Feb 272020
 

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not writ over the door;
So I turn’d to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.

 Comments Off on William Blake: The Garden of Love
Feb 142020
 

Fame, Wisdom, Love and Power were mine,
And Health and Youth possessed me;
My goblets blushed from every vine,
And lovely forms caressed me;
I sunned my heart in Beauty’s eyes,
And felled my soul grow tender;
All Earth can give, or mortal prize,
Was mine of regal splendour.

I strive to number o’er what days
Remembrance can discover,
Which all that Life or Earth displays
Would lure me to live over.
There rose no day there rolled no hour
Of pleasure unembittered;
And not a trapping decked my Power
That galled not while it glittered.

The serpent of the field, by art
And spells, is won from harming;
But that which coils around the heart,
Oh, who hath power of charming?
It will not list to Wisdom’s lore,
Nor Music’s voice can lure it;
But there it stings for evermore
The soul that must endure it.

 Comments Off on George Gordon Byron: “All Is Vanity, Saith the Preacher”
Feb 122020
 

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

 Comments Off on William Ernest Henley: Invictus
Jan 102020
 

We have the White Louse. His name is Donal Dump. He is the Resident, and he heads the Dump maladministration, squillionaires and a sprain-surgeon, a Cabinet of all the talons. They call him a racial spigot. He sees it as he calls it, which makes him spigot. He squitters Twitter on the shitter, and we titter after. He only squeaks for us. He is our mouth-squeeze. He has a background in constriction. Bill the Wall! Bill the Wall! He owes the Dump Hotel, wright here in DeCease. He is a self-dealing man who once in his youth wore out the uniform. Then bone spurts struck, and he invalidated to the venereal front. A ployboy and a much-married man and father to the fair Larissa-without-portfolio who he’d love to give one to. Or even several. A stately plump buck who takes the time to vent before the chopper with his luxury hair and tie blowing bravely in all erections. Fake nudes! Fake nudes! To me he is a crevice to the orifice. The economy is re-relegated like you wouldn’t believe. Unvironment too. Offense Dept. going bangbusters. Eye ran. Blat! Mixed Tans. Blat! Gerry mans. Blat! He achoos new tariff-farts every day, whining easy-peasy dread wars, slapping stanchions on Shiner and our other alloys. (All except Rusher, on account of Poo-in.) He is surely flushing in the dawn of a brand-new Yellow Rage. Grate again! Grate again! GAGA! GAGA! We are a Nation of Lawns. (He flogs golf off a tetchy handiclap.) We have the suppuration of pars. There is the Supreme Bought, also the Senilate and the House of Unrepresentatives (tho cuntly in Demographic hands). We stand by the corruptibility of our unstitutions, and the wisdom of the Foundering Fathers.

 Comments Off on Michael Hofmann: The Resident
Apr 042019
 

All day working happily down near the streambed
     the light passing into the remote opalescence
it returns to as the year wakes toward winter
     a season of rain in a year already rich
in rain with masked light emerging on all sides
     in the new leaves of the palms quietly waving
time of mud and slipping and of overhearing
     the water under the sloped ground going on whispering
as it travels time of rain thundering at night
     and of rocks rolling and echoing in the torrent
and of looking up after noon through the high branches
     to see fine rain drifting across the sunlight
over the valley that was abused and at last left
     to fill with thickets of rampant aliens
bringing habits but no stories under the mango trees
     already vast as clouds there I keep discovering
beneath the tangle the ancient shaping of water
     to which the light of an hour comes back as to a secret
and there I planted young palms in places I had not pondered
     until then I imagined their roots setting out in the dark
knowing without knowledge I kept trying to see them standing
     in that bend of the valley in the light that would come

 Comments Off on W. S. Merwin: What is a Garden