Some Frost with some Larkin
#21
Lines On A Young Lady's Photograph Album by Philip Larkin

At last you yielded up the album, which
Once open, sent me distracted. All your ages
Matt and glossy on the thick black pages!
Too much confectionery, too rich:
I choke on such nutritious images.

My swivel eye hungers from pose to pose --
In pigtails, clutching a reluctant cat;
Or furred yourself, a sweet girl-graduate;
Or lifting a heavy-headed rose
Beneath a trellis, or in a trilby-hat

(Faintly disturbing, that, in several ways) --
From every side you strike at my control,
Not least through those these disquieting chaps who loll
At ease about your earlier days:
Not quite your class, I'd say, dear, on the whole.

But o, photography! as no art is,
Faithful and disappointing! that records
Dull days as dull, and hold-it smiles as frauds,
And will not censor blemishes
Like washing-lines, and Hall's-Distemper boards,

But shows a cat as disinclined, and shades
A chin as doubled when it is, what grace
Your candour thus confers upon her face!
How overwhelmingly persuades
That this is a real girl in a real place,

In every sense empirically true!
Or is it just the past? Those flowers, that gate,
These misty parks and motors, lacerate
Simply by being you; you
Contract my heart by looking out of date.

Yes, true; but in the end, surely, we cry
Not only at exclusion, but because
It leaves us free to cry. We know what was
Won't call on us to justify
Our grief, however hard we yowl across

The gap from eye to page. So I am left
To mourn (without a chance of consequence)
You, balanced on a bike against a fence;
To wonder if you'd spot the theft
Of this one of you bathing; to condense,

In short, a past that no one now can share,
No matter whose your future; calm and dry,
It holds you like a heaven, and you lie
Unvariably lovely there,
Smaller and clearer as the years go by.



Love Again by Philip Larkin

Love again: wanking at ten past three
(Surely he's taken her home by now?),
The bedroom hot as a bakery,
The drink gone dead, without showing how
To meet tomorrow, and afterwards,
And the usual pain, like dysentery.

Someone else feeling her breasts and cunt,
Someone else drowned in that lash-wide stare,
And me supposed to be ignorant,
Or find it funny, or not to care,
Even ... but why put it into words?
Isolate rather this element

That spreads through other lives like a tree
And sways them on in a sort of sense
And say why it never worked for me.
Something to do with violence
A long way back, and wrong rewards,
And arrogant eternity.




When First We Faced, And Touching Showed by Philip Larkin

When first we faced, and touching showed
How well we knew the early moves,
Behind the moonlight and the frost,
The excitement and the gratitude,
There stood how much our meeting owed
To other meetings, other loves.

The decades of a different life
That opened past your inch-close eyes
Belonged to others, lavished, lost;
Nor could I hold you hard enough
To call my years of hunger-strife
Back for your mouth to colonise.

Admitted: and the pain is real.
But when did love not try to change
The world back to itself--no cost,
No past, no people else at all--
Only what meeting made us feel,
So new, and gentle-sharp, and strange?
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#22
(07-08-2017, 05:19 AM)Leanne Wrote:  Ah yes, you're right of course -- the best of English came from people who despised their Englishness and went off to foreign countries to try to become king/ not die of venereal diseases/ find someone to shag who wasn't related. Alternatively, let us look to 700-odd years ago, when all poets were beloved of milkmaids and other demonstrative demoiselles, but the language they wrote in can only be called English by virtue of it having been written occasionally in a garret in Cornwall, pining across the centuries for an Arthurian figment.

Alternatively, we could just work with the rich, fluid and exceedingly poetic language that we have right now, and do it properly.



You are a legend.

I've written a few poems, off Larkin poems. I love his one about the funeral procession, and the one about the huge space between people in the same bed.

He's as weird as Anne Sexton, really. You're not supposed to notice though.

Saturday morning in the Royal


The dining room’s akimbo doors impart
a look of hasty exit; disarray
of wine glass sideways, chairs left backed away
and stains like blood on tabletop’s op art.
The carpet seems to undulate and grow
around the splintered light that makes its way
in silence. Windows introduce the day
through faded curtains. Seams and patches show.

He wakes beside the young man in his bed
and shudders to recall the night before,
the easy sex before they slipped to sleep.
He’s penitent and through his aching head
pour thoughts of gender, parents, love, and more.
His offshore isolation makes him weep.


After ‘Friday Night in the Royal Station Hotel’ by Philip Larkin
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#23
Thumbsup Nice one.  You also nail Larkin's gender fluidity (though of course it wasn't called that, and he wouldn't have thanked anyone for bringing it up, he was just "non-conformist" and fair play to him). He was pretty messed up, and what may be politely called "curmudgeonly", in turns no doubt appearing apathetic and furious.  He would have made an awesome drinking buddy.

Imagine Larkin and Wilde at the same dinner party...
It could be worse
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#24
Thanks Leanne. I'm trying to imagine a conversation between them - an Irish-born, well-educated gentleman, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, and British middle-class Philip Larkin. They were both Oxford graduates so they had that in common.

I have to try to write about them now.
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#25
I will hold you to that
It could be worse
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#26
Ha, I just imagined 2 guys either liking each other when they woke up or not. Smile
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#27
(05-14-2016, 03:21 AM)Leanne Wrote:  I met Frost in high school.  He fell out of a book and wouldn't go away, so I wrote this poem when I was 16 or 17.  I've copied it verbatim so you can see how bad my meter and abstraction was Wink

The road was often traveled though the vehicle was new,
flushed from verdant pasture, his bright inspiration flew
from Boston, Massachusetts, to old England’s misty shore,
astride the wild Atlantic with his soaring metaphor

With simple words of wonder and a soul of silver hue,
the stars would flow from out his pen and mingle with the dew
of morning’s blessed spirit riding wildly through the wood,
dismounting at the crossroads where the finest poets stood.

Of fire and ice and winter snows, of crows and crickets quaint,
bright bucolic brushstrokes, mixing magic with the paint;
of life and death and merriment, of fortunes won and lost --
the world is richer having known the coming of the Frost


i think that the words 'quaint' and 'bucolic' are well-placed in a poem about frost.   one often wonders, when thinking about frost, how a man who, being so obviously stimulated and christened by the magic of the muse, would have remained so entrenched, stalwart, habitual and peculiar.

the poem helps to show that despite frosts penchant for framing, enshrining, depicting the life of the mundane, the country gentleman, there is still a guilded magic around the edges and accented throughout, it is the spice of the cider, the frost of the cake (double entendre notwithstanding), the trill of the bow, the flowers on the lawn, the cream on the coffee.

i also very much appreciate and regard what leanne is arguing about frost's influence on the English literary world.   It would seem that it was his discipline, his willingness to hold to his country manner in not his country manor, that brought him to the hedgerowed world of English gardens, cottages, estates, manors and castles

the scholarship surrounding Frost will be a point of diplomatic exchange and cultural trade with those old-worlders of the British Isles who still hold to so many of their WONDERFUL traditions.   has anyone seen the new video documentary of the Pippa Middleton marriage to Sir James Stephens?
plutocratic polyphonous pandering 
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#28
(03-21-2016, 07:20 PM)ellajam Wrote:  After Apple-Picking
~ Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.


Although this is not at all Frosts intended meaning --- at least, most likely it is not --- I get a really strong image of Jacob (Isaac's Son from the Old Testament) trying to get 'human sleep' before laying his head down on the Clinton Rock.   Did Jacob eat an apple before wrestling (and defeating) the angel.?  

It is interesting that poems such as these, with such classic appeal and widely received reverberations---both by popular and critical audiences---should receive a wide variety of disparate responses.   This is one of the difficulties and challenges of PopArt.   When working with conventional symbols (such as an APPLE or a LADDER) that are shared by the general population, as well as required for their sustainability, then the requisitioning of a poem such as this for popular convenience becomes necessary. 

Could Bill Gates or Steve Jobs find use for such a poem, for instance, as a form of post-modern merchandising?

These are simply different things to think about for the requisitioning of new forms, ideations, formalizations, formulas and forums in the milennial generation.
plutocratic polyphonous pandering 
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#29
(07-13-2017, 11:57 PM)Thunderembargo Wrote:  
(03-21-2016, 07:20 PM)ellajam Wrote:  After Apple-Picking
~ Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.


Although this is not at all Frosts intended meaning --- at least, most likely it is not --- I get a really strong image of Jacob (Isaac's Son from the Old Testament) trying to get 'human sleep' before laying his head down on the Clinton Rock.   Did Jacob eat an apple before wrestling (and defeating) the angel.?  

Well, the biblical apple was eaten, whether specifically by Jacob or not. I never read the poem as if written by Jacob, even with the ladder to heaven. Interesting to read that way though I don't think I'll keep it.
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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