med_cat: (woman reading)
The Litany

This is a litany of lost things,
a canon of possessions dispossessed,
a photograph, an old address, a key.
It is a list of words to memorize
or to forget— of amo, amas, amat,
the conjugations of a dead tongue
in which the final sentence has been spoken.

This is the liturgy of rain,
falling on mountain, field, and ocean—
indifferent, anonymous, complete—
of water infinitesimally slow,
sifting through rock, pooling in darkness,
gathering in springs, then rising without our agency,
only to dissolve in mist or cloud or dew.

This is a prayer to unbelief,
to candles guttering and darkness undivided,
to incense drifting into emptiness.
It is the smile of a stone Madonna
and the silent fury of the consecrated wine,
a benediction on the death of a young god,
brave and beautiful, rotting on a tree.

This is a litany to earth and ashes,
to the dust of roads and vacant rooms,
to the fine silt circling in a shaft of sun,
settling indifferently on books and beds.
This is a prayer to praise what we become,
“Dust thou art, to dust thou shalt return.”
Savor its taste—the bitterness of earth and ashes.

This is a prayer, inchoate and unfinished, )

by Dana Gioia

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] duathir at Dana Gioia, 'The Litany'
med_cat: (cat in dress)
The Nightingale and the Glow-Worm
by
William Cowper


A nightingale, that all day long
Had cheered the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,

Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,

A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark;
So, stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop;

The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus right eloquent:
"Did you admire my lamp," quoth he,
"As much as I your minstrelsy,

You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song,
For 'twas the self-same power divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine,

That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night."

The songster heard his short oration,
And warbling out his approbation,
Released him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.


This poem is in the public domain.



Purchase a framed print of this poem.

William Cowper (1731 – 1800), pronounced “Cooper,” was an English poet who enjoyed tremendous success and popularity during his lifetime, a happy change from the cruel bullying he endured as a child. He originally studied law, but discovered his gift for writing early on and published numerous volumes of poems and hymns, including “There Is a Fountain, Filled with Blood” and “Oh, For a Closer Walk with God.” William suffered from crippling depression and mental illness throughout his life, but is remembered as one of the 18th century’s most influential poets.

(from yourdailypoem.com)
med_cat: (woman reading)


The Sciences Sing a Lullabye


Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.

Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.

Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
and
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down. 

Postcards

May. 26th, 2017 07:22 pm
med_cat: (Blue writing)
Postcards

At first I sent you a postcard
From every city I went to.
Grüsse aus Bath, aus Birmingham,
Aus Rotterdam, aus Tel Aviv.
Mit Liebe. Cards from you arrived
In English, with many commas.
Hope, you're fine and still alive,
Says one from Hong Kong. By that time
We weren't writing quite as often.

Now we're nearly nine years away
From the lake and the blue mountains,
And the room with the balcony,
But the heat and light of those days
Can reach this far from time to time.
Your latest was from Senegal,
Mine from Helsinki. I don't know
If we'll meet again. Be happy.
If you hear this, send a postcard.

Wendy Cope

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] melodily at Postcards

med_cat: (Blue writing)
Response

Mary Ursula Bethell


When you wrote your letter it was April,
And you were glad that it was spring weather,
And that the sun shone out in turn with showers of rain.

I write in waning May and it is autumn,
And I am glad that my chrysanthemums
Are tied up fast to strong posts,
So that the south winds cannot beat them down.
I am glad that they are tawny coloured,
And fiery in the low west evening light.
And I am glad that one bush warbler
Still sings in the honey-scented wattle . . .

But oh, we have remembering hearts,
And we say 'How green it was in such and such an April',
And 'Such and such an autumn was very golden',
And 'Everything is for a very short time'.
~~
Poet's bio can be found here; she lived in New Zealand.
med_cat: (cat in dress)
A Traveler's Tarantella
by
Joseph Ashby-Sterry
Written in ‘Murray’s Handbook’ while the band in the Piazza San Marco was playing the Tarantella
from Masanielio.


                            I.

All that the tourist can dream of or hear about,
Crowds on your sight as you carelessly peer about,
Quaint water streets you so carefully steer about,
     See the Rialto, and Square of St. Mark!
Floating in gondolas, laughing and jollity,
Cyprian wine of the very best quality,
At Florian’s caffè—mid fun and frivolity—
     Venice delightful from daylight to dark!
          Musicians in plenty,
          Play ‘Ecco ridente,’
or 'Com'è gentil,’ in the still summer night;
                       If you’re in a hurry,
                       Pray look in your Murray
You’ll find his description is perfectly right!
Read more... )

poet's bio: )
med_cat: (Spring tulips)
The Bee In Church

The nestling church at Ovingdean
Was fragrant as a hive in May;
And there was nobody within
To preach, or praise, or pray.

The sunlight slanted through the door,
And through the panes of painted glass,
When I stole in, alone once more
To feel the ages pass.

Then, through the dim grey hush there droned
An echoing plain-song on the air,
As if some ghostly priest intoned
An old Gregorian there.

Saint Chrysostom could never lend
More honey to the heavenly Spring
Than seemed to murmur and ascend
On that invisible wing.

So small he was, I scarce could see
My girdled brown hierophant;
But only a Franciscan bee
In such a bass could chant.

His golden Latin rolled and boomed.
It swayed the altar-flowers anew,
Till all that hive of worship bloomed
With dreams of sun and dew.

Ah, sweet Franciscan of the May,
Dear chaplain of the fairy queen,
You sent a singing heart away
That day, from Ovingdean.

by Alfred Noyes

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] duathir at Alfred Noyes, 'The Bee In Church'

med_cat: (Hourglass)
Илья Сельвинский - Белый песец

Мы начинаем с тобой стареть,
Спутница дорогая моя...
В зеркало вглядываешься острей,
Боль от самой себя затая:

"A White Fox", by Ilya Selvinsky

My dear companion,
Both you and I are starting to grow old...
You look more sharply at the mirror,
Concealing your pain even from yourself:

Ты еще ходишь-плывешь по земле
В облаке женственного тепла.
Но уж в улыбке, что света милей,
Лишняя черточка залегла.

You still walk-float on the ground
In a cloud of feminine warmth.
But already, in your smile which is dearer than the world to me,
There is an extra wrinkle.

Но ведь и эти морщинки твои
Очень тебе, дорогая, к лицу.
Нет, не расплющить нашей любви
Даже и времени колесу!

But even those wrinkles of yours
Suit you, dear, very well.
No, our love cannot be crushed,
Not even by the wheel of time!Read more... )
med_cat: (cat in dress)
This one is a song, from the CD Under The Gripping Beast by Echo's Children:

Seasons of Love
Lyrics ©1996 by Catherine Faber
ttto: Tallis' Canon (Psalm Setting #8, Musica Brittanica)


I love you well as skylarks sing
In soaring ecstasies of spring
And twilight stars that shyly rise
Yet seem no brighter than your eyes.

You love me well as springing wheat
Grows golden bright in summer heat
And as the harvest apple glows
The autumn warmth between us grows.

And when my beauty all too brief
Is withered like the autumn leaf
And when your hair is frosted silver
Winter sees us lovers still.

(sent by [livejournal.com profile] duathir--many thanks :)
med_cat: (cat in dress)
"I lately lost a preposition;
It hid, I thought, beneath my chair,
And angrily I cried, 'Perdition!
Up from out of in under there!'

Correctness is my vade mecum,
And straggling phrases I abhor,
And yet I wondered, 'What should he come
Up from out of in under for?'"

~~~

E = MC2

What was our trust, we trust not;
What was our faith, we doubt;
Whether we must or must not,
We may debate about.

The soul, perhaps is a gust of gas,
And wrong is a form of right;
But we know that Energy equals Mass
by the Square of the Speed of Light!

What we have known, we know not;
What we have proved, abjure;
Life is a tangled bowknot,
But one thing is still sure.

Come little lad; come little lass;
Your docile creed recite:
"We know that Energy equals Mass
by the Square of the Speed of Light!"

(Morris Bishop)

(many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] acelightning)
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Recipe for Happiness in Khabarovsk or Anyplace

One grand boulevard with trees
with one grand café in sun
with strong black coffee in very small cups

One not necessarily very beautiful
man or woman who loves you

One fine day

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

(Found at this site.)

(found thanks to [livejournal.com profile] duathir)
med_cat: (Hourglass)
December's Snow

The bloom is on the May once more,
The chestnut buds have burst anew;
But, darling, all our springs are o'er,
'Tis winter still for me and you.
We plucked Life's blossoms long ago
What's left is but December's snow.

But winter has its joys as fair,
The gentler joys, aloof, apart;
The snow may lie upon our hair
But never, darling, in our heart.
Sweet were the springs of long ago
But sweeter still December's snow.

Yes, long ago, and yet to me
It seems a thing of yesterday;
The shade beneath the willow tree,
The word you looked but feared to say.
Ah! when I learned to love you so
What recked we of December's snow?

But swift the ruthless seasons sped
And swifter still they speed away.
What though they bow the dainty head
And fleck the raven hair with gray?
The boy and girl of long ago
Are laughing through the veil of snow.

By Arthur Conan Doyle

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] duathir at Arthur Conan Doyle, 'December's Snow'--many thanks!

med_cat: (woman reading)

(Cautionary Tales for Children. Hilaire Belloc. Illustrated by B.T.B.)

The nicest child I ever knew
Was Charles Augustus Fortescue.
He never lost his cap, or tore

His stockings or his pinafore:

In eating Bread he made no Crumbs,
He was extremely fond of sums,
To which, however, he preferred
The Parsing of a Latin Word—

He sought, when it was within his power,
For information twice an hour,
And as for finding Mutton-Fat
Unappetising, far from that!

He often, at his Father’s Board,
Would beg them, of his own accord,
To give him, if they did not mind,
The Greasiest Morsels they could find—

His Later Years did not belie
The Promise of his Infancy.
In Public Life he always tried
To take a judgement Broad and Wide;

In Private, none was more than he
Renowned for quiet courtesy.
He rose at once in his Career,
And long before his Fortieth Year

Had wedded Fifi, Only Child
Of Bunyan, First Lord Aberfylde.
He thus became immensely Rich,
And built the Splendid Mansion which

Is called The Cedars, Muswell Hill,
Where he resides in affluence still,
To show what everybody might
Become by SIMPLY DOING RIGHT.
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Triolet

I used to think all poets were Byronic--
Mad, bad and dangerous to know.
And then I met a few. Yes it's ironic--
I used to think all poets were Byronic.
They're mostly wicked as a ginless tonic
And wild as pension plans. Not long ago
I used to think all poets were Byronic--
Mad, bad and dangerous to know.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] signal_moon at Triolet by Wendy Cope
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Engineers' Corner

Why isn't there an Engineers' Corner in Westminster Abbey? In Britain we've always made more fuss of a ballad than a blueprint ... How many schoolchildren dream of becoming great engineers?

-- advertisement placed in The Times by the Engineering Council


We make more fuss of ballads than of blueprints --
That's why so many poets end up rich,
While engineers scrape by in cheerless garrets.
Who needs a bridge or dam? Who needs a ditch?
Whereas the person who can write a sonnet
Has got it made. It's always been the way,
For everybody knows that we need poems
And everybody reads them every day.

Yes, life is hard if you choose engineering --
You're sure to need another job as well;
You'll have to plan your projects in the evenings
Instead of going out. It must be hell.

While well-heeled poets ride around in Daimlers,
You'll burn the midnight oil to earn a crust,
With no hope of a statue in the Abbey,
With no hope, even, of a modest bust.

No wonder small boys dream of writing couplets
And spurn the bike, the lorry and the train.
There's far too much encouragement for poets --
That's why this country's going down the drain.


Wendy Cope

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] thechasingiamb at In response to Poetry Nation
med_cat: (cat in dress)
At 3AM
Wendy Cope


the room contains no sound
except the ticking of the clock
which has begun to panic
like an insect, trapped
in an enormous box.

Books lie open on the carpet.

Somewhere else
you're sleeping
and beside you there's a woman
who is crying quietly
so you won't wake.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] midnightcrush at At 3AM - Wendy Cope
med_cat: (cat in dress)
May and the Poets

There is May in books forever;
May will part from Spenser never;
May's in Milton, May's in Prior,
May's in Chaucer, Thomson, Dyer;
May's in all the Italian books:--
She has old and modern nooks,
Where she sleeps with nymphs and elves,
In happy places they call shelves,
And will rise and dress your rooms
With a drapery thick with blooms.
Come, ye rains, then if ye will,
May's at home, and with me still;
But come rather, thou, good weather,
And find us in the fields together.

By James Leigh Hunt

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] duathir at James Leigh Hunt, 'May and the Poets'

"An Elegy"

May. 7th, 2017 10:22 am
med_cat: (cat in dress)
ЭЛЕГИЯ

Помнишь ты или не помнишь
Этот день и этот час,
Как сиял нам луч заката,
Как он медлил и погас?
Ничего не предвещало,
Что готовится гроза.
Я подсчитывал расходы,
Ты же - красила глаза.
А потом ты говорила,
Милым голосом звеня,
Что напрасно нету дяди
У тебя иль у меня.
Если б дядя этот самый
Жил в Америке, то он
Уж давно бы там скончался
И оставил миллион...
Я не стал с тобою спорить
И доказывать опять,
Что могла бы быть и тетя,
Тысяч так на двадцать пять.
Я ведь знаю, ты сказала б,
Что, когда живешь в мечтах,
То бессмысленно, конечно,
Говорить о мелочах.

1926
med_cat: (cat in dress)

ДОМАШНЕЕ

Этот Коля Сыроежкин,
Это дьявол, а не мальчик!
Все, что видит, все, что слышит,
Он на ус себе мотает.
А потом начнет однажды
Все разматывать обратно,
Да расспрашивать, да мучить
Многословно, многократно.
Вот, пристал намедни к маме,-
Так что маме стало жарко:
Объясни ему, хоть тресни,
Чем прославился Петрарка?!

Household Matters

This Kolya Syroezhkin,
He's a little devil, not a boy!
All he sees and all he hears,
He takes note of,
And at one point, he starts
Unraveling all his notes,
And to question, and to badger
Everyone, many times, with many words.
There, yesternight he started in on his mother,
So much that she grew hot in the face:
Explain to him, no matter what,
What was Petrarch famous for?!

Read more... )

med_cat: (Hourglass)
Города и годы

Старый Лондон пахнет ромом,

Жестью, дымом и туманом.

Но и этот запах может

Стать единственно желанным.

Ослепительный Неаполь,

Весь пронизанный закатом,

Пахнет мулями и слизью,

Тухлой рыбой и канатом.

Город Гамбург пахнет снедью, )

Cities and Years



The old London smells of rum,
Tin, smoke, and fog
But even that smell can
Become the only desirable one
The dazzling Naples,
All shot through with sunset rays,
Smells of boats and slime,
Rotten fish, and ship ropes.
The city of Hamburg smells of food, )

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