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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A Supermarket in California
by Allen Ginsberg

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for
I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache
self-conscious looking at the full moon.

In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went
into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!

What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families
shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the
avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what
were you doing down by the watermelons?

I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,
poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery

I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the
pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?

I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans
following you, and followed in my imagination by the store

We strode down the open corridors together in our
solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen
delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in
an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?

(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the
supermarket and feel absurd.)

Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The
trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be

Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love
past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?

Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher,
what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and
you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat
disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

224 Posts
Through the darkness of futures past,
the magician longs to see
Once chance out,
between two worlds,
fire walk with me.

OK, it isn't a great poem, but I've never really understood poetry. I do like "Annabelle Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe, and anything by Dr. Suess and Ogden Nash.

It's weird - when I saw your topic I immediately guessed that your poem was gonna be "Howl". I have no idea why. So close and yet so far!

264 Posts
"Bamboo shadows sweep the stairs,
but the dust is undisturbed.
The moonlight penetrates deeply into the pond,
but leaves no trace in the water.

The wind ceases, yet blossoms continue to fall.
Birds sing, yet the valley becomes quieter.
In the bamboo groves, my thatched house is built by rocks.

Through the opening of the stems of the bamboo,
the distant village is seen.
I take it easy all day, and recieve no vistors,
but the pure breeze sweeps a path leading to my door."

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tom Servo, I don't understand poetry either, but, every once in a while, one really jumps out at me and I do "get it."

I like Shakespeare though, a lot, the plays that is. The sonnets all sound the same. Richard III is one of my current favorites. Did you ever see the movie with Ian McKellen?

Very nice poem Reticent.

2,496 Posts
Oh, I love this. I have a dog eared copy of "A Little Treasury of Modern Poetry" (which ain't modern anymore) from when I was 10! My father loved poetry and would read it to me. Books too.

I am a huge fan of T.S. Elliot (1888?1965).

This poem "Preludes" was the inspiration for the song "Memory" from the musical "Cats".... "Cats" was inspired by Elliot's Book, "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" ... is that right... whateva.

I love this:

"The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o?clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.


The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.


You tossed a blanket from the bed,
You lay upon your back, and waited;
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed?s edge, where
You curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.


His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fade behind a city block,
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o?clock;
And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
And evening newspapers, and eyes
Assured of certain certainties,
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.

I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.

Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots."

2,496 Posts
Oh, this is dangerous as I have so many favorites.

Emily Dickinson (I think she had DP)

This is from memory, so it might be wrong....

"Heart, we will forget him,
you and I, tonight.

You will forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done pray tell me,
That I my thoughts? may dim.

Haste! lest while you're lagging,
I may remember him."

2,496 Posts
Of course William Butler Yeats
Too much good stuff. I am obviously into the poetry of the 1800s to the early 1900s.


"I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;

My county is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.

Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;

I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death."

2,496 Posts
Reticent, yes that is beautiful ... who is that?

And littlecroc... yes!

Wives in the
avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what
were you doing down by the watermelons?

Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher,
what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and
you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat
disappear on the black waters of Lethe?
Love it. 8)

I realized I find poetry and music/lyrics very soothing and grounding for me. I think they help the DP. Either trying to sort out something I don't understand, stanza at a time, or taking pleasure in understanding a very brief, beautiful piece.

670 Posts
This has been my favorite for a long time. Im not sure why but its always moved me

The Invitation

It doesn?t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart?s longing.

It doesn?t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn?t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life?s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn?t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn?t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn?t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn?t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

? Oriah Mountain Dreamer

This isnt a favorite, it just makes me sad

Tears, Idle Tears
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more!

224 Posts
Dreamer said:
I am a huge fan of T.S. Elliot (1888?1965).
Didn't he write The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock? I had to read that in junior English. I had no idea what it was about. I got an F on my paper comparing it to some Ezra Pound thing. It was a generous grade.

Here's the poem that totally did me in in that class, though. I had to write something on it as well. I somehow managed a D. OK, am I totally stupid, or does this really not make much sense? I guess it's also possible that I'm stupid AND this doesn't make sense. Can anyone tell me what this thing is about? I mean, "Let be be finale of seem"? WTF?

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

-- Wallace Stevens

733 Posts
Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-- Robert Frost

this is the first poem i remember hearing (my dad used to read frost to us all the time)...and it's still one of my faves.

733 Posts
Breathe, breathe in the air.
Don't be afraid to care.
Leave but don't leave me.
Look around and choose your own ground.

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.

Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don't sit down it's time to dig another one.

For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.

-pink floyd

o.k. so i know it's a song but the lyrics, in my opinion, are stand alone...and i've always thought roger waters was a great poet.

Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dreamer, I like TS Eliot too, especially The Wasteland. The first stanza:


APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

These are all so neat to read. It's like getting a glimpse inside a person's brain, to see what poems they like.

224 Posts
agentcooper said:
Tom Servo said:
Through the darkness of futures past,
the magician longs to see
Once chance out,
between two worlds,
fire walk with me.
nice!!! :D
I thought you'd like that. I wasn't sure if anyone else would have the faintest what on earth I was talking about.
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