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Thread: Books & Poems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Books & Poems

    Share books and poems that you have read or are reading.

    Permanence In Change

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    If only this early blessing
    Could last a single hour!
    But the warm west wind is shaking
    Over me a rain of flowers.
    Shall I take pleasure in the leaves
    Whose shade I once enjoyed?
    Soon a storm will scatter sheaves
    Through autumn’s trembling void.

    If you want to grasp the fruit then,
    Hurry now and take your share!
    Some of it’s begun to ripen,
    Some is germinating there:
    Swiftly and with every shower
    There’s change along the valley’s rim,
    Alas, in the selfsame river
    A second time you cannot swim.

    You yourself too! What was standing
    Firm as rock before your sight,
    Wall and Palace, now you’re seeing
    With ever-changing eyes.
    Wasted now are those lips
    Kisses healed once long ago
    And the feet now that skipped
    On cliffs like mountain goats’.

    And the hand that gently moved,
    That articulated structure,
    Generously, to do good,
    Shows a different nature.
    And what now in their place
    Calls itself by your name,
    To the elements in haste
    Flows like water, as it came.

    Let the end and the beginning
    Gather themselves into one!
    Let your own self go flying
    Swifter than all these objects can!
    Give thanks that the Muses’ art
    Promises one unfading thing,
    The Meaning in your Heart,
    And the Form in your Being.
    Last edited by TheStranger; 05-23-2014 at 12:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    May 2014

  3. #3
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    May 2014

    The Children from The Village of the Damned,
    the 1960 film adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos.
    Last edited by TheStranger; 05-12-2014 at 10:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    May 2014
    The Steppe

    --Boris Pasternak

    How lovely those journeys into quiet!
    Boundless the steppe, like a seascape,
    ants rustle, and the feather-grass sighs,
    mosquitoes go whining through space.

    The hayricks line up with the clouds,
    volcano after volcano, they fade.
    Grown silent, damp, the boundless steppe,
    you drift, you’re buffeted, you sway.

    The mist overtakes us, washes, a sea,
    and burrs are clinging to stockings, today
    it’s lovely to tramp the steppe’s shore,
    you drift, you’re buffeted, you sway.

    Is that a rick in the mist? Who knows?
    Is that one ours? Yes, it’s found.
    There! Yes, that’s it all right, though.
    The rick, and the mist, and the steppe all round.

    And the Milky Way slants towards Kerch,
    like a path that cattle have stamped on.
    Go past the houses, you’ll lose your breath,
    on every side, broad, broad horizons.

    Shadowy midnight stands by the way,
    strewn with stars, that touch every verst,
    and you can’t cross it, beyond the fence,
    without trampling the universe.

    When did the stars sweep down so low,
    midnight sink so deep in tall grass,
    and drenched muslin, afraid, aglow,
    long for a dénouement at last?

    Let the steppe judge, and night decide.
    When, if not in the Beginning,
    did Mosquitoes whine, Ants ride,
    and Burrs go clinging to stockings?

    Close them, my darling! Or go blind!
    The whole steppe’s as before the Fall:
    All, drowned in peace, like a parachute,
    like a heaving vision, All.
    Last edited by TheStranger; 05-13-2014 at 08:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    The North Country
    This ain't bad. Nice nature poetry (sonnets & haiku) and photography:

    snowflakes and sunlight
    are like unforeseen prisms
    so beyond our might

  6. #6
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    May 2014
    Ask Me No More

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Ask me no more: the moon may draw the sea;
    The cloud may stoop from heaven and take the shape,
    With fold to fold, of mountain or of cape;
    But O too fond, when have I answer'd thee?
    Ask me no more.

    Ask me no more: what answer should I give?
    I love not hollow cheek or faded eye:
    Yet, O my friend, I will not have thee die!
    Ask me no more, lest I should bid thee live;
    Ask me no more.

    Ask me no more: thy fate and mine are seal'd:
    I strove against the stream and all in vain:
    Let the great river take me to the main:
    No more, dear love, for at a touch I yield;
    Ask me no more.
    Last edited by TheStranger; 05-23-2014 at 12:51 AM.

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  10. #10
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    May 2014

    Edgar Allan Poe

    Gaily bedight,
    A gallant knight,
    In sunshine and in shadow,
    Had journeyed long,
    Singing a song,
    In search of Eldorado.

    But he grew old-
    This knight so bold-
    And o'er his heart a shadow
    Fell as he found
    No spot of ground
    That looked like Eldorado.

    And, as his strength
    Failed him at length,
    He met a pilgrim shadow-
    "Shadow," said he,
    "Where can it be-
    This land of Eldorado?"

    "Over the Mountains
    Of the Moon,
    Down the Valley of the Shadow,
    Ride, boldly ride,"
    The shade replied-
    "If you seek for Eldorado!"
    Last edited by TheStranger; 05-23-2014 at 12:50 AM.

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  13. #13
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    May 2014
    A Poem About An Old Prison Man

    Charles Manson

    Waiting on Death Row
    People coming in overalls
    Taking me to the gas chamber
    Scuffling of feet
    They took him down the hallway
    Feeling everyone's heartbeat
    The central control of the soul
    Batons and retro-tons
    Ingrown toenails
    One time all around you
    All round you, bump-bump
    Save my air, save my air
    My air, my air
    Air, water, trees
    Machines eating the night
    Energy moving
    Nuclear fires
    Burning reactors on my gate
    Fires of hell are burning
    Come home
    Can you see
    Can you say
    That you say
    That you really love this place?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I do enjoy some Pasternak...

    Balloon by Tatiana Ryckman

    My limbs are too short
    even for me.
    They don’t fit their sleeves and pant legs. So
    I’ve got cuffs around my wrists and ankles,
    they ebb and
    flow like pockets, like handbags, like
    trick-or-treat baskets.
    They balloon into
    balloons that carry lint and dust
    and other balloons
    bits of chocolate my wallet a pack of
    smokes; keys to things I don’t want
    to open, keys to things I’ve forgotten, to wine; a lock
    of someone’s sister’s hair,
    both of my balled fists and
    all of the items I meant to pick up
    at the grocery store
    last week, but left on a scrap of paper instead.
    There’s one line of a shredded note and that thing that broke
    off my car,
    an email from my grandmother that says
    health fails
    and seeds for next spring,
    that cat I loved most and a book to read
    while waiting in lines in obvious places.
    This height is a thing I wear like a house
    then bring around to your apartment
    that I fill with my smallness,
    waiting to see if I’ll fit.
    "The world is a very puzzling place. If you're not willing to be puzzled you just become a replica of someone else's mind." Chomsky

    "This system make of us slaves. Without dignity. Without depth. No? With a devil in our pocket. This incredible money in our pocket. This money. This shit. This nothing. This paper who have nothing inside." Jodorowsky

  15. #15
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    May 2014
    The Falls Of The Passaic

    Washington Irving

    In a wild, tranquil vale, fringed with forests of green,
    Where nature had fashioned a soft, sylvan scene,
    The retreat of the ring-dove, the haunt of the deer,
    Passaic in silence rolled gentle and clear.

    No grandeur of prospect astonished the sight,
    No abruptness sublime mingled awe with delight;
    Here the wild floweret blossomed, the elm proudly waved,
    And pure was the current the green bank that laved.

    But the spirit that ruled o'er the thick tangled wood,
    And deep in its gloom fixed his murky abode,
    Who loved the wild scene that the whirlwinds deform,
    And gloried in thunder and lightning and storm;

    All flushed from the tumult of battle he came,
    Where the red men encountered the children of flame,
    While the noise of the war-whoop still rang in his ears,
    And the fresh bleeding scalp as a trophy he bears:

    With a glance of disgust, he the landscape surveyed,
    With its fragrant wild-flowers, its wide waving shade;
    Where Passaic meanders through margins of green,
    So transparent its waters, its surface serene.

    He rived the green hills, the wild woods he laid low;
    He taught the pure stream in rough channels to flow;
    He rent the rude rock, the steep precipice gave,
    And hurled down the chasm the thundering wave.

    Countless moons have since rolled in the long lapse of time,
    Cultivation has softened those features sublime;
    The axe of the white man has lightened the shade,
    And dispelled the deep gloom of the thicketed glade.

    But the stranger still gazes, with wondering eye,
    On the rocks rudely torn, and grooves mounted on high;
    Still loves on the cliff's dizzy borders to roam,
    Where the torrent leaps headlong, embosomed in foam.

  16. #16
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    May 2014

    "This 1960s spy story has far more depth and character development than the Bond novels that were more or less contemporaneous. The use of the unreliable first person narrator was risky but actually worked well, adding an extra layer of uncertainty to the described events." -- Stuart Aken

  17. #17
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    May 2014

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