Category Archives: Poets and Poetry

why must itself up every of a park

why must itself up every of a park

why must itself up every of a park
anus stick some quote statue unquote to
prove that a hero equals any jerk
who was afraid to dare to answer “no”?
quote citizens unquote might otherwise
forget(to err is human;to forgive
divine)that if the quote state unquote says
“kill” killing is an act of christian love.
“Nothing” in 1944 AD
“can stand against the argument of mil
itary necessity”(generalissimo e)
and echo answers “there is no appeal
from reason”(freud)–you pays your money and
you doesn’t take your choice. Ain’t freedom grand

e.e. cummings

See more here.

Girl Recites Angelou’s “Amazing Peace”

What a wonderful way to begin Christmas dinner! A young girl in a family in Grand Rapids, Michigan does a wonderful job reading aloud “Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem” by Maya Angelou.

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.
We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal’s, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.

– Maya Angelou

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is a Christmas carol based on the 1863 poem “Christmas Bells,” written by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.. He wrote it on Christmas morning upon hearing that his son, a Union soldier, had been wounded. His wife had recently died in a fire. The poem wasn’t turned into a song until at least 10 years after it was written, by an English organist named John Baptiste Calker.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said:
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

St. Venantius Fortunatus, Dec. 13

Venantius Fortunatus Reading His Poems to Radegonda VI.

Venantius Fortunatus Reading His Poems to Radegonda VI.

Quick shout-out to Saint Venantius Fortunatus, a poet and Bishop of the early Church who died in 610. He was a big fan of Saint Martin of Tours, one of the greatest military saints (as are we). A bit of a wandering minstrel, St. Venantius went out of his way to visit the shrine of St. Martin on his travels and eventually wrote a book about him called Vita S. Martini. It is a long narrative poem, reminiscent of the classical epics of Greek and Roman cultures but replete with Christian references and allusions, depicting the life of Saint Martin. We hope Venantius told the whole story!

Sneak home and pray

Suicide in the Trenches, by Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon  (1915)

Siegfried Sassoon (1915)

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

Born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, Siegfried Sassoon was a WWI war hero nicknamed “Mad Jack” for his astonishing feats of bravery.  He eventually became an outspoken critic of the war with his letter Finished with the War: A Soldier’s Declaration. He was a poet and wrote a memoir called Memoirs of an Infantry Officer. His poetry described the horrors of the trenches and satirized the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon’s view, were responsible for a jingoism-fuelled war. Late in life he converted to Catholicism. (So, you know, I think we can claim him! What a fascinating person…)