds must not be shown
      Unless this general evil they maintain,
      All men are bad and in their badness reign.
"No-one is exempt from speaking nonsense – the only misfortune is to do it solemnly."
Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580
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Re: A few poems I like

#47  Postby orpheus » Jun 28, 2015 8:13 pm

I'm not a big fan of Longfellow, but this one speaks to me these days. It's not a comfortable feeling.


Mezzo Cammin

Half of my life is gone, and I have let
The years slip from me and have not fulfilled
The aspiration of my youth, to build
Some tower of song with lofty parapet.
Not indolence, nor pleasure, nor the fret
Of restless passions that would not be stilled,
But sorrow, and a care that almost killed,
Kept me from what I may accomplish yet;
Though, half-way up the hill, I see the Past
Lying beneath me with its sounds and sights,—
A city in the twilight dim and vast,
With smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights,—
And hear above me on the autumnal blast
The cataract of Death far thundering from the heights.
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Re: A few poems I like

#48  Postby THWOTH » Jun 28, 2015 11:44 pm

Longfellow is relentless.
"No-one is exempt from speaking nonsense – the only misfortune is to do it solemnly."
Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580
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Re: A few poems I like

#49  Postby don't get me started » Jun 28, 2015 11:45 pm

I've always been fond of this.

Warning to Children by Robert Graves
I like the recursivity and the Escher-like internal/external flipping of frames.


Children, if you dare to think
Of the greatness, rareness, muchness
Fewness of this precious only
Endless world in which you say
You live, you think of things like this:
Blocks of slate enclosing dappled
Red and green, enclosing tawny
Yellow nets, enclosing white
And black acres of dominoes,
Where a neat brown paper parcel
Tempts you to untie the string.
In the parcel a small island,
On the island a large tree,
On the tree a husky fruit.
Strip the husk and pare the rind off:
In the kernel you will see
Blocks of slate enclosed by dappled
Red and green, enclosed by tawny
Yellow nets, enclosed by white
And black acres of dominoes,
Where the same brown paper parcel -
Children, leave the string alone!
For who dares undo the parcel
Finds himself at once inside it,
On the island, in the fruit,
Blocks of slate about his head,
Finds himself enclosed by dappled
Green and red, enclosed by yellow
Tawny nets, enclosed by black
And white acres of dominoes,
With the same brown paper parcel
Still untied upon his knee.
And, if he then should dare to think
Of the fewness, muchness, rareness,
Greatness of this endless only
Precious world in which he says
he lives - he then unties the string.
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Re: A few poems I like

#50  Postby orpheus » Aug 03, 2015 12:52 pm

@don't get me started, thank you for that. I've always liked Graves but didn't know that one.

I found this recording of Graves reading the poem:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkr6ii ... n_creation
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Re: A few poems I like

#51  Postby THWOTH » Nov 12, 2016 9:26 pm

Listening to Ellington and Strayhorn's Such Sweet Thunder suite, inspired by passages from Shakespeare, while flicking through the collected sonnets.

    Sonnet 61

    Is it thy will, thy image should keep open
    My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
    Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
    While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?

    Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
    So far from home into my deeds to pry,
    To find out shames and idle hours in me,
    The scope and tenure of thy jealousy?

    O no, thy love though much, is not so great,
    It is my love that keeps mine eye awake,
    Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
    To play the watchman ever for thy sake.

      For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
      From me far off, with others all too near.

BTW: (Youtube: Maurice Béjart's choreography of Duke Ellington's "Such Sweet Thunder" presented in 1960 by Joachim-Ernst Berendt. Filmed for Belgian and German TV.)
"No-one is exempt from speaking nonsense – the only misfortune is to do it solemnly."
Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580
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