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KillgoreTrout On November - 25 - 2011

Poet's Ally In Central Park

There is not, throughout the whole book called the Bible, any word that describes to us what we call a poet, nor any word that describes what we call poetry. The case is, that the word prophet, to which latter times have affixed a new idea, was the Bible word for poet, and the word prophesying meant the art of making poetry. It also meant the art of playing poetry to a tune upon any instrument of music.

This poem or “prophecy,” appears in the book Jeremiah, with the last two lines written by Thomas Paine in 1794;

 

“O! that mine head were waters and mine eyes”
Were fountains flowing like the liquid skies;
Then would I give the mighty flood release,
And weep a deluge for the human race.

 

So, in this sense, poets and song writers are modern day prophets. They don’t “predict,” as the modern day use of the term “prophesy” means today. Poetry and songwriting can be “prophetic,” or “prescient,” in many cases. Some truths never change. Some art is timeless, like this poem by Ralph W. Emerson;

A moody child and wildly wise
Pursued the game with joyful eyes,
Which chose, like meteors, their way,
And rived the dark with private ray:
They overleapt the horizon’s edge,
Searched with Apollo’s privilege;
Through man, and woman, and sea, and star,
Saw the dance of Nature forward far;
Through worlds, and races, and terms, and times
Saw musical order, and pairing rhymes.

Walt Whitman is said to have been the first to publish free verse and escape the chains of rhyme. Here is one of my favorite examples;

I Hear It Was Charged Against Me

I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions,
But really I am neither for nor against institutions,
(What indeed have I in common with them? or what with the destruction
of them?)
Only I will establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these
States, inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, and above every keel little or large that
dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.

 

I am no Emerson or Whitman, but I’ll add two of my own;

 

Hope For Man

 

Ah! That eternal carrot dangling from its

Stick, forever before the eyes of man.

The unreachable promise forever in our future,

And our songs of harmony in a darkened past

Groped for that dangling prize

Just out of reach:

A promise moving away from the promised;

A ghostly seeking for that shiny shore.

 

Now is our blood coursing through our veins,

With each drawn breath of the present,

A place not clouded by (then and yet),

Nor is life unfettered to (I did) and (I will do):

The eye and ear decipher truth in light

And never in the deep dark pitch of night.–Killgore Trout

 

 

Oh Sweet You

 

Oh! Sweet you

In your wonderful  so-ever innocence;

You sparked my primordial heart.

This charge of renewal traversed

Your eyeless fingers,

To kiss my fingerless eyes.

Truth really is beauty

And ugliness scorns unlike.–Killgore Trout

 

 

Birdsong Stilled

 

In the time it takes

To read a poem,

A bird stills it’s song

And at the end resumes;

As if to know

A poet’s love.–Killgore Trout

 

I hoped you enjoyed this piece and I welcome any feedback and hope to see some of your originals, or just some of your favorites by other poets. 😉

 

 

Written by KillgoreTrout

Once a wander, working vagabond, fellow traveler on this 3rd stone from the sun. Hurtling through space and time. Lover of books (especially the classics), all kinds of books from novels, poetry, essay collections, fiction and nonfiction and a big Kurt Vonnegut fan. I am a secular humanist and technically an atheist.....Taoist.

11 Responses so far.

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  1. SueInCa says:

    KT
    I am not a connoisseur of poetry, but I did like yours. One of my favorites is:

    Gone From My Sight
    by Henry Van Dyke

    I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
    spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
    for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
    I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
    of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

    Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

    Gone where?

    Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
    hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
    And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

    Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
    And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
    there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
    ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

    Whenever I have a friend who loses a loved one, I usually send that poem to them hoping to help them to know their loved one has gone to a place where everyone knows them.

  2. coveark says:

    Oh Sweet You…………very nice, very touching.

    • Thank you for the feedback Coveark. I’m glad you liked it.

      • coveark says:

        Well, I am not very high brow but in the field of poetry, I must be’ touched’ in some way to enjoy it.

        My personal favorite since I can remember is Little Boy Blue by Eugene Field. Some say the boy grew up. I think not………

        • I don’t think anybody needs to be “high brow,” to enjoy poetry. I don’t consider myself anywhere near “high brow.” I think poetry just touches different people in different ways. If it speaks to you, or some part of you in a way you can relate to, then the poet has done his/her job.
          I never formally studied poetry, I just developed a strong interest in it and found it a way to express myself. Poetry shouldn’t be incomprehensible. IMO

          • coveark says:

            So true, If it expresses something ( anything) which you wish to convey…..It IS an expression of what is within..Happy, sad, descriptive, observant, angry or fanciful…. Good work, Glad you found an interest and a joy.


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