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Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote

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The Official Poet of the Year of Mercy

Caesar

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Caesar was too old, it seems to me, to set about amusing himself with conquering the world. Such sport was good for Augustus or Alexander. They were still young men, and thus difficult to restrain. But Caesar should have been more mature.
                                                                          – Pascal, Pensees, 132

From emperor to god, distinction’s blade
Has cut me loose from earthly care and set
My star within a diadem that made

My shade regret its bloody ways (forget
The fact that I refused the crown with three
Dismissive waves). So three were keen to set

Upon me – brute ambition, envy’s glee,
And tilting pride – my own to think success
A measure tallied by eternity….

I wept at Alexander’s feats no less
Than now I laugh at what Augustus wants –
To valuate the empire’s populace

A victory subtracting weal from chance
In one decisive sweep of columned sums.
I told the pirates I’d be back to dance

Before their crucifixions; Pompey’s drums
Resolved my mettle. “Let Catullus sing
Of plows and flowers,” I said, “Caesar comes

From Gaul and India with arms to bring
About hic novus ordo.” This head
Is wizened, iron-willed, the only thing

That raises me above them all. Include
Among them, by the way, my wretched son
Who counts his greatest triumph as a god

A forced retreat of numbers back to one.

Desire and Deceit

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For Rene Girard, 1923-2015

Not again, the old men with beautiful manners.
– Ezra Pound

The old men of our age are young against
The violent, suffering such sacred cries…
We live as if the times were free and cleansed
Of envy, but we know from these
Embarking ferries what cruel death would say:
The fire rises every dawn to mystery –
Familiar as desire, lost as memory.
So truth is night that verges every day
Which hates itself, yet knows itself as day.

We try to capture every moment’s breath
With flesh, but lose the soul of argument
Because the body knows that only death
Provides the wound – unless the sentiment
Of beauty heals the foreign element –
The other – those – the sin that takes the step
In which we place the body deep, deep, deep…
I wish that nothing were the case – but take
It life will some day give what death will take

And knew no French but heard you anyway
By age and time. By youth and wonder’s books
I sat and heard you lecture, heard you say
That creatures live and imitation speaks
The grammar grace’s tender mercy brooks
Between the prepositions of and in.
I loved a woman of the world – taboo
And token sin – and urge and instinct knew
That beauty suffered what my conscience knew.

Remember, man, that dust remembers man –
Recalls the day angelic beasts renewed
Our call to human living. Manners can
Propose a mystery: the stage construed
With shadows, fictions made with words and breath;
But understand by holocaust of faith
That noon escapes, confirmed by midnight’s dark,
And night corrals the stars, each a splintered spark,
You ancient man, that hates and loves the dark.

“Am I Hamlet or Don Quixote?”

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“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…” – Hamlet

“Truly I was born to be an example of misfortune, and a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed.” – Don Quixote

With ermine cuffs I sharpen up each gem
That studs this crown…No, Papa was not king
Despite this barber’s bowl. And Mama’s hymns
Remain in mind but there’s no will to sing.
Milan, more French than Roman, sings instead
Inside my veins – the fluted lace, the neat
And crimson fashions – coy frissons of the dead
Which resurrects a joy, now made complete
Confusion.
                  Oh, Papa! Oh, Mama! Since
I chose this road of sorrow, I confess
To neither left nor right. For Denmark’s prince
Well knew that failure proves its own success
And windmills creak and tilt upon the breeze
Canticles to a world I could not please.

One Short Poem about Two Lions of 20th Century English Literature

A Lark
That was a quite a conquest,
the poor author of that aubade
about waking in the dark,
believing he’d go to prison.
And did not. That’s not so bad.

The Diocese of Dappled Things

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Came and went and I never even knew…

 

The poet-priest who sang Ol’ Dixie down…

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His name is Father Abram Joseph Ryan – and he and his songs been safely forgotten by the liberal redaction of history, sanitized and neutered  to accommodate our modern mush-mouthed culture.

ht/Scott Richert

 

 

Tagged: Death

A fun little jaunt through the last 700 1,400 years of death.

Franz Wright: RIP

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A loss to the world – and the world of Catholic letters…

Parting Word

As for me
I have no mind
to lose anymore, I am through
with all that–
the sky is my mind
today. (And

it always is
and always was
today.) Blue,
                 her color
sorrowing over us…

Does it flow out of or into us, seeing?

Unseen rays of perception the face beams
at things, or
face on which things shine!

I am so glad
that I no longer know,
no longer
care.

And one more thing:

the future?
Never

been there.

             -Franz Wright

Dumb Feet

orpheus-leading-eurydice-from-the-underworld-1861.jpg!Blog

To address summer is fool’s gold – for the caped night
Is now being drawn. But the horned owl in the nightshade
Is a torch song with its “Hoo-hoo!” through these shade lands
And a sure guide for my dumb feet. In this landscape
      I will find you with a breeze-whisper of pyrrhics
      And a tongue full of the sun, lit with its spondees.