Friday, April 2, 2010

Good (Poetry Slam) Friday


I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

41 comments:

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Good choice, Bob.

squib said...

Haven't we had this poem before?

Mr E Discharge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewd Bob said...

We have? Er, apologies if it be so. I'm just filling in. I'm like a dodgy emergency teacher going over stuff the kids already know.

Mr E Discharge said...

I guess resurrecting a poem is in keeping with the spirit of the holiday.

I wonder how Delta Goodrem is spending the weekend.

squib said...

Yeah and I'm like the class nerd who remembers we did that poem in July last year

Lewd Bob said...

Well, as my dad would say, I'll be fucked.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I remember we had this poem last year.

However, I'm far too polite to mention it.

eat my shorts said...

Bob, this would be the bit where you give them all an exam on the poem. If they know it so well, they should ace the exam you set.

That's what I do.

An added bonus is that exams are taken in silence, so that gives you plenty of quiet time too. Quiet time is very important.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Oooh, good idea EMS.

I love exams, especially if I can work in phrases like "ambivalent relationship to the Catholic Church" and "raving fascist nutcase in his later days".

Lewd Bob said...

Great idea. Maybe just a showdown between Ramon and squib.

Followed by a punch-up between Perseus and Boogey.

And then a lesbian jelly wrestle between...ah forget it.

squib said...

I remember we had this poem last year.

Sure you do

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

When are we having our W B Yeats face-off, Squib?

Or are you chicken?

squib said...

Are you gunna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Bring it on, pumpkin scone

Kettle said...

Wow, is this what a WB Yeats face-off actually looks like, or are we still waiting for the action to begin?

WitchOne said...

I think they're still trying to freak each other out.

A bit of, did I shoot 5 or did I shoot 6? Do you feel lucky, punk?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'm still waiting for Squib to respond.

The big chicken!

Kettle said...

Ooh ooh! It's on!

Pass the popcorn, Witchy.

WitchOne said...

Popcorn passed.

Bourbon anyone? Just while I'm holding the bar up you understand...

squib said...

Ramon, you wouldn't know Yeats if you tripped over his gravestone in Sligo. Wuss

Kettle said...

Ouch!

Witchy I'd love that bourbon now, thanks. Do you want to try some of these pretzels?

And look! Ramon's picking himself off the mat, and he's warming up that ol' right hook; ooh ooh here it comes...!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

No offence Squib, but what you know about Yeats could be fitted on the back of a postage stamp, purchased from the Dublin GPO, site of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic in 1916.

You big girl.

Boogeyman said...

I don't know much about Yeats, but I do know that a Yeats infection will sure screw up your love life, Irish or not.

WitchOne said...

Thanks Kettle, gotta love the salty goodness.

A Yeats infection only requires a week of Canestan cream to clear up. No stress.

Ramon and Squib on the other hand, they could possibly require long term care by the time this is over.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I win!!!

squib said...

Yeats may have won the Nobel Prize for Literature but you haven't won so much as a Reader's Digest Sweepstake

I not only know everything there is to know about Yeats but I was Yeats in a past life

Mr E Discharge said...

I win!!

What? That's it?

You call that a Yeats Off?

Puh-leese.......

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Really squib?

What was Maud Gonne like in the sack?

Mr E Discharge said...

For all his failings, not even Yeats deserved to be re-incarnated in Perth!

Kettle said...

Phew! Lucky Squib lives in Fremantle, which is Yeats's spiritual home, of course.

squib said...

She had hairy armpits and she was very rampant

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That proves nothing Squib.

Everybody had hairy armpits back then.

I still claim my 2010 "W B Yeats Face-off" prize.

What do I win, anyway?

squib said...

You win a free ticket to see 'Legend of the Guardians' in 3D

Lewd Bob said...

Is that a concession squib? As poster of this, er, post, I am deemed (by me) to be both judge and jury on this one.

If it is a concession, then I grant Ramon the right to gloat until the next PSF.

squib said...

Is it heck, Lewd

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Conceed, madam.

You've been beaten like an egg-sucking dog.

Melba said...

I don't think it's much of a concession.

Ramon, do you know what the movie is? More to the point, do you know which creatures are the STARS????

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I do now Melba.

Freakin' talking owls in freakin' 3-D!!!!!!

squib said...

hee hee

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Curse you, Squib!