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  1. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Poetry Circle

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jonathan hernandez13, Sep 25, 2009.

    I propose a place for guests not to post their own poetry for review, but to post poetry they love, admire, or are inspired by. I can think of a number of reasons why it is important to share, such as critical analysis of a poem to help us become better writers, but mostly to better help understand and enjoy poems by being exposed to a variety of them. I humbly submit a set of three chosen by similarities in themes. The theme is that of the inevitability of the "doom" of humankind, of the hubris of humans, and the realization of our ultimate fates. We can take these however we choose, we can dismiss them as tales, or embrace them as immortal truth. Some may call them melancholic or defeatist, but to a stoic or a Buddhist who has purged themselves of all passions (the root of suffering according to Sidhartha Gautama) it comes as not as a shock more as a celebration and realization of what was already known.

    I have a vastly different outlook, because I know that my time on Earth is finite It makes every minute of life that much more precious. As Marcus Aurelius said in so many words "live every minute as though it will be your last" and you may, on yur deathbed, recant on how you have not squandered any of your precious moments doing otherwise. Because I know that I will die it gives my life meaning, whatever meaning I choose to assign to it, and arguably goes beyond mere indoctrinated supernaturalisms.

    The first selected poem is by Percy Bysshe Shelley, titled "Ozymandias"

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    The second poem is by Robert E Howard and titled "The Gates of Nineveh"

    These are the gates of Nineveh: here
    Sargon came when his wars were won
    Gazed at the turrets looming clear
    Boldly etched in the morning sun
    Down from his chariot Sargon came
    Tossed his helmet upon the sand
    Dropped his sword with its blade like flame
    Stroked his beard with his empty hand
    "Towers are flaunting their banners red
    The people greet me with song and mirth
    But a weird is on me," Sargon said
    "And I see the end of the tribes of earth"
    "Cities crumble, and chariots rust
    I see through a fog that is strange and gray
    All kingly things fade back to the dust
    Even the gates of Nineveh"

    The third and final is probably my favorite by Sara Teasdale and titled "There Will Come Soft Rain"

    There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
    And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

    And frogs in the pool singing at night,
    And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

    Robins will wear their feathery fire,
    Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

    And not one will know of the war, not one
    Will care at last when it is done.

    Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
    If mankind perished utterly;

    And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
    Would scarcely know that we were gone.



    What is the true underlying theme in all of these poems? Doom, or a celebration of the fact that everything will end? Yes, a celebration, I have great comfort in knowing that I will die someday, consider how boring eternity must become after the first few eons.

    It is a concept not lost on all but perhaps truely understood by only a few. I believe the film "The Fountain" very cleverly touched upon a few interesting facts grounded in absolute science and not spirituality. A star must die in order for new stars to form. In the death and decay of one lifeform the land can become fertile enough for a spore to germinate an grow. A seed can feed a fowl, that can feed a human, and so on, in a vast circle of life. We are quite literally composed of dead stars, and we in turn may someday enrich future star systems with the elements in our bodies (because matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed according to the laws of the conservation of matter and energy).

    The Hindu god Shiva is sometimes thought of in the west as a frightful god when we hear that he is indeed a god of "destruction". What bullocks, you musnt oversimplify a very complex god in a very complex religion. Shiva is an aspect the supreme god, as god creates and preserves so he must necessarily destroy in order to create again and complete the cycle. As a boy I could build enormous edifices with legos, but in order to make new creations (without buying more legos) I would have to disassemble the edifice I built in order to begin and create anew. I am a lego Shiva. How can we create without raw materials, and in even an infinite universe with finite resources, there is no such thing as a "free lunch". Fear not Shiva nor death. Of the four arms which Shiva sports in his famous image, the "Nataraja"(lord of the dance), his lower right hand is held up in a symbolic gesture that we sometimes see many other eastern figures from Krishna to Buddha performing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the west this means "stop", but what they are in fact saying is "be calm, fear not". And that is why Shiva has a smile and literally dances on top of ignorance (as he dances the figure is stepping on the head of a demon symbolizing ignorance). Shiva is not a cruel god but something of a hero. Buddha is also something of a hero for seeing beyond the illusions of the world and through meditation realizing that desire brings about suffering, and by freeing himself of passion, becoming infinetly compassionate.


    Enjoy the poems:p
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you're proposing a new section be added to the site, it should be put up in the 'suggestions' section, don't you think?
     
  3. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    oh no, perhaps I explained myself poorly, I only intended to open a new thread for discussions.

    I dont think this topic deserves anything else:)
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    oh... by 'propose' i thought you meant a section that doesn't exist yet, didn't realize you were just referring to this thread...
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This will probably fit better in Book Discussion, if there is enough interest in it that it doesn't simply fade away.
     
  6. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jon, there's a "Favorite Poem" thread in the Book Discussion section. It might fit there. :)
     
  7. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    darn it!

    Cog if you want you can move the thread or even delete it seeing as how its not needed:mad:
     
  8. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Naw, it is needed. Maybe just take your material and post it in a new thread titled "Poetry Circle" in the Book Discussion section.
     
  9. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    meh, I think its a stillborn thread:(
     
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  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'll give it a chance here, where visibility is high. If it still has a pulse later, I'll move it.
     
  11. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks Cog!:)
     
  12. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    My favorite is Annabel Lee. That and The Raven. I love Poe poems in general. :)
     
  13. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Maybe this thread would work better if it stuck to one poem at a time and was more of a conversation sorta thing rather than "here's a poem and this is what I think". It's hard to make a discussion out of posts like that.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That sounds like a good idea, arron. What about the chosen poem do members notice that makes it shine?

    Maybe this can help members find new techniques that they can use in their own poems.
     

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