Author Topic: The Official Poetry Thread  (Read 12511 times)

Junior

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Re: The Official Poetry Thread
« Reply #90 on: November 11, 2016, 09:43:40 PM »
By H.D. following WWII.

It is no madness to say
you will fall, you great cities,

(now the cities lie broken);
it is not tragedy, prophecy

from a frozen Priestess,
a lonely Pythoness

who chants, who sings
in broken hexameters,

doom, doom to city gates,
to rulers, to kingdoms;

it is simple reckoning, algebraic,
it is geometry on the wing,

not patterned, a gentian
in an ice-mirror,

yet it is, if you like, a lily
folded like a pyramid,

a flower-cone,
not a heap of skulls;

it is a lily, if you will,
each petal, a kingdom, an aeon,

and it is the seed of a lily
that having flowered,

will flower again;
it is that smallest grain,

the least of all seeds
that grows branches

where the birds rest;
it is that flowering balm,

it is heal-all,
everlasting;

it is the greatest among herbs
and becometh a tree.
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Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: The Official Poetry Thread
« Reply #91 on: May 23, 2017, 03:39:26 AM »
My newspaper recently carried a thought piece that contained this image:



The picture is titled The Fall Of Icarus and was painted by Pieter Brueghel (1525-69) and depicts Icarus falling out of the sky and into the sea after flying too close to the sun. The painting was the inspiration for W.H. Auden's 1938 poem Musee des Beaux Arts:

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

I looked the poem up, the Internet is a formidable thing, as this is a formidable poem summing up how we humans have to handle things to stay sane. And how strange was it to come across this post here?
I might remember it all differently tomorrow.

oneaprilday

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Re: The Official Poetry Thread
« Reply #92 on: May 23, 2017, 12:55:06 PM »
I looked the poem up, the Internet is a formidable thing, as this is a formidable poem summing up how we humans have to handle things to stay sane. And how strange was it to come across this post here?
:)

Love both of those poems - and the painting - so much.

Auden is also referencing, as the piece you read perhaps mentioned, a couple of other Brueghel paintings, which also de-center the important thing:
 
"How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood
"
Census at Bethleham - Mary and Joseph arriving unnoticed:



"They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree
"
Christ Carrying the Cross - Christ/the cross, a tiny element in the middle:

Sandy

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Re: The Official Poetry Thread
« Reply #93 on: May 23, 2017, 01:14:09 PM »
Very interesting! More art and poetry lessons, KOL and OAD!
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