Discussion in 'Community' started by indifference, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. indifference macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    Pacific Northwest
    Part of a poem by Carmen Feron:

    I step absent-mindedly over the tree tops.
    Squashing here and there
    A flag ostentatiously hoisted
    In honour of those who happened to forget
    That we are already at the highest peak
    Of disconsolate conquests.

    Please post your poems or parts of literature that you like.
  2. oldschool macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2003

    I lay in my bed in the
    sweltering heat,
    with my limbs exposed to
    the miniscule collection agents
    of the blood bank,
    making withdrawals and leaving
    festering welts,
    soothed only by
    the cool hand of calamine.
  3. iBook macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
    Progress - Carl Dennis

    This is the shadowy god who advises patience,
    Who asks you to be content, for the moment,
    With a ramshackle motel in the boondocks,
    To believe it's one of the way stations on the road
    To a land your successors will consider promised.

    For them you should try to accept the sag in your mattress,
    The smell of mildew, the frost on the floor,
    The empty wood box. If you're cold,
    You can always go out in the yard
    And chop your own. The exercise
    Will be good for you, the fresh air.

    Even a scruffy patch by a railroad crossing
    Can serve, since travel is mainly a metaphor,
    As a site not yet developed in the next Jerusalem.
    Here's your chance to get in on the ground floor
    Of a temple soon to be under construction.
    Or even beneath the floor as you dig the foundation,
    Standing knee-deep in muck on the very spot
    Where, overhead, your descendants will dance
    To music more festive than any you now imagine.

    How small of you to dicker with the foreman
    When to work for nothing would be a privilege.
    As for diversions that you won't have time for --
    Summer picnics, fall fishing at sunrise --
    These are mere shadows of pleasures to come
    That others will savor because of you
    As others have lived in debt to Aeneas or Moses.

    Jacob, who toiled seven years for the woman he loved,
    Then seven more, is nothing compared to you,
    You will toil so somebody not yet born
    Can marry a woman you've never laid eyes on.

    Do it, and the god of progress will love you
    As his own child. Don't vex him by wondering
    if the prince will impress the princess as much
    As she would you, if he'll like the palace
    You're building for him or prefer instead
    To live in a shack with a Jezebel who informs him
    Tomorrow's for losers, better grab today.
  4. iBook macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
    Ted Kooser - Flying at Night

    Above us stars. Beneath us, constellations.
    Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
    like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
    some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
    snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
    back into the little system of his care.
    All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
    tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.
  5. iBook macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
    The God Who Loves You - Carl Dennis

    It must be troubling for the god who loves you
    To ponder how much happier you'd be today
    Had you been able to glimpse your many futures,
    It must be painful for him to watch you on Friday evenings
    Driving home from the office, content with your week -
    Three fine houses sold to deserving families -
    Knowing as he does exactly what would have happened
    Had you gone to your second choice for college,
    Knowing the roommate you'd have been allotted
    Whose ardent opinions on painting and music
    Would have kindled in you a lifelong passion.
    A life thirty points above the life you're living
    On any scale of satisfaction. And every point
    A thorn in the side of the god who loves you.
    You don't want that, a large-souled man like you
    Who tries to withhold from your wife the day's disappointments
    So she can save her empathy for the children.
    And would you want this god to compare your wife
    With the woman you were destined to meet on the other campus?
    It hurts you to think of him ranking the conversation
    You'd have enjoyed over there higher in insight
    Than the conversation you're used to.
    And think how this loving god would feel
    Knowing that the man next in line for your wife
    Would have pleased her more than you ever will
    Even on your best days, when you really try.
    Can you sleep at night believing a god like that
    Is pacing his cloudy bedroom, harassed by alternatives
    You're spared by ignorance? The difference between what is
    And what could have been will remain alive for him
    Even after you cease existing, after you catch a chill
    Running out into the snow for the morning paper,
    Losing eleven years that the god who loves you
    Will feel compelled to imagine scene by scene
    Unless you come to the rescue by imagining him
    No wiser than you are, no god at all, only a friend
    No closer than the actual friend you made at college,
    The one you haven't written in months. Sit down tonight
    And write him about the life you can talk about
    With a claim to authority, the life you've witnessed,
    Which for all you know is the life you've chosen.
  6. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2004
    St. Louis
    The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock - TS Eliot

    S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
    A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
    Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
    Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
    Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
    Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

    LET us go then, you and I,
    When the evening is spread out against the sky
    Like a patient etherised upon a table;
    Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
    The muttering retreats 5
    Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
    And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
    Streets that follow like a tedious argument
    Of insidious intent
    To lead you to an overwhelming question … 10
    Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
    Let us go and make our visit.

    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo.

    The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, 15
    The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
    Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
    Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
    Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
    Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 20
    And seeing that it was a soft October night,
    Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

    And indeed there will be time
    For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
    Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; 25
    There will be time, there will be time
    To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
    There will be time to murder and create,
    And time for all the works and days of hands
    That lift and drop a question on your plate; 30
    Time for you and time for me,
    And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
    And for a hundred visions and revisions,
    Before the taking of a toast and tea.

    In the room the women come and go 35
    Talking of Michelangelo.

    And indeed there will be time
    To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
    Time to turn back and descend the stair,
    With a bald spot in the middle of my hair— 40
    [They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
    My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
    My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
    [They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
    Do I dare 45
    Disturb the universe?
    In a minute there is time
    For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

    For I have known them all already, known them all:—
    Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 50
    I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
    I know the voices dying with a dying fall
    Beneath the music from a farther room.
    So how should I presume?

    And I have known the eyes already, known them all— 55
    The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
    And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
    When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
    Then how should I begin
    To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 60
    And how should I presume?

    And I have known the arms already, known them all—
    Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
    [But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
    It is perfume from a dress 65
    That makes me so digress?
    Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
    And should I then presume?
    And how should I begin?
    . . . . .
    Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 70
    And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
    Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

    I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
    . . . . .
    And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! 75
    Smoothed by long fingers,
    Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
    Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
    Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
    Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 80
    But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
    Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
    I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
    I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
    And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, 85
    And in short, I was afraid.

    And would it have been worth it, after all,
    After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
    Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
    Would it have been worth while, 90
    To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
    To have squeezed the universe into a ball
    To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
    To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
    Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”— 95
    If one, settling a pillow by her head,
    Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
    That is not it, at all.”

    And would it have been worth it, after all,
    Would it have been worth while, 100
    After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
    After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
    And this, and so much more?—
    It is impossible to say just what I mean!
    But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: 105
    Would it have been worth while
    If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
    And turning toward the window, should say:
    “That is not it at all,
    That is not what I meant, at all.”
    . . . . . 110
    No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
    Am an attendant lord, one that will do
    To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
    Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
    Deferential, glad to be of use, 115
    Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
    Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
    Almost, at times, the Fool.

    I grow old … I grow old … 120
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

    I do not think that they will sing to me. 125

    I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
    Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
    When the wind blows the water white and black.

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
    Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Share This Page