I had promise you know
I learned to love the literature
Of men whose words had power
Who could sing to a Grecian Urn
Or make Ozymandias’ broken stones immortal

Yes my heart leapt up
When I first read
the rainbow in the sky
And the lady who walks
In the beauty of the night
Where truth is beauty
And beauty truth

Their voices, now, quiet and dim
Drowned by the din of little men
Who traded:
Courage for contentment
Passion for passiveness
Surprise for sensibility

In the din they screamed,
Dare to dream, but don’t dream to far
Stay on par with the crowd,
With the hive of little men

And the dead poets go:
Rage, rage against the smothering of your light

The time of the poet is past
Haven’t you read, the form is dead
Drowned out by the drumbeats
Of modern feats the square box
Filled with straw fills the head of the
Walking dead, who, tired and uninspired
Drag themselves from space to space
Killing time between the dashes
Until their bodies are laid to rest in ashes

I wiggle with Sweeny among the nightingales
My tales held close inside
They (that is the mythical they)
Took me aside and in their wrath
Taught me the ways of wine, women and war

I counted the days to my release
But soon found to my dismay
The outside is the same as the inside
Only no one to salute and the mantra
Duty, honour, country dubbed over with
Increase profits and shareholder value

And the dead poets go:
Rage, rage against the smothering of your light

Years pass, the idealism of my youth trodden
Under muddy boots and pinstriped suits
The labour of my work fruit-less, or so it seemed

Until I came upon a woods,
A place I had known before
A path, two choices, which way to go
I heard the dead poets laugh
The choices we chose are half chance
It is all but a dream within a dream
From which we wake and lie drowning
-c.lowe

I feel like a caged animal today, and people are poking sticks through the bars. I am expending a ton of mental energy to maintain my focus and my cool. I simultaneously want to explode and implode! As Snap once sang:

It’s like a day
when nothing seems to go your way
but you stick it out anyway
’cause you’re a champ

Well that’s my rant!

Cruising through the weekend, I came upon this quote by Salman Rushdie:

“A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.”

The quote resonates with me because I think poetry some times has the reputation of being flowery and love struck or inaccessibly obtuse.

For me, a poet is an artist, and as an artist has a responsibility to do what artists have always done which is to respond to, reflect upon, and hopefully, influence the world.

I was out wandering the hills this weekend in Mid-Wales on Cader Idris. Legend has it that the mountain is haunted and anyone who spends the night on the top of Cader Idris will wake up either a madman or a poet. Personally I didn’t think there was a difference between the two.

Cader Idris is a beautiful area if you ever get a chance to go there. Here are some photos: Cader Idris

Also if you want to read the poem I wrote about the mountain you can check out on our Walking Wordsmiths’ blog.

I made the switch from pc to mac and after 3 days of happy computing, I don’t think I’ll ever be looking back. I thought my learning curve would be a lot higher, but so far, I have found navigating the system to be very intuitive. The reason I made the switch is I wanted to upgrade my laptop, but was not interested in messing around windows vista. Plus secretly I’ve been fantasing about the mac for a few weeks now. So I saw the opportunity and I took it.

My only glitch so far is that I haven’t found a way to get my 500 some odd contacts from my pocketpc into mac contact book or how to synch my calendar with my pocketpc.

Assume that ther is a broader picture than your own point of view. What would happen if you lost your point of view? Who would you be?

Try this:

If you are bleeding heart liberal, immerse yourself in a conservative’s point of view – think how they think, read what they read, eat what they eat for a month.

If you are a die hard conservative, immerse yourself in a liberal’s point of view – think how they think, read what they read, eat what they eat for a month.

And if you are of some other persuasion, then try out either of the above.

After a month, re-adopt your original point of view. Do you still think or feel the same way you did before the experiement?

byron

In honor of National Poetry Month, I present to you George Gordon, a.k.a Lord Byron.  In my early days, when I first got into poetry, Lord Byron, along with several other of the romantic poets, was my hero as much for his poetry as being the bad boy of poetry and a freedom fighter to boot.  Lady Caroline Lamb described Byron as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” (more)

Here’s my favorite Byron poem:

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
   How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
   A heart whose love is innocent!
by Lord Byron

 

time, that beautiful handmaiden
whispered in my ear:

you gotta get going baby
you gotta get going
death is near

but i’ve got songs to write
sweet melodic words to pen
surely it must be a sin
to die with them within?

then you gotta write baby
you gotta write
get those words down on a page
act them out on the stage

oh time, my sweet, won’t
you love me more?
i’ll pen a phrase, turn a word or two
in honour of your amour

i can’t baby i can’t
you have what time you have
and no more

(knock, knock)

what’s that i hear?

tis death knocking at the door

 – c.lowe

t.s. eliot

As it is National Poetry Month, I thought it would only be fitting to celebrate by highlighting different poets through out the month.  My first selection has to be T.S. Eliot as he has had the biggest influence on me as a poet.  My favorite Eliot poem is The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock:

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
 
      S’io credessi che mia risposta fosse
      a persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
      questa fiamma staria senza pi scosse.
      Ma per ci che giammai di questo fondo
      non torn vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
      senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.
      
   
   Let us go then, you and I,
   When the evening is spread out against the sky
   Like a patient etherised upon a table;
   Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
   The muttering retreats
   Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
   And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
   Streets that follow like a tedious argument
   Of insidious intent
   To lead you to an overwhelming question.
   Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
   Let us go and make our visit.
  
   In the room the women come and go
   Talking of Michelangelo.  (read more)