ur fvrit lns in poitree

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Papal Bull
ur fvrit lns in poitree


Papal Bull

Prolly one of my favourite poem ever is Invictus by Henley, in particular the second stanza:

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


What be yourns?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Sonnet 116 - Will Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

My best friend read it at my wedding.





To Charles Chaplin
The well you invite us to drink of
is one that no drop may be bought of.
You think of what all of us think of
but nobody else could have thought of. - Piet Hein, Grooks 4


Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Dennis Lee, Bubblegum Delicious:

Bubblegum delicious,
Bubblegum delight,
Bubblegum delovely
In the middle of the night.

Wrap you up in bubble wrap
Wrap you up in gum
Wrap you up in wonderful
'Cause you're the special one.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Nice. Love the Dennis Lee! I've been reading some Ginsberg lately:



re you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.

Hard to pick a good passage, but that will do in a pinch.

And Wallace Stevens:


The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.


When I have fears that I may cease to be
      Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
    Before high piled books, in charactry,
  Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
  Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
  Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
  That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
  Of unreflecting love; -- then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

-John Keats

autoworker autoworker's picture


Where true Love burns Desire is Love's pure flame;

It is the reflex of our earthly frame,

That takes it's meaning from the nobler part,

And but translates the language of the heart.

--Samuel Taylor Coleridge


The usual sort of stuff:



I wish Leonard Cohen respected the boycott.  Then I could share this:

With Annie gone,
whose eyes to compare
with the morning sun?

Not that I did compare,
But I do compare
Now that she's gone.



Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I love this poem with all my heart--and Maysie posted it on her fb wall recently so I think she's partial to it to:


somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

— e.e. cummings


Al Purdy Home-Made Beer

I was justly annoyed 10 years ago
in Vancouver: making beer in a crock
under the kitchen table when this
next-door youngster playing with my own
kid managed to sit down in it and
emerged with one end malted-
With excessive moderating I yodelled
at him
          "Keep your ass out of my beer!"
           and the little monster fled-
Whereupon my wife appeared from the bathroom
where she'd been brooding for days
over the injustice of being a woman and
attacked me with a broom-
With commendable savoir faire I broke
the broom across my knee (it hurt too) and
then she grabbed the breadknife and made
for me with fairly obvious intentions-
I tore open my shirt and told her calmly
with bared breast and a minimum of boredom
          "Go ahead! Strike! Go ahead!"
Icicles dropped from her fiery eyes as she snarled
          "I wouldn't want to go to jail
           for killing a thing like you!"
I could see at once that she loved me
tho it was cleverly concealed-
For the next few weeks I had to distribute
the meals she prepared among neighbouring
dogs because of the rat poison and
addressed her as Missus Borgia-
That was a long time ago and while
at the time I deplored her lack of
self-control I find myself sentimental
about it now for it can never happen again-


Sept. 22, 1964: PS, I was wrong-

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

You need to work on your scansion, Smith. Purdy's poem is perfect (mostly) pentameter.


I did notice that (and actually checked to see if there was a rhyme hidden in there), but then I remembered that it sure didn't come out that way when he read the piece.


Seeing as Purdy has kicked the last vestiges of meter out along with those beer-stealing kids, I assume we're ready for this:


Then outspake medical Dick to his comrade medical Davy.
Christicle, who's this excrement yellow gospeller on the Merrion hall?

Elijah is coming! Washed in the blood of the Lamb. Come on you
winefizzling, ginsizzling, booseguzzling existences! Come on, you
dog-gone, bullnecked, beetlebrowed, hogjowled, peanutbrained, weaseleyed
fourflushers, false alarms and excess baggage! Come on, you triple extract
of infamy! Alexander J Christ Dowie, that's my name, that's yanked to
glory most half this planet from Frisco beach to Vladivostok. The Deity
aint no nickel dime bumshow. I put it to you that He's on the square and a
corking fine business proposition. He's the grandest thing yet and don't you
forget it. Shout salvation in King Jesus. You'll need to rise precious early
you sinner there, if you want to diddle the Almighty God. Pflaaaap! Not


half. He's got a coughmixture with a punch in it for you, my friend, in his
back pocket. Just you try it on.      

James Joyce



Catchfire said: You need to work on your scansion, Smith. Purdy's poem is perfect (mostly) pentameter.

Most lines seem to be in tetrameter, with a generous scattering of paeonic feet. (Ha! I knew I'd get to say that one day.)

Anyhoo, two Hallmark-y but heartfelt poems by American poets that I must confess to loving:

Conscientious Objector, by Edna St Vincent Millay

I shall die, but
that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall;
I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle
while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself:
I will not give him a leg up.

Though he flick my shoulders with his whip,
I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where
the black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
I am not on his pay-roll.

I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends
nor of my enemies either.
Though he promise me much,
I will not map him the route to any man's door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living,
that I should deliver men to Death?
Brother, the password and the plans of our city
are safe with me; never through me

Shall you be overcome.

(Cynthia Ozick said Millay's name was the only real poem she ever wrote. But then she's a would-be highbrow writing agonized prose that strains for effect.)

And an untitled one (as usual) by e e cummings, who seems to be the early favourite to be blue-eyed boy in this forum.

dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)

trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)

honor the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at this wedding)

never mind a world
with its villains and heroes
(for god loves girls and tomorrow
and the earth)

Those last two lines would make Richard Dawkins at least wish to be a believer.



Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Ok, you had me at e.e.

But you show me a paeon in the English language and I'll buy whatever bridge you have for sale (obviously Hopkins doesn't count--I said "English").


A Limerick has meter precise
First two lines which use iambs - thrice
The next two are short
the two-iamb sort
If you change it the rhythms not nice


Catchfire said:

But you show me a paeon in the English language and I'll buy whatever bridge you have for sale.

It's a fair cop, guv. I should have said there was a whole lotta dactyls goin on.

But I'll give you your paeons:

When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Mr Kipling and I have a lovely little bridge in Brooklyn, all mod cons, sleeps hundreds,all offers considered.


And just a short note on scansion-related topics:

Does anyone remember the short-lived vogue (in geek circles) for double dactyls? Poems always had to start "Higgledy Piggledy" followed by a name, as in:

Higgledy piggledy, St Athanasius
Riffled through volumes in unseemly haste,
Trying to find out if (hagiographically)
John of Jerusalem liked almond paste.

There's probably a web site devoted to them, but I'd rather rely on human memory here.


Papal Bull

My first introduction to Rumi was in high school when I read K.S. Robinson's 'Mars' series. In Red Mars a character bumps into some Martian Sufis and this poem cropped up. I've loved it ever since.


I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels bless'd; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e'er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones,
To Him we shall return.


I cannot find [url=http://www.poetrypei.com/audio/manure] this [/url] online anywhere to quote, but it is a link to a podcast of the poet's reading.

It is Hugh MacDonald's wonderful poem "Manure". He is currently poet laureate of PEI. Love it.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
That this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda, "I do not love you"


ikosmos ikosmos's picture

a poet's response to the prospect of war.

Osama bin Laden. (with a nod to Dr. Seuss)

Osama bin Laden.
(whispering) Osama bin Laden.

bin Laden am i.

That Osama bin Laden!
That Osama bin Laden!
I do not like that Osama bin Laden!

Do you like the Taliban?

I do not like them, Osama bin Laden.
I do not like the Taliban.

Would you like them here or there?

I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like the Taliban.
I do not like them, Osama bin Laden.

Would you bomb Jalalabad?
Would you bomb Islamabad?

I will bomb Jalalabad.
And I will bomb Islamabad.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I will eliminate the Taliban.
I do not like them, Osama bin Laden.

Have you bombed Baghdad?
Have you bombed Belgrade?

I have bombed Baghdad.
And I have bombed Belgrade.
And I will bomb Jalalabad.
And I will bomb Islamabad.
And I will bomb Kabul.
And I will bomb Kandahar.
I will bomb the Taliban here or there.
I will bomb them anywhere.
I do not like the Taliban.
I do not like them, Osama bin Laden.

Would you bomb Hiroshima?
Could you bomb Hirioshima?
Blast them! Blast them! Here they are!!

I have bombed Hiroshima.

You will like it, you will see.
You would bomb Nagasaki!!

I have bombed Nagasaki.
And I have bombed Hiroshima.
I will not let them be!
I have bombed Baghdad.
And I have bomed Belgrade.
And I will bomb Jalalabad.
And I will bomb Islamabad.
I will bomb them here or there.
I will bomb them anywhere.
I do not like the Taliban.
I do not like them, Osama bin Laden.

Hanoi! Hanoi! Hanoi! Hanoi!
Could you, would you, bomb Hanoi?!

I have bombed Hanoi!
And I have bombed Nagasaki!
And I have bombed Hiroshima!
Osama bin - no one gets away from me!

I could bomb, did bomb, old Baghdad.
I did bomb, could bomb, old Belgrade.
I will bomb, shall bomb, Islamabad.
I shall bomb, will bomb, Jalalabad.
I will bomb them here and there.
I will bomb them everywhere!
I do not like the Taliban.
I'll kill them all, Osama bin!

eh? On the Moon? There on the Moon!
Would you, could you, bomb the Moon?

I would bomb, could bomb, on the Moon.

Would you, could you, bomb Kabul?

I would bomb, could bomb, old Kabul.
Bomb the Moon. Bomb Hanoi.
Bomb Hiroshima. Bomb Nagasaki.
I will bomb them to a flea!
I will bomb Jalalabad.
For I have bombed Belgrade.
I will bomb Islamabad.
For I have bombed old Baghdad.
I will bomb them here or there.
I will bomb and bomb and bomb everywhere!

You do not like the Taliban?

I do not like them, Osama bin Laden.

Could you bomb on Yom Kippur?
Would you bomb on Christmas Day?
Would you bomb Guatama Buddha?
Could you bomb on Ramadan?

I could bomb on Yom Kippur.
And I would bomb on Christmas Day.
And I could bomb on Ramadan.

But it was the Taliban who bombed
Guatama Buddha, Osama bin Laden.

I will bomb Kabul. And I have bombed Hanoi.
I can bomb the Moon.
And I have bombed Nagasaki.
Hiroshima! My list goes on and on.
For I have bombed Baghdad.
And I have bombed Belgrade.
Yes I will bomb Jalalabad.
And I will bomb Islamabad.
You know the rest, Osama bin...
I will bomb here and there.
I will bomb EVERYWHERE!!
I do not like the Taliban!
And I don't like you either,
Osama bin!

You don't like the Taliban.
And you don't like Osama bin.
You have bombed Baghdad.
And you have bombed Belgrade.
One day you will bomb yourself
And nothing left, our earth will die.

Osama bin Laden. Perhaps you're right.
I will not bomb. I will not kill.
I'll wait and see. I will not fight.
I'm not as mad as you.

No, I won't bomb the Taliban.
One day you'll pay, Osama bin.
And I won't bomb Guatama Buddha.
And I won't bomb on Ramadan.
And I won't bomb on Yom Kippur.
And I won't bomb on Christmas Day.

No, I won't bomb Kabul.
Not the Moon. Not Hanoi.
Never again Hiroshima.
No never no more Nagasaki.
All life is precious and good, you see!

I will not bomb Baghdad.
I will not bomb Belgrade.
I will not bomb Jalalabad.
I will not bomb Islamabad.
I will not bomb here or there.
I will not bomb ANYWHERE!

I will not bomb the Taliban
all life is precious
Osama bin Laden...
even yours.

by ikosmos, a kosmos, of Toronto the son.

published on babble 27 Sept. 2001