Month: April 2006

Repetition

11 hads Peter where John had had “had”, had had “had had”; “had had” had had more marks from the examiner. 21 ands Wouldn’t the sentence “I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish-And-Chips sign” have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?…

Philip Larkin

The Trees The trees are coming into leaf, Like something almost being said; The recent buds relax and spread, Their greenness is a kind of grief. Is it that they are born again, And we grow old? No, they die too, Their yearly trick of looking new Is written down in rings of grain. Yet still the unresting castles thresh In fullgrown thickness every May. Last year is dead, they seem to say Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.…

Tu Fu

Loneliness A hawk hovers in the air. Two white gulls float on the stream. Soaring with the wind, it is easy To drop and seize Birds who foolishly drift with the current. Where the dew sparkles in the grass, The spider’s web waits for its prey. The processes of nature resemble the business of men. I stand alone with ten thousand sorrows.…

Thomas Ford

There is a Lady Sweet and Kind There is a lady sweet and kind, Was never a face so pleased my mind; I did but see her passing by, And yet I’ll love her till I die. Her gesture, motion, and her smiles, Her wit, her voice my heart beguiles, Beguiles my heart, I know not why, And yet I’ll love her till I die. Cupid is winged and he doth range, Her country, so, my love doth change: But change she earth, or change she sky, Yet, I will love her till I die.…

A. E. Housman

Loveliest of Trees Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough, And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide. Now, of my threescore years and ten, Twenty will not come again, And take from seventy springs a score, It only leaves me fifty more. And since to look at things in bloom Fifty springs are little room, About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow.…

John Donne

Good-Friday 1613, Riding Westward Let man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this, Th’ intelligence that moves, devotion is ; And as the other spheres, by being grown Subject to foreign motion, lose their own, And being by others hurried every day, Scarce in a year their natural form obey ; Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit For their first mover, and are whirl’d by it. Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the west, This day, when my soul’s form bends to the East. There I should see a Sun by rising set, And by that setting endless day beget. But that Christ on His cross did rise and fall, Sin had eternally benighted all. Yet dare I almost be glad, I do not see That spectacle of too much weight for me. Who sees Gods face, that is self-life, must die ; What a death were it then to see God die ? It made His own lieutenant, Nature, shrink, It made His footstool crack, and the sun wink. Could I behold those hands, which span the poles And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes ? Could I behold that endless height, which is Zenith to us and our antipodes, Humbled below us ? or that blood, which is The seat of all our soul’s, if not of His, Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn By God for His apparel, ragg’d and torn ? If on these things I durst not look, durst I On His distressed Mother cast mine eye, Who was God’s partner here, and furnish’d thus Half of that sacrifice which ransom’d us ? Though these things as I ride be from mine eye, They’re present yet unto my memory, For that looks towards them ; and Thou look’st towards me, O Saviour, as Thou hang’st upon the tree. I turn my back to thee but to receive Corrections till Thy mercies bid Thee leave. O think me worth Thine anger, punish me, Burn off my rust, and my deformity ; Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace, That Thou mayst know me, and I’ll turn my face.…

Henry Reed

Naming of Parts To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday, We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning, We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day, To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens, And to-day we have naming of parts. This is the lower sling swivel. And this Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see, When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel, Which in your case you have not got. The branches Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures, Which in our case we have not got. This is the safety-catch, which is always released With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see Any of them using their finger. And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers: They call it easing the Spring. They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt, And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance, Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards, For to-day we have naming of parts. Hear Henry Reed (2nd voice) and Frank Duncan read “Naming of Parts” here…

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