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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in poetry_is' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012
7:57 pm
The Dream

I found myself 

Walking along a distant road

Covered in pure, sparkling snow

Looking for something I had lost long ago

One night, in a dream I dreamt 

I stopped only to pick lovely flowers

And gather them in my arms

I felt a warmth spread into my bones

And as I gazed upon them, 

I felt oddly clean

I touched their velvety petals 

And allowed myself to cry 

I laid them softly to rest

Buried beneath that virgin snow

And I continued on

Feeling so lost and very alone

I came upon a small house

That beckoned to me

Promising me shelter and protection 

I struggled to the door

The snow now around my knees

Gathered all the strength and courage I could muster

And gave a soft knock on the door

The door opened

And I trudged in

Longing for something I knew

My breath caught in my chest 

For sitting there was you

I felt happiness sweep away the cold

And I ran to embrace you 

I whispered lightly in your ear

All things I had always wanted to say

And felt you pull me closer

An understanding passed between us

Took my words away and left me calm and assured

I knew you must of felt the same

Because of those three words you had uttered 

Tears came to my eyes 

Because I knew no longer would I walk that snowy path alone

Searching for something I thought I would never know

I found what I was searching for

I found you

I awoke 

With lovely sun caressing my face

And a smile touching my lips

I knew that it just wasn’t a dream

I knew it was all to real 

And for that I must remember to thank you

For making my dreams and my reality as one 

Friday, June 24th, 2005
3:57 pm
Friday, February 11th, 2005
12:50 am
Shadab Vajdi: Illiterate. A simple, short, bittersweet love poem just in time for Valentine's Day.
Saturday, January 8th, 2005
6:21 pm
Cat's Dream, by Pablo Neruda: for Myrtis

Cat's Dream

How neatly a cat sleeps,
sleeps with its paws and its posture,
sleeps with its wicked claws,
and with its unfeeling blood,
sleeps with all the rings--
a series of burnt circles--
which have formed the odd geology
of its sand-colored tail.

I should like to sleep like a cat,
with all the fur of time,
with a tongue rough as flint,
with the dry sex of fire;
and after speaking to no one,
stretch myself over the world,
over roofs and landscapes,
with a passionate desire
to hunt the rats in my dreams.

I have seen how the cat asleep
would undulate, how the night
flowed through it like dark water;
and at times, it was going to fall
or possibly plunge into
the bare deserted snowdrifts.
Sometimes it grew so much in sleep
like a tiger's great-grandfather,
and would leap in the darkness over
rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.

Sleep, sleep cat of the night,
with episcopal ceremony
and your stone-carved moustache.
Take care of all our dreams;
control the obscurity
of our slumbering prowess
with your relentless heart
and the great ruff of your tail.

Translated by Alastair Reid

Pablo Neruda
Thursday, January 6th, 2005
9:54 pm
David Mason: Fog Horns
A very lovely, casual poem called "Fog Horns" by David Mason can be read here. Somehow Mason has made sure that his poem rolls along quite like fog: it curls around the edges, it renders objects rather fuzzy and vague. Notice also how many of his words contain "o" - a languid, booming sound which reminds us of the title.

"Fog Horns" is lovely and a delightful surprise.
Tuesday, January 4th, 2005
9:24 pm
Geoffrey Faber: The Eve of War
I picked up a recent anthology of First World War poetry the other day and immediately fell for this poem by Geoffrey Faber (the founder of famous publishing company Faber & Faber):

Geoffrey Faber: The Eve of WarCollapse ).
Friday, December 31st, 2004
3:50 pm
Peter Davison: Peaches
Peter Davison died this week at the age of 76. I've always liked his poem "Peaches"
Wednesday, December 29th, 2004
3:42 pm
A.R. Ammons: So I Said I Am Ezra
I have tried to find a poem that would work in the context of the earthquake/tsunami disaster we have all been reading about these past few days. But for once words have slipped through my fingers and I have been unable to find anything appropriate. Most poems that deal with feelings of devastation write about it in the context of love or war.

Then I happened across an interview with Harold Bloom (US scholar and self-satisfied Shakespeare nut) and I managed to stomach him for about 30 minutes. Among other things he spoke of American poetry and mentioned A.R. Ammons specifically. This was when I realised I might have something to post after all.

Read with tired eyes that have seen photos, news reports and read far too many articles from Thailand/Indonesia/India/etc, Ammons' poem So I Said I Am Ezra comes across as chilling, uncomfortable and perhaps just what I needed to read right now. I cannot quite explain why as the poem clearly has nothing to do with tsunamis or earthquakes, but there is something there..

I apologise in advance for the linked site but I have been unable to find the poem elsewhere.
Tuesday, December 28th, 2004
9:41 pm
I was down in the laundry room, ironing, and suddenly the memory of this poem broke through whatever else I was thinking about. So here you go.

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World. The poet, Richard Wilbur, is known well enough that I'm just including the link to his bio.

And yes, this is late in the day. Sleep well, everyone.
Friday, December 17th, 2004
12:18 am
Thomas Tusser: On Thriftiness
Sorry about the late update! And here is a poem which I adore because I love word games.

Thomas Tusser: On ThriftinessCollapse )
Wednesday, December 15th, 2004
10:57 pm
Rupert Brooke: Sonnet - Oh! Death Will Find Me
Nowadays Rupert Brooke is primarily known for his patriotic First World War poem beginning "If I should die, think only this of me / That there is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England". He is remembered as a stunningly beautiful poet who died before seeing battle, but his poetry is no longer widely read or held in high regard. Brooke was enormously famous and loved when he lived. He cut a dashing figure, scared Virginia Woolf by running naked across a lawn, had love affairs with both men and women, travelled widely - and also found time to write poetry.

However, perhaps the memory of Brooke's poetry is tainted by the fact that he never did see battle (so he did not die a hero) and also by the fact that his mode of poetry was quickly rendered obsolete by the beginning of the Modernist movement. Personally I think some of the last poems he wrote before dying pointed towards a more mature poetic voice.

The poem I have chosen today is not one of his last poems, but it is a pretty, almost macabre, sonnet. Musings inside the cut.

Rupert Brooke: Sonnet - Oh! Death Will Find Me!Collapse )
Tuesday, December 14th, 2004
7:36 pm
Pablo Neruda: Ode to a Book
In my home, I have two shelves devoted to books about books - and I am not talking about literary criticism! No, I love to read books about loving books. Bibliophiles writing about how they discover this bookshop or read that book whilst sitting on the steps of an old Parisian church. I love to read about other readers. But, however much I love books (and reading about other bibliophiles reading), I also know there is a life outside books and life is to be cherished and treasured.

Pablo Neruda's poem Ode to the Book seems to share this sentiment. He celebrates the written word but refuses to let himself be swallowed whole.

I think there is a lesson in that.
Tuesday, December 7th, 2004
2:38 pm
Fernando Pessoa: Flashes of Madness II
One of the most fascinating poets I have come across in recent weeks is Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935). He was four poets in one: Fernando Pessoa, Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis and Alvaro dos Campos. Each of his poetic "personas" had a distinct personality and poetic style. Pessoa claimed that he was somehow "channelling" each of these poets - a bad Hollywood script might suggest a case of split personalities, as all of these poets led seperate lives and wrote about very different things. Pessoa's English translator described it as though Pessoa wrote poets, not poems.

Fernando Pessoa: Flashes of Madness IICollapse )

You can read more about Pessoa here, here and here.
Monday, December 6th, 2004
1:33 am
Jozsef Attila: No Shriek of Mine
Now for something exotic: a Hungarian poem from 1924. The poet is Jozsef Attila (1905-1937) and I must admit I know very little about him other than he worked as a journalist.

No Shriek of Mine (Nem én kiáltok)Collapse )

Atilla captures the zeitgeist - the spirit of the age - with this harsh, almost angry poem about the Modern era with its manmade machines, rejection of everything natural and the whiff of violence in the air. What I like about this poem is that he never aims to be obscure or difficult: the words are concrete and although this is free verse, it is rather straight-forward.

Perhaps not quite the poem to put you in a festive mood - but I plan to remedy that in later entries :)
Friday, December 3rd, 2004
4:09 pm
Mona Van Duyn: Earth Tremors Felt in Missouri
Mona Van Duyn was the first woman to be Poet Laureate in the US. She died yesterday, the 2nd of December.

Relating to today's poem: The state of Missouri is in the middle of the country and south of center. The New Madrid fault line runs through the state, and while geologists continually predict that a Big One will hit us soon (or eventually), significant earthquakes are very rare. Tremors happen now and then, though, I understand.

Earth Tremors Felt in Missouri, by Mona Van Duyn
Thursday, December 2nd, 2004
2:12 am
Judith Wright: Request for a Year
Australian poet Judith Wright died four years ago, but leaves behind a poetic body of work that will survive for generations. She had a strong voice and wrote about female strength in a manner which I find refreshingly unsentimental and non-self-indulgent.

Judith Wright: Request for a Year

MusingsCollapse )

As always, I hope you enjoy today's poem :)
Wednesday, December 1st, 2004
4:14 pm
Joy Harjo: Deer Dancer
This poem references specific Native American mythology, but you don't have to be familiar with the mythology to read it. The mythic qualities burn up through the human qualities. It's beautiful, and the prose-poem format brings out the echoes of the oral tradition.

Deer Dancer, by Joy Harjo
9:00 am
ADMIN: December Sign-up Calendar
Firstly, apologies for the mostly lost month of November, and enormous thanks to coconutswirl for posting and keeping us going!

If you would like to post a poem this month, reply to let me know which day, and I'll put your name on the calendar.

Note: I will most likely be unable to post between Dec. 23 - Jan. 2, so those days are particularly up for grabs. :)

Thank you for signing up!

CalendarCollapse )
Sunday, November 28th, 2004
12:31 am
Adrian Mitchell and Thomas Carew: Poems to Celia
A double treat for you today. I have chosen two poems (for the price of one!) simply because the poem I first decided to post is a short four-line poem.

(I hope this does not upset our Mod too much. I'll reduce this post to one poem, if I'm breaking the rules too much!)

First, a poem called "Celia, Celia" written by contemporary British poet Adrian Micthell who is a bit of a renegade poet. He mixed with the American Beat poets and is active within counterculture circles in Britain. Rumour has it that he's mellowed somewhat in later years. His "Celia, Celia" is probably his best known poem. It was set to music by British popband "The Bluetones" in the mid-90s (the song is called "Bluetonic") and Mitchell enjoyed a small revival following that.

Adrian Mitchell: Celia, Celia

The name "Celia" is often used in poetry as an abstract way of addressing one's beloved - i.e. the woman about whom the poem is written need not be called Celia. Although writing love poetry to "Celia" is no longer commonplace, contemporary poets such as Adrian Mitchell sometimes revive the tradition (perhaps as a way of giving a sly nod to their poetic predecessors?). One famous predecessor who wrote many poems to Celia was Thomas Carew (1595-1639). His "Know, Celia" is playful (you could argue that the first stanza is implicitly about the practice of writing poems to "Celia") whilst being rather charmingly clumsy and archaic.

Thomas Carew: Know, CeliaCollapse )
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004
11:37 pm
Anne Sexton: To a Friend Whose Work has Come to Triumph
I thought it was time that we had a (somewhat) contemporary female poetic voice here at poetry_is. Here is Anne Sexton's "To a Friend Whose Work has Come to Triumph"


The poem actually comes complete with a reflection upon it by Ben Watt, so there is not much I can add except that yet again I have chosen a very formal piece of poetry. I'll try to go free verse next time :)
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