May 09, 2012

by English Muse

Well, hello there! This is Dizzy Miss Lizzie from Whims and Fancies, guest blogging from somewhere over the rainbow.

Are there times when certain things occur and all that pops into your head is a bunch of lines from an almost forgotten poem? Or maybe when epiphany strikes, it’s in the form of a verse or two. Does it ever happen to you that when you want to congratulate or chide another, all you can do is rhyme? These are the more whimsical moments in my life, and they always, always make me smile.

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This is for those moments of glorious oneness with all there is… for those moments when your senses  take over with absolute clarity…

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

– Mary Oliver

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When I feel like all I want to do is lie on a hammock in a garden and read all day and I need validation for that, I tell myself…

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

– W. H. Davies

It always works! One day, when I finally muster up the courage to quit working in order to do the above mentioned, I might just blame Davies for it.

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This is for the times when I feel unmoored…

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
– W. B. Yeats
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This is my inspiration; this is the wind beneath my wings…

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

– Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

– Robert Frost

morning sun

This is for when I want to remind myself of what is real and what is true… for when I fear that I have lost my way…

But little by little,as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
determined to do the only thing you could do —
determined to save the only life you could save. 

Mary Oliver

(It’s always hard to stop quoting Oliver)

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When I think of my grandmother and feel my heart breaking slowly over the immensity of the loss of her life, this is my lullaby…

I am the swift uplifting rush.
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

– Mary Elizabeth Frye

She would have said this to me; that much I know…

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This is what I want to tell my boy, if only he would believe me…

Perhaps not to be is to be without your being,
without your going, that cuts noon light
like a blue flower, without your passing
later through fog and stones,

– Pablo Neruda

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And this is my message for you…

You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.”

– Charles Baudelaire

I recommend virtue over poetry and poetry over wine, but you alone can choose your poison.  😉

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And how about you? What are the lines that oft come to you mind… lines that make your heart glad or sad… lines that inspire you or ensconce you….

Which are the poems that mirror your thoughts? I would love to know.

Image Credits: 12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 6:00 pm. It is filed under Decor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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11 Responses to “Rhyme and reason”

  1. This is just so beautiful and I appreciate all of the time and creative effort you put into this lovely post.


  2. Liz says:

    Wow thank you! You have no idea how much that means to me, coming from you… 🙂

  3. Hannah says:

    beautiful poems. i love the Yeats one. I really like his, He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven too


  4. Dizzy Lizzie says:

    Oh, I do too! I love that one. Tread softly… Forgot about that one acually…

  5. These are great selections! I love poetry, but never seem to read as much of it as I should. I’ll have to bookmark these as a reminder from time to time.

  6. Cara says:

    “Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades forever and forever when I move…” – Tennyson’s “Ulysses”

    “Let us then be up and doing/ with a heart for any fate/ still achieving, still pursuing/ learn to labor and to wait.” – Longfellow, “Psalm of Life”

    And for some reason, probably forced (yet happy) memorization in 4th grade, T.S. Eliot’s “The Naming of Cats” and Emily Dickinson’s “I’m Nobody” come to mind, too.

  7. Katie says:

    Oh, wow, incredible poems! Thank you for all of them, and all your good words alongside the poets’.

    Have a beautiful weekend!

  8. Liz says:

    Oh lovely! Poetry is so awesome. Why don’t you start with e. e. cummings or Pablo Neruda. Or Mary Oliver. Oliver is awesome. There I go again!

  9. Liz says:

    Awesome! 🙂 Forced (yet happy) memorization is what made me this way too. My grandmother used to make me learn poetry. 🙂 Thanks for the poems. 🙂

  10. Liz says:

    Thank you, Katie! You have a lovely weekend too!

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