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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: October 09, 2019 04:18PM

Sunday Morning, by Wallace Stevens:

This is one of the greatest poems ever written, one of the greatest things ever written. I hear Keats, Shakespeare and Milton unmistakably, and half a dozen others echo throughout; yet it is exactly Wallace Stevens and only he. If there was only one poem of all poems to know by heart this might be it.

The text of the poem is here:

Snippet for recovery:

Why should she give her bounty to the dead?
What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?

Permit me to quote the introduction to the poem from the website, also for recovery purposes:

"We live in an old chaos of the sun" - Wallace Stevens.

From his meditative and philosophical poem, Sunday Morning, which was first published in 1915. The poem opens with a domestic scene in which an unnamed woman somewhat guiltily enjoys her morning after skipping Sunday services. It hints at a cultural shift, and implies that Sunday morning is not only for church.

The poem expands outward from this initial domestic scene, and this particular line turns sharply in a metaphysical direction.

Like the woman's fading religion, quaint conceptions of the sun as a symbol of order and benevolence are abandoned. The reality of the universe is more grand, more ancient, and more chaotic than that. The poet argues that the beauty of nature is not only very much present, but outlasts the paradise predicted by any religion.

Drawing inspiration from the orbits of moons, planets, suns and galaxies, the illustration traces the paths of interlocked objects across time. It hints at a hidden interdependence between things that can't be explained and may ultimately be unknowable.

That is well said. That is recovery for me.


(I am in no way affiliated with, nor do I profit from, anything from the link. I do, however, admire the couple, believe in their project, and support their work. I own a few of their pieces.)

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: October 09, 2019 09:42PM

That was beautiful. I read the poem first and didn't really understand but found the words beautiful. Then reading the explanation I liked it more.

I rarely ever like poetry. Don't know why. I find it confusing and obtuse so often and want to scream "just say what you mean."

However, I love Ocean Vuong. In return I will offer this that I feel speaks to Ex-Mormons or ex-anything else:


Ocean, don’t be afraid.
The end of the road is so far ahead
it is already behind us.
Don’t worry. Your father is only your father
until one of you forgets. Like how the spine
won’t remember its wings
no matter how many times our knees
kiss the pavement. Ocean,
are you listening? The most beautiful part
of your body is wherever
your mother’s shadow falls.
Here’s the house with childhood
whittled down to a single red tripwire.
Don’t worry. Just call it horizon
& you’ll never reach it.
Here’s today. Jump. I promise it’s not
a lifeboat. Here’s the man
whose arms are wide enough to gather
your leaving. & here the moment,
just after the lights go out, when you can still see
the faint torch between his legs.
How you use it again & again
to find your own hands.
You asked for a second chance
& are given a mouth to empty into.
Don’t be afraid, the gunfire
is only the sound of people
trying to live a little longer. Ocean. Ocean,
get up. The most beautiful part of your body
is where it’s headed. & remember,
loneliness is still time spent
with the world. Here’s
the room with everyone in it.
Your dead friends passing
through you like wind
through a wind chime. Here’s a desk
with the gimp leg & a brick
to make it last. Yes, here’s a room
so warm & blood-close,
I swear, you will wake—
& mistake these walls
for skin.

I read his new book, "On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous." Had to read most paragraphs twice they were so beautifully jolting.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: October 10, 2019 08:26AM

Done & Done Wrote:

> Yes, here’s a room
> so warm & blood-close,
> I swear, you will wake—
> & mistake these walls
> for skin.

Wham! I love great endings like that.

"On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous,” loved this title when I first saw it. Haven’t peeked inside, but will now next time at the bookstore. Thank you.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: October 10, 2019 10:32AM

Take a minute and read the first chapter or better, two, of On Earth. They are short. I was hooked in very few pages. There are lines that have a one-two punch and then a lingering aftertaste.

Also it made me see Nam from a native point of view at least a little and that was worth everything.

Thanks again for the poem. I liked it best third read this morning.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: October 10, 2019 11:27AM

Just put it in my Indigo shopping cart. Next time I make an order, it’ll come. No need to peek, your recommend is enough.

I fall in love too often and easily. I’m in love with this silver gleam of a woman, skipping church and feeling her own divinity, in her own blood:

Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measures destined for her soul.

Yes! With her blood she shall feel the “comforts of the sun,” things “to be cherished like the thought of heaven.”

DH Lawrence was another urging us to think with our blood, pungent earthy thoughts; coursing blood whirling gusty emotions, to be alive, man alive, is the urge we deny at our peril.

Human, thinking no good god sees Natural Man as the enemy

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Posted by: ipo ( )
Date: October 10, 2019 12:32AM

This text has since lived in the back of my mind:

LIFE’S GIFTS, by Olive Schreiner

I saw a woman sleeping.

In her sleep she dreamt Life stood before her, and held in each
hand a gift—in the one Love, in the other Freedom.
And she said to the woman, “Choose!”

And the woman waited long: and she said, “Freedom!”

And Life said, “Thou hast well chosen. If thou hadst said, 'Love,' I would have given
thee that thou didst ask for; and I would have gone from thee, and returned to thee nomore.
Now, the day will come when I shall return. In that day I shall bear both gifts in one hand.”

I heard the woman laugh in her sleep.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: October 10, 2019 08:40AM

Yet another reminder that no matter how much you read there is ever more to be read. Have had The Story of an African Farm on my shelf for at least 20 years, unread.

I like this very much. Thank you for including the link to the rest of the text.

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Posted by: ipo ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 02:07PM

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Posted by: Huh? ( )
Date: October 10, 2019 01:55AM

^^^ Huh? ^^^

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: October 10, 2019 08:41AM

Sans Freedom, Love lacks Life.

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Posted by: George Gordon Byron ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 12:14PM

As relevant today as it always was:

"The mountains look on Marathon—
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave."

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Posted by: Skylarkin' ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 12:18PM

This be the Verse by Phillip Larkin

They f* you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were f*ed up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 01:52PM

Yep, great recovery poem, and not just for exmormons.

I knew a guy who loved XTC and Larkin. Sir Kingsley, it’d be weird if this were you.

From Dear God, off the album Skylarking:

Dear God don't know if you noticed but
Your name is on a lot of quotes in this book
And us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look
And all the people that you made in your image
Still believing that junk is true
Well I know it ain't, and so do you
Dear God
I can't believe in
I don't believe in

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 12:26PM

This excerpted verse from Maya Angelou's, "Still I Rise," is my response to Mormonism:

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

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Posted by: RPackham ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 06:28PM

I am right now memorizing one of my favorite poems, Thanatopsis, by William Cullen Bryan, maybe because I my age one thinks more about death:

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 01:40PM

“...and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee...”

And this is true, even when many, which will, take note.

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