By Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
-This is such a charming poem! I don't wanna grow old though haha.
Last edited by StyleBella22; 07-11-2007 at 10:56 PM.
by: Edgar Allen Poe
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the side of the sea.
I called my fingerprints all night
But they don't seem to care
The last time that I saw them
They were leafing through your hair
Press escape to continue.
THE CROCODILE by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheefully he seems to grin!
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!
“Above all, remember that the most important thing you can take anywhere is not a Gucci bag or French-cut jeans; it's an open mind” Gail Rubin Bereny
Very nice thread, and perfect to try to improve my poor english...
I tried to translate this french one.(use "one" or "we"?)
« Les passantes », Antoine Pol(1888-1971)
« The passer-by women »
Je veux dédier ce poème
A toutes les femmes qu'on aime
Pendant quelques instants secrets,
A celles qu'on connaît à peine,
Qu'un destin différent entraîne
Et qu’on ne retrouve jamais.
I want to dedicate this poem
To all the women one loves
For few secrets moments
To the hardly known women
Pulled by a different destiny
Whom never sees again.
A celle qu'on voit apparaître
Une seconde, à sa fenêtre
Et qui, preste, s'évanouit,
Mais dont la svelte silhouette
Est si gracieuse et fluette
Qu’on en demeure épanoui.
To the woman who appears
One second, through her window
And who nimbly vanishes,
But the slim figure of whom
Is so graceful and slight
That one stays beaming.
A la compagne de voyage
Dont les yeux, charmant paysage
Font paraître court le chemin;
Qu'on est seul peut-être à comprendre,
Et qu'on laisse pourtant descendre
Sans avoir effleuré la main.
To the woman seen in a trip
Whom eyes, charming landscape,
Made this journey seems shorter,
May be the only one to understand her
Nevertheless lets her gets out
Without having lightly touched her hand.
A celles qui sont déjà prises
Et qui vivant des heures grises
Près d'un être trop différent,
Vous ont, inutile folie
Laissé voir la mélancolie
D’un avenir désespérant.
To the women who are engaged
And are living boring hours
Beside a so different man
They made you, sheer madness,
Let you see the gloom
Of an hopelessly future
Chères images aperçues
Espérances d'un jour déçues
Vous serez dans l'oubli demain;
Pour peu que le bonheur survienne,
Il est rare qu'on se souvienne
Des épisodes du chemin.
Dear briefly seen images
Disapointed hopes of one day
Tomorrow you will be forgotten
If the joy of loving happens/arise
One rarely remember
The stages on the way to love.
Mais si l'on a manqué sa vie
On songe avec un peu d'envie
A tous ces bonheurs entrevus,
Aux baisers qu'on n'osa pas prendre,
Aux coeurs qui doivent vous attendre,
Aux yeux qu’on a jamais revus
But if one has wasted life
One thinks a little bit enviously
To all those forseen hapiness
To the kisses one did not dare
To the hearts who are waiting for
To the eyes one never sees again
Alors, aux soirs de lassitude,
Tout en peuplant sa solitude
Des fantômes du souvenir,
On pleure les lèvres absentes
De toutes ces belles passantes
Que l’on a pas su retenir.
Then, in the evening of weariness
Filling one’s lonelyness
With ghosts of memories
One cries for the absents lips
Of all the lovely women
One was not able to hold.
This poem get wellknown when sung by Georges Brassens(1921-1981)
The song with some images of Georges Brassens’s life
Last edited by modillustr; 12-11-2007 at 06:18 AM.
i'm almost ready..
i think i have posted in this thread a long time ago...
one of my alltime favourite poems...the love song of J alfred prufrock...
i also love allen ginsberg..
and here is another...by rumi...
look at love /
look at love
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love
look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life
why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend
why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how the unknown merges into the known
why think seperately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last
look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs
look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once
the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together
look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox
you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me
be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don't get mixed up with bitter words
my beloved grows
right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be
That's who you wanna go in the woods with, right?
Somebody who finishes your sentences for you
I've always loved this poem by Cernuda. I'll copy the original version and the English translation.
Si el hombre pudiera decir lo que ama
Si el hombre pudiera decir lo que ama,
si el hombre pudiera levantar su amor por el cielo
como una nube en la luz;
si como muros que se derrumban,
para saludar la verdad erguida en medio,
pudiera derrumbar su cuerpo,
dejando sólo la verdad de su amor,
la verdad de sí mismo,
que no se llama gloria, fortuna o ambición,
sino amor o deseo,
yo sería aquel que imaginaba;
aquel que con su lengua, sus ojos y sus manos
proclama ante los hombres la verdad ignorada,
la verdad de su amor verdadero.
Libertad no conozco sino la libertad de estar preso en alguien
cuyo nombre no puedo oír sin escalofrío;
alguien por quien me olvido de esta existencia mezquina
por quien el día y la noche son para mí lo que quiera,
y mi cuerpo y espíritu flotan en su cuerpo y espíritu
como leños perdidos que el mar anega o levanta
libremente, con la libertad del amor,
la única libertad que me exalta,
la única libertad por que muero.
Tú justificas mi existencia:
si no te conozco, no he vivido;
si muero sin conocerte, no muero, porque no he vivido.
If a man could say what he loves
If a man could say how much he loves,
if a man could raise his love in the sky
like a cloud in the light;
if like falling walls,
in order to salute the truth, straightened in the middle,
he could plunge his body headlong,
leaving just the truth about his love,
the truth about himself,
which is not called glory, nor fortune, nor ambition,
but love or desire,
I would be the one who imagined;
the one who, with his tongue, his eyes and his hands,
proclaims in front of the men the ignored truth,
the truth about his true love.
Freedom I do not know but the freedom of being imprisoned in anybody
whose name I cannot hear without chill;
someone for whom I forget this mean existence,
for whom the day and the night are for me whatever he wants,
and my body and spirit float in his body and spirit
like lost logs that the sea submerges or raises
freely, with the freedom of love,
the only freedom that exalts me,
the only truth for which I die.
You justify my existence:
if I do not meet you, I haven't lived;
if I die without meeting you, I don't die, because I haven't lived.
A Birthday Present
by Sylvia Plath
What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful?
It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges?
I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want.
When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking
'Is this the one I am too appear for,
Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar?
Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus,
Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules.
Is this the one for the annunciation?
My god, what a laugh!'
But it shimmers, it does not stop, and I think it wants me.
I would not mind if it were bones, or a pearl button.
I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year.
After all I am alive only by accident.
I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way.
Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains,
The diaphanous satins of a January window
White as babies' bedding and glittering with dead breath. O ivory!
It must be a tusk there, a ghost column.
Can you not see I do not mind what it is.
Can you not give it to me?
Do not be ashamed--I do not mind if it is small.
Do not be mean, I am ready for enormity.
Let us sit down to it, one on either side, admiring the gleam,
The glaze, the mirrory variety of it.
Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate.
I know why you will not give it to me,
You are terrified
The world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it,
Bossed, brazen, an antique shield,
A marvel to your great-grandchildren.
Do not be afraid, it is not so.
I will only take it and go aside quietly.
You will not even hear me opening it, no paper crackle,
No falling ribbons, no scream at the end.
I do not think you credit me with this discretion.
If you only knew how the veils were killing my days.
To you they are only transparencies, clear air.
But my god, the clouds are like cotton.
Armies of them. They are carbon monoxide.
Sweetly, sweetly I breathe in,
Filling my veins with invisibles, with the million
Probable motes that tick the years off my life.
You are silver-suited for the occasion. O adding machine-----
Is it impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole?
Must you stamp each piece purple,
Must you kill what you can?
There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me.
It stands at my window, big as the sky.
It breathes from my sheets, the cold dead center
Where split lives congeal and stiffen to history.
Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger.
Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty
By the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it.
Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil.
If it were death
I would admire the deep gravity of it, its timeless eyes.
I would know you were serious.
There would be a nobility then, there would be a birthday.
And the knife not carve, but enter
Pure and clean as the cry of a baby,
And the universe slide from my side.
"Sentiment is the poetry of the imagination." - Alphonse De Lamartine
The future is stupid
by Susan Deborah King
It's worth getting up for.
Just at dawn, on a dead-of-winter walk,
I could smell it wafting from homes
all around the lake as they
emerged from the dark like loaves
from an oven, steaming.
Is there an aroma more divine
than that of bread warming, bread
browning, crisping for the spread
of butter and marmalade, the sprinkling
of sugared cinnamon? Whatever
terrors the night might harbor,
how bad can it get, if hot slices
stack our morning plate, the white
ones patterned with cobalt blue?
It's what in the current vernacular
we'll all eventually be: a pleasant
redolence rising and haloing
a roughed up, frozen expanse –
for such days, we make
not-too-burnt offerings of thanks;
we raise our glasses of juice.
Blake Prints - Auguries of Innocence
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-**** clipt and arm'd for fight
Does the rising sun affright.
Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.
The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus'd breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.
The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov'd by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by woman lov'd.
The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy's foot.
The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist's jealousy.
The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;
This is caught by females bright,
And return'd to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.
The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar's rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.
The soldier, arm'd with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.
One mite wrung from the lab'rer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.
He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mock'd in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.
The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.
The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.
When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket's cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.
The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.
If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.
The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding-sheet.
The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.
Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.
We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro' the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.
God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.
incantation / czeslaw milosz
Human reason is beautiful and invincible.
No bars, no barbed wire, no pulping of books,
No sentence of banishment can prevail against it.
It establishes the universal ideas in language,
And guides our hand so we write Truth and Justice
With capital letters, lie and oppression with small.
It puts what should be above things as they are,
Is an enemy of despair and a friend of hope.
It does not know Jew from Greek or slave from master,
Giving us the estate of the world to manage.
It saves austere and transparent phrases
From the filthy discord of tortured words.
It says that everything is new under the sun,
Opens the congealed fist of the past.
Beautiful and very young are Philo-Sophia
And poetry, her ally in the service of the good.
As late as yesterday Nature celebrated their birth,
The news was brought to the mountains by a unicorn and an echo.
Their friendship will be glorious, their time has no limit.
Their enemies have delivered themselves to destruction.
... they lived and laughed and loved and left ...
written by my boyfriend
Lay down next to me
And when you awake tell me all the wonders that you see
When your dreams take you away across the sea
Let me be your ship
And if I should lay down on you
As I sleep my hair becomes a toy for you
And if I am to wake please let it be you
That I see with my new born eyes
And if I should sleep resting on your chest
And mummer out loud it’s you I love
Please take these words to be true
For honey they were meant for you
Then if you should be tired come rest awhile
I’ll hold you in my arms and sleep will come
And when you awake I’ll still be holding to you
And I’ll whisper in your ear the universe is you
So take me down to the beach
You are the ocean in which I dip my feet
The emotional currents are stronger than the tides
And helpless we’ll prevail against the storm
So come to me now
And lay your sweet self down
I’ll hold you safe in the warm
I’ll behold you in my eyes
As every movement becomes a living photograph
please don’t forget me if you awake in fright
For I’ll be the one holding you
always close at your side
If you should sleep sweet princess
let me be in your dreams
don't worry my angel
Lay down a sweet while
I called my fingerprints all night
But they don't seem to care
The last time that I saw them
They were leafing through your hair
and because love battles / neruda
And because love battles
not only in its burning agricultures
but also in the mouth of men and women,
I will finish off by taking the path away
to those who between my chest and your fragrance
want to interpose their obscure plant.
About me, nothing worse
they will tell you, my love,
than what I told you.
I lived in the prairies
before I got to know you
and I did not wait love but I was
laying in wait for and I jumped on the rose.
What more can they tell you?
I am neither good nor bad but a man,
and they will then associate the danger
of my life, which you know
and which with your passion you shared.
And good, this danger
is danger of love, of complete love
for all life,
for all lives,
and if this love brings us
the death and the prisons,
I am sure that your big eyes,
as when I kiss them,
will then close with pride,
into double pride, love,
with your pride and my pride.
But to my ears they will come before
to wear down the tour
of the sweet and hard love which binds us,
and they will say: “The one
is not a woman for you,
Why do you love her? I think
you could find one more beautiful,
more serious, more deep,
more other, you understand me, look how she’s light,
and what a head she has,
and look at how she dresses,
and etcetera and etcetera”.
And I in these lines say:
Like this I want you, love,
love, Like this I love you,
as you dress
and how your hair lifts up
and how your mouth smiles,
light as the water
of the spring upon the pure stones,
Like this I love you, beloved.
To bread I do not ask to teach me
but only not to lack during every day of life.
I don’t know anything about light, from where
it comes nor where it goes,
I only want the light to light up,
I do not ask to the night
I wait for it and it envelops me,
And so you, bread and light
And shadow are.
You came to my life
with what you were bringing,
of light and bread and shadow I expected you,
and Like this I need you,
Like this I love you,
and to those who want to hear tomorrow
that which I will not tell them, let them read it here,
and let them back off today because it is early
for these arguments.
Tomorrow we will only give them
a leaf of the tree of our love, a leaf
which will fall on the earth
like if it had been made by our lips
like a kiss which falls
from our invincible heights
to show the fire and the tenderness
of a true love.
... they lived and laughed and loved and left ...
A Dream Within A Dream by Edgar Allan PoeTake this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow--
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Have I posted this before? Ah, well, it's a great poem to me; it can't be of harm to post again!
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
Ode - Arthur O'Shaughnessy
if nothing signifies nothing, then anything could signify anything