For personal, living, post-living [dead] poets and other poetically-inclined artists.
Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud By John Donne 1572 – 1631 Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee do go, Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery. Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell, And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die. Source: Poetry Foundation
“So many gods, so many creeds, So many paths that wind and wind, While just the art of being kind Is all the sad world needs. I am the voice of the voiceless; Through me the dumb shall speak, Till the deaf world’s ear be made to hear The wrongs of the wordless weak. From street, from cage, and from kennel, From stable and zoo, the wail Of my tortured kin proclaims the sin Of the mighty against the frail.” — Ella Wheeler Wilcox + + + This is the world we live in, the Mighty against the frail. It is the eternal story of this world. The Masters live to dominate and overcome either through physical or mental/emotional force subtly or when necessary overtly and aggressively. Conform and silence original thought when it goes against the paradigm, when it dares to question the norm. It wants to always silence those who see the truth through ridicule and convince everyone else that it’s OK because they simply are not the norm. The norm which now is killing the world into submission, literally. Conform, we are subtly told in one way or another. The new conformity is to not believe what…
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye And all my soul and all my every part; And for this sin there is no remedy, It is so grounded inward in my heart. Methinks no face so gracious is as mine, No shape so true, no truth of such account; And for myself mine own worth do define, As I all other in all worths surmount. But when my glass shows me myself indeed, Beated and chopp’d with tann’d antiquity, Mine own self-love quite contrary I read; Self so self-loving were iniquity. ‘Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise, Painting my age with beauty of thy days. by William Shakespeare
Splendour in the Grass What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower, We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy Which having been must ever be; In the soothing thoughts that spring Out of human suffering; In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind. William Wordsworth 1770-1850 “Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower, We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind.” The words, immediately above, are quoted in the film, Splendor in the Grass whose star, Natalie Wood, left us too early in her life and ours.
“When you’re young, and in good health, you can imagine living in New York City, or Nepal, or in a tree beyond the moon, and who knows who you’ll marry: a millionaire, a monkey, a sea captain, a clown. But the best imaginers are the old and wounded, who swim through ever narrowing choices, dedicating their hearts to peace, a stray cat, a bowl of homemade vegetable soup, or red Mountain Ash berries in the snow. Imagine this: only one leg and lucky to have it, a jig-jagged jaunt with a cane along the shore, leaning on a walker to get from grocery to car, smoothing down the sidewalk on a magic moving chair, teaching every child you meet the true story of this sad, sweet, tragic, Fourth of July world.” by Freya Manfred
Little fly, Thy summer’s play My thoughtless hand Has brushed away. Am not I A fly like thee? Or art not thou A man like me? For I dance And drink and sing, Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing. If thought is life And strength and breath, And the want Of thought is death, Then am I A happy fly, If I live, Or if I die.| by William Blake
Little children, never give Pain to things that feel and live: Let the gentle robin come For the crumbs you save at home, As his meat you throw along He’ll repay you with a song; Never hurt the timid hare Peeping from her green grass lair, Let her come and sport and play On the lawn at close of day; The little lark goes soaring high. To the bright windows of the sky, Singing as if ’twere always spring, And fluttering on an untired wing,— Oh! let him sing his happy song, Nor do these gentle creatures wrong. by Anonymous
Happy the man, whose wish and care A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air, In his own ground. Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, Whose flocks supply him with attire, Whose trees in summer yield him shade, In winter fire. Blest, who can unconcernedly find Hours, days, and years slide soft away, In health of body, peace of mind, Quiet by day, Sound sleep by night; study and ease, Together mixed; sweet recreation; And innocence, which most does please, With meditation. Thus let me live, unseen, unknown; Thus unlamented let me die; Steal from the world, and not a stone Tell where I lie. By Alexander Pope
Again I resume the long lesson: how small a thing can be pleasing, how little in this hard world it takes to satisfy the mind and bring it to its rest. With the ongoing havoc the woods this morning is almost unnaturally still. Through stalled air, unshadowed light, a few leaves fall of their own weight.The sky is gray. It begins in mist almost at the ground and rises forever. The trees rise in silence almost natural, but not quite, almost eternal, but not quite.What more did I think I wanted? Here is what has always been. Here is what will always be. Even in me, the Maker of all this returns in rest, even to the slightest of His works, a yellow leaf slowly falling, and is pleased. by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. By Wendell Berry