My favorite poem. What 's yours?

Joseph Campbell formulated what became his most quoted dictum, "Follow your bliss" in the decade before his death. Join this conversation to explore this idea and share stories.

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youkrst
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Post by youkrst » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:11 am

a modern esoteric masterpiece courtesy of Charlie Daniels

The devil went down to Georgia
He was lookin' for a soul to steal
He was in a bind
'Cause he was way behind
And he was willin' to make a deal

When he came upon this young man
Sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot
And the devil jumped
Up on a hickory stump
And said boy let me tell you what

I guess you didn't know it
but I'm a fiddle player too
And if you care to take a dare I'll make a bet with you

Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy
But give the devil his due
I'll bet a fiddle of gold
Against your soul
'Cause I think I'm better than you

The boy said my name's Johnny
And it might be a sin
But I'll take your bet
And you're gonna regret
'Cause I'm the best there's ever been

Johnny you rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard
Cause hell's broke loose in Georgia and the devil deals the cards
And if you win you get this shiny fiddle made of gold
But if you lose the devil gets your soul.

The devil opened up his case
And he said I'll start this show
And fire flew from his fingertips
As he rosined up his bow

Then he pulled the bow across the strings
And it made an evil hiss
And a band of demons joined in
And it sounded something like this

[Instrumental]

When the devil finished
Johnny said well you're pretty good old son
Just sit down in that chair right there
And let me show you how it's done

He played Fire on the Mountain
Run boys, run
The devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
Chicken in the bread pan pickin' out doors
Granny does your dog bite
No child, no

[Instrumental]

The devil bowed his head
Because he knew that he'd been beat
And he laid that golden fiddle
On the ground at Johnny's feet

Johnny said, Devil just come on back
If you ever wanna try again
I done told you once you son of a bitch
I'm the best there's ever been

And he played Fire on the Mountain
Run boys, run
The devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
Chicken in a bread pan picken' out dough
Granny does your dog bite
No child, no

[Instrumental to end]

the metaphors

fiddle playing is life living
house of the rising sun is you
devil is you
johhny is you
etc etc

so epic showdown between upper and lower to see who gets to call the tune played on the fiddle of your life
Andreas
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Post by Andreas » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:52 pm

Christmas, a poem by Fernando Pessoa.

One God is born. Others die. Truth
Did not come or go. Error changed.
Eternity is different now.
What happened was better always.

Blind Science plows the useless sod.
Fool Faith lives the dream of its observance.
A new God is but a word.
Search not, nor believe. All is hidden.
“To live is enough.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
Ercan2121
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Post by Ercan2121 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:25 am

Here’s some African breath -Maya Angelou’s 'Still I Rise'.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
Maya Angelou
CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:33 am

This one was written by a good friend of mine who is originally from Weles. His name is David Wilde and he was in Oxford, England when he wote this poem on 9/23/95. It was published in a bilingual text (Spanish & English) called "Decir Del Agua", edited by Reinaldo Garcia Ramos in July, 2008.

Swans of September

An autumn day at the water's edge
In Little Mesopotamia, makes me wonder
About Herodotus and the ancient Sais---how
This mingling of histories would combine, but
Not overflow into the English Language,
Especially in green fields and waddling ducks
And Nicola, on the way through Broad Street,
Almost missing the eye contact, this sunny day,
Quietly exchanging words and looking for a
Solution to travel, in this narrow impasse of
Time between appointments for dinner, and
Traveling home, or to Spain and New Mexico,
This warm Autumn, turning to Spring---eventually,
When Winter is so close, but is also so far away,
Impeding, but impending our march of thoughts,
Ideas for a sun-shine life, a warm embracing
Adventure, even ambition, in this academic vision,
This bit of old England, this turf, this bothersome
Light on inspiration, not plugging up the holes
Of enlightened prophecy, nor still calm waters of
Babylon, create this worldly realm, but soldier-on,
Sail away to Memphis, to the land beyond the Nile,
In covenants of universal passion, passive meadows
Play that nocturnal melody---home, sweet home, to me.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
tjwhitephilosphe
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What I consider to be my best poem

Post by tjwhitephilosphe » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:10 am

For Stephen

Domine, si fuisses hic, frater meus non fuisset mortuus …
Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem. …


The day we met, a friend’s guitar you played,
Intent on winning my esteem;
Exuberant you, but I was plain and staid;
To me, you were a handsome dream.

I could but marvel what it was that made
You seek the likes of humble me—
But oh, you did! With charm, you slyly bade
Me take the gift you gave for free.

Your gracious gift was laughter, and your smiles,
The special friendship that we shared,
Our times alone, your ever-present wiles,
And even the lonely heart you bared.

Oh, life was very happy—just for me.
What spoke for you? Your tender touch …
My only likely fault (if fault it be)
Was that I loved you, far too much.

___________________________


The morning that you died, my special boy,
I scarce could take the sad news in;
My Day grew dark, my life devoid of joy,
My Soul, too, had died within.

“How can a young man in his strength and prime,”
With rage I cried aloud to God,
“Be riven, and laid to waste, before his time?
Not him, not him! On me thy Rod!”

Yet all these years have passed, and still I go,
Resigned, with heavy heart, and pause
In deep reflection at your grave, and know:
No grief, though great, annuls God’s laws.

Pitiless and inexorable, His decree,
From now until eternity;
Not for the likes of you, or humble me,
Were joys like ours meant to be free!

________________________

There is no help for me (I realise),
A grieving Sinner of less worth;
Cruel Death, you’ve stolen away a priceless prize:
The Flower of this fading Earth!
N8N
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Post by N8N » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:32 am

I got a funny one

Here I sit broken hearted
Paid a dime and only farted

Seen that in an outhouse. :)
CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:31 pm

Emily Dickinson

Mortality is fatal --
Gentility is fine,
Rascality, heroic,
Insolvency, sublime!
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
A J
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Post by A J » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:31 pm

We've been talking lately, on a couple of threads, about our separation from nature, and the harm we do in not honoring her. I thought I might share a poem I wrote for a creative writing class. It was inspired by my first experience with a hurricane. The storm originated in the Gulf, and took a beeline, nearly straight north, making landfall directly south of my hometown, Orange, Texas, in June of 1957 with almost no warning time. A link to a Wikipedia article about the storm follows the poem.

"Lady Audrey"
Ann Levingston Joiner
Pulse Magazine
Lamar University Press
Fall, 1979


"With gusting winds up to ninety miles..."
Came the hollow voice from the box that sat
Beside the candle on the table.
The older ones listened quietly.

While we, to young to know restraint
And just too old to be afraid,
Disdainfully moved to the porch outside.
The driving rain whipped our coats in the wind.

From there we watched it whip the limbs
Of an oak that stood across the yard
Whose limbs grew tall and straight and strong.
It fiercely stood against the storm.

But then, we saw, on one side of the tree,
A bulge begin to form on the ground,
Growing bigger, and bigger, and bigger still.
The tree began leaning the other way.

And as we watched in awe, we saw
It leaning further and further still,
Until only its branches were holding it up.
They snapped as the tree sank slowly down.

The bulge on the ground became its roots
And as they pulled up on the other side,
They forced up a piece of concrete walk.
A slab, raised erect, loomed grey and dark.

Inside, subdued, we sat with the others
By the flickering candle on the table,
Transfixed as the black box spoke again.
"Cameron, Louisiana; over 200 dead..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Audrey

AJ
"Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy."

A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living
CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:03 pm

Thank you, AJ. Gave me goose bumps.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
Ercan2121
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Post by Ercan2121 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:10 am

Here's a few lines from a different sentimental climate :)
I would die in the spring
Under the cherry blossoms
In the second month
At the time of full moon


Saigyō Hōshi (1118 – March 23, 1190), Japanese Poet
Dionysus
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Post by Dionysus » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:50 pm

Ercan, Nice! Thanks.
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Post by creekmary » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:11 am

My brother and sister put dad in a nursing home and I'm fighting to get him out. It's inspired me to quote him some more:

My daddy taught me not to play
Even though he cannot speak
I hear his "fightin' words"
Don't assume the man you fight
doesnt aim to kill ya
That's bringing a knife to a gunfight
If you're not ready to pull the trigger
don't even start to play

Susan
Ozma
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Post by Ozma » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:30 am

Self Portrait
by David Whyte

It doesn't interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.
Ozma
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Post by Ozma » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:34 am

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
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Post by Dionysus » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:27 pm

Are love poems corny? Here is my latest attempt.


For the first time
in a fortnight
She comes to me
in her naked self,
An invitation
to drop all pretense
And enjoy the other in our animal selves;
but not solely animal,
For in that space,
that heart-shaped space
(where the four corners
become all corners
Spinning in a circle
of divine energy)
Time is stretched -
Its depths plumbed, rhythmically,
Now slow, now fast,
Transcendent of the merely us
in a dance
Of our divine auras,
our light, our eternal light.
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