po·e·sy n. pl. po·e·sies 1. Poetical works; poetry. 2. The art or practice of composing poems. 3. The inspiration involved in composing poetry. [Middle English poesie, from Old French, from Latin posis, from Greek poisis, from poiein, to create; see kwei-2 in Indo-European roots.]

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Irish poets

   William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

    Running To Paradise

    As I came over Windy Gap
    They threw a halfpenny into my cap.
    For I am running to paradise;
    And all that I need do is to wish
    And somebody puts his hand in the dish
    To throw me a bit of salted fish:
    And there the king is but as the beggar.

    My brother Mourteen is worn out
    With skelping his big brawling lout,
    And I am running to paradise;
    A poor life, do what he can,
    And though he keep a dog and a gun,
    A serving-maid and a serving-man:
    And there the king is but as the beggar.

    Poor men have grown to be rich men,
    And rich men grown to be poor again,
    And I am running to paradise;
    And many a darling wit's grown dull
    That tossed a bare heel when at school,
    Now it has filled a old sock full:
    And there the king is but as the beggar.

    The wind is old and still at play
    While I must hurty upon my way.
    For I am running to paradise;
    Yet never have I lit on a friend
    To take my fancy like the wind
    That nobody can buy or bind:
    And there the king is but as the beggar.

    Seamus Heaney (1939 - 2013)


    Late August, given heavy rain and sun   
    For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
    At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
    Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
    You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
    Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
    Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
    Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
    Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
    Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
    Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
    We trekked and picked until the cans were full
    Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
    With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
    like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
    With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
    We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
    But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
    A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
    The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
    The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
    I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
    That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
    Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

   James Joyce (1882 - 1941)

    In the Dark Pine-Wood

    In the dark pine-wood    
    I would we lay,
    In deep cool shadow
    At noon of day.

    How sweet to lie there,
    Sweet to kiss,
    Where the great pine-forest
    Enaisled is!

    Thy kiss descending
    Sweeter were
    With a soft tumult
    Of thy hair.

    O unto the pine-wood
    At noon of day
    Come with me now,
    Sweet love, away.

    Winds of May by James Joyce
    Winds of May, that dance on the sea,
    Dancing a ring-around in glee
    From furrow to furrow, while overhead
    The foam flies up to be garlanded,
    In silvery arches spanning the air,
    Saw you my true love anywhere?
    Welladay! Welladay!
    For the winds of May!
    Love is unhappy when love is away!


     Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

    By The Arno

    THE oleander on the wall   
    Grows crimson in the dawning light,
    Though the grey shadows of the night
    Lie yet on Florence like a pall.

    The dew is bright upon the hill,
    And bright the blossoms overhead,
    But ah! the grasshoppers have fled,
    The little Attic song is still.

    Only the leaves are gently stirred
    By the soft breathing of the gale,
    And in the almond-scented vale
    The lonely nightingale is heard.

    The day will make thee silent soon,
    O nightingale sing on for love!
    While yet upon the shadowy grove
    Splinter the arrows of the moon.

    Before across the silent lawn
    In sea-green mist the morning steals,
    And to love's frightened eyes reveals
    The long white fingers of the dawn

    Fast climbing up the eastern sky
    To grasp and slay the shuddering night,
    All careless of my heart's delight,
    Or if the nightingale should die.


    Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774)

    O MEMORY, thou fond deceiver,
    Still importunate and vain,
    To former joys recurring ever,
    And turning all the past to pain:

    Thou, like the world, th' oppress'd oppressing,
    Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe:
    And he who wants each other blessing
    In thee must ever find a foe.


    The Logicians Refuted by Oliver Goldsmith

    LOGICIANS have but ill defin'd
    As rational, the human kind;
    Reason, they say, belongs to man,
    But let them prove it if they can.
    Wise Aristotle and Smiglecius,
    By ratiocinations specious,
    Have strove to prove with great precision,
    With definition and division,
    'Homo est ratione praeditum',--
    But for my soul I cannot credit 'em;
    And must in spite of them maintain,
    That man and all his ways are vain;
    And that this boasted lord of nature
    Is both a weak and erring creature;
    That instinct is a surer guide
    Than reason-boasting mortals' pride;
    And that brute beasts are far before 'em,
    'Deus est anima brutorum'.
    Who ever knew an honest brute
    At law his neighbour prosecute,
    Bring action for assault and battery,
    Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
    O'er plains they ramble unconfin'd,
    No politics disturb their mind;
    They eat their meals, and take their sport,
    Nor know who's in or out at court;
    They never to the levee go
    To treat as dearest friend, a foe;
    They never importune his grace,
    Nor ever cringe to men in place;
    Nor undertake a dirty job,
    Nor draw the quill to write for B--b.
    Fraught with invective they ne'er go
    To folks at Pater-Noster-Row;
    No judges, fiddlers, dancing-masters,
    No pick-pockets, or poetasters,
    Are known to honest quadrupeds;
    No single brute his fellow leads.
    Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
    Nor cut each others' throats, for pay.
    Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape
    Comes nearest us in human shape;
    Like man he imitates each fashion,
    And malice is his ruling passion;
    But both in malice and grimaces
    A courtier any ape surpasses.
    Behold him humbly cringing wait
    Upon a minister of state;
    View him soon after to inferiors,
    Aping the conduct of superiors;
    He promises with equal air,
    And to perform takes equal care.
    He in his turn finds imitators;
    At court, the porters, lacqueys, waiters,
    Their master's manners still contract,
    And footmen, lords and dukes can act.
    Thus at the court both great an small
    Behave alike--for all ape all.

– – Cat


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