Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Love in the time of the sniffles

April 25, 2020

THE SNIFFLE

by Ogden Nash

In spite of her sniffle

Isabel’s chiffle.

Some girls with a sniffle

would be weepy and riffle.

They would look awful,

like a rained-on waffle,

But Isabel’s chiffle

in spite of her sniffle.

Her nose is more red

with a cold in her head.

But then, to be sure,

her eyes are bluer.

Some girls with a snuffle,

their tempers are uffle.

But when Isabel’s snivelly

she’s snivelly civilly,

and when she’s snuffly

she’s perfectly luffly.

Source: All Poetry

‘You shall love your crooked neighbor…’

January 11, 2020

W.H. Auden

O look, look in the mirror

O look in your distress

Life remains a blessing

Although you cannot bless

O stand, stand by the window

As the tears scald and start

You shall love your crooked neighbor

With your crooked heart.

==W.H. Auden (1940)

(more…)

‘When a deed is done for freedom…’

November 30, 2019

J.R. Lowell in 1844

THE PRESENT CRISIS

by James Russell Lowell

  When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth’s aching breast

Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west, 

And the slave, where’er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb 

To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime 

Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time. 

  Through the walls of hut and palace shoots the instantaneous throe,

When the travail of the Ages wrings earth’s systems to and fro; 

At the birth of each new Era, with a recognizing start, 

Nation wildly looks at nation, standing with mute lips apart, 

And glad Truth’s yet mightier man-child leaps beneath the Future’s heart. 

   So the Evil’s triumph sendeth, with a terror and a chill, 

Under continent to continent, the sense of coming ill, 

And the slave, where’er he cowers, feels his sympathies with God 

In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by the sod, 

Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delving in the nobler clod. 

   For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along, 

Round the earth’s electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong; 

Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity’s vast frame 

Through its ocean-sundered fibers feels the gush of joy or shame; 

In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim. 

  Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, 

In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side; 

Some great cause, God’s new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,

Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right, 

And the choice goes by forever ‘twixt that darkness and that light. 

  Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shalt stand, 

Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against our land?

Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet ‘t is Truth alone is strong, 

And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng 

Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.

(more…)

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.

Update 10/5/2018

Dr. Jackson Crawford evidently has taken the text of his Cowboy Havamal down from the web, but he recites it in the YouTube video above.

Also, he does make available a satirical spoof,  the Tattúínárdøi Saga | Star Wars as an Icelandic saga.

Update 10/13/2018

In these two videos, Dr. Crawford discusses Viking ideals of manliness.