January 09, 2006

Long Poems

The Rubaiyat kicked my ass; I could never remember what order the verses are in.

I had The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock at one time, but I'd have to study it again to get the various parts in their proper order and recite the whole thing.

The Highwayman was a standoff; I had it for all intents and purposes, but not quite at the recitation level; I'd always stumble a bit.

And, of course, I still have at least a couple of Shakepearean speeches; I can do Hamlet's soliliquy or Antony's oration from Julius Ceasar without sweating.

But Xanadu is mine until I die. I found out the other day when Attila the Hub was testing his new phone and told me to "talk, and keep talking."

He waited for me to take a breath after "ancestral voices prophesying war," and then broke in to joke about how much Kubla's men had accomplished that day. This was his way of telling me the phone worked, and he didn't need to hear the rest. So I hung up and finished the rest myself, under my breath.

Ask to hear it when I'm on my deathbed, and you'll get an earful.

But don't ask me for my friends' phone numbers, okay? Those are in the phone, where they belong.

Posted by Attila Girl at January 9, 2006 01:20 PM | TrackBack

Don't forget "His ineffable effable Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name:

The Naming of Cats

Posted by: Sissy Willis at January 9, 2006 01:50 PM

Gak. It doesn't work. Try this.

Posted by: Sissy Willis at January 9, 2006 01:51 PM

I hate it when that happens. One more try, and then I'm out of here

Posted by: Sissy Willis at January 9, 2006 01:52 PM

Sorry, Sissy: sometimes the links in my comments section go a little kerflooey. I tried to fix that second one. I'll tinker a bit more with it, if time permits.

In the meantime, everyone get out their volume of the playful T.S. Eliot. You know the one.

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 9, 2006 02:46 PM

Let us go then, you and I,
Where Alph the sacred river runs,
To hear the mermaids singing each to each
Ancestral voices prophesying war.

Posted by: John Enright at January 9, 2006 07:52 PM

Here is one of my favorite poems. It is called "The Kiss." It is by Siegfried Sassoon.

To these I turn, in these I trust--
Brother Lead and Sister Steel.
To his blind power, I make appeal,
I guard her beauty clean from rust.

He spins and burns and loves the air
And splits a skull to win my praise;
But up the nobly marching days,
She glitters naked, cold and fair.

Sweet Sister, grant your soldier this:
That in good fury he may feel
The body where he sets his heel
Quail from your downward darting kiss.

Posted by: Stuart Fullerton at January 10, 2006 08:10 AM

Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he, with his horrid crew,
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal. But his doom
Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,
Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate.
At once, as far as Angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild.
A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames
No light; but rather darkness visible
Served only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all, but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed...

Posted by: beautifulatrocities at January 10, 2006 05:50 PM

Beautiful Atrocities--
Where is that one from? Milton?

Posted by: Stuart Fullerton at January 10, 2006 09:19 PM

Let us go then, you and me,
While the evening is spread out against the sea,
Like a patient etherized and awaiting major surgery...

Posted by: triticale at January 10, 2006 09:44 PM

And all I remember from Hamlet's soliliquy is the part about "enterpritheth of great pith and moment in thith regard their currentth turn awry" with which I brought down the house in Senior English class. We got to listen to a recording of a dozen actors reading it. Most said pith, like our text, a couple said pitch, only Olivier read it as Bacon or Lord Whoever originally wrote it.

Posted by: triticale at January 10, 2006 09:49 PM

Nine times the space that measures day and night ...Paradise Lost by John Milton.

Posted by: Darrell at January 10, 2006 10:36 PM

I had always thought it was pitch, but it's obviously a word we no longer use. I know the meaning is importance, but I never studied Elizabethan English--nor worked Renaissance Faire--so I'm fuzzy on the pronunciation.

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 10, 2006 10:45 PM

I think I actually worked this into a poem I wrote, back when I was in that line of "work"--

In the room the women dwell,
Harping on Vanessa Bell.

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 10, 2006 10:46 PM

I never write poetry, altho I wrote a country song that was supposed to make me rich if Dolly Parton sang it:

Those days are over now, I should just kill myself,
Abandoned like a dirty Kleenex that you used,
I sit & watch TV, eating compulsively,
I just sit here Dunkin Donuts Over You...

Posted by: beautifulatrocities at January 10, 2006 11:10 PM

Now that's art!

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 11, 2006 06:11 AM

Now that's poetry, Baby.

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 11, 2006 02:36 PM

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