– photographs and messages from inside the Sausurrean Bar –

Category: poetry @ work


Archive for the ‘poetry @ work’ Category

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

TDLaSM: Snow-Flakes
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

’cause I taught it last week – TDLaSM: The Rainy Day

 

The Rainy Day
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Annabel Lee

Tomorrow is session two on the works of Edgar Allan Poe in one of my classes and we’ll be discussing Poe’s “Review of Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales” as well as his “Philosophy of Composition”. For transfer work, we’ll be applying things learned from these two theoretical works to both the short story we read and discussed last week, and to (and this is where the title of this post comes in) his poem “Annabel Lee”. Which is – in my opinion – fantastically well composed, and I love the sheer rhythm and soundscape of it … which also means that, once you’ve got it in your brain, it kind of stays there. So I thought I’d share. Three anapaests and then a iamb make for a beautiful rhythm that grabs you right there in the first line, don’t you think?

Annabel Lee
Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love–
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me–
Yes!–that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we–
Of many far wiser than we–
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling–my darling–my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

–> Dramatic Rendition.

Bonus random fact:
Nabokov’s original title for Lolita was The Kingdom by the Sea, and Humbert Humbert’s childhood sweetheart’s name is? Annabel Leigh. How about that.

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Poetry at work

So, the second poem I had up on my board at work is this one:

Because You Asked about the Line between Prose and Poetry
Howard Nemerov

Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle
That while you watched turned into pieces of snow
Riding a gradient invisible
From silver aslant to random, white, and slow.

There came a moment that you couldn’t tell.
And then they clearly flew instead of fell.

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Poetry at work

So, on my board here at work (where I still am, 7pm, yes, yes, I know…) I added a new ‘feature’ during the summer, namely a ‘poem of the week/month’ (to allow for a bit of leeway regarding the frequency of how often I update it) – I haven’t seen any one stop by to read it, but since I used to read everything posted outside of offices while waiting for someone’s office hours to start, I am hopeful that someone at some point actually does. My internal kind-of-rules for the selection are that the poems should be a) poems I am not going to be teaching in the near future, b) not too long, c) possibly not the most popular poems, on account of people being more likely to having encountered those, d) in English (now, at any rate – the first one I posted was a translation from Russian, so …) .

Today I changed the poem on display for the first time, and on that momentous occassion (ha!) decided to share them here, too. The first one I posted on my board I had only just encountered at the time of me deciding to embark on this venture, the second one is an old favourite (which I will share on a different day) – and for now here is installation #1, which I read and which immediately reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut writing in Slaughterhouse Five: “And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human.” (21f) I do, too.

Lot’s Wife
Anna Akhmatova

And the just man trailed God’s messenger
His huge, light shape devoured the black hill.
But uneasiness shadowed his wife and spoke to her:
“It’s not too late, you can look back still

At the red towers of Sodom, the place that bore you,
The square in which you sang, the spinning-shed,
At the empty windows of that upper storey
Where children blessed your happy marriage-bed.”

Her eyes that were still turning when a bolt
Of pain shot through them, were instantly blind;
Her body turned into transparent salt,
And her swift legs were rooted to the ground.

Who mourns one woman in a holocaust?
Surely her death has no significance?
Yet in my heart she will never be lost
She who gave up her life to steal one glance.