Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

  • Mood:
  • Music:

The Poetry Meme

Following the lead of butterflykiki and many others:
Post a bit of poetry in your journal.

李清照 Li Qingzhao (1084 - ca. 1151), aka Li Qingzhào, Li Qing-Jao, Li Ch'ing-chao


**催襯梧桐落。 ** 缺二字,失傳

I ascend high on the storied pavilion,

Below, mountains scatter in disorder;
   the uncutivated plain extends
      far in the light mist.

In the light mist,
Crows have returned to their nests;
The evening horn is heard in the dusk.

Burnt-out incense, left-over wine -
   my melancholy heart!

The evening wind hastens
   the wu t'ung leaves fall.

The wu t'ung leaves fall,
Again the autumn becomes beautiful,
Again the heart is lonesome.

    -Ci 13 (English translation here), from the Complete collection of ci by Li Qingzhao

The wikipedians report that Li Qingzhao was a poet of the Song Dynasty. Considered one of China's greatest lyrical poets, her given name means "Glorious Light", or "Gloriously Bright" as Orson Scott Card translated in Xenocide, third book of the Ender Saga, whose heroine (Han Qing-jao) is Li's namesake. All of her four dozen or so surviving ci (metered verses) are set to music, and most are wistful but evocative, like the above. She was first married at the age of 16 or 17 and widowed at the age of 44 or 45.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
Full character'd with lasting memory,
Which shall above that idle rank remain
Beyond all date, even to eternity;
Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
Have faculty by nature to subsist;
Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.
That poor retention could not so much hold,
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score;
Therefore to give them from me was I bold,
To trust those tables that receive thee more:
To keep an adjunct to remember thee
Were to import forgetfulness in me.

    -Sonnet 122

Apropos of which:
"I have the most ill-regulated memory. It does those things which it ought not to do and leaves undone the things it ought to have done. But it has not yet gone on strike altogether."
    -Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night

John Keats (1795-1821)

Standing aloof in giant ignorance,
Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades,
As one who sits ashore and longs perchance
To visit dolphin-coral in deep seas.
So thou wast blind;--but then the veil was rent,
For Jove uncurtain'd Heaven to let thee live,
And Neptune made for thee a spumy tent,
And Pan made sing for thee his forest-hive;
Aye on the shores of darkness there is light,
And precipices show untrodden green,
There is a budding morrow in midnight,
There is a triple sight in blindness keen;
Such seeing hadst thou, as it once befel
To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell.

    -"To Homer"

"The Orcs made no boast of that duel at the gates; neither do the Elves sing of it, for their sorrow is too deep," wrote J.R.R. Tolkien of the fall of Fingolfin. So, we go to Alfred Lord Tennyson:

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

    -"Ulysses", 65-70

(Sheridan's voiceover at the crux of the Shadow War has become the definitive reading of this verse for me.)

Khalil Gibran (1883-1931)

Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."
And when he is silent, your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and the sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

    -The Prophet, 19: On Friendship


  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.