The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness. – Nikos Kazantzakis

Poetry

The rockstars of poetry

Before I list my poetical heroes, I should let you all know some stuff.  The header picture has been changed and accompanied by a little “description” if that’s what you would call it.  Also, there’s a new page called “Poem of the Week”.  It’s over on the right column under the topic titled “Other”.  And well, that page is what it is, the poem of the week.  Any suggestions for the poem or have something to say about it, leave a comment.  I’ll update this page every Monday, even if I don’t write a blog post, so check back every week for something new!  Thanks!

And now onwards to my heroes.  I’m taking a break from analytical posts, and I’m going back to the other side of me for a while.

1. Edgar Allan Poe – Now this wasn’t expected at all, was it (sarcasm, people, I know it’s difficult to register over the internet)?  He’s my all-time favorite, and a great short story writer.  His style is distinctive, and he seems to have experimented a lot in writing different kinds of poetry (structure, diction, usage of different figurative language, etc.).  And his themes appeal to me, and he’s gotten me through some tough times.

2. Edna St. Vincent Millay – She sometimes reminds me of Poe, but less oppressive and with a more varying subject range.  I especially like “Dirge Without Music”.  Somewhere inside of me, she strikes a profound chord with her writing.

3. Vikram Seth – The gentler side of me is reflected in his works.  A welcome poet after all these dark, gloom-and-doom ones, hm?  His poems are simple, yet deep, not long-winded, but not too short either.  Perfect lengths and great themes.

4. Matthew Arnold – I admit, I only heard of him after reading Fahrenheit 451, but after “Dover Beach” I found so much more that was amazing.  I absolutely love his way of writing.  He shot up to rockstar status in no time.

5. T.S. Eliot – A towering figure in poetry indeed.  I especially like his longer poems like “The Hollow Men” and “The Wasteland”, and my style has been greatly influenced by how he writes these darker poems.  Although “The Hollow Men” has no rhyme scheme, which I normally dislike, I find it to be as good as one that does traditionally rhyme.  Absolutely resolute and clear allusions to Heart of Darkness, which, by the way, is a great book.

6. Robert Frost – He may be a little overrated, but you know what, maybe there’s a reason why everyone likes him.  Please, no quoting “The Road Not Taken”.  Cause that just gets annoying.

7. Carl Sandburg – His way of injecting himself into the point of view of many poems give me much inspiration.  Of course, I can’t really walk with “little cat feet”, but that’s what poems are for.

8. Emily Dickinson – Although–I find–her style to be–a bit–obnoxious sometimes–there is the–occasional gem–that I stumble upon–in the mass of–her extremely–almost unnaturally–prolific–life.

And with those people in mind, here’s some random haikus by me.

Between the act and
the thought, I stand wavering.
I don’t know what’s truth.

Snowflakes drift slowly
to the ground, intensifies
to blizzard, like life.

[Entitled “Escaping Destiny”]
Did you really think
that a lifetime of running
would save you from me?

– Beyond Apathy


Poetry – The Hollow Men (T.S. Eliot)

The Hollow Men

Mistah Kurtz—he dead.
A penny for the Old Guy
I
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
II
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom
III
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.
IV
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.
V
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
– T.S. Eliot


For Change

For Change

I hate people–

their stuck up ways,

arrogant noses turned up at the world,

never accepting…their minds never unfurled.

I hate society–

Hoards of sheeple,

lifelessly bleating out the same tune.

The world falls apart as they’re stuck in their rooms.

I hate power–

the golden poison glows

in their eyes, searching for more

as good becomes worse, and the worse, the poor.

I hate ignorance–

people never want to know

about our society as one whole;

Don’t bother to look over the rim of your own bowl.

I hate apathy–

someone’s got to care,

“Change our world!” they all cry,

then go back to a hypocritical lie.

– D.Y.

Isn’t it great that half the people in the world want change, but they don’t know what they want to change?  Take global warming.

Now before this so-called “Climate Gate Scandal,”  before people found out that scientists were fudging data (and a lot of data it seems), nobody gave a crap about global warming.  Sure, society in general might have had a few scares, but really, did they care?  “Our planet is (evidently) burning up! SOMEBODY FIX IT! Kthxbai.”

Ooh, corruption, that always catches everyone’s eye.  Now everyone says that they care about global warming, and everyone’s going around with their own, mostly uninformed opinions, but they still don’t really care about global warming per se.  They care more that something exciting, something out of the ordinary, something CORRUPT happened (shocker!).

How could those terrible, terrible scientists have done that to us poor, unaware general public?

We really are quite excitable goats…..umbrella of scandalous affairs, GO!

– Beyond Apathy