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 Post subject: Poetry
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:48 am 
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There is something inescapably beautiful about the first stanza of Tennyson's "Tithonus".

Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote:
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-haired shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:57 am 
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I need to figure out how to read poetry. But that is beautiful.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:08 pm 
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I've never learned how to read poetry properly in English (I probably should), but I'm a huge fan of French, Latin, and Ancient Greek poetry.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Isn't it basically the same in every language? Know every definition of every word in the poem, have your eyes open for pleasing figures, echoes, resonances, allusions.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:32 pm 
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Maybe? I have no idea how scansion works in English. For Latin and Greek, poetry is read/scanned based on vowels and their position in words relatives to consonants; vowels are either long or short naturally or by position.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:02 pm 
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The fifth edition of the Norton Anthology of Poetry (essential for any library) includes two good essays, one on versification and the other on poetic syntax.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:41 pm 
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John Berryman wrote:
There sat down once a thing on Henry’s heart
só heavy, if he had a hundred years
& more, & weeping, sleepless, in all them time
Henry could not make good.
Starts again always in Henry’s ears
the little cough somewhere, an odor, a chime.

And there is another thing he has in mind
like a grave Sienese face a thousand years
would fail to blur the still profiled reproach of. Ghastly,
with open eyes, he attends, blind.
All the bells say: too late. This is not for tears;
thinking.

But never did Henry, as he thought he did,
end anyone and hacks her body up
and hide the pieces, where they may be found.
He knows: he went over everyone, & nobody’s missing.
Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up.
Nobody is ever missing.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:42 am 
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I have found my scripture for this next chapter of my life, thank you.

Walt Whitman, in the introduction to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass wrote:
Who troubles himself about his ornaments or fluency is lost. This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. . . . . . . . The poet shall not spend his time in unneeded work. He shall know that the ground is always ready ploughed and manured . . . . others may not know it but he shall. He shall go directly to the creation. His trust shall master the trust of everything he touches . . . . and shall master all attachment.

The known universe has one complete lover and that is the greatest poet. He consumes an eternal passion and is indifferent which chance happens and which possible contingency of fortune or misfortune and persuades daily and hourly his delicious pay. What balks or breaks others is fuel for his burning progress to contact and amorous joy. Other proportions of the reception of pleasure dwindle to nothing to his proportions. All expected from heaven or from the highest he is rapport with in the sight of the daybreak or a scene of the winter woods or the presence of children playing or with his arm round the neck of a man or woman. His love above all love has leisure and expanse . . . . he leaves room ahead of himself. He is no irresolute or suspicious lover . . . he is sure . . . he scorns intervals. His experience and the showers and thrills are not for nothing. Nothing can jar him . . . . suffering and darkness cannot—death and fear cannot. To him complaint and jealousy and envy are corpses buried and rotten in the earth . . . . he saw them buried. The sea is not surer of the shore or the shore of the sea than he is of the fruition of his love and of all perfection and beauty.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:23 pm 
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Here are some notes I took after reading the chapter on Whitman in Harold Bloom's The Western Canon. They are helping me greatly to better understand the poet, or at least Bloom's resonant interpretation of him.

I wrote:
WHITMAN'S PSYCHIC CARTOGRAPHY

SOUL – his character, his ethos; his darker side, estranged, unknown nature, a blank; it acts.

SELF – personality, pathos, persona, mask; endlessly shifting series of identifications, suffers (even if pleasurable suffering, suffering high/low); one of the roughs, an aggressive male; capable of free relations with the soul.

THE REAL ME/ ME MYSELF – nuanced, feminine; identifies with quartet of night, with death, with the mother, with the sea; a known realm, the faculty of knowing, Gnostic capacity to know even as one is known; withdrawn from competition and too easy an Eros; stands apart but not isolated; incredibly graceful in stance, open to immediacy but detached from it; at once a player and a fan; enters into only a master/slave relationship with the soul.

The personality (SELF) has a masochistic urge toward his unfathomable character (SOUL) which could in turn be compelled (by an unknown agent) to be subservient to the detached, turned-away authentic self (REAL ME). Whitman rejects both postures.

“The Sleepers” and “As I Ebb’d with the Ocean of Life” concern the Real Me/Me Myself. “Lilacs” is overwhelmingly of Real Me/Me Myself, but drives toward “tally of my soul”.

Song of Myself gives account of relations between soul and two selves:

Soul rapes Me Myself in sections 28-30.

Soul’s humiliation towards otherness within self in section 38.

^These crises contrast with metaphorical semiunion of Soul and Self in section 5.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:36 pm 
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ah, i just ordered that book off amazon. interesting notes, dreww.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:20 am 
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It's a pretty good book. A lot of it is blather, a lot of it is impenetrable. A lot of the time he doesn't really develop an argument but simply digresses from one series of associated assertions to another. But for all these problems, he is excellent at recommending great works to read and giving his own rather idiosyncratic explanations for why they are great.

Anyway, more Leaves of Grass highlights...

Walt Whitman wrote:
Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet . . . . the effect upon me of my early life . . . . of the
. . . ward and city I live in . . . . of the nation,
The latest news . . . . discoveries, inventions, societies . . . . authors
. . . old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, business, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks—or of myself . . . . or ill-doing . . . .
. . . or loss or lack of money . . . . or depressions or exaltations,
They come to me days and night and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is erect, bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looks with its sidecurved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game, and watching and wondering at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with
. . . linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments . . . . I witness and wait.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:57 am 
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Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:30 am 
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this is my favorite book of poetry, actually, one of my favorite books, period

Image

it is good, it is super straightforward but still has beautiful words, you don't need to be a regular reader of poetry to "get" it, you can just read it and it is chill. he talks a lot about nature, but not just in a "here's me describing a beautiful landscape" kind of way, which i like.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:36 am 
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Amazing cover now must acquire its book also.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:36 am 
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Dreww wrote:
I have found my scripture for this next chapter of my life, thank you.

Walt Whitman, in the introduction to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass wrote:
Who troubles himself about his ornaments or fluency is lost. This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. . . . . . . . The poet shall not spend his time in unneeded work. He shall know that the ground is always ready ploughed and manured . . . . others may not know it but he shall. He shall go directly to the creation. His trust shall master the trust of everything he touches . . . . and shall master all attachment.

The known universe has one complete lover and that is the greatest poet. He consumes an eternal passion and is indifferent which chance happens and which possible contingency of fortune or misfortune and persuades daily and hourly his delicious pay. What balks or breaks others is fuel for his burning progress to contact and amorous joy. Other proportions of the reception of pleasure dwindle to nothing to his proportions. All expected from heaven or from the highest he is rapport with in the sight of the daybreak or a scene of the winter woods or the presence of children playing or with his arm round the neck of a man or woman. His love above all love has leisure and expanse . . . . he leaves room ahead of himself. He is no irresolute or suspicious lover . . . he is sure . . . he scorns intervals. His experience and the showers and thrills are not for nothing. Nothing can jar him . . . . suffering and darkness cannot—death and fear cannot. To him complaint and jealousy and envy are corpses buried and rotten in the earth . . . . he saw them buried. The sea is not surer of the shore or the shore of the sea than he is of the fruition of his love and of all perfection and beauty.


Dear God that is stunning. I literally got chills reading it.
This instantly put me in a better mood.


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