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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:33 PM

Contest: Best short poem

Mine:

===

You lethargic, waiting upon me,
waiting for the fire and I
attendant upon you, shaken by your beauty

Shaken by your beauty
Shaken.

- William Carlos Williams

===

Go.

33 replies, 4547 views

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Contest: Best short poem (Original post)
WilliamPitt Nov 2012 OP
lutefisk Nov 2012 #1
Lochloosa Nov 2012 #2
WilliamPitt Nov 2012 #3
Chan790 Nov 2012 #16
Tsiyu Nov 2012 #23
MiddleFingerMom Nov 2012 #4
WilliamPitt Nov 2012 #5
libodem Nov 2012 #7
OriginalGeek Nov 2012 #8
WilliamPitt Nov 2012 #10
OriginalGeek Nov 2012 #15
WilliamPitt Nov 2012 #9
Tsiyu Nov 2012 #24
Punkingal Nov 2012 #28
WilliamPitt Nov 2012 #6
CaliforniaPeggy Nov 2012 #11
libodem Nov 2012 #12
libodem Nov 2012 #33
RiffRandell Nov 2012 #13
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #14
Baitball Blogger Nov 2012 #17
WilliamPitt Nov 2012 #18
blue neen Nov 2012 #21
Pendrench Nov 2012 #19
ohiosmith Nov 2012 #20
Prisoner_Number_Six Nov 2012 #22
CaliforniaPeggy Nov 2012 #29
Tom Ripley Nov 2012 #25
kurtzapril4 Nov 2012 #26
Punkingal Nov 2012 #27
pscot Nov 2012 #30
petronius Nov 2012 #31
Momgonepostal Nov 2012 #32

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:45 PM

1. Ezra Pound would like to enter the contest

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:49 PM

2. I have one.

Peace.







I WIN!!!!!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:50 PM

3. Interesting story, bear with me, another William Carlos Williams

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

...when I was in high school and saw this in that giant book of poems we all had to lug around, I found it incomprehensible. Later, I found that Williams wrote it from the perspective of a doctor staring out the window of a child's sick room. The child was dying, nothing could be done, and that wheelbarrow would eventually be used to bring the child to burial...hence "so much depends."

When I taught high school, I used this as an example of the duality of art: what does it mean to you vs. what did it mean to the artist. In this case, understanding the perspective of the poet is vital to understanding the poem.

I had another neat story that was personal. The guy across the hall from me my freshman year in college was from way way way upstate New York. His best friend growing up was Shirley Jackson's son. He used to go to their house and find Jackson getting shitfaced on martinis with Ralph Ellison. Anyway, "The Lottery" by Jackson is considered by many to be the perfect short story, and entire forests of paper have been used to write theses and papers on What It Really Means. He told me that Shirley Jackson herself explained to him that, for a time, she lived in a tiny New Hampshire town, and came to loathe and despise everyone who lived there...so she wrote "The Lottery," literally, as a Fuck You to get back at them. Another instance of why it's important to know the author's motivations and feelings. True story.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:55 PM

16. That Jackson story is awesome. n/t

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:35 PM

23. Ah, that makes sense

it's a great, chilling short story.

A short poem:



THE CALMING THOUGHT OF ALL

That coursing on, whate'er men's speculations,

Amid the changing schools, theologies, philosophies,

Amid the bawling presentations new and old,

The round earth's silent, vital laws, facts, modes continue.


Walt Whitman







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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:09 PM

4. Ours:

.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:28 PM

5. One last.

Probably going to embarrass myself with this one. Wrote this in 2003 about my grandmother before she passed, and my mother asked me to read it at her funeral.

===

Flyfisher

My grandmother was a fly-fisher before arthritis
twisted her hands and knees and back
into shapes only fit for sitting and watching television.

Have you ever seen fly-fishing? It is older than Jesus
and done the same way today as it was yesterday
and 100 and 1,000 and 5,000 years ago.

Old cane pole with a ball of thick twine cast out
on smooth water, floating like a tasty bug,
like ringing the dinner bell for trout or bass.

The fly’s the thing: colored string and bits of cloth
tied around a barbed hook to look like an insect.
The best ones, the real ones, are made by hand.

My grandmother made her own flies before arthritis
stole the deft talent of her fingers. I found a leather
case full of her hand-made flies not long ago.

They had eyes, and wings, and legs, and looked
for all the world like bugs until you got careless
and hooked yourself accidentally in the thumb.

Tying the fly is the hardest trick to master.
The string must be wound and wound round
the shaft of the hook, secure against bass bites.

It takes time, and patience, and care, and love.
In that leather satchel I found were flies that
surely took her hours and days and weeks to craft.

My grandmother was a fly-fisher before arthritis
and a bronchial infection and cracked ribs from
a fall and dehydration and kidney trouble and stroke

and the death of her husband of 61 years
last December put her into the hospital bed
I saw her in last night, clad in white like a cloud.

She called me Michael, which is not my name,
but that was fine with me. I held her wrinkled,
spotted hand in mine and marveled at her fingers.

Those fingers had tied my heart to hers, surely and deftly
over years, with patience and love, so cleanly and
completely that I never saw the hook coming into me.

My grandmother was a fly-fisher until she just got
too old to stand in the lake and cast the line. I know
she misses the thrill of a strike, the silence of wind

on water. She lies now in a hospital bed in Brighton,
unsure of where she is or why, fidgety and ill, lonely
for the company of her husband, whom she hooked first.

The bright colored twine she used to wrap us all in
her love has begun to loosen, breath by breath,
layer by layer, wrap by wrap by wrap. She hooked

us all and we hooked her, a family of fly-fishers
entwined in history. But like all human fish she will
soon slip the hook and disappear into dark water.

My grandmother was a fly-fisher, a catcher of souls
in her own quiet, stubborn, loving, bemused Irish way.
I do not know of one fish that slipped through her nets.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:42 PM

7. Woah, that needs a warning

It shook me to sobs before I even finished it.

Thanks for the wet snotty face. No, really.

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Response to libodem (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:49 PM

8. ditto here

i shouldn't have read it at work.

But I'm glad I read it.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:53 PM

10. Sorry

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:37 PM

15. No Worries!

it was awesome.

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Response to libodem (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:52 PM

9. Jeez

Sorry.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:54 PM

24. ...




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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:26 PM

28. This is lovely!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:33 PM

6. Can't ever go wrong with this one

Summons

Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
Of night. Come whistling up the road.
Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come
And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on
And make me look. Or tell me clouds
Are doing something to the moon
They never did before, and show me.
See that I see. Talk to me till
I'm half as wide awake as you
And start to dress wondering why
I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but persuade me.
You know I'm not too hard persuaded.

- Robert Francis

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:54 PM

11. Beautiful, Will...

I think the one you wrote about your fly-fishing Grandmother is among the loveliest poems I've ever read. It is skillfully done, and I love how it wraps around you and comes back upon itself...

Thank you so much for these...



K&R

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:57 PM

12. The elections

Had me thinking about the content of character since RMoney seemed to have none.

This is in a picture frame with a sailboat, no author visible. It must be anonymous.

YOUR GOAL

Ships sail East, and ships sail West,
While the self same breezes blow;
It's the set of the sails
And not the gales
That determine the way they go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the way of fate,
As we journey along through life;
It's the set of the soul,
That determines the goal
And not the calm nor the strife.



Gives new meaning to: I like the cut of your jib. Doesn't it?

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Response to libodem (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:26 PM

33. Yes, it does

And crying at Will's poem was a compliment of the highest sort..

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:23 PM

13. From my first English class in college.

Will always remember from William Carlos Williams as well.

This Is Just to Say
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:27 PM

14. "I thought, therefore I was. Now I don't, so I'm not."

 

I charged my middle daughter with making sure that's my epitaph.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:57 PM

17. Okay.

The world spins in color
yesterday runs into today
and tomorrow waits in the horizon.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:38 PM

18. Can't ever ever ever go wrong with this one

Summons

Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
Of night. Come whistling up the road.
Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come
And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on
And make me look. Or tell me clouds
Are doing something to the moon
They never did before, and show me.
See that I see. Talk to me till
I'm half as wide awake as you
And start to dress wondering why
I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but persuade me.
You know I'm not too hard persuaded.

- Robert Francis

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:20 PM

21. This poem is so wondrous and beautiful.

It brought tears to my eyes.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:52 PM

19. One of my favorite poems, by one of my favorite poets....


At Gettysburg

by Linda Pastan


These fields can never be
simply themselves. Their green
seems such a tender green,
their contours so significant
to the tourists who stare

towards the far range of mountains
as if they are listening
to the page of history tearing
or to what they know themselves of warfare
between brothers. In this scenery

cows and cannons stand side by side
and motionless, as if they had grown here.
The cannons on their simple wheels
resemble farm carts, children
climb them. Thus function disappears almost entirely

into form, and what is left under
the impartial blue of the sky is a landscape
where dandelions lie in the tall grass
like so many spent cartridges, turning
at last to the smoke

of puffballs; where the only red
visible comes at sunset;
where the earth has grown so lovely
it seems to forgive us even as we are learning
to forgive ourselves.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:59 PM

20. On the Antiquity of Microbes

Adam/Had 'em.

Anon

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:59 PM

22. The first poem I ever had published.

The Lake

The still, blue waters of my mind
reflect the thoughts that I might see--
A ripple stirring in the lake; the circles
moving out and past, to fade away and die....

But currents tug this way, and that;
the tangents are profound!
My thoughts just wander
'round the lake
and shimmer silently....

© 2013 Steven A. Hessler
All Rights Reserved

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Response to Prisoner_Number_Six (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:34 PM

29. Very nice, my dear Prisoner_Number_Six...



Good to see you posting...

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:08 PM

25. Spalding Gray/Jumped away

-me

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:13 PM

26. A short poem I wrote

Kind of about my cousin Jim who went to Vietnam and never quite came back. It's called Uncle Shrapnel

My uncle shrapnel
came back mean.
The things he'd done and seen.
I see, I see...tattooed on his memory.
Thirteen years gone,
and all alone.

And you left such a mess...
a steaming pile of last regrets.
Had another beer, then,
he walked in front of the train...
he walked in front of the trai...

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:22 PM

27. Carl Sandburg...

The Fog

THE fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


Always loved this one...maybe because I'm a cat person?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:06 AM

30. Oh gracious queen we thee implore

to go away and sin no more
but if the latter prove too great
to go away at any rate.

In honor of Caroline, wife of George IV, who was fat, promiscuous and smelled bad.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:55 AM

31. Lot's Wife

Lot's Wife

Holy Lot was a-going behind God's angel,
He seemed huge and bright on a hill, huge and black.
But the heart of his wife whispered stronger and stranger:
"It's not very late, you have time to look back
At these rose turrets of your native Sodom,
The square where you sang, and the yard where you span,
The windows looking from your cozy home
Where you bore children for your dear man."
She looked -- and her eyes were instantly bound
By pain -- they couldn't see any more at all:
Her fleet feet grew into the stony ground,
Her body turned into a pillar of salt.

Who'll mourn her as one of Lot's family members?
Doesn't she seem the smallest of losses to us?
But deep in my heart I will always remember
One who gave her life up for one single glance.


-- Anna Akhmatova

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:15 AM

32. I like this one

The Last Poem in the World

would i write it if i could?
bet your glitzy ass i would.

~ hayden carruth

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