Poet Laureate Ninian: April 2006 - September 2006

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:22 pm

<a name="reading">What's on your bookshelf?</a>


Recently, I was having a discussion about poetry with a friend of mine and we were talking about the different poetry anthologies that each of us owns. It got me thinking that I'd love to know what the people here are reading, and I thought we could share our poetry recommendations here.

One of my well-thumbed anthologies is

20th Century Poetry & Poetics - 4th Edition edited by Gary Geddes.

Published by Oxford University Press Canada (April 1996)
ISBN: 0195410157

This book features a number of poets, many of them Canadian, all fairly contemporary. I find that I can lose an afternoon in this anthology reading old friends and making new discoveries. The latter quarter of the book is given over to essays on the writing of poetry by many of the poets featured in the anthology. Well worth getting.

Palgraves Golden Treasury edited by Francis Turner Palgrave

Published by Oxford University Press England (October 2002)
ISBN : 0192803697

Originally published in 1861, Palgrave's Golden Treasury quickly established itself as the most popular selection of English poems. Today it stands as a testament to the richness of our finest native poetic writing from Spenser, Shakespeare, and Wordsworth, to Tennyson, Yeats, Eliot, and Betjeman. This edition includes a sixth book, prepared by John Press, which covers the post-war years, showing that the lyrical tradition remains strong. Over 90 poets are included, from Dylan Thomas, George Mackay Brown, Ted Hughes, and Philip Larkin to Carol Ann Duffy, Elizabeth Garrett and Simon Armitage.

I have an older edition of this anthology but it is a delight to curl up with and read some really fine lyrical poetry.

The Rattle Bag edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes

Published by Faber and Faber (1982)
ISBN: 057111976

Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes have brought together an inspired and diverse selection, ranging from undisputed masterpieces to rare discoveries, as well as drawing upon works in translation and traditional poems from oral cultures. In effect, this anthology has transformed the way we define and appreciate poetry, and it will continue to do so for years to come.

Unlike other anthologies, The Rattle Bag has organised the poetry in alphabetical order by poem title. This allows poets as diverse as William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll and Stevie Smith to rub shoulders in the pages of this book.

The Penguin Book of English Verse edited by John Hayward

Published by Penguin Books, Ltd. (1982)
ISBN: 0140420320

This book is a more traditional anthology, listing poets chronologically from around the 1500s to late 20th Century. It features such poets as Dylan Thomas, Edmund Spenser, and Percy Bysshe Shelley along with many other well known poets.

So, what's on your bookshelf?

Review/synopsis information for Palgrave's Golden Treasury and The Rattle Bag, is from http://www.amazon.co.uk/


Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

Sailing Alone Around the Room, Billy Collins

The Poetry of Maya Angelou, Random House 1993

Spiral Dance, Starhawk

:cool: :cool:


i just have one book from the early 70's
The Young American Poets

other than that,
when i was a little kid i kept numerous eap bibliogrophies
or what ever they are called handy, which i found
at the librairy.

i'm heathen. how dare i even try to rhyme in simple
fashion. i'm supposed
to read all the greats first right?

zero wrote:i'm supposed
to read all the greats first right?
no rule that says you must read certain poets before writing, but reading good poetry can only improve your own writing...most writers are also readers ;)


maybe that 70's book burnt me out on poetry books.
heres what some of the poems are like.

"my love for henry ford"


some of the Ts were upside down and another looked like it
was pulling out of the row. i guess they represent cars and a hyway
confusion complication ect. (so thank you henry ford for
complicating us and pulluting the city)

it made me feel inferior because i couldn't understand it
like i should not be reading or writing.


ummm yeah...experimental stuff....

sometimes in the hands of a really good poet experimental poetry can be interesting....but y'know ;)


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

several different books containing the poetry of John Donne.

The Norton Anthology of English Literature (I forget which edition...I got the book brand new in 1996)

The Norton Anthology of Poetry (again, I forget the edition)


I looked and I have a very new edition of Six women poets. I also have a mahoosive ( :mrgreen: ) Norton poetry anthology which I had to buy for my university course and it's full of so many poets it's unreal.



"mahoosive" i love that word!

I have a large Norton as well - English Literature, bought new in 1981. It's mostly the period from about 1350 to the 1900s because that's the period of literature I studied in first year English Lit ;)



Personally I think the Northon anthologies should be part of any writer's library, whether they're a poet, essayist, playwrite, or other type of writer. :2cents:


The Nortons are good aren't they? Large selection of wonderful writers and easy to just dip into and read a bit at a time!


One of my favourite books from my university days. :grin: I went out and bought the Norton Anthology of Poetry at a used bookstore a few years ago.


Noel Coward - Collected Verse

Dorothy Livesay - The Woman I Am

Anne Carson - Men in the Off Hours

Anne Michaels - Skin Divers

Anne Sexton - The Complete Poems

Ooodles of Leonard Cohen

Elizabeth Smart - The Collected Poems (contains all the poetry Elizabeth Smart herself wished to see preserved)

And more.........

I don't have any Sylvia Plath, in fact I'm not sure I've even read any of her poetry apart from the one or two that were posted on the Pages sometime ago.

Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Smart and of course Sylvia Plath it could be said led tortured lives - maybe that's why I relate!

I was trying to ask someone today some questions about why I can't seem to write any more - of course there's more to it than just that. When I got their reply I felt as if my question hadn't been heard in its' entirety. Or perhaps it was just one of those misunderstandings when you're writing to someone rather than talking face to face. Anyway, this communication I was attempting made me think of a certain poem by Elizabeth Smart. It's not in the book I've mentioned above, but I copied it down from a book of her diaries.

"I want to be a poet, I said
But even as I said it I felt the round softness of my breasts
And my mind wandered and wavered
Back to the earthly things
And the swooning warmth of being loved.

Bright and hard and meticulously observant
My brain was to be
A mirror reflecting things cut in eternal rightness
But before I could chisel the first word of a concrete poem
My breast fell voluptuously into my hand
And I remembered I was a woman."

Elizabeth Smart - November 18, 1934
I think what Elizabeth is writing about here is the surety she had that she wants to be a poet, perhaps to the exclusion of her womanhood. It wasn't easy in 1934 to be a poet, one had to be conscious that what was expected of her was to be a woman and all that that entails. In my mind she's having this struggle within herself between being a poet, and being a woman, which she thinks are opposing forces.


I like the poem by Smart, Gillian. I'm also envious of some of your books! Shame you didn't live close by and I could come over for a read :)



I have a large collection of poetry books most concentrating on single authors but I do have a few anthologies .. In the bookcase in my sitting room I have;

"The Nations Favorite Poems"
"The Nations Favorite Comic Poems" both of which are excellent anthologies published by the BBC.

101 Poems Against War.

A collection of Second World War poems.

"Never Such Innocence" ~ Poems of the First World War.

"She Wields a Pen" ~ American Women Poets of the 19th Century.

One Hundred and One Great Books in Haiku ~ A flippant attempt to re-write and condence famous works into three lines. I HATE IT !

Actually, I feel bad saying I hate it without providing some samples of its content. Read the following and make your own mind up. If anyone wants this book they can P.M. me their address and I'll post it to them.


Paradise Lost

O'er and o'er God warned
"Eat not th' apple! Man dids't and
God Ballistick went.

War and Peace

Guns roar, Russia burns.
Where's Audrey ? Who is Petra ?
Confused, France retreats.

Little Women

Snowdrops hang like tears.
Shy, sweet, saintly Beth has died.
One down, three to go.

:roll: :no: :2cents:

.. and last but by no means least I have;
"Poetry Pages ~ A collection of Voices from around the World"
Volumes 1 & II
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Ven wrote:"The Nations Favorite Poems"
I have this one as well as The Nation's Favourite Love Poems. I really like both of them!



100 Best-Loved Poems - Philip Smith

Selected Poems - Emily Dickinson (publisher: Dover Publications, release date: July 1990)

The Odyssey - Homer

ninian wrote:"mahoosive" i love that word!

I have a large Norton as well - English Literature, bought new in 1981. It's mostly the period from about 1350 to the 1900s because that's the period of literature I studied in first year English Lit ;)

Heehee. Yeah mahoosive is a fun word.

I had never seen such a huge book of poetry until I laid eyes on the Norton Anthology. Do you reccommend any good poems from it?


It depends, I think on which edition you have. I think it also depends on what poets and poetry you like. Personally I recommend anything by John Donne. Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth (sometimes also titled Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting The Banks Of The Wye During A Tour. July 13, 1798) is another excellent piece.


I totally forgot to mention that I received the most wonderful gift from someone very dear to me - a copy of Wendy Cope's book of poetry Serious Concerns. I absolutely love her work and I was thrilled to receive this gift :)

If you're interested in her work, there is a site here Wendy Cope Poetry Archive that features some of her work read by her and a bit of a biography of her. She's fierce about copyright and many websites that have done a "tribute" to her have been asked by her lawyers to remove her poetry. As a result, I shan't be posting any of her work!


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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:27 pm

<a name="publish">Four Ways to Publish Your Poetry</a>

Published by John Hewitt

There are four general options for publishing a collection of poetry:

1. Web Publishing
2. Subsidized Publishing
3. Self Publishing
4. Traditional Publishing

Each method has its own benefits and detriments. For example, web publishing is the least expensive and has the least prestige but surprisingly it is capable or reaching a much wider audience than most other methods. My site, such as it is, reaches over 30,000 unique visitors a month.

Option 1: Web Publishing

Web publishing is, quite simply, setting up web pages to display your work. This is an easy process, even for someone with limited knowledge of web page creation. You can make use of a service such as http://www.blogger.com (free) to create your own site and you simply need to paste in your poems. It is hardly more work than e-mailing. Feel free to view the poetry page I created in 10 minutes using blogger (the actual poems took longer).

Because web sites are inexpensive and easy to create, there are many people out there doing it. This means that it carries less prestige than any of the other methods, yet web pages are easier to promote than books and because they are free, will often attract more readers than a book if you do a little marketing and publicity work.

Option 2: Subsidized Publishing

Subsidized publishing is when you pay someone to publish a book for you. There are many options of varying expense. Print-on-demand services are the cheapest, and http://www.lulu.com has been gaining in reputation among those services lately. http://www.xlibris.com and http://www.iuniverse.com are two other established services. Print-on-demand publishers only print books when they are ordered. This means that you do not have to pay for a set run of books and therefore have little (sometimes no) upfront fees.

The downside of these services is that there is often very little variation in the printing process. In other words, you have limited control over how the book looks. You may also have to create the formatting for the book on your own, which many people do not know how to do. If you can’t do it, you’ll have to pay someone who can. This publishing segment is still relatively new (only five years old by my count) and much like the Internet, you have to be careful to make sure what a service offers is what they provide.

A more expensive, more established option is to go with a subsidized publishing company that will work with you individually to tailor the book to your vision. The publisher will then print a run of books (100 is usually the bare minimum and 1000 will generally get you a reasonable price-per-book). You pay upfront for the books and you sell them on your own through advertising, readings and whatever other means you can come up with. A new, inexpensive option is to go with a print-on-demand publisher such as lulu.com.

The benefit of subsidized publishing is that you get an actual book that you can hold, show and even sell. It doesn’t quite have the prestige of traditional publishing, but people do respect almost any book more than a web page.

Option 3: Self Publishing

Self publishing is a challenge. It means taking charge of every aspect of the publishing process from formatting the book to obtaining the ISBN number to printing the book to marketing the book. It is not a simple process, but it is a rewarding one. Every part of the process can be done by an individual working out their own home with the right equipment (computer, printer, desktop publishing program, telephone, personal resolve). On the other hand, any part of the process can be hired out, from designing the book to printing the book to hiring a publicist.

Many poets start with a chapbook. The definition of a chapbook is that it is stapled (like a magazine) rather than bound. Because of this, chapbooks are relatively easy to produce on a printer or through a copy shop. They aren’t quite as attractive as bound books and most book stores will not carry them because you can’t read the name on the binding, which is how book store patrons generally find books. You can, however, sell these books through Amazon or other online outlets as long as you have an ISBN number.

Option 4: Traditional Publishing

The “traditional” publishing world (in which the publisher assumes all expense and sometimes even pays the poet) is a tough nut to crack. Major publishers do not publish books of poetry, except when they see a clear profit in the activity or they are appeasing an otherwise profitable writer. This leaves most poetry publishing to university presses and other small presses. There are virtually no agents who work with poets and small presses. Most of these publishers struggle to break even, much less turn a profit. Because of this, small presses often exist to publish works or poets that the publisher loves, not just likes or appreciates, loves. Often, the publisher knows the poet on a personal basis or has discovered them through journals or recommendations from other poets. That is why it is important to become active in the poetry world. If you are sending your poetry to these publishers without getting to know who the publishers are and what they like, your chances of finding the right publisher for you are slim.

The best way to become a published poet through the traditional route is to become a part of the poetry community. How do you do that?

1. Buy books of poetry, especially books by current writers working in the field.
2. Subscribe to poetry journals.
3. Go to poetry readings. Check your local arts publications. Almost any sizable town has readings every week or every other week. This is a great opportunity to meet poets and people who care about poetry. When you go to readings, donate money and buy books if you can. Support the community you belong to. Host a poetry event or organize a reading. This is a way or recognizing the poets you enjoy and a way of promoting yourself in the community.
4. Publish your own poetry journal. Even a web page or a few sheets of paper stapled together gets the word out.
5. Form a poetry circle or group. If you want to swap poetry and criticism with your peers, form your own group. Many local arts publications let you list your group for free.

This article was originally published at PoeWar.com the Writer's Resource Centre and is part of the Blog Archives

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:29 pm

<a name="debab"><center>debab

featured poet for the month of august 2006

This month I'm featuring a long time ppages member (she joined in 2002!) who has a fair number of poems posted here but manages to slip in and post almost furtively. I've had the pleasure of reading several of her poems and love the images she creates with words.

debab says that she is a ferocious reader, but came to poetry later than most, finding that the form of poetry really worked with images in her head. I'm just glad she elects to share these images with us on a regular basis!

Please click the links to visit the original topics and leave a response for debab. Alternatively, click here and see all of her work.

A few featured poems:

Searching for Crinoids

by debab

Early morning before the old sun
paints the horizon
we skid erratically down the sanddunes.
Opening skin and eyes to the sky and beach
yields the pleasure of warm dawnings.
Dog sticks his nose right into
left over bits of charred wood
from a late night bonfire
looking for leftover melted marshmallows.
Now the overhead bowl
is wide and lapis lazuli bold
and on the shore miniature pebbles roll
reverse, then wait
changed in the ancient glacial water.
We stroll the line of the lake, dog and I
searching all the while -
he for scents and a chase
me, for the fossilized elusive trace
that if found, I string onto bracelets.
Don't ask me why this feels so good
it is just one of those things.
Dog and I rest on the edge
of earth and water
he pants with a tongue hanging out
sometimes, I might sing.

Original Post

last thought

a tribute to Francesca Woodman

by debab

Life as a series
of glances;
continual attempted captures,
arrested moments
to pick over or savor.

As she floated
through the air,
was her last thought
of a final interaction not
caught with the intangilble
aerial atom or an array
of love and wings
sprouting from her family and friends.

her memories carry on.

Original Post - including a brief explanation by the poet of who Francesca Woodman was


by debab

A frisson of ice tickles a neck
and into existence roars
the crowd for a spectacle of uniformed players.
A fullback clad in college colors, my
autumnal husk of exploding forces

skittering leaves

drift by
some skeletal
some retain regal colors.
Once, I planted a tree
advertised as miniature apple.
I was to espalier it onto a trellis.
Instead, it grew into a huge 10 footer
and is still expanding taller.
The branches drop green apples in spring
and hold fast to a wizen few for
harvest in September.
All summer, fruit ripen rich hues,
leak slow rivulets of sticky sweet-juice.

All around, bees hover and bounce like furry helicopters.

Time encircles all flesh, pursues it to the exit.
I add a dash of cinnamon
to cider heating on the back burner
Scents of exotic sands and desert flowers
curl and reach upward.

When Columbus set sail for his Queen's desire of spice
instead, a siren-shore pulled him in.
Nero mounded cinnamon onto his wife's pyre,
locking spirit onto smoky orbits of shifting atoms.

Thirst exists,
on open hands like spider webs
hidden in crevasses or transitive verbs.
Unseen by us, dark matter tugs
on space as if it senses a sort of absence.
Stars will evaporate into unticked
aeons, each furnaced carbon facet
pulsing unfathomable aches of wonder
sometimes detected
as phantom pains jostling in our marrow.

Original Post

iamb what iamb

by debab

I sweat, I curse, it's time to master stress.
Enunciate in metered measure, yes,
appears to be a pleasure, so they claim.
It feels as if my feet are marching stuck
in clay, the left leg weaker than the right.
Dusty and clunky, anapest and trochee
Where is the scat song, the jazzy steps
that slid free verse from my pen?
To learn, to scan - sigh
begin again, to count the stresses on my digits.

Original Post

Please visit these and debab's other wonderful poetry!

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:32 pm

<a name="hunter">Catherine Hunter</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.mbwriter.mb.ca/poetry/graphics/c_hunter.jpg" alt="Catherine Hunter">Catherine Hunter teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg. In addition to her three collections of poetry, Lunar Wake, Necesary Crimes and Latent Heat, for which she received the Manitoba Book of the Year Award, she has published a spoken word CD, Rush Hour, two thrillers, The Dead of Midnight and Where Shadows Burn and one novella, In the First Early Days of my Death.

Awards and Shortlists:

Winner, McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, Latent Heat, 1998.

Shortlisted for the Carol Shields City of Winnipeg Book Award, Where Shadows Burn, 2000.
Shortlisted for McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, Lunar Wake, 1995.
Shortlisted, John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer, 1992 & 1993.

In her own words:

On the Craft of Writing

I like to think I write for noble reasons like sparking people's awareness of nature and human nature. But often I suspect it's because I love playing with language and the rhythm of language. I love telling stories, love making things and love making things up. It's hard work, but ultimately it's fun to create something out of nothing and to share it with other people.

Advice to New Writers

First you have to know who you are and have some understanding of the simple things in life, such as human beings, grief, joy, turtles and paintbrushes. Once you've got that down pat, or once you give up on it, then read. Read the "classics" and read contemporary literature. find the writers you love and figure out why you love them. If you really want to write well, read them again, study them. Then write until you absolutely can't stand it any more. Then rewrite. Then revise. Ask yourself, "What is it I'm trying to say here?" Write some more. Repeat.


In the First Early Days of My Death. In the First Early Days of My Death is not easily categorized. Found in the mystery section of bookstores, this diminutive novel can be enjoyed on several levels. On the surface, it works well as a mystery whose premise bears a passing resemblance to Alice Sebold's current bestseller The Lovely Bones. Wendy Li is a young Winnipeg librarian. She realizes she is dead when she finds herself floating among her loved ones, receiving neither acknowledgement nor recognition. She comes to the conclusion that she has been murdered by Evelyn, her husband's jealous ex-girlfriend. Wendy hovers on the fringes of the astral plane, frustrated by her inability to help her earth-bound friends and relatives to see to it that Evelyn is brought to justice; (Signature Editions); 0-92183-387-3; 2002.

The Dead of Midnight. Members of a Winnipeg murder-mystery book club get nervous when the frightening events in the books they are reading start to come true, right in their own neighbourhood of Wolseley. Turnstone Press (a Ravenstone book); 0-88801-261-6; 2001. Thriller.

Rush Hour (CD). Cyclops Press; 189417708-8; 2000. Poetry.

Where Shadows Burn. A young widow becomes terrorized when evidence suggests that her dead husband is stalking her. Turnstone Press (a Ravenstone book); 0-88801-231-4; 1999. Thriller.

Latent Heat. Nuage Editions; 0-921-833-55-5; 1997. Poetry.

Lunar Wake. Poems about the moon, getting rid of the moon and other things. Turnstone Press; 0-88801-184-9; 1994. Poetry.

Necessary Crimes. Poems about accidents, family, writing and other crimes. Blizzard; 1988. Reprinted by The Muses' Company in 2000, 1-896239-60-9. Poetry.

The electric daughter

all winter in your daughter's bedroom
the air thickens with ions
she lies on the bed,
brooding over long division,
friendship and betrayal
she strokes the cat
fur crackles
underneath her fingers

when you turn out the light
she lifts her arms
to reach your face,
her nightgown shedding
temporary stars
each time she moves
her kiss,
the prick of a needle
on your lip

you shake out the bedclothes
and the green blanket ripples above her
bright with phosphorescence in the dark room

you can't absorb what you see in that moment
long legs, the sudden, unmistakable shape
of a woman there on the sheet

all night you dream of angry honey bees
swarming in a cloud outside your lighted window

meanwhile, the electric daughter
through the house, gold sparks
falling from her hair
like rain

everything she touches
hurts her


Tell me about heaven, I said.
I lay flat on my back on the grass
while the cumulous clouds revolved
in the hot blue sky. In those days
we used to spin ourselves dizzy
on purpose and make up lies
while whirling slowed and came to rest.
The Catholic boys always had the best stories:
pearls and honey and happy, wingèd creatures
with voices like nightingales. I listened
to all of this while my brother dipped a loop of wire
into a jar of soap suds and blew bubbles.
The Catholic boys stood above me
as they spoke, their blond heads barely
blocking the sun, a single corona of sparks
and diamonds in their hair, and the fat globes
of light were rising, indigo and lavender and ruby
and the world was supposed to stop spinning, eventually,
but it never did. The ground was fluid
under my back, as if I were resting
on that cool bank of clouds and sailing
the circumference of the sky. I was extremely young.
I felt it might be possible to drift through life
very easily, looking down at the neighbourhood
as I passed over it.


The eyes of potatoes were dangerous.
That's what the other kids said.
Also the clear, red berries that grew
in the policeman's hedge. Even the combination
of cucumbers and milk could do you in,
your stomach turning black inside and bursting.
Stinging nettles sprouted by the train tracks
where we set our pennies on the rail
and seeded the ditch with coiled paper flowers
we bought in Chinatown, watching them swell
and bloom like stars until they grew heavy with water.
My mother pushed the baby stroller around and around
the American Consulate downtown, as if she could stop
the nuclear testing with the sheer beauty
of her moving body. Meanwhile at school
the kids stood up beside their desks
and recited the Lord's Prayer, while I stayed quiet
the way my father said I should if I had the guts
to disobey, and apparently I did.
I walked down the backlane where I wasn't allowed
to walk. I was a stubborn girl, and for each
stubborn girl there is a man in the backlane, waiting.
Mine had a dull coil of barbed wire in the back seat
of his car and something in his lap I'd never seen before.
He touched me and I ran, the way I always ran
when the bell sounded for the air-raid drill at school.
We all ran, though we knew we were lucky children.
We were spoiled, my father said, and the war
was merely a rumour to us, an interrupted story
traced in the maze of skin grafts on his face,
the sunken lids that made the other kids stare.
I knew I wasn't going to be strafed by shrapnel
on the way home, but I ran anyway.
I ran past the policeman's hedge with its clear,
red berries, and all of a sudden they looked delicious to me.

all poetry © Catherine Hunter

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:34 pm

<a name="heaney">Seamus Heaney</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/lite ... heaney.gif" alt="Seamus Heaney">Seamus Heaney was born in April 1939, the eldest member of a family which would eventually contain nine children. His father owned and worked a small farm of some fifty acres in County Derry in Northern Ireland, but the father's real commitment was to cattle-dealing. There was something very congenial to Patrick Heaney about the cattle-dealer's way of life to which he was introduced by the uncles who had cared for him after the early death of his own parents. The poet's mother came from a family called McCann whose connections were more with the modern world than with the traditional rural economy; her uncles and relations were employed in the local linen mill and an aunt had worked "in service" to the mill owners' family. The poet has commented on the fact that his parentage thus contains both the Ireland of the cattle-herding Gaelic past and the Ulster of the Industrial Revolution; indeed, he considers this to have been a significant tension in his background, something which corresponds to another inner tension also inherited from his parents, namely that between speech and silence. His father was notably sparing of talk and his mother notably ready to speak out, a circumstance which Seamus Heaney believes to have been fundamental to the "quarrel with himself" out of which his poetry arises.

Heaney grew up as a country boy and attended the local primary school. As a very young child, he watched American soldiers on manoeuvres in the local fields, in preparation for the Normandy invasion of 1944. They were stationed at an aerodrome which had been built a mile or so from his home and once again Heaney has taken this image of himself as a consciousness poised between "history and ignorance" as representative of the nature of his poetic life and development. Even though his family left the farm where he was reared (it was called Mossbawn) in 1953, and even though his life since then has been a series of moves farther and farther away from his birthplace, the departures have been more geographical than psychological: rural County Derry is the "country of the mind" where much of Heaney's poetry is still grounded.

When he was twelve years of age, Seamus Heaney won a scholarship to St. Columb's College, a Catholic boarding school situated in the city of Derry, forty miles away from the home farm, and this first departure from Mossbawn was the decisive one. It would be followed in years to come by a transfer to Belfast where he lived between 1957 and 1972, and by another move from Belfast to the Irish Republic where Heaney has made his home, and then, since 1982, by regular, annual periods of teaching in America. All of these subsequent shifts and developments were dependent, however, upon that original journey from Mossbawn which the poet has described as a removal from "the earth of farm labour to the heaven of education." It is not surprising, then, that this move has turned out to be a recurrent theme in his work, from "Digging", the first poem in his first book, through the much more orchestrated treatment of it in "Alphabets"(The Haw Lantern, 1987), to its most recent appearance in "A Sofa in the Forties" which was published this year in The Spirit Level.

At St. Columb's College, Heaney was taught Latin and Irish, and these languages, together with the Anglo-Saxon which he would study while a student of Queen's University, Belfast, were determining factors in many of the developments and retrenchments which have marked his progress as a poet. The first verses he wrote when he was a young teacher in Belfast in the early 1960s and many of the best known poems in North, his important volume published in 1975, are linguistically tuned to the Anglo-Saxon note in English. His poetic line was much more resolutely stressed and packed during this period than it would be in the eighties and nineties when the "Mediterranean" elements in the literary and linguistic heritage of English became more pronounced. Station Island (1984) reveals Dante, for example, as a crucial influence, and echoes of Virgil - as well as a translation from Book VI of The Aeneid - are to be found in Seeing Things (1991). Heaney's early study of Irish bore fruit in the translation of the Middle Irish story of Suibhne Gealt in Sweeney Astray (1982) and in several other translations and echoes and allusions: the Gaelic heritage has always has been part of his larger keyboard of reference and remains culturally and politically central to the poet and his work.

Heaney's poems first came to public attention in the mid-1960s when he was active as one of a group of poets who were subsequently recognized as constituting something of a "Northern School" within Irish writing. Although Heaney is stylistically and temperamentally different from such writers as Michael Longley and Derek Mahon (his contemporaries), and Paul Muldoon, Medbh McGuckian and Ciaran Carson (members of a younger Northern Irish generation), he does share with all of them the fate of having be en born into a society deeply divided along religious and political lines, one which was doomed moreover to suffer a quarter-century of violence, polarization and inner distrust. This had the effect not only of darkening the mood of Heaney's work in the 1970s, but also of giving him a deep preoccupation with the question of poetry's responsibilities and prerogatives in the world, since poetry is poised between a need for creative freedom within itself and a pressure to express the sense of social obligation felt by the poet as citizen. The essays in Heaney's three main prose collections, but especially those in The Government of the Tongue (1988) and The Redress of Poetry (1995), bear witness to the seriousness which this question assumed for him as he was coming into his own as a writer.

These concerns also lie behind Heaney's involvement for a decade and a half with Field Day, a theatre company founded in 1980 by the playwright Brian Friel and the actor Stephen Real. Here, he was also associated with the poets Seamus Deane and Tom Paul in, and the singer David Hammond in a project which sought to bring the artistic and intellectual focus of its members into productive relation with the crisis that was ongoing in Irish political life. Through a series of plays and pamphlets (culminating in Heaney's case in his version of Sophocles' Philoctetes which the company produced and toured in 1990 under the title, The Cure at Troy), Field Day contributed greatly to the vigour of the cultural debate which flourished throughout the 1980s and 1990s in Ireland.

Heaney's beginnings as a poet coincided with his meeting the woman whom he was to marry and who was to be the mother of his three children. Marie Devlin, like her husband, came from a large family, several of whom are themselves writers and artists, including the poet's wife who has recently published an important collection of retellings of the classic Irish myths and legends (Over Nine Waves, 1994). Marie Heaney has been central to the poet's life, both professionally and imaginatively, appearing directly and indirectly in individual poems from all periods of his oeuvre right down to the most recent, and making it possible for him to travel annually to Harvard by staying on in Dublin as custodian of the growing family and the family home.

The Heaneys had spent a very liberating year abroad in 1970/71 when Seamus was a visiting lecturer at the Berkeley campus of the University of California. It was the sense of self-challenge and new scope which he experienced in the American context that encouraged him to resign his lectureship at Queen's University (1966-72) not long after he returned to Ireland, and to move to a cottage in County Wicklow in order to work full time as a poet and free-lance writer. A few years later, the family moved to Dublin and Seamus worked as a lecturer in Carysfort College, a teacher training college, where he functioned as Head of the English Department until 1982, when his present arrangement with Harvard University came into existence. This allows the poet to spend eight months at home without teaching in exchange for one semester's work at Harvard. In 1984, Heaney was named Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, one of the university's most prestigious offices. In 1989, he was elected for a five-year period to be Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, a post which requires the incumbent to deliver three public lectures every year but which does not require him to reside in Oxford.

In the course of his career, Seamus Heaney has always contributed to the promotion of artistic and educational causes, both in Ireland and abroad. While a young lecturer at Queen's University, he was active in the publication of pamphlets of poetry by the rising generation and took over the running of an influential poetry workshop which had been established there by the English poet, Philip Hobsbaum, when Hobsbaum left Belfast in 1966. He also served for five years on The Arts Council in the Republic of Ireland (1973-1978) and over the years has acted as judge and lecturer for countless poetry competitions and literary conferences, establishing a special relationship with the annual W.B. Yeats International Summer School in Sligo. In recent years, he has been the recipient of several honorary degrees; he is a member of Aosdana, the Irish academy of artists and writers, and a Foreign Member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1996, subsequent to his winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, he was made a Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1995, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1996

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1995

Mid-term Break

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close,
At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying--
He had always taken funerals in his stride--
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were "sorry for my trouble,"
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on the left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in a cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.


Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; as snug as a gun.

Under my window a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade,
Just like his old man.

My grandfather could cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, digging down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.

Personal Helicon

for Michael Longley

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

From The Frontier Of Writing

The tightness and the nilness round that space
when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect
its make and number and, as one bends his face

towards your window, you catch sight of more
on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent
down cradled guns that hold you under cover

and everything is pure interrogation
until a rifle motions and you move
with guarded unconcerned acceleration—

a little emptier, a little spent
as always by that quiver in the self,
subjugated, yes, and obedient.

So you drive on to the frontier of writing
where it happens again. The guns on tripods;
the sergeant with his on-off mike repeating

data about you, waiting for the squawk
of clearance; the marksman training down
out of the sun upon you like a hawk.

And suddenly you're through, arraigned yet freed,
as if you'd passed from behind a waterfall
on the black current of a tarmac road

past armor-plated vehicles, out between
the posted soldiers flowing and receding
like tree shadows into the polished windscreen.

all poetry © Seamus Heaney

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:36 pm

<a name="mcgough">Roger McGough</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.comedy-zone.net/images/peopl ... -roger.jpg" alt="Roger McGough">Award-winning poet, playwright, broadcaster and children's author Roger McGough was born on 9 November 1937 in Liverpool, England. He was educated at St Mary's College, Crosby, Liverpool, and at Hull University. He taught at St Kevin's Comprehensive School, Kirby, and lectured at Mabel Fletcher College in Liverpool and at the Liverpool College of Art. He was a member of the pop music/poetry group 'The Scaffold' between 1963 and 1973. He made his name as one of the 'Liverpool Poets' with Adrian Henri and Brian Patten, included in The Mersey Sound: Penguin Modern Poets 10 (1967). A Fellow of John Moores University in Liverpool, he won a Cholmondeley Award in 1999 and was awarded an honorary MA from Nene College of Further Education. He was Fellow of Poetry at the University of Loughborough (1973-5), Honorary Professor at Thames Valley University (1993) and is a member of the Executive Council of the Poetry Society. He was awarded an OBE in 1997.

He has twice won the Signal Poetry Award: first in 1984 with Sky in the Pie, then again in 1999 for Bad, Bad Cats. He is also the author of a number of plays, including All the Trimmings, first performed at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, in 1980, and The Mouthtrap, which he wrote with Brian Patten, produced at the Edinburgh Festival in 1982. He wrote the lyrics for an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows first staged in Washington, DC, in 1984, transferring to Broadway in 1995. He has written for and presented programmes on BBC Radio including 'Poetry Please' and 'Home Truths'. His film work includes Kurt, Mungo, BP and Me (1984), for which he won a BAFTA award, and he won the Royal Television Society Award for his science programme The Elements (1993).

His most recent book of poetry is Everyday Eclipses (2002). His Collected Poems, bringing together over forty years of McGough's poetry, was published in 2003, and his live poetry album, Lively, is now out on CD.

Roger McGough's autobiography, Said and Done, was published in 2005.

First Day at School

A millionbillionwillion miles from home
Waiting for the bell to go. (To go where?)
Why are they all so big, other children?
So noisy? So much at home they
Must have been born in uniform
Lived all their lives in playgrounds
Spent the years inventing games
That don't let me in. Games
That are rough, that swallow you up.

And the railings.
All around, the railings.
Are they to keep out wolves and monsters?
Things that carry off and eat children?
Things you don't take sweets from?
Perhaps they're to stop us getting out
Running away from the lessins. Lessin.
What does a lessin look like?
Sounds small and slimy.
They keep them in the glassrooms.
Whole rooms made out of glass. Imagine.

I wish I could remember my name
Mummy said it would come in useful.
Like wellies. When there's puddles.
Yellowwellies. I wish she was here.
I think my name is sewn on somewhere
Perhaps the teacher will read it for me.
Tea-cher. The one who makes the tea.

Goodbat Nightman

God bless all policemen
and fighters of crime,
May thieves go to jail
for a very long time.

They've had a hard day
helping clean up the town,
Now they hang from the mantelpiece
both upside down.

A glass of warm blood
and then straight up the stairs,
Batman and Robin
are saying their prayers.

* * *

They've locked all the doors
and they've put out the bat,
Put on their batjamas
(They like doing that)

They've filled their batwater-bottles
made their batbeds,
With two springy battresses
for sleepy batheads.

They're closing red eyes
and they're counting black sheep,
Batman and Robin
are falling asleep.

Ten Milk Bottles

ten milk bottles standing in the hall
ten milk bottles up against the wall
next door neighbour thinks we're dead
hasnt heard a sound he said
doesn't know weve been in bed
the ten whole days since we were wed

noone knows and noone sees
we lovers doing as we please
but people stop and point at these
ten bottles a-turning into cheese

ten milk bottles standing day and night
ten different thicknesses and
different shades of white
persistent carolsingers without a note to utter
silent carolsingers a-turning into butter

now she's run out of passion
and theres not much left in me
so maybe we'll get up
and make a cup of tea
then people can stop wondering
what theyre waiting for
those ten milk bottles a-queuing at our door
those ten milk bottles a-queuing at our door

You and I

I explain quietly. You
hear me shouting. You
try a new tack. I
feel old wounds reopen.

You see both sides. I
see your blinkers. I
am placatory. You
sense a new selfishness.

I am a dove. You
recognize the hawk. You
offer an olive branch. I
feel the thorns.

You bleed. I
see crocodile tears. I
withdraw. You
reel from the impact.

all poetry © Roger McGough

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:37 pm

<a name="jaysie"><center>jaysie

featured poet for the month of september 2006

This month I'd like to feature a poet I've come to enjoy reading but about whom I know very little. Jaysie is a bit of an enigma on the ppages, slipping in quietly, whenever her schedule allows, and posting a few amazing poems and commenting on the work of others.

She has a wistful voice in her work, most of her poetry leaves the reader with a sense of longing for a love that has turned out to be not quite what one expected.

Please click the links below to leave a response for jaysie. Alternatively, click here and see all of her work.

A few featured poems:


by jaysie

i am emancipating restless
repetitive breaths.
he's circling my lips
with his fingertips.
i am impressed
with every movement
he stresses
to show the emotion
within the silence.

Original Post


by jaysie

in just a few
clashes of chaos,
i went from
(prettily spinning,
pink skirt swirling,
and gazing intently
upon him)
to a garrish
mascara-stained mess
sprinting michigan ave,
crying, trying
to hail a cab.

Original Post

to fill time

by jaysie

colored tea-stained
circle like a cyclone.
it is a transparent
explanation about how
nothing stays the same.
we sit behind the building
on a cold bench and exchange
idiosyncratic observations
about how brittle leaves behave.
we banter about the display
of the world to fill time up
because we cannot talk of love.

Original Post

living the width

by jaysie

beyond weary,
i am jezebel.
i am begging.
i am breaking
vases in every room.
i am alone.
i own exhaustion.
there is no
good place to go.

i never desired
this binding,
the antithesis
of hopeful,

i thought
we would
fit better,
more together..

Original Post

Please visit these and jaysie's other wonderful poetry!

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Post by ninian » Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:52 am

<a name="#tennyson">Lord Alfred Tennyson</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/face ... n_a_04.jpg" alt="Lord Alfred Tennyson" width="125" height="172">Tennyson is often regarded as the chief representative of the Victorian Age in poetry, he succeeded Wordsworth as Poet Laureate in 1850.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson was born on August 5, 1809 in Somersby, Lincolnshire. His father, George Clayton Tennyson, a clergyman and rector, suffered from depression and was notoriously absentminded. Alfred began to write poetry at an early age in the style of Lord Byron. After spending four unhappy years in school he was tutored at home. Tennyson then studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he joined the literary club 'The Apostles' and met Arthur Hallam, who became his closest friend. Tennyson published Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, in 1830, which included the popular "Mariana".

His next book, Poems (1833), received unfavorable reviews, and Tennyson ceased to publish for nearly ten years. Hallam died suddenly on the same year in Vienna. It was a heavy blow to Tennyson. He began to write "In Memoriam", an elegy for his lost friend - the work took seventeen years. "The Lady of Shalott", "The Lotus-eaters" "Morte d'Arthur" and "Ulysses" appeared in 1842 in the two-volume Poems and established his reputation as a writer.

After marrying Emily Sellwood, whom he had already met in 1836, the couple settled in Farringford, a house in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight in 1853. From there the family moved in 1869 to Aldworth, Surrey. During these later years he produced some of his best poems.

Among Tennyson's major poetic achievements is the elegy mourning the death of his friend Arthur Hallam, "In Memoriam" (1850). The patriotic poem "Charge of the Light Brigade", published in Maud (1855), is one of Tennyson's best known works, although at first "Maud" was found obscure or morbid by critics ranging from George Eliot to Gladstone. Enoch Arden (1864) was based on a true story of a sailor thought drowned at sea who returned home after several years to find that his wife had remarried. Idylls Of The King (1859-1885) dealt with the Arthurian theme.

In the 1870s Tennyson wrote several plays, among them the poetic dramas Queen Mary (1875) and Harold (1876). In 1884 he was created a baron.

Tennyson died at Aldwort on October 6, 1892 and was buried in the Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Biography courtesy of The Literature Network

The Lady of Shallott

Part I

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veiled,
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to towered Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott."

Part II

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-haired page in crimson clad,
Goes by to towered Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

Part III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling through the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneeled
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glittered free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazoned baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewelled shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burned like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often through the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glowed;
On burnished hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flowed
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She looked down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror cracked from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.

Part IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
Over towered Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse,
Like some bold seer in a trance
Seeing all his own mischance,
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right -
The leaves upon her falling light -
Through the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turned to towered Camelot.
For ere she reached upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott."

Vivien’s Song

‘IN Love, if Love be Love, if Love be ours,
Faith and unfaith can ne’er be equal powers:
Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.

‘It is the little rift within the lute,
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all.

‘The little rift within the lover’s lute
Or little pitted speck in garnered fruit,
That rotting inward slowly moulders all.

‘It is not worth the keeping: let it go:
But shall it? answer, darling, answer, no.
And trust me not at all or all in all’.

Break, Break, Break

Break, break, break
On thy cold grey stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Some one had blundered:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

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