Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

CONTINUE: a poem

March 13, 2016
Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

By Maya Angelou

My wish for you
Is that you continue

         Continue

To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness

         Continue

To allow humor to lighten the burden
Of your tender heart

         Continue

In a society dark with cruelty
To let the people hear the grandeur
Of God in the peals of your laughter

          Continue

To let your eloquence
Elevate the people to heights
They had only imagined

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THE ANGRY MAN: a poem

February 27, 2016
Phyllis McGinley

Phyllis McGinley

By Phyllis McGinley

The other day I chanced to meet
an angry man upon the street —
a man of wrath, a man of war,
a man who truculently bore
over his shoulder, like a lance.
a banner labeled “Tolerance.”

And when I asked him why he strode
thus scowling down the human road,
scowling, he answered, “I am he
who champions total liberty—
intolerance being, ma’am, a state
no tolerant man can tolerate.

“When I meet rogues,” he cried, “who choose
to cherish oppositional views,
lady, like this, and in this manner,
I lay about me with this banner
till they cry mercy, ma’am.”  His blows
rained proudly on prospective foes.

Fearful, I turned and left him there
still muttering, as he thrashed the air,
“Let the intolerant beware!”

The Cowboy Hávamál

June 21, 2015

Illustration: Shutterstock

Jackson Crawford, a professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, translated the first 79 verses of the Havamal, a Viking poem, from Old Norse into American cowboy dialect.

The Cowboy Havamal is full of practical wisdom that is just as relevant to the present day as the age in which it was written.

If it weren’t copyrighted, I would copy the whole thing onto my web log.  As it is, I just reblog his translation.  Go below the fold to get to the translated verses.

I found the link on The Tinfoil Hat Society web log.

Tattúínárdǿla saga

“The Cowboy Havamal,” from The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes, translated by Jackson Crawford, Copyright © 2015, Hackett Publishing Co. Reproduced by permission.

The text called Hávamál (literally “Words of the One-Eyed,” or “Words of the High One,” either way a reference to Odin) might be considered a Norse equivalent of the Book of Proverbs, containing as it does a series of disconnected stanzas encouraging wisdom and moderation in living one’s life.

“The Cowboy Hávamál” is a condensation of the wisdom of the first, most down-to-earth part of Hávamál (often called the Gestatháttr, it includes stanzas 1-79, give or take a few) into mostly five-line stanzas of a Western American English dialect. I have not endeavored to render this dialect phonetically in a thoroughly consistent way, but only to present an “eye dialect” of sorts, to suggest the dry tones of the accent behind the…

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