December 19, 2003

The Sunlight on the Garden [Filed under: MacNeice, Louis]

The Sunlight on the Garden

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

For Alan [Filed under: Koch, Kenneth]

Permanently

One day the Nouns were clustered in the street.
An Adjective walked by, with her dark beauty.
The Nouns were struck, moved, changed.
The next day a Verb drove up, and created the Sentence.

Each Sentence says one thing— for example, “Although it was a dark rainy day when the Adjective walked by, I shall remember the pure and sweet expression on her face until the day I perish from the green, effective earth.”
Or, “Will you please close the window, Andrew?”
Or, for example, “Thank you, the pink pot of flowers on the window sill has changed color recently to a light yellow, due to the heat from the boiler factory which exists nearby.”

In the springtime the Sentences and the Nouns lay silently on the grass.
A lonely Conjunction here and there would call, “And! But!”
But the Adjective did not emerge.

As the Adjective is lost in the sentence,
So I am lost in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat—
You have enchanted me with a single kiss
Which can never be undone
Until the destruction of language.

Separation [Filed under: Merwin, W.S.]

Separation

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

The Illiterate [Filed under: Meredith, William]

The Illiterate

Touching your goodness, I am like a man
Who turns a letter over in his hand
And you might think that this was because the hand
Was unfamiliar but, truth is, the man
Has never had a letter from anyone;
And now he is both afraid of what it means
And ashamed because he has no other means
To find out what it says than to ask someone.

His uncle could have left the farm to him,
Or his parents died before he sent them word,
Or the dark girl changed and want him for beloved.
Afraid and letter-proud, he keeps it with him.
What would you call his feeling for the words
that keep him rich and orphaned and beloved?

December 12, 2003

Unbosoming [Filed under: Thomas, Dylan]

I’ve been thinking about this word today. The thing that struck me was that it is defining a noun, “summer,” as an activity, “unbosoming.” Can anyone think of examples where this is commonly done?

This question falls into the context of our discussion on the poet’s relationship to images: can he capture them or do they always move for him? I noticed that besides this place where the summer becomes an activity that there are many other strange movements:

The third stanza has a bunch of movement in the images and even the images themselves (in the context of this poem) are active
an image: disturbs
the crocus: opening its mouth
flowers: breed
water: (washing) cools, is spilt
an image: born, hastens
life: forks
image: changes
flowers: drop
fresh images: surround, catch

(Read more…)