New England has a pretty big collection of native poets, of which Emily Dickenson was one. This poem so reminded me of this valley, with its hill and valleys and the mist over of the river. A good poem for summertime.
by Edward Lear
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’
Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there, in a wood, a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
I don’t think anyone could say it better and certainly not in rhyme.
He’s up there on the platform acting crass and disagreeable.
That he will bring the whole world down around him is foreseeable.
Every single day I hope and pray for his quiescence,
but, alas, refraining from brash speech is not his essence.
He opens mouth and words fall out—disjointed, vague and dense.
He’d make a great orator if only he made sense.
Good that his mother cannot see the travesty she bore—
narcissistic, senseless, and rotten to the core.
His attempts at humor only render him more silly.
His stench sickening and cloying—like an Easter lily.
He’s like a wild animal: vicious, cunning, feral.
What more can he do to put our whole wide world in peril?
No good can be said of him. He’s rotten through and through.
Daily, the world waits for him to drop the other shoe.
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I tell people I don’t like poetry. That’s not exactly true. I do like poetry. I like funny poems, I like poems that remind me of things that were important but have faded in memory. I don’t like my own poetry, even though when I was a teenager, I wrote a lot of it. I have to admit to a youthful passion for Ferlinghetti and ee cummings. Also, T.S. Eliot and occasionally, Ezra Pound, especially when they weren’t taking themselves too seriously.
And because he was so very much New England’s own poet, Robert Frost. We even have an Eisenstadt (original) photograph of him in the house. Garry interviewed him during his last years. He understood this strange part of the world and the crazy people who live here. He understood the woods and the rocks and the roots and the snow.
Today, however, I am treating you to a T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” which opens with a line to which at long last, we can all relate: April is the cruellest month.
It has been a cruel month and sadly, although we have slid into May, the cruelty has not finished with us. When T.S. Eliot wasn’t writing about cats, he was not an easy read.
FOR EZRA POUND
IL MIGLIOR FABBRO
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.
Come, Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release,
The indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof shield me from out the press
Of those fierce darts
Despair at me doth throw!
Oh, make in me those civil wars to cease!—
I will good tribute pay if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf of noise and blind of light,
A rosy garland, and a weary head;
And if these things, as being thine in right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Livelier than elsewhere, Stella’s image see.
Sir Philip Sidney
– – –
Note: If you are reading this sonnet out loud, “press” in Elizabethan English was pronounced “preese” to rhyme with release. Or anyway, that’s what my perfesser at collitch said.
Note 2: If your dogs bark all night, one day you will be so tired, you’ll sleep through it. That’s a promise!
For those who cannot fathom the changes time has wrought,
tomorrow will be better, or perhaps it will be not.
Those who have championed progress, thinking it is for our betterment
might come at last to fathom that it’s been to our fetterment.
Why do we study science and waste our time at college
only to find out that we’ve been ruined by our knowledge?
We have been so quickly smart and sadly too late wise.
All our grand inventions seem to lead to our demise.
Can we make things better? Can we veer off to the light?
Or will we blindly keep our course, attracted to the night?
Follow this link to see the original on LIFELESSONS
I’m Coronavirus dum de do de day
I came to you from China far away (Hey!)
I heard you weren’t ready
With your government unsteady
Oh, yippee oh doodle yo ki-yay! (Hey!)
Oh what fun I’ll have
As I travel everywhere
Slicing through this new world
The most fun in a hundred years, OHHHHH!
Ring around your rosy
Sing your song so posy
Grab a glass and liquor up
Settle in, be cozy.
Another long night is on the way.
I know it’s not really funny, but after a while? We need a laugh, don’t we?
There’s a story that goes with this. Last night I woke up around four in the morning. I had this silly poem running around in my head. I know from past painful experiences that if I don’t write it down immediately, it will be gone before I wake up in the morning. All I will remember is that I had a poem in my head, but no idea what it was. So, before the crack of dawn, I opened the Mac and wrote this down.
I figured it would be gibberish, but it was actually not that bad. Not exactly great poetry, but I thought you might need a giggle. I sure do.
So well said!
Equal to the Challenge?
Whereas the stage of life for folks my age is likely terminal,
the young are at a stage that is best described as germinal.
They boomerang through life, it seems, from one thing to another—
from party girl to partner, to wife and then to mother.
Their progress through this life is one that we have laid the ground for.
Where we have already been is likely where they’re bound for.
Those obstacles that soured us are ones we hope they’ll solve.
I guess that is the means by which humans must evolve.
War, disease and famine, global warming through pollution—
we set up each problem. Will they create the solution?
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads.
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap —
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Trees bending and swaying
Our doors slamming up and down the stairs.
No storm. Just a wind, wailing until
A bird came and sat on the deck railing
He sang a song so loud and clear
We thought it was a computer, maybe a phone
Too loud to be real.
But it didn’t stop.
Irregular the song and ever louder he called until
I rose and went to see where the music began.
There he was. A tiny wren on the railing.
From his open throat, a song trilled pure and clear
Yet so loud the wind could not match him.
That was my day. Today.
Come back tomorrow songbird.
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