For no one, in our long decline,So dusty, spiteful and divided,Had quite such pleasant friends as mine,Or loved them half as much as I did. [stanza 3]The library was most inviting:The books upon the crowded shelvesWere mainly of our private writing:We kept a school and taught ourselves. [stanza 15]From quiet homes and first beginning,Out to the undiscovered ends,Theres nothing worth the wear of winning,But laughter and the love of friends. [stanza 22]You do retain the song we set,And how it rises, trips and scans?You keep the sacred memory yet,Republicans? Republicans?[stanza 36]
Until then I had lived as I had painted and versified - that is, I never got far beyond priming canvas, beyond penning an outline, a first act, a first stanza. There are simply people who start all sorts of things and yet never finish any of them. And that was the kind of person I was.
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
Judge that boy if you must; for debauchery, for objectifying innocence... but before you finalize your verdict, oh innocent reader, I beg you to scan again that last stanza. What you and I overlooked in our cloud of perversion and nasty objectification was the unrestrained joy of a little girl playing dress-up for the very first time.
Jake Vander Ark
I have said this to explain the stanza that follows, in which the soul replies to those who call in question its holy tranquillity, who will have it wholly occupied with outward duties, that its light may shine before the world: these persons have no conception of the fibres and the unseen root whence the sap is drawn, and which nourish the fruit.
John of the Cross
Reviewers have called my books 'novels in verse.' I think of them as written in prose, but I do use stanzas. Stanza means 'room' in Latin, and I wanted there to be 'room' - breathing opportunities to receive thoughts and have time to come out of them before starting again at the left margin.
Virginia Euwer Wolff
Rhymes, meters, stanza forms, etc., are like servants. If the master is fair enough to win their affection and firm enough to command their respect, the result is an orderly happy household. If he is too tyrannical, they give notice; if he lacks authority, they become slovenly, impertinent, drunk and dishonest.
W. H. Auden
Most people who idealize strength are ignorant of how it is acquired. Someone who is in constant agony does not notice a prick of the finger. Profound suffering sets a higher threshold, allowing one to bear with ease that which would have been burdensome before. If you wish to be strong, know first that this is the path of it. -The Holy Scrolls of Soeck, Seventh Binding, Thirteenth Stanza
Aaron Lee Yeager
On occasions, after drinking a pint of beer at luncheon, there would be a flow into my mind with sudden and unaccountable emotion, sometimes a line or two of verse, sometimes a whole stanza, accompanied, not preceded by a vague notion of the poem which they were destined to form a part of.... I say bubble up because, so far as I could make out, the source of the suggestions thus proffered to the brain was the pit of the stomach.
A. E. Housman
Had I only known my letters Would be of such importance I'd empty myself on paper Every single morning' And it was for such reason, as she read his little stanza, that she decided to stamp one final letter: 'Every single morning I'd empty myself on paper You were my greater importance That's why I wrote you letters.
Madame V begins the lesson by reading aloud the first stanza of a famous French poem: Il pleure dans mon coeur Comme il pleut sur la ville; Quelle est cette langueur Qui penetre mon coeur? Then she looks up and without any warning she calls on me to translate it. I swallow hard, and try: "It's raining in my heart like it's raining in the city. What is this sadness that pierces my heart?" Saying these words out loud, right in front of the whole class, makes me feel like I'm not wearing any clothes.
Ricordere² la tua piccola stanza, la sensazione di te, la luce nella finestra, i tuoi dischi, i tuoi libri, il nostro caffe¨ al mattino, i nostri pomeriggi, le nostre notti, i nostri corpi attaccati, il piccolo flusso di energia, immediato e per sempre. Le tue gambe, le mie gambe, le tue braccia, le mie braccia, il tuo sorriso ed il tuo calore quando mi facevi ridere ancora.
Mi tese le labbra, si liscie² nuovamente i capelli, e uscimmo dalla stanza, Marguerite cantando, io quasi impazzito. Nel salotto mi disse a bassa voce, fermandosi: "Vi sare sembrato strano che io vi abbia accettato subito: lo sapete da cosa dipende? Dipende" riprese, prendendomi una mano ed appoggiandosela sul cuore, di cui sentii i battiti violenti e accelerati, "dal fatto che, dovendo vivere meno a lungo degli altri, mi sono ripromessa di vivere pie¹ in fretta.
Shhh, ' Mr. Winston whispered into her hair. 'It's going to be okay. It's going to be okay.' He said it over and over again, just as the boy had done when she was at her most helpless. He rocked her with each stanza of the hypnotic prayer, and she melted into his arms, letting him be her strength as she cried into his chest. 'I couldn't keep her, ' she finally mustered, wiping her nose against his scratchy flannel. 'Shhh... ' he repeated. He kissed the top of her head and then stood. With surprising strength, the elderly man lifted her as if she weighed nothing, bringing her to the car. He opened the car door with one hand, sat her in the front seat, and then buckled her in like she was a child. Exhausted, Maddie didn't fight him or try to do it on her own. She needed someone else to be in charge for a while. She needed to be taken care of.
Hardy's astonishing technical versatility has won the admiration of major poets from Ezra Pound and Cecil Day Lewis to Philip Larkin. Among other genres he employs the lyric, narrative, ballads, and the sonnet. He also moves easily between the amplitude of dramatic monologue and the compression of imagism. He experiments continually with an ingenious variety of stanza forms and rhyme schemes, rejecting the fluidity of contemporary poetry for his own idiosyncratic style, based on a real understanding of the variety of speech rhythms and registers. Each individual poem is designed to express in its language and form, and with utter honesty, Hardy's impressions of life.
The first stanza of Eyes In Moonlight Drown, a poem from DeadVerse. With your face framed in a halo of stars, your hair melts into trailing clouds, and your eyes in moonlight drown. A man could lose himself in those freckled irises, reflecting the galaxies above; surely he could fall into their promise of eternity, of Heaven, of love. Your lips glisten, part, and beckon, a smile of warm invitation, a suggestion of sweet intensity, a loss of self in addictive agony. For we translate these aesthetics into something mystical; ideas of fantasy, of fiction, obscuring the clinical truth of chemical reactions, electric sparks, responses as sure as gravity, measurable yet beyond cold, above philosophy and below truth.
La giovanissima Crisalide la guarde² con una determinazione troppo straordinaria per essere di questa terra e troppo grande per appartenere al suo piccolo cuore, poi fece un cenno con la mano alle altre due bambine che si trovavano nella stanza. Due piccole figure incappucciate e avvolte una, in un mantello nero e l'altra, in uno candido le si avvicinarono e presero le sue mani. Le tre bambine guardarono al di le della porta finestra, i loro occhi attraversarono la piazza, la citte e andarono lontano, alla ricerca dell'anello mancante, l'anello finale della loro catena, quello che avrebbe potuto salvarle o distruggerle.
Ritengo di essere capace di leggere un poco nell'animo delle persone che mi circondano. Forse non e¨ cose¬. Nelle mie giornate migliori ho l'impressione di scrutare in fondo all'animo altrui, anche se non sono poi una gran testa. Siamo seduti in una stanza, qualche uomo, qualche donna e io. e mi sembra di vedere quel che accade dentro queste persone, e cosa pensano di me. Attribuisco un significato ad ogni cenno che appare nei loro occhi, a volte il sangue sale alle loro guance e le fa arrossire, altre volte fingono di guardare da un'altra parte e invece mi tengono d'occhio di nascosto. E io sto li e osservo tutto questo e nessuno sospetta che metto a nudo ogni anima.
Parigi non e¨ una citte , e¨ l'immagine, il segno, il simbolo della Francia, il suo presente e il suo passato, l'immagine della sua storia, della sua geografia, della sua pie¹ recondita essenza. E' una citte intrisa di significati, pie¹ di Londra, Madrid, Stoccolma e Mosca, quasi allo stesso modo di Pietroburgo, New York o Roma. Parigi trasuda questi significati, ha tanti aspetti, e¨ sfaccettata, parla di futuro e di passato, e¨ stracolma di manifestazioni del presente, sprigiona l'aura pesante, ricca e densa del tempo in cui viviamo. Non ci si pue² vivere ignorandola, non e¨ possibile isolarsi, rinchiudersi: penetra comunque in casa, nella stanza, in noi stessi, ci cambiere , ci costringe re a crescere, a invecchiare, rovinandoci o innalzandoci, forse uccidendoci. Esiste presente ed eterna, sta intorno e dentro di noi. Puoi amarla o odiarla, ma non le sfuggirai. Parigi suscita una catena di associazioni e tu stesso ne sei un anello. Avvinto, non sei pie¹ quello di prima: ti inghiotte, ma e¨ tua, vi siete mangiati a vicenda, ti scorre nel sangue.
Attorno a noi ci sono colori che prima non avevo mai notato. Il blu dei pavimenti. L'azzurro degli infissi. Il giallo ocra nelle ombre. Le sfumature viola sui soffitti, e dentro agli occhi della gente. Gli aloni verdi dei nostri destini. E le sbarre: all'improvviso sono dappertutto. Sulle porte, alle finestre, tra i nostri comuni pensieri. Il vecchio frenocomio non mi era mai sembrato tanto vivo, e presente, come da quando abbiamo ucciso il suo passato. Prima, gli echi delle sue storie erano molto pie¹ forti. Adesso, le nostre vi si sono sovrapposte. Difficile stabilire a chi appartengano le grida che si odono di notte. Mi chiedo se forse non siamo tutti connessi - noi, che restiamo, e coloro che hanno perso l'occasione per andare - nel nostro sentirci dimenticati da chi amiamo. Ma forse e¨ solo quello che succede in ogni parte della terra. In fondo, siamo tutti prigionieri di qualcosa. Di una stanza. Di noi stessi. Non c'e¨ peggior luogo di reclusione di un cuore abbandonato. E non c'e¨ peggiore abbandono di quello di chi si abbandona da solo.
Sara Zelda Mazzini
I would not tell this court that I do not hope that some time, when life and age have changed their bodies, as they do, and have changed their emotions, as they do - that they may once more return to life. I would be the last person on earth to close the door of hope to any human being that lives, and least of all to my clients. But what have they to look forward to? Nothing. And I think here of the stanza of Housman: Now hollow fires burn out to black, And lights are fluttering low: Square your shoulders, lift your pack And leave your friends and go. O never fear, lads, naught's to dread, Look not left nor right: In all the endless road you tread There's nothing but the night... Here it Leopold's father - and this boy was the pride of his life. He watched him, he cared for him, he worked for him; the boy was brilliant and accomplished, he educated him, and he thought that fame and position awaited him, as it should have awaited. It is a hard thing for a father to see his life's hopes crumble into dust... I know the future is with me, and what I stand for here; not merely for the lives of these two unfortunate lads, but for all boys and all girls; for all of the young, and as far as possible, for all of the old. I am pleading for life, understanding, charity, kindness, and the infinite mercy that considers all. I am pleading that we overcome cruelty with kindness and hatred with love. I know the future is on my side. Your Honor stands between the past and the future. You may hang these boys; you may hang them by the neck until they are dead. But in doing it you will turn your face toward the past... I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by reason and judgment and understanding that all life is worth saving, and that mercy is the highest attribute of man... I am sure I do not need to tell this court, or to tell my friends that I would fight just as hard for the poor as for the rich. If I should succeed, my greatest reward and my greatest hope will be that... I have done something to help human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love. I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayye¡m. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love, I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.
Marginalia Sometimes the notes are ferocious, skirmishes against the author raging along the borders of every page in tiny black script. If I could just get my hands on you, Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien, they seem to say, I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head. Other comments are more offhand, dismissive - Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" - that kind of thing. I remember once looking up from my reading, my thumb as a bookmark, trying to imagine what the person must look like who wrote "Don't be a ninny" alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson. Students are more modest needing to leave only their splayed footprints along the shore of the page. One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's. Another notes the presence of "Irony" fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal. Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers, Hands cupped around their mouths. Absolutely, " they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!" Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points rain down along the sidelines. And if you have managed to graduate from college without ever having written "Man vs. Nature" in a margin, perhaps now is the time to take one step forward. We have all seized the white perimeter as our own and reached for a pen if only to show we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages; we pressed a thought into the wayside, planted an impression along the verge. Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria jotted along the borders of the Gospels brief asides about the pains of copying, a bird singing near their window, or the sunlight that illuminated their page- anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves. And you have not read Joshua Reynolds, they say, until you have read him enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling. Yet the one I think of most often, the one that dangles from me like a locket, was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye I borrowed from the local library one slow, hot summer. I was just beginning high school then, reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room, and I cannot tell you how vastly my loneliness was deepened, how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed, when I found on one page A few greasy looking smears and next to them, written in soft pencil- by a beautiful girl, I could tell, whom I would never meet- Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.
Bisognerebbe saper attendere, raccogliere, per una vita intera e possibilmente lunga, senso e dolcezza, e poi, proprio alla fine, si potrebbero forse scrivere dieci righe valide. Perche i versi non sono, come crede la gente, sentimenti (che si acquistano precocemente), sono esperienze. Per scrivere un verso bisogna vedere molte citte , uomini e cose, bisogna conoscere gli animali, bisogna capire il volo degli uccelli e comprendere il gesto con cui i piccoli fiori si aprono al mattino. Bisogna saper ripensare a itinerari in regioni sconosciute, a incontri inaspettati e congedi previsti da tempo, a giorni dell'infanzia ancora indecifrati, ai genitori che eravamo costretti a ferire quando portavano una gioia e non la comprendevamo (era una gioia per qualcun altro), a malattie infantili che cominciavano in modo cose¬ strano con tante profonde e grevi trasformazioni, a giorni in stanze silenziose e raccolte e a mattine sul mare, al mare sopratutto, a mari, a notti di viaggio che passavano con un alto fruscio e volavano assieme alle stelle - e ancora non e¨ sufficiente poter pensare a tutto questo. Bisogna avere ricordi di molte notti d'amore, nessuna uguale all'altra, di grida di partorienti e di lievi, bianche puerpere addormentate che si rimarginano. Ma bisogna anche essere stati accanto ad agonizzanti, bisogna essere rimasti vicino ai morti nella stanza con la finestra aperta e i rumori intermittenti. E non basta ancora avere ricordi. Bisogna saperli dimenticare, quando sono troppi, e avere la grande pazienza di attendere che ritornino. Perche i ricordi in se ancora non sono. Solo quando diventano sangue in noi, sguardo e gesto, anonimi e non pie¹ distinguibili da noi stessi, soltanto allora pue² accadere che in un momento eccezionale si levi dal loro centro e sgorghi la prima parola di un verso.
Rainer Maria Rilke