Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse – Philipp Larkin 1973

A good looking book indeed. And a good read.

 “I will arise and go now, go to Innisfree.” (Yeats, The Lake Isle of Innisfree).

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”  (Yeats, The Second Coming).

“A starlit or a moonlit dome disdains
All that man is,
All mere complexities,
The fury and the mire of human veins.” (Yeats, Byzantium).

“Many times man lives and dies
Between his two eternities,
That of race and that of soul,
Though grave-diggers toil is long,
Sharp their spades, their muscles strong,
They but thrust their buried men
Back in the human mind again.”  (Yeats, Under Ben Bulben).

“So I, as I grow stiff and cold
To this and that say Good-bye too;
And everybody sees that I am old
But you.” (Charlotte Mew, A Quoi Bon Dire).

“Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.
If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!
If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!
If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed
By the fine, fine, wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world
Like a fine, exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted.” (D.H. Lawrence. The Song of a Man who has Come Through).

“And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.” (D.H. Lawrence, Shadows).

“I feel remorse for all that time has done
To you, my love, as if myself, not time,
Had set you the never-resting sun
And the little deadly days, to work this crime.” (Edwin Muir, Love’s Remorse).

“There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.” (T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock).

“He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience.” (T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land).

“ (…) And every phrase
And every sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)” (T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding).

“I love to see, when leaves depart,
The clear anatomy arrive,
Winter, the paragon of art,
That kills all forms of life and feeling
Save what is pure and will survive.” (Roy Campbell, Autumn).

“God’s truth is life – even the grotesque shapes of its foulest fire.” (Patrick Kavanagh, The Great Hunger).

“Time and fever burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.” (W.H. Auden Lullaby).

“But for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
An afternoon of nurses and rumours;
The provinces of his body revolted
The squares of his mind were empty,
Silence invaded the suburbs,
The current of his feelings failed, he became his admirers.” (W.H. Auden, In Memory of W.B. Yeats).

“Rid me, death,
Of the words I have used.” (Kathleen Raine, Two Invocation of Death).

“While I remain
The world is ending,
Forests are falling,
Suns are fading,
While I am here
Now is ending
And in my arms
The living are dying.
Shall I come at last
To the lost beginning?” (Kathleen Raine, Two Invocation of Death).

“You in anger tried to make us new
To cancel all the warmth and loving-kindness
With which maturing time has joined us two
And re-infect love with his former blindness.” (James Reeves, You in anger).

“Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among the wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rives of the windfall light.

In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means.


And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away.


I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay.” (Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill).

“To take life is always to die a little: to stop
any feeling and moving contrivance, however ugly,
unnecessary, or hateful, is to reduce by so much the total
of life there is. And that is to die a little.” (John Wain, A Song About Major Eatherly).

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