Thursday, December 8, 2016

Daily Dose

From The Life of Samuel Johnson, by James Boswell

CANT

“My dear friend, clear your mind of cant. You may talk as other people do: you may say to a man, "Sir, I am your most humble servant." You are not his most humble servant. You may say, "These are bad times; it is a melancholy thing to be reserved to such times." You don't mind the times ... You may talk in this manner; it is a mode of talking in Society; but don't think foolishly.”

From Volume 4

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Caricature


Daily Dose


From The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, edited by David V. Erdman

EXCESS

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”

From The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Caricature


Daily Dose


From E. E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904 - 1962, edited by George James Firmage

34

my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give,
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height

this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if(so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm

newly as from unburied which
floats the first who,his april touch
drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

and should some why completely weep
my father's fingers brought her sleep:
vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow.

Lifting the valleys of the sea
my father moved through griefs of joy;
praising a forehead called the moon
singing desire into begin

joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice

keen as midsummer's keen beyond
conceiving mind of sun will stand,
so strictly(over utmost him
so hugely) stood my father's dream

his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn't creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile.

Scorning the Pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel;
his anger was as right as rain
his pity was as green as grain

septembering arms of year extend
yes humbly wealth to foe and friend
than he to foolish and to wise
offered immeasurable is

proudly and(by octobering flame
beckoned)as earth will downward climb,
so naked for immortal work
his shoulders marched against the dark

his sorrow was as true as bread:
no liar looked him in the head;
if every friend became his foe
he'd laugh and build a world with snow.

My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)

then let men kill which cannot share,
let blood and flesh be mud and mire,
scheming imagine,passion willed,
freedom a drug that's bought and sold

giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear,to doubt a mind,
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am

though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet,
maggoty minus and dumb death
all we inherit,all bequeath

and nothing quite so least as truth
--i say though hate were why men breathe--
because my Father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all

Monday, December 5, 2016

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick # 99 (with Nancy Pearl!)


Daily Dose


From The Poems of Sarah Teasdale 

 SNOW SONG

Fairy snow, fairy snow,
Blowing, blowing everywhere,
Would that I
Too, could fly
Lightly, lightly through the air.

Like a wee, crystal star
I should drift, I should blow
Near, more near,
To my dear
Where he comes through the snow.

I should fly to my love
Like a flake in the storm,
I should die,
I should die,
On his lips that are warm. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Another


Daily Dose


From The Collected Poems, by Sylvia Plath

THE SNOWMAN ON THE MOOR

Stalemated their armies stood, with tottering banners:
She flung from a room
Still ringing with bruit of insults and dishonors

And in fury left him
Glowering at the coal-fire: ‘Come find me'—her last taunt.
He did not come

But sat on, guarding his grim battlement.
By the doorstep
Her winter-beheaded daisies, marrowless, gaunt,

Warned her to keep
Indoors with politic goodwill, not haste
Into a landscape

Of stark wind-harrowed hills and weltering mist;
But from the house
She stalked intractable as a driven ghost

Across moor snows
Pocked by rock-claw and rabbit-track: she must yet win
Him to his knees—

Let him send police and hounds to bring her in.
Nursing her rage
Through bare whistling heather, over stiles of black stone,

To the world's white edge
She came, and called hell to subdue an unruly man
And join her siege.

It was no fire-blurting fork-tailed demon
Volcanoed hot
From marble snow-heap of moor to ride that woman

With spur and knout
Down from pride's size: instead, a grisly-thewed,
Austere, corpse-white

Giant heaved into the distance, stone-hatcheted,
Sky-high, and snow
Floured his whirling beard, and at his tread

Ambushed birds by
Dozens dropped dead in the hedges: o she felt
No love in his eye,

Worse—saw dangling from that spike-studded belt
Ladies' sheaved skulls:
Mournfully the dry tongues clacked their guilt:

‘Our wit made fools
Of kings, unmanned kings' sons: our masteries
Amused court halls:

For that brag, we barnacle these iron thighs.'
Throned in the thick
Of a blizzard, the giant roared up with his chittering trophies.

From brunt of axe-crack
She shied sideways: a white fizz! and the giant, pursuing,
Crumbled to smoke.

Humbled then, and crying,
The girl bent homeward, brimful of gentle talk
And mild obeying.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

One for My Girlfriend


Daily Dose


From Collected Verse, by Ogden Nash

THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN

I've never seen an abominable snowman,
I'm hoping not to see one,
I'm also hoping, if I do,
That it will be a wee one.

Friday, December 2, 2016

More of the Same, I Fear


More of the Same


Daily Dose


From Last and Lost Poems, by Delmore Schwartz

POEM

Old man in the crystal morning after snow,
Your throat swathed in a muffler, your bent
Figure building the snow man which is meant
For the grandchild's target,
do you know
This fat cartoon, his eyes pocked in with coal
Nears you each time your breath smokes the air,
Lewdly grinning out of a private nightmare?
He is the white cold shadow of your soul.

You build his comic head, you place his comic hat;
Old age is not so serious, and I
By the window sad and watchful as a cat,
Build to this poem of old age and of snow,
And weep: you are my snow man and I know
I near you, you near him, all of us must die.

Thursday, December 1, 2016