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Poetry Magnum Opus

Vita summa brevis ... (Version Two)


dedalus

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four-masks.jpg

O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,

Student of our sweet English tongue,

Read out my words at night, alone:

I was a poet, I was young.

-- James Elroy Flecker

 

Too much bone and blood

and fortitude, too much straining

for the evanescent: passing years

drip, drip, form streams, gurgling,

receding, all too rapidly draining

to where we are today. I must say

there were some bloody great parties,

helpless laughter, incandescent trysts

with ladies now of a certain age,

fresh and gorgeous in my memory.

 

Girls are lovely, they really are,

most of all when they are young,

coming up like fresh little flowers

with each generation: the young boys

cannot figure this out, thinking the present

will last forever. The clocks tick on.

 

Detached from our purblind monomania,

age can execute daily subtle attacks

on hairlines, jowls and bellies; we rarely

seem to pay much heed or attention,

until, after a sudden glance in a mirror,

or faced with a photo of a recent funeral,

(not so long ago we attended weddings)

we think, Jesus God, can that be me?

No, it is not me. It is a cruel parody

of the brave young lad shining within.

------------------------------------------

 

Original

 

Too much bone and blood

and fortitude, too much straining

for the evanescent: how the years

drip-drip, creating streams, gurgling

down the diverse and the dreary drains

to where we are today. I must say

we had some bloody great parties!

Helpless laughter, incandescent clicks

with ladies now of a certain age,

fresh and gorgeous in my memory.

Girls are lovely, they really are,

most of all when they are young,

coming up like fresh little flowers

in each generation: the young boys

can’t figure this out, thinking the present

will last forever. Sad, but it never does.

For us non-gay boys it doesn’t matter;

automatically married, dazed, a bit

sidetracked, a bit blind to our senses,

a bit unaware in our purblind monomania

to how age executes its savage attacks

on hairlines, jowls, and bellies, we never

notice or pay attention to these things,

until with a sudden glance in a mirror,

or faced with a photo at so-and-so’s funeral

(until not so long ago it was weddings)

we think, Jesus God, can that be me?

No, it is not me. It is a parody.

I am the brave young man that shines within.

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

wow the picture is chastising in itself. reminds me of hear no evil see no evil speak no evil except the pic is not covering the mouth, very demonic picture where in earth you dig it up at?

 

the poem is perfect. loved it tho only age seems to capture this picture.

Edited by Larsen M. Callirhoe

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

the picture is different then the title which works well with the poem. the picture thank god my nurse recognized it. the all i can't repeat my memory is not good.

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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A fantastic piece of writing, Brendan. But Dowson was an Englishman.:)) And there wasn't much he could do about his discontent; he lacked the cooperation of the other. I wonder how many of us enjoy a less reckless existence tempered by the safe and gentle Delmore Effect? But this --

 

Girls are lovely, they really are,

most of all when they are young,

coming up like fresh little flowers

in each generation: the young boys

can’t figure this out, thinking the present

will last forever. Sad, but it never does.

For us non-gay boys it doesn’t matter;

automatically married, dazed, a bit

sidetracked, a bit blind to our senses,

a bit unaware in our purblind monomania ...

-- seems like a classic case of male "If I knew then what I know now .... " I loved it.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Glad you liked the picture, Larsen; glad you liked the poem, Tony. Actually, the masks represent aspects of drama, and if life isn't an endless bloody drama, I don't know what it is. I've had another look at the piece and cleaned it up a little. Ehh, not too sure, so I'll keep the original. You guys and Tink are the only "fans" I have these days. I know, I know ... write some damn comments! You've been very patient, and I appreciate that. I just don't know what to say about other people's work (esp. when it's only so-so) whereas when I come across something I really really like -- a lot of your stuff, Tony -- I have this incredibly overpowering (and totally inappropriate) desire to re-write it!! Obviously that's not going to go down well. Once I settle down after the Ireland trip (it was soooo good!) I'm really going to have to get my act together.

 

ATB, Slán anois,

Bren

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Im glad both of the versions where left for us to see---

 

seems to me, the bits taken out are just extensions of poetry that were taken out, and are just as good as if they had been left in or otherwise... (what Im trying to say is, I like BOTH ways of reading this, equally, word wise)

 

I will say, the linebreaks and italics and punctuation over all works really really well in the newer one- and I need to learn how to punctuate my own stuff like that (what Im trying to say is, Im jealous of this work entirely :))

 

wonderful, really wonderful!

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I, too, really like what you've done with the stanzas, the italics, and "The clocks tick on."

 

... when I come across something I really really like ... I have this incredibly overpowering (and totally inappropriate) desire to re-write it!! Obviously that's not going to go down well.

Could you please elaborate? Do you want to re-write a work to demonstrate a better way, or are you simply inspired to write about the same subject(s) in your own way?

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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