Month: April 2005

Roger McGough

Let me die a young man’s death Let me die a youngman’s death not a clean and inbetween the sheets holywater death not a famous-last-words peaceful out of breath death When I’m 73 and in constant good humour may I be mown down at dawn by a bright red sports car on my way home from an allnight party Or when I’m 91 with silver hair and sitting in a barber’s chair may rival gangsters with hamfisted tommyguns burst in and give me a short back and insides Or when I’m 104 and banned from the Cavern may my mistress catching me in bed with her daughter and fearing for her son cut me up into little pieces and throw away every piece but one Let me die a youngman’s death not a free from sin tiptoe in candle wax and waning death not a curtains drawn by angels borne ‘what a nice way to go’ death…

Robert Graves

Flying Crooked The butterfly, a cabbage-white, (His honest idiocy of flight) Will never now, it is too late, Master the art of flying straight, Yet has- who knows so well as I?- A just sense of how not to fly: He lurches here and here by guess And God and hope and hopelessness. Even the acrobatic swift Has not his flying-crooked gift.…

Richard Feynman

But I would like not to underestimate the value of the world view which is the result of scientific effort. We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infinitely more marvelous than the imaginings of poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. For instance, how much more remarkable it is for us all to be stuck – half of us upside down – by a mysterious attraction to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years than to be carried on the back of an elephant supported on a tortoise swimming in a bottomless sea.…

Lewis Carroll

Jabberwocky ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe. ‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!’ He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time the manxome foe he sought — So rested he by the Tumtum tree, And stood a while in thought. And, as in uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came! One two! One two! And through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back. ‘And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’ He chortled in his joy. ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.…

Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes Sometimes things don’t go, after all, from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail. Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well. A people sometimes will step back from war, elect an honest man, decide they care enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor. Some men become what they were born for. Sometimes our best intentions do not go amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to. The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.…

W. H. Davies

Leisure WHAT is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?- No time to stand beneath the boughs, And stare as long as sheep and cows: No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass: No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night: No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance: No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began? A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.…

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