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Moving Examples of the Poetical Art

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Author Topic: Moving Examples of the Poetical Art  (Read 332 times)
« on: September 20, 2009, 08:29:09 am »

Let us make a start with Tennyson's Sailor Boy:

                THE SAILOR BOY

    He rose at dawn and, fired with hope,
        Shot o’er the seething harbour-bar,
    And reach’d the ship and caught the rope,
        And whistled to the morning star.

    And while he whistled long and loud
        He heard a fierce mermaiden cry,
   "O boy, tho' thou are young and proud,
        I see the place where thou wilt lie.

   "The sands and yeasty surges mix
        In caves about the dreary bay,
    And on thy ribs the limpet sticks,
        And in thy heart the scrawl shall play."

   "Fool," he answer'd, "death is sure
        To those that stay and those that roam,
    But I will nevermore endure
        To sit with empty hands at home.

   "My mother clings about my neck,
        My sisters crying, 'Stay for shame!';
    My father raves of death and wreck,
        They are all to blame, they are all to blame.

   "God help me! save I take my part
        Of danger on the roaring sea,
    A devil rises in my heart,
        Far worse than any death to me."
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John Cummins
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2009, 02:21:58 am »

Yes, the rhythm of the refrain scans best only if you know the melody, on that score call it just a lyric. 

I laid on a dune, I looked at the sky,
When the children were babies and played on the beach.
You came up behind me, I saw you go by,
You were always so close and still within reach.

Sara, Sara,
Whatever made you want to change your mind?
Sara, Sara,
So easy to look at, so hard to define.

I can still see them playin' with their pails in the sand,
They run to the water their buckets to fill.
I can still see the shells fallin' out of their hands
As they follow each other back up the hill.

Sara, Sara,
Sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life,
Sara, Sara,
Radiant jewel, mystical wife.

Sleepin' in the woods by a fire in the night,
Drinkin' white rum in a Portugal bar,
Them playin' leapfrog and hearin' about Snow White,
You in the marketplace in Savanna-la-Mar.

Sara, Sara,
It's all so clear, I could never forget,
Sara, Sara,
Lovin' you is the one thing I'll never regret.

I can still hear the sounds of those Methodist bells,
I'd taken the cure and had just gotten through,
Stayin' up for days in the Chelsea Hotel,
Writin' "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" for you.

Sara, Sara,
Wherever we travel we're never apart.
Sara, oh Sara,
Beautiful lady, so dear to my heart.

How did I meet you? I don't know.
A messenger sent me in a tropical storm.
You were there in the winter, moonlight on the snow
And on Lily Pond Lane when the weather was warm.

Sara, oh Sara,
Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress,
Sara, Sara,
You must forgive me my unworthiness.

Now the beach is deserted except for some kelp
And a piece of an old ship that lies on the shore.
You always responded when I needed your help,
You gimme a map and a key to your door.

Sara, oh Sara,
Glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow,
Sara, oh Sara,
Don't ever leave me, don't ever go.

- Bob Dylan, from the album Desire
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John Cummins
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2009, 02:33:46 am »

RS Thomas, The Moor

It was like a church to me.
I entered it on soft foot,
Breath held like a cap in the hand.
It was quiet.
What God was there made himself felt,
Not listened to, in clean colours
That brought a moistening of the eye,
In movement of the wind over grass.

There were no prayers said. But stillness
Of the heart's passions--that was praise
Enough; and the mind's cession
Of its kingdom. I walked on
Simple and poor, while the air crumbled
And broke on me generously as bread.

"Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
'I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
"Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge?" Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. 
Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.' "

[Job 42:1-6 NIV]

The NASB may reflect a bit more the Hebrew original,

 Then Job answered the LORD and said,
    "I know that You can do all things,
        And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
    'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?'
        "Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
        Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."
    'Hear, now, and I will speak;
        I will ask You, and You instruct me.'
    "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
        But now my eye sees You;
    Therefore I retract,
        And I repent in dust and ashes."

"... this is what Yahweh has told me,
  'I shall sit here quietly looking down,
  like the burning heat in the daytime,
  like a dewy mist in the heat of harvest.' "
[Isaiah 18:4 New Jerusalem Bible]
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 05:49:56 pm by abu ain » Report Spam   Logged
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 09:15:39 am »

I want to appologize for putting my previous poem in the wrong thread .

Maybe administrator can move it here.

Here is another example of poetryby Desmond Egan

It is published in Voronezh and I have both Russian and English text .

that morning in intensive care
light falling from april across the quietness
of two other empty beds their curtains

as we talked about early days he
began for no reason to weep
great shuddering male sobs
to himself

my father
it was nearly as shocking
as that black blood
4.30 a.m. the morning he went


and even yet
even this wet windy August day I want
to throw my arms around you shield you

I who have no shield

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