Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Black Law Students => Topic started by: 2Lacoste on July 19, 2006, 02:09:01 PM

Title: The Poetry Thread
Post by: 2Lacoste on July 19, 2006, 02:09:01 PM
In this thread we share our favorite poems (or even our own writings):


HOWL
by Allen Ginsberg

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 after
noon 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,
lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping
down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills
off Empire State out of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts
and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks
and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days
and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the
Synagogue cast on the pavement,
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a
trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grind-ings and
migraines of China under junk-with-drawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,
who wandered around and around at midnight in the
railroad yard wondering where to go, and went,
leaving no broken hearts,
who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing
through snow toward lonesome farms in grand-father night,
who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy
and bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively
vibrated at their feet in Kansas,
who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary
indian angels who were visionary indian angels,
who thought they were only mad when Baltimore
gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,
who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight street
light smalltown rain,
who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston
seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the
brilliant Spaniard to converse about America
and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving
behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees
and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the
F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big pacifist
eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,
who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting
the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union
Square weeping and undressing while the sirens
of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed
down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked
and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,
who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight
in policecars for committing no crime but their
own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
who howled on their knees in the subway and were
dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,
who let themselves be screwed in the ass by saintly
motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
who blew and were blown by those human seraphim,
the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,
who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose
gardens and the grass of public parks and
cemeteries scattering their semen freely to
whomever come who may,
who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up
with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath
when the blond & naked angel came to pierce
them with a sword,
who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate
the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar
the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb
and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but
sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden
threads of the craftsman's loom,
who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of
beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along
the floor and down the hall and ended fainting
on the wall with a vision of ultimate female private part and
come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling
in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning
but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sun
rise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,
who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad
stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these
poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver-joy
to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls
in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses'
 rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with
gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station
solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,
who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in
dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and
picked themselves up out of basements hung
over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third
Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on
the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the
East River to open to a room full of steamheat and opium,
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment
cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime
blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall
be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested
the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,
who wept at the romance of the streets with their
pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: 2Lacoste on July 19, 2006, 02:09:31 PM
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the
bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,
who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned
with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded
by orange crates of theology,
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty
incantations which in the yellow morning were
stanzas of gibberish,
who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht
& tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,
who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,
who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot
for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks
fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique
stores where they thought they were growing
old and cried,
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits
on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse
& the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments
of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the
fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the
drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,
who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten
into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley
ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,
who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of
the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes,
cried all over the street,
danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed
phonograph records of nostalgic European
1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and
threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans
in their ears and the blast of colossal steam whistles,
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying
to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude
watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,
who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out
if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had
a vision to find out Eternity,
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who
came back to Denver & waited in vain, who
watched over Denver & brooded & loned in
Denver and finally went away to find out the
Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying
for each other's salvation and light and breasts,
until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,
who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for
impossible criminals with golden heads and the
charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet
blues to Alcatraz,
who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky
Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys
or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or
Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the
daisychain or grave,
who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hyp
notism & were left with their insanity & their
hands & a hung jury,
who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism
and subsequently presented themselves on the
granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads
and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,
and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin
Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational
therapy pingpong & amnesia,
who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic
pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,
returning years later truly bald except for a wig of
blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible mad
man doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,
Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid
halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul,
rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench
dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare,
bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,
with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book
flung out of the tenement window, and the last
door closed at 4. A.M. and the last telephone
slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room
emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture,
a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the closet,
and even that imaginary,
nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination
ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and
now you're really in the total animal soup of time
and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed
with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use
of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,
who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space
through images juxtaposed, and trapped the
archangel of the soul between 2 visual images
and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun
and dash of consciousness together jumping
with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus
to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human
prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent
and shaking with shame,
rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm
of thought in his naked and endless head,
the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown,
yet putting down here what might be left to say
in time come after death,
and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in
the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the
suffering of America's naked mind for love into
an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone
cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio
with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered
out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.
What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open
their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: 2Lacoste on July 19, 2006, 02:10:40 PM
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unob
tainable dollars! Children screaming under the
stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men
weeping in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the
loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy
judger of men!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the
crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of
sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment!
Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose
blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers
are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo!
Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!
Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long
streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories
dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose
smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch
whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch
whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch
whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen!
Moloch whose name is the Mind!
Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream
Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in
Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom
I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch
who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy!
Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch!
Light streaming out of the sky!
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs!
skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic
industries! spectral nations! invincible mad
houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pave-
ments, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to
Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!
Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies!
gone down the American river!
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole
boatload of sensitive bull!
Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions!
gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs!
Ten years' animal screams and suicides!
Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on
the rocks of Time!
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the
wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell!
They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving!
carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!
Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland
where you're madder than I am
I'm with you in Rockland
where you must feel very strange
I'm with you in Rockland
where you imitate the shade of my mother
I'm with you in Rockland
where you've murdered your twelve secretaries
I'm with you in Rockland
where you laugh at this invisible humor
I'm with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
I'm with you in Rockland
where your condition has become serious and
is reported on the radio
I'm with you in Rockland
where the faculties of the skull no longer admit
the worms of the senses
I'm with you in Rockland
where you drink the tea of the breasts of the
spinsters of Utica
I'm with you in Rockland
where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the
harpies of the Bronx
I'm with you in Rockland
where you scream in a straightjacket that you're
losing the game of the actual pingpong of the abyss
I'm with you in Rockland
where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul
is innocent and immortal it should never die
ungodly in an armed madhouse
I'm with you in Rockland
where fifty more shocks will never return your
soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a
cross in the void
I'm with you in Rockland
where you accuse your doctors of insanity and
plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the
fascist national Golgotha
I'm with you in Rockland
where you will split the heavens of Long Island
and resurrect your living human Jesus from the
superhuman tomb
I'm with you in Rockland
where there are twenty-five-thousand mad com-
rades all together singing the final stanzas of
the Internationale
I'm with you in Rockland
where we hug and kiss the United States under
our bedsheets the United States that coughs all
night and won't let us sleep
I'm with you in Rockland
where we wake up electrified out of the coma
by our own souls' airplanes roaring over the
roof they've come to drop angelic bombs the
hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls collapse
O skinny legions run outside O starry
spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is
here O victory forget your underwear we're free
I'm with you in Rockland
in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-
journey on the highway across America in tears
to the door of my cottage in the Western night

Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: crazy8 on July 19, 2006, 02:13:33 PM
Crutches
By Nikki Giovanni


it's not the crutches we decry
it's the need to move forward
though we haven't the strength

women aren't allowed to need
so they develop rituals
since we all know working hands idle
the devil
women aren't supposed to be strong
so they develop social smiles
and secret drinking problems
and female lovers whom they never touch
except in dreams

men are supposed to be strong
so they have heart attacks
and develop other women
who don't know their weaknesses
and hide their fears
behind male lovers
whom they religiously touch
each saturday morning on the basketball court
it's considered a sign of health doncha know
that they take such good care
of their bodies

i'm trying to say something about the human condition
maybe i should try again

Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: 2Lacoste on July 19, 2006, 02:15:00 PM
Puerto Rican Obituary
Pedro Pietri

They worked
They were always on time
They were never late
They never spoke back
when they were insulted
They worked
They never took days off
that were not on the calendar
They never went on strike
without permission
They worked
ten days a week
and were only paid for five
They worked
They worked
They worked
and they died
They died broke
They died owing
They died never knowing
what the front entrance
of the first national city bank looks like

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
All died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
passing their bill collectors
on to the next of kin
All died
waiting for the garden of eden
to open up again
under a new management
All died
dreaming about america
waking them up in the middle of the night
screaming: Mira Mira
your name is on the winning lottery ticket
for one hundred thousand dollars
All died
hating the grocery stores
that sold them make-believe steak
and bullet-proof rice and beans
All died waiting dreaming and hating

Dead Puerto Ricans
Who never knew they were Puerto Ricans
Who never took a coffee break
from the ten commandments
to KILL KILL KILL
the landlords of their cracked skulls
and communicate with their latino souls

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
From the nervous breakdown streets
where the mice live like millionaires
and the people do not live at all
are dead and were never alive

Juan
died waiting for his number to hit
Miguel
died waiting for the welfare check
to come and go and come again
Milagros
died waiting for her ten children
to grow up and work
so she could quit working
Olga
died waiting for a five dollar raise
Manuel
died waiting for his supervisor to drop dead
so he could get a promotion

Is a long ride
from Spanish Harlem
to long island cemetery
where they were buried
First the train
and then the bus
and the cold cuts for lunch
and the flowers
that will be stolen
when visiting hours are over
Is very expensive
Is very expensive
But they understand
Their parents understood
Is a long non-profit ride
from Spanish Harlem
to long~sland cemetery

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
All died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
Dreaming
Dreaming about queens
Clean-cut lily-white neighborhood
Puerto Ricanless scene
Thirty-thousand-dollar home
The first spics on the block
Proud to belong to a community
of gringos who want them lynched
Proud to be a long distance away
from the sacred phrase: Que Pasa

These dreams
These empty dreams
from the make-believe bedrooms
their parents left them
are the after-effects
of television programs
about the ideal
white american family
with black maids
and latino janitors
who are well train
to make everyone
and their bill collectors
laugh at them
and the people they represent

Juan
died dreaming about a new car
Miguel
died dreaming about new anti-poverty programs
Milagros
died dreaming about a trip to Puerto Rico
Olga
died dreaming about real jewelry
Manuel
died dreaming about the irish sweepstakes

They all died
like a hero sandwich dies
in the garment district
at twelve o'clock in the afternoon
social security number to ashes
union dues to dust

They knew
they were born to weep
and keep the morticians employed
as long as they pledge allegiance
to the flag that wants them destroyed
They saw their names listed
in the telephone directory of destruction
They were train to turn
the other cheek by newspapers
that mispelled mispronounced
and misunderstood their names
and celebrated when death came
and stole their final laundry ticket

They were born dead
and they died dead

Is time
to visit sister lopez again
the number one healer
and fortune card dealer
in Spanish Harlem
She can communicate
with your late relatives
for a reasonable fee
Good news is guaranteed

Rise Table Rise Table
death is not dumb and disable
Those who love you want to know
the correct number to play
Let them know this right away
Rise Table Rise Table
death is not dumb and disable
Now that your problems are over
and the world is off your shoulders
help those who you left behind
find financial peace of mind

Rise Table Rise Table
death is not dumb and disable
If the right number we hit
all our problems will split
and we will visit your grave
on every legal holiday
Those who love you want to know
the correct number to play
Let them know this right away
We know your spirit is able
Death is not dumb and disable
RISE TABLE RISE TABLE

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
All died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
Hating fighting and stealing
broken windows from each other
Practicing a religion without a roof
The old testament
The new testament
according to the gospel
of the internal revenue
the judge and jury and executioner
protector and eternal bill collector

Secondhand *&^% for sale
Learn how to say Como Esta Usted
and you will make a fortune
They are dead
They are dead
and will not return from the dead
until they stop neglecting
the art of their dialogue
for broken english lessons
to impress the mister goldsteins
who keep them employed
as lavaplatos porters messenger boys
factory workers maids stock clerks
shipping clerks assistant mailroom
assistant, assisant assistant
to the assistant's assistant
assistant lavaplatos and automatic
artificial smiling doormen
for the lowest wages of the ages
and rages when you demand a raise
because is against the company policy
to promote SPICS SPICS SPICS

Juan
died hating Miguel because Miguel's
used car was in better running condition
than his used car
Miguel
died hating Milagros because Milagros
had a color television set
and he could not afford one yet
Milagros
died hating Olga because Olga
made five dollars more on the same job
Olga
died hating Manuel because Manuel
had hit the numbers more times
than she had hit the numbers
Manuel
died hating all of them
Juan
Miguel
Milagros
and Olga
because they all spoke broken english
more fluently than he did

And now they are together
in the main lobby of the void
Addicted to silence
Off limits to the wind
Confine to worm supremacy
in long island cemetery
This is the groovy hereafter
the protestant collection box
was talking so loud and proud about

Here lies Juan
Here lies Miguel
Here lies Milagros
Here lies Olga
Here lies Manuel
who died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
Always broke
Always owing
Never knowing
that they are beautiful people
Never knowing
the geography of their complexion

PUERTO RICO IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
PUERTORRIQUENOS ARE A BEAUTIFUL RACE

If only they
had turned off the television
and tune into their own imaginations
If only they
had used the white supremacy bibles
for toilet paper purpose
and make their latino souls
the only religion of their race
If only they
had return to the definition of the sun
after the first mental snowstorm
on the summer of their senses
If only they
had kept their eyes open
at the funeral of their fellow employees
who came to this country to make a fortune
and were buried without underwears

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
will right now be doing their own thing
where beautiful people sing
and dance and work together
where the wind is a stranger
to miserable weather conditions
where you do not need a dictionary
to communicate with your people
Aqui Se Habla Espanol all the time
Aqui you salute your flag first
Aqui there are no dial soap commericals
Aqui everybody smells good
Aqui tv dinners do not have a future
Aqui the men and women admire desire
and never get tired of each other
Aqui Que Paso Power is what's happening
Aqui to be called negrito
means to be called LOVE
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: jnc18 on July 19, 2006, 02:17:04 PM
lacoste is trying to set the record for most absurdly long posts today.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: crazy8 on July 19, 2006, 02:17:21 PM
You Came, Too
By Nikki Giovanni


I came to the crowd seeking friends
I came to the crowd seeking love
I came to the crowd for understanding

I found you

I came to the crowd to weep
I came to the crowd to laugh

You dried my tears
You shared my  happiness

I went from the crowd seeking you
I went from the crowd seeking me
I went from the crowd forever

You came, too

Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: crazy8 on July 19, 2006, 02:20:06 PM
Let America be America Again
By Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: withj on July 19, 2006, 02:21:09 PM
John Chrysostom

He who had gone a beast
Down on his knees and hands
Remembering lust and murder
Felt now a gust of grace,
Lifted his burnished face
From the psalter of the sands,
And found his thoughts in order
And cleared his throat at last.

What they heard then was a voice
That taught what they could learn
From any gelded priest
Yet rang like a great choir,
He having taught hell's fire
A singing way to burn,
And borrowed of some dumb beast
The wildness to rejoice.

-Richard Wilbur
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Lionking on July 19, 2006, 02:26:10 PM
recently published

Samson in Love
by Elizabeth Cox


“Out of the eater came forth meat,
and out of the strong came forth sweetness.”
Judges 14:14

This is the first time he has killed a lion.
Inside the ribs a swarm of bees lies
nested there, and honey comes.
He reaches down inside the ribs
to where a sweetness runs,
and he thinks of the woman he has seen today.

The bare form of her face today
came in stronger than this lion.
Now he takes one rib, and a foam of bees runs
around his wrist—a smell so strong he lies
down. Still in his mind her eyes black open, small ribs
rounding her heart. She comes and comes.

When he tears back the head, what comes
brings him toward prayer today,
and every day, remembering the ribs
licked clean. The flower of flesh from lion,
and woman, too—what love lies
near the place where one stream runs?

The lion’s flesh half gone, marrow runs
to ash. He claps the old blood down and comes
into Cities of Spring. A whole dry world lies
beneath his wish to touch today
with his bare hands both woman and lion—
to take apart the ribs.

Smoke swells up into her ribs.
She loves the way he runs.
The breath of bees humming in the lion;
yet around his wrist the woman’s breath comes
down hard and makes him stir today
inside his bones. He lies
to her about his hair. He lies

about the swarm of bees and the ribs
his hand scooped honey from today.
When she touches him with her bare hands, he runs,
so she closes up her palm, and sweetness comes
into the oldest honeycomb—inside her chest of lion.

She waits, so still she lies, too raw for mending runs—
with raging bees inside her ribs, the honey comes.
He does not know, today, if he has killed or loved this lion.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: 2Lacoste on July 19, 2006, 02:28:16 PM
lacoste is trying to set the record for most absurdly long posts today.



Yeah skip Howl.  Only the first 20 lines are so are golden.  But that "Puerto Rican Obituary" is straight fire.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: 2Lacoste on July 19, 2006, 02:44:49 PM
John Chrysostom

He who had gone a beast
Down on his knees and hands
Remembering lust and murder
Felt now a gust of grace,
Lifted his burnished face
From the psalter of the sands,
And found his thoughts in order
And cleared his throat at last.

What they heard then was a voice
That taught what they could learn
From any gelded priest
Yet rang like a great choir,
He having taught hell's fire
A singing way to burn,
And borrowed of some dumb beast
The wildness to rejoice.

-Richard Wilbur



Wow.  I like that one.  Good find.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: BrerAnansi on July 19, 2006, 02:46:30 PM
I'm a bit of a romantic...
    
     DON'T GO FAR OFF, NOT EVEN FOR A DAY
Don't go far off, not even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

Pablo Neruda
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: jnc18 on July 19, 2006, 03:06:02 PM
lacoste is trying to set the record for most absurdly long posts today.
Yeah skip Howl.  Only the first 20 lines are so are golden.  But that "Puerto Rican Obituary" is straight fire.

Word.

If only they
had used the white supremacy bibles
for toilet paper purpose
and make their latino souls
the only religion of their race


How you feel about that?
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: 2Lacoste on July 19, 2006, 04:32:49 PM
lacoste is trying to set the record for most absurdly long posts today.
Yeah skip Howl.  Only the first 20 lines are so are golden.  But that "Puerto Rican Obituary" is straight fire.

Word.

If only they
had used the white supremacy bibles
for toilet paper purpose
and make their latino souls
the only religion of their race


How you feel about that?



I think the fact that Christianity (or Catholicism) is so intimately a part of the Latino culture makes these lines so powerful.  The need for empowerment extends beyond the traditional minority communities.  Pietri, who helped found the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, understood this and employed such moving imagery to shake his people out of their complacency, I think.  Great poem, right?
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: pikey on July 20, 2006, 05:58:32 AM
I will always love anything written by Shel Silverstein

 
  Where the Sidewalk Ends
   


This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid.  I did 'Jimmy Jet and his TV Set' for a drama competition when I was ten.

Jimmy Jet And His TV Set
by Shel Silverstein
I'll tell you the story of Jimmy Jet --
And you know what I tell you is true.
He loved to watch his TV set
Almost as much as you.

He watched all day, he watched all night
Till he grew pale and lean,
From "The Early Show" to "The Late Late Show"
And all the shows between.

He watched till his eyes were frozen wide,
And his bottom grew into his chair.
And his chin turned into a tuning dial,
And antennae grew out of his hair.

And his brains turned into TV tubes,
And his face to a TV screen.
And two knobs saying "VERT." and "HORIZ."
Grew where his ears had been.

And he grew a plug that looked like a tail
So we plugged in little Jim.
And now instead of him watching TV
We all sit around and watch him.


 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: LomeAC on July 20, 2006, 11:32:16 PM
simple yet profound:

It is part of "Auguries of Innocence" by William Blake. I love this part of the poem

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Nemesis on July 21, 2006, 05:51:05 AM
ANNABEL LEE


by Edgar Allan Poe


It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
   By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
   Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
   I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
   Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
   Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
   Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
   And killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we--
   Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
   Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea--
   In her tomb by the side of the sea.

Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Nemesis on July 21, 2006, 05:52:28 AM
TO HELEN*


by Edgar Allan Poe


I saw thee once- once only- years ago:
I must not say how many- but not many.
It was a July midnight; and from out
A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring,
Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven,
There fell a silvery-silken veil of light,
With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber,
Upon the upturned faces of a thousand
Roses that grew in an enchanted garden,
Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe-
Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses
That gave out, in return for the love-light,
Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death-
Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses
That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted
By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence.
Clad all in white, upon a violet bank
I saw thee half reclining; while the moon
Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses,
And on thine own, upturn'd- alas, in sorrow!

Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight-
Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,)
That bade me pause before that garden-gate,
To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses?
No footstep stirred: the hated world an slept,
Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven!- oh, God!
How my heart beats in coupling those two words!)
Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked-
And in an instant all things disappeared.
(Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!)

The pearly lustre of the moon went out:
The mossy banks and the meandering paths,
The happy flowers and the repining trees,
Were seen no more: the very roses' odors
Died in the arms of the adoring airs.
All- all expired save thee- save less than thou:
Save only the divine light in thine eyes-
Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes.
I saw but them- they were the world to me!
I saw but them- saw only them for hours,
Saw only them until the moon went down.
What wild heart-histories seemed to he enwritten
Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres!
How dark a woe, yet how sublime a hope!
How silently serene a sea of pride!
How daring an ambition; yet how deep-
How fathomless a capacity for love!

But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight,
Into a western couch of thunder-cloud;
And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees
Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained;
They would not go- they never yet have gone;
Lighting my lonely pathway home that night,
They have not left me (as my hopes have) since;
They follow me- they lead me through the years.
They are my ministers- yet I their slave.
Their office is to illumine and enkindle-
My duty, to be saved by their bright light,
And purified in their electric fire,
And sanctified in their elysian fire.
They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope),
And are far up in Heaven- the stars I kneel to
In the sad, silent watches of my night;
While even in the meridian glare of day
I see them still- two sweetly scintillant
Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!


   * This poem was written for Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman, - Ed.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: A. on July 21, 2006, 06:14:43 AM
Although I think this thread is supremely...um, yeah...I do like this poem.

ANNABEL LEE


by Edgar Allan Poe


It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
   By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
   Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
   I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
   Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
   Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
   Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
   And killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we--
   Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
   Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea--
   In her tomb by the side of the sea.


Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: A. on July 21, 2006, 06:20:44 AM
I also like Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Short, simple, and rhyming.  That's how I like my poems 8).  I especially like the last stanza (The woods...)...that's how I feel every time I watch TV during the school year...
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Inquirer on July 21, 2006, 06:21:36 AM
One of my favorite poets is John Donne


THE CANONIZATION.
by John Donne


FOR God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love ;
    Or chide my palsy, or my gout ;
    My five gray hairs, or ruin'd fortune flout ;
With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve ;
        Take you a course, get you a place,
        Observe his Honour, or his Grace ;
Or the king's real, or his stamp'd face
    Contemplate ; what you will, approve,
    So you will let me love.

Alas ! alas ! who's injured by my love?
    What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd?
    Who says my tears have overflow'd his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
        When did the heats which my veins fill
        Add one more to the plaguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
    Litigious men, which quarrels move,
    Though she and I do love.

Call's what you will, we are made such by love ;
    Call her one, me another fly,
    We're tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us find th' eagle and the dove.
        The phoenix riddle hath more wit
        By us ; we two being one, are it ;
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit.
    We die and rise the same, and prove
    Mysterious by this love.

We can die by it, if not live by love,
    And if unfit for tomb or hearse
    Our legend be, it will be fit for verse ;
And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
        We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms ;
        As well a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
    And by these hymns, all shall approve
    Us canonized for love ;

And thus invoke us, "You, whom reverend love
    Made one another's hermitage ;
    You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage ;
Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove
        Into the glasses of your eyes ;
        So made such mirrors, and such spies,
That they did all to you epitomize—
    Countries, towns, courts beg from above
    A pattern of your love." :'(
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Inquirer on July 21, 2006, 06:22:40 AM
And here's another one:

SONG.
by John Donne


GO and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
            And find
            What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
            And swear,
            No where
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet,
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
            Yet she
            Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Nemesis on July 21, 2006, 06:26:46 AM


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
And so are you



Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: MrSmittie on July 21, 2006, 06:47:52 AM
Here's one that I wrote. It is included in my first self published collection, "emissions",  (Lulu Press).

City Night
by M. Richard Smith

Watching shadows
through the moonless night,
catching only glimpses
in the light of passing cars.
The pounding of the ground
beneath my calloused feet,
echoes incomplete
through my existence.

A distant siren sings,
making music in my ears
and sending visions,
somewhat clear, in my
sub-consciousness.

Scenes of love,
neglected and abused
and of children
dressed in tattered clothes,
with soiled hands
and messy faces,
eating from a can
of cold soup,
while mommy
turns a trick
and chases dragons
on the other side of town.

A dog is barking,
but not without distinction,
and I wonder what it really means,
what I should be thinking,
when a woman screams
in rhythmic ecstasy,
that she

CAN’T
TAKE
ANOTHER
MINUTE
OF
HIS
LOVE!

But soon,
the gunshots ringing near
incite the fears of my reality
and tempt the haste of my escape.
And curtly so,
the bitter taste of silence
reverberates
against the thickness
of the sultry
city night.

Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: crazy8 on July 21, 2006, 06:52:50 AM
I like the poem.  Congrats on being published!!
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: pikey on July 21, 2006, 07:10:16 AM
What I wish I was doing:

Vacation   
by Rita Dove 
 
I love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough
there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs—but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families
with their cooing and bickering
or the heeled bachelorette trying
to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge.
Even the lone executive
who has wandered this far into summer
with his lasered itinerary, briefcase
knocking his knees—even he
has worked for the pleasure of bearing
no more than a scrap of himself
into this hall. He’ll dine out, she’ll sleep late,
they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning
—a little hope, a little whimsy
before the loudspeaker blurts
and we leap up to become
Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.
 
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Lionking on July 21, 2006, 09:51:12 AM

Wise I
Amiri Baraka


    WHYS (Nobody Knows
    The Trouble I Seen)
    Traditional

If you ever find
yourself, some where
lost and surrounded
by enemies
who won't let you
speak in your own language
who destroy your statues
& instruments, who ban
your omm bomm ba boom
then you are in trouble
deep trouble
they ban your
own boom ba boom
you in deep deep
trouble

humph!

probably take you several hundred years
to get
out!


Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: thestradgirl on December 04, 2006, 05:06:22 PM
bump
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on December 27, 2006, 09:14:29 AM
I know this is mad ol' school, but it's still my favorite poem of all time

Claude McKay, If We Must Die

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Press'd to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: One Step Ahead on December 27, 2006, 09:22:15 AM
interesting.   my favorite McKay poem is "America"
   
 
  Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate.
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time's unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

I don't know what my favorite  overall poem would be--certainly "We wear the Mask," "Dream deferred," "And Still I Rise" would all be in the top ten
 
 
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on December 27, 2006, 09:27:39 AM
interesting.   my favorite McKay poem is "America"
   
 
  Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate.
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time's unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

I don't know what my favorite  overall poem would be--certainly "We wear the Mask," "Dream deferred," "And Still I Rise" would all be in the top ten
 
 


Yes, all good choices. If I had to rank the ones you listed I'd probably go: (1) And Still I Rise, (2) America, (3) We Wear the Mask, BIG GAP (4) Dream Deferred - although I like the first three so much it's not like the gap is between good to bad, it's more like super-favorite to very good.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: chlorinated on April 11, 2007, 12:33:43 PM
Feast
by Tomaž Šalamun

By the way of all spheres,
on steep rocks overgrown with segments of color,
covered with chalk that children have broken,
we watch fragments
that keep rising,
compressed as if under the weight of water,
their slow takeoff: a signpost,
white curtains raised.

There is no hardship in breathing
precisely here, in this circle,
no hardship in breathing,
and also onward, ahead, it seems
as if balance is built in, unbreakable;
each time widening caves,
widening and narrowing,
like the activity of an unknown (unimaginable)
respiratory system, magnified under a microscope.

Invalid are nostalgia, night, melancholy,
laughter falling as snow,
everything parallel, everything there that can be
reached from here, all “the way” in between.

We are watching the reactions to this condition,
slowly, step by step, the outer leaves of the artichoke
float away.
We can imprint optional memories of notions.

There was a circle.
There was one just because we could not
use it.

Whatever the notion, they are all concentrically
disposed, far and near.
A freckle that was once an elevator
is a priori a ray, secured by intangibility.
Initiation is incredibly slow work,
similar to the turning of summer, winter, and stars.

Is this about how we have eaten?
Did we make a meal each time?

Enough so that in the process a tiny crack is left
and everything regenerates incredibly fast, and therefore now is.

You who keep a diary of growth and victims,
look!
Maybe many of them can read it,
light falls around,
only here of course nothing falls, it gets out.
The center, the source of energy watched by us
during this procedure, is empty. The cosmos makes the locus vanish,
eats it up. Energy, not consciousness, jumps across, (is)
in the negative. Therefore everything is in something,
what roughly, because of a notion, can be described
as a grain of sand, all space the remainder,
like dust after sawing wood.

On one cubic micron there are endless
galaxies, and each this enormous
space, nights, moons, suns, with constellations
that confound us, compressing our membrane.
The intergalactic and, of course, these
‘injected’ communications, too, are only oppression.

Along this window, in this window
there are innumerable other civilizations,
innumerable other cosmological systems.
Thus suffering does not matter,
layers do.
This is what I show here.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: seb7t on April 11, 2007, 03:17:41 PM


THOSE WINTER SUNDAYS
(by Robert Hayden)


Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

 

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking,

When the rooms were warm, he'd call,

and slowly I would rise and dress,

fearing the chronic angers of that house,

 

Speaking indifferently to him,

who had driven out the cold

and polished my good shoes as well.

What did I know, what did I know

of love's austere and lonely offices?
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Stand under my Umbrella ella ella, aye!! on April 11, 2007, 06:15:47 PM
Common-

Respiration

Yo...on The Amen, Corner I stood lookin at my former hood
Felt the spirit in the wind, knew my friend was gone for good
Threw dirt on the casket, the hurt, I couldn't mask it
Mixin down emotions, struggle I hadn't mastered
I coreograph seven steps to heaven
And hell, waiting to exhale and make the bread leavened
Veteran of a cold war It's Chica-I-go for
What I know or, what's known
So some days I take the bus home, just to touch home
From the crib I spend months gone
Sat by the window with a clutched dome listenin to shorties cuss long
Young girls with weak minds, but they butt strong
Tried to call, or at least beep the Lord, but didn't have a touch-tone
It's a dog-eat-dog world, you gotta mush on
Some of this land I must own
Outta the city, they want us gone
Tearin down the 'jects creatin plush homes
My circumstance is between Cabrini and Love Jones
Surrounded by hate, yet I love home
Ask my God how he thought travellin the world sound
Found it hard to imagine he hadn't been past downtown
It's deep, I heard the city breathe in its sleep
a reality I touch, but for me it's hard to keep
Deep, I heard my man breathe in his sleep
a reality I touch, but for me it's hard to keep
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: P.U.S.H on April 11, 2007, 07:10:25 PM
I loathe writing poetry myself, but love to listen. My friend posted this on FB a few days ago, and I watch it every day.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD-UpHlB9no
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: seb7t on April 12, 2007, 02:02:27 PM
One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day.  Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel.  None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch.  And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones.  And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied.  It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

   -- Elizabeth Bishop





i. LOVE. this. poem.


I think I've earmarked it in 3 different places in my Norton Anthology.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Slim on June 25, 2007, 02:06:01 PM
Beans, beans the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot!
Beans, beans they are good for your heart.
The more you eat, the more you fart.
The more you fart, the more you eat,
The more you sit on the toilet seat!
(http://www.brandflakesforbreakfast.com/uploaded_images/fart%252014-737109.jpg)

 ;)
;)
;)
[move] ;)
;)[/move]
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: . . . on June 25, 2007, 02:31:07 PM
One of my all time favorites:

Hope Is the Thing With Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickinson
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: GoldenAfro on July 31, 2007, 10:02:47 PM
A favorite of mine...
 

Dulce Et Decorum Est
By Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: m, on August 01, 2007, 07:24:48 AM
I Knew a Woman
Roethke

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek.)

How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,
She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and stand;
She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin:
I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand;
She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,
Coming behind her for her pretty sake
(But what prodigious mowing did we make.)

Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:
Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;
She played it quick, she played it light and loose;
My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;
Her several parts could keep a pure repose,
Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose
(She moved in circles, and those circles moved.)

Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:
I'm martyr to a motion not my own;
What's freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:
(I measure time by how a body sways.)
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Slim on August 01, 2007, 09:49:56 AM
Puerto Rican Obituary
Pedro Pietri

They worked
They were always on time
They were never late
They never spoke back
when they were insulted
They worked
They never took days off
that were not on the calendar
They never went on strike
without permission
They worked
ten days a week
and were only paid for five
They worked
They worked
They worked
and they died
They died broke
They died owing
They died never knowing
what the front entrance
of the first national city bank looks like

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
All died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
passing their bill collectors
on to the next of kin
All died
waiting for the garden of eden
to open up again
under a new management
All died
dreaming about america
waking them up in the middle of the night
screaming: Mira Mira
your name is on the winning lottery ticket
for one hundred thousand dollars
All died
hating the grocery stores
that sold them make-believe steak
and bullet-proof rice and beans
All died waiting dreaming and hating

Dead Puerto Ricans
Who never knew they were Puerto Ricans
Who never took a coffee break
from the ten commandments
to KILL KILL KILL
the landlords of their cracked skulls
and communicate with their latino souls

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
From the nervous breakdown streets
where the mice live like millionaires
and the people do not live at all
are dead and were never alive

Juan
died waiting for his number to hit
Miguel
died waiting for the welfare check
to come and go and come again
Milagros
died waiting for her ten children
to grow up and work
so she could quit working
Olga
died waiting for a five dollar raise
Manuel
died waiting for his supervisor to drop dead
so he could get a promotion

Is a long ride
from Spanish Harlem
to long island cemetery
where they were buried
First the train
and then the bus
and the cold cuts for lunch
and the flowers
that will be stolen
when visiting hours are over
Is very expensive
Is very expensive
But they understand
Their parents understood
Is a long non-profit ride
from Spanish Harlem
to long~sland cemetery

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
All died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
Dreaming
Dreaming about queens
Clean-cut lily-white neighborhood
Puerto Ricanless scene
Thirty-thousand-dollar home
The first spics on the block
Proud to belong to a community
of gringos who want them lynched
Proud to be a long distance away
from the sacred phrase: Que Pasa

These dreams
These empty dreams
from the make-believe bedrooms
their parents left them
are the after-effects
of television programs
about the ideal
white american family
with black maids
and latino janitors
who are well train
to make everyone
and their bill collectors
laugh at them
and the people they represent

Juan
died dreaming about a new car
Miguel
died dreaming about new anti-poverty programs
Milagros
died dreaming about a trip to Puerto Rico
Olga
died dreaming about real jewelry
Manuel
died dreaming about the irish sweepstakes

They all died
like a hero sandwich dies
in the garment district
at twelve o'clock in the afternoon
social security number to ashes
union dues to dust

They knew
they were born to weep
and keep the morticians employed
as long as they pledge allegiance
to the flag that wants them destroyed
They saw their names listed
in the telephone directory of destruction
They were train to turn
the other cheek by newspapers
that mispelled mispronounced
and misunderstood their names
and celebrated when death came
and stole their final laundry ticket

They were born dead
and they died dead

Is time
to visit sister lopez again
the number one healer
and fortune card dealer
in Spanish Harlem
She can communicate
with your late relatives
for a reasonable fee
Good news is guaranteed

Rise Table Rise Table
death is not dumb and disable
Those who love you want to know
the correct number to play
Let them know this right away
Rise Table Rise Table
death is not dumb and disable
Now that your problems are over
and the world is off your shoulders
help those who you left behind
find financial peace of mind

Rise Table Rise Table
death is not dumb and disable
If the right number we hit
all our problems will split
and we will visit your grave
on every legal holiday
Those who love you want to know
the correct number to play
Let them know this right away
We know your spirit is able
Death is not dumb and disable
RISE TABLE RISE TABLE

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
All died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
Hating fighting and stealing
broken windows from each other
Practicing a religion without a roof
The old testament
The new testament
according to the gospel
of the internal revenue
the judge and jury and executioner
protector and eternal bill collector

Secondhand *&^% for sale
Learn how to say Como Esta Usted
and you will make a fortune
They are dead
They are dead
and will not return from the dead
until they stop neglecting
the art of their dialogue
for broken english lessons
to impress the mister goldsteins
who keep them employed
as lavaplatos porters messenger boys
factory workers maids stock clerks
shipping clerks assistant mailroom
assistant, assisant assistant
to the assistant's assistant
assistant lavaplatos and automatic
artificial smiling doormen
for the lowest wages of the ages
and rages when you demand a raise
because is against the company policy
to promote SPICS SPICS SPICS

Juan
died hating Miguel because Miguel's
used car was in better running condition
than his used car
Miguel
died hating Milagros because Milagros
had a color television set
and he could not afford one yet
Milagros
died hating Olga because Olga
made five dollars more on the same job
Olga
died hating Manuel because Manuel
had hit the numbers more times
than she had hit the numbers
Manuel
died hating all of them
Juan
Miguel
Milagros
and Olga
because they all spoke broken english
more fluently than he did

And now they are together
in the main lobby of the void
Addicted to silence
Off limits to the wind
Confine to worm supremacy
in long island cemetery
This is the groovy hereafter
the protestant collection box
was talking so loud and proud about

Here lies Juan
Here lies Miguel
Here lies Milagros
Here lies Olga
Here lies Manuel
who died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
Always broke
Always owing
Never knowing
that they are beautiful people
Never knowing
the geography of their complexion

PUERTO RICO IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
PUERTORRIQUENOS ARE A BEAUTIFUL RACE

If only they
had turned off the television
and tune into their own imaginations
If only they
had used the white supremacy bibles
for toilet paper purpose
and make their latino souls
the only religion of their race
If only they
had return to the definition of the sun
after the first mental snowstorm
on the summer of their senses
If only they
had kept their eyes open
at the funeral of their fellow employees
who came to this country to make a fortune
and were buried without underwears

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
will right now be doing their own thing
where beautiful people sing
and dance and work together
where the wind is a stranger
to miserable weather conditions
where you do not need a dictionary
to communicate with your people
Aqui Se Habla Espanol all the time
Aqui you salute your flag first
Aqui there are no dial soap commericals
Aqui everybody smells good
Aqui tv dinners do not have a future
Aqui the men and women admire desire
and never get tired of each other
Aqui Que Paso Power is what's happening
Aqui to be called negrito
means to be called LOVE

That all!?!
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: 2Lacoste on August 01, 2007, 09:51:16 AM
Y porque amor combate
Pablo Neruda


Y PORQUE Amor combate
no sólo en su quemante agricultura,
sino en la boca de hombres y mujeres,
terminaré saliéndole al camino
a los que entre mi pecho y tu fragancia
quieran interponer su planta oscura.

De mí nada más malo
te dirán, amor mio,
de lo que yo te dije.

Yo viví en las praderas
antes de conocerte
y no esperé el amor sino que estuve
acechando y salté sobre la rosa.

Qué más pueden decirte?
No soy bueno ni malo sino un hombre,
y agregarán entonces el peligro
de mi vida, que conoces
y que con tu pasión has compartido.

Y bien, este peligro
es peligro de amor, de amor completo
hacia toda la vida,
hacia todas las vidas,
y si este amor nos trae
la muerte o las prisiones,
yo estoy seguro que tus grandes ojos,
como cuando los beso
se cerrarán entonces con orgullo,
en doble orgullo, amor,
con tu orgullo y el mío.

Pero hacia mis orejas vendrán antes
a socavar la torre
del amor dulce y duro que nos liga,
y me dirán: -"Aquella
que tú amas,
no es mujer para ti,
por qué la quieres? Creo
que podrías hallar una más bella,
más seria, más profunda,
más otra, tú me entiendes, mírala qué ligera,
y qué cabeza tiene,
y mírala cómo se viste
y etcétera y etcétera.”

Y yo en estas líneas digo:
así te quiero, amor,
amor, así te amo,
así corno te vistes
y como se levanta
tu cabellera y como
tu boca se sonríe,
ligera como el agua
del manantial sobre las piedras puras,
así te quiero, amada.

Al pan yo no le pido que me enseñe
sino que no me falte
durante cada día de la vida.

Yo no sé nada de la luz, de dónde
viene ni dónde va,
yo sólo quiero que la luz alumbre,
yo no pido a la noche
explicaciones,
yo la espero y me envuelve,
y así tú, pan y luz
y sombra eres.

Has venido a mi vida
con lo que tú traías,
hecha
de luz y pan y sombra te esperaba,
y así te necesito,
así te amo,
y a cuantos quieran escuchar mañana
lo que no les diré, que aquí lo lean,
y retrocedan hoy porque es temprano
para estos argumentos.

Mañana sólo les daremos
una hoja del árbol de nuestro amor, una hoja
que caerá sobre la tierra
como si la hubieran hecho nuestros labios,
como un beso que cae
desde nuestras alturas invencibles
para mostrar el fuego y la ternura
de un amor verdadero.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: m, on August 01, 2007, 10:46:04 AM
Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out
by Ruchard Siken

I like.

moi aussi
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Gengiswump on August 01, 2007, 10:47:10 AM
Y porque amor combate
Pablo Neruda



Translation, por favor.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: 2Lacoste on August 01, 2007, 10:57:04 AM
beat me to it. thanks.
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Stand under my Umbrella ella ella, aye!! on August 01, 2007, 03:31:56 PM
Y porque amor combate
Pablo Neruda


Translation, por favor.

And because Love fights
not only in its burning agriculture
but in the mouths of men and women,
I shall end up by attacking
those who between my breast and your fragrance
try to interpose their dark foot.
They will tell you nothing
worse about me, my love,
than what I told you.
I lived in the meadows
before I knew you
and I did not wait for love but lay
in ambush and jumped upon the rose.

What more can they tell you?
I am not good or bad, just a man,
and they will then add the danger
of my life, which you know
and which with your passion you have shared.
Well, this danger is
danger of love, of complete love
toward all of life,
toward all lives,
and if this love brings
death or prison,
I am sure that your big eyes,
as when I kiss them,
will then close with pride,
with double pride, my love,
with your pride and mine.
But toward my ears they will first come
to undermine the tower
of the sweet and harsh love that binds us,
and they will say: "That one
that you love
is no woman for you,
why do you love her? I think
you could find one more beautiful,
more serious, more profound,
more other, you understand, look at her how flighty,
and what a head she has,
and look at her how she dresses
and so on and on."
And I in these lines say:
thus I love you, love,
love, thus I love you,
thus as you dress
and as your hair
lifts up and as
your mouth smiles,

light as the water
from the spring upon the pure stones,
thus I love you, beloved.
Of bread I do not ask that it teach me
but that it not fail me
during each day of life.
I know nothing of light, where
it comes from or where it goes,
I only want light to light,
I do not ask explanations
of the night,
I wait for it and it envelops me,
and thus you are, bread
and light and shadow.
You came into my life
with what you brought,
I waited for you,
made of light and bread and shadow,
and thus I need you,
thus I love you,
and all those who want to hear tomorrow
what I shall not tell them, let them read it here,
and let them retreat today because it's too early
for these arguments.
Tomorrow we shall give them only
a leaf from the tree of our love, a leaf
that will fall upon the earth
as if our lips had made it,
like a kiss that falls
from our invincible heights
to show the fire and the tenderness
of a true love.



wish i could read spanish because somethings telling me a bit was lost in translation
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: Smokey on August 04, 2007, 12:05:09 PM
I'm not Lonely - Nikki Giovanni

I'm not lonely
sleeping all alone

you think i'm scared
but i'm a big girl
i don't cry
or anything

i have a great
big bed
to roll around
in and lots of space
and i don't dream
bad dreams
like i used
to have that you
were leaving me
anymore

now that you're gone
i don't dream
and no matter
what you think
i'm not lonely
sleeping
all alone
Title: Re: The Poetry Thread
Post by: daisy1985 on May 21, 2009, 01:58:44 AM
Insaaf ka Khoon (Murder of Justice)
Long live Revolution
 Long Live Revolution
 Unparalleled Revolution
 Unparalleled Revolution
 Revolution! Revolution!

On this side heads for the sacrifice
 And enthusiasm to add,
 From that side tyranny.
 On this side silence,
 Revolution in silence
 Long live Revolution
 Revolution! Revolution!

On that side baton. Practice
 On this side indifference,
 On that side mischief-making (and) excessive bragging
 On this side melting of hearts.
 On that side acts of high-handedness
 It is their doings that will bring about Revolution.
 Revolution! Revolution!

On that side acts of oppression
 On this side starvation
 Source of aspirations.
 Are these revolutionaries
 Who put up with rigours?
 Revolution demands rigours
 Revolution! Revolution!

When Bhagat, Sukhdev and Guru have
 Sacrificed themselves for the nation.
 Many a man will come to ascend the gallows
 Without fear and anxiety.

We want a Revolution
 But fight shy of rigours,
 Revolution of the youth.
 Glorious Revolution.
 The Russian Revolution.
 Asia’s Revolution.
 This Revolution of India,
 Is the Revolution of the world.
 That too was a Revolution
 This too is a Revolution
 Revolution from every side.
 Behold the Revolution is coming,
 Long live revolution.
 Revolution! Revolution! LONG LIVE REVOLUTION.
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