Category Archives: Reminder

Gloire de Dijon

D.H. Lawrence

Gloire de DijonWhen she rises in the morning

I linger to watch her;

She spreads the bath-cloth underneath the window

And the sunbeams catch her

Glistening white on the shoulders,

While down her sides the mellow

Golden shadow glows as

She stoops to the sponge, and her swung breasts

Sway like full-blown yellow

Gloire de Dijon roses.

She drips herself with water, and her shoulders

Glisten as silver, they crumple up

Like wet and falling roses, and I listen

For the sluicing of their rain-dishevelled petals.

In the window full of sunlight

Concentrates her golden shadow

Fold on fold, until it glows as

Mellow as the glory roses.
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On January 25 we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for selections to-date.

 

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A Little Budding Rose

by Emily Bronte

A Little Budding RoseIt was a little budding rose,

Round like a fairy globe,

And shyly did its leaves unclose

Hid in their mossy robe,

But sweet was the slight and spicy smell

It breathed from its heart invisible.
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The rose is blasted, withered, blighted,

Its root has felt a worm,

And like a heart beloved and slighted,

Failed, faded, shrunk its form.

Bud of beauty, bonnie flower,

I stole thee from thy natal bower.
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I was the worm that withered thee,

Thy tears of dew all fell for me;

Leaf and stalk and rose are gone,

Exile earth they died upon.

Yes, that last breath of balmy scent

With alien breezes sadly blent!
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A reminder that we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor on January 25, 2018. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for selections to-date.

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The Sick Rose

William Blake

The Sick RoseO Rose thou art sick.

The invisible worm,

That flies in the night

In the howling storm:
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Has found out thy bed

Of crimson joy:

And his dark secret love

Does thy life destroy.
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The “Sick Rose” is one of the poems to be featured when we celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor on January 25, 2018. Please bring your own illustration of this genre for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for selections to-date.

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“The White Rose of Paradise” From Dante’s Divine Comedy, “Paradiso”

The White Rose.jpg

O splendour of God! by means of which I saw

The lofty triumph of the realm veracious,

Give me the power to say how it I saw!

There is a light above, which visible

Makes the Creator unto every creature,

Who only in beholding Him has peace,

 And it expands itself in circular form

To such extent, that its circumference

Would be too large a girdle for the sun.

 The semblance of it is all made of rays

Reflected from the top of Primal Motion,

Which takes therefrom vitality and power.

 And as a hill in water at its base

Mirrors itself, as if to see its beauty

When affluent most in verdure and in flowers,

 So, ranged aloft all round about the light,

Mirrored I saw in more ranks than a thousand

All who above there have from us returned.

And if the lowest row collect within it

So great a light, how vast the amplitude

Is of this Rose in its extremest leaves!

My vision in the vastness and the height

Lost not itself, but comprehended all

The quantity and quality of that gladness.

There near and far nor add nor take away;

For there where God immediately doth govern,

The natural law in naught is relevant.

Into the yellow of the Rose Eternal

That spreads, and multiplies, and breathes an odour

Of praise unto the ever-vernal Sun,

As one who silent is and fain would speak,

Me Beatrice drew on, and said: “Behold

Of the white stoles how vast the convent is!

Behold how vast the circuit of our city!

Behold our seats so filled to overflowing,

That here henceforward are few people wanting!

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– Canto XXX, “Paradiso” by Dante, translated from Italian by Henry Longfellow
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A reminder that we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor on January 25, 2018. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly.

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Chiaroscuro: Rose

Conrad Aiken

Chiaroscuro RoseHe

Fill your bowl with roses: the bowl, too, have of crystal.

Sit at the western window. Take the sun

Between your hands like a ball of flaming crystal,

Poise it to let it fall, but hold it still,

And meditate on the beauty of your existence;

The beauty of this, that you exist at all.

She

The sun goes down, — but without lamentation.

I close my eyes, and the stream of my sensation

In this, at least, grows clear to me:

Beauty is a word that has no meaning.

Beauty is naught to me.

He

The last blurred raindrops fall from the half-clear sky,

Eddying lightly, rose-tinged, in the windless wake of the sun.

The swallow ascending against cold waves of cloud

Seems winging upward over huge bleak stairs of stone.

The raindrop finds its way to the heart of the leaf-bud.

But no word finds its way to the heart of you.

She

This also is clear in the stream of my sensation:

That I am content, for the moment, Let me be.

How light the new grass looks with the rain-dust on it!

But heart is a word that has no meaning,

Heart means nothing to me.

He

To the end of the world I pass and back again

In flights of the mind; yet always find you here,

Remote, pale, unattached . . . O Circe-too-clear-eyed,

Watching amused your fawning tiger-thoughts,

Your wolves, your grotesque apes — relent, relent!

Be less wary for once: it is the evening.

She

But if I close my eyes what howlings greet me!

Do not persuade. Be tranquil. Here is flesh

With all its demons. Take it, sate yourself.

But leave my thoughts to me.
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On January 25 we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly.

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Dear Rose

By Ocean Vuong

Introduction by Ben Lerner

Dear RoseOceans and roses are surely among the most shopworn images in poetry, as Ocean Vuong is well aware: “I place your finger on a flower so / familiar it’s almost synthetic.” In this poem, however, Rose is not only the English name of the speaker’s mother, Hong, but a metaphor for displacement: from Vietnamese to English, and from speech to writing, since this is a poem addressed to a mother who cannot read it. The rose is no longer Shakespeare’s (or whoever’s) symbol of fleeting beauty. Instead, “like something ruptured / by a bullet,” the rose is a wound or, later, the open mouth of the infant Ocean. We’ve been told that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but Hong, who has become Rose as a result of a colonial war, knows that a name must “bear the scent of its corpses.”
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Part of the power of this poem derives from its eloquent ambivalence about its own power. A book seems to open like a door, only to shut like a coffin lid. The poet admits that he imposes the significance he hopes to discover in the zigzagging patterns of ants. In lieu of action, vacillation: “I put in the fish sauce I take out / the fish sauce.” Other voices discourage him: “stop writing / about your mother they said.” And so on. Vuong’s compelling mixture of determination and doubt shapes the form of the poem, which combines a strict stanzaic pattern with heavily enjambed lines, one meaning dissolving into another across the margins like the “linear / fish-spine dissolved by time” in the sauce that Rose prepares. The fish sauce is Rose’s art and, like Ocean’s, it both preserves and destroys, transforms and crushes — a composition that depends on decomposition: “these words these / insects anchovies bullets salvaged / & exiled by art.”
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Read the complete article and the poem
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On January 25 we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly.

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The Rose of Battle

W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939

The Rose of BattleRose of all Roses, Rose of all the World!

The tall thought-woven sails, that flap unfurled

Above the tide of hours, trouble the air,

And God’s bell buoyed to be the water’s care;

While hushed from fear, or loud with hope, a band

With blown, spray-dabbled hair gather at hand,

Turn if you may from battles never done,

I call, as they go by me one by one,

Danger no refuge holds, and war no peace,

For him who hears love sing and never cease,

Beside her clean-swept hearth, her quiet shade:

But gather all for whom no love hath made

A woven silence, or but came to cast

A song into the air, and singing passed

To smile on the pale dawn; and gather you

Who have sought more than is in rain or dew,

Or in the sun and moon, or on the earth,

Or sighs amid the wandering, starry mirth,

Or comes in laughter from the sea’s sad lips,

And wage God’s battles in the long grey ships.

The sad, the lonely, the insatiable,

To these Old Night shall all her mystery tell;

God’s bell has claimed them by the little cry

Of their sad hearts, that may not live nor die.

Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World!

You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled

Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring

The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.

Beauty grown sad with its eternity

Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea.

Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait,

For God has bid them share an equal fate;

And when at last, defeated in His wars,

They have gone down under the same white stars,

We shall no longer hear the little cry

Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die.
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Read the poem and the legend about “The Róisín Dubh” (the “Dark Rose,” pronounced “Row sheen dove”) in English and Irish Gaelic.
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On January 25 we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly.

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A Dead Rose

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

A dead roseO Rose! who dares to name thee?

No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet;

But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubble-wheat,—

Kept seven years in a drawer—thy titles shame thee.
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The breeze that used to blow thee

Between the hedgerow thorns, and take away

An odour up the lane to last all day,—

If breathing now,—unsweetened would forego thee.
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The sun that used to smite thee,

And mix his glory in thy gorgeous urn,

Till beam appeared to bloom, and flower to burn,—

If shining now,—with not a hue would light thee.
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The dew that used to wet thee,

And, white first, grow incarnadined, because

It lay upon thee where the crimson was,—

If dropping now,—would darken where it met thee.
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The fly that lit upon thee,

To stretch the tendrils of its tiny feet,

Along thy leaf’s pure edges, after heat,—

If lighting now,—would coldly overrun thee.
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The bee that once did suck thee,

And build thy perfumed ambers up his hive,

And swoon in thee for joy, till scarce alive,—

If passing now,—would blindly overlook thee.
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The heart doth recognise thee,

Alone, alone! The heart doth smell thee sweet,

Doth view thee fair, doth judge thee most complete,—

Though seeing now those changes that disguise thee.
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Yes, and the heart doth owe thee

More love, dead rose! than to such roses bold

As Julia wears at dances, smiling cold!—

Lie still upon this heart—which breaks below thee!
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On January 25 we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly.

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“Go, lovely Rose”

By Edmund Waller

Go, lovely RoseGo, lovely Rose—

Tell her that wastes her time and me,

That now she knows,

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be.
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Tell her that’s young,

And shuns to have her graces spied,

That hadst thou sprung

In deserts where no men abide,

Thou must have uncommended died.
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Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired:

Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,

And not blush so to be admired.
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Then die—that she

The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee;

How small a part of time they share

That are so wondrous sweet and fair!
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Listen to the Oklahoma State University Concert Chorale (Z. Randall Stroope, Composer/Conductor) sing “Go, Lovely Rose.”
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A reminder that we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor on January 25, 2018. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly.

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A humourous reminder from The New Yorker that we will feature poetry from the Tang Dynasty on November 23

A humourous reminder from The New YorkerDownload (from Sharon): POETRY OF THE T’ANG

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