Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tongue-In-Cheek Poetry: Playlist for May 17, 2013


Expression

By George Arnold 1834–1865

 

A hackneyed burden, to a hackneyed air,—

“I love thee only,—thou art wondrous fair!”

Alas! the poets have worn the theme threadbare! 

 

Can I not find some words less tame and old,

To paint thy form and face of perfect mould,

Thy dewy lips, thy hair of brown and gold? 
 

Can I not sing in somewhat fresher strain

The love I lavish and receive again,—

The thrilling joy, so like to thrilling pain? 

 

Can I not, by some metaphor divine,

Describe the life I quaff like nectared wine

In being thine, and knowing thou art mine?  

 

Ah, no! this halting verse can naught express;

No English words can half the truth confess,

That have not all been rhymed to weariness! 

 

So let me cease my scribbling for to-day,

And maiden, turn thy lovely face this way,—

Words will not do, but haply kisses may!
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Ich liebe dich, by Edvard Grieg
 
 
 

 

AAA Vacation Guide

By Ernest Hilbert b. 1970

“Philadelphia isn’t as bad as Philadelphians say it is.”

—Billboard on Interstate 95 

 

Paris in the Spring, Autumn in New York,

Singers pair a city with a season

As though it belonged to it all year long.

They should try to put a few more to work:

Trenton in winter needs a good reason;

Scranton in summer seems so very wrong.

How about Cincinnati in the spring?

Autumn in Passaic, or in Oakland?

Some cities just lack glamour and appeal,

And there is no point arguing the thing.

No one reads through stacks of brochures to spend

A honeymoon in Allentown. Let’s get real.

Most places on the map, you must believe,

No one wants to visit, only to leave.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Let us cheer the weary traveler
 
 

 

 

Love Song

By Dorothy Parker 1893–1967

My own dear love, he is strong and bold

      And he cares not what comes after.

His words ring sweet as a chime of gold,

      And his eyes are lit with laughter.

He is jubilant as a flag unfurled—

      Oh, a girl, she’d not forget him.

My own dear love, he is all my world,—

      And I wish I’d never met him.  

 

My love, he’s mad, and my love, he’s fleet,

      And a wild young wood-thing bore him!

The ways are fair to his roaming feet,

      And the skies are sunlit for him.

As sharply sweet to my heart he seems

      As the fragrance of acacia.

My own dear love, he is all my dreams,—

      And I wish he were in Asia.  

 

My love runs by like a day in June,

      And he makes no friends of sorrows.

He’ll tread his galloping rigadoon

      In the pathway of the morrows.

He’ll live his days where the sunbeams start,

      Nor could storm or wind uproot him.

My own dear love, he is all my heart,—

      And I wish somebody’d shoot him.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Suite from "Vertigo" by Bernard Hermann
 
 
 

 

Ode to the Midwest

By Kevin Young b. 1970 

The country I come from

Is called the Midwest

—Bob Dylan

 

I want to be doused

in cheese 
 

& fried. I want

to wander  

 

the aisles, my heart's

supermarket stocked high  

 

as cholesterol. I want to die

wearing a sweatsuit—  

 

I want to live

forever in a Christmas sweater,  

 

a teddy bear nursing

off the front. I want to write  

 

a check in the express lane.

I want to scrape  

 

my driveway clean  

 

myself, early, before

anyone's awake—  

 

that'll put em to shame—

I want to see what the sun  

 

sees before it tells

the snow to go. I want to be  

 

the only black person I know. 

 

I want to throw

out my back & not  

 

complain about it.

I wanta drive  

 

two blocks. Why walk—

 

 

I want love, n stuff—  

 

I want to cut

my sutures myself.  

 

I want to jog

down to the river  

 

& make it my bed—  

 

I want to walk

its muddy banks  

 

& make me a withdrawal.  

 

I tried jumping in,

found it frozen—  

 

I'll go home, I guess,

to my rooms where the moon  

 

changes & shines

like television.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC:  Misty, performed by Mantovani
 
 

 

 

Yesterday

By Edgar Albert Guest 1881–1959

I’ve trod the links with many a man,

    And played him club for club;

’Tis scarce a year since I began

    And I am still a dub.

But this I’ve noticed as we strayed

    Along the bunkered way,

No one with me has ever played

    As he did yesterday.  

 

It makes no difference what the drive,

    Together as we walk,

Till we up to the ball arrive,

    I get the same old talk:

“To-day there’s something wrong with me,

    Just what I cannot say.

Would you believe I got a three

    For this hole—yesterday?”  

 

I see them top and slice a shot,

    And fail to follow through,

And with their brassies plough the lot,

    The very way I do.

To six and seven their figures run,

    And then they sadly say:

“I neither dubbed nor foozled one

    When I played—yesterday!”  

 

I have no yesterdays to count,

    No good work to recall;

Each morning sees hope proudly mount,

    Each evening sees it fall.

And in the locker room at night,

    When men discuss their play,

I hear them and I wish I might

    Have seen them—yesterday.  

 

Oh, dear old yesterday! What store

    Of joys for men you hold!

I’m sure there is no day that’s more

    Remembered or extolled.

I’m off my task myself a bit,

    My mind has run astray;

I think, perhaps, I should have writ

    These verses—yesterday.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Yesterday, by Lennon/McCartney
 
 

 

Progressive Health

By Carl Dennis b. 1939 

We here at Progressive Health would like to thank you  

For being one of the generous few who've promised  

To bequeath your vital organs to whoever needs them.    

 

Now we'd like to give you the opportunity  

To step out far in front of the other donors  

By acting a little sooner than you expected,    

 

Tomorrow, to be precise, the day you're scheduled  

To come in for your yearly physical. Six patients  

Are waiting this very minute in intensive care  
 

 

Who will likely die before another liver  

And spleen and pairs of lungs and kidneys  

Match theirs as closely as yours do. Twenty years,    

 

Maybe more, are left you, granted, but the gain  

Of these patients might total more than a century.  

To you, of course, one year of your life means more    

 

Than six of theirs, but to no one else,  

No one as concerned with the general welfare  

As you've claimed to be. As for your poems—  

 

The few you may have it in you to finish—

Even if we don't judge them by those you've written,  

Even if we assume you finally stage a breakthrough,    

 

It's doubtful they'll raise one Lazarus from a grave  

Metaphoric or literal. But your body is guaranteed  

To work six wonders. As for the gaps you'll leave    

 

As an aging bachelor in the life of friends,  

They'll close far sooner than the open wounds  

Soon to be left in the hearts of husbands and wives,    

 

Parents and children, by the death of the six  

Who now are failing. Just imagine how grateful  

They'll all be when they hear of your grand gesture.    
 

Summer and winter they'll visit your grave, in shifts,  

For as long as they live, and stoop to tend it,  

And leave it adorned with flowers or holly wreaths, 

 

While your friends, who are just as forgetful  

As you are, just as liable to be distracted,  

Will do no more than a makeshift job of upkeep.    

 

If the people you'll see tomorrow pacing the halls  

Of our crowded facility don't move you enough,  

They'll make you at least uneasy. No happy future    

 

Is likely in store for a man like you whose conscience  

Will ask him to certify every hour from now on  

Six times as full as it was before, your work    

 

Six times as strenuous, your walks in the woods  

Six times as restorative as anyone else's.  

Why be a drudge, staggering to the end of your life    

 

Under this crushing burden when, with a single word,  

You could be a god, one of the few gods  

Who, when called on, really listens?
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: My Heart Will Go On, by James Horner
 
 

 

 

 

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