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#5118 05/16/01 01:00 PM
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---but I had to post this anyway:

Every man has his secret sorrows, which the world knows not; and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)



#5119 05/16/01 01:08 PM
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wow,

funny you should post that.
i used to sing "Sea Fever" (to music by John Ireland)
and everytime i got to the part about "and all i want is a tall ship..." my mum would call out
"you don't want much, do you!"
which was enough to break the spell.
recently an uncle put together some family recordings on CD, and there it was, me at 18 or so whipping out "Sea Fever".
couldn't vouch for the quality of the rendition,
but what a poem and what a song for a young man to sing!

(later renditions have been at the sea itself, and a little less steady in rhythm and pitch - see bio)

thanks for brining back the memories!


#5120 05/16/01 01:17 PM
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jackie, that is beautiful!

who are these people who can see truth when all around is expedient?!

hate to wonder if "Longfellow" is also an aptronym...


#5121 05/16/01 01:48 PM
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Rapunzel, thank you for that. Haven't heard it for years and it was a youthful favorite. So delighted to see it here.
I read it aloud while looking out the window and enjoying the swath of daffodils under the trees in my neighbor's yard. So I must add this poem which MaxQ found for me in March in "The Flowers of Spring" thread.

LOVELIEST OF TREES
BY A.E. Housman

Lovliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now of my threescore years and ten'
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Does anyone remember a poem about the sense of smell and what certain smells conjure in memory? I read it in high school. Long ago.




#5122 05/16/01 03:45 PM
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Bobyoungbalt>>>
Being in my office with no poetry books handy, one of the few I know by heart:
The New Colossus
........

You must still be very young to remember/memorize a long poem like that. Do you have a special method of memorizing?
I know one way would be to tape it and listen to that over and over in a car, the only place I know where you are a captive and might as well spend your time there doing something useful like memorizing sublime poetry.



chronist

#5123 05/16/01 04:02 PM
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There is a FABULOUS arrangement of that set to music, for a girls' choir. The choir at my highschool sang it. It was driving me wild about a month ago but I'd managed to exorcise it. Then my daffodils bloomed in my "rock garden", Rapunzel posted this poem, and it's back again!


#5124 05/16/01 05:12 PM
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The New Collossus
Well, it's not that long. It's a sonnet, which is 14 lines of iambic pentameter; at 5 feet of about 2 syllables per line, that comes to only about 140 syllables. Of course, one of the reasons poems have scansion and/or rhyme is to help in memorization. In ancient times, poems, even epics like those of Homer, had to be memorized since few people could read and write, and the metric scheme was to provide a help. I was in high school when I learned that poem, and at that time I had a near-photographic memory. The fact that I love the poem, and the rhyme and scansion, is what keeps it in mind for another 40+ years.

There have been posted some poems very rich in descriptions of sounds, sights, etc. One of my favorites (which I also know by heart -- learned it in French class at University) is this one. Sorry I can't give an English version -- I believe it's impossible to give a good translation, so hope those who know French will enjoy it.


Harmonie du Soir


Voici venir les temps où vibrant sur sa tige,
Chaque fleur s'évapore ainsi qu'un encensoir.
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir,
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige!

Chaque fleur s'évapore ainsi qu'un encensoir,
Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu'on afflige,
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir.

Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu'on afflige,
Un coeur tendre, qui haït le néant vaste et noir!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir;
Le soleil s'est noyé dans son sang qui se fige.

Un coeur tendre qui haït le néant vaste et noir
Du passé lumineux recueille tout vestige!
Le soleil s'est noyé dans son sang qui se fige ...
Ton souvenir en moi luit comme un ostensoir!

--- Charles Baudelaire


#5125 05/17/01 12:31 PM
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What a wonderful thread this is - many thanks to Rod for disinterring it. And especial thanks to Bridget for her truly lovely poem, and to Jackie for reminding me of the "Little cat feet". I am impressed by the memories of those who have not had to refer to their books, and have loved most of the selections, whether memorised or not. My own memorisation only runs to parts of poems - like great chunks of "Horatio", by Macaulay, which is one of my all time favourites.
But the poetry that comes most easily to my mind is always Omar Kayyam (I think that Avy might agree with me on this!)
It contains a great deal of wisdom, of a rather fatalistic sort, for sure, but nevertheless he has always struck a chord in me.
Two quatrains, in particular, are never far from me, as they more or less sum up my own philosophy of life.

"Dreaming, as Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky,
Methought I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
'Awake, my little ones and Drink
Before Life's Liquor in the Cup runs dry' "

and:

"Come fill the Cup! And into the Fire of Spring,
Your winter Garment of Repentance fling.
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter. And the Bird is on the Wing!"



#5126 05/17/01 01:24 PM
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Yes, Rhu-- I too know more chunks than whole poems-- the last 30 lines or so of Amy Lowell's Patterns and most but not all of Oh Captian, Oh captain, Or The Highwayman, or from early childhood-- RLS--Childrens garden of verse--My Shadow.

I think is sad that children are not required to memorize poetry anymore.. (many don't even get much exposure to poetry in primary school.) I found as child that poetry always had "interesing, odd words"-- From My Shadow I rememeber errant-- as well as wonderful ideas..
Christina Rosetti-- had such wonderful poems.. and Robert Frost.

age 13, I was rewarded for a very minor good deed-- (visiting the sick) by being taken to a book store and told "Select anything you'd like" , and that's how i got my first poetry book (it was a paperback, {a Louis Untermeyer Anthology} I expect i could have gotten a hard cover book-- but I didn't think i deserved more-- at the time even a paperback book was to big bucks for me- and the "sick" I visited was a friend hospitalized after a car accident!)



#5127 05/17/01 03:16 PM
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>But the poetry that comes most easily to my mind is always Omar Kayyam (I think that Avy might agree with me on this!)

Yes Rhub. I love the Rubaiyat because it has all richness of the east which I miss so much in English poetry. And somehow the Rubaiyat translates well or maybe it is Fitzgerald's talent.

From amongst the huge emerald peacock feathers I have in my copy of the Rubaiyat from MANY favourites, I choose this one :

Ah love! could thou and I with fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits - and then
Re-mould it to our Heart's desire!



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