A Year Of Days In Poetry:
October 25, 2002 12:34 AM   Subscribe

A Year Of Days In Poetry: Today is the day Chaucer died. James Beattie, Macaulay and John Berryman were born on this same day. This is just one of the ways of entering Ian Lancashire's magnificent, monumental Representative Poetry Online. The timeline, the glossary of poetical terms and the fascinating collection of poets' writings on poetry are equally rich and generous. In a word, bliss.
posted by MiguelCardoso (10 comments total)
Remember, imbeciles and wits,
sots and ascetics, fair and foul,
young girls with little tender tits,
that DEATH is written overall.

Worn hides that scarcely clothe the soul
they are so rotten, old and thin,
or firm and soft and warm and full-
fellmonger Death gets every skin.

All that is piteous all that’s fair,
All that is fat and scant of breath,
Elisha; baldness, Helen; hair,
Is Death’s collateral:

Three score and ten years after sight
Of this pay me your pulse and breath
Value received. And who dare cite,
As we forgive our debtors, Death?

Abelard and Eloise,
Henry the Fowlen Charlemagne,
Genoa, Lopokova,
all these die, die in pain.

And General Grant and General Lee,
Patti and Florence Nightingale
like Tyro and Antiope
drift among ghosts in Hell,

know nothing, are nothing, save a fume
driving across a mind
preoccupied with this: our doom
is, to be sifted by the wind,

heaped up, smoothed down like silly sands
We are less permanent than thought.
The Emperor with the Golden Hands
is still a word, a tint, a tone,
when we ourselves are dead and gone
and the green grass growing over us.

Basil Bunting

posted by y2karl at 12:39 AM on October 25, 2002

I wish I hadn't looked up my birthday now: two of my favourite poets, Coleridge and Frank O'Hara died on that day.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:47 AM on October 25, 2002

Better such illustrious company than to share a birthday, as I do, with only Thomas Bailey Aldrich, of whom here is a brief excerpt:

'The spare Professor, grave and bald,
Began his paper. It was called,
I think, "A Brief Historic Glance
At Russia, Germany, and France."'

This is a great link. It was a pleasant surprise to see some Basil Bunting, too...
posted by misteraitch at 2:21 AM on October 25, 2002

Tennyson's In Memoriam for me.
posted by wantwit at 3:24 AM on October 25, 2002

Nothing of terrific note on my birthday, but thanks for the new bookmark Miguel!
posted by trox at 10:08 AM on October 25, 2002

Incidentally, today is also Picasso's birthday. Check out Google's cool logo.
posted by Mr_Spook at 11:04 AM on October 25, 2002

I share a birthday with Ezra Pound (Grace Slick too, though she's not referenced here).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:14 PM on October 25, 2002

The little sparrows
hop ingenuously
about the pavement
with sharp voices
over those things
that interest them.
But we who are wiser
shut ourselves in
on either hand
and no one knows
whether we think good
or evil.

the old man who goes about
gathering dog-lime
walks in the gutter
without looking up
and his tread
is more majestic than
that of the Episcopal minister
approaching the pulpit
of a Sunday.
These things
astonish me beyond words.

-- Pastoral
-- William Carlos Williams

Thanks so much for the link, Miguel. Made my morning...
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:32 PM on October 25, 2002

When you are gone, there is nor bloom nor leaf,
   Nor singing sea at night, nor silver birds;
And I can only stare, and shape my grief
   In little words.

I cannot conjure loveliness, to drown
   The bitter woe that racks my cords apart.
The weary pen that sets my sorrow down
    Feeds at my heart.

There is no mercy in the shifting year,
    No beauty wraps me tenderly about.
I turn to little words- so you, my dear,
    Can spell them out.

       Little Words
       Dorothy Parker

- and look where it lead to...
         great post, Miguel
posted by y2karl at 4:49 PM on October 25, 2002

Strangely, the poem which inspired my Daughter's Name (Althea) was composed by Richard Lovelace-- who died on my birthday!
posted by fncll at 8:13 PM on October 28, 2002

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