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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments

Please share your favorite poems here. Heard any poetry news? Let us know. Heard of some new poetry books? Do tell !

Post here about all poetry !


message 2: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day


I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,

and wild and sweet
The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along
The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound
The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn
The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men."

~~~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day - Burl Ives
YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nk77...


message 3: by Dru83 (last edited Dec 31, 2017 09:02AM) (new)

Dru83 | 209 comments Whoa, thanks for posting that, didn't realize that the words for that carol came from Longfellow. The history behind it is neat too, I mean that he wrote it during the middle of the American Civil War.

So, a while back there was a commercial for a video game that had a voice reading a bunch of words and I liked the sound of them, so I googled it to see if it was from an actual story or poem. Turns out, it's a poem called Invictus by William Ernest Henley. It's a very inspiring poem for me and I like the fact that it was written while the author was recovering from a series of surgeries including a leg amputation.

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


message 4: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments Alias, thanks for that. The one line about "no peace on earth" is such a strong one.

Dru, long ago i cohosted a poetry chat group on AOL and this was one of the first poems discussed. It's interesting to see it now used for that video game. In our group discussion most of the group thought it was about God and trusting religion to get through bad times. Others of us felt it was more about atheism. Good discussion.

I appreciate this thread very much & intend to contribute here more often. Thanks, Alias, for setting it up for 2018.


message 5: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments Ella Wheeler Wilcox is a poet from the turn of the 20th century. She's rather old fashioned now but was immensely popular in the day. I like this ditty and am using it to wish all here Happiness in 2018!

"The Year"
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.


message 6: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 31, 2017 10:30PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments Dru83 wrote: So, a while back there was a commercial for a video game that had a voice reading a bunch of words and I liked the sound of them, so I googled it to see if it was from an actual story or poem. Turns out, it's a poem called Invictus by William Ernest Henley. It's a very inspiring poem for me and I like the fact that it was written while the author was recovering from a series of surgeries including a leg amputation..."

I like that poem a lot, too. I didn't know the background.

Unfortunately, it has been somewhat ruined for me because of Timothy McVeigh. AKA The Oklahoma City Bomber.

"Timothy McVeigh chose the poem Invictus, which means "Unconquerable" in Latin, to be his final statement."

Here is a CNN interview on him and the poem.
http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/06/11/mcv...


message 7: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments madrano wrote: "Ella Wheeler Wilcox is a poet from the turn of the 20th century. She's rather old fashioned now but was immensely popular in the day. I like this ditty and am using it to wish all h..."

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

Let's hope 2018 ends lightly on all our shoulders and is not a burden.


message 8: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments i forgot about McVeigh's final statement. Bad news.

I agree on your final sentiment, Alias, on the 2018 hopes.


message 9: by Alias Reader (last edited Feb 11, 2018 10:22AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments While looking up a book mentioned of short stories from a play that I just saw with the actor John Lithgow, Amazon showed me this book. I guess I am not the only one looking up Tellers of Tales, 100 Short Stories From The United States, England, France, Russia and Germany after seeing the show. :) Anyway, I thought the poetry lovers here might find it interesting. You can listen to an audio clip on Amazon. It seems the book comes with a CD.

The Poets' Corner The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family by John Lithgow The Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family---John Lithgow

What happens when you combine the important works of 50 stellar poets with actors as diverse as Jodie Foster, Billy Connolly, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Lynn Redgrave, Gary Sinise, and Sam Waterston (to name but a few) and commentary from actor, writer, and poetry lover John Lithgow? You get an outstanding audio presentation that truly matches its billing as The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family. Lithgow assembled works from 50 poets, including Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Ogden Nash, Emily Dickinson, William Blake, and Edgar Allan Poe, and matched them to the actors. The fit is perfect! The icing on this poetic cake is Lithgows expressive commentary before and after each poem. The only negative--the lack of liner notes listing the poet, poem, and actor. While these gifted actors each give a wonderful performance, it would be enormously helpful to have such a reference.


From listening to his grandmother recite epic poems from memory to curling up in bed while his father read funny verses, award-winning actor John Lithgow grew up with poetry. Ever since, John has been an enthusiastic seeker of poetic experience, whether reading, reciting, or listening to great poems.


The wide variety of carefully selected poems in this book provides the perfect introduction to appeal to readers new to poetry, and for poetry lovers to experience beloved verses in a fresh, vivid way. William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dylan Thomas are just a few names among Lithgow's comprehensive list of poetry masters. His essential criterion is that "each poem's light shines more brightly when read aloud." This unique package provides a multimedia poetry experience with a bonus MP3 CD of revelatory poetry readings by John and the familiar voices of such notable performers as Eileen Atkins, Kathy Bates, Glenn Close, Billy Connolly, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Lynn Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Gary Sinise, and Sam Waterston.


Every reader will enjoy reciting or listening to these poems with the entire family, appreciating how each one comes to life through the spoken word in this superlative poetry collection.


message 10: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Wow, this sounds like such a valuable work. Hearing actors reading poetry is one of the best introductions to such works. Thanks, Alias, i was unaware of it.


message 11: by Dru83 (new)

Dru83 | 209 comments I was reminded of this poem by a commercial I saw recently. It's such a fun poem for kids to read. When I was in the fourth grade, my reading teacher worked to get the author, Jack Prelutsky to come to our school. He came to our school, talked specifically to my class, signed a copy of one of his books for most students in my class, including me, and recited his poems to the whole study body at an assembly.

Homework! Oh, Homework!

Homework! Oh, Homework!
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you away in the sink,
if only a bomb
would explode you to bits.
Homework! Oh, homework!
You're giving me fits.

I'd rather take baths
with a man-eating shark,
or wrestle a lion
alone in the dark,
eat spinach and liver,
pet ten porcupines,
than tackle the homework,
my teacher assigns.

Homework! Oh, homework!
You're last on my list,
I simply can't see
why you even exist,
if you just disappeared
it would tickle me pink.
Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!

by Jack Prelutsky


message 12: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments :)


message 13: by Julie (last edited Apr 10, 2018 12:15PM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2189 comments Dru83 wrote: "I was reminded of this poem by a commercial I saw recently. It's such a fun poem for kids to read. When I was in the fourth grade, my reading teacher worked to get the author, [author:Jack Prelutsk..."

I would like to change the word from homework to housework and then that poem would be perfect for me!


message 14: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments LOL, Julie! I couldn't agree more.

It's such a delight when poets come to schools and recite for the students. What a great way to share the art and encourage the youngsters to express themselves in a new way. To this day both my kids can tell you which poets they met in school. I, on the other hand, not having met them personally, have nary a clue.

Thanks for sharing this, Dru.


message 15: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments Julie wrote: I would like to change the word from homework to housework and then that poem would be perfect for me!

Truth !


message 16: by madrano (last edited Apr 16, 2018 12:13PM) (new)

madrano | 9522 comments On another thread i mentioned a program i watched yesterday on PBS. It is called "Poetry In America" and the episode i watched was on Emily Dickinson. Apparently each episode explores a single poem by some artist. The Dickinson poem was "I Cannot Dance Upon My Toes" or #326, as her poems are mostly only numbered, not titled. ANYway, i had never particularly liked this one but after the program, i was impressed. I share it here.


326 Or
"I Cannot Dance Upon My Toes"

I cannot dance upon my Toes—
No Man instructed me—
But oftentimes, among my mind,
A Glee possesseth me,

That had I Ballet knowledge—
Would put itself abroad
In Pirouette to blanch a Troupe—
Or lay a Prima, mad,

And though I had no Gown of Gauze—
No Ringlet, to my Hair,
Nor hopped to Audiences—like Birds,
One Claw upon the Air,

Nor tossed my shape in Eider Balls,
Nor rolled on wheels of snow
Till I was out of sight, in sound,
The House encore me so—

Nor any know I know the Art
I mention—easy—Here—
Nor any Placard boast me—
It's full as Opera—


message 17: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 16, 2018 03:41PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments madrano wrote: "On another thread i mentioned a program i watched yesterday on PBS. It is called "Poetry In America" and the episode i watched was on Emily Dickinson. Apparently each episode explores..."

I'll have to keep an eye out for this pbs show. Thanks for sharing the poem. I am not sure if it is On Demand but the trailer for the show is. It looks awesome. I don't know much about poetry. However, having them read it and discuss it like this will certainly enhance the experience for me. Thanks for the heads-up !

http://www.pbs.org/show/poetry-in-ame...

More info on the show
http://www.poetryinamerica.org/



The Announcement of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner for poetry is

Poetry
Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
A volume of unyielding ambition and remarkable scope that mixes long dramatic poems with short elliptical lyrics, building on classical mythology and reinventing forms of desires that defy societal norms.

Half-light Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart --Frank BidartHalf-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016

Wiki
Frank Bidart
American academic
Frank Bidart is an American academic and poet, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Wikipedia
Born: May 27, 1939 (age 78 years), Bakersfield, CA
Notable awards: Bollingen Prize in Poetry (2007) National Book Award (2017)
Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Bollingen Prize, MORE
Education: Harvard University (1962–1967), University of California, Riverside
Nominations: Goodreads Choice Awards Best Poetry, Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Poetry
Biography
Bidart is a native of California and considered a career in acting or directing when he was young.[1] In 1957, he began to study at the University of California at Riverside, where he was introduced to writers such as T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound and started to look at poetry as a career path. He then went on to Harvard, where he was a student and friend of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. He began studying with Lowell and Reuben Brower in 1962.[2]

He has been an English professor at Wellesley College since 1972, and has taught at nearby Brandeis University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he is gay.[3][4] In his early work, he was noted for his dramatic monologue poems like "Ellen West," which Bidart wrote from the point of view of a woman with an eating disorder, and "Herbert White," which he wrote from the point of view of a psychopath. He has also written openly about his family in the style of confessional poetry.

He co-edited the Collected Poems of Robert Lowell which was published in 2003 after years of working on the book's voluminous footnotes with his co-editor David Gewanter.[5]

Bidart was the 2007 winner of Yale University’s Bollingen Prize in American Poetry. His chapbook, Music Like Dirt, later included in the collection Star Dust, was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His 2013 book Metaphysical Dog was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.[6]

He currently maintains a strong working relationship with actor and fellow poet James Franco, with whom he collaborated during the making of Franco's short film "Herbert White" (2010), based on Bidart's poem of the same name.[7]

He was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the 2017 National Book Award for Poetry for his book Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016.[8]

In 2017, Bidart received the Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition Award.


message 18: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments Found it, deb.

Here is the link to the show you watched.

http://www.poetryinamerica.org/episod...


message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments Deb, have you seen the movie that Cynthia Nixon (who is running for governor of NY) made on Dickinson ?

A Quiet Passion (2016)

The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.


message 20: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments No, i wasn't even aware that Nixon made such a film. This explains why she was one of the "explainers". Thank you for that title.

Alias, thank you for the links, too. I see Marie Howe was the woman i couldn't identify. Because i am unfamiliar with her work, i checked her out & i am in love. This is the first poem i read by her, which sings to me & my thoughts in the last few months.

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/w...

What the Living Do
by Marie Howe

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss—we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you


message 21: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments Deb, that poem could almost be written by Tara.


message 22: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments Neat, Alias. I missed that, although i see elements of her story in other things i am reading.


message 23: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments I just finished reading Cecile Richards book, Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead, which was very good with a bit of inspiration for the next couple of years. In the Epilogue, titled "'Feminist' Is Not a Passive Label" she shared part of the following poem, written by the late poet Marge Piercy. I liked it and wanted to share here.

The Low Road
by Marge Piercy


What can they do
to you? Whatever they want.
They can set you up, they can
bust you, they can break
your fingers, they can
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can't walk, can't remember, they can
take your child, wall up
your lover. They can do anything
you can't stop them
from doing. How can you stop
them? Alone, you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.

But two people fighting
back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file
can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.

Two people can keep each other
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organization. With six
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds, and hold a fund raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.

It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again and they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know you who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.


message 24: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments On our "Obituary" thread i posted that poet Donald Hall died over the weekend. He served as US poet laureate from 2006-7. https://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapt...

What i didn't realize until reading the obituary on Wiki was that he was married for 23 years to poet Jane Kenyon, who died in 1995. Here is the Wiki page for each--https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Ke...

This post will feature a poem Hall wrote years after his wife's death.

Distressed Haiku

In a week or ten days
the snow and ice
will melt from Cemetery Road.

I'm coming! Don't move!

Once again it is April.
Today is the day
we would have been married
twenty-six years.

I finished with April
halfway through March.

You think that their
dying is the worst
thing that could happen.

Then they stay dead.

Will Hall ever write
lines that do anything
but whine and complain?

In April the blue
mountain revises
from white to green.

The Boston Red Sox win
a hundred straight games.
The mouse rips
the throat of the lion

and the dead return.


message 25: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments Jane Kenyon, who died in 1995, was married to Donald Hall, another poet whose death this weekend reminds me how i relished Kenyon's work. Here is one of my favorites by her.

Briefly It Enters, And Briefly Speaks

I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years. . . .

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper. . . .

When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me. . . .

I am food on the prisoner's plate. . . .

I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills. . . .

I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden. . . .

I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge. . . .

I am the heart contracted by joy. . .
the longest hair, white
before the rest. . . .

I am there in the basket of fruit
presented to the widow. . . .

I am the musk rose opening
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit. . . .

I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name. . . .


message 26: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments madrano wrote: "On our "Obituary" thread i posted that poet Donald Hall died over the weekend. He served as US poet laureate from 2006-7. https://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapt......"

I didn't hear this. Thanks for sharing and the poem.


message 27: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments madrano wrote: I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name. . .



wow . powerful stuff.


message 28: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments I'm glad you liked the works, Alias. Back in the old AOL Cappuccino Cafe poetry group we discussed a Kenyon poem but darned if i can recall which one. This one i know i like much better.


message 29: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (juno93) | 1 comments If I may add this. This weekend my new book "The Shallow Sea" will be FREE in Kindle format to celebrate the release of the print version on Amazon. Check out the link below on Saturday or Sunday to get your free Kindle copy!

Free Book Promotion for "The Shallow Sea" Kindle Version!
start date: July 7, 2018 PDT
end date: July 8, 2018 PDT

Click the link below on either Saturday or Sunday to grab your FREE download.


https://www.amazon.com/Shallow-Sea-Da...


message 30: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments Good luck with your book, Daniel. The cover art is lovely.


message 31: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments I've recently read A Shropshire Lad by A.E. Housman, which was on my DL for this year. In my comments i mentioned i will be sharing a couple of them here. First, i'll begin with one we may all know; it's one i've long savored.

When I Was One-and-Twenty

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
“The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.”
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.


message 32: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2189 comments madrano wrote: "I've recently read A Shropshire Lad by A.E. Housman, which was on my DL for this year. In my comments i mentioned i will be sharing a couple of them here. First, i'll b..."

I liked that one.


message 33: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 18, 2018 01:40PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments nice and new to me.


message 34: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments I'm glad you liked it. I've used that first line many times now that i'm in my dotage. ;-) This is probably the second most well known poem from the book. It's an interesting idea, but i'm not sure i agree...if i read it correctly. It is the 19th poem in the progression.

- XIX -
TO AN ATHLETE DYING YOUNG

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honors out,
Runners whom reknown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before the echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.


message 35: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments madrano wrote: This is probably the second most well known poem from the book. It's an interesting idea, but i'm not sure i agree...if i read it correctly. It is the 19th poem in the progression..."

I thought the direction it was going to go was a young man who died in war.


message 36: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments As i read this volume of poetry i tried to find material online to offer insights into the poems. I was surprised at the variety of interpretations about the death for this poem. War is one, illness was more typical. However, the one which surprised me was that the death was a suicide.

I am not sure i can agree with this last one, however, he did write a surprising poem about suicide, which i share here. (I will note that i also looked up this one because the tone alarmed me. It seems here, too, interpretations vary but overall, it appears many consider what appears to be praise as Housman's sardonic wit. Hmmm. Our family experienced such a tragedy this year, so the words stayed with me much longer, as one might imagine.)


XLIV
Shot? So Quick, So Clean an Ending
by A. E. Housman


SHOT? so quick, so clean an ending?
Oh that was right, lad, that was brave:
Yours was not an ill for mending,
’Twas best to take it to the grave.

Oh you had forethought, you could reason,
And saw your road and where it led,
And early wise and brave in season
Put the pistol to your head.

Oh soon, and better so than later
After long disgrace and scorn,
You shot dead the household traitor,
The soul that should not have been born.

Right you guessed the rising morrow
And scorned to tread the mire you must:
Dust ’s your wages, son of sorrow,
But men may come to worse than dust.

Souls undone, undoing others,—
Long time since the tale began.
You would not live to wrong your brothers:
Oh lad, you died as fits a man.

Now to your grave shall friend and stranger
With ruth and some with envy come:
Undishonoured, clear of danger,
Clean of guilt, pass hence and home.

Turn safe to rest, no dreams, no waking;
And here, man, here ’s the wreath I ’ve made
’Tis not a gift that ’s worth the taking,
But wear it and it will not fade.


message 37: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments I read it as suicide. Perhaps done to avoid a debilitating, painful terminal illness.


message 38: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments This makes sense, Alias. Curiously, within hours of posting this last poem my daughter called to talk about my nephew's suicide again. It's awful how these deaths haunt us--it's been five months and she is only now really wanting to talk more than superficially about it.

I wanted to post one more poem from A Shropshire Lad, the final one. I suppose one could see it as a "spoiler" but only in a rather abstract way.

LXIII
I Hoed and Trenched and Weeded
by A.E. Housman

I hoed and trenched and weeded,
And took the flowers to fair:
I brought them home unheeded;
The hue was not the wear.

So up and down I sow them
For lads like me to find,
When I shall lie below them,
A dead man out of mind.

Some seed the birds devour,
And some the season mars,
But here and there will flower,
The solitary stars,

And fields will yearly bear them
As light-leaved spring comes on,
And luckless lads will wear them
When I am dead and gone.


message 39: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments I thought this last one sad yet nice in a way. That we leave a footprint behind in some manner. Not sure how to express this.


message 40: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments The word melancholy comes to mind, now that you've verbalized the question, Alias. I think he was reflecting on the work that went into the volume of poetry and his hope that parts would grow in some readers. But, maybe, fearing it wouldn't?


message 41: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments madrano wrote: "The word melancholy comes to mind, now that you've verbalized the question, Alias. I think he was reflecting on the work that went into the volume of poetry and his hope that parts would grow in so..."

Yes. I can see that now. How an authors works can live on or not.

The book I am reading now, Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America's Role in the World
the author wanted to write about a favorite historian/writer of his,
Bernard DeVoto and noted that he is hardly remembered now. The book ended up being more than about DeVoto but he did start the book discussing his works and in particular The Year of Decision 1846


message 42: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments I've not heard of DeVoto either. The titles listed on the GR link sound intriguing, though. I'm also putting the Kaplan book you are reading on my TBR. As we've traveled around our country, i can see how some regions flourished for no other reasons than the lay of the land itself.


message 43: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments As mentioned above, i am now reading Spoon River Anthology, a collection of poems set in a graveyard, basically, biographies of those buried there. The work by Edgar Lee Masters contains poems and threads of poems. Some stand alone, some don't. The following doesn't exactly stand alone but i like the sentiment about one book changing a life. Ignore the names of the people listed, if you please. If you are determined to seek them out, here is a link to the book. http://www.fulltextarchive.com/page/S... One wonders what book it was...

176. Alfred Moir
by Edgar Lee Masters

WHY was I not devoured by self-contempt,
And rotted down by indifference
And impotent revolt like Indignation Jones?
Why, with all of my errant steps,
Did I miss the fate of Willard Fluke?
And why, though I stood at Burchard’s bar,
As a sort of decoy for the house to the boys
To buy the drinks, did the curse of drink
Fall on me like rain that runs off,
Leaving the soul of me dry and clean?
And why did I never kill a man
Like Jack McGuire?

But instead I mounted a little in life,
And I owe it all to a book I read.
But why did I go to Mason City,
Where I chanced to see the book in a window,
With its garish cover luring my eye?
And why did my soul respond to the book,
As I read it over and over?


message 44: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments madrano wrote: "I've not heard of DeVoto either. The titles listed on the GR link sound intriguing, though. I'm also putting the Kaplan book you are reading on my TBR. As we've traveled around our country, i can s..."

I almost was going to post that Kaplan's book might be one you would appreciate. It's not for me, but you may like it. If you do read it let me know.

There are various interviews of the author online. Also he will be interviewed on PBS NewsHour usually the last weekday of the month. All the book club selections are discussed all month on their FB page. The group is called: Now Read This.


message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17003 comments madrano wrote: "But instead I mounted a little in life,
And I owe it all to a book I read.
But why did I go to Mason City,
Where I chanced to see the book in a window,
With its garish cover luring my eye?
And why did my soul respond to the book,
As I read it over and over?
.."


:)


message 46: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9522 comments Alias, if you are like me, it seems as though many, many books could be the one to which my soul responded. :-)

On Kaplan, this year i have a similar one on my DL--How the States Got Their Shapes, so it may be awhile before i read the Kaplan but i'll let you know what i think about it when i get there.


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