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The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o'clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimneypots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.

The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.

With the other masquerades
That times resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.

You tossed a blanket from the bed
You lay upon your back, and waited;
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed's edge, where
You curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.

His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fade behind a city block,
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o'clock;
And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
And evening newspapers, and eyes
Assured of certain certainties,
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.

I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.

Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.

T.S. Eliot can be difficult to understand and I thank my teacher for breaking it down for us. So, I will be nice as well and share the knowledge,Here we go.
The poem is window's view into the life of a person living in the crumbling impersonal modern city; with its dirty streets and spiritually exhausted people. At the time when it was written the world was in term oil, the first World War and economic depression(sound familiar?) left artist, writers, and people in general with a sense of misdirection and despair. He describes the city as being in a state of winter losing all its direction and vigo, in most cases winter is viewed as a time where things-life if you will- are at a stand still, no growth. The image of burnt out cigarettes suggest a over all lack of energy, fading away in the people and their souls. He goes on to draw a line between modern life and a person hungover, say that they are more or less the same. Life is a little hungover- that image of sickness and splitting head ache and gut churning-paints society and life in the most grim picture. In the last stanza we, the most shocking imagery yet, we are being showed the repetitive nature within society- the mundane things that are being done by everyone- that complacent attitude that has killed the spirit of the people in this modern city.

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."- William Shakespeare

An Irish Airman forsees His Death

by William Bulter Yeats

Major Robert Gregory, a young Irish artist who was the son of Yeat's friend Lady Augusta Gregory, was killed during World War I while flying over Italy as a member of England's Royal Flying Corps. Gregory's death inspired Yeats to write this poem.

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of behind,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

This poem is about coming to terms with impending and inevitable death. A pilot in his plane soaring among the clouds reflecting on his fate. He knows what is awaiting him, death, yet he does not hate people who will bring him to his death. He does not love the country he is protecting, no one is forcing him and he knows that his death will have no effect on his country. But amidst the clouds and sky he find peace and comfort in his death. It is pointless to talk about the future that might be and a vast waste if breath to think of the past. He is certain that he is going to die, there is no hope. So he does the only thing he can do-values the present- deals only with the now.

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."- William Shakespeare

Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great And would suffice.

Robert Frost

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."- William Shakespeare

Romance, from the man who knows romance and it's fleeting ways. Enjoy and treasure it whilst it's within reach, for when it's gone at least you'll have the memory

Edgar Allan Poe

Romance, who loves to nod and sing,
With drowsy head and folded wing,
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been- a most familiar bird-
Taught me my alphabet to say-
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child- with a most knowing eye.

Of late, eternal Condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky.
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings-
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away- forbidden things!
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."- William Shakespeare

On the Beach at Night by Walt Whitman

ON the beach at night,
Stands a child with her father,
Watching the east, the autumn sky.

Up through the darkness,
While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading,
Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky,
Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east,
Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter,
And nigh at hand, only a very little above,
Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades.

From the beach the child holding the hand of her father,
Those burial-clouds that lower victorious soon to devour all,
Watching, silently weeps.

Weep not, child,Weep not, my darling,
With these kisses let me remove your tears,
The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in apparition,
Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge,
They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again,
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure,
The vast immortal suns and the long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.

Then dearest child mournest thou only for Jupiter?
Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars?

Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades.

I have a certain soft spot for Walt Whitman, I don't know why, I just know that I so.
"Weep not my child" brighter days are just beyond the horizon.

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."- William Shakespeare

A Cliff Dwelling

There sandy seems the golden sky
And golden seems the sandy plain.
No habitation meets the eye
Unless in the horizon rim,
Some halfway up the limestone wall,
That spot of black is not a stain
Or shadow, but a cavern hole,
Where someone used to climb and crawl
To rest from his besetting fears.
I see the callus on his soul
The disappearing last of him
And of his race starvation slim,
Oh years ago - ten thousand years

Tell me what you think.

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper."-Robert Frost

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."
- William Shakespeare

Alfred Tennyson

Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal by Alfred Tennyson

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."- William Shakespeare

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