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A Poem a day keeps the melancholy away



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
    dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
    angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
    who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
    who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
    who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
    who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,
    who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,
    who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,
    who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night
    with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,
    incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,
    Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
    who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,
    who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi’s, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,
    who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,
    a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon,

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,545 ✭✭✭✭ Deja Boo

    Lyrics of Lowly Life
    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    My cot was down by a cypress grove,
    And I sat by my window the whole night long,
    And heard well up from the deep dark wood
    A mocking–bird’s passionate song.

    And I thought of myself so sad and lone,
    And my life’s cold winter that knew no spring;
    Of my mind so weary and sick and wild,
    Of my heart too sad to sing.

    But e’en as I listened the mock–bird’s song,
    A thought stole into my saddened heart,
    And I said, “I can cheer some other soul
    By a carol’s simple art.”

    For oft from the darkness of hearts and lives
    Come songs that brim with joy and light,
    As out of the gloom of the cypress grove
    The mocking–bird sings at night.

    So I sang a lay for a brother’s ear
    In a strain to soothe his bleeding heart,
    And he smiled at the sound of my voice and lyre,
    Though mine was a feeble art.

    But at his smile I smiled in turn,
    And into my soul there came a ray:
    In trying to soothe another’s woes
    Mine own had passed away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    As Bad as a Mile

    Watching the shied core
    Striking the basket, skidding across the floor,
    Shows less and less of luck, and more and more

    Of failure spreading back up the arm
    Earlier and earlier, the unraised hand calm,
    The apple unbitten in the palm.

    Philip Larkin

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,545 ✭✭✭✭ Deja Boo

    I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud by William Wordsworth

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced, but they
    Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
    A poet could not be but gay,
    In such a jocund company!
    I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,900 ✭✭✭ Lavinia

    Mad Girls Love Song-Sylvia Plath

    "I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
    I lift my lids and all is born again.
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)

    The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
    And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
    I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

    I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
    And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)

    God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
    Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
    I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

    I fancied you'd return the way you said,
    But I grow old and I forget your name.
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)

    I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
    At least when spring comes they roar back again.
    I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)"

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,415 ✭✭✭ donegal_man

    On An Apple-Ripe September Morning

    On an apple-ripe September morning
    Through the mist-chill fields I went
    With a pitch-fork on my shoulder
    Less for use than for devilment.

    The threshing mill was set-up, I knew,
    In Cassidy's haggard last night,
    And we owed them a day at the threshing
    Since last year. O it was delight

    To be paying bills of laughter
    And chaffy gossip in kind
    With work thrown in to ballast
    The fantasy-soaring mind.

    As I crossed the wooden bridge I wondered
    As I looked into the drain
    If ever a summer morning should find me
    Shovelling up eels again.

    And I thought of the wasps' nest in the bank
    And how I got chased one day
    Leaving the drag and the scraw-knife behind,
    How I covered my face with hay.

    The wet leaves of the cocksfoot
    Polished my boots as I
    Went round by the glistening bog-holes
    Lost in unthinking joy.

    I'll be carrying bags to-day, I mused,
    The best job at the mill
    With plenty of time to talk of our loves
    As we wait for the bags to fill.

    Maybe Mary might call round...
    And then I came to the haggard gate,
    And I knew as I entered that I had come
    Through fields that were part of no earthly estate.

    Patrick Kavanagh

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,900 ✭✭✭ Lavinia


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,252 ✭✭✭ echo beach


    I go down to the shore in the morning
    and depending on the hour the waves
    are rolling in or moving out,
    and I say, oh, I am miserable,
    what shall —
    what should I do? And the sea says
    in its lovely voice:
    Excuse me, I have work to do.

    by Mary Oliver

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,900 ✭✭✭ Lavinia

    This Morning I Pray for My Enemies
    Joy Harjo - 1951-

    And whom do I call my enemy?
    An enemy must be worthy of engagement.
    I turn in the direction of the sun and keep walking.
    It’s the heart that asks the question, not my furious mind.
    The heart is the smaller cousin of the sun.
    It sees and knows everything.
    It hears the gnashing even as it hears the blessing.
    The door to the mind should only open from the heart.
    An enemy who gets in, risks the danger of becoming a friend.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,415 ✭✭✭ donegal_man

    A Song Of The Sandbags

    No, Bill, I'm not a-spooning out no patriotic tosh
    (The cove be'ind the sandbags ain't a death-or-glory cuss).
    And though I strafes 'em good and 'ard I doesn't 'ate the Boche,
    I guess they're mostly decent, just the same as most of us.
    I guess they loves their 'omes and kids as much as you or me;
    And just the same as you or me they'd rather shake than fight;
    And if we'd 'appened to be born at Berlin-on-the-Spree,
    We'd be out there with 'Ans and Fritz, dead sure that we was right.

    A-standin' up to the sandbags
    It's funny the thoughts wot come;
    Starin' into the darkness,
    'Earin' the bullets 'um;
    (Zing! Zip! Ping! Rip!
    'ark 'ow the bullets 'um!)
    A-leanin' against the sandbags
    Wiv me rifle under me ear,
    Oh, I've 'ad more thoughts on a sentry-go
    Than I used to 'ave in a year.

    I wonder, Bill, if 'Ans and Fritz is wonderin' like me
    Wot's at the bottom of it all? Wot all the slaughter's for?
    'E thinks 'e's right (of course 'e ain't) but this we both agree,
    If them as made it 'ad to fight, there wouldn't be no war.
    If them as lies in feather beds while we kips in the mud;
    If them as makes their fortoons while we fights for 'em like 'ell;
    If them as slings their pot of ink just 'ad to sling their blood:
    By Crust! I'm thinkin' there 'ud be another tale to tell.

    Shiverin' up to the sandbags,
    With a hicicle 'stead of a spine,
    Don't it seem funny the things you think
    'Ere in the firin' line:
    (Whee! Whut! Ziz! Zut!
    Lord! 'ow the bullets whine!)
    Hunkerin' down when a star-shell
    Cracks in a sputter of light,
    You can jaw to yer soul by the sandbags
    Most any old time o' night.

    They talks o' England's glory and a-'oldin' of our trade,
    Of Empire and 'igh destiny until we're fair flim-flammed;
    But if it's for the likes o' that that bloody war is made,
    Then wot I say is: Empire and 'igh destiny be damned!
    There's only one good cause, Bill, for poor blokes like us to fight:
    That's self-defence, for 'earth and 'ome, and them that bears our name;
    And that's wot I'm a-doin' by the sandbags 'ere to-night.
    But Fritz out there will tell you 'e's a-doin' of the same.

    Starin' over the sandbags,
    Sick of the 'ole damn thing;
    Firin' to keep meself awake,
    'Earin' the bullets sing.
    (Hiss! Twang! Tsing! Pang!
    Saucy the bullets sing.)
    Dreamin' 'ere by the sandbags
    Of a day when war will cease,
    When 'Ans and Fritz and Bill and me
    Will clink our mugs in fraternity,
    And the Brotherhood of Labour will be
    The Brotherhood of Peace.

    Robert Service

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  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    A Question

    A voice said, Look me in the stars
    And tell me truly, men of earth,
    If all the soul-and-body scars
    Were not too much to pay for birth.

    Robert Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 701 ✭✭✭ bolgbui41


    We have tested and tasted too much, lover –
    Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
    But here in the Advent-darkened room
    Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea
    Of penance will charm back the luxury
    Of a child's soul, we'll return to Doom
    The knowledge we stole but could not use.

    And the newness that was in every stale thing
    When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
    Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
    Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
    Of an old fool will awake for us and bring
    You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins
    And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins.

    O after Christmas we'll have no need to go searching
    For the difference that sets an old phrase burning –
    We'll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning
    Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching.
    And we'll hear it among decent men too
    Who barrow dung in gardens under trees,
    Wherever life pours ordinary plenty.
    Won't we be rich, my love and I, and please
    God we shall not ask for reason's payment,
    The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges
    Nor analyse God's breath in common statement.
    We have thrown into the dust-bin the clay-minted wages
    Of pleasure, knowledge and the conscious hour –
    And Christ comes with a January flower.

    - Patrick Kavanagh

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux


    We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
    How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
    Streaking the darkness radiantly - yet soon
    Night closes round, and they are lost forever:

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
    Give various response to each varying blast,
    To whose frail frame no second motion brings
    One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest. A dream has power to poison sleep;
    We rise. One wandering thought pollutes the day;
    We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
    Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same. For, be it joy or sorrow,
    The path of its departure still is free:
    Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
    Nought may endure but mutability.

    Percy Shelley

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,415 ✭✭✭ donegal_man

    For the night that's in it.

    To A Mountain Daisy
    On Turning One Down with the Plough in April, 1786

    Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
    Thou's met me in an evil hour;
    For I maun crush amang the stoure
    Thy slender stem:
    To spare thee now is past my pow'r,
    Thou bonie gem.

    Alas! it's no thy neibor sweet,
    The bonie lark, companion meet,
    Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet
    Wi' spreck'd breast,
    When upward-springing, blythe, to greet
    The purpling east.

    Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
    Upon thy early, humble birth
    Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
    Amidst the storm,
    Scarce rear'd above the parent-earth
    Thy tender form.

    The flaunting flowers our gardens yield
    High shelt'ring woods an' wa's maun shield:
    But thou, beneath the random bield
    O' clod or stane,
    Adorns the histie stibble-field
    Unseen, alane.

    There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
    Thy snawie-bosom sun-ward spread,
    Thou lifts thy unassuming head
    In humble guise;
    But now the share uptears thy bed,
    And low thou lies!

    Such is the fate of artless maid,
    Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
    By love's simplicity betray'd
    And guileless trust;
    Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid
    Low i' the dust.

    Such is the fate of simple bard,
    On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
    Unskilful he to note the card
    Of prudent lore,
    Till billows rage and gales blow hard,
    And whelm him o'er!

    Such fate to suffering Worth is giv'n,
    Who long with wants and woes has striv'n,
    By human pride or cunning driv'n
    To mis'ry's brink;
    Till, wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,
    He ruin'd sink!

    Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
    That fate is thine—no distant date;
    Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives elate,
    Full on thy bloom,
    Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight
    Shall be thy doom.

    Robert Burns

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    As The Poems Go

    as the poems go into the thousands you
    realize that you've created very
    it comes down to the rain, the sunlight,
    the traffic, the nights and the days of the
    years, the faces.
    leaving this will be easier than living
    it, typing one more line now as
    a man plays a piano through the radio,
    the best writers have said very
    and the worst,
    far too much.

    Charles Bukowski

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    And The Days Are Not Full Enough

    And the days are not full enough
    And the nights are not full enough
    And life slips by like a field mouse
    Not shaking the grass

    Ezra Pound

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    Chapter Heading

    For we have thought the larger thoughts
    And gone the shorter way.
    And we have danced to devil's tunes,
    Shivering home to pray;
    To serve one master in the night,
    Another in the day.

    Ernest Hemingway

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,415 ✭✭✭ donegal_man

    For the day that's in it

    Vernal Equinox

    Spring is the season of new beginnings
    Surrounded with beauty that energizes you
    Green meadows, cool breezes and the purple moors
    Lush blooms that take away the winter glooms
    Enticing you in an array of colours

    Narcissus, hyacinths, lilacs, Irises and Freesia,
    present a string of floral amnesia
    Like a pollywog when you are scampering through,
    Oh!  dear spring you are a welcome view

    Wear your galoshes
    Head to where the valleys and the skies meet
    Robins and swallows tweeting
    The bright rays of the sun spread the warmth
    And rainbows present a colourful greeting

    Bid goodbye to winter's blues
    Welcome the vernal equinox hues

    Mrunalini D Nimbalkar

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    When First We Faced, And Touching Showed

    When first we faced, and touching showed
    How well we knew the early moves,
    Behind the moonlight and the frost,
    The excitement and the gratitude,
    There stood how much our meeting owed
    To other meetings, other loves.

    The decades of a different life
    That opened past your inch-close eyes
    Belonged to others, lavished, lost;
    Nor could I hold you hard enough
    To call my years of hunger-strife
    Back for your mouth to colonise.

    Admitted: and the pain is real.
    But when did love not try to change
    The world back to itself - no cost,
    No past, no people else at all-
    Only what meeting made us feel,
    So new, and gentle-sharp, and strange?

    Philip Larkin

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    Late Fragment

    And did you get what
    you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth.

    Raymond Carver

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  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    Bob Dylan's Dream

    While riding on a train goin' west
    I fell asleep for to take my rest
    I dreamed a dream that made me sad
    Concerning myself and the first few friends I had

    With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
    Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon
    Where we together weathered many a storm
    Laughin' and singin' till the early hours of the morn

    By the old wooden stove our hats was hung
    Our words was told, our songs was sung
    Where we longed for nothin' and were satisfied
    Jokin' and talkin' about the world outside

    With hungry hearts through the heat and cold
    We never much thought we could get very old
    We thought we could sit forever in fun
    And our chances really was a million to one

    As easy it was to tell black from white
    It was all that easy to tell wrong from right
    And our choices there was few
    So the thought never hit
    That the one road we travelled would ever shatter or split

    How many a year has passed and gone?
    Many a gamble has been lost and won
    And many a road taken by many a first friend
    And each one I've never seen again

    I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
    That we could sit simply in that room again
    Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat
    I'd give it all gladly if our lives could be like that

    Bob Dylan

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,900 ✭✭✭ Lavinia

    “Here's the thing about people with good hearts:
    They give you excuses when you don't explain yourself.
    They accept the apologies you don't give.
    They see the best in you.
    They always lift you up, even if that means putting their own priorities aside.
    They will never be too "busy" for you.
    They make time, even when you don't.
    And you wonder why they're the most sensitive people, the most caring people, why they are willing to give so much of themselves with no expectation in return.
    You wonder why their existence is not so essential to your well-being. It's because they don't make you work hard for the attention they give you. They accept the love they think they deserve
    - and you accepted the love you think you're entitled to.
    Don't take them for granted.
    Fear the day when a good heart gives up on you.
    Our skies don't become grey out of nowhere, our sunshine does not allow the darkness to take over for no reason.
    A heart does not turn cold unless it's been treated with coldness for a while”

    Najwa Zebian


  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    Hymn to Time

    Time says "Let there be"
    every moment and instantly
    there is space and the radiance
    of each bright galaxy.

    And eyes beholding radiance.
    And the gnats’ flickering dance.
    And the seas’ expanse.
    And death, and chance.

    Time makes room
    for going and coming home
    and in time’s womb
    begins all ending.

    Time is being and being
    time, it is all one thing,
    the shining, the seeing,
    the dark abounding.

    Ursula K. Le Guin

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Rabbit Redux

    It Is Here

    What sound was that?
    I turn away, into the shaking room.

    What was that sound that came in on the dark?

    What is this maze of light it leaves us in?

    What is this stance we take,

    To turn away and then turn back?
What did we hear?

    It was the breath we took when we first met.
    Listen. It is here.

    Harold Pinter

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,545 ✭✭✭✭ Deja Boo

    I know this poem has been posted often, but for the day it is... (posted via imagery due to Vanillas messed up formatting)

  • Registered Users Posts: 906 ✭✭✭ SuperBowserWorld

    The Peace of Wild Things

    Wendell Berry

    When despair for the world grows in me

    and I wake in the night at the least sound

    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

    I go and lie down where the wood drake

    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

    I come into the peace of wild things

    who do not tax their lives with forethought

    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

    And I feel above me the day-blind stars

    waiting with their light. For a time

    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,314 ✭✭✭ Day Lewin

    Bonfire Opera

    In those days, there was a woman in our circle

    who was known, not only for her beauty,

    but for taking off all her clothes and singing opera.

    And sure enough, as the night wore on and the stars

    emerged to stare at their reflections on the sea,

    and everyone had drunk a little wine,

    she began to disrobe, loose her great bosom,

    and the tender belly, pale in the moonlight,

    the Viking hips, and to let her torn raiment

    fall to the sand as we looked up from the flames.

    And then a voice lifted into the dark, high and clear

    as a flock of blackbirds. And everything was very still,

    the way the congregation quiets when the priest

    prays over the incense, and the smoke wafts

    up into the rafters. I wanted to be that free

    inside the body, the doors of pleasure

    opening, one after the next, an arpeggio

    climbing the ladder of sky. And all the while

    she was singing and wading into the water

    until it rose up to her waist and then lapped

    at the underside of her breasts, and the aria

    drifted over us, her soprano spare and sharp

    in the night air. And even though I was young,

    somehow, in that moment, I heard it,

    the song inside the song, and I knew then

    that this was not the hymn of promise

    but the body’s bright wailing against its limits.

    A bird caught in a cathedral—the way it tries

    to escape by throwing itself, again and again,

    against the stained glass.

    by Danusha Laméris

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,545 ✭✭✭✭ Deja Boo

    by Fernando Pessoa

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,900 ✭✭✭ Lavinia

    "Do not stand at my grave and weep

    I am not there. I do not sleep.

    I am a thousand winds that blow.

    I am the diamond glints on snow.

    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you awaken in the morning’s hush

    I am the swift uplifting rush

    Of quiet birds in circled flight.

    I am the soft stars that shine at night.

    Do not stand at my grave and cry;

    I am not there. I did not die."

    Mary Elizabeth Frye