Friday Poetry: Corinna

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has a good weekend planned. I have another busy weekend of work but I also have a family get together as well which will be nice.

I have been studying a lot of female poets from Ancient Greece for my dissertation so I have chosen one of the poems by Corinna. It sadly is not complete and the parts in brackets have been put in by the translator. Sadly, it is only fragments that survive from the female poets of Ancient Greece.

Songs of Old

On me my Muse has served her summons
to sing those beautiful songs of old
for Tanagran women in their dawn-
white dresses; as the city takes such
pleasure in my teasing-trilling songs.

for whatever great [deeds great heroes
might perform,] still taller tales [are told,]
the earth their open field for battle.
And so I've reset our fathers' tales,
[reworked their crown with these new jewels]
as I take up my lyre for my girls;

Often I've polished tales of Cephisus,
our country's own first founding-father,
often of Lord Orion, the fifty
high-and-mighty sons he brought into
being - with help from their mother nymphs;

and then at last I sang of Libya,
[Thebes' fair fore-mother...]

Corinna

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: William Shakespeare

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend. I have a busy weekend of organ playing so not much reading will be happening for me.

My chosen poem today is actually an extract from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. I think it is good for symbolising the end of summer.

Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun

Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages.
Golden lads and girls all must, 
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. 

Fear no more the frown o' the great;
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat,
To thee the reed is as the oak.
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust. 

Fear no more the lighting-flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan.
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust. 

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have,
And renowned be thy grave!

William Shakespeare

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: Arthur Hugh Clough

Happy Friday!

I have spent most of today on my dissertation and managed to write 685 words and do some editing and reading through to make what I already had better reading. I will keep working on it over the weekend with the hope I can get a good chunk written before it is back to teaching on Monday.

I hope everyone has some good plans for the weekend ahead!

My chosen poem today is by Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861) who was an English poet, educationalist, and secretarial assistant to Florence Nightingale, his wife’s cousin. He was also the brother of the suffragist Anne Clough.

The message of this poem is: don’t give up, keep fighting – better things are on the way.

Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth

Say not the struggle nought availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making
Comes silent, flooding in, the main,

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly, 
But westward, look, the land is bright. 

Arthur Hugh Clough

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: Wendy Cope

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has exciting plans for the weekend. I have a family get together on Saturday and an actual day off on Sunday.

My chosen poem this week is by the English poet Wendy Cope (1945).

Shakespeare at School

Forty boys on benches with their quills,
Six days a week through almost all the year,
Long hours of Latin with relentless drills
And repetition, all enforced by fear.
I picture Shakespeare sitting near the back,
Indulging in a risky bit of fun
By exercising his prodigious knack
Of thinking up an idiotic pun,
And whispering his gem to other boys,
Some of whom could not suppress their mirth - 
Behaviour that unfailingly annoys
Any teacher anywhere on earth
The fun was over when the master spoke:
Will Shakespeare, come up here and share the joke.

Wendy Cope

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Happy Friday!

We are nearly at the weekend YAY! I hope everyone has had a good week so far.

My chosen poem this week is by Tennyson. I have chosen this poem because I really like its playful nature.

Minnie and Winnie

Minnie and Winnie
Slept in a shell.
Sleep, little ladies!
And they slept well.

Pink was the shell within,
Silver without;
Sounds of the great sea
Wander'd about.

Sleep, little ladies!
Wake not soon!
Echo on echo
Dies to the moon.

Two bright stars
Peep'd into the shell.
'What are you dreaming of?
Who can tell?'

Started a green linnet
Out of the croft;
Wake, little ladies,
The sun is aloft! 

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Happy Reading!

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Friday Poetry: H.D

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some exciting plans for the weekend. I have a busy weekend playing the organ for a wedding and a church service.

My chosen poem this week is by Hilda Doolittle who published under the name H.D. Doolittle was an American modernist poet.

Heat

O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.

Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air -
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and round the grapes.

Cut the heat -
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.

H.D

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: Thomas Hardy

Hello!

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has some fantastic plans for the weekend. I have spent most of today dissertation writing and will be doing the same over the weekend as well as prepping a church service for Sunday and practising music for two church services so I doubt I will get much fun reading in but I will try.

My chosen poem today is by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) who was an English novelist and poet. I must admit he is one of my favourite authors and I must get around to reading more of his work as I haven’t for a while.

Weathers

I
This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
And so do I;
When showers be tumble the chestnut spikes,
And nestlings fly:
And the little brown nightingale bills his best,
And they sit outside at 'The Travellers' Rest',
And maids come forth sprig-muslim drest,
And citizens dream of the south and west,
And so do I.

II
This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
And so do I;
When beeches drip in browns and duns,
And thresh, and ply;
And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throw,
And meadow rivulets overflow,
And drops on gate-bars hang in a row, 
And rooks in families homeward go,
And so do I.

Thomas Hardy

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: Edna St Vincent Millay

Happy Friday!

Facebook kindly reminded me that three years ago today I was on holiday in Barcelona. I must admit I would love to be on holiday right now but sadly that is unlikely to happen this year. So I have gone for a poem about the desire to travel.

The poem is by Edna St Vincent Millay who was an American poet and feminist activist, living in the first half of the twentieth century.

Travel

The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn't a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking. 

All night there isn't a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I'll not be knowing;
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,
No matter where it's going.

Edna St Vincent Millay

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: William Wordsworth

Hello!

Happy Friday! I hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend.

My chosen poem today is by William Wordsworth. Wordsworth (1770-1850) was an English Romantic poet who was Poet Laureate from 1843 till his death in 1850.

I think this is a good poem for everyone who is finishing their studies this month for their summer break.

The Tables Turned

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll drop double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless -
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things: -
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives. 

William Wordsworth

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: T. S. Eliot

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some good plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem for the week is from an old favourite. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is probably my all time favourite book of poetry, so I have chosen to share The Naming of Cats.

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, 
It isn't just one of your games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. 
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, 
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey - 
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, 
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter - 
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum - 
Names that never belong to more than one cat. 
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation, 
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is enraged in rapt contemplation
Of the moment, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

T. S. Eliot

Happy Reading

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