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Old 12-13-2015, 10:12 AM   #61 (permalink)
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That's a lovely thing, Soberp. Heaney has a real gift.
Yes, and I think I have a new favorite poet He's amazingly good.
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:17 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Who knew that in my 50s I'd fall in love with Wordsworth?

But speedily an earnest longing rose
To brace myself to some determined aim,
Reading or thinking; either to lay up
New stores, or rescue from decay the old
By timely interference: and therewith
Came hopes still higher, that with outward life
I might endue some airy phantasies
That had been floating loose about for years,
And to such beings temperately deal forth
The many feelings that oppressed my heart.
That hope hath been discouraged; welcome light
Dawns from the east, but dawns to disappear
And mock me with a sky that ripens not
Into a steady morning: if my mind,
Remembering the bold promise of the past,
Would gladly grapple with some noble theme,
Vain is her wish; where'er she turns she finds
Impediments from day to day renewed.


Such impediments to writing The Great Poem he aspired to, he could only write its Prelude -- 14 books in blank verse.

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Old 01-02-2016, 12:38 PM   #63 (permalink)
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"The Mercy" by Philip Levine from The Mercy. © Knopf, 2000. Reprinted with permission.

The ship that took my mother to Ellis Island
eighty-three years ago was named “The Mercy.”
She remembers trying to eat a banana
without first peeling it and seeing her first orange
in the hands of a young Scot, a seaman
who gave her a bite and wiped her mouth for her
with a red bandana and taught her the word,
“orange,” saying it patiently over and over.
A long autumn voyage, the days darkening
with the black waters calming as night came on,
then nothing as far as her eyes could see and space
without limit rushing off to the corners
of creation. She prayed in Russian and Yiddish
to find her family in New York, prayers
unheard or misunderstood or perhaps ignored
by all the powers that swept the waves of darkness
before she woke, that kept “The Mercy” afloat
while smallpox raged among the passengers
and crew until the dead were buried at sea
with strange prayers in a tongue she could not fathom.
“The Mercy,” I read on the yellowing pages of a book
I located in a windowless room of the library
on 42nd Street, sat thirty-one days
offshore in quarantine before the passengers
disembarked. There a story ends. Other ships
arrived, “Tancred” out of Glasgow, “The Neptune”
registered as Danish, “Umberto IV,”
the list goes on for pages, November gives
way to winter, the sea pounds this alien shore.
Italian miners from Piemonte dig
under towns in western Pennsylvania
only to rediscover the same nightmare
they left at home. A nine-year-old girl travels
all night by train with one suitcase and an orange.
She learns that mercy is something you can eat
again and again while the juice spills over
your chin, you can wipe it away with the back
of your hands and you can never get enough.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:08 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Thanks, jennie. Just when I needed you. xxoo
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:00 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Be beautiful, readers.

Quote:
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:41 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Thank you xx
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:58 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Suicides

by Faith Shearin

There was the one who walked into a river
with her pockets full of stones and the one
who started her car with the garage door closed,
determined to drive herself elsewhere.
The youngest went into the kitchen
and placed her head where she had
so often placed chickens or hams.
These were the women whose voices
I carried in my backpacks, whose books
moved with me from one city to another
and, one day, I realized I had outlived
all of them. I was sad that they could
not describe the other world,
that they offered no map to old age.
Was it dangerous to write? I began
to walk more carefully beside rivers,
to eat cold food, to let someone else
back the car out of the driveway.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:05 AM   #68 (permalink)
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The Cossacks

by Linda Pastan


For Jews, the Cossacks are always coming.
Therefore I think the sun spot on my arm
is melanoma. Therefore I celebrate
New Year’s Eve by counting
my annual dead.

My mother, when she was dying,
spoke to her visitors of books
and travel, displaying serenity
as a form of manners, though
I could tell the difference.

But when I watched you planning
for a life you knew
you’d never have, I couldn’t explain
your genuine smile in the face
of disaster. Was it denial

laced with acceptance? Or was it
generations of being English—
Brontë’s Lucy in Villette
living as if no fire raged
beneath her dun-colored dress.

I want to live the way you did,
preparing for next year’s famine with wine
and music as if it were a ten-course banquet.
But listen: those are hoofbeats
on the frosty autumn air.



"The Cossacks" by Linda Pastan from The Last Uncle. © Norton, 2003.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:06 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Courage, I'll probably be posting more in here over the next few days and weeks. I get quiet, and live through others' comforting words when I'm petrified, lol. And right now, I'm petrified by fear. Surgery is on Tuesday.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:19 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Surgery is on Tuesday.
I didn't know it was so soon!

Overheard in a coffeeshop this a.m.: "Once a Marine, always a Marine." Same with a survivor, which you are. You'll come through this with gold stars!!

Post away, and I'll try to keep up with you.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:00 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Beautiful poems.

((((SP)))) I thought it must be coming up very soon. It will be okay. They know what they are doing. For them, it's just another day at the office - they are that confident in their abilities. Remember the reassuring words your lovely doctor said to you. I will stop in and support you too xxxx
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:39 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Henri Cole

Free Dirt

My house is mine:
the choice of menu,
the radio and television,
the unpolished floors,
the rumpled sheets.

It’s like being inside
a rolltop desk. I have
no maid who takes care
of me. Sometimes,
during breakfast,

I speak French with
a taxidermied wren.
There is no debt
between us. We listen
to language tapes:

Viens-tu du ciel profound (Baudelaire)?
Always, I hear a little oratorio
inside my head. Moths
have carried away my carpets,
like invisible pallbearers.

I like invisibleness,
except in the moon’s strong,
broad rays. Some nights,
I ask her paleness, Will I be okay?
I am weak and fruitless at night,

like a piece of meat with eyes,
but in the morning optimistic again,
like a snowflake that has traveled
many miles and many years
to be admired on the kitchen pane.

Alone, I guzzle
and litter and urinate
and shout. Please do not
wake me from this dream,
making meals from discrete

objects—a sweet potato,
a jar of marmalade,
a bottle of sauvignon blanc.
Today, I saw a sign
in majuscule for FREE DIRT

and thought, We all have
chapters we’d rather keep
unpublished, in which we
get down with the swirl.
The little wren perched on my

finger weighs almost nothing,
just nails and beak. But it
gives me tiny moments—
here at my kitchen table—
like a diaphanous chorus

mewling something
about love, or the haze
of love, a haze that makes
me squint-eyed and sick
if I think too much about it.

What am I but this flensed
syntax, sight and sound,
in which my heart, not
insulated yet, makes
ripple effects down the line?
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:47 AM   #73 (permalink)
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It will be okay. They know what they are doing. For them, it's just another day at the office - they are that confident in their abilities. Remember the reassuring words your lovely doctor said to you.
This is quite comforting, thanks TS.

Yes, it really is like another day at the office for them, isn't it? And he is such a calming presence. Strong, calm demeanor. He said it'd likely be that I experience things as "discomfort" rather than pain. But, who knows. I'll sort of prepare myself for anything, if that can be done.

I am oddly calm today, at less than 48 hours before surgery.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:50 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Soberp, dip into poetry closely from time to time today. I have to run now but will check in later. ((J))
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:55 AM   #75 (permalink)
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What am I but this flensed
syntax, sight and sound,
^^
perfect word choices, I think
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:00 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Just googled 'flense'....cool word :-)

I think the fact that you are feeling calmer closer to the day is telling. I know this is hippie talk, but I do believe that we intuit whether there is anything to be afraid of. Just think - this time next week it will all be over and you will be well on your way to recovery. You will also have achieved what you set out to. Don't forget to think about the results you are looking forward to :-)
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:56 PM   #77 (permalink)
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(((Potamus))) Thinking of you. It will all be okay. Bet my bottom dollar xxxxx
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:57 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:57 PM   #79 (permalink)
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I feel like yelling and screaming a bit.

Also feel like running a marathon!

Just nuts right now.

Thanks for your wonderful support, Tooshabby and Courage!
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:18 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Jennie, I hope you see this if you're sleepless tonight. I wrote it a long time ago. It kind of comforted me then:

Go to sleep go directly to sleep
Do not pass God do not weep
Shut your eyes from sight

Shut your ears from the sound of violins
And voices in subway tunnels
And trains clattering on the tracks

Let the earth embrace you
Let the soil stop up the flow of words from your mouth
Words of moan or delight
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