How To Speak Poetry

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
carm
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:47 pm

Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby carm » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:40 pm

"I've often lost myself,
in order to find the burn that keeps everything awake"

~ Federico García Lorca

. . . . .

Vacant days, what shall become
of me? At nightfall
already conquered in our dreams,
facing a wall, uncertain we stumble
and go astray. To fall as night falls
without deceit, on any bed
which chance interposes, in search
of the most modest and white caress.
Tell me, my soul, elect
or favored, friend of the Lord
in the star filled night, how
bar the day from that blinding light.

(william-carlos-williamss-translation-of-ernesto-mejia-sanchezs-vigils)

. . . . .
I was so I
And you were so you
The crisis was light
As a feather…

One two three, one two three, One
. . . . .
I choose the rooms that I live in with care,
the windows are small and the walls almost bare,
there's only one bed and there's only one prayer;
I listen all night for your step on the stair.
. . . . .
And who by fire, who by water,
who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
who in your merry merry month of may,
who by very slow decay,
and who shall I say is calling?
. . . . .
You know who I am,
you've stared at the sun,
well I am the one who loves
changing from nothing to one.
. . . . .
Your beauty lost to you yourself
just as it was lost to them.
Oh take this longing from my tongue,
whatever useless things these hands have done.
Let me see your beauty broken down
like you would do for one you love.
. . . . .
So I knelt there at the delta,
at the alpha and the omega,
I knelt there like one who believes.
And the blessings come from heaven
and for something like a second
I'm cured and my heart
is at ease.
. . . . .
You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.
. . . . .
Oh, my love is like a seed, baby, just needs time to grow,
It's growing stronger day by day, yeah,
That's the price you've got to pay.

Trust in my love, in my heart.
Keep the faith, baby, keep the faith in me, dear, in my love.
. . . . .
Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower
And you, its only seed
. . . . .
In this life
I want nothing more
Than to love what I'm living for
With the joy
You have brought to me
You inspire the song I sing
The spirit of love
Has kept us united
Being together was meant to be
As a river flows to the sea
. . . . .

"I lie in her arms, she says, When I'm gone, I'll be yours, yours for a song.

. . . . .

Hour of Stars

The round silence of night,
one note on the stave
of the infinite.

Ripe with lost poems,
I step naked into the street.
The blackness riddled
by the singing of crickets:
sound,
that dead
will-o'-the-wisp,
that musical light
perceived
by the spirit.

A thousand butterfly skeletons
sleep within my walls.

A wild crowd of young breezes
over the river."

~ Federico García Lorca

. . . . .
True love leaves no traces
If you and I are one
It's lost in our embraces
Like stars against the sun
. . . . .
And those who dance, begin to dance
Those who weep begin
And "Welcome, welcome" cries a voice
"Let all my guests come in."

And no one knows where the night is going ...

Those who dance, begin to dance
Those who weep begin
Those who earnestly are lost
Are lost and lost again
. . . . .
Then lay your rose on the fire
The fire give up to the sun
The sun give over to splendour
In the arms of the high holy one
For the holy one dreams of a letter
Dreams of a letter's death
Oh bless thee continuous stutter
Of the word being made into flesh
. . . . .
And the light came from her body
And the night went through her grace
All summer long she touched me
And I knew her, I knew her
Face to face
. . . . .
I was so I
And you were so you
The crisis was light
As a feather…

One two three, one two three One
. . . . .

Pain does not point
either to movement or
movelessness. Thus
sway dancing between
the hurt and the joy
so that I no longer know
whether I live
or swoon. Let me spin
if I would persist.

(william-carlos-williamss-translation-of-ernesto-mejia-sanchezs-vigils)

. . . . .

it is not necessary to be in love
or to be in love with butterflies
. . . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUszJI_6WPA

. . . . .
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carm
Posts: 254
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Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby carm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:51 pm

Let the audience feel your love of privacy even though there is no privacy…
~ LCohen


Of which, an invisible audience listens, Not to the play, but to itself…
~ WStevens

. . . . .

Of Modern Poetry

The poem of the mind in the act of finding
What will suffice. It has not always had
To find: the scene was set; it repeated what
Was in the script.
Then the theatre was changed
To something else. Its past was a souvenir.
It has to be living, to learn the speech of the place.
It has to face the men of the time and to meet
The women of the time. It has to think about war
And it has to find what will suffice. It has
To construct a new stage. It has to be on that stage
And, like an insatiable actor, slowly and
With meditation, speak words that in the ear,
In the delicatest ear of the mind, repeat,
Exactly, that which it wants to hear, at the sound
Of which, an invisible audience listens,
Not to the play, but to itself, expressed
In an emotion as of two people, as of two
Emotions becoming one. The actor is
A metaphysician in the dark, twanging
An instrument, twanging a wiry string that gives
Sounds passing through sudden rightnesses, wholly
Containing the mind, below which it cannot descend,
Beyond which it has no will to rise.
It must
Be the finding of a satisfaction, and may
Be of a man skating, a woman dancing, a woman
Combing. The poem of the act of the mind.

~ Wallace Stevens
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Diane
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Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby Diane » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:42 am

Pain does not point
either to movement or
movelessness. Thus
sway dancing between
the hurt and the joy
so that I no longer know
whether I live
or swoon. Let me spin
if I would persist.

(william-carlos-williamss-translation-of-ernesto-mejia-sanchezs-vigils)

such a One spins in the Blazing Fire of Changes

You are right, Sahara. There are no mists, or veils, or distances. But the mist is surrounded by a mist; and the veil is hidden behind a veil; and the distance continually draws away from the distance. That is why there are no mists, or veils, or distances. That is why it is called The Great Distance of Mist and Veils. It is here that
The Traveler becomes The Wanderer
and The Wanderer becomes The One Who Is Lost
and The One Who Is Lost becomes The Seeker
and The Seeker becomes The Passionate Lover
and The Passionate Lover becomes The Beggar
and The Beggar becomes The Wretch
and The Wretch becomes The One Who Must Be Sacrificed
and The One Who Must Be Sacrificed becomes The Resurrected One
and The Resurrected One becomes The One Who has Transcended The Great Distance of Mist and Veils.
Then for a thousand years, or the rest of the afternoon
such a One spins in the Blazing Fire of Changes
embodying all the transformations, one after the other,
and then beginning again, and then ending again, 86,000 times a second.

Then such a one, if he is a man,
is ready to love the woman Sahara;
and such a one, if she is a woman,
is ready to love the man who can put into song
The Great Distance of Mist and Veils.
Is it you who is waiting, Sahara, or is it me?

--

such a One spins in the Blazing Fire of Changes

You know who I am,
you've stared at the sun,
well I am the one who loves
changing from nothing to one.

one two three
one two three
one

You

the one in all,

say

who I am.

Say

I am you.

rags and feathers

rags of light

One two three, one two three

One

from which all things arise in splendor

depending one upon the other

Is it you who is waiting, Sahara, or is it me?

And who by fire, who by water,

... and who shall I say is calling?

"I've often lost myself,

in order to find the burn that keeps everything awake"

~ Federico García Lorca

. . . . .

what is to give light must endure burning.

--

You have tasted the fire on your tongue
till it is swollen black
with a prophetic joy:
"Burn with me!
The only music is time,
the only dance is love."

-- Stanley Kunitz

it is not necessary to be in love
or to be in love
with butterflies

let me spin

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carm
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:47 pm

Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby carm » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:53 pm

And I move
with the energy of your prayer

One two three, one two three, One

And, like an insatiable actor, slowly and
With meditation, speak words that in the ear,
In the delicatest ear of the mind, repeat,
Exactly, that which it wants to hear

One two three, one two three, One

at the sound
Of which, an invisible audience listens,
Not to the play, but to itself, expressed
In an emotion as of two people, as of two
Emotions becoming one.

One two three, one two three, One

And then leaning on your window sill
he'll say one day you caused his will
to weaken with your love and warmth and shelter

You are right,
Sahara.
There are no mists,
or veils, or distances.
But the mist
is surrounded by a mist;
and the veil
is hidden behind a veil;
and the distance
continually draws
away from the distance.
That is why there are no mists,
or veils, or distances.
That is why it is called
The Great Distance
of Mist and Veils.
It is here
that The Traveler becomes
The Wanderer,
and The Wanderer becomes
The One Who Is Lost,
and The One Who Is Lost becomes
The Seeker,
and The Seeker becomes
The Passionate Lover,
and The Passionate Lover becomes
The Beggar,
and The Beggar becomes
The Wretch,
and The Wretch becomes
The One Who Must Be
Sacrificed,
and The One Who Must Be
Sacrificed becomes
The Resurrected One
and The Resurrected One
becomes The One
Who has Transcended
The Great Distance
of Mist and Veils.
Then for a thousand years,
or the rest of the afternoon,
such a One
spins in the Blazing Fire
of Changes,
embodying
all the transformations,
one after
the other,
and then beginning
again,
and then ending
again,
86,000 times
a second.
Then such a one,
if he is a man,
is ready to love
the woman
Sahara;
and such a one,
if she is a woman,
is ready to love
the man
who can put into song
The Great Distance
of Mist and Veils.
Is it you
who are waiting,
Sahara,
or is it
I?

When he speaks like this, 

you don't know what he's after.

One two three, one two three, One

Oh yes, I'd like to tell my story
'cause you know I feel I'm turning into gold.

One two three, one two three, One

The gold moth did not love him
So, gorgeous, she flew away.
But the gray moth circled the flame
Until the break of day.
And then, with wings like a dead desire,
She fell, fire-caught, into the flame.

~ Langston Hughes - Fire-Caught

Then for a thousand years,
or the rest of the afternoon,
such a One
spins in the Blazing Fire
of Changes,
embodying
all the transformations,
one after
the other

One two three, one two three, One

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love

One two three, one two three, One

"Burn with me!
The only music is time,
the only dance is love."

~ Stanley Kunitz

And those who dance, begin to dance
Those who weep begin
And "Welcome, welcome" cries a voice
"Let all my guests come in."

And who by fire, who by water,
who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
who in your merry merry month of may,
who by very slow decay,
and who shall I say is calling?

I did not know
And I could not see
Who was waiting there.
Who was hunting me.

Those who dance, begin to dance
Those who weep begin
Those who earnestly are lost
Are lost and lost again

From bitter searching of the heart,
Quickened with passion and with pain
We rise to play a greater part.

and then beginning
again,
and then ending
again,
86,000 times
a second.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

One two three, one two three, One

finally I can breathe again
finally I can speak
I've got you in the glory place
I've got you way down deep

Dear Lady; Queen of Solitude 

I thank you with my heart 

for keeping me so close to thee 

while so many, oh so many, stood apart

O Crown of Light, O Darkened One,
I never thought we’d meet.
You kiss my lips, and then it’s done:
I’m back on Boogie Street.

A sip of wine, a cigarette,
And then it’s time to go…

One two three, one two three, One

I heard my soul singing behind a leaf,
plucked the leaf, but then I heard it singing behind a veil.
I tore the veil, but then I heard it singing behind a wall.
I broke the wall, and I heard my soul singing against me.
I built up the wall, mended the curtain, but I could not put back the leaf.
I held it in my hand and I heard my soul singing mightily against me.
This is what it’s like to study without a friend.

and then beginning
again,
and then ending
again

and I searched among the words
for words that would not bend
the will away from you…

Blessed is the one
Who waits in the traveller’s heart
For his turning.

One two three, one two three, One

I waited for you without waiting
until you became a poem
I mixed flesh with clay and with light
I mixed breath with what was already breath
I lived in the heated house of your voice
I made memories come to birth before they had lived
I hid my love in shadows’ modesty
I asked myself how to say it before saying it
and why I did not say it
I said that it was time to go towards you…

~ Amina Saïd, excerpts from “Path of Light” Amina Saïd. [Translation by Marilyn Hacke]

Then for a thousand years,
or the rest of the afternoon,
such a One
spins in the Blazing Fire
of Changes

One two three, one two three, One

Language says: before language
there stands a language. Language is tainted
traces from yonder.
Language says: listen now.
You listen: there has been an
echo.
Take silence and try to be silent.
Take words and try to speak;
Beyond language, language is a wound
from which the world flows and flows.
Language says: Is, Is not, Is,
Is not. Language says: I.
Language says: let's speak you,
let's touch you, let's say
you have said.

LANGUAGE SAYS - Amir Or
Translated by Irit Sela


This is an interior landscape.
It is inside.
It is private.

One two three, one two three, One

once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.

One two three, one two three, One

“I said to my soul, be still,
and wait without hope,
for hope would be hope for the wrong thing;
wait without love,
for love would be love of the wrong thing;
there is yet faith,
but the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought:
so the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

One two three, one two three, One

such a One
spins in the Blazing Fire
of Changes

One two three, one two three, One

A poem is not about;
it is out of and to.
Passionate language in movement.
The deep structure is always musical,
and physical—as breath, as pulse.

~ Adrienne Rich, from “Permeable Membrane”

at the sound
Of which, an invisible audience listens

One two three, one two three, One

embodying
all the transformations,
one after
the other

One two three, one two three, One

Language says: listen now.
You listen: there has been an
echo.

One two three, one two three, One

and I move
in the direction of your prayer

One two three, one two three, One

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS34EjGkuCg
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carm
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:47 pm

Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby carm » Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:45 am

Take the word butterfly.

There is the word and there is the butterfly.

Do not make so much of the word.

Avoid the flourish.
Do not be afraid to be weak.
Do not be ashamed to be tired.

This is an interior landscape.
It is inside.
It is private.

Let the audience feel your love of privacy
even though there is no privacy…



And I move
with the energy of your prayer

One two three, one two three, One

Then for a thousand years,
or the rest of the afternoon,
such a One
spins in the Blazing Fire
of Changes,
embodying
all the transformations,
one after
the other,
and then beginning
again,
and then ending
again,
86,000 times
a second.



A sip of wine, a cigarette,
And then it’s time to go…

One two three, one two three, One



I waited for you without waiting
until you became a poem …



Take the word butterfly.

There is the word and there is the butterfly.

Do not make so much of the word.
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Diane
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Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:02 am

-

a sip of wine, a cigarette

love's like the smoke

and like the clouds:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnTduWTPE-Y

and like the music

and like the butterfly

do not make so much of the word

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---

This image is not mine. I don't remember where I stole it from. Hat off to the artist. It's quite LC, I thought.
Tchocolatl
Posts: 3781
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Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby Tchocolatl » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:45 am

Once upon a time, in a café, I heard a song with one lyric. Butterfly (or butterflies I don't know. It was in French, and the word produces the same sound in singular and in plurial.) Let say butterfly.

Butterfly, butterfly, butterfly, butterfly, butterfly, butterfly, butterfly . You get the picture.

This was singing on a very light music, with many tiny powdered flickings of the calm sunny voice. A summer song, I thought. I classify songs by seasons, often. A summer song this one, light as a breeze. And quickly passed.

But yet, it still was not a butterfly. À peine une chanson, d'ailleurs.

*

How beautiful is the text of Leonard Cohen.

I have no word, just butterflies.

*

I picked this almost closed eyes.
And I did not listen to the file.
I hope it is doing honor to the photography.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ijSrsu8aMs
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
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Diane
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Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby Diane » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:27 pm

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carm
Posts: 254
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Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby carm » Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:39 am

Avoid the flourish.
Do not be afraid to be weak.
Do not be ashamed to be tired…

. . . . .

Vacant days, what shall become
of me? At nightfall
already conquered in our dreams,
facing a wall, uncertain we stumble
and go astray. To fall as night falls
without deceit, on any bed
which chance interposes, in search
of the most modest and white caress.
Tell me, my soul, elect
or favored, friend of the Lord
in the star filled night, how
bar the day from that blinding light.

(william-carlos-williamss-translation-of-ernesto-mejia-sanchezs-vigils)

. . . . .

I was so I
And you were so you
The crisis was light
As a feather…

One two three, one two three, One

.....
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carm
Posts: 254
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Re: How To Speak Poetry

Postby carm » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:05 am

Numinous the flame

of those silent hours,

dreaming the word

B U T T E R F L Y –

tethered to its graceful,

harmonious sway.

. . . . .

And finally,

insane for the light,

you

are the butterfly…

. . . . .

How bountiful

this solitude,

surrounded,

filled

and mastered

by

the Name…

. . . . .

You

the one in all,

say

who I am.

Say

I am you.
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