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National Poetry Month

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In honor of National Poetry Month in the US, here is one from my T. S. Eliot phase. This phase did not last long, which was good for me, and good for poetry. 

 

I loved you as my destiny,
hoping to meet infinity
in giving self to self.
Now I am a book upon the shelf.

 

Human potentiality,
passes into tragedy,
the rending realization
of inhuman limitation:

 

All things must pass,
slipping through the broken glass,
meeting in conception, hurled,
the moment's destruction of the world.

 

Man corrupts alone, futilely
enduring, enclosed hopeless virility.

 

Photo courtesy of marcelabr on Pixabay.com

 

 

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Same as it Ever Was

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"For a multitude of causes, unknown to former times, are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and, unfitting it for all voluntary exertion, to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor. The most effective of these causes are the great national events which are daily taking place, and the increasing accumulation of men in cities, where the uniformity of their occupations produces a craving for extraordinary incident, which the rapid communication of intelligence hourly gratifies. To this tendency of life and manners the literature and theatrical exhibitions of the country have conformed themselves."

William Wordsworth, 

Preface to Lyrical Ballads

1800

 

Image by " target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gerd Altmann from " target="_blank" rel="noopener">Pixabay

 

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The Rivulet

 

Rivulet

 

The thunderstorm donates its wares

On highly indiscriminate grounds

Till finally in the slight depression

Where the reeling hills converge

The rivulet begins

 

Then quickly vanishes. And yet

If I were thirsty I'd wait there

As whispering clouds discretely gather

Circulate and merge before

Dispensing life.

 

Iā€™m always thirsty.

And always waiting.

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Something Unearthly

Lord Byron in Albanian Dress by Phillips 1813

 

I am reading Childe Harold's Pilgrimage by Lord Byron for the first time. I know Shelley well, and Keats, and some of Coleridge and Wordsworth. But all I knew of Byron was the poem She Walks in Beauty like the Night. Byron was a great traveler and the poem is more travelogue than narrative, but full of passages that speak to me, which is all I ask of a poem. Here is one:

 

But I have lived, and have not lived in vain:
   My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire,
   And my frame perish even in conquering pain,
   But there is that within me which shall tire
   Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire:
   Something unearthly, which they deem not of,
   Like the remembered tone of a mute lyre,
   Shall on their softened spirits sink, and move
In hearts all rocky now the late remorse of love.
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