crowdog66: (peter rabbit)
Time again for one of my favourite poems of all time... I intend to read this at my husband's funeral, and I hope that it will be read at mine in turn.

When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted
by Rudyard Kipling

When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded,
And the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it! --
Lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen
Shall put us to work anew.

And those that were good shall be happy;
They shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas
With brushes of comets' hair.
They shall find real saints to draw from --
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all!

And only The Master shall praise us,
And only The Master shall blame;
And no one shall work for money,
And no one shall work for fame,
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It
For the God of Things as They are!
crowdog66: (Default)
I just found out that the last NaNoWriMo write-in in our city will be happening at our largest public library on the same evening as a Dead Poet's Society reading, to which people are free to bring their favorite poems from deceased authors. Here's the one I'll be bringing... one that always brings a tear to my eye.

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When Earth's Last Picture is Painted
by Rudyard Kipling

When Earth's last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it -- lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew!

And those that were good shall be happy: they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets' hair;
They shall find real saints to draw from -- Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!

And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;
And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!
crowdog66: (Default)
Painting to the right of me... fanfic to the left of me...

(Go here for a link to a reading of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Tennyson himself, recorded on Edison wax cylinder back in 1890. When I played it on our computer, Emmie, who had been sound asleep in one of the studio chairs, suddenly sat up and stared at the computer intently with her head bobbing up and down, licking her lips every so often. This leads me to believe that she is either (a) the reincarnation of the great poet himself reacting to the distant sound of his own voice, or (b) just weird.)

It's been a very busy couple of days.

The finished version of "Wishes", now titled "Sleepless" (in a classic example of Names That Should Have Been Obvious From The Start), is available here. Comments are sweeter than chocolate.

Off to work again, taking breaks every couple of hours to pound out the prose that's pouring into my brain from wherever creative writing comes from. Perhaps my own personal Muse. Perhaps the same dimension that swallows lost socks.

Yes, I am getting a little bit punch-drunk. Is it that obvious?
crowdog66: (Default)
One of my favorite poems of all time. Fair warning: It begins whimsically but turns into a horror movie about six stanzas from the end.

The Walrus and the Carpenter )
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crowdog66: (Default)
I knew that the version of When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted that I'd posted yesterday wasn't quite right. Fortunately I found the correct version, which can be found under the cut, along with another Kipling poem, The Hymn of Breaking Strain.

Oh, veiled and secret Power Whose paths we seek in vain )
crowdog66: (Default)
A few days ago I came across one of my favorite poems ever, by one of my all-time favorite writers. As an artist this particular piece really hits home. If George dies before me, this is what will be going on the back of his memorial pamphlet.

When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted
by Rudyard Kipling

When Earth's last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it -- lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew.
And those that were good shall be happy; they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets' hair.
They shall find real saints to draw from -- Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!

And only The Master shall praise us, and only The Master shall blame;
Andd no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They are!
crowdog66: (Default)
the realm of my pain is
a place apart from
the rest of the world where
lush-leaved branches sway in warm winds
and women in bright
summer dresses walk the avenues
confident as Cleopatra

the body, microcosm
and macrocosm
places barriers around invaders
foreign to the system
nothing can touch me here
where I crouch, starving and raw
in spirit, naked
and alone

I want to give all the money in my purse
to a beggar on the street corner
knowing that soon I will not need it
anymore
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crowdog66: (Default)
One Walt Whitman, and three Amy Lowell:

When I heard at the Close of the Day

When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv'd
with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for
me that follow'd,
And else when I carous'd, or when my plans were accomplish'd, still
I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health,
refresh'd, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the
morning light,
When I wander'd alone over the beach, and undressing bathed,
laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way
coming, O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food
nourish'd me more, and the beautiful day pass'd well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came
my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly
continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me
whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in
the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast--and that night I was happy.

-- Walt Whitman


Decade

When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.

-- Amy Lowell


Madonna of the Evening Flowers

All day long I have been working,
Now I am tired
I call: "Where are you?"
But there is only the oak-tree rustling in the wind.
The house is very quiet,
The sun shines in on your books,
On your scissors and thimble just put down,
But you are not there.
Suddenly I am lonely:
Where are you? I go about searching.

Then I see you,
Standing under a spire of pale blue larkspur,
With a basket of roses on your arm.
You are cool, like silver,
And you smile.
I think the Canterbury bells are playing little tunes.

You tell me that the peonies need spraying,
That the columbines have overrun all bounds,
That the pyrus japonica should be cut back and rounded.
You tell me all these things.
But I look at you, heart of silver,
White heart-flame of polished silver,
Burning beneath the blue steeples of the larkspur,
And I long to kneel instantly at your feet,
While all about us peal the loud, sweet, Te Deums of the Canterbury bells.

-- Amy Lowell


Taxi

When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?

-- Amy Lowell
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