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Category Archive: poetry

Apr 11 2009

Poem o’ the Day

I’ve meant to read William Blake ever since Bruce Dickinson (yes, that Bruce Dickinson, from Iron Maiden) did a concept album around his works. I suppose National Poetry Month would be the time to start, eh? The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is one of those strange, dark journeys into the mystical Romantic mind you …

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Apr 10 2009

Poem o’ the Day

Robert Burns is one of the first poets I fell in love with. Most of what we were exposed to in school consisted of insipid love poems, deadly dull 19th Century prattle, and all of the other great classics that had all the personality of a beige wall. So an earthy Scot was a welcome …

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Apr 09 2009

Poem o’ the Day

It took me a while to develop a taste for ancient Greek poetry, but that was probably because the shite we’re spoon-fed in school is poorly-translated, bowdlerized pablum, inoffensive to all but the most frothing of fundies. Take Sappho. I don’t remember much of Sappho, except thinking she was horribly overrated. Well, what do you …

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Apr 08 2009

Poem o’ the Day

As the Joker once so memorably said in the Animated Batman, “Who’s for Chinese?” I’m in the mood for a trip up Cold Mountain. And I’ve even got more than one translation to choose from. Han-shan, as you’ll see, was a fantastic poet with a quirky sense of humor. Nobody knows who he really was, …

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Apr 07 2009

Poem o’ the Day

I meant to save Neil Gaiman for later in the month, and I’ll likely do another of his poems later on – he writes in a variety of poetic forms that make an author strain and contort delightfully, like doing good yoga. But NP posted a poem that put me in mind of “Locks,” and …

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Apr 06 2009

Poem o’ the Day

A taste of Spain today, with two delights from Federico Garcia Lorca, translated by A.S. Kline. Ballad of the Small Plaza Singing of childrenin the night silence:Light of the stream, andcalm of the fountain! THE CHILDRENWhat does your heart hold,divine in its gladness? MYSELFA peal from the belltower,lost in the dimness. THE CHILDRENYou leave us …

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Apr 05 2009

Poem o’ the Day

Today’s poem comes from W.H. Auden, one of my all-time favorite poets. He’s probably best-known now for “Funeral Blues,” which featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral. This one fits rather well with the Sunday Science theme. After Reading a Child’s Guide to Modern Physics If all a top physicist knowsAbout the Truth be true,Then, …

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Apr 04 2009

Poem o’ the Day

Ben Jonson, contemporary of Shakespeare, lost his infant son. From that tragedy emerged one of the most beautiful poems about living and dying ever written. It seems appropriate now, with news of Andy Hallett’s death: The Noble Nature It is not growing like a tree In bulk, doth make man better be; Or standing long …

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Apr 03 2009

Poem o’ the Day

Something Turkish today, I think. There’s a particular beauty in Turkish poetry that’s a lot like their coffee: strong, rich, and lingering. Ahmed Arif remains one of the best poets of the 20th Century. Here’s just a taste: MY UNFORGETTABLE ONE You bloomed,Blue and green,In my loneliness.You bloomed,Bright red, speckled and pure;I could rise above …

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Apr 02 2009

Poem o’ the Day

In honor of National Poetry Month, I shall post one poem daily. Let’s warm up by beginning with something short: All around me darkness gathers,Fading is the sun that shone; We must speak of other matters:You can be me when I’m gone. -Neil Gaiman, from The Kindly Ones If I remember rightly, this beautiful and …

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