Friday, November 23, 2012

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Television by Roald Dahl


Television

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

Friday, November 9, 2012

September Song by Maxwell Anderson



When I was a young man courting the girls
I played me a waiting game
If a maid refused me with tossing curls
I'd let the old Earth take a couple of whirls
While I plied her with tears in place of pearls
And as time came around she came my way
As time came around, she came.

But it's a long, long while from May to Decemeber
And the days grow short when you reach September
And the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
And I haven't got time for the waiting game
And the wine dwindles down to a precious brew
September, November - and these few vintage years
I'd share with you. These vintage years I'd share with you.

But it's a long, long while from May to December
And the days grow short when you reach September
And I have lost one tooth and I walk a little lame...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Invictus - William Ernest Henley


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"If" by Rudyard Kipling


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
                             
                      -- Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Tragedy of the Leaves by Charles Bukowski


The Tragedy of the Leaves

By Charles Bukowski


I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead,
the potted plants yellow as corn;
my woman was gone
and the empty bottles like bled corpses
surrounded me with their uselessness;
the sun was still good, though,
and my landlady's note cracked in fine and
undemanding yellowness; what was needed now
was a good comedian, ancient style, a jester
with jokes upon absurd pain; pain is absurd
because it exists, nothing more;
I shaved carefully with an old razor
the man who had once been young and
said to have genius; but
that's the tragedy of the leaves,
the dead ferns, the dead plants;
and I walked into a dark hall
where the landlady stood
execrating and final,
sending me to hell,
waving her fat, sweaty arms
and screaming
screaming for rent
because the world had failed us
both.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Smugglers' Song by Rudyard Kipling


If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!
Five and twenty ponies
Trotting through the dark –
Brandy for the Parson,
’Baccy for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,
And watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!
Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don’t you shout to come and look, nor use ‘em for your play.
Put the brushwood back again – and they’ll be gone next day!
If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining’s wet and warm – don’t you ask no more!
If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you ‘pretty maid’, and chuck you ’neath the chin,
Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been!
Knocks and footsteps round the house – whistles after dark –
You’ve no call for running out till the house-dogs bark,
Trusty’s here, and Pincher’s here, and see how dumb they lie,
They don’t fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!
If you do as you’ve been told, ’likely there’s a chance,
You’ll be give a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cup of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood –
A present from the Gentlemen, along ‘o being good!
Five and twenty ponies
Trotting through the dark –
Brandy for the Parson,
’Baccy for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,
Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Common Cold by Ogden Nash



Go hang yourself, you old M.D.!
You shall not sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
I'm not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you to be told
My malady is a common cold.

By pounding brow and swollen lip;
By fever's hot and scaly grip;
By those two red redundant eyes
That weep like woeful April skies;
By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
By handkerchief after handkerchief;
This cold you wave away as naught
Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!

Give ear, you scientific fossil!
Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
The Cold of which researchers dream,
The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
This honored system humbly holds
The Super-cold to end all colds;
The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
The F├╝hrer of the Streptococcracy.

Bacilli swarm within my portals
Such as were ne'er conceived by mortals,
But bred by scientists wise and hoary
In some Olympic laboratory;
Bacteria as large as mice,
With feet of fire and heads of ice
Who never interrupt for slumber
Their stamping elephantine rumba.

A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
Don Juan was a budding gallant,
And Shakespeare's plays show signs of talent;
The Arctic winter is fairly coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!

Ogden Nash
Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Aubade by Philip Larkin

 

Aubade  by Philip Larkin 

Aubade

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear - no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anasthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
Philip Larkin :

 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"The Policeman" By Clive Sansom


Clive Sansom was born on 21 June 1910 in East Finchley, London and educated at Southgate County School, where he matriculated in 1926.[1] He worked as a clerk until 1934, and then studied speech and drama at the Regent Street Polytechnic and the London Speech Institute under Margaret Gullan. He went on to study phonetics under Daniel Jones at University College London, and joined the London Verse Speaking Choir. He lectured in speech training at Borough Road Training College, Isleworth, and the Speech Fellowship in 1937-9, and edited the Speech Fellowship Bulletin (1934-49). He was also an instructor in the Drama School of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Sansom married the poet Ruth Large, a Tasmanian, in 1937, at the Quaker Friends Meeting House in Winchmore Hill, and subsequently joined. Sansom was a conscientious objector

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sexpot by Charles Bukowski


you know," she said, "you were at
the bar so you didn't see
but I danced with this guy.
we danced and we danced
close.
but I didn't go home with him
because he knew I was with
you."
"thanks a bunch," I
said.
she was always thinking of sex.
she carried it around with her
like something in a paper
bag.
such energy.
she never forgot.
she stared at every man available
in morning cafes
over bacon and eggs
or later
over a noon sandwich or
a steak dinner.
"I've modeled myself after
Marilyn Monroe," she told
me.
"she's always running off
to some local disco to dance
with a baboon," a friend once told
me, "I'm amazed that you've
stood for it as long as you have."
she'd vanish at race tracks
then come back and say,
"three men offered to buy me
a drink."
or I'd lose her in the parking
lot and I'd look up and she'd
be walking along with a strange man.
"well, he came from this direction
and I came from that and we
kind of walked together.  I
didn't want to hurt his
feelings."
she said that I was a very
jealous man.
one day she just
fell down
inside of her sexual organs
and vanished.
it was like an alarm clock
dropping into the
Grand Canyon.
it banged and rattled and
rang and rang
but I could no longer
see or hear it.
I'm feeling much better
now.
I've taken up tap-dancing
and I wear a black felt
hat pulled down low
over my right
eye.
Charles Bukowski

Sexpot by Charles Bukowski

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond by E. E. Cummings


somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Friday, June 15, 2012

A S J Tessimond "Cats"


Arthur Seymour John Tessimond (Birkenhead, July 19, 1902 - Chelsea, London May 13, 1962) was an English poet.
He went to Birkenhead School until the age of 14,[ before being sent to Charterhouse School, but ran away at age 16. From 1922-1926 he attended the University of Liverpool, where he read English literature, French, Philosophy and Greek.[He later moved to London where he worked in bookshops, and also as a copywriter
After avoiding military service in World War II, he later discovered he was unfit for service.
He suffered from bipolar disorder, and received electro-convulsive therapy.
He first began to publish in the 1920s in literary magazines. He was to see three volumes of poetry were published during his life: Walls of Glass in 1934, Voices in a Giant City in 1947 and Selections in 1958. He contributed several poems to a 1952 edition of Bewick's Birds.
He died in 1962 from a brain haemorrhage.
In the mid-1970s he was the subject of a radio programme entitled Portrait of a Romantic. This, together with the publication of the posthumous selection Not Love Perhaps in 1972, increased interest in his work; and his poetry subsequently appeared in school books and anthologies.
A 1985 anthology of his work The Collected Poems of A. S. J. Tessimond, edited by Hubert Nicholson, contains previously unpublished works.
In 2010 a new collected poems, based closely on Nicholson's edition, was published by Bloodaxe Books.
In April 2010 an edition of Brian Patten's series Lost Voices on BBC Radio Four was committed solely to Tessimond.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

C.J. Dennis" Lines to a Lugubrious Leader"


Heres a virtual movie of the most successful Australian poet ever C.J. Dennis reading his poem "Lines to a Lugubrious Leader" first published in the Herald the Australian Newspaper in 1931.The poem asks politicians to take themselves less seriously and to try and be less dull,and to perhaps inject some humour into their approach. With some of the media savvy politicians around today the message seems to have gone too far with their public gloss and lack of substance or sincerity.Then theirs the grey Lugubrious Leaders of that abomination the so called European Community which we in Britain never agreed to ruled by who hide away in brussels meddling with our freedom.Alas politicians don't change they are in it for quick effect,personal vanity,gain,and we the citizen are left to live with the mayhem they leave behind them..

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, (7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938) was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1916 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history.[1]
Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets.
When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the "Australian Robert Burns.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.


"High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr who died during training when his Spitfire collided with a training plane over Lincolnshire England in 1941.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Eden Ahbez "Nature Boy"


Heres a virtual movie of the Californian singer songwriter,poet,mystic Hippy nomad Eden ahbez (1908 - 1995) virtualy singing his most famous song "Nature Boy" made famous to the world by that other genius Nat King Cole.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gene Derwood "With God Conversing"


Heres a virtual movie of the very talented American poetess and artist Gene Derwood (1909 -1954) reading "With God Conversing" she tragically died young from stomach cancer at the age of 44 leaving behind a collection of approximately 40 poems several of which were outstanding. Her style has been compared to that of the WW1;poet Wilfred owen,,Sylvia Plath also comes to mind. She was recorded reading this and a selection of some of her best poems. by the Library of Congress.

Gene Derwood (1909--1954) was an American poet, painter and wife of the poet and anthologist Oscar Williams.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rudyard Kipling "Gunga Din"

Heres a virtual movie of the great Rudyard Kipling reading his much loved poem "Gunga Din" a rhyming narrative from the point of view of a British soldier, about a native water-bearer (a "Bhishti") who saves the soldier's life but dies himself. The last line suggests a deep-down unease of conscience about the prevailing views of natural hierarchies, both in the depicted soldier and in Kipling himself.[neutrality is disputed][citation needed] The poem was published in 1892 as one of the set of martial poems called the Barrack-Room Ballads.

In stark contrast to Kipling's later poem "The White Man's Burden," Gunga Din is named after the native, and portrays the native Indian as the hero while the British soldiers are portrayed as callous and shallow, and ultimately inferior to Gunga Din.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

William Blake "The Sick Rose"


While the rose exists as a beautiful natural object that has become infected by a worm, it also exists as a literary rose, the conventional symbol of love. The image of the worm resonates with the Biblical serpent and also suggests a phallus. Worms are quintessentially earthbound, and symbolize death and decay. The "bed" into which the worm creeps denotes both the natural flowerbed and also the lovers' bed. The rose is sick, and the poem implies that love is sick as well. Yet the rose is unaware of its sickness. Of course, an actual rose could not know anything about its own condition, and so the emphasis falls on the allegorical suggestion that it is love that does not recognize its own ailing state. This results partly from the insidious secrecy with which the "worm" performs its work of corruption—not only is it invisible, it enters the bed at night.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Langston Hughes "Ku Klux Klan"


Heres a virtual movie of the celebrated African American poet Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967) reading his poem written in the early 1920's "Klu Klux" Hughes had been working as a Busboy (a waiter/domestic in a restaurant ) around the time the Protestant White racist organisation the "Klu Klux Klan (KKK) had organised a march through Washington DC.Langston Hughes stated in a recording made around the early 1960 that during his time in Washington DC during the mid 1920s, where he got his first big break by slipping Vachel Lindsay three of his poems scrawled on a napkin while working as a busboy. He then goes on to talk about the harrowing inspiration for his poem Ku Klux Klan, James Mercer Langston Hughes, (February 1, 1902 May 22, 1967) was an American poet, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best-known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He is also best known for what he wrote about the Harlem Renaissance, "Harlem was in vogue." Langston Hughes wrote about his childhood in his autobiography, The Big Sea (1940)....................... You see, unfortunately, I am not black. There are lots of different kinds of blood in our family. But here in the United States, the word "Negro" is used to mean anyone who has any Negro blood at all in his veins. In Africa, the word is more pure. It means all Negro, therefore black. I am brown. My father was a darker brown. My mother an olive-yellow. On my father's side, the white blood in his family came from a Jewish slave trader in Kentucky, Silas Cushenberry, of Clark County, who was his mother's father; and Sam Clay, a distiller of Scotch descent, living in Henry County, who was his father's father. So on my father's side both male great-grandparents were white, and Sam Clay was said to be a relative of the great statesman, Henry Clay, his contemporary. I was born in Joplin, Missouri, in 1902, but I grew up mostly in Lawrence, Kansas. My grandmother raised me until I was 12 years old. Sometimes I was with my mother, but not often. My father and mother were separated. And my mother, who worked, always travelled about a great deal, looking for a better job. When I first started to school, I was with my mother a while in Topeka. She was a stenographer for a colored lawyer in Topeka, named Mr Guy. She rented a room near his office, downtown. So I went to a "white" school in the downtown district. At first, they did not want to admit me to the school, because there were no other colored families living in that neighbourhood. They wanted to send me to the colored school, blocks away down across the railroad tracks. But my mother, who was always ready to do battle for the rights of a free people, went directly to the school board, and finally got me into the Hamson Street School - where all the teachers were nice to me, except one who sometimes used to make remarks about my being colored. And after such remarks, occasionally the kids would grab stones and tin cans out of the alley and chase me home. But there was one little white boy who would always take up for me. Sometimes others of my classmates would, as well. So I learned early not to hate all white people. And ever since, it has seemed to me that most people are generally good, in every race and in every country where I have been. Kind Regards Jim Clark All rights are reserve on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2010

Saturday, January 14, 2012