glaukopis: Painting: Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (Default)
Choose any and all that apply.

The Trees
Philip Larkin

The trees are coming into leaf

Like something almost being said;

The recent buds relax and spread,

Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again

And we grow old?

No, they die too,

Their yearly trick of looking new

Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh

In fullgrown thickness every May.

Last year is dead, they seem to say,

Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
glaukopis: Painting: Lady of Shalott (shalott)
Over at Terri Windling's blog, it's Poetry Challenge Week, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Yesterday's theme was Red Riding Hood; I dashed off this contribution. Today's theme is Rapunzel, which doesn't really grab me, but--who knows?--may inspire you.
glaukopis: Painting: Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (Default)
born 19.6.32—deported 24.9.42

Undesireable you may have been, untouchable
you were not. Not forgotten
or passed over at the proper time.

As estimated, you died. Things marched,
sufficient, to that end.
Just so much Zyklon and leather, patented
terror, so many routine cries.

(I have made
an elegy for myself it
is true)

September fattens on vines. Roses
flake from the wall. The smoke
of harmless fires drifts to my eyes.

This is plenty. This is more than enough.
glaukopis: Painting: Lady of Shalott (shalott)
I took some chalk and wrote H. D.'s "Oread" on a concrete wall by the exterior stairwell of the humanities building. Today I went back and wrote Sappho 105c. I have no idea what anyone who saw me thought I was doing; likely they didn't think about it at all, or assumed I was just putting up something for the student senate candidates.

This year the Academy of American Poets is sponsoring something they call the Dear Poet Project. Send a letter to one of the Academy chancellors, commenting on a poem of theirs, and they might even write back. I found myself composing a missive to Edward Hirsch about "What the Last Evening Will Be Like." I realized too late that my handwriting was horribly small and cramped, and I imagine I sounded rather pretentious, but I really was struck by how the poem draws the reader in. (No idea if early twenties still counts as a "young person," or if the Academy is thinking of twelfth graders at most.)
glaukopis: Woman in classical dress (classics)
If you had asked me, I would have said that Patroclus is the only character Homer addresses in the second person--and I would have been wrong. He does the same with Menelaus in 17.702-704:

οὐδ' ἄρα σοὶ Μενέλαε διοτρεφὲς ἤθελε θυμὸς
τειρομένοις ἑτάροισιν ἀμυνέμεν, ἔνθεν ἀπῆλθεν
Ἀντίλοχος, μεγάλη δὲ ποθὴ Πυλίοισιν ἐτύχθη . . .

I can't immediately say what the significance of this is (that's not my topic!), but it's an interesting note along the way.