Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Black Rook in Rainy Weather
-Sylvia Plath

On the stiff twig up there Hunches a wet black rook Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain. I do not expect a miracle Or an accident To set the sight on fire In my eye, not seek Any more in the desultory weather some design, But let spotted leaves fall as they fall, Without ceremony, or portent. Although, I admit, I desire, Occasionally, some backtalk From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain: A certain minor light may still Leap incandescent Out of the kitchen table or chair As if a celestial burning took Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then --- Thus hallowing an interval Otherwise inconsequent By bestowing largesse, honor, One might say love. At any rate, I now walk Wary (for it could happen Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); sceptical, Yet politic; ignorant Of whatever angel may choose to flare Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook Ordering its black feathers can so shine As to seize my senses, haul My eyelids up, and grant A brief respite from fear Of total neutrality. With luck, Trekking stubborn through this season Of fatigue, I shall Patch together a content Of sorts. Miracles occur, If you care to call those spasmodic Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's begun again, The long wait for the angel. For that rare, random descent.
Qi Chengxia

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bluebeard
-Sylvia Plath

I am sending back the key that let me into bluebeard's study; because he would make love to me I am sending back the key; in his eye's darkroom I can see my X-rayed heart, dissected body : I am sending back the key that let me into bluebeard's study.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Accurs'd be he that first invented war!
-Christopher Marlowe

Accurs'd be he that first invented war! They knew not, ah, they knew not, simple men, How those were hit by pelting cannon-shot Stand staggering like a quivering aspen-leaf Fearing the force of Boreas' boisterous blasts! In what a lamentable case where I, If nature had not given me wisdom's lore! For kings are clouts that every man shoots at, Our crown the pin that thousands seek to cleave: Therefore in policy I think it good To hide it close; a goodly stratagem, And far from any man that is a fool: So shall not I be known; or if I be, They cannot take away my crown from me. Here will I hide it in this simple hole.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Jumblies
Edward Lear

They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
  In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter's morn, on a stormy day,
  In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, `You'll all be drowned!'
They called aloud, `Our Sieve ain't big,
But we don't care a button! we don't care a fig!
  In a Sieve we'll go to sea!'
    Far and few, far and few,
      Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
      And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed away in a Sieve, they did,
  In a Sieve they sailed so fast,
With only a beautiful pea-green veil
Tied with a riband by way of a sail,
  To a small tobacco-pipe mast;
And every one said, who saw them go,
`O won't they be soon upset, you know!
For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long,
And happen what may, it's extremely wrong
  In a Sieve to sail so fast!'
    Far and few, far and few,
      Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
      And they went to sea in a Sieve.

The water it soon came in, it did,
  The water it soon came in;
So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
In a pinky paper all folded neat,
  And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery-jar,
And each of them said, `How wise we are!
Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong,
  While round in our Sieve we spin!'
    Far and few, far and few,
      Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
      And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And all night long they sailed away;
  And when the sun went down,
They whistled and warbled a moony song
To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
  In the shade of the mountains brown.
`O Timballo!  How happy we are,
When we live in a Sieve and a crockery-jar,
And all night long in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail,
  In the shade of the mountains brown!'
    Far and few, far and few,
      Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
      And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,
  To a land all covered with trees,
And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
  And a hive of silvery Bees.
And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws,
And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
  And no end of Stilton Cheese.
    Far and few, far and few,
      Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
      And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And in twenty years they all came back,
  In twenty years or more,
And every one said, `How tall they've grown!
For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
  And the hills of the Chankly Bore!'
And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
And every one said, `If we only live,
We too will go to sea in a Sieve,---
  To the hills of the Chankly Bore!'
    Far and few, far and few,
      Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
      And they went to sea in a Sieve.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

 The City in the Sea
-Edgar Allan Poe

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne In a strange city lying alone Far down within the dim West, Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best Have gone to their eternal rest. There shrines and palaces and towers (Time-eaten towers that tremble not!) Resemble nothing that is ours. Around, by lifting winds forgot, Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie. No rays from the holy heaven come down On the long night-time of that town, But light from out the lurid sea Shines up the turrets silently, Gleams up the pinnacles far and free; Up domes--up spires--up kingly halls-- Up fanes--up Babylon-like walls-- Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-- Up many and many a marvelous shrine Where wreathed friezes intertwine The viol, the violet, and the vine. Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie. So blend the turrets and shadows there That all seem pendulous in air, While from a proud tower in the town Death looks gigantically down. There open fanes and gaping graves Yawn level with the luminous waves, But not the riches there that lie Within each idol's diamond eye, Not the gaily-jeweled dead Tempt the waters from their bed, For no ripples curl, alas! Along that wilderness of glass, No swellings tell that winds may be Upon some far-off happier sea, No heavings hint that winds have been On seas less hideously serene. For lo, a stir is in the air! The wave--there is a movement there! As if the towers cast aside In slightly sinking, the dull tide; As if their tops had feebly given A void within the filmy heaven. The waves have now a redder glow; The hours are breathing faint and low. And when, amid no earthly moans, Down, down that town shall settle hence, Hell, rising from a thousand thrones, Shall do it reverence.
Sarah Joncas

Black Pine Tree in an Orange Light
-Sylvia Plath

Tell me what you see in it : The pine tree like a Rorschach-blot black against the orange light : Plant an orange pumpkin patch which at twelve will quaintly hatch nine black mice with ebon coach, or walk into the orange and make a devil's cataract of black obscure god's eye with corkscrew fleck; put orange mistress half in sun, half in shade, until her skin tattoos black leaves on tangerine. Read black magic or holy book or lyric of love in the orange and black till dark is conquered by orange cock, but more pragmatic than all this, say how crafty the painter was to make orange and black ambiguous.

Thursday, October 30, 2014