The Old World
I believe in the soul; so far
It hasn’t made much difference.
I remember an afternoon in Sicily.
The ruins of some temple.
Columns fallen in the grass like naked lovers.
The olives and goat cheese tasted delicious
And so did the wine
With which I toasted the coming night,
The darting swallows,
The Saracen wind and moon.
It got darker. There was something
Long before there were words:
The evening meal of shepherds . . .
A fleeting whiteness among the trees . . .
Eternity eavesdropping on time.
The goddess going to bathe in the sea.
She must not be followed.
These rocks, these cypress trees,
May be her old lovers.
Oh to be one of them, the wine whispered to me.
Carol Ann Duffy
Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child’s name as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside, the radio’s prayer –
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.
Orkney / This Lifepoem
It is big sky and its changes,
the sea all round and the waters within.
It is the way sea and sky
work off each other constantly,
like people meeting in Alfred Street,
each face coming away with a hint
of the other’s face pressed in it.
It is the way a week-long gale
ends and folk emerge to hear
a single bird cry way high up.
It is the way you lean to me
and the way I lean to you, as if
we are each other’s prevailing;
how we connect along our shores,
the way we are tidal islands
joined for hours then inaccessible,
I’ll go for that, and smile when I
pick sand off myself in the shower.
The way I am an inland loch to you
when a clatter of white whoops and rises…
It is the way Scotland looks to the South,
the way we enter friends’ houses
to leave what we came with, or flick
the kettle’s switch and wait.
This is where I want to live,
close to where the heart gives out,
ruined, perfected, an empty arch against the sky
where birds fly through instead of prayers
while in Hoy Sound the ferry’s engines thrum
this life this life this life.
It is a whole book of memories
Some boring some shocking
The memories are mostly no longer than a paragraph. Some only a couple of sentences
All the memories start with I Remember…
The sentences are written in prose
I loved this
I did not understand it all
But I loved the way it fell along the lines in rage
It reminds me of some of Patti Smith’s ramblings
112 lines long – but the lines go over 4 lines some times – indented on the next lines (2nd3rdetc)
3 sections – first mainly start with “who” – second mainly start with ‘moloch’ – third mainly starts with ‘I’m’.
Moloch means the biblical name of a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice – Ginsberg means ‘the heavy judger of men’ – the power to give and take – a reference to capitalism which he was against (online references – Wikipedia and howl critical edition)
Third section about Carl Solomon a patient in hospital that Ginsberg met who was also a writer and wrote ‘Report from Asylum: Afterthoughts of a Shock Patient.
Out of the Dust
Supposedly a children’s poem but I loved it.
Full of images that just take you to the moments
I especially loved the first page describing her and her birth in the dustbowl on the floor of the house her parents lived in.
It is free verse
Like many different poems throughout the book but all about the same story of a girl born in depression USA in the dust bowl and a period of her life where she had many challenges.
It is a whole book with these poem sections that make up one large poem.