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A place for Poets to discuss their craft


Writing Club
  1. What's new in this club
  2. What a wonderful poem. Thank you so much for sharing it! I particularly liked these lines - I am drawn to them, and the memories they bring to me. Thanks again.
  3. "A poem for a November day" Oh, for a day of burning noon And a sun like a glowing ember; Oh, for one hour of golden June, In the heart of this chill November. I can scarcely remember the Spring's soft breath Or imagine the Summer hazes. The yellow woods are so damp with death That I have forgotten the daisies. Oh, to lie watching the sky again, From a nest of hot grass and clover, Till the stars come out like golden rain When the lazy day is over. And crowning the night with an aureole, As the clouds kiss and drift asunder, The moon floats up like a luminous soul. And the stars grow pale for wonder. Alfred Douglas, 1890s _
  4. [Epilogue] O true and tried, so well and long, Demand not thou a marriage lay; In that it is thy marriage day Is music more than any song. Nor have I felt so much of bliss Since first he told me that he loved A daughter of our house; nor proved Since that dark day a day like this; Tho' I since then have numbered o'er Some thrice three years: they went and came, Remade the blood and changed the frame, And yet is love not less, but more; No longer caring to embalm In dying songs a dead regret, But like a statue solid-set, And moulded in colossal calm. Regret is dead, but love is more Than in the summers that are flown, For I myself with these have grown To something greater than before; Which makes appear the songs I made As echoes out of weaker times, As half but idle brawling rhymes, The sport of random sun and shade. But where is she, the bridal flower, That must be made a wife ere noon? She enters, glowing like the moon Of Eden on its bridal bower: On me she bends her blissful eyes And then on thee; they meet thy look And brighten like the star that shook Betwixt the palms of paradise. O when her life was yet in bud, He too foretold the perfect rose. For thee she grew, for thee she grows For ever, and as fair as good. And thou art worthy; full of power; As gentle; liberal-minded, great, Consistent; wearing all that weight Of learning lightly like a flower. But now set out: the noon is near, And I must give away the bride; She fears not, or with thee beside And me behind her, will not fear. For I that danced her on my knee, That watched her on her nurse's arm, That shielded all her life from harm At last must part with her to thee; Now waiting to be made a wife, Her feet, my darling, on the dead Their pensive tablets round her head, And the most living words of life Breathed in her ear. The ring is on, The `wilt thou' answered, and again The `wilt thou' asked, till out of twain Her sweet "I will" has made you one. Now sign your names, which shall be read, Mute symbols of a joyful morn, By village eyes as yet unborn; The names are signed, and overhead Begins the clash and clang that tells The joy to every wandering breeze; The blind wall rocks, and on the trees The dead leaf trembles to the bells. O happy hour, and happier hours Await them. Many a merry face Salutes them -- maidens of the place, That pelt us in the porch with flowers. O happy hour, behold the bride With him to whom her hand I gave. They leave the porch, they pass the grave That has to-day its sunny side. To-day the grave is bright for me, For them the light of life increased, Who stay to share the morning feast, Who rest to-night beside the sea. Let all my genial spirits advance To meet and greet a whiter sun; My drooping memory will not shun The foaming grape of eastern France. It circles round, and fancy plays, And hearts are warmed and faces bloom, As drinking health to bride and groom We wish them store of happy days. Nor count me all to blame if I Conjecture of a stiller guest, Perchance, perchance, among the rest, And, tho' in silence, wishing joy. But they must go, the time draws on, And those white-favoured horses wait; They rise, but linger; it is late; Farewell, we kiss, and they are gone. A shade falls on us like the dark From little cloudlets on the grass, But sweeps away as out we pass To range the woods, to roam the park, Discussing how their courtship grew, And talk of others that are wed, And how she looked, and what he said, And back we come at fall of dew. Again the feast, the speech, the glee, The shade of passing thought, the wealth Of words and wit, the double health, The crowning cup, the three-times-three, And last the dance; -- till I retire: Dumb is that tower which spake so loud, And high in heaven the streaming cloud, And on the downs a rising fire: And rise, O moon, from yonder down, Till over down and over dale All night the shining vapour sail And pass the silent-lighted town, The white-faced halls, the glancing rills, And catch at every mountain head, And o'er the friths that branch and spread Their sleeping silver through the hills; And touch with shade the bridal doors, With tender gloom the roof, the wall; And breaking let the splendour fall To spangle all the happy shores By which they rest, and ocean sounds, And, star and system rolling past, A soul shall draw from out the vast And strike his being into bounds, And, moved through life of lower phase, Result in man, be born and think, And act and love, a closer link Betwixt us and the crowning race Of those that, eye to eye, shall look On knowledge; under whose command Is Earth and Earth's, and in their hand Is Nature like an open book; No longer half-akin to brute, For all we thought and loved and did, And hoped, and suffered, is but seed Of what in them is flower and fruit; Whereof the man, that with me trod This planet, was a noble type Appearing ere the times were ripe, That friend of mine who lives in God, That God, which ever lives and loves, One God, one law, one element, And one far-off divine event, To which the whole creation moves. Tennyson ~
  5. Thanks @chris191070for reading these. We are nearing the end of In Memoriam
  6. 129. O living will that shalt endure When all that seems shall suffer shock, Rise in the spiritual rock, Flow through our deeds and make them pure, That we may lift from out of dust A voice as unto him that hears, A cry above the conquered years To one that with us works, and trust, With faith that comes of self-control, The truths that never can be proved Until we close with all we loved, And all we flow from, soul in soul. Tennyson
  7. 128. Thy voice is on the rolling air; I hear thee where the waters run; Thou standest in the rising sun, And in the setting thou art fair. What art thou then? I cannot guess; But though I seem in star and flower To feel thee some diffusive power, I do not therefore love thee less: My love involves the love before; My love is vaster passion now; Though mixed with God and Nature thou, I seem to love thee more and more. Far off thou art, but ever nigh; I have thee still, and I rejoice; I prosper, circled with thy voice; I shall not lose thee though I die. Tennyson
  8. 127. Dear friend, far off, my lost desire, So far, so near in woe and weal; O loved the most, when most I feel There is a lower and a higher; Known and unknown; human, divine; Sweet human hand and lips and eye; Dear heavenly friend that canst not die, Mine, mine, for ever, ever mine; Strange friend, past, present, and to be; Loved deeplier, darklier understood; Behold, I dream a dream of good, And mingle all the world with thee. Tennyson
  9. 126. The love that rose on stronger wings, Unpalsied when he met with Death, Is comrade of the lesser faith That sees the course of human things. No doubt vast eddies in the flood Of onward time shall yet be made, And throned races may degrade; Yet, O ye mysteries of good, Wild Hours that fly with Hope and Fear, If all your office had to do With old results that look like new; If this were all your mission here, To draw, to sheathe a useless sword, To fool the crowd with glorious lies, To cleave a creed in sects and cries, To change the bearing of a word, To shift an arbitrary power, To cramp the student at his desk, To make old bareness picturesque And tuft with grass a feudal tower; Why then my scorn might well descend On you and yours. I see in part That all, as in some piece of art, Is toil cöoperant to an end. Tennyson
  10. No. 125 speaks to our times directly, although it describes the beginning of the world-changing year of 1848. The "February Revolution" began in France, but by the end of the year, democracy movements had been initiated and quashed in a dozen European countries, including the UK, sadly. The brutal repression that followed, and the doubling down on "empire" by the people in charge, led one Women's Rights activist to mourn in this way: At the end of 1849 The bells resound mute at the end of a year, Which in these hard and baleful times of woe, Must escort German Freedom to the graveyard – Ah! All without hope for a change of fate. Imprisonment, exile or death – the tribute Of those who consigned themselves to the homeland, Who fought for rights and the union of people, That we might join together as a Nation. But still, but still – liberty cannot die In a people so willing to sacrifice, At least, not forever; not when it's ever-fresh. And even though hope for the seeds is withered – The ones we sowed – folks will inherit one day What we're fighting for and have not yet achieved. Louise Otto-Peters
  11. 125. And all is well, though faith and form Be sundered in the night of fear; Well roars the storm to those that hear A deeper voice across the storm, Proclaiming social truth shall spread, And justice, ev'n though thrice again The red fool-fury of the Seine Should pile her barricades with dead. But ill for him that wears a crown, And him, the lazar, in his rags: They tremble, the sustaining crags; The spires of ice are toppled down, And molten up, and roar in flood; The fortress crashes from on high, The brute earth lightens to the sky, And the great Aeon sinks in blood, And compassed by the fires of Hell; While thou, dear spirit, happy star, O'erlook'st the tumult from afar, And smilest, knowing all is well. Tennyson
  12. Why this part brought a new tune to my head, I cannot say. But it’s beautiful.
  13. 124. Love is and was my Lord and King, And in his presence I attend To hear the tidings of my friend, Which every hour his couriers bring. Love is and was my King and Lord, And will be, though as yet I keep Within his court on earth, and sleep Encompassed by his faithful guard, And hear at times a sentinel Who moves about from place to place, And whispers to the worlds of space, In the deep night, that all is well. Tennyson
  14. 123. Whatever I have said or sung, Some bitter notes my harp would give, Yea, tho' there often seemed to live A contradiction on the tongue, Yet Hope had never lost her youth; She did but look through dimmer eyes; Or Love but played with gracious lies, Because he felt so fixed in truth: And if the song were full of care, He breathed the spirit of the song; And if the words were sweet and strong He set his royal signet there; Abiding with me till I sail To seek thee on the mystic deeps, And this electric force, that keeps A thousand pulses dancing, fail. Tennyson
  15. 122. That which we dare invoke to bless; Our dearest faith; our ghastliest doubt; He, They, One, All; within, without; The Power in darkness whom we guess; I found Him not in world or sun, Or eagle's wing, or insect's eye; Nor through the questions men may try, The petty cobwebs we have spun: If e'er when faith had fall'n asleep, I heard a voice `believe no more' And heard an ever-breaking shore That tumbled in the Godless deep; A warmth within the breast would melt The freezing reason's colder part, And like a man in wrath the heart Stood up and answered "I have felt." No, like a child in doubt and fear: But that blind clamour made me wise; Then was I as a child that cries, But, crying, knows his father near; And what I am beheld again What is, and no man understands; And out of darkness came the hands That reach through nature, moulding men. Tennyson
  16. Please don't miss this one by @BDANR https://gayauthors.org/story/bdanr/loving-fiercely-how-i-resist/15
  17. 121. There rolls the deep where grew the tree. O earth, what changes hast thou seen! There where the long street roars, hath been The stillness of the central sea. The hills are shadows, and they flow From form to form, and nothing stands; They melt like mist, the solid lands, Like clouds they shape themselves and go. But in my spirit will I dwell, And dream my dream, and hold it true; For though my lips may breathe adieu, I cannot think the thing farewell. Tennyson
  18. Yes! Thank you for saying this! I have no where read that Tennyson's In Memoriam influenced Whitman, but to me it's obvious. More than that, Tennyson's book "explains" the sudden conversion of city-swell Whitman -- spending his days and nights at the opera and writing reviews - into a poet at all. Just as the transcendental nature of In Memoriam is usually overlooked, so too are the many influences of this book on the first edition of Leaves of Grass. Haha, another essay for me to tackle, lol
  19. I had a breakthrough in my understanding of In Memoriam yesterday. (I'm sorry I don't have time to cite the sections of the work in what I'm about to write, but I think you'll be able to follow my thesis.) If you glance through any of the analysis of Tennyson's love poem, printed or posted anywhere -- even the briefest examples -- the subject of how In Memoriam is structured around the "weddings" comes up. This means first, how the older of Tennyson's sisters was engaged to Hallam, and how she married another man soon(ish) after Henry's death. And two, near the conclusion of In Memoriam, the younger of Tennyson's sister gets married many years after Henry's death. These two wedding do serve as anchoring points in the poem, but the conventional explanation (by hetero-oppressive demand) that these must be read as Tennyson longing to be "normal" never sat well with me at all. Such an augment is a major projection which the poem itself does not support. However, now having been in intimate contact with In Memoriam again, I can see the wedding context Tennyson's love for Hallam is painting for us. It follows this timeline in the poem: - The early verses of In Memoriam are lost and raw; single pieces about how the loss of Hallam feels, and the waiting for his remains and funeral. - The first Christmas without Hallam; Arthur feels like a ghost with others being merry around him, including his sister who's gotten engaged to another man, while he feels he's the only one being true to Henry. - Spring and the wedding of the "unfaithful" sister sets Tannyson a new purpose; he gears up to make his random Elegy verses into the work of art In Memoriam will eventually become; he pins his own devotion to Hallam as something everlasting, and starts to refer to himself as Henry's widow. - This widowhood is explored in many subtle and revealing ways; a batch of poems speak of spring again; and the ones mentioning orange blossoms (Victorian bridal flowers for the hair) speak to a private ceremony where Arthur and Henry exchanged their own vows. - This revelation in the poem means that Tennyson's use of widow for himself is factually accurate, and slowly reveals his resentment towards a society that would not respect it if it were known [haha, which they still don't even to this day] , and on the figure of his sister who so flippantly tossed the memory of Hallam over to "move on" with life. - The transformations poems (coming before and after the glorious pivot point of No. 95) take the sorrow beyond the physical realm of life and understand the great spiritual half of his life with Hallam, and Hallam's with his. - This slowly builds to a sort of forgiveness for societal demands, and a gradual acceptance that he too must bend to them. [In the real-life background of this, Tennyson - a beggarly type 'rich man' with little income and a shabby career as a published poet - is approached about doing his family obligation and marrying a particular young woman. With her, he is honest, coming out and proposing a sort of "professional marriage," or what we today call a marriage of convenience. The evidence of Tennyson's coming out to her can be seen in her breaking off the relationship on several occasions - occasions where it appeared the poet's love of Hallam was going to be publicly exposed. In fact, the last and 'final' rejection of him occurred after Tennyson had paid for a private printing of In Memoriam and distributed it amongst his circle; one of the later verses here states he can never love the woman he's entangled with, no doubt upsetting her greatly.* However, the full public publication of In Memoriam changed her mind. Why? It was an overnight bestseller, and in a matter of months, its fame turned Tennyson from a barely published poet to the Poet Laureate of the British Empire. Money. She married Tennyson finally when he had money, money, money!] - By the time of his younger sister's marriage, Tennyson can rest assured that his faithfulness to Hallam is safe, and regard the continuing aspects of life as something necessary. Thus In Memoriam can conclude full-circle with a merrier Christmas than the one 12 years earlier after Henry's death. And of course, as Gay men did in the age, Tennyson named his firstborn son after the man he loved - Hallam Tennyson.** ----- * I have the Complete Poetry of Tennyson, and can tell you confidently, there is not a single love poem in the book to her. There is a later-life poem about them having breakfast on the morning of their wedding anniversary, as it is staid and of the nature of one business partner writing a thank you note to the other. ** Not one but two of Herman Melville's partners named their eldest sons after him: Herman Melville Greene and Herman Melville Williams
  20. This is heart filling; it reminds me of something from Whitman, in a way.
  21. 120 Oh, wast thou with me, dearest, then, While I rose up against my doom, And yearned to burst the folded gloom, To bare the eternal Heavens again, To feel once more, in placid awe, The strong imagination roll A sphere of stars about my soul, In all her motion one with law; If thou wert with me, and the grave Divide us not, be with me now, And enter in at breast and brow, Till all my blood, a fuller wave, Be quickened with a livelier breath, And like an inconsiderate boy, As in the former flash of joy, I slip the thoughts of life and death; And all the breeze of Fancy blows, And every dew-drop paints a bow, The wizard lightnings deeply glow, And every thought breaks out a rose. Tennyson
  22. 119. Sad Hesper o'er the buried sun And ready, thou, to die with him, Thou watchest all things ever dim And dimmer, and a glory done: The team is loosened from the wain, The boat is drawn upon the shore; Thou listenest to the closing door, And life is darkened in the brain. Bright Phosphor, fresher for the night, By thee the world's great work is heard Beginning, and the wakeful bird; Behind thee comes the greater light: The market boat is on the stream, And voices hail it from the brink; Thou hear'st the village hammer clink, And see'st the moving of the team. Sweet Hesper-Phosphor, double name For what is one, the first, the last, Thou, like my present and my past, Thy place is changed; thou art the same. Tennyson
  23. 118. I trust I have not wasted breath: I think we are not wholly brain, Magnetic mockeries; not in vain, Like Paul with beasts, I fought with Death; Not only cunning casts in clay: Let Science prove we are, and then What matters Science unto men, At least to me? I would not stay. Let him, the wiser man who springs Hereafter, up from childhood shape His action like the greater ape, But I was born to other things. Tennyson
  24. 117. Doors, where my heart was used to beat So quickly, not as one that weeps I come once more; the city sleeps; I smell the meadow in the street; I hear a chirp of birds; I see Betwixt the black fronts long-withdrawn A light-blue lane of early dawn, And think of early days and thee, And bless thee, for thy lips are bland, And bright the friendship of thine eye; And in my thoughts with scarce a sigh I take the pressure of thine hand. Tennyson
  25. I understand what you mean. Yes, they match. I read an article a few days ago, which said, that in the time of Goethe people were much more open to speak fresh/uncommen thoughts and to listen to fresh/ uncommon thoughts (In German countries). An intersting theory, looking on these. I am not sure, if I agree with this theory completly. But I can defentily see, why it came up.
  26. 116. Contemplate all this work of Time, The giant labouring in his youth; Nor dream of human love and truth, As dying Nature's earth and lime; But trust that those we call the dead Are breathers of an ampler day For ever nobler ends. They say, The solid earth whereon we tread In tracts of fluent heat began, And grew to seeming-random forms, The seeming prey of cyclic storms, Till at the last arose the man; Who throve and branched from clime to clime, The herald of a higher race, And of himself in higher place, If so he type this work of time Within himself, from more to more; Or, crowned with attributes of woe Like glories, move his course, and show That life is not as idle ore, But iron dug from central gloom, And heated hot with burning fears, And dipt in baths of hissing tears, And battered with the shocks of doom To shape and use. Arise and fly The reeling Faun, the sensual feast; Move upward, working out the beast, And let the ape and tiger die. Tennyson

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