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A poem a day

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Debate between a man and his soul [Feb. 8th, 2017|11:26 am]
A poem a day

mme_n_b
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Excerpt

To whom can I speak today?
Brothers are evil
And the friends of today unlovable.
To whom can I speak today?
Hearts are rapacious
And everyone takes his neighbour's goods. [To whom can I speak today?]
Gentleness has perished
And the violent man has come down on everyone.
To whom can I speak today?
Men are contented with evil
And goodness is neglected everywhere.
To whom can I speak today?
He who should enrage a man by his ill deeds,
he makes everyone laugh (by) his wicked wrongdoing.
To whom can I speak today?
Men plunder
And every man robs his neighbour.
To whom can I speak today?
The wrongdoer is an intimate friend
And the brother with whom one used to act is become an enemy.
To whom can I speak today?
None remember the past,
And no one now helps him who used to do (good).
To whom can I speak today?
Brothers are evil,
And men have recourse to strangers for affection.
To whom can I speak today?
Faces are averted,
And every man looks askance at his brethren.
To whom can I speak today?
Hearts are rapacious
And there is no man's heart in which one can trust.
To whom can I speak today?
There are no just persons
And the land is left over to the doers of wrong.
To whom can I speak today?
There is a lack of an intimate friend
And men have recourse to someone unknown in order to complain to him.
-the violent man has come down on everyone

To whom can I speak today?
There is no contented man,
And that person who once walked with him no longer exists.
To whom can I speak today?
I am heavy-laden with trouble
Through lack of an intimate friend.
To whom can I speak today?
The wrong which roams the earth,
There is no end to it
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Mark Strand (1934-) [Dec. 6th, 2016|08:22 am]
A poem a day

hhimring
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Lines for Winter
for Ros Krauss


Tell yourself
as it gets cold and grey falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter
where you find yourself--
inside the dome of dark
or under the crackling white
of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow.
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Ursula Vernon (2016) [Sep. 1st, 2016|10:45 pm]
A poem a day

mme_n_b
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This Vote is Legally Binding

Someone always says it, whenever it comes up:
"I guess I'm just not allowed to talk to anyone any more!"

Well.
Yes.
It is my duty to inform you that we took a vote
all us women
and determined that you are not allowed to talk to anyone
ever again.

This vote is legally binding.

Yes, of course, all women know each other,
the way you always suspected.
(Incidentally, so do Canadians. I'm just throwing that out there.)
We went into the women's room at the Applebee's at the corner of 54
and all the others streamed in through the doors
into that endless liminal space,
a chain of humans stretching backward
heavy skulled Neanderthal women laughing with New York socialites,
Lucille Ball hand in hand with the Taung child.
We sat around in the couches in the women's room
(I know you've always been suspicious of those couches)
and chatted with each other in the secret female language
that you always knew existed.
Somebody set up a console--
the Empress Wu is ruthless at Mario Kart
and Cleopatra never learned to lose
and a woman who ruled an empire that fell
when the Sea People came
and left no trace
can use the blue shell like a surgical instrument.

Eventually we took the vote.
You had three defenders:
your grandmother and your first-grade teacher
and an Albanian nun who believes the best of everybody.
Your mom abstained.
It was duly recorded in the secret notebooks
that have been kept under the couch in the Applebee's
since the beginning of recorded time.
And then we went back to playing Mario Kart
and Hoelun took off her bra
and we didn't think about you again
except that I had to carry this message.

So anyway
good luck with that
it's just as you always said it was.
Hush now,
no talking,

hush.
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Dorothy Parker (1931) [Jun. 20th, 2016|12:07 am]
A poem a day

mme_n_b
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Iseult of Brittany

So delicate my hands, and long,
They might have been my pride.
And there were those to make them song
Who for their touch had died.

Too frail to cup a heart within,
Too soft to hold the free-
How long these lovely hands have been
A bitterness to me!
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Augusta Webster (1881) [Jan. 8th, 2016|10:22 pm]
A poem a day

hhimring
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Poulain the Prisoner

I

BEYOND his silent vault green springs went by,
The river flashed along its open way,
Blithe swallows flitted in their billowy play,
And the sweet lark went quivering up the sky.
With him was stillness and his heart’s dumb cry
And darkness of the tomb through hopeless day,
Save that along the wall one single ray
Shifted, through jealous loop-holes, westerly.

One single ray: and where its light could fall
His rusty nail carved saints and angels there,
And warriors, and slim girls with braided hair,
And blossomy boughs, and birds athwart the air.
Rude work, but yet a world. And light for all
Was one slant ray upon a prison wall.


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Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) [Sep. 25th, 2015|09:15 am]
A poem a day

hhimring
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The Tides

I saw the long line of the vacant shore,
The sea-weed and the shells upon the sand,
And the brown rocks left bare on every hand,
As if the ebbing tide would flow no more.
Then heard I, more distinctly than before,
The ocean breathe and its great breast expand,
And hurrying came on the defenceless land
The insurgent waters with tumultuous roar.
All thought and feeling and desire, I said,
Love, laughter, and the exultant joy of song
Have ebbed from me forever! Suddenly o’er me
They swept again from their deep ocean bed,
And in a tumult of delight, and strong
As youth, and beautiful as youth, upbore me.
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Alfred Tennyson, 1809 - 1892 [Jan. 1st, 2015|09:40 pm]
A poem a day

hhimring
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From: "In Memoriam"


Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) [Oct. 26th, 2014|07:44 pm]
A poem a day

shanima
A Smuggler's Song

If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse's feet,
Don't go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street;
Them that ask no questions isn't told a lie.
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark —
Brandy for the Parson,
Baccy for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,
And watch the wall, my darling,
While the Gentlemen go by!

Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don't you shout to come and look, nor use 'em for your play.
Put the brishwood back again — and they'll be gone next day!

If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining's wet and warm — don't you ask no more!

If you meet King George's men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you "pretty maid," and chuck you 'neath the chin,
Don't you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one's been!

Knocks and footsteps round the house — whistles after dark —
You've no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty's here, and Pincher's here, and see how dumb they lie —
They don't fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!

If you do as you've been told, 'likely there's a chance,
You'll be given a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood —
A present from the Gentlemen, along o' being good!

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark —
Brandy for the Parson,
'Baccy for the Clerk;
Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie —
Watch the wall, my darling,
While the Gentlemen go by!
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Vikram Seth (1952-) [Jul. 2nd, 2014|05:57 pm]
A poem a day

shanima
All You Who Sleep Tonight

All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above -

Know that you aren't alone
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years.
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Stephen Crane (1871 - 1900) [Apr. 19th, 2014|09:47 pm]
A poem a day

shanima
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In the Desert

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter - bitter," he answered;

"But I like it,
"Because it is bitter,
"And because it is my heart."
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