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Poetry and its Meme

smashsc had this on her journal, so I am yoinking it over to mine. You put a poem (or lines from a poem) in your journal. Comment, or take the idea.

First off, poetry is a tricky one with me. Most moden poetry comes off contrived IMO. After the early 70s, haven't been many poets I've gotten, outside of the music world. My two favorite modern poets are Langston Hughes and Gary Snyder. Simple, evocative, and they speak to something in me.

Langston Hughes
I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
WHen company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at teh table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed.

I, too, am America.

Advice (my most favorite thing to quote, BTW)
Folks, I'm telling you,
birthing is hard
and dying is mean-
so get yourself
a little loving
in between.

Last one... Gary Snyder
Looking at Pictures to Be Put Away

Who was this girl
In her white night gown
Clutching a pair of jeans

On a foggy redwood deck.
She looks up at me tender,
Calm, surprised,

What will we remember
Bodies thick with food and lovers
After twenty years.

(i just have to, because I flipped through a notebook and found it:
There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

/lj-cut>Spam me with your faves!


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 18th, 2004 01:30 pm (UTC)
Ode to A Redneck, by Stoney
Naw, jew?
Yont two?
Naw. Sthar.
Oct. 18th, 2004 01:25 pm (UTC)
Mmm. Love sonnet 27 is nice. "so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close."

Isn't Pablo Naruda the one with "Nada, y pues, nada y nada, y pues nada?" (Nothing, and well nothing, and nothing, and well nothing.)

Like I said, poetry is iffy with me. I like a good story, I love imagery, and I want to share it with someone else. Poetry is SO personal, that it can be hard to share since people have different ideas of what it means.
Oct. 18th, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC)
On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
And the Monkeys all say Boo!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots Jibber Jabber Joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang!
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So it's Ning Nang Nong!
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning!
Trees go Ping!
Nong Ning Nang!
The mice go Clang!

What a noisy place to belong,
Is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

Spike Milligan

Oct. 18th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)
more more
anyone lived in a pretty how town... (29)

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did.

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

e.e. cummings
Oct. 18th, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC)
The HUnting of the Snark is too long so http://home.earthlink.net/~lfdean/carroll/snark/

and now Jabberwocky

`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, has 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.

lewis carroll
Oct. 18th, 2004 03:12 pm (UTC)
Gah, am trying to find one from Songs of Experience and can only find the ebook and am now feeling really guilty about doing no PGDPreading for months. I am a bad, bad voluntary worker.

So, in lieu of that, have a very stupid poem I wrote ages ago, which I had completely forgotten about until I got a lovely email today with praise and stuff. Hurrah for the lurkers.

The wanton folly of me mum

I were a young lad head full of clouds
And upsome eager to make mother proud
One night dashing out ere my heart was spurned
I met a young lady whom my head turned
So I brought her home to meet me old lady
And turned her too from sickly to crazy
Me mum were right grateful and that’s what was sick
Suddenly mother were after me dick
Now, I’m no angel, that much is true
But shagging me mum is too much ew
So I said my sorrys and dear depart
And shoved a stake straight through her heart
Oct. 18th, 2004 07:00 pm (UTC)
Expelled words in meaningful arrangements
Promulgated in pools, reflecting upon themselves
WHY asks HOW to explain it all
IF muddies the waters while WHEN sits in relative indifference
With neither HERE or THERE but EVERYWHERE
ME and YOU never seem to get along
As WE and THEY duke it out for INSANITY’s sake
Poor SANITY remains neglected as a result
BEAUTY wades in the shallow end
BRAINS does backflips in the deep end and
UGLY refuses to jump in because the water is too cold
OBSCURE swims by unnoticed by all but EXCEPT
Who is buddies with ELSE
At the moment ELSE is in trinity with IF and THEN
This makes EXCEPT jealous since he is not included
TIME makes repeated laps, back and forth
Though WHEN cannot tell HOW or WHY
Because he cannot accurately tell TIME
Since TIME is always eluding PERCEPTION
VELOCITY and POSITION are always playing pranks on PERCEPTION
So that PERCEPTION can’t tell UP from DOWN
VELOCITY and POSITION, like ships passing through the night
Forbidden lovers destined never to meet
UNCERTAINTY makes sure of that
This drives LOGIC crazy
LOGIC splashes water in EVERYONES’s eyes
Trying vainly to cleanse them of UNCERTAINTY’s malaise
TRUTH is dunked underwater in the process
Into the murky depths still clouded by IF
FAITH cannot swim, yet she is getting in over her head
Since she was blinded by UNCERTAINTY
LOGIC, left without CHOICE, could not save her
Some believe CHOICE doesn’t exist
TIME will tell, but only after CHOICE has left the vicinity
CHOICE is in collusion with UNCERTAINTY
The foundation of all that was, is, or will be
As the day winds down, REASON gets sloppy drunk
Falls in the pool and nearly drowns
He is rescued by LOGIC and to IRONY’s delight
INSANITY administers lifesaving CPR
RUMOR says that PERCEPTION pushed REASON into the water
FAITH stands behind PERCEPTION, LOGIC stands behind REASON
WE and THEY get into a small tussle so ANYBODY and EVERYBODY joins in
It’s broken up by TIME, but not before TRUTH gets a bloody nose from the whole ordeal
EXHAUSTION takes control and sends everyone to SLEEP
SLEEP gives DREAM free rein to play havoc with REALITY
PERCEPTION is given a hallucinogenic cocktail
CONSCIOUSNESS is bound and gagged
DREAM is making movies for SLEEP to broadcast
While REALITY is suspended by TIME and DISBELIEF
Finally, DEATH swoops in and crashes the party
FATE rides shotgun to DEATH, CHOICE is the first victim
LIFE begins to protest but gets sniped by FATE’s sister DESTINY
After that, UNCERTAINTY and CHOICE die
Along with the conjoined twins ANYBODY and EVERYBODY
The rest fall into place alongside DEATH and FATE
The pool becomes calm evermore
Oct. 18th, 2004 07:38 pm (UTC)
Who's your author? I know it...
More Langston Hughes, Let America Be America
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!
Oct. 18th, 2004 08:16 pm (UTC)
I knew there was a reason that I friended you, too ;-)
You know the author alright. He also shares your affinity for Langston Hughes, though you probably would have guessed that.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load

Or does it explode?
Oct. 18th, 2004 07:37 pm (UTC)
vampire poetry
I've posted this before, but I'm pretty sure it's before you were online. This is the poem that I think William the Bloody was trying to write, except that he lacked the talent (and, most likely, the experience)


by: Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

LYING asleep between the strokes of night
I saw my love lean over my sad bed,
Pale as the duskiest lily's leaf or head,
Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite,
Too wan for blushing and too warm for white,
But perfect-coloured without white or red.
And her lips opened amorously, and said--
I wist not what, saving one word--Delight
And all her face was honey to my mouth,
And all her body pasture to mine eyes;
The long lithe arms and hotter hands than fire,
The quivering flanks, hair smelling of the south,
The bright light feet, the splendid supple thighs
And glittering eyelids of my soul's desire

and I also love love love Langston Hughes -- Daddy, don't let your dog curb you!

Oct. 18th, 2004 07:42 pm (UTC)
Love that one.
I'm trying to fin my favorite Langston Hughes, talking 'bout how he wants a bunch of young women crying "Daddy, daddy, PLEASE don't die" at his funeral.

Man, he is Jazz. There was an exhibit of jazz themed art, Langston Hughes poetry, and Winton Marsalis on sax a month ago, and it was FREE. Talk about a good time...
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

April 2017
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