Friday, October 19, 2012

Poems about Desire (Playlist for October 19, 2012 )

1. Take, Oh, Take Those Lips Away
by William Shakespeare


Take, oh, take those lips away

That so sweetly were forsworn

And those eyes, like break of day,

Lights that do mislead the morn;

But my kisses bring again,

Seals of love, though sealed in vain.


Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow,

Which thy frozen bosom bears,

On whose tops the pinks that grow

Are of those that April wears;

But first set my poor heart free,

Bound in those icy chains by thee.

 REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Take, Oh, Take Those Lips Away by Roger Quilter
2. The Unquarried Blue of Those Depths Is All But Blinding
by Ashley Anna McHugh
There are some things we just don’t talk about—
Not even in the morning, when we’re waking,
When your calloused fingers tentatively walk
The slope of my waist:
                                         How love’s a rust-worn boat,
Abandoned at the dock—and who could doubt
Waves lick their teeth, eyeing its hull? We’re taking
Our wreckage as a promise, so we don’t talk.
We wet the tired oars, tide drawing us out.
We understand there’s nothing to be said.
Both of us know the dangers of this sea,
Warned by the tide-worn driftwood of our pasts—.
But we’ve already strayed from the harbor. We thread
A slow wake though the water—then silently,
We start to row, and will for as long as this lasts.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Water Garden by David Ott (video not available; in it's place is "Reflections In the Water" by Claude Debussy
3. In Muted Tone
by Paul Verlaine
Translated By Norman R. Shapiro  
Gently, let us steep our love
In the silence deep, as thus,
Branches arching high above
Twine their shadows over us.
Let us blend our souls as one,
Hearts’ and senses’ ecstasies,
Evergreen, in unison
With the pines’ vague lethargies.
Dim your eyes and, heart at rest,
Freed from all futile endeavor,
Arms crossed on your slumbering breast,
Banish vain desire forever.
Let us yield then, you and I,
To the waftings, calm and sweet,
As their breeze-blown lullaby
Sways the gold grass at your feet.
And, when night begins to fall
From the black oaks, darkening,
In the nightingale’s soft call
Our despair will, solemn, sing.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Five Melodies by Sergei Prokofiev
4. I Knew A Woman
by Theodore Roethke
I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;  
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek). 
How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,  
She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand;  
She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin;  
I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand;  
She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,
Coming behind her for her pretty sake
(But what prodigious mowing we did make). 
Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:
Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;
She played it quick, she played it light and loose;  
My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;  
Her several parts could keep a pure repose,  
Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose
(She moved in circles, and those circles moved). 
Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:  
I’m martyr to a motion not my own;
What’s freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone. 
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:  
(I measure time by how a body sways).
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Cafe Music (movement 2) by Paul Schoenfield
5. When to Her Lute Corinna Sings
by Thomas Campion
When to her lute Corinna sings,
Her voice revives the leaden strings,
And doth in highest notes appear
As any challenged echo clear;
But when she doth of mourning speak,
Ev’n with her sighs the strings do break. 
And as her lute doth live or die,
Let by her passion, so must I:
For when of pleasure she doth sing,
My thoughts enjoy a sudden spring,
But if she doth of sorrow speak,
Ev’n from my heart the strings do break.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Lute Songs by John Dowland

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