Intro 3: Duty

What if one’s duty
Was in truth and in beauty.
Can you let me know?

What if the very
Final, extraordinary
May well overflow?

Sonnet II: Custodians

But they managed their deeds without casting
Down… as you wretched will usually try.

They have made exaltation their duty;
Men… they shall cleanse of your odious taint.
They have filled our museums with beauty,
Then… they discarded your splatters of paint.

They have tossed out your volumes of garble,
Not… fit for lining the cage of a skunk.
They’ve exalted our beauty in marble
Wrought… when they crushed all your piles of junk.

And your music and verse is forgotten
Guff… with its horrible discordant clash.
They’ve divested the Earth of that rotten
Stuff… when they threw out the rest of the trash.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:


Sonnet I: Warriors

Have the Gods of the Copybook Headings,
Tall… by you wretched deceivers controlled;
By the Knights of the Copybook spreading,
All… of the truths of your lies will be told.

They have burned all the books you have written;
When… all your books were rewritten with lies;
They’ve uncovered the books you have hidden,
Then… they have ripped from your face its disguise.

They have cast you to fall from the towers,
How… they, you ‘surpers, they’ve torn from their thrones.
Though you’ve cast your aspersions by hours,
Now… you’ll be lucky to pick though the bones.

Not a gauntlet was raised nor contrasting
Frown… for they did it by lifting us high.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

Intro 1: The Knights of the Copybook Headings

To Rudyard Kipling:
I have seen what thou hast seen;
And praise its return!

Hath breathed, for thee, new breath.
Through electricity.

Continue reading

Intro: Do not gently go

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.  Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


John Donne: A Valediction Forbidding Mourning.

Italiano: Immagine del poeta John Donne Donne,...

Italiano: Immagine del poeta John Donne Donne, John (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was recently reminded of this poem by a commenter.  It made me think, as I have also recently been reminded of Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gently…”   That Donne might also be a champion of life extension scientists, due to the subject of death being so often present in his poetry.  I realise that he was speaking of God and Heaven when writing of the triumph over death, but even so, these works can be read in this other way as well.

AS virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
“Now his breath goes,” and some say, “No.”

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears;
Men reckon what it did, and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love
—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, ’cause it doth remove
The thing which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th’ other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th’ other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.

via John Donne: A Valediction Forbidding Mourning.