To You

Jun. 27th, 2011 10:19 pm
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[personal profile] ryanabrams
Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams,
I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands,
Even now your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners,
troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you,
Your true soul and body appear before me.
They stand forth out of affairs, out of commerce, shops, work,
farms, clothes, the house, buying, selling, eating, drinking,
suffering, dying.
Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem,
I whisper with my lips close to your ear.
I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you.

O I have been dilatory and dumb,
I should have made my way straight to you long ago,
I should have blabb'd nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing
but you.

I will leave all and come and make the hymns of you,
None has understood you, but I understand you,
None has done justice to you, you have not done justice to yourself,
None but has found you imperfect, I only find no imperfection in you,
None but would subordinate you, I only am he who will never consent
to subordinate you,
I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God,
beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself.

Painters have painted their swarming groups and the centre-figure of all,
From the head of the centre-figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color'd light,
But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus
of gold-color'd light,
From my hand from the brain of every man and woman it streams,
effulgently flowing forever.

O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you!
You have not known what you are, you have slumber'd upon yourself
all your life,
Your eyelids have been the same as closed most of the time,
What you have done returns already in mockeries,
(Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in
mockeries, what is their return?)

The mockeries are not you,
Underneath them and within them I see you lurk,
I pursue you where none else has pursued you,
Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the
accustom'd routine, if these conceal you from others or from
yourself, they do not conceal you from me,
The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these
balk others they do not balk me,
The pert apparel, the deform'd attitude, drunkenness, greed,
premature death, all these I part aside.

There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you,
There is no virtue, no beauty in man or woman, but as good is in you,
No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you,
No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you.

As for me, I give nothing to any one except I give the like carefully
to you,
I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing
the songs of the glory of you.

Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard!
These shows of the East and West are tame compared to you,
These immense meadows, these interminable rivers, you are immense
and interminable as they,
These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent
dissolution, you are he or she who is master or mistress over them,
Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain,
passion, dissolution.

The hopples fall from your ankles, you find an unfailing sufficiency,
Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest,
whatever you are promulges itself,
Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing
is scanted,
Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are
picks its way.

- by Walt Whitman

Date: 2011-06-28 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
pretty and sad and hopeful! Poetry is a neglected art

Date: 2011-06-28 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love this one. It's like a letter out of time reminding me that I'm still in here somewhere, and even when I am directionless, not all who wander are lost.

Date: 2011-06-28 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like this one from Pablo Neruda
I like you calm, as if you were absent,
and you hear me far-off, and my voice does not touch you.
It seems that your eyelids have taken to flying:
it seems that a kiss has sealed up your mouth.
Since all these things are filled with my spirit,
you come from things, filled with my spirit.
You appear as my soul, as the butterfly’s dreaming,
and you appear as Sadness’s word.
I like you calm, as if you were distant,
you are a moaning, a butterfly’s cooing.
You hear me far-off, my voice does not reach you.
Let me be calmed, then, calmed by your silence.
Let me commune, then, commune with your silence,
clear as a light, and pure as a ring.
You are like night, calmed, constellated.
Your silence is star-like, as distant, as true.
I like you calm, as if you were absent:
distant and saddened, as if you were dead.
One word at that moment, a smile, is sufficient.
And I thrill, then, I thrill: that it cannot be so.
Also, how about we not talk about all the poetry I used to read by Stan Rice. Yes, the late husband of Anne Rice.

Date: 2011-06-28 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm. That's really an interesting combination - taking something normally shown as chaotic and passionate, and viewing it through a lens of peace. I dig it.

Although I'm not sure I am in a place where I need it, there's one I've carried around in my memory. Though in writing it, I may get the line breaks wrong:

Keeping Things Whole - Mark Strand

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

Best Stan Rice poem:

Date: 2011-06-28 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The dead don’t share.
Though they reach towards us
from the grave (I swear
they do) they do not hand their hearts to you.
They hand their heads,
the part that stares.

Re: Best Stan Rice poem:

Date: 2011-06-28 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My favorites are "Of Heaven"
Who are these shades we wait for and believe
will come some evening in limousines
from Heaven?
The rose
though it knows
is throatless
and cannot say.
My mortal half laughs.
The code and the message are not the same.
And what is an angel
but a ghost in drag?
and this one "Texas Suite"

The Murder Burger
is served right here.
You need not wait
at the gate of Heaven
for unleavened death.
You can be a goner
on this very corner.
Mayonnaise, onions, dominance of flesh.
If you wish to eat it
you must feed it
"Yall come back."
"You bet."

Date: 2011-06-28 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hopples is my favorite misspelling of the day, I think.

Date: 2011-06-28 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't think it's a misspelling?

Still, awesome word choice for sure. :D

Date: 2011-06-28 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
YAY! I love learning new word variants!

Date: 2011-06-28 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
:D This is the poem that keeps on giving. :D


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Ryan Abrams

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