Poetry Mondays – He stands alone (Job 23:8-17)

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But if I go to the east, he is not there;
    

if I go to the west, I do not find him. 

When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
    

when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.

But he knows the way that I take;
    

when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 

My feet have closely followed his steps;
    

I have kept to his way without turning aside.

I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
    

I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. 

But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?
    

He does whatever he pleases. 

He carries out his decree against me,
    

and many such plans he still has in store. 

That is why I am terrified before him;
    

when I think of all this, I fear him.

God has made my heart faint;
    

the Almighty has terrified me.

Yet I am not silenced by the darkness,
    

by the thick darkness that covers my face.

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Poetry Mondays – The Applicant (Sylvia Plath)

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9to5

First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,

Stitches to show something’s missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Stop crying.
Open your hand.
Empty? Empty. Here is a hand

To fill it and willing
To bring teacups and roll away headaches
And do whatever you tell it.
Will you marry it?
It is guaranteed

To thumb shut your eyes at the end
And dissolve of sorrow.
We make new stock from the salt.
I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit—-

9to5-Movie-Cast

Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.

Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
I have the ticket for that.
Come here, sweetie, out of the closet.
Well, what do you think of that ?
Naked as paper to start

But in twenty-five years she’ll be silver,
In fifty, gold.
A living doll, everywhere you look.
It can sew, it can cook,
It can talk, talk , talk.

It works, there is nothing wrong with it.
You have a hole, it’s a poultice.
You have an eye, it’s an image.
My boy, it’s your last resort.
Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.

The Collected Poems

Poetry Mondays – Be at Peace (William Butler Yeats)

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Michael Robartes bids his Beloved be at Peace 

I hear the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;
The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night,
The East her hidden joy before the morning break,
The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away,
The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire:
O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,
The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay:
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,
Drowning love’s lonely hour in deep twilight of rest,
And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats

Poetry Mondays – If by Rudyard Kipling

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If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; 

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same:.

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Poetry Mondays – EMANCIPATION By Emily Dickinson

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EMANCIPATION By Emily Dickinson

No rack can torture me,

My soul’s at liberty

Behind this mortal bone

There knits a bolder one

You cannot prick with saw,

Nor rend with scymitar.

Two bodies therefore be;

Bind one, and one will flee.

The eagle of his nest

No easier divest

And gain the sky,

Than mayest thou,

Except thyself may be

Thine enemy;

Captivity is consciousness,

So’s liberty.

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

Poetry Mondays – Song of Myself (Walt Whitman)

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I am the poet of the body,

And I am the poet of the soul. 


The pleasures of heaven are with me, and the pains of hell are with me,

The first I graft and increase upon myself . . . . the latter I translate into a new tongue

I am the poet of the woman the same as the man,

And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man,

And I say there is nothing greater than mother of men. 


I chant a new chant of dilation or pride,

We have had ducking and deprecating about enough,

I show that size is only development. 


Have you out script the rest? Are you the President?

It is a trifle . . . . they will more than arrive there every

One, and still pass on. 


I am he that walks with the tender and growing night; I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night. 


Press close bare bosomed night! Press close magnetic nourishing night!

Night of south winds! Night of the large few stars!

Still nodding night! Mad naked summer night! 


Smile O voluptuous cool breathed earth! 
Earth of the slumbering and liquid

trees! 
Earth of departed sunset! Earth of the mountains misty-topt!

Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!

Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!

Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake! 


Far swooping elbowed earth! Rich apple-blossomed earth! Smile, for your lover

comes! 


Prodigal! You have given me love!. . . . therefore I to you give love!

O unspeakable passionate love! 


Thruster holding me tight and that I hold tight!

We hurt each other as the bridegroom and the bride hurt each other. 


Poetry Mondays – The Second Coming (William Butler Yeats)

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Falconer with Falcon

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

 

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   
The darkness drops again; but now I know   
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Independence Day Poetry – A Nation’s Strength (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

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A Nation’s Strength

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1904)

What makes a nation’s pillars high

And its foundations strong?

What makes it mighty to defy

The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand

Go down in battle shock;

Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,

Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust

Of empires passed away;

The blood has turned their stones to rust,

Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown

Has seemed to nations sweet;

But God has struck its luster down

In ashes at his feet.

Not gold but only men can make

A people great and strong;

Men who for truth and honor’s sake

Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,

Who dare while others fly…

They build a nation’s pillars deep

And lift them to the sky.

Poetry Mondays – The Tragedy of the Leaves (Charles Bukowski)

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The Tragedy of the Leaves

I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead,

the potted plants yellow as corn;

my woman was gone

and the empty bottles like bled corpses

surrounded me with their uselessness;

the sun was still good, though,

and my landlady’s note cracked in fine and

undemanding yellowness; what was needed now

was a good comedian, ancient style, a jester

with jokes upon absurd pain; pain is absurd

because it exists, nothing more;

I shaved carefully with an old razor

the man who had once been young and

said to have genius; but

that’s the tragedy of the leaves,

the dead ferns, the dead plants;

and I walked into a dark hall

where the landlady stood

execrating and final,

sending me to hell,

waving her fat, sweaty arms

and screaming

screaming for rent

because the world has failed us

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Wisdom Wednesdays – Your Environment

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