fahye: ([narnia] oh who would ever want)
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In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.


If poetry could tell it backwards, true, begin
that moment shrapnel scythed you to the stinking mud
but you get up, amazed, watch bled bad blood
run upwards from the slime into its wounds;
see lines and lines of British boys rewind
back to their trenches, kiss the photographs from home-
mothers, sweethearts, sisters, younger brothers
not entering the story now
to die and die and die.
Dulce- No- Decorum- No- Pro patria mori.
You walk away.

You walk away; drop your gun (fixed bayonet)
like all your mates do too-
Harry, Tommy, Wilfred, Edward, Bert-
and light a cigarette.
There's coffee in the square,
warm French bread
and all those thousands dead
are shaking dried mud from their hair
and queuing up for home. Freshly alive,
a lad plays Tipperary to the crowd, released
from History; the glistening, healthy horses fit for heroes, kings.

You lean against a wall,
your several million lives still possible
and crammed with love, work, children, talent, English beer, good food.
You see the poet tuck away his pocket-book and smile.
If poetry could truly tell it backwards,
then it would.

- Carol Ann Duffy

(written upon the deaths of the last English survivors of WWI)
fahye: ([other] mining & translating the light)
Go Panther-Pawed Where All The Mined Truths Sleep

Not smash and grab, but rather find and keep;
Go panther-pawed where all the mined truths sleep
To detonate the hidden seeds with stealth
So in your wake a weltering of welath
Springs up unseen, ignored and left behind
As you sneak on, pretending to be blind.
On your return along the jungle path you've made
Find all the littered stuffs where you have strayed;
The small truths and the large have surfaced there
Where you stealth-blundered wildly unaware
Or seeming so. And so these mines were mined
In easy game of pace and pounce and find;
But mostly fluid pace, not too much pounce.
Attention must be paid, but by the ounce.
Mock caring, seem aloof, ignore each mile
And metaphors like cats behind your smile
Each one wound up to purr, each one a pride,
Each one a fine gold beast you've hid inside,
Now summoned forth in harvests from the brake
Turned anteloping elephants that shake
And drum and crack the mind to awe,
To behold beauty yet perceive its flaw.
Then, flaw discovered, like fair beauty's mole,
Haste back to reckon all entire, the Whole.
This done, pretend these wits you do not keep,
Go panther-pawed where all the mined truths sleep.

- Ray Bradbury
fahye: (Default)
Even though I am, as usual, not in the mood to be reminded.

~

Words, Wide Night

Somewhere, on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.

This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say
it is sad? In one of the tenses I singing
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.

La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine
the dark hills I would have to cross
to reach you. For I am in love with you and this

is how it feels, or how it feels in words.

- Carol Ann Duffy
fahye: ([sh] an infinite impetus forward)
Greater Love

Red lips are not so red
As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.
Kindness of wooed and wooer
Seems shame to their love pure.
O Love, your eyes lose lure
When I behold eyes blinded in my stead!

Your slender attitude
Trembles not exquisite like limbs knife-skewed,
Rolling and rolling there
Where God seems not to care;
Till the fierce love they bear
Cramps them in death's extreme decrepitude.

Your voice sings not so soft, -
Though even as wind murmuring through raftered loft, -
Your dear voice is not dear,
Gentle, and evening clear,
As theirs whom none now hear,
Now earth has stopped their piteous mouths that coughed.

Heart, you were never hot
Nor large, nor full like hearts made great with shot;
And though your hand be pale,
Paler are all which trail
Your cross through flame and hail:
Weep, you may weep, for you may touch them not.

- Wilfred Owen, 1917
fahye: ([hb] no metaphors can fill)
This is the poem I ransacked gleefully when writing when our falsehoods are divided. AUDEN. TEMPEST. YES.


Preface

(The Stage Manager to the Critics)


The aged catch their breath,
For the nonchalant couple go
Waltzing across the tightrope
As if there were no death
Or hope of falling down;
The wounded cry as the clown
Doubles his meaning; and O
How the dear little children laugh
When the drums roll and the lovely
Lady is sawn in half.

O what authority gives
Existence its surprise?
Science is happy to answer
That the ghosts who haunt our lives
Are handy with mirrors and wire,
That song and sugar and fire,
Courage and come-hither eyes
Have a genius for taking pains.
But how does one think up a habit?
Our wonder, our terror remains.

Art opens the fishiest eye
To the Flesh and the Devil who heat
The Chamber of Temptation
Where heroes roar and die.
We are wet with sympathy now;
Thanks for the evening; but how
Shall we satisfy when we meet,
Between Shall-I and I-Will,
The lion's mouth whose hunger
No metaphors can fill?

Well, who in his own backyard
Has not opened his heart to the smiling
Secret he cannot quote?
Which goes to show that the Bard
Was sober when he wrote
That this world of fact we love
Is insubstantial stuff:
All the rest is silence
On the other side of the wall;
And the silence ripeness,
And the ripeness all.

- from 'The Sea and the Mirror' by W.H. Auden
fahye: ([stxi] phonemes and syntax)
Ji and I have made a pact to post more poetry. You'll have to bear with me while I sulk about the fact that I should probably post something NOT by W.H. Auden or Dylan Thomas sometimes (though there'll be lots of them, because I adore them) and while I sneakily push Shakespeare in your face as often as possible. Because a monologue is totally a poem. Yeah.

LET'S BEGIN. This is the poem from which I stole the title (and the major theme) of my Ouran WIP about Kyouya, and I would like it EVEN IF it did not contain the word 'osmosis'.

~

More and More

More and more frequently the edges
of me dissolve and I become
a wish to assimilate the world, including
you, if possible through the skin
like a cool plant's tricks with oxygen
and live by a harmless green burning.

I would not consume
you or ever
finish, you would still be there
surrounding me, complete
as the air.

Unfortunately I don't have leaves.
Instead I have eyes
and teeth and other non-green
things which rule out osmosis.

So be careful, I mean it,
I give you fair warning:

This kind of hunger draws
everything into its own
space; nor can we
talk it all over, have a calm
rational discussion.

There is no reason for this, only
a starved dog's logic about bones.

- by Margaret Atwood
fahye: ([sn] fingers pinned to the chest)
I thought I'd take advantage of the when you see this, post a poem in your journal meme, which has been floating half-heartedly around my flist recently, to talk about Carol Ann Duffy, who is the UK's current (and first female, and first openly gay) Poet Laureate. I first heard about her tangentally in a post of [livejournal.com profile] foreverdirt's, and looked her up on Wikipedia, and then liked the sound of her so much that I went and borrowed a couple of slim poetry collections of hers from the uni library.

And so I whole-heartedly and without reservation recommend The World's Wife, a collection of thirty-something poems about the women passed over, ignored, unwritten and unrecognised by history & myth. I think this is something relevant to many of our interests, perhaps? Anyway, it's very sly and often funny and sometimes heartbreaking, and Duffy can do things with language that make me want to howl with envy. Some of the poems are short and pointed (Mrs Charles Darwin, Mrs Icarus) and others are longer. When naming my favourite I'm torn between Queen Herod and the one I'm going to post now; it's the first in the book and, it's easy to tell, the most personal.


Little Red-Cap

At childhood's end, the houses petered out
into playing fields, the factory, allotments
kept, like mistresses, by kneeling married men,
the silent railway line, the hermit's caravan,
till you came at last to the edge of the woods.
It was there that I first clapped eyes on the wolf.

He stood in a clearing, reading his verse out loud )
fahye: (Default)
I love this poem -- its title is the only tattoo I have ever seriously wanted, and still do -- and if you can't work out why then clearly I haven't ever given you my patented DEATH! DEATH AND RIVERS AND OCEANS! 'DO YOU THINK DEATH COULD POSSIBLY BE A BOAT?' rant that is so beautifully illustrated by this icon (and in fact, these fics).

It's by Dylan Thomas.

~

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.
fahye: ([potc] under the windings of the sea)
I'm actually feeling quite pretty at the moment. My legs are firm-ish, my stomach is flat, my skin is less disastrous than usual, and although I'd still much prefer being a dark brunette again, I've discovered that I hate my natural hair colour far less than I thought. It's that time of the month, so my boobs are looking quite respectable, even if they do feel like someone's been tenderising them with a meat mallet while I'm asleep. And every time I suspect that my eyes are too close together, I remind myself that it could be worse: I could be Lleyton Hewitt. And he married a soap star 0.0035 seconds after meeting her, so there's hope for us mere mortals yet.

I spent yesterday morning (don't laugh) at university reading academic commentary on The Tempest, even though I had to use my friend's library card to borrow books because hey, apparently graduation means you're not meant to be taking books out of the uni library any more. WHO'D HAVE THUNKIT.

Anyway, I have this enormous keenness for poems inspired by that play, and yesterday I fell in utter love with W.H. Auden's The Sea and the Mirror which is a commentary on Tempest IN POEM FORM, I'm not even kidding, it's like beautiful meta-infused fanfic BY AUDEN, and every character's POV is a different poetical form, like a villanelle or a sestina. I tried to order my own copy from the Co-op but even I will not pay $28 for a single poem, no matter how awesome. And it's too long to type up in its entirety from the library copy. The hunt is on, universe. I am going to own a hard copy of this poem if it kills me.

I did type up some bits of it, though, in order to impart to you its awesomeness:

W.H. Auden -- The Sea and the Mirror )

October 2016

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