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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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Sappho and Her Friends: The Poetry Thread


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#41 Swithin

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 10:35 PM

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.



#42 Swithin

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 07:15 PM

In Drear-Nighted December 

John Keats

 

In drear-nighted December,

Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.

 


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#43 Swithin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 01:20 PM

Blow, blow, thou winter wind

by William Shakespeare (from As You Like It)

 

Thou art not so unkind 
As man's ingratitude; 
Thy tooth is not so keen, 
Because thou art not seen, 
Although thy breath be rude. 

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: 
Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly: 
Then heigh-ho, the holly! 
This life is most jolly. 

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky, 
That does not bite so nigh 
As benefits forgot: 
Though thou the waters warp, 
Thy sting is not so sharp 
As a friend remembered not. 
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: 
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly: 
Then heigh-ho, the holly! 
This life is most jolly. 

 

 



#44 Swithin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 01:17 PM

I am going to try to upload a picture of the Colorado scenery if I get a chance.

 

Thanks -- I think it's fine for this thread to be poems as well as commentary about the poems. I'd like to see more people posting poetry here, and commenting about it, if they are moved to do so.



#45 TopBilled

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 01:06 PM

We had only our second snowfall yesterday morning here in Colorado. And like the first one, most of it melted by afternoon. 

 

The mountain peaks surrounding the valley I live in have plenty of snow, for which the ski resorts are grateful-- but this area where I am located has a slightly desert climate and it tries to keep the snow and any potentially white Christmas at bay.

I am going to try to upload a picture of the Colorado scenery if I get a chance.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#46 Swithin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 10:03 AM

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it q u e e r
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
 

 



#47 TopBilled

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 09:36 AM

We had only our second snowfall yesterday morning here in Colorado. And like the first one, most of it melted by afternoon. 

 

The mountain peaks surrounding the valley I live in have plenty of snow, for which the ski resorts are grateful-- but this area where I am located has a slightly desert climate and it tries to keep the snow and any potentially white Christmas at bay.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#48 Swithin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 09:14 AM

Doesn't look like we're going to have a white Christmas in NYC or in much of the Northeast.

 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it q u e e r
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
 

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#49 TopBilled

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 07:58 AM

Nice. I don't think I've ever seen birds brooding in the snow, but I do like the imagery. :)

And calendar-wise it's technically not winter for at least another three weeks, though it may already seem like it.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#50 Swithin

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 06:45 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.


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#51 TopBilled

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 03:20 PM

Any more poems on the horizon...?


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#52 Swithin

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 09:20 PM

The Fifth of November

 

    Remember, remember!  
    The fifth of November, 
    The Gunpowder treason and plot; 
    I know of no reason 
    Why the Gunpowder treason 
    Should ever be forgot! 
    Guy Fawkes and his companions 
    Did the scheme contrive, 
    To blow the King and Parliament 
    All up alive. 
    Threescore barrels, laid below, 
    To prove old England's overthrow. 
    But, by God's providence, him they catch, 
    With a dark lantern, lighting a match! 
    A stick and a stake  
    For King James's sake! 
    If you won't give me one, 
    I'll take two, 
    The better for me, 
    And the worse for you. 
    A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope, 
    A penn'orth of cheese to choke him, 
    A pint of beer to wash it down, 
    And a jolly good fire to burn him. 
    Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring! 
    Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King! 
    Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

 

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#53 TopBilled

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 03:43 PM

That's great, Swithin. Makes me think of Orson Welles' version of MACBETH. 

 

screen-shot-2015-10-30-at-2-43-15-pm.png


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#54 Swithin

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 07:55 AM

For Halloween:

 

Macbeth (excerpt)

by William Shakespeare

 

First Witch

Round about the cauldron go;

In the poison'd entrails throw.

Toad, that under cold stone

Days and nights has thirty-one

Swelter'd venom sleeping got,

Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

 

ALL

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

 

Second Witch

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the cauldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,

Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

 

ALL

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

 

Third Witch

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,

Witches' mummy, maw and gulf

Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,

Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,

Liver of blaspheming Jew,

Gall of goat, and slips of yew

Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,

Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,

Finger of birth-strangled babe

Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,

Make the gruel thick and slab:

Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,

For the ingredients of our cauldron.

 

ALL

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

 

Second Witch

Cool it with a baboon's blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.


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#55 Swithin

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 05:54 PM

Autumn Sunshine by D.H. Lawrence 

 

The sun sets out the autumn crocuses

        And fills them up a pouring measure
        Of death-producing wine, till treasure
    Runs waste down their chalices.

    All, all Persephone's pale cups of mould
        Are on the board, are over-filled;
        The portion to the gods is spilled;
    Now, mortals all, take hold!

    The time is now, the wine-cup full and full
        Of lambent heaven, a pledging-cup;
        Let now all mortal men take up
    The drink, and a long, strong pull.

    Out of the hell-queen's cup, the heaven's pale wine -
        Drink then, invisible heroes, drink.
        Lips to the vessels, never shrink,
    Throats to the heavens incline.

    And take within the wine the god's great oath
        By heaven and earth and hellish stream
        To break this sick and nauseous dream
    We writhe and lust in, both.

    Swear, in the pale wine poured from the cups of the queen
        Of hell, to wake and be free
        From this nightmare we writhe in,
    Break out of this foul has-been.



#56 Swithin

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 10:35 PM

Ascending Chords
By Monica Goldberg
 

The angel touches the child on the upper lip just as it is born

 
During Kol Nidre
my lips
remember
the resolution
of past notes
so clearly that
I almost
hear one
charting
lessons,
of history
flying borders
in new beats
and broken time.



#57 Swithin

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 06:55 AM

61zGXooadfL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
 
The Owl and the ****-Cat

BY EDWARD LEAR

The Owl and the ****-cat went to sea 
   In a beautiful pea-green boat, 
They took some honey, and plenty of money, 
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note. 
The Owl looked up to the stars above, 
   And sang to a small guitar, 
"O lovely ****! O ****, my love, 
    What a beautiful **** you are, 
         You are, 
         You are! 
What a beautiful **** you are!" 

II 
**** said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl! 
   How charmingly sweet you sing! 
O let us be married! too long we have tarried: 
   But what shall we do for a ring?" 
They sailed away, for a year and a day, 
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows 
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood 
   With a ring at the end of his nose, 
             His nose, 
             His nose, 
   With a ring at the end of his nose. 

III 
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling 
   Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will." 
So they took it away, and were married next day 
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill. 
They dined on mince, and slices of quince, 
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;   
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, 
   They danced by the light of the moon, 
             The moon, 
             The moon, 
They danced by the light of the moon.


#58 laffite

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 04:35 AM

The Grasshopper and the Ant

 

The grasshopper, after singing

all summer long

found she was low on provisions

when the wintry north wind arrived.

Not a single little bit

of fly or wormlet to eat.

 

She cried hunger to the home of her neighbor,

the ant

asking her to lend a few grains until springtime.

"I'll pay you," she said,

"before harvest time, on my word as animal,

both interest and principal."

 

The ant wasn't the lending kind,

If she had a fault, it wasn't that one.

 

"What were you doing during the warm weather?"

she asked the borrower.

"Night and day I would sing to all and sundry,

if it so please you, good ma'am."

"Singing were you now, oh so glad to hear.

Well now, why don't you dance."

 

Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695)

 

[trans. by Stanley Appelbaum, with an assist by laffite]

 

***



#59 Swithin

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:59 PM

"Blue Remembered Hills," from A Shropshire Lad XL
by A. E. Housman, 1859 - 1936


Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.



#60 Vautrin

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 11:55 PM

Departure

Arthur Rimbaud

 

 

Seen enough. The vision met itself in every kind of air.
Had enough. Noises of cities in the evening, in the sunlight, and forever.
Known enough. The haltings of life. Oh Noises and Visions.
Departure into new affection and sound.


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





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