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Deviant for 10 Years
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Literature
Geronzio di Padova
V: We can still part, if you think it would be better.
E: It’s not worthwhile now.
I
On overweight chairs, the basket-woven men
          recognise me, hail me
              an old man with womanly hands,
              an old man with beautiful manners,
                              and an aged wife
              to whom I must return the nights.
       Hist!
              I mean to say no more than what I mean,
              what meaning mingles in my words;–
              I
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Literature
Sehnsucht
Again I ask wherefore and wait in fee,
    long-ling’ring on this feeling that I feel
    consuming me; and throbbing like a weal
upon mute flesh, this dull uncertainty
that low’rs me like an off’ring to the sea:
A paltry sacrifice. The waves receive
    and close; in closing wrap me o’er with weeds
    of white denial, with oft-vaunted deeds
by which my kind and likeness will and weave
incorporate in me,– for some reprieve?–
Though little lasts to prove the hope that rears
    before the surge that mingles loss with change,
    and gain with grief. What is not gone is strange,
and all that goes is dear;– and less a fear
rests heavy on this wretch that waits;– and hear:
No answer tumbling from the lover’s game;
    no answer borne upon the voyager’s tide,
    nor come from all the light that guides;–
save dreams diminished by lost hope and sh
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Literature
Resquiescat in Pace - Christina Grimmie
Rest softly now, for only angel arms
Embrace thee,– soft pinions bear thee away;
Quit from quarrels, cruelties, pain by day,
Unkindness, struggle, human strife, and harm.
I see thy shining furrow, silver star,
E’er lingering yet on the midnight sky:
Sublime beside the lowly and the high;
Crowned with thy voice, which moves me from afar.
All things must go,– but wherefore soon, so soon?
That all the days that thou hast yet to see,
In one monstrous moment wrenched, torn from thee!–
No more… senseless and cruel… and far too soon…
Peace enfold thee, e’er more,– for this I pray
Although cold grief seizes the wounded heart,
Cloys in the throat,– I cannot bear to part
E’en as thou movest far and far away.
Canst the love that thou hast giv’n voice, thy songs,
Hold me fr
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Literature
Ricercar: On a Theme of T. S. Eliot
I
                       I have no ghosts,
An old man in a draughty house
Under a windy knob.

Stern cypress; humbly drooping acacia;
the shrill shriek of the cicadas; dull heat;–
                   with the rain comes melancholia,
                   comes this narcolepsy of unrest,
and I am restless with that same heaviness,
though I know not what it means.
There, there should have been a river flowing
          slow from rapids broad to fall,
                 from fall to winter harbour mouth,
                 mouth, forehead, eyelids all
 dew-sodden with your hyacinth tears.
                         You spoke to me, to me
 
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Literature
Sunset and Evening Star
I strove against the stream and all in vain:
  Let the great river take me to the main…

My master died
             in the closing week of autumn,
     when the trees were still green
             and the heat reddened my brow
under a livery of sweat.
This stuffy isle is bound in jade
everywhere I look: in the crook
       of the harbour, the high
       mountain sweeping
over me,–
              sea-green, verdure-of-forest-green,
       moss-covered-headstone-coloured-green,
                   and never-to-be-forgotten green,
the stalks of the carnations I took
               to a whitewashed hospital room,–
I am green-eyed from the view.
I would that he had died at sea, steaming
to an anti
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Literature
Lucilius: A Riposte
Do not speak to me, Lucilius, of your love for a woman:
I have, of late, heard too many a love lyric,
                       read too many an epigram of a similar kind
                              to desire to hear much of your own.
At the baths of Caracalla, wreathed in steam; by
    the walks of the Forum Augustum, writ in marble; by
    the antique Servian Walls, girdled by houses; and
    the even steps of the stoae, where
    the day’s idle folk consume foodstuffs from stalls;–
wagging tongues are all aflutter with this matter of a girl,
     with the flavour of the hour:
                                           this small matter of a girl.
I have not heard much talk of h
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Literature
Love Lyrics from an Aberration
My love! You are here when the moon waxes gibbous
    and trembling starlight rests low on the breach;
ascend with me now to those altars amorphous
    that rise from an antique and alien beach,
where polyps unravel and pulsate enormous
    with tenebrous echoes of R’lyehian speech.
Accursed are the shuddering planets that burble or gloom
    in a horror of cosmic proportions;
while maddening flutes greet the shambling doom
    that has spawned from the foetid confusion,
and an odious stench permeates to the nethermost room
    from the gibbering wreck of our union.
We’ll pass through the unhallowed ebony gates of the Third
    where the gloam–elvers wriggle or weep;
and drink of the blood of a blasphemous bird
    and partake in the dreams of the deep;
and wed in the witch–house where idiot Azathoth stirred
    the abysmal unknown in his sleep!
Indelible stains on insensib
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Literature
Whitby Abbey
Grey abbey of brick and mortar and loam
    seat high and lone on rocky seaward bluff;–
below the thund’rous roller and the foam
beat out an antique cadence on the rough
    face of nature-raised masonry walls;–
dark crags made slick with ocean spray and slough
stand unmoved by time’s press, caress and call
    unlike thine own:– five hundred years lain low;
and neither faith nor genius could forestall
an end in echoing dust, and in the slow
    resounding roar of water on the stone,
and wreck beneath time’s endless afterglow.
    With thee in dust lie triumphs overthrown,
    of all my vaunted race, as well mine own.
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Literature
Homage to Alfred, Lord Tennyson - Extract
Faint echoes of the thund’rous guns
    Ring o’er sleepy house and home,–
    To hateful war o’er the foam
We send our daughters and our sons,–
For country, freedom, and for king!–
    So shook those public rags at me,
    Who loves our children first and free,
Who loves them more than all these things;–
They all decry that despot East,–
    That slaves the wretch unto a faith,
    That makes a waste, a mock, a wraith
Of all that faith prize most and least,–
And bade me bathe some foreign land
    In proxy blood of thine and mine:
    For righteousness makes death divine
And angels guide the murd’rous hand
And God is with us in the West
    And progress leads us to the light;–
    But here I ask the echoing night:
Are minarets not also blest?
Should I not mourn for those I see
    Who suffer now beneath the rain
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Mature content
Hotel Room :iconprussiantique:PrussiAntique 0 0
Literature
'The Moon Is Beautiful, Isn't it?'
The moon is unspeakably beautiful:
    how lowly is this dark world beneath her?–
    how lonely is this night sky without her?
Mere words from chaste lips can hardly convey
    a complete elucidation of love…
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Literature
Treaty
non enim ignavia magna imperia contineri
In the morning, I arrived at their house,
    at its low walls and tile-winged roof;–
such a house that would keep the water out,
    or the cold away from old bones;
mayhap make firewood after a stiff breeze;–
    and there I bade them bend the knee
or I would return at the next day’s dawn
    with fire in hand.
Yes: fire, steel, lead, and shot at my command;–
    tall ships with sails as white as swans
now habit this unhomely harbour-sea
    amongst boats, as goshawks to geese,–
troubling sleep like cold spectres or old bones
    for all their nights to come,– and rout
undue defiance per force,– by my word!–
    “We must refuse…”
And that was the end of that.
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Literature
Lines by Gerontius
ab aeterno
Let us go. There is nothing for us here.
    The world is all too much for us to bear,
and little that would bring us joy is near.
    Consumed are we by time, and time by care,
    and there is little in us left to share
when life’s assurances have proven wrong.
Our lives exceed us; we have lived too long.
How oft we hear those ghostly voices that remind
    of happy days that once were ours long ago.
How oft we see those ghostly faces that remind
    of friends all gone before us to the earth below;
yet lingering unlike ghosts, when motes of daylight break
    on snowy mountaintops that dwindle distantly,
    or ivied ruins left to moulder thoughtlessly,
    or mossy plots of age-worn marble silently
recalling us from hope; or when by night we wake
    from sad dreams of mingled faith and melancholy,
the grot and cell of all of us that yet remain.
    Alone, the
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Mature content
Roman Caprices :iconprussiantique:PrussiAntique 0 0
Literature
The Battle of Gela, 11 July 1943
Sicily seems calm today; out in the sea
    There comes the sight of distant ships that sail
    Towards an isle that is not of the free.
    The cloud-crowned heavens lie open; the pale
    White beaches and the cliffs of broken shale    
    Rise from the sea even as the winds sigh,–
    And there, an aircraft’s tell-tale vapour trail
    Lightens into splendour before the eye
And glistens on the sierra of the morning sky.
O the glory and the wonder of flight!
    Stealing like sunlight over disputed land,
    Over vacant Sicilian hill or height,
    Spitfires and Warhawks range through cloudscapes grand,
    All-seeing, all-wary, chancing as a band
    Hostile line and bunkered coast and fortressed lea,–
    And from airfields carved out from dirt and sand
    Rise stern defenders to oppose yet boldly
The invading lib
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Literature
Correspondences
Hey,
I’ve wanted to write to you for ages,
but didn’t know how to start. How are you?
There’s so much going on, I could write pages
and pages, but I don’t want to bore you.
In brief: weather’s a bit ugh. ___’s okay,
she’s just busy all the time –as usual!–
I’m planning on going into town today –
shopping for groceries, just the usual.
O! and I was wondering: are you free
later on this week? To meet up, you know,
just to chat, maybe even over tea?
We haven’t seen each other in so long; so
I was hoping you’d have time for m–
for an old friend, just yeah, a friend. You know.
Missing you,
________
========================================
Hey to you too,
I thought you might’ve forgotten ‘bout me,
it’s been too long! Glad to hear that things’re fine.
Been trying to sort out some stuff o’ mine
(we’re moving) and it’s been really, really,
(dammit, I need a better
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PrussiAntique
Johnathan Siu
Artist | Student | Literature
Hong Kong
Opened a new account on wordpress for all my poetic and non-poetic thoughts! Find me on wordpress at the Kingdom of Poetry where I hope to write a lot more about all the things that hold my interest!
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Activity


V: We can still part, if you think it would be better.
E: It’s not worthwhile now.


I

On overweight chairs, the basket-woven men
          recognise me, hail me
              an old man with womanly hands,
              an old man with beautiful manners,
                              and an aged wife
              to whom I must return the nights.
       Hist!
              I mean to say no more than what I mean,
              what meaning mingles in my words;–
              I would not have marri’d my muse,
                        unless I meant to kill mine art:–
                       “Art come again with vain
                        bibble-babble, pantaloon?”
          “Again…”
                       – tantamount to death; only old men
                          sleep softly to dreams of suicide.
                                          Endeavour to sleep,–
                                 follow thy course in safety
                  as though the sacred laurels pave thy way…


II

Adulterous are my paints; mine eyes, diminish’d
                                by mine age, remain
       yet prone to listless wand’rings
       here amongst the faces that I chance to meet,–
                         such faces that I chance to meet…
                  my wife awaits me; I must away
         soon,–
                  time yet to linger, count my brushstrokes,
                  paltry losses, petty loves
         that come with pity on their lips…
                       such pity when they gesture
                     at my paintings, these remainders
                              of a world no longer come.
               Solicited:–
                              she comes to me again;
                        this shy girl that I painted once,–
           curtsies; bids good morning; asks my health
           politest, though I were some lord of old,
                                          some majesty return’d;–
            and all at once I am once more a man!


I
II

Do I know her truly, know her
           in herself; in herself all that she is…
           and all things that I have seen, in themselves?
     I must seem a senseless thing… but can there be
           knowledge without a thing that knows?–
           and should I be forgiv’n for making all things
     philosophy?
                     Distancing this doubt does nothing:
                     like a pillar between heaven and earth
                                      neither affirms, denies
                                      both heaven and earth!–
            tolls must be levi’d before passage is given.
     Only heroes may cross the frost-veil’d bridge…
    “Amen!”
               For doubtless, saints will make their rounds,
                    while church bells ring out choric songs:
                    sweet music here that softer falls,
                    amidst the fugues of Maestro Hugues…
         but tell me: wherefore should I care, when I
         am stood here at the end of all my cares?


IV

This shy girl,– with such beautiful manners,–
            listens more than speaks; she watches
            as my brush returns the colours to the world:
                handsome bridges o’er the river,
                well-dress’d walkers on the banks,
                horses, cabs and gothic lamps
     alight,–
                illumin’d by the moon…
                there is a wonder in the world,
                when all is calm and all is still,
                and civil, courteous, manner’d, fair;
                      the ladies in their hats and vair,
                  beyond reproach, beyond compare…
        Hush,–
                  a word regains me, and I am but sham’d.
          What needs be fear’d of old and feeble men,
                  save harsh infirmity, their sudden passing?
          Would that she avert her eyes!
                  She looks at me as though all things
                  were well and should be well once more.


V

An old man, unseasonable; dry days and nights;
                  a latter-year painter
                  in the low’ring light of life;
          beside this vestal girl a-watching;–
          some days lunching on some morsel
                  fish’d from her bag.
    “Ahimé!–”
                  that I have not holy bread to break,–
            nor gold that all my fellows hoard and waste;
            nor silver words to flatter; nor beauty brazen;
            nor such iron sinews to hold her strong;–
            nothing, save canvas, cold fingers,
                        wet paints…
            Patience
                        hath taught men impotence;
      and render’d battlements mere air;
      and ancient giants into incoherent towers;
      and the will of one who once was mighty
            meek,–
                       nor would I have chanc’d!


VI

“Sullen and incontinent, Geronzio?”
           All is mock and gull
               in this late hour.
           Age insults me…
         Youth insults me, also,
                 and neither art nor nature
   liberate;–
                 not even when the sunsets
                 arc their vaulted shafts above me,
                 countless and incarnadine,
                            is there liberation
                            from this grey circle
                            for this grey soul!
                      How
                            should man desire to live
                            in such a state for long?–
                            and why should I be held
                    contemptuous for craving relief
              that comes by courteous hands
              and manners, beautiful, shy, polite?


VII

I have come to the sum of a life’s long history;
                       neuter’d by life’s long history,–
                       yet unmuzzl’d
                                          as it was when
              la figura di Nembrot
              first enter’d discourse with the world.
       Alike
              in noise, if not in meaning…
              the Porte of all that is to come
                                             is clos’d to me;
              blind to that which lies beyond,–
                     experience hath prov’d
                     a comfort
     inadequate.
                     Painted effigies of little substance;
                  by a man become of little substance;
                     and whose truth is little and demean’d
                        by what he hath become:
                                   ‘I make a mock of all
                                   that once I held was true.’


VIII

To have liv’d as nothing in a rented house;
            far from a home I lov’d;
                                             with passionless
           concitations, advocations
           on fraudulent prophecies;
                       gifted from dry loins;–
           behold!–
                       but virtue is not abash’d by sin;
                                     is not abas’d
            by this house of flesh; immur’d,
            is a piteous thing,
                            that she thus indulges.
                        “…sanza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.”
                Hear!
                        I am so much abus’d by such charity,
                                                   and such comfort
                                        beneath
           the many-branchéd, malé-branchéd trees.
           Ask me not to suffer a peace without honour,
                                  or compassion without love!


XI

Unfinished shapes; shameless hands;
               and eyes all-wet with want,–
               betray what tongues cannot utter?
                                If not to one…
               nor would we either mourn if one
                     were soon to go, my wife and I!
           Repeat:
                      “Summae Deus clementiae,
                       mundique factor machinae…
                       …and the wait consumes;
                               these altar-offerings,
                    doom’d to be divided, devour’d:
                    this rag-meat, these bones!
     Benedetta!
                    Why come to me now? I am
                    infirm, and forgetful, and alone,–
                         myself, myself no more:
              and will I see you when I lie awake
              the nights,–
                              the sun amidst the stars?

Geronzio di Padova
The principal inspiration for the poem are T.S. Eliot’s ‘Gerontion; Dante’s Divine Comedy (more specifically segments of Inferno; the latter half of Purgatorio and the final canto of Paradiso); and a number of Tennyson’s late poems. Epigram is a snippet of conversation between Vladimir and Estragon from Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’.

The decision to use this epigram was because it most echoed the spirit of the speaker to me,–Vladimir and Estragon are trapped, essentially, by their desire to wait for Godot. Why they are waiting for Godot is unknown, but all that they do within the confines of the play amount to various attempts to kill time and fill the void that idleness has left them in until such time that Godot arrives. The speaker of the poem exists in a similar state, awaiting death, but stuck in the impotent limbo of old age, where all that he would like to experience is forever beyond his grasp. All that he has left to do is to paint and think and pass the days in frustration until such time that death should take him away.

The mode of the poem is where T.S. Eliot’s influence can be most seen. The Modernist dramatic monologue, in contrast to the highly focused Victorian dramatic monologue as formulated by Browning and Tennyson, is consumed by the aesthetic of literary montage, wherein the use of free verse, allusion, fragmentation, etc. are used to enrich the narrative or spoken voice of the poem while simultaneously overwhelming the reader-listener with the resulting linguistic panoply.

The nine stanzas of this poem are intended to, firstly, mimic the nine circles of hell that Dante traverses in Inferno, and to suggest that the speaker is currently experiencing his own proverbial hell in the poem, namely being trapped in the state of old age. The girl who he sees, by contrast, represents everything that he cannot have or has lost,– vigour, innocence, youth, and beauty,– and can only imagine by being in the grip of intense memory or else by lusting for this girl despite his physical frailty and impotence (suggested by the language of drought and being ‘unseasonable’). Of the damned though, he is one who is keenly aware of his suffering, but also too proud to suffer the pity of others, hence why his inner monologue is dominated by powerful yet self-destructive impulses (self-hatred, frustrated lust, denial, self-isolation, scorn for others, etc.). The most he can do is look forward to the moment he will cease to be, and dream the nights of all that he would but can no longer have,– something with most tellingly culminates in the image of the ‘sun amidst the stars’ which echoes Dante directly, who describes God’s eternal radiance, beauty and compassion in such a manner.
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Again I ask wherefore and wait in fee,
    long-ling’ring on this feeling that I feel
    consuming me; and throbbing like a weal
upon mute flesh, this dull uncertainty
that low’rs me like an off’ring to the sea:

A paltry sacrifice. The waves receive
    and close; in closing wrap me o’er with weeds
    of white denial, with oft-vaunted deeds
by which my kind and likeness will and weave
incorporate in me,– for some reprieve?–

Though little lasts to prove the hope that rears
    before the surge that mingles loss with change,
    and gain with grief. What is not gone is strange,
and all that goes is dear;– and less a fear
rests heavy on this wretch that waits;– and hear:

No answer tumbling from the lover’s game;
    no answer borne upon the voyager’s tide,
    nor come from all the light that guides;–
save dreams diminished by lost hope and shame…
for want of reassurance or a name!
Sehnsucht

Et, voilà! An artifice which I pray may placate the poetic palate, if I may be so bold as to hope.

The poem is separated into four quintains,– that is to say in plainer speech, stanzas of five lines,– and follow the following rhyme scheme: abbaa

Structurally, however, the stanzas prove far more arbitrary,- enjambment occurs frequently, cutting syntactic lines across stanzas and lines, and creating a profound tension between sense and meter due to the unexpected fall of the caesura or pause.

Similarly, the assonance and internal rhyme,- observe how the phrase ‘consuming me’ seems more like the end rhyme of the second line than the word ‘weal’ due to the natural desire to close the couplet opened by ‘in fee’,- also serve to cut the across the rhyme scheme to create a kind of counter-metre and scheme to what the poem seems to present.

Regarding the language, I must confess I have a preference for archaisms;- however, considering the sense of age and long-nurtured loss that pervades the poem, I would like to say that archaisms are not in-apropos, as it were. When I speak of archaisms, I would like to suggest that archaisms also include the use of words in ways or meanings that have ceased to be commonplace. The words ‘weeds’ is a prime example.

The title and theme are broadly speaking the very same: Sehnsucht, which unfortunately has no equivalent word in English. An emotional state of longing, yearning or the sense of something profoundly missing, Sehnsucht has a deeper connection with things that are desired but unattainable. Indeed, I would like to stress that the following idea is the most important thing to bear in mind when attempting to understand the poem’s theme: a sense of profound longing for the unattainable.

It is a sense,- the merest ghost of a sensation,- of a profound longing that lingers on the heart. Just as a piece by Debussy or a painting of Monet is as much an impression of the thing rather than a thing itself,- a relationship directly underline by Magritte’s famous Pipe,- the poetic artifice is merely an impression of a longing for the unattainable or the unanswerable.

I would like to suggest, however, that an impression of a thing is by no means a lesser object than the thing itself. Here, what becomes of greatest interest is the form of the impression: which elements are felt most keenly in the impression, and which are excluded or diminished?- how are these elements made prominent by the artist?- how does the emotional distance afforded by the impression of the thing affect one’s subjective experience of that same thing? The art of impression,- or the shadow play of Plato’s cave,- is as legitimate as the art of the real.

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Rest softly now, for only angel arms
Embrace thee,– soft pinions bear thee away;
Quit from quarrels, cruelties, pain by day,
Unkindness, struggle, human strife, and harm.

I see thy shining furrow, silver star,
E’er lingering yet on the midnight sky:
Sublime beside the lowly and the high;
Crowned with thy voice, which moves me from afar.

All things must go,– but wherefore soon, so soon?
That all the days that thou hast yet to see,
In one monstrous moment wrenched, torn from thee!–
No more… senseless and cruel… and far too soon…

Peace enfold thee, e’er more,– for this I pray
Although cold grief seizes the wounded heart,
Cloys in the throat,– I cannot bear to part
E’en as thou movest far and far away.

Canst the love that thou hast giv’n voice, thy songs,
Hold me from this deep abysm of tears?–
Repair this heart so it may bear the years
It must now suffer shorn of thee, and long?

Songbird, nightingale, silver star… thou art
The muse that made the darkened day seem bright…
I cannot bear to move without thy light,–
Nor seek to pass beyond the grieving heart.

A shining furrow glimmers… and grows drear.
Grim is morrow without thee to greet.
Rancorous is the dawn that once seemed sweet.
I know this world is less without thee here.

Muse and music-maker, sleep evermore!
Me only grief enfolds,– I cannot cease…
I pray that thou, Christina, rest in peace
E’en though thy voice still echoes on this nearer shore.
Resquiescat in Pace - Christina Grimmie
There is a moment of horror when you read the news are realize someone you know,- however distantly,- has been shot. I saw the headlines on google only about an hour after they came up. I spent the next hour constantly refreshing the page in the hopes that some good news would materialize.

They did not.

I am 24. Ms. Grimmie was 2 years my junior. I first saw her in her video with Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider, 'Just a Dream', and have spent the subsequent years occasionally listening to her. That video came out in 2010. WHat that amounts to is that her music has been a presence within a full quarter of my life at this moment. In a way, it's like knowing someone rather distantly who has grown up with you. To suddenly hear that she had passed away due to her injuries,- it creates a certain coldness in the heart that is almost indescribable.

2 years my junior... I realize people say that you are an adult when you reach the age of 18,- or 21 in certain countries,- but to have died in so violent and sudden a manner; to have one's dream cut so short while it was in the ascendant; to have one's life ended before it had really and truly begun...

And of her family,- what parent should ever have to bury their daughter?

It is all monstrous in a way that I have trouble describing.

I am not a religious person, but if e'er there was a place for the blameless and the good, I can only hope that she's found her place there. 
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I
                       I have no ghosts,
An old man in a draughty house
Under a windy knob.



Stern cypress; humbly drooping acacia;
the shrill shriek of the cicadas; dull heat;–
                   with the rain comes melancholia,
                   comes this narcolepsy of unrest,
and I am restless with that same heaviness,
though I know not what it means.

There, there should have been a river flowing
          slow from rapids broad to fall,
                 from fall to winter harbour mouth,
                 mouth, forehead, eyelids all
 dew-sodden with your hyacinth tears.
                         You spoke to me, to me
            with breathless words to work your will....

“Ah… My tears are mixing with this rain.
        Shall we not go inside into the warmth?”

I can scarcely bear to look at you, or answer, or speak
        the words I want to say…
        the warmth of tears is enough;
        this tightening of the heart within the breast;
  and this cold stomach of rainy hopes and still words;
  and all our substance intermingling with the rain…
            our burthen sinking into the earth,
                                   to earth in earth
                                   undone.

Desire trembles on the tongue,
          the taste of passion touched by shame…
          to savour, to swallow, to scorn
      in dumb silence, shallow disputations
                          on the nature of the will,–
all whilst trembling in the rain and the squall;
                                              the rainfall
sweeping clear the streets swept clear
of the living, the soon-to-die, or those who step
                  in a lingering half-life
                  spent in voices, fading into the rain.


II

I have not made this show purposelessly
And it is not by any concitation
Of the backward devils.



So many are undone, so many!–
     but death and life walk hand in hand
                         like gentlewomen in the rain…
perchance, they hum
                a carol, a strange song of popular reputation
                           wherever their paths may lead…
and slow dirges by the dreary promenades
grown slick with rainwater, with swollen gutters
glowing, crimsoned
                          with the streetlamp light of fireflies.

A convocation of wings,–
                                  unruly parliament
    of unkindly eyes, sighs of indolence, intolerance;
    of the fates, if ever they would judge…
                                                         us
to the river, to the river that should have been;–
                 to the river, we are consigned; our footfalls
       enrapture this waste land with their noise.

Forgetful apologias of a dead age cannot spare us
             from crude hopes, or with slow hymns
            make close despair sanguine… sweet.

Only now do you ask wherefore I weep…
       my tears amongst the dews at even,
       my tears amongst the raindrops of the dawn
       my tears upon your cheek…
                                            but I weep
for self and self alone;–
                                I have no need
for wild approbation, sweet whisperings.
                                I choose
     to walk beside you by mine own will
     a woman’s;–
                      by my tears, I am
     made strong,
                       restored,
                                    renewed.


III

To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition.
I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it  
Since what is kept must be adulterated?



Silence closes all…
                         a moment’s pause;–
the riverbank is met without a kiss…
and heavy are the hearts that hold us here…
      nymphs do not greet us from still water,
                      nor offer drink to quench our thirst,
                      nor will they part the fallen leaves
            that rest above them red and brown.

“Let us go. How can we longer here remain?”

I would linger here a while yet in the rain,–
                                                           in the heart
the last embers smoulder with final fire,
     a candle flame of deeper-than-desire…
and know you not what it is I mean by this?

What is done is done.
                             The river beckons us
with inhuman serenity, with the stillness of a veil;–
I rather bear the rain a while longer
           than pass beyond the margin of the riverbank.

The city is far away; the walks enshrouded;
      the steeples topless in the mist behind us…

I know that I have asked too much of you,–
                          but still I must ask:
hold the moment...
                          may I take your hand?

Your kindness exceeds me: I can foresuffer all,
                             the rainfall and the squall,
          for you are here beside;–
          for all that I have seen and known
will be forgotten time by time and morn by morn…

          A hollow crown atop a lowered brow,
and tears that mix with the last dews of the dawn…
Ricercar: On a Theme of T. S. Eliot
I’ve been bitten by the Modernist-bug, I think. Three sources of inspiration, despite the fact that the title only implies one. The first is T. S. Eliot’s Gerontion, which supplies the quotes for the three sections. The second is Tennyson’s Tithonus, which informs the language and some of the imagery of the poem. The last is Bach’s St. John Passion, which I saw performed last week at the kind invitation of a friend and which I thoroughly enjoyed.

In Modernism, I find individual instances of imagery have a very fluid relationship with one another, and I think it’s due to the highly synthetic style of composition. I think the best way to understand this characteristic of literary modernism is through the concept of the montage. Disparate pieces,- references, quotes, allusions,- are taken from a broad range of different sources and then put together and assembled into a whole which is radically individual, if not conventionally coherent. Images, references, quotes and allusions all flow into one another; sometimes producing something wholly different; sometimes producing something that is a composite of still-recognizable sources.

I think in the case of mine own, the narrative is more straightforward than would be seen in the works of high Modernism. I need more practice, methinks. Either way, I would recommend reading Tithonus and Gerontion, and listening to Bach’s Passion, and then try reading this again. Meaning changes with context, which is why Modernist transpositions of their source material often drastically modify the meaning of whatever is transposed. Equally, an allusion in a newer work serves to layer additional meaning and subtext onto lines and stanzas that would otherwise be straightforward to interpret. While this can easily happen in earlier, non-Modernist works, such as ironic echoes within a single poem,- the ‘Phoebus and Daphne’ section of Ovid’s Metamorphosis has a section where Cupid mocks Phoebus’ hubris by aping the latter’s use of the royal ‘we’,- Modernist poets apply these techniques on a grand scale. An entire poem can be constituted almost wholly of allusions, rather than allusions being an occasional device within a larger poem.

I always find it very dangerous to ascribe meaning or an interpretation on a poem I write. Maybe it’s because subconsciously, I’ve been influenced by Barthes’ The Death of the Author, but I also think I want my poetry to be able to speak for itself, regardless of how shallow, powerful, deep or meaningless what it says may be. It just means I have to work harder to write my poems better,- the definition of ‘better’ wholly depending on the poem, that is. Either way, I need more practice writing poetry. The only thing I’d like to say, is that there should be at least two speakers. However, looking at how disjointed the poem can seem at times, even this might not actually be conveyed to a reader, in which case, there would be only one speaker. As I say, in the end the only thing of importance is what a reader takes away from a poem. What I say regarding meaning and interpretation is really of secondary importance,- which is why I usually stick to the mechanical parts of poetry in these notes. Those, at least, I can speak with a little authority on.

I do hope this finds everyone well.

Ah, and I do want to leave a puzzle: what is the significance of the word Ricercar in the title? Let's see if anyone's interested in figuring it out.
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TheEvilOvelords Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for joining our group! :D
May we be graced by your presence for a long time :meow:

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Thanks for the watch! :icongrin--plz:
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Thank you for the faves! ^_^
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Omg!Thank you so much for the points!  :happybounce: 
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Is my pleasure! I must say, do like your art~ :D  How are you doing?
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Every thing is ok I guess, maybe just a little busy =\ Thanks again to the points! I really appreciate it.
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:D No worries, no worries. Sent you a Note, by the way!
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Hey things are going great!~ Thank you SOO MUCH for extending the premium, I didn't see it coming so it was a pleasant surprise xD
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salmon heart bulletFin Sep By Lu Tan-da8nzy4 by WithyArt   Pink Heart IconThanku by WithyArt   Pink Heart Icon Fin By Lu Tan-da6dxdm by WithyArt  salmon heart bullet 
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Thanks for the watch! Bunny Emoji-72 (Kawaii) [V4]
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