Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The morns are meeker than they were / Emily Dickinson

     
The morns are meeker than they were —
The nuts are getting brown —
The berry's cheek is plumper —
The Rose is out of town.

The Maple wears a gayer scarf —
The field a scarlet gown —
Lest I should be old fashioned
I'll put a trinket on.

---
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Emily Dickinson biography

Monday, November 29, 2010

No! / Thomas Hood

  
No!

                    No sun — no moon!
                    No morn — no noon —
No dawn — no dusk — no proper time of day —
                    No sky — no earthly view —
                    No distance looking blue —
No road — no street — no "t'other side the way" —
                    No end to any Row —
                    No indications where the Crescents go —
                    No top to any steeple —
No recognitions of familiar people —
                    No courtesies for showing 'em —
                    No knowing 'em! —
No travelling at all — no locomotion,
No inkling of the way — no notion —
"No go" — by land or ocean —
                    No mail — no post —
          No news from any foreign coast —
No Park — no Ring---no afternoon gentility —
                    No company — no nobility —
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
          No comfortable feel in any member —
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
          No fruits, no flow'rs, no leaves, no birds, —
                    November!

---
Thomas Hood

[Poem is in the public domain]

Thomas Hood biography

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Five Cinquains / Adelaide Crapsey

       
November Night

Listen . . .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.


Susanna and the Elders

"Why do
You thus devise
Evil against her?" "For that
She is beautiful, delicate.
Therefore."


Triad

These be
Three silent things:
The falling snow . . . the hour
Before the dawn . . . the mouth of one
Just dead.


Niagara
(Seen on Night in November)

How frail
Above the bulk
Of crashing water hangs
Autumnal, evanescent, wan,
The moon.


The Warning

Just now,
Out of the strange
Still dusk . . . as strange, as still . . .
A white moth flew. Why am I grown
So cold?

---
Adelaide Crapsey
from Verse, 1915

[Poems are in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Adelaide Crapsey biography

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Scroll / George J. Dance

       
A Scroll

By the river I saw geese fly
Like black angels, far and high 
Trees were cracks in a scarlet sky 
A scent of smoke  A dolorous cry:

"Fallen is Babylon the Great,"
Cries the wild goose to his mate.
"All for fires to consume;
"Ashes, ashes for their doom."

"Still, we learned to love their land,"
Softer now she answers, "and
"Safely in the southland, we
"Will miss their insecurity."

On the bank red sumac lay,
Fires banked at close of day.
Will I watch those fires burn?
Will I see the geese return?

---
George J. Dance
1972

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Friday, November 26, 2010

November / F.W. Harvey

    
November

He has hanged himself — the Sun.
      He dangles
A scarecrow in thin air. 

He is dead for love — the Sun;
      He who in forest tangles
Wooed all things fair. 

That great lover — the Sun,
      Now spangles
The woods with blood-stains.

He has hanged himself — the Sun. 
      How thin he dangles
In these gray rains!

---
F.W. Harvey (1888-1957) 
from Farewell, 1921

[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]


F.W. Harvey biography

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Waste Land / Madison Cawein

    
Waste Land

Briar and fennel and chincapin,
      And rue and ragweed everywhere;
The field seemed sick as a soul with sin,
      Or dead of an old despair,
      Born of an ancient care.

The cricket's cry and the locust's whirr,
      And the note of a bird's distress,
With the rasping sound of the grasshopper,
      Clung to the loneliness
      Like burrs to a trailing dress.

So sad the field, so waste the ground,
      So curst with an old despair,
A woodchuck's burrow, a blind mole's mound,
      And a chipmunk's stony lair,
      Seemed more than it could bear.

So lonely, too, so more than sad,
      So droning-lone with bees 
I wondered what more could Nature add
      To the sum of its miseries . . .
      And then — I saw the trees.

Skeletons gaunt that gnarled the place,
      Twisted and torn they rose 
The tortured bones of a perished race
      Of monsters no mortal knows,
      They startled the mind's repose.

And a man stood there, as still as moss,
      A lichen form that stared;
With an old blind hound that, at a loss,
      Forever around him fared
      With a snarling fang half bared.

I looked at the man; I saw him plain;
      Like a dead weed, gray and wan,
Or a breath of dust. I looked again 
      And man and dog were gone,
      Like wisps of the graying dawn. . . .

Were they a part of the grim death there 
      Ragweed, fennel, and rue?
Or forms of the mind, an old despair,
      That there into semblance grew
      Out of the grief I knew?

---
Madison Cawein
from Minions of the Moon, 1913

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]


Madison Cawein biography

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On Receiving News of the War / Isaac Rosenberg

       
On Receiving News of the War

Snow is a strange white word.
No ice or frost
Has asked of bud or bird
For Winter's cost.

Yet ice and frost and snow
From earth to sky
This Summer land doth know.
No man knows why.

In all men's hearts it is.
Some spirit old
Hath turned with malign kiss
Our lives to mould.

Red fangs have torn His face.
God's blood is shed.
He mourns from His lone place
His children dead.

O! ancient crimson curse!
Corrode, consume.
Give back this universe
Its pristine bloom.

~~
Isaac Rosenberg (`890-1918), 1916
from Poems, 1922

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Isaac Rosenberg biography

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All the Hills and Vales Along / Charles Hamilton Sorley

       
All the Hills and Vales Along

ALL the hills and vales along
Earth is bursting into song,
And the singers are the chaps
Who are going to die perhaps.
    O sing, marching men,
    Till the valleys ring again.
    Give your gladness to earth’s keeping,
    So be glad, when you are sleeping.

Cast away regret and rue,
Think what you are marching to.
Little live, great pass.
Jesus Christ and Barabbas
Were found the same day.
This died, that went his way.
    So sing with joyful breath.
    For why, you are going to death.
    Teeming earth will surely store
    All the gladness that you pour.

Earth that never doubts nor fears,
Earth that knows of death, not tears,
Earth that bore with joyful ease
Hemlock for Socrates,
Earth that blossomed and was glad
’Neath the cross that Christ had,
    Shall rejoice and blossom too
    When the bullet reaches you.
    Wherefore, men marching
    On the road to death, sing!
    Pour your gladness on earth’s head,
    So be merry, so be dead.

From the hills and valleys earth
Shouts back the sound of mirth,
Tramp of feet and lilt of song
Ringing all the road along.
All the music of their going,
Ringing, swinging, glad song-throwing,
Earth will echo still, when foot
Lies numb and voice mute.
    On, marching men, on
    To the gates of death with song.
    Sow your gladness for earth’s reaping,
    So you may be glad, though sleeping.
    Strew your gladness on earth’s bed,
    So be merry, so be dead.

---
Charles Hamilton Sorley
from Marlborough and Other Poems, 1916

[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]


Charles Hamilton Sorley biography

Monday, November 22, 2010

To Lucasta, Going to the Wars / Richard Lovelace

         
To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

I

Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

II

True: a new Mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

III

Yet this inconstancy is such,
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honour more.

---
Richard Lovelace (1618-1657)
from Lucasta, 1649

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Richard Lovelace biography

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1914, I. Peace / Rupert Brooke

   
I. Peace

Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
       And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
      To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
      Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
      And all the little emptiness of love!

Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
      Where there's no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
      Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart's long peace there
      But only agony, and that has ending;
      And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

---
Rupert Brooke
1914


[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]


Rupert Brooke biography

Saturday, November 20, 2010

1914, II. Safety / Rupert Brooke

       
II. Safety

Dear! of all happy in the hour, most blest
      He who has found our hid security,
Assured in the dark tides of the world that rest,
      And heard our word, 'Who is so safe as we?'
We have found safety with all things undying,
      The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,
The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying,
      And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth.
We have built a house that is not for Time's throwing.
      We have gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever.
War knows no power. Safe shall be my going,
      Secretly armed against all death's endeavour;
Safe though all safety's lost; safe where men fall;
And if these poor limbs die, safest of all.

---
Rupert Brooke
1914


[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Rupert Brooke biography

Friday, November 19, 2010

1914, III. The Dead / Rupert Brooke

   
III. The Dead

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
      There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
      But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
      Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
      That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.

Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
      Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
      And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
      And we have come into our heritage.

---
Rupert Brooke
1914

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]


Rupert Brooke biography

Thursday, November 18, 2010

1914, IV. The Dead / Rupert Brooke

       
IV. The Dead

These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
      Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
      And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
      Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
      Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
      Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
      Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.

---
Rupert Brooke
1914

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Rupert Brooke biography

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1914, V. The Soldier / Rupert Brooke

       
V. The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
      That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
       In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
       Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
       Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
       A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
       Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
       In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

---
Rupert Brooke
1914

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Rupert Brooke biography

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Break of Day in the Trenches / Isaac Rosenberg

       
Break of Day in the Trenches

The darkness crumbles away.
It is the same old druid Time as ever,
Only a live thing leaps my hand,
A queer sardonic rat,
As I pull the parapet's poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
Your cosmopolitan sympathies.
Now you have touched this English hand
You will do the same to a German
Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
Less chanced than you for life,
Bonds to the whims of murder,
Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes
At the shrieking iron and flame
Hurled through still heavens?
What quaver – what heart aghast?
Poppies whose roots are in man's veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe 
Just a little white with the dust.

~~
Isaac Rosenberg (`890-1918), 1916
from Poems, 1922

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Isaac Rosenberg biography

Monday, November 15, 2010

S.I.W. / Wilfred Owen

   
S.I.W.

I will to the King,
And offer him consolation in his trouble,
For that man there has set his teeth to die,
And being one that hates obedience,
Discipline, and orderliness of life,
I cannot mourn him.
                                  - W.B. Yeats
I. The Prologue

Patting good-bye, doubtless they told the lad
He'd always show the Hun a brave man's face;
Father would sooner him dead than in disgrace,
Was proud to see him going, aye, and glad.
Perhaps his mother whimpered how she'd fret
Until he got a nice safe wound to nurse.
Sisters would wish girls too could shoot, charge, curse...
Brothers  would send his favourite cigarette.
Each week, month after month, they wrote the same,
Thinking him sheltered in some Y.M. Hut,
Because he said so, writing on his butt
Where once an hour a bullet missed its aim
And misses teased the hunger of his brain.
His eyes grew old with wincing, and his hand
Reckless with ague. Courage leaked, as sand
From the best sand-bags after years of rain.
But never leave, wound, fever, trench-foot, shock,
Untrapped the wretch. And death seemed still withheld
For torture of lying machinally shelled,
At the pleasure of this world's Powers who'd run amok.

He'd seen men shoot their hands, on night patrol.
Their people never knew. Yet they were vile.
'Death sooner than dishonour, that's the style!'
So Father said.

II. The Action

                                   One dawn, our wire patrol
Carried him. This time, Death had not missed.
We could do nothing but wipe his bleeding cough.
Could it be accident?  Rifles go off...
Not sniped? No. (Later they found the English ball.)

III. The Poem

It was the reasoned crisis of his soul
Against more days of inescapable thrall,
Against infrangibly wired and blind trench wall
Curtained with fire, roofed in with creeping fire,
Slow grazing fire, that would not burn him whole
But kept him for death's promises and scoff,
And life's half-promising, and both their riling.

IV. The Epilogue

With him they buried the muzzle his teeth had kissed,
And truthfully wrote the Mother, 'Tim died smiling'

---
Wilfred Owen (1893-1918), 1917
from Poems, 1920

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Wilfred Owen biography

Sunday, November 14, 2010

War is Kind / Stephen Crane

from War is Kind and Other Lines

I

Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
Little souls who thirst for fight,
These men were born to drill and die.
The unexplained glory flies above them,
Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom —
A field where a thousand corpses lie.


Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
Eagle with crest of red and gold,
These men were born to drill and die.
Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
Make plain to them the excellence of killing
And a field where a thousand corpses lie.


Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

---
Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
from War is Kind, and other lines, 1899

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Stephen Crane biography

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Stretcher-Bearer / Robert Service

 
The Stretcher-Bearer

My stretcher is one scarlet stain,
And as I tries to scrape it clean,
I tell you wot  I'm sick with pain
For all I've 'eard, for all I've seen;
Around me is the 'ellish night,
And as the war's red rim I trace,
I wonder if in 'Eaven's height,
Our God don't turn away 'Is Face.

          I don't care 'oose the Crime may be;
          I 'olds no brief for kin or clan;
          I 'ymns no 'ate: I only see
          As man destroys his brother man;
          I waves no flag: I only know,
          As 'ere beside the dead I wait,
          A million 'earts is weighed with woe,
          A million 'omes is desolate.

In drippin' darkness, far and near,
All night I've sought them woeful ones.
Dawn shudders up and still I 'ear
The crimson chorus of the guns.
Look! like a ball of blood the sun
'Angs o'er the scene of wrath and wrong.
"Quick! Stretcher-bearers on the run!"
O Prince of Peace! 'Ow long, 'ow long?

---
Robert Service
from
Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, 1916

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Robert Service biography

Friday, November 12, 2010

Remembrance / George J. Dance

     
Remembrance

Man has but to raise
His arms, and there is a cross.
How could we forget?

---
George J. Dance

Michael Schmalenstroer, Crosses at the Cemetery, Summer 2009.
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Licensed with GFDL and Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0

Creative Commons License
[Remembrance by George Dance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License] 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Anxious Dead / John McCrae

 
The Anxious Dead

O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear
    Above their heads the legions pressing on:
(These fought their fight in time of bitter fear,
    And died not knowing how the day had gone.)

O flashing muzzles, pause, and let them see
    The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar;
Then let your mighty chorus witness be
    To them, and Caesar, that we still make war.

Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their call,
    That we have sworn, and will not turn aside,
That we will onward till we win or fall,
    That we will keep the faith for which they died.

Bid them be patient, and some day, anon,
    They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep;
Shall greet, in wonderment, the quiet dawn,
    And in content may turn them to their sleep.

---
John McCrae
from In Flanders Fields and other poems, 1919

[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]

John McCrae biography

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When It Is Finished / Marjorie Pickthall

 
When It Is Finished

When it is finished, Father, and we set
The war-stained buckler and the bright blade by,
Bid us remember then what bloody sweat,
What thorns, what agony
Purchased our wreaths of harvest and ripe ears,
Whose empty hands, whose empty hearts, whose tears
Ransomed the days to be.

We leave them to Thee, Father, we’ve no price,
No utmost treasure of the seas and lands,
No words, no deeds, to pay their sacrifice.
Only while England stands,
Their pearl, their pride, their altar,— not their grave,—
Bid us remember in what days they gave
All that mankind may give
That we might live.

---
Marjorie L.C. Pickthall
from Selected Poems, 1957

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Marjorie Pickthall (by George Dance)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Call Back Our Dead / F.G. Scott

 
Call Back Our Dead

Call back our Dead — the fateful feud is o'er;
    Call back our Dead; we need them here today.
    We need them in their freshness and their play,
Their valiant manhood ripened by the war.
Our hearts stand open; open, too, the door
    Of that still chamber where the shadow lay
    Since death's grim message came. No other ray
But their bright presence can the light restore.

Call back our Dead, they die each day we live —
    Deep in our hearts they die the whole day long.
        Call back our Dead, the welcoming hearth is bright,
All that this life can give them, we will give.
    Tell them God's angels sing again their song
        And Peace hangs out her star upon the night.

--
F.G. Scott
November 11, 1925

from Selected Poems, 1933

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Ghost-yard of the Goldenrod / Bliss Carman

 
The Ghost-yard of the Goldenrod

When the first silent frost has trod
The ghost-yard of the goldenrod,

And laid the blight of his cold hand
Upon the warm autumnal land,

And all things wait the subtle change
That men call death, is it not strange

That I — without a care or need,
Who only am an idle weed —

Should wait unmoved, so frail, so bold,
The coming of the final cold!

---
Bliss Carman
from Later Poems, 1926

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the European Union]
Bliss Carman (by George J. Dance)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Indian Summer / William Wilfred Campbell

 
Indian Summer

Along the line of smoky hills
   The crimson forest stands,
And all the day the blue-jay calls
   Throughout the autumn lands.

Now by the brook the maple leans
   With all his glory spread,
And all the sumachs on the hills
   Have turned their green to red.

Now by great marshes wrapt in mist,
   Or past some river’s mouth,
Throughout the long, still autumn day
   Wild birds are flying south.

---
William Wilfred Campbell
from Snowflakes and Sunbeams, 1888

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

William Wilfred Campbell biography

Penny's Cat is Dead (s 1)

     
Penny’s Cat is Dead

                Betty has a dead cat.
                     It is a red cat
                     with a rigor mortis smile.
                                   - "Betty’s Dead Cat", Will Dockery


Penny’s cat is dead.
It has ascended to Heaven and has answered the final summons
and is asleep and has assumed room temperature
and is at peace and is at rest
and has awakened to life immortal and is away
and is beneath the shade tree and is bereft of life
and is beyond the grave and is beyond the veil
and has bitten the big one and has bitten the biscuit
and has bitten the dust and has bought it
and has bought its lunch and has bought the box
and has bought the farm and has breathed its last
and is breathless and is brown bread

[...]
To view the complete poem, click here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Penny's Cat is Dead (ss 2-3)

[...]

and is bygone and is a cadaver
and is cadaverous and was called to higher service
and is a carcass and has carked it
and has cashed in its chips and has ceased to be
and has ceased to breathe and has ceased to live
and has checked in to the Wooden Waldorf and has checked out
and is checking out the grass from underneath and has closed its eyes
and is cold and has come to an end
and has come to dust and is cooking for the Kennedys
and is a corpse and is counting worms
and has croaked and has crossed the bar
and has crossed the bridge and has crossed the Great Divide
and has crossed the Styx and is cut off

and has danced the last dance and is dead as a doornail
and is dead meat and is the dear departed
and is deceased and is defunct
and is demised and is departed
and is done for and is done like dinner
and is doomed and is Down Under
and is dozing and has dropped off
and is dust and is eating a dirt sandwich
and has entered into Heaven and is erased
and is exanimate and is an ex-cat
and has expired and is expunged
and is extinct and is extinguished

[...]

To view the complete poem, click here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Penny's Cat is Dead (ss 4-5)

{...}

and has fallen asleep and has fallen off its perch
and is finished and has flatlined
and is food for worms and was gathered to its ancestors
and has given up the ghost and is gone
and has gone belly up and has gone bung
and has gone for a burton and has gone into the fertilizer business
and has gone over the Big Ridge and has gone south
and has gone the way of all flesh and has gone to a better place
and has gone to Bone Bayou and has gone to California
and has gone to its reward and has gone to meet its maker
and has gone to the big location in the sky and has gone to the Dirt Disco
and has gone to the Happy Hunting Ground and has gone to the Last Roundup
and has gone to the wall and has gone west

and has got a one-way ticket and has gotten its wings
and has graduated and has handed in its dinner pail
and is history and has hopped on the last rattler
and has hopped the twig and has hung up its tack
and is in Abraham’s bosom and is inanimate
and is inert and is in repose
and is insensate and is insentient
and has joined its ancestors and has joined the angels
and has joined the choir invisible and has joined the majority
and is kaput and has kicked the bucket
and has kicked the calendar and is kissing the dust
and has knocked on Heaven’s door and is late

[...]

To view the complete poem, click here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Penny's Cat is Dead (ss 6-7)

[...]

and was launched into eternity and has left
and has left the building and is lifeless
and is liquidated and is living-impaired
and has lost its life and has mailed in its warranty card
and is marinating in soil and is metabolically challenged
and has met its maker and has met the Grim Reaper
and has met the King of Terrors and is at Morrison Hotel
and is mortified and has moved into upper management
and is no longer alive and is no longer with us
and is no more and is nonexistent
and is nonliving and is not alive
and is not existing and is not living
and is offed and is off the hooks

and is on the road to nowhere and is out of its misery
and has paid its debts and has paid the piper
and has paid the ultimate price and has passed
and has passed away and has passed in its alley
and has passed on and has passed over Jordan
and is past and has pegged it
and has pegged out and is in Pet Sematary
and has perished and has permanently retired
and has picked up its harp and is pining for the fjords
and has popped its cogs and has popped off
and is pulseless and is pushing up daisies
and is pushing up parsley and is pushing up posies

[...]

To view the complete poem, click here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Penny's Cat is Dead (ss 8-9)

[...]

and was put in the crisper and was put in the hopper
and was quenched and was reformatted
and is reposing and is resting in peace
and is riding the pale horse and has run down the curtain
and has rung down the curtain and was sent to the dirt archive
and is a shroud of clay and has shuffled off this mortal coil
and is six feet under and is sleeping
and is sleeping the big sleep and has slipped its cable
and has snuffed it and is somewhere people are dying to get into
and is sowing the Elysian Fields and is spiritless
and has sprouted wings and has stepped out
and is stiff and is still

and is stone cold and is stone dead
and has stopped living and was struck down
and was struck out by the Big Blue Pencil and has succumbed
and has taken its last bow and was taken out of production
and has taken the big jump and is taking a dirt nap
and is Tango Uniform and is tits up
and is toast and is toes up
and has turned its face to the wall and has turned up its toes
and is unanimated and is wandering the Elysian Fields
and is wasted and is wearing a pine overcoat
and is worm food. Poor Penny,
her cat is dead, and not even red,
so she can’t even have it made into a hat.

--
George J. Dance
October 2010

[All rights reserved by the author]

To view the complete poem, click here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Penny's Top 20 - October 2010

The 20 most-visited poems on  The Betty Blog during October, 2010, ranked in order:

  1. A Sonnet of the Moon, Charles Best
  2. Esthétique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  3. Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, Wallace Stevens
  4. Penny (or Penny's Hat), George Dance
  5. Mars & Avril, George Dance

  6. September Night, George Dance
  7. Autumn Song, George Dance
  8. Meditations in Time of Civil War, W.B. Yeats
  9. Romance Novel, Arthur Rimbaud 
10. Vowels / Voyelles , Arthur Rimbaud

11. A Vagabond Song, Bliss Carman
12. Large Red Man Reading, Wallace Stevens
13. Puella Parvula, Wallace Stevens
14. High Flight, John Gillespie Magee, Jr. 
15. The Height of Land, Duncan Campbell Scott

16. Penny's OS, George Dance
17. To Autumn, William Blake
18. Lorelei's Song / Das Loreleylied, Heinrich Heine
19. Penny's OS 2.0, George Dance
20. ground zero, Shaun Hull

Source: The Best Links. Web. Nov. 2, 2010.  http://www.thebestlinks.com/diff/index/13294319

Monday, November 1, 2010

Last Week in October / Thomas Hardy

   
Last Week in October

The trees are undressing, and fling in many places —
On the gray road, the roof, the window-sill —
Their radiant robes and ribbons and yellow laces;
A leaf each second so is flung at will,
Here, there, another and another, still and still.

A spider's web has caught one while downcoming,
That stays there dangling when the rest pass on;
Like a suspended criminal hangs he, mumming
In golden garb, while one yet green, high yon,
Trembles, as fearing such a fate for himself anon.

---
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
from
Winter Words, 1928

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the European Union]

Thomas Hardy biography