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Thread: Favorite poems and quotations.

  1. #641
    Kalinoche the Child's Avatar
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    currently belgium
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    A lover was telling his beloved
    how much he loved her, how faithful
    he had been, how self-sacrificing, getting up
    at dawn every morning, fasting, giving up
    wealth and strength and fame,
    all for her.

    There was a fire in him.
    He didn't know where it came from,
    but it made him weep and melt like a candle.

    "You've done well," she said, "but listen to me.
    All this is the decor of love, the branches
    and leaves and blossoms. You must live
    at the root to be a true lover."
    "Where is that!
    Tell me!"
    "You've done the outward acts,
    but you haven't died. You must die."

    When he heard that, he lay back on the ground
    laughing, and died. He opened like a rose
    that drops to the ground and died laughing.

    That laughter was his freedom,
    and his gift to the eternal.

    As moonlight shines back at the sun,
    he heard the call to come home, and went.

    When light returns to its source,
    it takes nothing
    of what it has illuminated.

    It may have shone on a garbage dump, or a garden,
    or in the center of a human eye. No matter.

    It goes, and when it does,
    the open plain becomes passionately desolate,
    wanting it back.

    Mevlana Rumi
    honest labor needs no master

    Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream.

    Επί πάντων μέμνησο τα έσχατά σου, και ου μη αμαρτήσης

  2. #642
    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    “We read the letters of the dead like helpless gods,
    but gods, nonetheless, since we know the dates that follow.
    We know which debts will never be repaid.
    Which widows will remarry with the corpse still warm.
    Poor dead, blindfolded dead,
    gullible, fallible, pathetically prudent.
    We see the faces people make behind their backs.
    We catch the sound of wills being ripped to shreds.
    The dead sit before us comically, as if on buttered bread,
    or frantically pursue the hats blown from their heads.
    Their bad taste, Napoleon, steam, electricity,
    their fatal remedies for curable diseases,
    their foolish apocalypse according to St. John,
    their counterfeit heaven on earth according to Jean-Jacques…
    We watch the pawns on their chessboards in silence,
    even though we see them three squares later.
    Everything the dead predicted has turned out completely different.
    Or a little bit different – which is to say, completely different.
    The most fervent of them gaze confidingly into our eyes:
    their calculations tell them that they’ll find perfection there.”
    — Wislawa Szymborska, The Letters of the Dead
    (Translation by Stanislaw Baranczak & Clare Cavanagh)

  3. #643


    “He accorded his art the highest respect, that of never taking it for granted. Always, as long as he lived, he tried to learn more, in order to serve it better.”
    Elizabeth Borton De Trevino,
    I, Juan de Pareja

  4. #644
    Asenath's Avatar
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    Full Moon

    My bands of silk and miniver
    Momently grew heavier;
    The black gauze was beggarly thin;
    The ermine muffled mouth and chin;
    I could not suck the moonlight in.

    Harlequin in lozenges
    Of love and hate, I walked in these
    Striped and ragged rigmaroles;
    Along the pavement my footsoles
    Trod warily on living coals.

    Shouldering the thoughts I loathed,
    In their corrupt disguises clothed,
    Morality I could not tear
    From my ribs, to leave them bare
    Ivory in silver air.

    There I walked, and there I raged;
    The spiritual savage caged
    Within my skeleton, raged afresh
    To feel, behind a carnal mesh,
    The clean bones crying in the flesh.

  5. #645
    Dauphin's Avatar
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    Nov 2016
    North Carolina
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    Dream Song #327 by John Berryman

    Freud was some wrong about dreams, or almost all;
    besides his insights grand, he thought that dreams were a transcript
    of childhood & the day before,
    censored of course: a transcript:
    even his lesser insight were misunderstood & became a bore
    except for the knowing & troubled by the Fall.
    Grand Jewish ruler, custodian of the past,
    our paedegogue to whip us into truth,
    I sees your long story,
    tyrannical & triumphant all-wise at last
    you wholly failed to take into account youth
    & had no interest in your glory.
    I tell you, Sir, you have enlightened but
    you have misled us: a dream is a panorama
    of the whole mental life,
    I took one once to forty-three structures, that
    accounted in each for each word: I did not yell ‘mama’
    nor did I take it out on my wife.

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