Swithin

Sappho and Her Friends: The Poetry Thread

163 posts in this topic

This thread was overlooked when adjustments were being made to the censored words list.  Our apologies.

 

 

Sappho!

Sappho Sapphic Lesbos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sappho **** ****

Sappho has now been released from the censored list! Many thanks! Still got two words to go:   S A P P H I C    and the name of the island:   L E S B O S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sappho has now been released from the censored list! Many thanks! Still got two words to go:   S A P P H I C    and the name of the island:   L E S B O S

 

For which to illustrate, an offering with an a propos (i.e., banned) title:

 

The **** Ode

 

Roses from the dark hedge I plucked at night;

They breathed sweeter fragrance than ever during the day;

But the moving branches abundantly shed

The dew that showered me.

 

Thus your kisses' fragrance enticed me as never before,

As at night I plucked the flower of your lips:

But you too, moved in spirit as they were,

Shed a dew of tears.

 

     Hans Schmidt (1856 - 1923)

 

==

 

P.S. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) set this

poem to song, the same title. I decided not

to include here. Type title in youtube search

and find a number of renditions. A beautiful

song.

 

==

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Lafitte!  I guess we'll have to sing it in German ("Sapphische") until they let us use the English!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pleased that the great poet Sappho may now have her name appear in these boards. This is a test to see if they have allowed the adjective use of her name and the name of the island where she was born:

 

Sappho

 

Sapphic  (S a p p h i c)

 

Lesbos (L e s b o s)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that Sappho, Sapphic, and Lesbos have been freed by the censor, I am expanding this thread to make it a poetry thread, still in honor of Sappho, but a place for quoting poems of all authors

 

Since today is Lammas Eve (the birthday of Juliet): "Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen." -- Nurse, Romeo and Juliet, I will begin with a poem by Robert Burns in honor of Lammas, which is an ancient pagan holiday -- the first harvest holiday, August 1, later taken over by the Church -- blessing of the first wheat of the season. Here's a poem/song by Robert Burns (this was used in The Wicker Man.)

 

The Rigs O' Barley

 

It was upon a Lammas night,

When corn rigs are bonnie,

Beneath the moon’s unclouded light,

I held awa to Annie:

The time flew by wi’ tentless heed,

’Till ’tween the late and early,

Wi’ sma’ persuasion she agreed,

To see me through the barley.

 

The sky was blue, the wind was still,

The moon was shining clearly;

I set her down wi’ right good will,

Amang the rigs o’ barley:

I ken’t her heart was a’ my ain;

I lov’d her most sincerely;

I kiss’d her owre and owre again,

Amang the rigs o’ barley.

 

I lock’d her in my fond embrace!

Her heart was beating rarely:

My blessings on that happy place.

Amang the rigs o’ barley!

But by the moon and stars so bright.

That shone that hour so clearly?

She ay shall bless that happy night,

Amang the rigs o’ barley!

 

I hae been blithe wi’ comrades dear;

I hae been merry drinkin’;

I hae been joyfu’ gath’rin’ gear;

I hae been happy thinkin’:

But a’ the pleasures e’er I saw,

Tho’ three times doubled fairly,

That happy night was worth them a’,

Amang the rigs o’ barley.

 

Corn rigs, an’ barley rigs,

An’ corn rigs are bonnie:

I’ll ne’er forget that happy night,

Amang the rigs wi’ Annie.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely poem. Swithin. I read it out loud several times in my most tortured attempted accent but the words came out okay, just the best in the category of sweet reminiscence.

 

May I put one up. Another reminiscence, a poem by Thomas Hardy who, late in life wrote like poems about former friends and such, many with a bittersweet touch. He might have been 80 years old when he wrote this, 1920 or after, and despite the ‘late; year, the poem I believe is teeped petty much in convention Victorian style (though I am no expert).

 

==

Thomas Hardy

1840-1928

==

 

==

 

To Louisa in the lane

 

 

Meet me again as at that time

In the hollow of the lane;

I will not pass as in my prime

I passed at each day's wane.

------- Ah, I remember!

To do it you will have to see

Anew this sorry scene wherein you have ceased to be!

 

But I will welcome your aspen form

As you gaze wondering round

And say with spectral frail alarm,

"Why am I still here found?

------- Ah, I remember!

It is through him with blitheful brow

Who did not love me then, but loves and draws me now!"

 

And I shall answer: "Sweet of eyes,

Carry me with you, Dear,

To where you donned this spirit-guise;

It's better there than here!"

-------Till I remember

Such is a deed you cannot do:

Wait must I, till with flung-off flesh I follow you.

 

==

 

==

 

==

 

==

Louisainthelane.jpg

Louisa

 

Swithin, what is your policy on posting? I do not have a wealth of poems to offer here but I may have one from time to time. Is this okay? I was a lille reluctant to cover up the Burns so soon, so wonderful it is. Please give some guidance on posting, I am totally okay with whatever you say. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lafitte, thanks for that wonderful poem! I love Thomas Hardy. I visited the cottage where he was born and Max Gate, the house where he lived later in his career.  Regarding my "policy," I have none! I started the thread related to Sappho. The threads were mostly mine because no one else was interested. Now it's a poetry thread, and so long as posters adhere to the subject, all are welcome. 

 

I don't hold to the notion that someone who begins a thread has any sort of ownership of it, or moderation responsibilities. I look forward to your poems and commentary!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is James Baldwin's birthday, and I thought I'd share this untitled poem he wrote: 

 

Lord,
            when you send the rain,
            think about it, please,
            a little?
     Do
            not get carried away
            by the sound of falling water,
            the marvelous light
            on the falling water.
        I
            am beneath that water.
            It falls with great force
            and the light
Blinds
            me to the light.
                   — Untitled

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for that, hepclassic. Great poem, and it's nice to mark anniversaries with poetry!

 

Tomorrow -- August 4 -- marks the centenary of Great Britain's entry into World War I.  Wilfred Owen was one of the great poets of that war -- perhaps the greatest. He was opposed to the war but fought valiantly and returned to the front lines to be killed a week before the armistice was signed. Owen did not need to return to the trenches after his injury but felt he needed to report on the horrific realities of the war.

 

The title of this poem comes from a quote from the Roman poet Horace. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori means "It is sweet and fitting to die for your country."  Wilfred Owen is in a way the opposite of the poet Rupert Brooke, whose poems romanticized the war. 

 

Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

 

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
The Emperor of Ice-Cream
Wallace Stevens
 
 
 
Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her **** feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bagpipe Music

By Louis MacNeice

 

It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw,
All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
Their knickers are made of crepe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with head of bison.

John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa,
Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker,
Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey,
Kept its bones for dumbbells to use when he was fifty.

It's no go the Yogi-man, it's no go Blavatsky,
All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.

Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather,
Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna.
It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture,
All we want is a Dunlop tire and the devil mend the puncture.

The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober,
Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over.
Mrs. Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion,
Said to the midwife "Take it away; I'm through with overproduction."

It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh,
All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby.

Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage,
Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage.
His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish, 
Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish.

It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible,
All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle.

It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium,
It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections,
Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.

It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall forever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought of in the midst of recent events, I'd share this poem by Langston Hughes: 

 

Cross

 

My old man's a white old man
And my old mother's black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I'm sorry for that evil wish
And now I wish her well
My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where I'm going to die,
Being neither white nor black? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Labor Day's arrival always brings to mind one of my favorite pieces of music: "Summer's Last Will and Testament" by Constant Lambert. The text is based on a poetic play by Thomas Nashe, published in 1600. Here's is Summer's opening speech:

 

What pleasure always lasts? no joy endures. Summer I was. I am not what I was;
Harvest and age have whitened my green head;
On Autumn now and Winter must I lean;

Needs must he fall whom none but foes uphold. Thus must the happiest man have his black day; Omnibus una manet nox, & calcanda semel via lethi. This month have I lain languishing abed,

Looking each hour to yield my life and throne, And died I had indeed unto the earth
But that Eliza, England’s beauteous Queen, On whom all seasons prosperously attend, Forbade the execution of my fate

Until her joyful progress was expired.
For her doth Summer live, and linger here,
And wisheth long to live to her content,
But wishes are not had when they wish well,
I must depart, my death-day is set down,
To these two must I leave my wheaten crown. So unto unthrifts rich men leave their lands, Who in an hour consume long labour’s gains. True is it that divinest Sidney sung,

O, he is marred, that is for others made.
Come near, my friends, for I am near my end;
In presence of this honourable train,
Who love me (for I patronize their sports),
Mean I to make my final testament,
But first I’ll call my officers to ‘count,
And of the wealth I gave them to dispose, Known what is left, I may know what to give. Vertumnus then, that turn’st the year about, Summon them one by one to answer me;
First Ver, the spring, unto whose custody
I have committed more than to the rest:

The choice of all my fragrant meads and flowers, And what delights soe’er nature affords. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another poem by Wilfred Owen, the greatest of the World War One poets.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

 

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
      Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 
      Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
      And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
      The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Ritual to Read To Each Other

by William Stafford 

 

 If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
 
 
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
 
 
And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
 
 
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
 
 
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Ritual to Read To Each Other

by William Stafford 

 

 If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
 
 
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
 
 
And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
 
 
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
 
 
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to me that comedian George Lindsay used to tell the funny stories concerning his "country cousin" named either  "Sappo" or Sappho.  Funny stuff, like when this cousin "went out" for the football team, the coach handed him a football and asked, "Boy, do you think you can PASS this?"  And Sappho would answer, "Heck, coach!  I don't even think I can SWALLER it!"

 

Or when this cousin was on an airliner and asked the stewardess, "Miss, how high is this plane?"  And when the stew told him, "We're currently at 10,000 feet."  The cousin cried out, "GOLLY!  Then how WIDE is it?"

 

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Introduction to the Songs of Innocence

William Blake

 

 

Piping down the valleys wild 
Piping songs of pleasant glee 
On a cloud I saw a child. 
And he laughing said to me. 

Pipe a song about a Lamb; 
So I piped with merry chear, 
Piper pipe that song again— 
So I piped, he wept to hear.

Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe 
Sing thy songs of happy chear, 
So I sung the same again 
While he wept with joy to hear 

Piper sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read— 
So he vanish'd from my sight. 
And I pluck'd a hollow reed. 

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Pobble Who Has no Toes

Edward Lear

The Pobble who has no toes
      Had once as many as we;
When they said, 'Some day you may lose them all;'--
      He replied, -- 'Fish fiddle de-dee!'
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink,
Lavender water tinged with pink,
For she said, 'The World in general knows
There's nothing so good for a Pobble's toes!'
 
The Pobble who has no toes,
      Swam across the Bristol Channel;
But before he set out he wrapped his nose,
      In a piece of scarlet flannel.
For his Aunt Jobiska said, 'No harm
'Can come to his toes if his nose is warm;
'And it's perfectly known that a Pobble's toes
'Are safe, -- provided he minds his nose.'

The Pobble swam fast and well
      And when boats or ships came near him
He tinkedly-binkledy-winkled a bell
      So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the further side,--
'He has gone to fish, for his Aunt Jobiska's
'Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!'
 
But before he touched the shore,
      The shore of the Bristol Channel,
A sea-green Porpoise carried away
      His wrapper of scarlet flannel.
And when he came to observe his feet
Formerly garnished with toes so neat
His face at once became forlorn
On perceiving that all his toes were gone!

And nobody ever knew
      From that dark day to the present,
Whoso had taken the Pobble's toes,
      In a manner so far from pleasant.
Whether the shrimps or crawfish gray,
Or crafty Mermaids stole them away --
Nobody knew; and nobody knows
How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes!
 
The Pobble who has no toes
      Was placed in a friendly Bark,
And they rowed him back, and carried him up,
      To his Aunt Jobiska's Park.
And she made him a feast at his earnest wish
Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish;--
And she said,-- 'It's a fact the whole world knows,
'That Pobbles are happier without their toes.'

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since autumn is fast approaching. 

 

The Wild Swams at Coole

by William Butler Yeats

 

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
 
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
 
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
 
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
 
But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
 
(1919)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In honor of yesterday's very sensible Scottish vote:
Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat, by Robert Burns: 

 

Does haughty Gaul invasion threat?

Then let the louns beware, Sir;

There's wooden walls upon our seas,

And volunteers on shore, Sir:

The Nith shall run to Corsincon,

And Criffel sink in Solway,

Ere we permit a Foreign Foe

On British ground to rally!

We'll ne'er permit a Foreign Foe

On British ground to rally!

 

O let us not, like snarling curs,

In wrangling be divided,

Till, slap! come in an unco loun,

And wi' a rung decide it!

Be Britain still to Britain true,

Amang ourselves united;

For never but by British hands

Maun British wrangs be righted!

No! never but by British hands

Shall British wrangs be righted!

 

The Kettle o' the Kirk and State,

Perhaps a clout may fail in't;

But deil a foreign tinkler loun

Shall ever ca'a nail in't.

Our father's blude the Kettle bought,

And wha wad dare to spoil it;

By Heav'ns! the sacrilegious dog

Shall fuel be to boil it!

By Heav'ns! the sacrilegious dog

Shall fuel be to boil it!

 

The wretch that would a tyrant own,

And the wretch, his true-born brother,

Who would set the Mob aboon the Throne,

May they be damn'd together!

Who will not sing "God save the King,"

Shall hang as high's the steeple;

But while we sing "God save the King,"

We'll ne'er forget The People!

But while we sing "God save the King,"

We'll ne'er forget The People!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us