And Life Is Warm

George Meredith
George Meredith

Modern Love XXX

by George Meredith

What are we first? First, animals; and next
Intelligences at a leap; on whom
Pale lies the distant shadow of the tomb,
And all that draweth on the tomb for text.
Into which state comes Love, the crowning sun:
Beneath whose light the shadow loses form.
We are the lords of life, and life is warm.
Intelligence and instinct now are one.
But nature says: “My children most they seem
When they least know me: therefore I decree
That they shall suffer.” Swift doth young Love flee,
And we stand wakened, shivering from our dream.
Then if we study Nature we are wise.
Thus do the few who live but with the day:
The scientific animals are they—
Lady, this is my sonnet to your eyes.

She Walks In Beauty

by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

 

On Bended Knee

Malvolio-And-Maria-From-Shakespeare-s-Twelfth-Night-550336

On Bended Knee

by T. A. Fry

Were I on bended knee,
And you upon a throne?
What would you decree?
What would I bemoan?

Have we any choice?
Is there any sense?
Not by human voice.
Nor by recompense.


Sonnet 58

by William Shakespeare

That god forbid, that made me first your slave,
I should in thought control your times of pleasure,
Or at your hand th’ account of hours to crave,
Being your vassal bound to stay your leisure.
O let me suffer, being at your beck,
Th’ imprisoned absence of your liberty;
And patience tame to sufferance bide each check,
Without accusing you of injury.
Be where you list, your charter is so strong
That you yourself may privilege your time
To what you will; to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.
I am to wait, though waiting so be hell,
Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well


Happy Twelfth Night!  Depending on how you start counting the 12 days of Christmas, it was either yesterday or today and marks the end of the holidays and the beginning of Epiphany.  It’s time to take down festive decorations and settle in to the pleasant gloom of January. Twelfth Night has lost some of its relevance, but my Mother honored the tradition of taking down her Christmas tree on twelfth night.

Historically Twelfth night was an excuse for a party.  Few of us are waking up to bake a cake with a pea and bean inside and invite friends over to drink wassail, but it sounds like the kind of silliness we need right now as a distraction from Trumpism. Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night with the intention of it being performed on Twelfth Night. A comedy with serious themes on love and service.  Sounds like life….

In case you are inspired to throw a Twelfth Night shindig this evening, here’s a delicious wassail recipe.  Serve it hot with a slice of cake.

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/rittenhouse-inn-wassail-punch-367909

367909_wassail-punch_1x1
Wassail at Rittenhouse Inn, Bayfield WI

Twelfth Night

By Robert Herrick

NOW, now the mirth comes
With the cake full of plums,
Where bean’s the king of the sport here;
Beside we must know,
The pea also
Must revel, as queen, in the court here.

Begin then to choose,
This night as ye use,
Who shall for the present delight here,
Be a king by the lot,
And who shall not
Be Twelfth-day queen for the night here.

Which known, let us make
Joy-sops with the cake ;
And let not a man then be seen here,
Who unurg’d will not drink
To the base from the brink
A health to the king and queen here.

Next crown a bowl full
With gentle lamb’s wool :
Add sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,
With store of ale too ;
And thus ye must do
To make the wassail a swinger.

Give then to the king
And queen wassailing :
And though with ale ye be whet here,
Yet part from hence
As free from offence
As when ye innocent met here.


© T. A. Fry and Fourteenlines, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to T. A. Fry and Fourteenlines with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wait For The Wisest Of All Counselors

file (2)

“Wait for that wisest of all counselors, Time.”

Pericles

New Love, New Life

by Johann Goethe
Translated by A. S. Kline

Heart, my heart, what can it mean?
What could trouble you so?
What a strange new life, it seems!
You, I no longer know.
Everything you loved is done,
Everything that grieved you,
All your work and peace is gone –
How could this overtake you!

Are you caught by lovely youth
By that beloved form,
By those eyes so good and true,
By that all-powerful force?
When I try to run away,
Collect myself and flee,
In a moment my path strays
Back to her you see.

By that magic thread, so
That cannot be untied,
The dear wanton girl, oh
She holds me fast: and I
Must lie within her magic spell
And live where she may go.
How great the change, I tell!
Love! Love! Let me go!


 

How often is what is perceived by other’s as being delusional the product of vacuity? I would like to think that I can avoid using this blog as a private confessional.  However, writing a blog and sending it out into the world is like speaking to an audience behind a veiled curtain. Readers are silent jurors who enter and exit through a different door than the one I use, with never more than a glimpse of their coming and going.  I never know who reads these words unless they choose to make their presence felt with a “like” or a comment.  I can see the footprints of readers from around the world as a count from a specific country on a specific page,  but I have no idea what they think or felt in reading the poems I select for my own enjoyment.  The greatest gift a reader can bestow is to take time to provide feedback, regardless if that feedback is positive or negative.  

Recognizing parts of my subconscious and conscious mind are laid bare on these pages, I attempt to at least not stray into self-absorbed prattle, worried that I will start sounding like a penitent looking for absolution.  Yet, if I write without admitting my human foibles, I risk sounding one-dimensional and even worse, the sin of all sins as a writer, sounding dull.  No one wants to read well-behaved words.  The magic of poetry is that I can let it speak for itself, let the poetry delve into the recesses of our minds, where the real adventures begin. The reader can decide if the postcards in words I have selected, either written by my hand or someone else’s, is an experience real or imagined. Regardless of where the words originated, each reader will take from it what they choose.

I was reminded over Christmas holidays, how others impose their own impulses, dreams, doubts, fears and motivations over the top of another’s creativity.  We each mix liberally analysis with anxiety to produce our own conclusions. Creative expression naturally welcomes criticism that, upon retrospect, seems perfectly logical, but may have nothing to do with the writer’s or artist’s intent.   It is most unsatisfying to dispel the myth of genius and admit simple-mindedness, offering up a boring explanation that I wasn’t bright enough to have intentionally created the connection they now so clearly see, which although should have been obvious to me at the time, was in reality, the product of complete ignorance or completely different motivation.  Isn’t this what makes being human so interesting?  We walk around contemplating the mundane and the magnificent with no comprehension of what anyone else is thinking at any given moment about a darn thing we are up to. Thank goodness!


Lucky Penny Lover

By T. A. Fry

Lucky Penny Lover
Brimming in my brain
What did you discover
Swimming in the rain

Golden locks aplenty
Porridge to your taste?
Love me only gently
Don’t let us go to waste

Serene within your socket
Graceful in mid-flight
Put me in your pocket
Beauty fills my sight

Lovin’s in the air
Skin’s upon my mind
A smell inside your hair
Our poetry aligns

Does fingering or bowin’
Lift you to first chair
Does knitting or the sewin’
Make a King so rare

Circle round our souls
Lay me on your breast
Let’s just rock and roll
The hell with all the rest

Who’s the super hero
Complete with tights and cape
Slow from ten to zero
Nuzzle at my nape

Smudging with my poems
Words got in your eye
Budging, tho’ tend to roam
Please keep it a surprise

Torrid is our passion
Scalding is our heat
Florid in its fashion
Bawdy in its beat.

Turgid with desire
Lurid with our fate
Afresh in love’s attire
Despite its sprawling weight

Let’s wake up each day smitten
Let’s wake up each day stunned
Queen Mary – What’s to be written?
King Arthur – What’s simply done?


© T. A. Fry and Fourteenlines, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to T. A. Fry and Fourteenlines with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

We Know We Dream, We Dream We Know

IMG_8902
New Year’s Day Puzzle

The New Year

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.


 

Happy New Years!