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Healy
08-31-2008, 10:02 PM
So hey! What's your favorite poem, Talking Tyrants? It can be any poem you choose, whether it's by Shel Silverstein or John Keats or whatever.

Mine, at the moment, happens to be this little ditty:
The gallows in my garden, people say,
Is new and neat and adequately tall;
I tie the noose on in a knowing way
As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours--on the wall--
Are drawing a long breath to shout "Hurray!"
The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

To-morrow is the time I get my pay--
My uncle's sword is hanging in the hall--
I see a little cloud all pink and grey--
Perhaps the rector's mother will not call--
I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
That mushrooms could be cooked another way--
I never read the works of Juvenal--
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

The world will have another washing-day;
The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
And H.G. Wells has found that children play,
And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall,
Rationalists are growing rational--
And through thick woods one finds a stream astray
So secret that the very sky seems small--
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

ENVOI
Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal,
The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;
Even to-day your royal head may fall,
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

spineshark
08-31-2008, 10:11 PM
My usual answer is "she being Brand" by e.e. cummings. But I've never thought about it all that hard. I just remember reading it first when I was not old enough to understand it, and then one day laughing a lot when it dawned on me.

she being Brand

-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having

thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.

K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her

up,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and

again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my

lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high like
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity

avenue i touched the accelerator and give

her the juice,good

(it

was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on

the
internalexpanding
&
externalcontracting
brakes Bothatonce and

brought allofher tremB
-ling
to a:dead.

stand-
;Still)

Kishi
08-31-2008, 10:19 PM
The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.





Langston Hughes.

Pajaro Pete
08-31-2008, 10:39 PM
In a city, Trieste or Udine,
along the linden boulevard,
when in spring
the leaves change color,
I'll drop dead
under the ardent sun,
blond and tall,
and I'll close my eyes,
leaving the sky to its splendor.


Under a warm green linden
I'll fall into my death's darkness,
scattering linden and sun.
The beautiful boys
will run in the light
which I've just lost,
flying from school
with curls on their brows

mr_bungle700
08-31-2008, 11:28 PM
Langston Hughes.

Yes.

Pick any of his poems and that's my choice.

Ganietzsche
09-01-2008, 05:05 AM
The Sun Wields Mercy by Charles Bukowski

and the sun wields mercy
but like a jet torch carried to high,
and the jets whip across its sight
and rockets leap like toads,
and the boys get out the maps
and pin-cushion the moon,
old green cheese,
no life there but too much on earth:
our unwashed India boys
crossing their legs,playing pipes,
starving with sucked in bellies,
watching the snakes volute
like beautiful women in the hungry air;
the rockets leap,
the rockets leap like hares,
clearing clump and dog
replacing out-dated bullets;
the Chinese still carve
in jade,quietly stuffing rice
into their hunger, a hunger
a thousand years old,
their muddy rivers moving with fire
and song, barges, houseboats
pushed by drifting poles
of waiting without wanting;
in Turkey they face the East
on their carpets
praying to a purple god
who smokes and laughs
and sticks fingers in their eyes
blinding them, as gods will do;
but the rockets are ready: peace is no longer,
for some reason,precious;
madness drifts like lily pads
on a pond circling senselessly;
the painters paint dipping
their reds and greens and yellows,
poets rhyme their loneliness,
musicians starve as always
and the novelists miss the mark,
but not the pelican, the gull;
pelicans dip and dive, rise,
shaking shocked half-dead
radioactive fish from their beaks;
indeed, indeed, the waters wash
the rocks with slime; and on wall st.
the market staggers like a lost drunk
looking for his key; ah,
this will be a good one, by God:
it will take us back to the
sabre-teeth, the winged monkey
scrabbling in pits over bits
of helmet, instrument and glass;
a lightning crashes across
the window and in a million rooms
lovers lie entwined and lost
and sick as peace;
the sky still breaks red and orange for the
painters-and for the lovers,
flowers open as they always have
opened but covered with thin dust
of rocket fuel and mushrooms,
poison mushrooms; it's a bad time,
a dog-sick time-curtain
act 3, standing room only,
SOLD OUT, SOLD OUT, SOLD OUT again,
by god,by somebody and something,
by rockets and generals and
leaders, by poets , doctors, comedians,
by manufacturers of soup
and biscuits, Janus-faced hucksters
of their own indexterity;
I can now see the coal-slick
contaminated fields, a snail or 2,
bile, obsidian, a fish or 3
in the shallows, an obloquy of our
source and our sight.....
has this happened before? is history
a circle that catches itself by the tail,
a dream, a nightmare,
a general's dream, a presidents dream,
a dictators dream...
can't we awaken?
or are the forces of life greater than we are?
can't we awaken? must we forever,
dear friends, die in our sleep?

Dizzy
09-01-2008, 05:25 AM
That's How Ya Feel

Red paint, inside's peanut butter (peanut butter)
They seeing me, but I don't see them suckers (see them suckers)
I ain't gon lie, man my shit tight (tight)
Hoes jocking, got em stopping like a red light (ay, yeeeeeeah)
Wake me up, this a sick dream (what)
Got the Alpine with the flat screen (that's right)
These n----- ain't aware mayne (ware mayne)
12's in the trunk sounding like an airplane (ay, ay, jeah)
A 757 jet (jet)
He ain't know? You dealing with a fucking vet (yeeeeeah)
n----- cold like banana splits (jeah)
That's why I cop the AR with banana clips (ay, ay)

Pombar
09-01-2008, 05:38 AM
The Illiad's pretty funky.

BEAT
09-01-2008, 06:09 AM
A spirit sped
Through spaces of night;
And as he sped, he called,
"God! God!"
He went through valleys
Of black death-slime,
Ever calling,
"God! God!"
Their echoes
From crevice and cavern
Mocked him:
"God! God! God!"
Fleetly into the plains of space
He went, ever calling,
"God! God!"
Eventually, then, he screamed,
Mad in denial,
"Ah, there is no God!"
A swift hand,
A sword from the sky,
Smote him,
And he was dead.

UnChocolate
09-01-2008, 06:43 AM
He's dead
the dog won't have to
sleep on his potatoes
any more to keep them
from freezing

he's dead
the old bastard -
he's a bastard because

there's nothing
legitimate in him any
more
he's dead
he's sick-dead

he's
a godforsaken curio
without
any breath in it

he's nothing at all
he's dead
shrunken up to skin

Put his head on
one chair and his
feet on another and
he'll lie there
like an acrobat -

Love's beaten. He
beat it. That's why
he's insufferable -

because
he's here needing a
shave and making love
an inside howl
of anguish and defeat -

he's come out of the man
and he's let
the man go -
the liar

Dead
his eyes
rolled up out of
the light - a mockery

which
love cannot touch -

just bury it
and hide its face
for shame.

SDMX
09-02-2008, 11:07 AM
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

shivam
09-02-2008, 11:10 AM
i'd post the mahabharata, but it's 74,000 verses in sanskrit.

Brickroad
09-02-2008, 12:34 PM
my beard grows down to my toes
i never wears no clothes
i wraps my hair
around my bare
and down the road i goes

Paul le Fou
09-02-2008, 12:36 PM
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

You beat me to it.

Calorie Mate
09-02-2008, 02:25 PM
Poems are for girls. Pshh. Next you guys will be telling me you have feelings.

Nicholai
09-02-2008, 06:15 PM
I'd say the Odyssey. I also love the Illiad and Paradise Lost.

For more modern shorter poetry I'd say The Raven by Poe.

Traumadore
09-02-2008, 06:47 PM
Yeah, I am a huge poetry fan, but when I tried to start up a discussion over a year ago I just got some dirty limmericks and rap lyrics in response. I'm glad this is going a bit better!

Here's one by one of my two longtime favorites,

An Anniversary by Wendell Berry

What we have been becomes
The country where we are.
Spring goes, summer comes,
And in the heat, as one year
Or a thousand years before,
The fields and woods prepare
The burden of their seed
Out of time's wound, the old
Richness of the fall. Their deed
Is renewal. In the household
Of the woods the past
Is always healing in the light,
The high shiftings of the air.
It stands upon it's yield
And thrives. Nothing is lost.
What yields,though in despair,
Opens and rises in the night.
Love binds us to this term
With its yes that is crying
In our marrow to confirm
Life that only lives by dying.
Lovers live by the moon
Whose dark and light are one,
Changing without rest.
The root struts from the seed
In the earth's dark -- harvest
And feast at the edge of sleep.
Darkened, we are carried
Out of need, deep
In the country we have married.

5/29/79

Jeanie
09-02-2008, 07:20 PM
Shel Silverstein

This man gets it. This man right here.

Fun Fact: Before he published his own books, Shel Silverstein wrote for Playboy.

Excalibrate
09-02-2008, 11:53 PM
Fun Fact: Before he published his own books, Shel Silverstein wrote for Playboy.

Suddenly this (http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Piece-Meets-Big-O/dp/0060256575/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220424578&sr=8-1) makes perfect sense.

Brer
04-25-2009, 11:02 AM
Arise, thread, arise and do my bidding! Moo hoo wa ha ha!

...Anyway, I've been thinking about poetry for the past few days. I think my all-time favorite is probably still a poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca, "What's Real and What's Not", but right now the ones that have been bouncing around in my head for the past year or so have almost all been Kipling. Specifically, his Chant-Pagan:

Chant-Pagan
(english irregular, discharged)

Me that 'ave been what I've been -
Me that 'ave gone where I've gone -
Me that 'ave seen what I've seen -
'Ow can I ever take on
With awful old England again,
An' 'ouses both sides of the street,
And 'edges two sides of the lane,
And the parson an' gentry between,
An' touchin' my 'at when we meet -
Me that 'ave been what I've been?

Me that 'ave watched 'arf a world
'Eave up all shiny with dew,
Kopje on kop to the sun,
An' as soon as the mist let 'em through
Our 'elios winkin' like fun -
Three sides of a ninety-mile square,
Over valleys as big as a shire -
"Are ye there? Are ye there? Are ye there?"
An' then the blind drum of our fire . . .
An' I'm rollin' 'is lawns for the Squire,

Me!

Me that 'ave rode through the dark
Forty mile, often, on end,
Along the Ma'ollisberg Range,
With only the stars for my mark
An' only the night for my friend,
An' things runnin' off as you pass,
An' things jumpin' up in the grass,
An' the silence, the shine an' the size
Of the 'igh, unexpressible skies -
I am takin' some letters almost
As much as a mile to the post,
An' "mind you come back with the change!"

Me!

Me that saw Barberton took
When we dropped through the clouds on their 'ead,
An' they 'ove the guns over and fled -
Me that was through Di'mond I'll,
An' Pieters an' Springs an' Belfast -
From Dundee to Vereeniging all -
Me that stuck out to the last
(An' five bloomin' bars on my chest) -
I am doin' my Sunday-school best,
By the 'elp of the Squire an' 'is wife
(Not to mention the 'ousemaid an' cook),
To come in an' 'ands up an' be still,
An' honestly work for my bread,
My livin' in that state of life
To which it shall please God to call

Me!

Me that 'ave followed my trade
In the place where the Lightnin's are made;
"Twixt the Rains and the Sun and the Moon -
Me that lay down an' got up
Three years with the sky for my roof -
That 'ave ridden my 'unger an' thirst
Six thousand raw mile on the hoof,
With the Vaal and the Orange for cup,
An' the Brandwater Basin for dish, -
Oh! it's 'ard to be'ave as they wish
(Too 'ard, an' a little too soon),
I'll 'ave to think over it first -

Me!

I will arise an' get 'ence -
I will trek South and make sure
If it's only my fancy or not
That the sunshine of England is pale,
And the breezes of England are stale,
An' there's something' gone small with the lot.
For I know of a sun an' a wind,
An' some plains and a mountain be'ind,
An' some graves by a barb-wire fence,
An' a Dutchman I've fought 'oo might give
Me a job where I ever inclined
To look in an' offsaddle an' live
Where there's neither a road nor a tree -
But only my Maker an' me,
An I think it will kill me or cure,
So I think I will go there an' see.

Me!

keele864
04-25-2009, 11:17 AM
You beat me to it.

And you beat me too.

Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

A.E. Housman (Untitled poem from A Shropshire Lad)

"Terence, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can't be much amiss, 'tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the horned head:
We poor lads, 'tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as killed the cow.
Pretty friendship 'tis to rhyme
Your friends to death before their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad."

Why, if 'tis dancing you would be
There's brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh, many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man.
Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world's not.
And faith, 'tis pleasant till 'tis past:
The mischief is that 'twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie god knows where,
And carried half-way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad,
And I myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I've lain,
Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.

Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
I'd face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.
'Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale
Is not so brisk a brew as ale:
Out of a stem that scored the hand
I wrung it in a weary land.
But take it: if the smack is sour,
The better for the embittered hour;
It should do good to heart and head
When your soul is in my soul's stead;
And I will friend you, if I may,
In the dark and cloudy day.

There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all that springs to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white's their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt
- I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.

(I wish I could find Auden's poem on Housman...)


W.B. Yeats - The Fascination of What's Difficult

The fascination of what’s difficult
Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent
Spontaneous joy and natural content
Out of my heart. There’s something ails our colt
That must, as if it had not holy blood,
Nor on an Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,
Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt
As though it dragged road metal. My curse on plays
That have to be set up in fifty ways,
On the day’s war with every knave and dolt,
Theatre business, management of men.
I swear before the dawn comes round again
I’ll find the stable and pull out the bolt.

I also like Paradise Lost

(Satan is speaking here)

Be then his Love accurst, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I flie
Infinite wrauth, and infinite despaire?
Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threatning to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for Repentance, none for Pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
DISDAIN forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
With other promises and other vaunts
Then to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ay me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vaine,
Under what torments inwardly I groane;
While they adore me on the Throne of Hell,
With Diadem and Scepter high advanc'd
The lower still I fall, onely Supream
In miserie; such joy Ambition findes.
But say I could repent and could obtaine
By Act of Grace my former state; how soon
Would highth recal high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign'd submission swore: ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have peirc'd so deep:
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall: so should I purchase deare
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my punisher; therefore as farr
From granting hee, as I from begging peace:
All hope excluded thus, behold in stead
Of us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight

Dizzy
04-25-2009, 11:22 AM
I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Brer
04-25-2009, 11:54 AM
DH Lawrence

Another of my all-time favorites. Good choice.

Wolfgang
04-25-2009, 11:57 AM
So hey! What's your favorite poem, Talking Tyrants?

Do I look like a fag?

BEAT
04-25-2009, 11:59 AM
A spirit sped
Through spaces of night;
And as he sped, he called,
"God! God!"
He went through valleys
Of black death-slime,
Ever calling,
"God! God!"
Their echoes
From crevice and cavern
Mocked him:
"God! God! God!"
Fleetly into the plains of space
He went, ever calling,
"God! God!"
Eventually, then, he screamed,
Mad in denial,
"Ah, there is no God!"
A swift hand,
A sword from the sky,
Smote him,
And he was dead.I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
"It is futile," I said,
"You can never -"

"You lie," he cried,
And ran on.

Bongo Bill
04-25-2009, 12:19 PM
I don't know that I have a favorite of any of this, but I do entertain a fondness for Rudyard Kipling, in spite of his rather didactic tendencies.

'The City of Brass'
Rudyard Kipling
1909

Here was a people whom after their works thou shalt see wept over for their lost dominion: and in this palace is the last information respecting lords collected in the dust.
-The Arabian Nights

In a land that the sand overlays—the ways to her gates are untrod—
A multitude ended their days whose fates were made splendid by God,
Till they grew drunk and were smitten with madness and went to their fall,
And of these is a story written: but Allah alone knoweth all!

When the wine stirred in their heart their bosoms dilated,
They rose to suppose themselves kings over all things created—
To decree a new earth at a birth without labour or sorrow—
To declare: 'We prepare it to-day and inherit to-morrow.'
They chose themselves prophets and priests of minute understanding,
Men swift to see done, and outrun, their extremest commanding—
Of the tribe which describe with a jibe the perversions of Justice—
Panders avowed to the crowd whatsoever its lust is.

Swiftly these pulled down the walls that their fathers had made them—
The impregnable ramparts of old, they razed and relaid them
As playgrounds of pleasure and leisure with limitless entries,
And havens of rest for the wastrels where once walked the sentries;
And because there was need of more pay for the shouters and marchers,
They disbanded in face of their foemen their bowmen and archers.
They replied to their well-wishers' fears—to their enemies' laughter,
Saying: 'Peace! We have fashioned a God Which shall save us hereafter.
We ascribe all dominion to man in his factions conferring,
And have given to numbers the Name of the Wisdom unerring.'
They said: 'Who has hate in his soul? Who has envied his neighbour?
Let him arise and control both that man and his labour.'
They said: 'Who is eaten by sloth? Whose unthrift has destroyed him?
He shall levy a tribute from all because none have employed him.'
They said: 'Who hath toiled? Who hath striven, and gathered possession?
Let him be spoiled. He hath given full proof of transgression.'
They said. 'Who is irked by the Law? Though we may not remove it,
If he lend us his aid in this raid, we will set him above it!'
So the robber did judgment again upon such as displeased him,
The slayer, too, boasted his slain, and the judges released him.

As for their kinsmen far off, on the skirts of the nation,
They harried all earth to make sure none escaped reprobation,
They awakened unrest for a jest in their newly-won borders,
And jeered at the blood of their brethren betrayed by their orders.
They instructed the ruled to rebel, their rulers to aid them;
And, since such as obeyed them not fell, their Viceroys obeyed them.
When the riotous set them at naught they said: 'Praise the upheaval!
For the show and the word and the thought of Dominion is evil!'

They unwound and flung from them with rage, as a rag that defiled them
The imperial gains of the age which their forefathers piled them.
They ran panting in haste to lay waste and embitter for ever
The wellsprings of Wisdom and Strength which are Faith and Endeavour.
They nosed out and digged up and dragged forth and exposed to derision
All doctrine of purpose and worth and restraint and prevision:
And it ceased, and God granted them all things for which they had striven,
And the heart of a beast in the place of a man's heart was given…

---------------------------

When they were fullest of wine and most flagrant in error,
Out of the sea rose a sign—out of Heaven a terror.
Then they saw, then they heard, then they knew—for none troubled to hide it,
An host had prepared their destruction, but still they denied it.
They denied what they dared not abide if it came to the trial,
But the Sword that was forged while they lied did not heed their denial.
It drove home, and no time was allowed to the crowd that was driven.
The preposterous-minded were cowed—they thought time would be given.
There was no need of a steed nor a lance to pursue them;
It was decreed their own deed, and not chance, should undo them
The tares they had laughingly sown were ripe to the reaping,
The trust they had leagued to disown was removed from their keeping.
The eaters of other men's bread, the exempted from hardship,
The excusers of impotence fled, abdicating their wardship.
For the hate they had taught through the State brought the State no defender,
And it passed from the roll of the Nations in headlong surrender.

Or, if you prefer, Ogden Nash is certain to entertain.

So Does Everybody Else, Only Not So Much
Ogden Nash

O all ye exorcizers come and exorcize now, and ye clergymen draw nigh and clerge,
For I wish to be purged of an urge.
It is an irksome urge, compounded of nettles and glue,
And it is turning all my friends back into acquaintances, and all my acquaintances into people who look the other way when I heave into view.
It is an indication that my mental buttery is butterless and my mental larder lardless,
And it consists not of "Stop me if you've heard this one," but of "I know you've heard this one because I told it to you myself, but I'm going to tell it to you again regardless,"
Yes I fear I am living beyond my mental means.
When I realize that it is not only anecdotes that I reiterate but what is far worse, summaries of radio programs and descriptions of caroons in newspapers and magazines.
I want to resist but I cannot resist recounting the bright sayins of celebrities that everybody already is familiar with every word of;
I want to refrain but cannot refrain from telling the same audience on two successive evenings the same little snatches of domestic gossip about people I used to know that they have never heard of.
When I remember some titlating episode of my childhood I figure that if it's worth narrating once it's worth narrating twice, in spite of lackluster eyes and dropping jaws,
And indeed I have now worked my way backward from titllating episodes in my own childhood to titillating episodes in the childhood of my parents or even my parents-in-laws,
And what really turns my corpuscles to ice,
I carry around clippings and read them to people twice.
And I know what I am doing while I am doing it and I don't want to do it but I can't help doing it and I am just another Ancient Mariner,
And the prospects for my future social life couldn't possibly be barrener.
Did I tell you that the prospects for my future social life couldn't be barrener?

Lucas
04-25-2009, 12:29 PM
Fun Fact: Before he published his own books, Shel Silverstein wrote for Playboy.

I love Shel Silverstein starting with his children's poetry books when I was little, and quickly graduating to his more adult songs like "Freaking at the Freaker's Ball" and "Father of a Boy Named Sue" when I was older. You know, when I was about ten or twelve.

When I heard he died, it felt like I'd lost an uncle =(

ShakeWell
04-25-2009, 04:47 PM
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Sanagi
04-25-2009, 04:51 PM
We Real Cool

THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

.....

Tavir
04-25-2009, 05:04 PM
Pinnochio

Pinocchio, Pinocchio,
That little wooden bloke-io,
His nose, it grew an inch or two
With every lie he spoke-io.

Pinocchio, Pinocchio,
Thought life was just a joke-io,
‘Til the morning that he met that cat
And the fox in a long red cloak-io.

They cried, “Come on, Pinocchio,
We’ll entertain the folk-io,
On puppet strings you’ll dance and sing
From Timbuktu to Tokyo.”

Pinocchio, Pinocchio,
Got sold to a trav’lin’ show-kio,
Got put in a cage by a man in a rage
With a stick to give him a poke-io.

So Pinocchio, Pinocchio,
Out of that cage he brokie-io
To the land where boys just play with toys
And cuss and fight and smoke-io.

Pinocchio, Pinocchio,
He finally awoke-io
With donkey ears and little-boy tears,
And his poor wooden heart was broke-io.

So back home ran Pinocchio,
As fast as he could go-kio,
But his daddy, he had gone to sea,
So off to sea went Pinocchio.

Pinocchio, Pinocchio,
He got quite a soak-io
When he lost his sail and got ate by a whale,
And it looked like he was gonna croak-io.

But Pinocchio, Pinocchio,
A fire he did stoke-io
Inside that whale, who sneezed up a gale
And blew him out in the smoke-io.

Pinocchio, Pinocchio,
Next mornin’ he awoke-io,
And he had no strings or puppety things,
And his donkey ears had disappeared,
And his nose– – surprise– – was the normal size,
And his body felt fine, not made of pine,
And he cried, “Oh joy, I’m a real boy,
And everything’s okey-dokey-o.”

Stiv
04-25-2009, 07:33 PM
I can't post all 800 or so pages of The Faerie Queene, sorry guys. You can read it on your own instead, just be sure to get a Penguin edition with all the annotations. But I can post my favorite part, from Book I, Canto IX 42-43:


Is not his deed, what euer thing is donne,
In heauen and earth? did he not create
To die againe? all ends that was begonne.
Their times in his eternall booke of fate
Are written sure, and haue their certaine date.
Who then can striue with strong necessitie,
That holds the world in his still chanunging state,
Or shunne the death ordaynd by destinie?
When houre of death is come, let none aske whence, nor why.

The lenger life, I wrote the greater sin,
The greater sin, the greater punishment:
All those great battels, which thou boasts to win,
Through strife, and bloud-shed, and auengement,
Now praysd, hereafter deare thou shalt repent:
For life must life, and bloud must bloud repay.
Is not enough thy euill life forespent?
For he, that once hat missed the right way
The further he doth goe, the further he doth stray.


Actually, all of I:IX is my favorite part of the book, but this is what stands out to me.

keele864
04-25-2009, 09:03 PM
I can't post all 800 or so pages of The Faerie Queene, sorry guys. You can read it on your own instead, just be sure to get a Penguin edition with all the annotations. But I can post my favorite part, from Book I, Canto IX 42-43:

I didn't know people who posted on game message boards liked Spenser. You learn something new every day. Says the guy who likes Milton

Dizzy
04-25-2009, 09:05 PM
What's up with these long poems? Am I going to see, like, The Cantos posted too? :p

*Not actual griping. Actually, it is.

Issun
04-25-2009, 09:50 PM
Absolutely this:

You may talk o' gin an' beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But if it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them black-faced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.

It was "Din! Din! Din!
You limping lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! slippy hitherao!
Water, get it! Panee lao!
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din!"

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a twisty piece o' rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.

It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee in it,
Or I'll marrow you this minute,
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done,
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick on 'is back,
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire."
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide,
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!

It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out,
You could 'ear the front-files shout:
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I sha'n't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.

'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' 'e plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water—green;
It was crawlin' an' it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.

It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground an' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake, git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died:
"I 'ope you liked your drink," sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
In the place where 'e is gone—
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to pore damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in Hell from Gunga Din!

Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

Mazian
04-25-2009, 10:26 PM
I owe so much
to those I don't love.

The relief as I agree
that someone else needs them more.

The happiness that I'm not
the wolf to their sheep.

The peace I feel with them,
the freedom—
love can neither give
nor take that.

I don't wait for them,
as in window–to–door–and–back.
Almost as patient
as a sundial,
I understand
what love can't,
and forgive
as love never would.

From a rendezvous to a letter
is just a few days or weeks,
not an eternity.

Trips with them always go smoothly,
concerts are heard,
cathedrals visited,
scenery is seen.

And when seven hills and rivers
come between us,
the hills and rivers
can be found on any map.

They deserve the credit
if I live in three dimensions,
in nonlyrical and nonrhetorical space
with a genuine, shifting horizon.

They themselves don't realize
how much they hold in their empty hands.

"I don't owe them a thing,"
would be love's answer
to this open question.

Sanagi
04-26-2009, 12:32 AM
This Is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
.....

Red Hedgehog
05-01-2009, 01:37 PM
Do I look like a fag?

Now that you mention it...

Brickroad
05-01-2009, 01:38 PM
My beard grows to my toes
I never wears no clothes
I wraps my hair
around my bare
and down the road I goes

Dadgum Roi
05-01-2009, 01:40 PM
Amor, América by Neruda.

Kishi
05-01-2009, 01:41 PM
My beard grows to my toes
I never wears no clothes
I wraps my hair
around my bare
and down the road I goes

Wherein Brickroad can't even remember what he has and hasn't posted anymore (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=262024&postcount=13).

Brickroad
05-01-2009, 01:42 PM
Wherein Brickroad can't even remember what he has and hasn't posted anymore (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=262024&postcount=13).

Shrug, I saw the topic and assumed it was new.

At least I'm consistent! =)

The Dread Cthulhu
05-01-2009, 01:48 PM
Another vote for Ozymandias over here.

Red Hedgehog
05-01-2009, 02:16 PM
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war !
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves ;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Azar
05-01-2009, 02:17 PM
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

I don't need the rest of it. This is enough.

Falselogic
05-01-2009, 03:06 PM
El Dorado by Poe is a favorite:

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied-
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

There are many more, I think one is enough for now.

Ample Vigour
05-01-2009, 03:16 PM
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
Life to the lees. All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known,-- cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honor'd of them all,--
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
to whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,--
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me,--
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads,-- you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

I also have a deep love of Gary Snyder.

Falselogic
05-01-2009, 03:17 PM
So quite a few of us like poetry, does anyone write poetry? (in the spirit of full disclosure: I write poetry.)

Ample Vigour
05-01-2009, 03:18 PM
So quite a few of us like poetry, does anyone write poetry? (in the spirit of full disclosure: I write poetry.)

I've yet to write a poem I felt like saving.

Falselogic
05-01-2009, 08:47 PM
I think out of all the poems I've written I like this one the best...
I think of a mountain I will never climb
shrouded in the gray mists of early morn
where hides a small stream
that has turned rocks to round smooth pebbles
rolling slowly
slowly into the sea
washed upon western shores: sand.

I think of a small boy
who spent his childhood indoors
with books and incorporeal things,
he called friends and confidants
of a boy who thought himself a hero
though his back reddened at once in the sun
of a youth misspent.

I think of a time before time
in a place before places
where we walked and danced in a dead garden
and though the grass was brown, the tree limbs bare
I felt joy
you were there, with me.

I think of seas I’ll never sail
of a vessel lying unfinished
on the shores of a land whose name
I forget
of a cold easterly wind that whispers
of things not here,
the biting chill of icy water
I’ll never feel upon my brow,
foreign lands, foreign people
far to the south
where the sun is a hammer and everything
Is red iron
unseen by eyes that never opened.

I think of the north where titans still clash
where fathers traveled to, and lost
where ancient bones lie upon endless fields of ice
that know neither thaw, nor warmth
of snow that never settles on the shoulders
of crystalline Towers

I think of an ending, but
don’t believe there is one
of a time after time in a place after places
when the land is empty and the Wind
moans alone through dying trees
and dreams of days past, when children’s breath rode
upon Her
and I had not yet gone north.

Dizzy
05-01-2009, 08:51 PM
Another of my all-time favorites. Good choice.

I didn't realize it before, but that poem is featured in G.I Jane! Huh.

Here I am thinking I discovered it all on my own when I might have unconsciously learned it from that movie. The media is replacing my psyche.

JCDenton
05-01-2009, 09:31 PM
Oh what to do to die today at a minute or two 'til two
A thing distinctly hard to say yet harder still to do
For they'll beat a tattoo at twenty to two
With a rattatta tattatta tattatta too
And the dragon will come when he hears the drum
At a minute or two 'til two today
At a minute or two 'til two.

Lumber Baron
05-03-2009, 07:01 PM
Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
That was built in such a logical way
It ran a hundred years to a day,
And then, of a sudden, it -- ah, but stay,
I'll tell you what happened without delay,
Scaring the parson into fits,
Frightening people out of their wits, --
Have you ever heard of that, I say?

Seventeen hundred and fifty-five.
Georgius Secundus was then alive, --
Snuffy old drone from the German hive.
That was the year when Lisbon-town
Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
And Braddock's army was done so brown,
Left without a scalp to its crown.
It was on the terrible Earthquake-day
That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.

Now in building of chaises, I tell you what,
There is always somewhere a weakest spot, --
In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,
In panel, or crossbar, or floor, or sill,
In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace, -- lurking still,
Find it somewhere you must and will, --
Above or below, or within or without, --
And that's the reason, beyond a doubt,
A chaise breaks down, but does n't wear out.

But the Deacon swore (as Deacons do,
With an "I dew vum," or an "I tell yeou")
He would build one shay to beat the taown
'N' the keounty 'n' all the kentry raoun';
It should be so built that it could n' break daown:
"Fur," said the Deacon, "'t 's mighty plain
Thut the weakes' place mus' stan' the strain;
'N' the way t' fix it, uz I maintain,
Is only jest
T' make that place uz strong uz the rest."

So the Deacon inquired of the village folk
Where he could find the strongest oak,
That could n't be split nor bent nor broke, --
That was for spokes and floor and sills;
He sent for lancewood to make the thills;
The crossbars were ash, from the straightest trees,
The panels of white-wood, that cuts like cheese,
But lasts like iron for things like these;
The hubs of logs from the "Settler's ellum," --
Last of its timber, -- they could n't sell 'em,
Never an axe had seen their chips,
And the wedges flew from between their lips,
Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips;
Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,
Steel of the finest, bright and blue;
Thoroughbrace bison-skin, thick and wide;
Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide
Found in the pit when the tanner died.
That was the way he "put her through."
"There!" said the Deacon, "naow she'll dew!"

Do! I tell you, I rather guess
She was a wonder, and nothing less!
Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,
Deacon and deaconess dropped away,
Children and grandchildren -- where were they?
But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay
As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day!

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED; -- it came and found
The Deacon's masterpiece strong and sound.
Eighteen hundred increased by ten; --
"Hahnsum kerridge" they called it then.
Eighteen hundred and twenty came; --
Running as usual; much the same.
Thirty and forty at last arrive,
And then come fifty, and FIFTY-FIVE.

Little of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its hundreth year
Without both feeling and looking queer.
In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth,
So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
(This is a moral that runs at large;
Take it. -- You're welcome. -- No extra charge.)

FIRST OF NOVEMBER, -- the Earthquake-day, --
There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,
A general flavor of mild decay,
But nothing local, as one may say.
There could n't be, -- for the Deacon's art
Had made it so like in every part
That there was n't a chance for one to start.
For the wheels were just as strong as the thills,
And the floor was just as strong as the sills,
And the panels just as strong as the floor,
And the whipple-tree neither less nor more,
And the back crossbar as strong as the fore,
And spring and axle and hub encore.
And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
In another hour it will be worn out!

First of November, 'Fifty-five!
This morning the parson takes a drive.
Now, small boys, get out of the way!
Here comes the wonderful one-horse shay,
Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.
"Huddup!" said the parson. -- Off went they.
The parson was working his Sunday's text, --
Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed
At what the -- Moses -- was coming next.
All at once the horse stood still,
Close by the meet'n'-house on the hill.
First a shiver, and then a thrill,
Then something decidedly like a spill, --
And the parson was sitting upon a rock,
At half past nine by the meet'n-house clock, --
Just the hour of the Earthquake shock!
What do you think the parson found,
When he got up and stared around?
The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,
As if it had been to the mill and ground!
You see, of course, if you're not a dunce,
How it went to pieces all at once, --
All at once, and nothing first, --
Just as bubbles do when they burst.

End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.
Logic is logic. That's all I say.

tl;dr

LOL, Calvinism

Wolfgang
05-03-2009, 07:07 PM
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :

Oh, man, I forgot - I loved the sequel:

A place where nobody dared to go,
the love that we came to know
They call it Xanadu

And now, open your eyes and see,
what we have made is real
We are in Xanadu

A million lights are dancing and there you are, a shooting star
An everlasting world and you're here with me, eternally

Chorus:
Xanadu, Xanadu, (now we are here) in Xanadu

Xanadu, your neon lights will shine for you, Xanadu

The love, the echoes of long ago,
you needed the world to know
They are in Xanadu

The dream that came through a million years
That lived on through all the tears, it came to Xanadu

A million lights are dancing and there you are, a shooting star
An everlasting world and you're here with me, eternally

Now that I'm here, now that you're near in Xanadu

Bergasa
05-03-2009, 08:11 PM
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

John Donne

Wolfgang
05-03-2009, 08:26 PM
John Donne

Ah, yes. But:

A winters day
In a deep and dark december;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
Its laughter and its loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

ravinoff
05-03-2009, 08:31 PM
Back in high school I would have likely answered either Browning's the Laboratory or Yeats' The Second Coming.

These days I don't have a single favorite but I am very fond of Alan Moore's poem/spoken word piece (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ah5VLztK4) he did at the memorial for Robert Anton Wilson. It might not be as resonant for those not fans of Wilson.