Poem of the day

I Hear It Was Charged Against Me
by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions;
But really I am neither for nor against institutions;
(What indeed have I in common with them?—Or what with the destruction of them?)
Only I will establish in the Mannahatta, and in every city of These States, inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, and above every keel, little or large, that dents the water,
Without edifices, or rules, or trustees, or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.

Views: 65

Poem of the day

Love’s Blindness
by Alfred Austin (1835-1913)

Now do I know that Love is blind, for I
Can see no beauty on this beauteous earth,
No life, no light, no hopefulness, no mirth,
Pleasure nor purpose, when thou art not nigh.
Thy absence exiles sunshine from the sky,
Seres Spring’s maturity, checks Summer’s birth,
Leaves linnet’s pipe as sad as plover’s cry,
And makes me in abundance find but dearth.
But when thy feet flutter the dark, and thou
With orient eyes dawnest on my distress,
Suddenly sings a bird on every bough,
The heavens expand, the earth grows less and less,
The ground is buoyant as the ether now,
And all looks lovely in thy loveliness.

Views: 60

Perhaps the national animal of the UK is the lemming

Or perhaps, more ominously: “Farage and his supporters see Brexit as the cloak to disguise their real ambitions to change our country, our culture and our future. He has aligned himself to people at the heart of the populist movements in the US and across Europe, which are set on putting a torch to the old order and its institutions, infrastructure and politics. Out of that chaos he wants to see nothing less than a survivalist economy, a world of rich asset-strippers, rights and equality opposers and climate deniers.”

It is pitiful enough watching the Tory party trying to out-Farage Farage, but it?s also taking Britain closer to disaster, says campaigner Gina Miller

Views: 45

Poem of the day

The Rolling English Road
by Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road,
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire,
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread,
The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,
Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run
Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?
The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,
But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.
God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.

Views: 33

How Trump thinks

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg: “The reporting is pretty clear: Trump doesn’t read briefings, on politics or anything else. He doesn’t appear to have absorbed the basics of public policy, whether on health care or national security or even issues, like trade, that he cares about. Instead, he seems to pick up fragments of information in conversation or, more often, from cable television. Often, it’s partisan talking points, which isn’t surprising since much of what airs on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC consists of partisan talking points.

“Trump then extracts some fact or detail he finds useful from that input, and comes up with his own way of expressing it. Usually, he pretties it up, smooths out any nuances and exaggerates significantly. Then he tests it out, on Twitter and especially at his rallies, working for the wording that gets the biggest reaction. And then? As far as I can tell, Trump winds up believing the final version of whatever it is he has produced.”

Views: 56

Poem of the day

Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms
by Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
   Which I gaze on so fondly to-day,
Were to change by to-morrow, and fleet in my arms,
   Live fairy-gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
   Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
   Would entwine itself verdantly still.

It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
   And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul may be known,
   To which time will but make thee more dear!
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
   But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets
   The same look which she turned when he rose!

Views: 48

Poem of the day

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
by Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)

This has recorded umpteen million times but for my money the best rendition is Odetta’s.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you My grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Views: 42

Poem of the day

An Answer to a Love-Letter
by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762)

Is it to me, this sad lamenting strain?
Are heaven’s choicest gifts bestowed in vain?
A plenteous fortune, and a beauteous bride,
Your love rewarded, gratify’d your pride:
Yet leaving her—’tis me that you pursue
Without one single charm, but being new.
How vile is man! how I detest their ways
Of artful falsehood, and designing praise!
Tasteless, an easy happiness you slight,
Ruin your joy, and mischief your delight,
Why should poor pug (the mimic of your kind)
Wear a rough chain, and be to box confin’d?
Some cup, perhaps, he breaks, or tears a fan
While roves unpunish’d the destroyer, man.
Not bound by vows, and unrestrain’d by shame,
In sport you break the heart, and rend the fame.
Not that your art can be successful here,
Th’ already plunder’d need no robber fear:
Nor sighs, nor charms, nor flatteries can move,
Too well secur’d against a second love
Once, and but once, that devil charm’d my mind;
To reason deaf, to observation blind;
I idly hop’d (what cannot love persuade?)
My fondness equal’d, and my love repaid:
Slow to distrust, and willing to believe,
Long hush’d my doubts, and did myself deceive;
But oh! too soon—this tale would ever last;
Sleep, sleep my wrongs, and let me think them past.
For you, who mourn with counterfeited grief,
And ask so boldly like a begging thief,
May soon some other nymph inflict the pain,
You know so well with cruel art to feign.
Though long you sported with Dan Cupid’s dart,
You may see eyes, and you may feel a heart.
So the brisk wits, who stop the evening coach,
Laugh at the fear which follows their approach;
With idle mirth, and haughty scorn despise
The passenger’s pale cheek and staring eyes:
But seiz’d by Justice, find a fright no jest,
And all the terror doubled in their breast.

Views: 51

Game of the week

Réti would be 130 on Tuesday.

Views: 50

Poem of the day

Give All to Love
by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-fame,
Plans, credit and the Muse,—
Nothing refuse.

’T is a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent;
But it is a god,
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending,
It will reward,—
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,—
Keep thee to-day,
To-morrow, forever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young,
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture’s hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.

Views: 65