Archive | March, 2012

Happy World Poetry Day!!! (Part 1) :D

21 Mar

Happy World Poetry Day!!!!

I’ve debated what to do for today for a while. At first I was going to write a couple of poems about this and put them on here but then I decided I wouldn’t ruin the day by putting everyone off their poetry and so I’ve opted for the far better option of doing two posts. This one has a few (ok, a LOT! It’s just so hard to chose!) of my very favourite poems from famous poets. The second will be up just after!

The first two are by my favourite poet Edgar Allan Poe.

 

 

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of ANNABEL LEE;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea;

But we loved with a love that was more than love-

I and my Annabel Lee;

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsman came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me-

Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we-

Of many far wiser than we-

And neither the angels in heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,

In the sepulchre there by the sea,

In her tomb by the sounding sea.

 

Edgar Allan Poe

 

 

A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow-

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand-

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep- while I weep!

O God! can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

O God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?

 

Edgar Allan Poe

 

 

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need of my care,

‘Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

Maya Angelou

 

 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Dylan Thomas

 

 

Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick flowers in other people’s gardens

And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

Or only bread and pickle for a week

And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

And pay our rent and not swear in the street

And set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

 

Jenny Joseph

 

 

On the Ning Nang Nong

On the Ning Nang Nong

Where the Cows go Bong!

and the monkeys all say BOO!

There’s a Nong Nang Ning

Where the trees go Ping!

And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.

On the Nong Ning Nang

All the mice go Clang

And you just can’t catch ’em when they do!

So its Ning Nang Nong

Cows go Bong!

Nong Nang Ning

Trees go ping

Nong Ning Nang

The mice go Clang

What a noisy place to belong

is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

 

Spike Milligan

 

 

Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed–and gazed–but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

 

William Wordsworth

 

 

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love with a passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

And for a little contrast to the last, because the sickly sweetness of some love poems make me want to vomit:

 

SONNET 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare.

 

William Shakespeare

 

 

A Silly Poem

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,

I’ll draw a sketch of thee,

What kind of pencil shall I use?

2B or not 2B?

 

Spike Milligan

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Enough

20 Mar

Enough

 

In the library and they’re holding hands

Nobody can see but they are

And that’s enough.

 

A smile shared between friends

But under the surface, simmering,

There’s something more.

 

Something hidden behind those glances

Something you can’t see, or won’t see,

Locked in their eyes.

 

Everything so simple when it’s hidden.

It’s enough that it is there. Enough.

No wanting more.

Nightmares

14 Mar

 I’m finding it very difficult lately to get things written down on paper. I don’t know why that is. I have the motivation to do it. I want to do it. I finally have the time to do it. And yet the minute I take the pen into my hand everything just goes blank. It’s not even that I’m lacking in ideas. My heads full of them! Lots of little seeds floating through my mind; a character, an opening line, a plot line for a simple poem to thousand page novel. But every time O try to put them into words my mind goes blank.

I think this is the reason for the nightmares. I’ve never had nightmares before, not like this. Sure, occasionally I’ve battled the odd three headed monster or fought in the zombie apocalypse, but I’ve never been so lost within a dream that I can’t tell it’s not reality. I’ve never woken up and been terrified of even the sound of my own breathing. I’ve never questioned myself as to whether the here and now, me writing this post, is really reality and not just a happy fantasy. A dream my subconscious has came up with as an escape from my nightmare reality. I’ve never had a dream feel so real.

And I really feel this inability to express all these pent up, and thoroughly rubbish, ideas in my head is causing this. In my nightmares I’m trapped in this mist. It’s so thick I can’t even see my own hands in front of me. I’m running as far and as fast as I can to get to the edge of this mist but each step closer I get to the edge brings something closer to me. I don’t know what, or who, it is. I can’t see or hear it. But I know that in my dream it makes my heart race, my hands tremble. It makes every hair on my body stand on end. It brings me to tears. As it gets closer I feel the mist getting heavier and thicker. I keep running against it but each step I take brings it down on me. When I’m so close to the edge of the mist that my entire body is braced in anticipation for the freedom, the release from the weight, the pressure, I realise I cannot move. The mist is so thick around me, it’s like I’m being smothered in foam and just as I’m about to reach the edge it hardens around my ankles. I keep screaming but it just makes it travel harder and faster, past my knees, my hips my chest. I can’t breathe. It’s on my neck, I feel pain in my face from the lack of blood and oxygen. I try again to scream but it’s in my mouth, my throat. I can’t see anything hear anything. I can’t make a sound but I can feel that thing standing right behind me.

And then I wake up. I’m drenched in cold sweat, shaking in fear, clawing at my throat and sobbing hard. I never react like that to dreams. I never scream. I think I might be going mad sometimes. Those moments when I first wake up, I’m not me. I’m not my self, my rational self.

I hope I can figure out how to get all these thoughts out before I drive myself insane. 

A conversation

9 Mar

‘What am I doing here?’

‘Dad, calm down.’

‘Where the hell am I?’ A struggle to be free.

‘You’re in hospital dad.’ A long silence. A fight of wills.

‘What the hell am I doing here?’ Half the bay’s attention is caught. The silence that follows, louder than his cry.

‘You’re in hospital dad. You took another dizzy turn and passed out.’ Silent concern follow mistaken condescension.

‘What? I what?’ Confusion leads to anger. His words get louder.

‘You passed out dad. You were unconscious for three hours. They brought you here.’

‘Why?… No… No… I didn’t… No.’ Coughing.

‘Dad, calm down. Stop shouting. I know dad. How are you feeling?’

‘What am I doing HERE? These nasty bastards. Why am I here?’ Silence.

‘You passed out again. They called an ambulance for you.’

‘What? No… I would remember. No… I need the toilet. Why am I here?’

‘Nurse. I know you don’t remember dad, you weren’t conscious. Dad, please, try and calm down. Oh, good, he needs to go to the toilet, would you get him a bottle?’ A shuffle. Hurried footsteps. The curtain opens. Closes. Opens.

‘I need to pee. Now. Get me out of here. These bastards, they don’t treat me right.’

‘No, he needs it now. When he has to go, he has to go now. Dad, I’ve told you, you passed out. Hush now. Here you go, use this bottle now.’ More shuffling. Incomprehensible muttering.

‘I can’t.’ More shuffling. A zip pulled down. ‘I can’t. I can’t. I can’t get it in. I need to pee.’

‘You can dad, you’ve done it before plenty. Dad, come on. Nurse.’

‘I can’t I’m going to pee the bed. I need to piss. I need to PISS!’

‘Nurse! More shuffling. A groan. The sound of liquid. A sigh. Softly. Almost unheard. ‘Why are you here dad? Why’d they have to bring you here again?’

‘I don’t know! I want to go home. Take me home. I want my wife. I want to go home.’

‘Dad, you can’t go home, you know that. The care home sent you here because you passed out and the couldn’t wake you for three hours. Last time the doctors told them not to bring you here, remember? They said you’d be better off there, you wouldn’t get upset again.’ A sniff.

‘I don’t understand. No. I said NO! I told you I didn’t want to. No. STOP! STOP!!! I don’t want that thing on my finger. What’s that?’

‘It’s to take your blood pressure. They’re going to put it on your arm. It’ll tighten up dad so don’t get a fright again, okay?’

‘Ow. OW. AAH!! FUCK. Get it off. Get it off me. NOW. I need to pee.’ A ripping noise. Beeps. Loud beeps. ‘Hurry up, I’m bursting.’ More shuffling. More liquid. ‘Do you see how these bastards treat me? Do you?’

‘Dad, calm down. They’re just doing their job. Dad, What are you doing? No, you’ve got to wait dad, you’ve got to wait until your tests get back.’ A scream. A second. A third.

‘I want to go home. What am I doing here?’

‘I know dad, I know. Just calm down, okay? It won’t take long now.’ Silence. More silence. Steady footsteps. Quite whispering. More silence. ‘How long?’

‘What? What’s going on?’ Silence.

‘Dad, you’ve got to stay here for a while longer. Please dad, sit back down. There, good. Is there anything you can do?… Can you at least make him more comfortable?… I know. I know…. Just because you know it was going to happen doesn’t make it easier… Yes, I know… Yes doctor… I’ll stay with him.’ Footsteps. Silence.

‘What the hell’s going on? What am I doing here? I need to pee. FUCK. Now.’ More footsteps.

‘Here dad, you take this now, okay? Right, there you go.’ Liquid. ‘Okay, lie down now.’

‘I want to go home. I want my wife. Please.’

‘Soon dad, soon.’

‘Why am I here? Coughing. ‘There bastards, they don’t treat me right. FUCK. I WANT TO GO HOME!’

‘Hush, calm down dad. Please. I know dad, I know. Soon, okay.’ More coughing. More footsteps.

‘No, I don’t want that thing on my finger. No, you bastards, I said no.’ Shuffling. Crash.

‘Dad! That’s enough!’

‘I want to go home.’

‘I know dad. Just stop, stop that.’

‘No. Why am I here?’

‘Dad, calm down. Hush.’

‘I want my wife.’

‘I know.’

‘I want to go home.’

‘I know.’

‘These bastards. These BASTARDS. I want to go home.’

‘Dad. Enough.’

‘No.’ A scream. A second. A third. Coughing.

‘DAD! Be quiet. Now.’

‘NO. I WANT TO GO HOME!’ A scream. A second. A third.

‘SHUT UP. JUST SHUT UP.’

Silence.

My Nothing

7 Mar

 

I can think of absolutely nothing to write

The page is empty

White.

Not a damn thing comes to mind

Not a word

Not a rhyme

Not a single utterance of which

Any useful lines could find

Somewhere, something to start from.

Weary… Annoyed… Tired…

Still no thoughts come

Not a word

Not a sound

Impatient click of fingers on desk

Taunting tick of the clock

Forever teasing

Forever laughing at

What?

My Nothing.

My page after page of Nothing.

Doubt : On God

1 Mar

Image

I’m not sure about anything anymore.

I feel like someone’s come along

And replaced the floor

With Jelly.

I feel like I’ve lost all stability

I feel like I’ve lost all the pieces of reality.

I don’t know anymore.

I just don’t know.

Perhaps I should have just let it go?

Perhaps it would be better to forget,

Better to pretend.

Put to an end

This doubt.

Doubt

That’s changed

Everything.

Perhaps it would be best

To put an end to this quest

To find truth? Any truth at all?

Perhaps it’s better to just let you fall.

Someone should exist purely to stop me ranting on this blog. It’s for the good of all man kind.

1 Mar

**A little warning that this post does talk about some sensitive issues, primarily abortion. If you’re not comfortable, then I’m afraid this isn’t for you. **

Also, I’m really sorry mum and dad! I know you’ll read this and, yes, I have talked about sex, masturbation and blow jobs…. Don’t hate me. 😦 (It’s in a philosophical context! I’m allowed!)

Okay, so I know I’ve been a bit crap with posting on here lately. I have no excuses really, just way too much on my plate. I’ve been completely over run with essays and, as per, my organisational skills have been absolutely crap. I have one more to go and I’m proud to say that, despite it not being due for over a week, I’m halfway through it. To be fair, if I had finished it the day it was set I still couldn’t have made up for how atrocious the first three were,as far as time management goes. I’m hoping I’ve done all right on them, but I’m going through the traditional ‘Oh my god, that was the worst essay I’ve ever written, I’m going to fail Uni and become a poetry reciting busker’ routine. (I can’t play any instrument very well, by the way, which may help to explain the poetry. Also, I like poems…)

Anyway, Philosophy was a nightmare. But then it always is. I’m pretty sure everyone’s predicted the upcoming rants on this semesters main Philosopher already, but I’ll save you from that for a little bit longer. Anyone fancy having a guess who it is? I’ll give you a clue, he’s an absolute pain in the arse (but to be fair, that would describe every philosopher that ever walked the planet. Ever.) and he wrote a book about Socrates. (Who I actually adore for some reason. Perhaps his ability to troll the life out of every conversation?) Well, the essay was on abortion, which is quite a controversial topic and something I haven’t really given much thought to. I had kind of hoped that after studying it in so much detail I would be able to make my mind up about how I felt about it but I’m still not sure.

I can kind of reason with myself that either pro or anti abortion would be a good stance to take but then I think of all the arguments against that argument and I just can’t find a reasonable reply to them. I think that writing an essay on it has actually just made me more confused as to my own opinion, it’s given me a lot of arguments but hasn’t lead to an answer which I’m comfortable with.

How can you say that it’s right to kill, or ‘let die’ a child that has done no wrong to anyone? But then, can you really define a foetus as a child? At what point does it become a ‘life’? 12 weeks? 10? A lump of cells? The argument that a child has a life from the moment of conception really doesn’t sit right with me. That’s like saying that sperm has a ‘life’ and how would that work?

I mean, I know that for certain people of the Catholic religion they’re often against contraception for this reason, that it’s stopping a child from being born, that it’s essentially killing it. (I know that there are many other reasons why some Catholics, and people of other religions are against contraception, I’m not trying to make that argument sound unreasonable by pointing out only that fact. To be quite honest, the argument itself does more to sound unreasonable than I ever could.)

Another interesting, if a little crude, point that I’ve came across is that if you can reasonably say that sperm is a life, could you say that giving someone a blow job was cannibalism? I mean, I know no reasonably minded person would think that, but where exactly do you draw the line? If you can’t use contraception because it prevents sperm from reaching, or at least having the potential to reach an egg, does that mean that masturbation would mean the same thing? Essentially, you’re ‘wasting’ life the same way you would do if you used contraception.

So no, I don’t agree with the idea that a child has a life from contraception, because I don’t see how turning from a sperm/egg into a blastocyst simply by multiplying out your cells can make the difference between having a life, and therefore a right to life, and not. (Yes, I DID learn, and remember, something in Human Biology!) So, because I don’t know how to define having a life and not, I can’t say it’s ok to have an abortion at an early stage but not after a certain time. It’s not okay at any point if I take that route, because the foetus could ‘develop’ a life at any point.

But then, I’m not comfortable with this either. I don’t like the idea that if a woman has been raped she should be forced to keep the child of her rapist when she is not at fault and not responsible for the baby. Or if the mother’s life is at risk. Or for another reasonable and just explanation. And I am fully in support of the fact that a woman should have the rights to her own body.

But then, shouldn’t the baby have the right to life? And wouldn’t that be more important? And, actually, something that’s not talked about as much as I thought it would be: Don’t the fathers have some sort of right? I mean, say that a woman and man are trying for a baby, conceive, but then she decides she doesn’t want it? Or worse, decides to abort the baby deliberately to hurt the father, something I know has happened on too many occasions? Does the father have no rights to his child? I mean, a father has equal rights when the child’s born, does the fact the mother’s carrying it make them any less relevant?

Oh dear. I’ve just stopped typing to remember what I was doing…. It was definitely not this.

So, I’ve went WAAAAY off track here. Erm, was not meant to go on an abortion rant. Right, well, so Philosophy essay was clearly destined to be rubbish. If I don’t have a clear opinion I can’t argue for or against it. English, I’d like to hope, went slightly better. It was about gender roles in Hamlet and Orlando and, although I was incredibly panicked at first, I managed to settle into it, and almost understand half of what I wrote. By about 4 o’clock the morning it was due in.

My last essay is for theology and I was going to go for either ‘Describe the Caste system in Hinduism.’ or ‘How can Hinduism be understood as the world’s oldest religion?’ but I decided that after not doing so well on my essay as I’d have liked last semester, I thought I’d do something different and go with the outrageously vague question, giving me a bit of scope to put my own spin on it. So, I’m writing now about ‘what it means to be Hindu’.

I’m quite enjoying it actually. I can either go two ways with it. One would be to describe as many of the key concepts as possible without going into too much depth, say a paragraph each, and the other would be taking three or four of the key, key concepts and be really detailed. I’m not sure what would be best. I could do both of them easily enough now that I’ve taken so much notes. (23 pages for a bloody essay!!!! I’m losing my mind) I’m not sure though, that with it being such a vague question I could really link just 3 or 4 and manage to answer it fully enough. But then, I also don’t know if I can put enough detail into the other option to be able to get a better grade. I could try and find a middle ground, but I have no idea where that would be.

Yeah, I get that you probably zoned out after reading that crap about an essay you’re not having to write/read so I’ll quit that rant too. Hmm, what else? I guess it’s been a hard few weeks. A lot has happened to make things unreasonably difficult. I had a pretty bad fall down two flights of stairs. Actually, that’s a lie. I had a pretty bad fall down one set of stairs. Then I tried to stand up, lost my footing and flew down the other one. I’ve ended up black and blue, again. My hip’s still gross and swollen. (’cause obviously you all wanted to know that). And it means I’ve been hobbling all over the place, which has not been fun. I’ve become addicted to facebook games, which is really not healthy. I just can’t stop! Oh yeah, I’m still unreasonably obsessed with vegetables!! I don’t think any of my ‘I will be healthy and eat good things and lose weight and exercise and stop eating beetroot’ have lasted this long!! Hopefully it’s a good sign! Yeah, I’ve also been reading HP fanfiction again. I feel like I’m betraying everything good about literature by doing this. In fact, I feel like I’m betraying myself, cutting out my soul a word at a time. But I’m allowed. It’s been an awful few weeks for numerous reasons and if I’ve succumbed to my weakness of slashy goodness then I’M ALLOWED. DON’T JUDGE ME. (**Edit** I’ve been told this is ‘gibberish’ so for those of you who are obviously not cool enough to know, hp fanfiction is Harry Potter stories written by fans about what happens after Deathly Hallows or a different spin on canon (Rowling’s plot). And slash is between same sex pairings. Some of them are actually quite good. Ok, they’re all right. Well, I mean, they can be good if you like that sort of thing. Look, I like them, STOP LOOKING AT ME WITH YOUR JUDGEMENTAL EYES.)

I actually stopped writing this post earlier to go to a debate at the QMU, which was really good! But now I have no idea or motivation to rant to you all any more! Well, I guess you had a lucky escape! I will post again soon. Yes, I will. I will. I’ll try. Ok, bye! Image

P.S. a friend sent me this photo. It is an incredibly accurate portrayal of my life.