Category Archives: poets we like and live with

W. B. Yeats, poets we like and live with – Politics by W.B.


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Yeats has always been a favorite of what I call true poets. Luckily he was not beaten out of me in any school. Never had a Yeats exam. Although in university where I learned to love Shakespeare by being taught how too  read him, I was also exposed to Yeats in a more formal setting. But Yeats had come to me long before – O human child, Wandering Angus, Byzantium…. always on my fathers bookshelves or on the Clancy brother records. And at that early time in my relation ship with my now dearest partner – you know when signs, coincidence and such were so import to see if we really matched – I definitely   noticed my old friend, Yeats upon her bookshelves and took it for a good omen.

So while looking up Byzantium, I found this little gem – the last poem. Considered by some to be the last written before his death. I had never read before or if I did it faded long ago into the country not fit for old me. No matter why or how I’ll happily take it. Always wonderful to find a gem even if it might be simply  misplaced – still feels new to me.

My daughter is “doing” Sailing to Byzantium for her Leaving Cert exam.  She was happy when  I told her I’d bet her 100.00 that even they wouldn’t be able to kill it for her.

See that’s the thing about true poets, they are very subversive. not because they are radical or violent of shocking though they can be – its because they are the archetypal  human voice that always speaks to those with ears to hear and even those who don’t have such ears? It sounds kinda good to them too.  So a little gem from ol me to whoever you. Enjoy –

Politics

By William Butler Yeats 

‘In our time the destiny of man presents its meanings in political terms.’ – THOMAS MANN.

How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics,
Yet here’s a travelled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there’s a politician
That has both read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Of war and war’s alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms.
220px-William_Butler_Yeats

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/249168

W. B. Yeats, “Politics” from Last Poems (1938-1939). Copyright © 1939 by W. B. Yeats.  Reprinted by permission of Scribner (Simon & Schuster, Inc.).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_%28poem%29

“Politics” is a poem by Irish poet William Butler Yeats written on May 24, 1938. It was composed during the time of the Spanish Civil War as well as during the pre-war period of Adolf Hitler‘s Third Reich in Germany. The poem hints at the political situations of Rome (or Italy), Russia, and Spain, but ultimately discusses topics more relevant to private human interaction rather than public, or political situations

nick cave, into my arms. video & lyrics/ Poets We Like & Live With


Into My Arms

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did, I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Oh, not to touch a hair on your head
Leave you as you are
If he felt he had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
Both to each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
But I believe in Love
And I know that you do, too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candles burning
Make her journey bright and pure
That she’ll keep returning
Always and evermore
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Nicholas Edward Cave
Into My Arms lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

 

 

Best Wishes To You All from the Dead & Me


so let me send you a poem i wish i wrote. Let each and every one who takes the time to read (or to listen) know this ~ if I could I would , if i knew the way i really would take you home.

best wishes
 

to you all for healthy safe and happy days.

Ripple

Grateful Dead

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music?
Would you hold it near as it were your own?It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they’re better left unsung
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full, may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go, no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall, you fall alone
If you should stand, then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you homeLa da da da…

Source: MusixmatchSongwriters: Garcia Jerome J / Hunter Robert CRipple lyrics © Ice Nine Publishing Co., Inc., Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc., Ice Nine Publishing Co Inc.

poets we know and live with ~ ROWING & THE AUTHOR OF THE JESUS PAPERS SPEAKS by Anne Sexton


 
ROWING
 
 
A story, a story!
(Let it go. Let it come.)
I was stamped out like a Plymouth fender
into this world.
First came the crib
with its glacial bars.
Then dolls
and the devotion to their plastic mouths.
Then there was school,
the little straight rows of chairs,
blotting my name over and over,
but undersea all the time,
a stranger whose elbows wouldn’t work.
Then there was life
with its cruel houses
and people who seldom touched-
though touch is all-
but I grew,
like a pig in a trench-coat I grew,
and then there were many strange apparitions,
the nagging rain, the sun turning into poison
and all of that, saws working through my heart,
but I grew, I grew,
and God was there like an island I had not rowed to,
still ignorant of Him, my arms, and my legs worked,
and I grew, I grew,
I wore rubies and bought tomatoes
and now, in my middle age,
about nineteen in the head I’d say,
I am rowing, I am rowing
though the oarlocks stick and are rusty
and the sea blinks and rolls
like a worried eyeball,
but I am rowing, I am rowing,
though the wind pushes me back
and I know that that island will not be perfect,
it will have the flaws of life,
the absurdities of the dinner table,
but there will be a door
and I will open it
and I will get rid of the rat insdie me,
the gnawing pestilential rat.
God will take it with his two hands
and embrace it.As the African says:
This is my tale which I have told,
if it be sweet, if it be not sweet,
take somewhere else and let some return to me.
This story ends with me still rowing.

 

 
– from The Awful Rowing Towards God 1975
 
( Her eighth collection of poetry is entitled The Awful Rowing Toward God.The title came from her meeting with a Roman Catholic priest who, unwilling to administer last rites, told her “God is in your typewriter.” This gave the poet the desire and willpower to continue living and writing. The Awful Rowing Toward God and The Death Notebooks are among her final works, and both center on the theme of dying

 
1928–1974
 
Anne Sexton

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Sexton#Death

Within 12 years of writing her first sonnet, she was among the honored poets in the U.S.: a Pulitzer Prize winner, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the first female member of the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.[10][11]

On October 4, 1974, Sexton had lunch with Kumin to revise galleys for Sexton’s manuscript of The Awful Rowing Toward God, scheduled for publication in March 1975 (Middlebrook 396). On returning home she put on her mother’s old fur coat, removed all her rings, poured herself a glass of vodka, locked herself in her garage, and started the engine of her car, ending her life by carbon monoxide poisoning.[12]

In an interview over a year before her death, she explained she had written the first drafts of The Awful Rowing Toward God in 20 days with “two days out for despair and three days out in a mental hospital.” She went on to say that she would not allow the poems to be published before her death. She is buried at Forest Hills Cemetery & Crematory in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts.

Sexton is seen as the modern model of the confessional poet. Maxine Kumin described Sexton’s work: “She wrote openly about menstruation, abortion, masturbation, incest, adultery, and drug addiction at a time when the proprieties embraced none of these as proper topics for poetry.”[13]


THE AUTHOR OF THE JESUS PAPERS SPEAKS

In my dream
I milked a cow,
the terrible udder
like a great rubber lily
sweated in my fingers
and as I yanked,
waiting for the moon juice,
waiting for the white mother,
blood spurted from it
and covered me with shame.
Then God spoke to me and said:
People say only good things about Christmas.
If they want to say something bad,
they whisper.
So I went to the well and drew a baby
out of the hollow water.
Then God spoke to me and said:
Here. Take this gingerbread lady
and put her in your oven.
When the cow gives blood
and the Christ is born
we must all eat sacrifices.
We must all eat beautiful women.

Anne Sexton  from The Book of Folly 1972
 

 
the girls i knew in high school were all enamored with Sylvia. and i must admit i was some what smitten. but there was this teacher of English. she did not debate but rather exposed the rare woman genius the all too common crucifixion the dark stronger than the bright, the strength to take control in a time in a place where all is only waiting around food feeding on food attracted like horseflies to tenderness. the time was she said now and so the time was and so she said it was therefore it would be now and never any other time but. – pd lyons

all photos C. pd lyons photography.

nick cave, into my arms. video & lyrics/ Poets We Like & Live With


Into My Arms

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did, I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Oh, not to touch a hair on your head
Leave you as you are
If he felt he had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
Both to each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
But I believe in Love
And I know that you do, too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candles burning
Make her journey bright and pure
That she’ll keep returning
Always and evermore
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Nicholas Edward Cave
Into My Arms lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

 

 

Urge for Going, poetry by Joni Mitchell song versions by by Tom Rush, Joni & Mary Black


=I know this is from the beautiful poet Joni Mitchell but the song version i first heard was by Tom. I’ll include a version by her and one by Mary Black , another of my favorites. but first I Invite you
 to read the poetry before you listen  to the songs. today the sky is steel grey and the winter has found it’s way back into Spring time. Snow and the outside air hurts my fingers…
So give it a read and a listen yeah? Tell me he don’t make that guitar skate like  sharp blades upon a black ice lake….
 
Lyrics
I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
And all trees are shivering in a naked row
I get the urge for going but I never seem to go
I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in
I had me a man in summertime
He had summer-colored skin
And not another girl in town
My darling’s heart could win
But when the leaves fell on the ground
And bully winds came around pushed them face down in the snow
He got the urge for going and I had to let him go
He got the urge for going
When the meadow grass was turning brown
And summertime was falling down and winter was closing in
Now the warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout
And all that stays is dying and all that lives is getting out
See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow
They’ve got the urge for going and they’ve got the wings so they can go
They get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in
I’ll ply the fire with kindling and pull the blankets to my chin
I’ll lock the vagrant winter out and I’ll bolt my wandering in
I’d like to call back summertime and have her stay for just another month or so
But she’s got the urge for going so I guess she’ll have to go
She get the urge for going when the meadow grass is turning brown
And all her empires are falling down
And winter’s closing in
And I get the urge for going when the meadow grass is turning brown
And summertime is falling down
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Joni Mitchell
Urge For Going lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing,
Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
 

Off The Book Shelf/ Poets We Should Know


IMG_1262So the other day I picked this little gem off the shelf and discovered Robert Louis Stevenson – the poet. I have had this book for a while now maybe 10 – 15 years bought it some where in America for .25 cents. It has only two poems by RLS; Requiem and The Vagabond. I think they both show just how ballsy a poet he was. Today as I was putting this blog together Shelly  posted on my face Book page about Tom Crean the Irish Sailor & Antarctic explorer. The inscription on Toms grave – Home is the sailor, home from sea. You can still drink at Toms Crean’s Pub ( he opened a pub once he retired from the sea) The last time I was there they pulled a very fine pint.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Louis_Stevenson

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Crean_%28explorer%29 

THE GOLDEN TREASURY

of

Songs and Lyrics

selected from the best songs and lyrical

poems in the English language

and arranged with notes by

FRANCIS T PALGRAVE

London

MACMILLAN 7 CO LTD

new York St martin’s Press

1959

IMG_1263

IMG_1267

Requiem

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me;
“Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.”

IMG_1268
IMG_1269
The Vagabond
Give to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
And the byway nigh me.
Bed in the bush with stars to see,
Bread I dip in the river –
There’s the life for a man like me,
There’s the life for ever.Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o’er me;
Give the face of earth around
And the road before me.
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I seek, the heaven above
And the road below me.

Or let autumn fall on me
Where afield I linger,
Silencing the bird on tree,
Biting the blue finger.
White as meal the frosty field –
Warm the fireside haven –
Not to autumn will I yield,
Not to winter even

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o’er me;
Give the face of earth around,
And the road before me.
Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me.

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle Received from a Friend Called Felicity by John Tobias ~ Read by PD Lyons


This would have been a very influential book for me. Would have gotten my hands on it when abt 15 or 16. So different from what we were mostly learning about poetry in school. Thank you for reading & watching. the book is still in print and so very much alive! cheers.

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle Received from a Friend Called Felicity by John Tobias

~ Read by PD Lyons

from the anthology ~

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle… and Other Modern Verse

 

Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books

New York/1967

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle… and other Modern Verse is a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award-winning anthology of poetry edited by Stephen Dunning, Edward Lueders and Hugh Smith. … Another commentator in 1999 called it “[t]he most widely used anthology for young adults ever and still in print”.

Editor: Stephen Dunning, Edward G. Lueders

Author: Stephen Dunning

Genre: Poetry

originally published 1967

 

 

 

 

nick cave, into my arms. video & lyrics/ Poets We Like & Live With


Into My Arms

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did, I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Oh, not to touch a hair on your head
Leave you as you are
If he felt he had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
Both to each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
But I believe in Love
And I know that you do, too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candles burning
Make her journey bright and pure
That she’ll keep returning
Always and evermore
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Nicholas Edward Cave
Into My Arms lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

 

 

Sometimes In This writing Life/ part ~ you got to re commit by pd lyons


 

You Are Still My Favourite Poet

 

You know how it is. Memory is that country where there are

no direct roads and this one leads me to you. How was I supposed to know your poems

weren’t just poems, but prayers, invitations, how is it that now twenty-six years later I remember, realize you wrote prayers to me and it stuck in my head literally like an axe that concept of you can’t be friends and lovers, so I was afraid to lose our friendship. what bullshit, you know, that saying. You can’t be lovers with any one you’re not friends with. But I didn’t get it then, even though I would have loved to have been your lover, even though I wrote to you like some misguided troubadour. getting high and writing crispy critter poem things there in the back of the class, there on the street corners leaning up on the concrete and improvising social commentary as if we knew everything about everything and of course we did.

Now all these years later you come to me,

I’m not sure if its telepathy some intuition of my own. a ghost or are you simply thinking of me now in a way that I can sense?

I’m sitting on the second-floor landing in a house in Ireland where I live now with my wife. I’m sorting through manuscripts, poetry, come across the things you wrote “To Pete”, and I get that sense you know so I say out loud “where are you?”

Me? I’m not in our town or on our streets though I’ve made nostalgic pilgrimages, yet even when I did, I never got this sensation of you. so that’s why I’m wondering. Why now? To the point where you inspire me yet again to write another poem for you…

Yes, I still write, yes, I’m still here in this mystical land whereas you so

aptly put it I am “a great unknown poet”. Where are you though? Did you let them convince you that self-doubts were real or did you catch on that it was just projections on their part. Did you eventually believe them when they told you, you weren’t beautiful? did you ever find out that it wasn’t your body that lacked  but rather the boys you chose for lovers were not the men you thought then to be?

Me, I’m still here, I almost got caught out though, remember that last time we met. I was working the shopping mall, an assistant manager as if that meant something, and you were working in a restaurant there or no you were working in some retail shop too. You told me how you’d get tuna sandwich with extra slices of onion for lunch just so you could breathe on the customers later. So that’s what we had for lunch. I was married then for the first time and well you know she ended up being well lets just say  that in her way she saved me from the dismal life that staying with her in that town would have been. But you know how it goes, Tam doesn’t play guitar any more divorced last I heard and works for a T.V. company, Jeanie doesn’t paint she’s married with kids to a guy who owns a gas station, Buzzy is dead drove into an  I- beam at a construction site on the highway some rainy 2 am attempt to get to Hartford or something. You know like Dylan says, “some are mathematicians, some are carpenters’ wives, don’t know how it all got started don’t know what they do with their lives”.

So, me yes, I’m married but I’m not sure I could describe it accurately. You know everything you ever thought true love and marriage should be but learned that it could never be? Well it can because it is us. We are well blessed with each other.  Life has blossomed not withered with her. We live in Ireland now, an old house that is habitable but needs some work, so we do that, you know painting tiling etc. Any way we have two horses both in foal and we live out in the countryside where our nearest neighbours are cattle herds. But I’m still here, still writing, still no luck with the publishers and I didn’t mean for this to be a letter to you because I don’t know where you are. Just meant to write something about our times in high school and the town and how memory is a spiral thing but ended up “talking” to you.

Are you my muse again?

What’s with this, you being so present? It’s never been like this.  Of course, I’d think of you, think well of you, read poems I wrote about you and wonder what you’re doing, but this is freaky man.  Like I almost called the states to try and get my son to see if he could track you down via the computer or just look you up in the book, but you must have left the town. I know you did long ago.  seem to remember, something about Florida or was it some other country?

So, what do you want? Tell me what’s going on girl? Am I getting this flash because you died or because you’re sending cosmic energy or just because I been sorting through tons of poetry coming across the ones you wrote for me?

But like I said I’ve sorted through before and never got such intense feelings and today I intended to do something totally different, but I decided on one more binder of the old stuff and that’s where yours were.

Any way even this isn’t what I meant to do either. I wanted to write something more creative than my speculations as to why I’m getting all these feelings of your presence aroused.

So, any way I have become that great unknown poet. I wouldn’t expect you to remember that,

but you put it in a poem to me that you wrote on the spot during one of our THC days. But you were right about that, you know I’ve been writing poetry since I was in the eighth grade and now, I’m forty-two or three I think three. Trying to get something going but can’t get any luck with the editors. Sometimes I get so pissed off but what can I do?  Helpless helpless, helpless…

But who would I be if I weren’t a poet?

Last time I saw Jerry was two years ago. I was back for a visit. It was St. Patrick’s Day. He runs his father’s bar now, The Shamrock downtown, any way the first thing he asks is “are you still writing lad?  That’s great! keep it up” But anyway I guess the hard thing is getting out there, being sociable, it seems that art is like any other business, you know if you don’t schmooze you lose. Other than Emily Dickinson I don’t know of others who like me seek to be a poet of isolation. You know they all hung out with other writers and artists, the beats Ginsburg, Kerouac, and Burroughs etc. Henry miller, Anais Nin, and that lot. Oh well not worth complaining about.  funny thing memory you know I wanted to tell you how I did some jail time for a drug bust, was ratted out by someone I think we both knew, funny thing is I forget the guy’s name, can you imagine forgetting the name of the guy who got me busted? Now I don’t have organic brain damage or anything so it’s really weird because I would have bet money that I’d remember him for the rest of my life. But I never saw him again after that (that I can recall) but I heard Buzzy and his brother met up with him and beat the shit out of him while I was in New Haven (Great name for the town where the jail is: New Haven). Well that’s what goes around, I guess.

Maybe you’re the new or at least returned muse for me? Maybe a figment of the Robert Graves influences a la white goddess. An archetype rather than true memory? a return to the carefree poetry of youth when we didn’t care who liked what we wrote or if it ever got printed it was enough to simply create for the joy of creation, to create for the joy of ourselves.

so, any way here’s looking at you kid wherever you are…

 

all acts of freedom are dangerous

 

(4LF~1998)

new haven ct artist not known

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