A poem for TDs voting on Budget 2011, and for those in the cold outside the gates.

He3

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Not envying you your situation folks, as you have put yourselves between a rock and a hard place.

For me this poem seems to fit the occasion. Apologies to any religious sensibilities that may be bruised by the shift in context.


Journey of the Magi

'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For the journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'...


And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches...

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley...
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver...

But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: ..
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death,
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.


TS Eliot
 


He3

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Tv news pictures show stacks of crowd control barriers outside Government Buildings tonight. I can't find any poems about crowd control barriers.
 

Libero

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Tv news pictures show stacks of crowd control barriers outside Government Buildings tonight. I can't find any poems about crowd control barriers.
:cry: Words of tribute: An anthology of 95 poems written after the Hillsborough tragedy, 15th April 1989: Amazon.co.uk: Books

Does this sound familiar?

On this earth we appeal on behalf of people
who are exhausted from work,
we appeal for locks that fit the door,
for rooms with windows,
for walls which do not rot,
for contempt for papers,
for a holy human time,
for a safe home,
for a simple distinction between words and deeds.
We appeal for this on the earth,
for which we did not gamble with dice,
for which a million people died in battles,
we appeal for bright truth and the corn of freedom,
for a flaming reason,
for a flaming reason,
we appeal daily,
we appeal through our Party.


More bitterness from out east: You Who Wronged by Czeslaw Milosz
 

bogtrotter

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Good luck to the boys and girls in the cold outside....Hope you will soon be inside making sure that this never happens again.....
 

eoghanacht

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32,410
Upon this rock you shall perish.

That sums it up for me or as one man summed it up nearly a century ago

What need you, being come to sense,
But fumble in a greasy till
And add the halfpence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer, until
You have dried the marrow from the bone?
For men were born to pray and save:
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Yet they were of a different kind,
The names that stilled your childish play,
They have gone about the world like wind,
But little time had they to pray
For whom the hangman's rope was spun,
And what, God help us, could they save?
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Was it for this the wild geese spread
The grey wing upon every tide;
For this that all that blood was shed,
For this Edward Fitzgerald died,
And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone,
All that delirium of the brave?
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Yet could we turn the years again,
And call those exiles as they were
In all their loneliness and pain,
You'd cry, 'Some woman's yellow hair
Has maddened every mother's son':
They weighed so lightly what they gave.
But let them be, they're dead and gone,
They're with O'Leary in the grave.
 

Libero

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Actually, I'm not sure it gets more relevant than this. Read slowly...

If I will ever tell
about these times, what will I say? What
has been creating me, the pitiless anxiety,
the sick hope to last in it
eternally. Maybe I will put it more simply:
I will tell about night wanderings
in the city, about everything I felt
at the time. Maybe I will recall -
already knowing their meaning - these last
days when newspapers constantly proclaimed
new triumphs of madness and crime and no one
cared any longer. Maybe
I will choose a single event: isolated
from others, dead, it will disclose nothing.
So most likely I will be silent. I will tell
only how very much
I was afraid that one day there won't be
anyone by me who will listen
as I tell the story. "You know," I will say,
"I was so afraid."

Maj
 

He3

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Thank you Libero
 

MadAsHell

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Messages
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Not envying you your situation folks, as you have put yourselves between a rock and a hard place.

For me this poem seems to fit the occasion. Apologies to any religious sensibilities that may be bruised by the shift in context.


Journey of the Magi

'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For the journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'...


And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches...

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley...
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver...

But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: ..
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death,
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.


TS Eliot
Excellent.
 

He3

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Libero

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More from Milosz... Pretty relevant stuff, but then as Norman Davies noted about Poland's post-war history, it is a core rule of Leninism that the elite never voluntarily stands aside because of popular opposition.

You Who Wronged (English translation for American TV)

You who wronged a simple man
Bursting into laughter at the crime,
And kept a pack of fools around you
To mix good and evil, to blur the line,

Though everyone bowed down before you,
Saying virtue and wisdom lit your way,
Striking gold medals in your honor,
Glad to have survived another day,

Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
You can kill one, but another is born.
The words are written down, the deed, the date.
And you’d have done better with a winter dawn,
A rope, and a branch bowed beneath your weight.
 


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