favorite poets


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4w5- 469
I'm normally resistant to Hallmark-like created events, but I am falling prey to National Poetry Month.

I'd like to stretch out and explore a little.

Any suggestions from among your favorites?
In a little afternoon internet exploration, I've so far decided to throw Li-Young Lee, Stanley Kunitz, and Dana Gioia to the top of my library check-out list.
Rumi is my favorite by far
I don't like every one of his
but the ones that I do
stand out like stars

Rumi said:
The spiritual path wrecks the body
and afterward restores it to health.
It destroys the house to unearth
the treasure,
and with that treasure builds it
better than before.

I would love to kiss you.
The price of kissing is your life.
Now my loving is running toward
my life shouting, What a bargain, let's buy it.
Are just three of the favorites I can name off the top of my head.

Maybe I'll post a few samples in a bit.
John Keats
Percy Blythe Shelley
Christina Rossetti
Edmund Spenser (Fairie Queene)
Wolfram von Eschenbach (Parzival)
Leonard Cohen (...especially his first 5 books)
=Good site on Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil

Hymn to Beauty

Do you come from Heaven or rise from the abyss,
Beauty? Your gaze, divine and infernal,
Pours out confusedly benevolence and crime,
And one may for that, compare you to wine.

You contain in your eyes the sunset and the dawn;
You scatter perfumes like a stormy night;
Your kisses are a philtre, your mouth an amphora,
Which make the hero weak and the child courageous.

Do you come from the stars or rise from the black pit?
Destiny, bewitched, follows your skirts like a dog;
You sow at random joy and disaster,
And you govern all things but answer for nothing.

You walk upon corpses which you mock, O Beauty!
Of your jewels Horror is not the least charming,
And Murder, among your dearest trinkets,
Dances amorously upon your proud belly.

The dazzled moth flies toward you, O candle!
Crepitates, flames and says: "Blessed be this flambeau!"
The panting lover bending o'er his fair one
Looks like a dying man caressing his own tomb,

Whether you come from heaven or from hell, who cares,
O Beauty! Huge, fearful, ingenuous monster!
If your regard, your smile, your foot, open for me
An Infinite I love but have not ever known?

From God or Satan, who cares? Angel or Siren,
Who cares, if you make, — fay with the velvet eyes,
Rhythm, perfume, glimmer; my one and only queen!
The world less hideous, the minutes less leaden?

Charles Baudelaire
translated byWilliam Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)
From http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/america.html

One of my favorite poems by Ginsberg..


Allen Ginsberg

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.
I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.
Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic. America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don're really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
A Dream

In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted

Ah! What is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?

That holy dream-that holy dream
While all the world were chiding
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding

What though that light, thro' storm and night
So trembled from afar
What could there be more purely bright
In truth's day-star

...Yes, Heaven is thine, but this
Is a world of sweets and sours
Our flowers are merely-flowers
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours
from Israfel by Poe

I enjoyed Edgar Allen Poe as one with different shades of different colors;
sometimes dark with a bit of light, and sometimes myriads of doom with light from even the shadows waiting to be freed.
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Oh, thank you everyone who shared poets and poetry! I'm so looking forward to this further exploration.
Seek Not My Heart by Kit McCallum

Oh gentle winds 'neath moonlit skies
Do not you hear my heartfelt cries?

Below the branches, here about
Do not you sense my fear and doubt?
'Side glistening rivers, sparkling streams
Do not you hear my woeful screams?

Upon the meadows touched with dew
Do not you see my heart's a'skew?
Beneath the thousand twinkling stars
Do not you feel my jagged scars

Seek not my mournful heart, kind breeze
For you'll not find it 'mongst these trees

It's scattered 'cross the moonlit skies
Accompanied by heartfelt sighs
It's drifting o'er the gentle rain
A symbol of my silent pain

It's buried 'neath the meadow fair
Cojoined with all the sorrow there
It's lost among the stars this night
Too far to ease my quiet fright

No gentle winds, seek not my heart
For simply...it has torn apart

I also like "Barren" by Kit, as it reminds me so of a Shepherd or two I once had
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Emily dickinson
In a little afternoon internet exploration, I've so far decided to throw Li-Young Lee, Stanley Kunitz, and Dana Gioia to the top of my library check-out list.
"Science of the Night" and "Words" were interesting to me. If only I could see more than a red stone.
I tend to like random poems and not really any one special person but this poem is probably my favorite.

I Have a Rendezvous With Death

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air-
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath-
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.
God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
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