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there is quite a lot of lines in it about the vocalising of words, how that's the start of things, the sound, not the meaning, and the concatenations force you to slow down and enunciate a bit as well.


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i tried reading paradise lost cos the guy who drew the back image on the latest turntup said it was great, but i got stuck and chucked it. i reckon if i'd been on here at the time, i'd have persevered.


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i tried reading paradise lost cos the guy who drew the back image on the latest turntup said it was great, but i got stuck and chucked it. i reckon if i'd been on here at the time, i'd have persevered.
Corpse is a big fan. It's in his top ten.

"Staggering blank verse tour de force. Obviously terribly boring in parts but in large part pretty (surprisingly) thrilling. Satan one of the best characters ever created. Book 9 I would suppose to be some of the best poetic drama ever written outside Shakey."


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The anecdote that kicks off the Pullman piece cracked me up,

A correspondent once told me a story — which I've never been able to trace, and I don't know whether it's true — about a bibulous, semi-literate, ageing country squire two hundred years ago or more, sitting by his fireside listening to Paradise Lost being read aloud. He's never read it himself; he doesn't know the story at all; but as he sits there, perhaps with a pint of port at his side and with a gouty foot propped up on a stool, he finds himself transfixed.

Suddenly he bangs the arm of his chair, and exclaims “By God! I know not what the outcome may be, but this Lucifer is a damned fine fellow, and I hope he may win!”



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Weldon Kees, 'Aspects of Robinson'

Good poem:

Aspects of Robinson​

Robinson at cards at the Algonquin; a thin
Blue light comes down once more outside the blinds.
Gray men in overcoats are ghosts blown past the door.
The taxis streak the avenues with yellow, orange, and red.
This is Grand Central, Mr. Robinson.

Robinson on a roof above the Heights; the boats
Mourn like the lost. Water is slate, far down.
Through sounds of ice cubes dropped in glass, an osteopath,
Dressed for the links, describes an old Intourist tour.
—Here’s where old Gibbons jumped from, Robinson.

Robinson walking in the Park, admiring the elephant.
Robinson buying the Tribune, Robinson buying the Times. Robinson
Saying, “Hello. Yes, this is Robinson. Sunday
At five? I’d love to. Pretty well. And you?”
Robinson alone at Longchamps, staring at the wall.

Robinson afraid, drunk, sobbing Robinson
In bed with a Mrs. Morse. Robinson at home;
Decisions: Toynbee or luminol? Where the sun
Shines, Robinson in flowered trunks, eyes toward
The breakers. Where the night ends, Robinson in East Side bars.

Robinson in Glen plaid jacket, Scotch-grain shoes,
Black four-in-hand and oxford button-down,
The jeweled and silent watch that winds itself, the brief-
Case, covert topcoat, clothes for spring, all covering
His sad and usual heart, dry as a winter leaf.

Was reading about Weldon Kees, the US poet who disappeared in the 50s, over Xmas, and he had a series of poems featuring a fictional character called Robinson. I presume that's (one of the...) where's that keiller got the name from.

That seems to be a different one, also good:

The dog stops barking after Robinson has gone.
His act is over. The world is a gray world,
Not without violence, and he kicks under the grand piano,
The nightmare chase well under way.

The mirror from Mexico, stuck to the wall,
Reflects nothing at all. The glass is black.
Robinson alone provides the image Robinsonian.

Which is all of the room--walls, curtains,
Shelves, bed, the tinted photograph of Robinson's first wife,
Rugs, vases panatelas in a humidor.
They would fill the room if Robinson came in.

The pages in the books are blank,
The books that Robinson has read. That is his favorite chair,
Or where the chair would be if Robinson were here.

All day the phone rings. It could be Robinson
Calling. It never rings when he is here.

Outside, white buildings yellow in the sun.
Outside, the birds circle continuously
Where trees are actual and take no holiday.
Weldon Kees
Jaime Gil de Biedma is my preferred spanish poet. He published a short amount of poems, when he considered he said all he wanted to say, he quit. Here is this poem against himself:

Against Jaime Gil de Biedma

What's the point, I'd like to know, in moving house,
leaving behind a basement darker
than my reputation—and that says a lot—
hanging small white lacy curtains
and taking a maidservant,
renouncing my bohemian days,
if you come later, you bore,
embarrassing boarder, an idiot wearing my suits,
loafer, good for nothing, shithead,
with your clean hands,
eating from my plate and dirtying the house?

The late night bars, the pimps,
the florists, the dead streets at dawn,
and the dimly lit elevators follow you
when you arrive drunk,
as you pause to look
at your ruined face in the mirror,
with eyes still raging
which you don't want to close.
And if I scold you,
you laugh at me, and remind me of the past
and say that I am getting old.

I could remind you that you are no longer charming.
Your casual style and your disdain
become ridiculous
when you are more than thirty years old,
and your enchanting smile
of a day-dreaming boy
—who feels sure to please—is a sad remnant,
a pathetic attempt,
While you look at me with pleading eyes
and cry and promise me
not to do it anymore.

If only you weren't such a whore!
And if I didn't know, so long ago,
that you're strong when I'm weak,
and that you're weak when I rage ...
Of your homecomings I keep a confused impression
of panic, of sadness, of unease,
and of hopelessness
and impatience and resentment
of suffering again once more,
the unforgivable humiliation
of excessive intimacy.

With a heavy heart I'll put you to bed,
like one who goes to hell
to sleep with you.
With each step dying of impotence,
stumbling over furniture
in the dark, we'll stagger our way through the flat,
clumsily embracing, wobbling
from alcohol and repressed sobs.
Oh, vile servitude of loving human beings,
and the vilest
is to love oneself.
I love Pizarnik, but I think translation ruins all the despair, nostalgia and madness of her poems...


Night splintered into stars
staring at me wide-eyed
the air gives out hatred
its face embellished
with music.

Arcane slumber
my smile’s forerunner
the world looks emaciated
there being a padlock, yet no keys
there being dread, yet no tears.

What am I to do with myself?

For I owe You who I am

Yet I have no tomorrow

For I… to You

The night endures.


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having to read something by verlaine for a course at the moment. even worse. have to memorise it. it reminds me of some twee teenage shit. or morrissey. 'the long crying of violins in autumn'.


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i read this just now and enjoyed it.

Britain by Mark A. Murphy

Britain my father loved W.H. Auden and all his poetics.
I loved them both and all their after-dinner conversation
though neither had the answers I was looking for.
Britain when I was 15 I read The Communist Manifesto.
I fought alongside the miners – those history makers,
those heroes of the class struggle – I thought
we could change the world.
Britain it’s 20 years since I joined the disaffected.
I never played the stock-markets.
I never climbed the social ladder or doffed the cap.
I never believed in the sanctity of the family or marriage
or went to church on Sundays.
Britain I never learned how to kill another human being.
Britain I would’ve converted to Buddhism but couldn’t grasp
their need for prayer.
Britain I’m strung out with thoughts of smouldering bodies.
I’m wired with thoughts of unexploded cluster bombs
and flattened cities.
Britain when does a bomblet cease to be a bomblet?
What is the evil scourge of terrorism?
Who will write the history of the world?
Britain I’m afraid to sleep in case I dream my dream
of the dead.
So many millions.
So many millions of delicate humans.
So many millions, gone forever.
Britain I’m on the side of the living.
I’m larger than you think.
I contain multitudes.
All there is of love I contain it.
All there is of loss I contain it.
Britain where does the history of infamy begin –
Ireland…North America…India?
Britain I’m the redeemer of the oppressed.
I never meant to do you harm.
I’m dying all over again.
I’m history repeating itself.
I’m the children of the Gael burning at Drogheda.
I’m the Indian nations dying of smallpox.
I’m the walking dead in the lanes of Skibbereen
I’m the ghost people of Tasmania.
I’m James Conolly, my body all holes.
I’m the city of Dresden burning by starlight.

Britain did you civilize the Mau Mau? Those damn Kikuyu
always were trouble.
Do you still follow your humanitarian impulses?
When will you eradicate the propaganda of the left?
Britain I’m not joking.
You must defend the free world from state terror.
Britain there’s no need for excuses.
There’s no insignificant enemy.
You’ll rewrite international law when the time comes.
Those rogue states must be dealt with.
They are like academics, with their cock-eyed view of reality.
Past atrocities can remain safely forgotten, like summer fêtes.
What everybody says must be true.
Ah, those halcyon days.
Ah, those salad days.
Ah, those heady days of empire.
Britain you do not lead the new imperial order.
You are only the junior partner.
But you must keep your eye on the ball.
Britain it’s a thankless task, being faithful to the bitter end –
O cover ups! assassinations! dirty wars!
It’s time to enlist.
It’s time to dole out fig leaves for the dead.
Fig leaves for the tortured.
Fig leaves for the displaced.
Fig leaves for the dispossessed.
Fig leaves for the disenfranchised.
Fig leaves for the poor.
Fig leaves for the unholy.
Fig leaves for Kosovo.
Fig leaves for Iraq.
Britain taking afternoon tea won’t change history.
It won’t sweeten the pill.
It won’t strengthen your hand.
It won’t save your skin.
Britain the future is a long time.
And the wearing of cricket whites won’t impede the truth.
And the donning of tennis whites won’t delay the verdict.
And being British won’t excuse you from court.
And brass bands playing in park pavilions on a Sunday afternoon
won’t bring back the dead.
Britain we can be sure of this.


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All her judgments were founded on art and poetry, from her fierce contempt for technology and all forms of rationalism, down to the small practicalities of daily life, which she virtually ignored. At odds with society, and unable to establish a bohemian artistic circle around herself, she developed an increasingly hermetic way of life.

Her poetry ranged widely in manner but was fundamentally ecstatic and expostulatory, often in an angry tone concerning the harms that had been done to her, but also outrageously ludic in the surrealist line. She accumulated several thousand handwritten poems and probably a greater number of ink drawings. She showed little interest in publication, but one book appeared through the efforts of others – Implacable Art (2000) – as well as five locally produced pamphlets.


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New Zealand​

By James K. Baxter

(for Monte Holcroft)

These unshaped islands, on the sawyer’s bench,
Wait for the chisel of the mind,
Green canyons to the south, immense and passive,
Penetrated rarely, seeded only
By the deer-culler’s shot, or else in the north
Tribes of the shark and the octopus,
Mangroves, black hair on a boxer’s hand.

The founding fathers with their guns and bibles,
Botanist, whaler, added bones and names
To the land, to us a bridle
As if the id were a horse: the swampy towns
Like dreamers that struggle to wake,

Longing for the poets’ truth
And the lover’s pride. Something new and old
Explores its own pain, hearing
The rain’s choir on curtains of grey moss
Or fingers of the Tasman pressing
On breasts of hardening sand, as actors
Find their own solitude in mirrors,

As one who has buried his dead,
Able at last to give with an open hand.


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that poem i first read when i was living there aged 19-21 and it made me realise
how privileged a position it is to be in. to write the literarure of your country
ive been envious of the poets in nz ever since. i might go and live there when
im old and worn out and add a few pieces to the pile


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not in the slightest. ive never been even tangentially involved in any scene of any description anywhere


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but i did inspire michael steven to go on and become a poet and now hes won this prize. so i did alter the landscape slightly