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Sappho and Her Friends: The Poetry Thread


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#21 laffite

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 02:21 AM

Lafitte -- you might like this. One of my favorite pieces of music is Constant Lambert's setting of "Summer's Last Will and Testament." I have a great (Hyperion) recording, which I play at least once a year, generally just after Labour Day.  Lambert's "Rio Grande" is also on the recording. Great CD of a little-known British composer.

 

I'll look into this, thank you. I do well with recommendations.



#22 Swithin

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 06:05 PM

The highlighted verses are Pathetic Fallacy, yes? Not that it's the end of the world. I believe they are considered bad form though. Just looked up that Ruskin coined the term claiming that "objects ... derive their influence not from properties inherent in them ... but from such as are bestowed upon them by the minds of those who are conversant with or affected by these objects." (Wiki) The idea was to curb a sort of low level sentimentality, which Rusking claimed was "rampant" (in the 18c) even among the greats, like Blake and Shelley, e.g. I am no expert though. it's a possibility that these verses might wiggle out of it, not sure.

 

edit: just looking again, if it was "Streams, turn YOUR tears to tributary course," that's Pathetic Fallacy. Maybe Nashe is innocent.

 

Lafitte -- you might like this. One of my favorite pieces of music is Constant Lambert's setting of "Summer's Last Will and Testament." I have a great (Hyperion) recording, which I play at least once a year, generally just after Labour Day.  Lambert's "Rio Grande" is also on the recording. Great CD of a little-known British composer.


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#23 laffite

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 03:57 PM

As summer draws to an end, a bit of poetry by Thomas Nashe (1567-1601), from Summer's Last Will and Testament:

 

 

FAIR summer droops, droop men and beasts therefore, 

So fair a summer look for nevermore : 

      All good things vanish less than in a day, 

      Peace, plenty, pleasure, suddenly decay. 

            Go not yet away, bright soul of the sad year, 

            The earth is hell when thou leav'st to appear.

 

What, shall those flowers that decked thy garland erst, 

Upon thy grave be wastefully dispersed ? 

      O trees, consume your sap in sorrow's source, 

      Streams, turn to tears your tributary course. 

            Go not yet hence, bright soul of the sad year, 

 

            The earth is hell when thou leav'st to appear.

 

The highlighted verses are Pathetic Fallacy, yes? Not that it's the end of the world. I believe they are considered bad form though. Just looked up that Ruskin coined the term claiming that "objects ... derive their influence not from properties inherent in them ... but from such as are bestowed upon them by the minds of those who are conversant with or affected by these objects." (Wiki) The idea was to curb a sort of low level sentimentality, which Rusking claimed was "rampant" (in the 18c) even among the greats, like Blake and Shelley, e.g. I am no expert though. it's a possibility that these verses might wiggle out of it, not sure.

 

edit: just looking again, if it was "Streams, turn YOUR tears to tributary course," that's Pathetic Fallacy. Maybe Nashe is innocent.


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#24 Swithin

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 06:49 AM

As summer draws to an end, a bit of poetry by Thomas Nashe (1567-1601), from Summer's Last Will and Testament:

 

 

FAIR summer droops, droop men and beasts therefore, 

So fair a summer look for nevermore : 

      All good things vanish less than in a day, 

      Peace, plenty, pleasure, suddenly decay. 

            Go not yet away, bright soul of the sad year, 

            The earth is hell when thou leav'st to appear.

 

What, shall those flowers that decked thy garland erst, 

Upon thy grave be wastefully dispersed ? 

      O trees, consume your sap in sorrow's source, 

      Streams, turn to tears your tributary course. 

            Go not yet hence, bright soul of the sad year, 

 

            The earth is hell when thou leav'st to appear.


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#25 Vautrin

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 12:04 AM

Just to correct the chronology a bit. CB went to Belgium a number

of years after the controversy surrounding The Flowers of Evil,

likely to get some folding money. My favorite Baudelaire poem is

The Voyage, but it is a fairly lengthy piece.

 

From what I recall CB was involved in some fairly ruinous personal

habits--hashish, drink, hos, so to a certain extent he did lead the

life that jibes, to some degree, with his public image. Not sure how

serious the Satanic element was. Not too much I believe.


Curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid get.


#26 Princess of Tap

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 11:50 PM

Baudelaire was always strapped for money, even though his deceased father left him well off. His mother was a great deal younger than his father. He was very young when his father died so his money was left in trust under her control.

She had doubts about baudelaire's lifestyle, so she always kept him on a tight leash. It didn't help that she was remarried to a Napoleonic officer who was the antithesis of Baudelaire's character.

Something that I always thought was fantastic - - he made a living by translating Edgar Allan Poe into French. After that I always thought of them as being of maybe similar type personalities.

But Edgar Allan Poe was truly ruined by alcoholism - - whereas so much of what Baudelaire wrote about--he really wasn't taking part in. It was part of his image.

L'INVITATION au Voyage was published in Les Fleur du Mal but it's a non controversial poem that is often found in High School French textbooks.
For many French students, it's the first Baudelaire they will read.


I remember the refrain--

Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et béauté
Luxe, calme et volupté

" there, all is order and beauty
Luxury, peace, and pleasure."


The Richardson biography is the most thorough of those recently written and it was published in 1994.
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#27 Swithin

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 10:35 PM

As a lad, I cherished Enid Starkie's brilliant biography of Baudelaire, a book which was famous for introducing English readers to the poet. I still have the yellowing Pelican paperback, 1971 edition of her 1933 book. Starkie precedes her introduction with this quote from "Epigraph for a Condemned Book" (with appropriate accents, of course):

 

Mais si, sans se laisser charmer

Ton oeil plonger dans les gouffres,

Lis moi pour apprendre a m'aimer.

 

I thought then, as a callow youth, that Starkie was a lesbian, and Joanna Richardson's 1973 biography of Starkie touches gingerly on the subject. 

 

I recommend both biographies -- Starkie's of Baudelaire; and Richardson's of Starkie.

 

Starkie was active in Oxford politics. She campaigned vigorously for the election of Cecil Day-Lewis to the Chair of Poetry, the oldest Chair in Oxford. Day-Lewis won (the Poetry Chair was by election). He was father to Daniel Day-Lewis.



#28 Princess of Tap

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 03:37 AM

Laffite-- Anywhere out of this world was the poem that we usually read in class-- and I believe the English title is the title of the French poem.

Les fleurs du mal-- is primarily maligned because of the lesbian content.

If I recall correctly, they actually seized the copies and closed down the printer.

Baudelaire had to flee to Belgium where he tried to make a living giving lectures.

But the worsening condition of his syphilis caused him to collapse and he was sent home to die.

I found his life very interesting to study, but I also found his poetry very difficult to understand.

As a consequence I think I spent more time with Verlaine. I can relate to it a little better.

#29 laffite

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 02:35 AM

For those who don't know the bulk of Baudelaire's poetry, it is primarily contained within a single great work, The Flowers of Evil. Baudelaire detested the Bourgeoisie and realized that many of his poems would not be accepted by them. But not only them, the authorities banned many of them as well. Baudelaire was more that his current society could take. This poem is about a book but in truth about his oeuvre. He addresses three types of readers.

 

==

 

Epigraph for a Condemned Book

 

Quiet and bucolic man resting

So at your ease, sober and pristine,

In quiet complacency languishing.

Throw away my book, so saturnine,

So wild and so melancholy waxing.

 

If your rhetoric does not meld with writhing

Satan, personified by the depths of Truth

Throw it away I say, you'd grasp nothing,

And if so think me quite mad or uncouth.

 

But if, succumbing not to sentimentality,

Rather casting your eye to the depths of my creed,

Read me then, to love me and understand my screed.

 

O Inquisitive One! You there! The Soul that does Suffer

And relentlessly pursues You're own Paradise real and versed,

So then I ask you, do Pity me well! ... If not, let you be cursed!

 

— translated by William Aggeler (with an unauthorized assist from laffite)

 

I love Baudelaire and my erstwhile French studies has enabled me

to understand some poems just as a native speaker would. Most English

translations are good or very good (including William Aggeler's) but

these translations never satisfy me. The meaning is always right there

but they fail to capture the rhythm and the beauty. I've tried to remedy

that by my upstart changes to reflect how I would like it read in English.

I didn't intend to include rhymes but they help at least a little with what I'm

trying to do. Some of then are forced. And there is more verbiage.You can

see that the stanzas get longer and longer (oops!) but this is all in fun.

Apologies to Mr Charles Baudelaire and Mr William Aggeler.

Below is the original Baudelaire---laffite

 

-

 

Épigraphe pour un livre condamné

 

Lecteur paisible et bucolique,

Sobre et naïf homme de bien,

Jette ce livre saturnien,

Orgiaque et mélancolique.

 

Si tu n'as fait ta rhétorique

Chez Satan, le rusé doyen,

Jette! tu n'y comprendrais rien,

Ou tu me croirais hysthérique.

 

Mais si, sans se laisser charmer,

Ton oeil sait plonger dans les gouffres,

Lis-moi, pour apprendre à m'aimer;

 

Âme curieuse qui souffres

Et vas cherchant ton paradis,

Plains-moi!... Sinon, je te maudis!

 

— Charles Baudelaire

 

Oh Charles, you do it with such great economy.


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#30 laffite

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 11:26 PM

***

 

When I can look Life in the eyes

Grown calm and very coldly wise.

Life will have given me the Truth

And taken in exchange---my youth.

 

-Sara Teasdale, poet (1884-1933)

 

***


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#31 NipkowDisc

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 10:16 AM

"the sun kisses the morning sky,

 

the birds kiss the butterflies"....

 

( zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz )

 

the...class?...class?...

 

 

WAKE UP!!!

 

               -SISTER MARY ELEPHANT

 

:lol:


"okay, so we're moving right along, folks" -al pacino, dog day afternoon


#32 laffite

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 12:19 AM

   ----

 

Anne Bronte (1820-1849)

 

Farewell

 

Farewell to thee! but not farewell

To all my fondest thoughts of thee:

Within my heart they still shall dwell;

And they shall cheer and comfort me.

O, beautiful, and full of grace!

If thou hadst never met mine eye,

I had not dreamed a living face

Could fancied charms so far outvie.

 

If I may ne'er behold again

That form and face so dear to me,

Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain

Preserve, for aye, their memory.

 

That voice, the magic of whose tone

Can wake an echo in my breast,

Creating feelings that, alone,

Can make my tranced spirit blest.

 

That laughing eye, whose sunny beam

My memory would not cherish less; --

And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam

Nor mortal language can express.

 

Adieu, but let me cherish, still,

The hope with which I cannot part.

Contempt may wound, and coldness chill,

But still it lingers in my heart.

 

And who can tell but Heaven, at last,

May answer all my thousand prayers,

And bid the future pay the past

With joy for anguish, smiles for tears?

 

Farewell

 

 

----


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#33 laffite

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 02:37 AM

***

 

Western wind, when wilt thou blow,

The small rain down can rain?

Christ, if my love were in my arms

And I in my bed again!

 

***

 

Anon (16c)



#34 laffite

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 03:46 AM

I'm still in London, so here's an appropriate poem for the season and spirit here. (Note that "keel" means to stir; the parson's "saw" means his sermon; and "crabs" refer to crabapples.)

 

Winter by William Shakespeare, from Love's Labour's Lost

 

When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

 

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

 

I swear, the first words that came to mind this morning as I awoke were:

 

And Marian's nose looks red and raw

 

Strange things like that do happen and I thought there must be a reason for this, so why not an encore selection of Winter by the Bard.

 

(I hope I wake up tomorrow to "While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.")  I like that one.

 

:rolleyes:

Far gone ---Polonius

 

...but I have a weakness for the plight of young ladies in the cold of winter, especially oh so long ago. Alas, poor Marian. Alas, poor Joan.

 

P.S. ... but what a mighty evocation of winter. It may be August but I'm shivering.


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#35 laffite

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 10:15 PM

William Wordsworth

(1770-1850)

 

The World Is Too Much With Us

 

The World is too much wth us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We gave given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

The Sea that bears its bosom to the moon,

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

Are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not.---Great God! I'd rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lee,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

 

==

 

The last six lines (the sestet) ends the poem with a flourish

and is exhilarating.---L

 

--


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#36 laffite

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 03:22 AM

==

 

Madame, Withouten Many Words

 

Madame, withouten many words,

Once I am sure ye will or no,

And if ye will, then leave your bordes, [jests]

And use your wit and show it so.

 

And with a beck ye shall me call,

And if of one that burneth alway

Ye have any pity at all,

Answer him fair with yea or nay.

 

If it be yea, I shall be fain,

If it be nay, friends as before;

Ye shall another man obtain

And I mine own and yours no more.

 

Sir Thomas Wyatt (the elder)

(1503-1542)

 

==


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#37 GregoryPeckfan

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 05:06 PM

For Shakespeare's birthday:

 

 

SONNET 18:

 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometimes the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometimes declines,

By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,

Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest;

     So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

     So long lives this, and this gives life to thee


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#38 Swithin

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 07:25 PM

‘Easter 1916’

W.B. Yeats

 

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman’s days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-**** call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone’s in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven’s part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse –
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.


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#39 Kid Dabb

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:35 AM

My truck with poetry is mainly via the writing of song. It is in this spirit that I offer a favorite in the form of lyric co-written by the recently deceased Glenn Frey of The Eagles.
 
Desperado (sans piano)
 
Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
You been out ridin' fences for so long now
Oh, you're a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin' you
Can hurt you somehow
 
Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She'll beat you if she's able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet
 
Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can't get
 
Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walking through this world all alone
 
Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the night time from the day
You're losin' all your highs and lows
Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?
 
Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you (let somebody love you)
You better let somebody love you before it's too late

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#40 laffite

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 02:35 AM

February

By Margaret Atwood

Winter. Time to eat fat 
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,   
a black fur sausage with yellow 
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries   
to get onto my head. It’s his 
way of telling whether or not I’m dead. 
If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am   
He’ll think of something. He settles 
on my chest, breathing his breath 
of burped-up meat and musty sofas, 
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,   
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,   
declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory,   
which are what will finish us off 
in the long run. Some cat owners around here   
should snip a few ****. If we wise   
hominids were sensible, we’d do that too,   
or eat our young, like sharks. 
But it’s love that does us in. Over and over   
again, He shoots, he scores! and famine 
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing   
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits   
thirty below, and pollution pours 
out of our chimneys to keep us warm. 
February, month of despair, 
with a skewered heart in the centre. 
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries   
with a splash of vinegar. 
Cat, enough of your greedy whining 
and your small pink bumhole. 
Off my face! You’re the life principle, 
more or less, so get going 
on a little optimism around here. 
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.

 

I'm going to heed what mothers everywhere intoned a generation or so (or three), namely, "...if you don't have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all." ...or have I just violated the rule. If so, I'll offer equal time to something nice. Margaret, you write fine novels.






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