Poetry and art selected by blair mahoney


Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Poetry and art selected by blair mahoney

  1. 1. "Tell me, is the rose naked or is that her only dress? Why do trees conceal the splendor of their roots? Who hears the regrets of the thieving automobile? Is there anything in the world sadder than a train standing in the rain?" "Book of Questions, III" by Pablo Neruda, translated by William O'Daly Image: "Rain, Steam and Speed: The Great Western Railway" by JMW Turner
  2. 2. "Alas! is even love too weak To unlock the heart, and let it speak? Are even lovers powerless to reveal To one another what indeed they feel? I knew the mass of men conceal'd Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal'd They would by other men be met With blank indifference, or with blame reproved; I knew they lived and moved Trick'd in disguises, alien to the rest Of men, and alien to themselves—and yet The same heart beats in every human breast!" From "The Buried Life" by Matthew Arnold Image: "The Lovers" by René Magritte
  3. 3. "Across the floor flits the mechanical toy, fit for a king of several centuries back. A little circus horse with real white hair. His eyes are glossy black. He bears a little dancer on his back. She stands upon her toes and turns and turns. A slanting spray of artificial roses is stitched across her skirt and tinsel bodice. Above her head she poses another spray of artificial roses. His mane and tail are straight from Chirico. He has a formal, melancholy soul. He feels her pink toes dangle toward his back along the little pole that pierces both her body and her soul and goes through his, and reappears below, under his belly, as a big tin key. He canters three steps, then he makes a bow, canters again, bows on one knee, canters, then clicks and stops, and looks at me. The dancer, by this time, has turned her back. He is the more intelligent by far. Facing each other rather desperately— his eye is like a star— we stare and say, 'Well, we have come this far.'" "Cirque D'Hiver" by Elizabeth Bishop
  4. 4. "Even sound writers talk mostly in a drawling And dreaming way about it. He, Who hath given the best definition Of most things, hath given but an imperfect one, Here, informing us that a happy life Is one without impediment to virtue .... In fact, hardly anything which we receive For truth is really and entirely so, Let it appear plain as it may, and let Its appeal be not only to the understanding, But to the senses; for our words do not follow The senses exactly; and it is by words We receive truth and express it.” So says Walter Savage Landor in his Imaginary Conversation between Sir Philip Sidney And Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, all three, In a sense, my own psychiatrists, shrinking The sense of contingency and confusion Itself to a few terms I can quote, ponder Or type: the idea of wisdom, itself, shrinks." From "Essay on Psychiatrists" by Robert Pinsky Image: "The Happy Writers" by David Salle
  5. 5. "Sheets entangle him Naked on his bed Like a toppled mast Slack sails bedeck At sea, no ballast For that even keel He cannot keep— No steering wheel As he falls asleep" "Heat Wave" by Samuel Menashe Image: "Eyes in the Heat" by Jackson Pollock
  6. 6. "going on everywhere in summer’s cold wind winging through hollies. Banana plants flap like canvas sails above a dugout cellar where Latino boys shoulder cans of dirt, rocks. Three doors down more or less . . . things feel approximate like my window draft haunted by Un’aura amorosa I’ve listened and whistled to too much this morning that renews me bitterly sweet like the mug on the pit bull neighborhood kids adore, recovering from surgery while his owner Mike or Fred three doors down lays Italian tiles on his rebuilt stoop. There’s a small tremble in the familiar orders that keep us, that we keep, the ocean’s big breath through high treetops, then lower down a housepainter’s billowing black nets suck and mash above those Michoacáns digging a duplex foundation for New World gold: all those respirations in the pushy nonstop wind thrown like a threshold between us and the trench, us and whatever’s there underworld or overworld where certain friends say they will, at the end of the things of this world, be laid to rest, but (I say) what rest?" "Renovations" by W. S. Di Piero Image: "Ad Parnassum" by Paul Klee
  7. 7. "In fighting the sea, pinging Neptune hidden deep with his heavy trident, the emperor Caligula had his men use whatever means necessary, tearing up the waves, rending still water with swords. The emperor knew Neptune wouldn't give up easily: take no prisoners, he said. Turn back the Nereids and their offspring, they'll share no food at our table. In his human form Caligula was the iron man, chief worshipper of his own cult, his priests of industry heaping wealth at his feet. He grew giddy with success. Turn them back! Turn them back! And the empire jumped, caught up in his fury. Alone with his thoughts, his immensity, Caligula said to himself: the sea can throw up such nasty surprises, there’s room for only one god on the high seas. I will guarantee safe passage for those who take the test, who kiss the bootstraps of my troops, who worship me. When Neptune sent his boats Caligula scrambled his forces, put the empire on war footing, bunkered down in Canberra, said he was doing it for love of humanity, love of his people." "Turning" by John Kinsella Image: "Raft of the Medusa" by Théodore Géricault
  8. 8. "Back from vacation", the barber announces, or the postman, or the girl at the drugstore, now tan. They are amazed to find the workaday world still in place, their absence having slipped no cogs, their customers having hardly missed them, and there being so sparse an audience to tell of the wonders, the pyramids they have seen, the silken warm seas, the nighttimes of marimbas, the purchases achieved in foreign languages, the beggars, the flies, the hotel luxury, the grandeur of marble cities. But at Customs the humdrum pressed its claims. Gray days clicked shut around them; the yoke still fit, warm as if never shucked. The world is still so small, the evidence says, though their hearts cry, "Not so!" "Back From Vacation" by John Updike Image: "Paris Through My Window" by Marc Chagall
  9. 9. "Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, Whether the summer clothe the general earth With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall Heard only in the trances of the blast, Or if the secret ministry of frost Shall hang them up in silent icicles, Quietly shining to the quiet Moon." From "Frost at Midnight" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Image: "Winter Landscape I, Kochel, Bavaria, 1909" by Wassily Kandinsky
  10. 10. "Once in a while you may come across a place where everything seems as close to perfection as you will ever need. And striving to be faultless the air on its knees holds the trees apart, yet nothing is categorically thus, or that, and before the dusk mellows and fails the light is like honey on the stems of tussock grass, and the shadows are mauve birthmarks on the hills." "Place" by Brian Turner Image: "6 Days in Nelson and Canterbury" by Colin McCahon
  11. 11. "The man we surround, the man no one approaches simply weeps, and does not cover it, weeps not like a child, not like the wind, like a man and does not declaim it, nor beat his breast, nor even sob very loudly—yet the dignity of his weeping holds us back from his space, the hollow he makes about him in the midday light, in his pentagram of sorrow, and uniforms back in the crowd who tried to seize him stare out at him, and feel, with amazement, their minds longing for tears as children for a rainbow." From "An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow" by Les Murray Image: "Merzbilde med regnbue (Merzpicture with Rainbow)" by Kurt Schwitters
  12. 12. "Twelve o'clock. Along the reaches of the street Held in a lunar synthesis, Whispering lunar incantations Dissolve the floors of memory And all its clear relations, Its divisions and precisions, Every street lamp that I pass Beats like a fatalistic drum, And through the spaces of the dark Midnight shakes the memory As a madman shakes a dead geranium." From "Rhapsody on a Windy Night" by TS Eliot Image: "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper
  13. 13. "We, in the ages lying In the buried past of the earth, Built Nineveh with our sighing, And Babel itself with our mirth; And o’erthrew them with prophesying To the old of the new world’s worth; For each age is a dream that is dying, Or one that is coming to birth." From "Ode" by Arthur O'Shaughnessy Image: "The Tower of Babel" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
  14. 14. "3. Autumn Testament It is not the farther to go, but the father to be. It is not the longing, but the belonging. It is not the clasp on the purse, but the purse on the lips. It is not above suspicion, but under the pump. It is not the unsettled stomach, but the unsettled mind. It is not the need for god, but the desire for god. It is not evidence of a divine creator, but evidence against a divine creator. It is not the Gaza Strip, but Gazza whipping his shirt off. It is not talking with your feet, but footing it with your mouth. It is not the parting shot, but the passing shot. It is not the power, but the spin. It is not the slant, but the enchantment. It is not the whale in the room, but the pea in the pod. It is not under the mattress, but staring you in the face." From "Demarcations" by James Brown Image: From The Separation Wall, Israel/Palestine by Banksy
  15. 15. "you want to serve & to be left alone to serve & be served, understanding tough materials, marl & old timber, the rich claggy rind of the world where dinosaurs once were kings : well they’re gone now though they survived longer than we have yet, but then we know, don’t we, citizen, that there’s nowhere to defect to, & that living in the universe doesn’t leave you any place to chuck stuff off of." From "Pathway to the Sea" by Ian Wedde Image: "Pathway to the Sea" by Ralph Hotere