Allen Ginsberg | |
takes him strolling
by railroad and by river
-he's the son of the absconded
hot rod angel-
and he imagines cars
and rides them in his dreams,
so lonely growing up among
the imaginary automobiles
and dead souls of Tarrytown
out of his own imagination
the beauty of his wild
he cannot inherit.
Will he later hallucinate
his gods? Waking
among mysteries with
an insane gleam
something so rare
in his soul,
met only in dreams
of another life.
A question of the soul.
And the injured
losing their injury
in their innocence
-a cock, a cross,
an excellence of love.
And the father grieves
complexities of memory
a thousand miles
of the unexpected
bumming toward his door.
- New York, April 13, 1952
Constantine P Cavafy | |
I never had you, nor will I ever have you
A few words, an approach
as in the bar yesterday, and nothing more.
It is, undeniably, a pity.
But we who serve Art
sometimes with intensity of mind, and of course only
for a short while, we create pleasure
which almost seems real.
So in the bar the day before yesterday -- the merciful alcohol
was also helping much --
I had a perfectly erotic half-hour.
And it seems to me that you understood,
and stayed somewhat longer on purpose.
This was very necessary.
for all the imagination and the wizard alcohol,
I needed to see your lips as well,
I needed to have your body close.
A S J Tessimond | |
Architects plant their imagination, weld their poems on rock,
Clamp them to the skidding rim of the world and anchor them down to its core;
Leave more than the painter's or poet's snail-bright trail on a friable leaf;
Can build their chrysalis round them - stand in their sculpture's belly.
They see through stone, they cage and partition air, they cross-rig space
With footholds, planks for a dance; yet their maze, their flying trapeze
Is pinned to the centre.
They write their euclidean music standing
With a hand on a cornice of cloud, themselves set fast, earth-square.
Marilyn L Taylor | |
They take us by surprise, these tall perennials
that jut like hollyhocks above the canopy
of all the rest of us—bright testimonials
to the scale of human possibility.
They come to bloom for every generation,
blazing with extraordinary notions
from the taproots of imagination—
dazzling us with incandescent visions.
And soon, the things we never thought would happen
start to happen: the solid fences
of reality begin to soften,
crumbling into fables and romances—
and we turn away from where we've been
to a new place, where light is pouring in.
Ehsan Sehgal | |
"Love does not recognise wisdom and beauty, it feels only heart beating, in which displays the imagination of beloved.
Ehsan Sehgal | |
"Among the people, there will be someone like a poetry, like an imagination that is neither perceived as real nor present to the senses, when it comes true and visible, it is the Divine gift and reward of one's inner wishes, desires and prayers.
A R Ammons | |
Walking is like
dissolves the circle
into motion; the eye here
and there rests
on a leaf,
gap, or ledge,
sight touches seen:
stop, though, and
reality snaps back
in, locked hard,
the self, too, then
caught real, clouds
and wind melting
into their directions,
breaking around and
over, down and out,
Perhaps the death mother like the birth mother
does not desert us but comes to tend
and produce us, to make room for us
and bear us tenderly, considerately,
through the gates, to see us through,
to ease our pains, quell our cries,
to hover over and nestle us, to deliver
us into the greatest, most enduring
peace, all the way past the bother of
beyond the finework of frailty,
the mishmash house of the coming & going,
the eddies and curlicues
Robert Seymour Bridges | |
The sickness of desire, that in dark days
Looks on the imagination of despair,
Forgetteth man, and stinteth God his praise;
Nor but in sleep findeth a cure for care.
Incertainty that once gave scope to dream
Of laughing enterprise and glory untold,
Is now a blackness that no stars redeem,
A wall of terror in a night of cold.
Fool! thou that hast impossibly desired
And now impatiently despairest, see
How nought is changed: Joy's wisdom is attired
Splendid for others' eyes if not for thee:
Not love or beauty or youth from earth is fled:
If they delite thee not, 'tis thou art dead.
Dejan Stojanovic | |
I imagined I was a mountain
Then I became a cloud over that mountain
Lightning and thunder pummeled the mountain
Pierced the heart of the earth,
Becoming lava and exploding as a volcano.
I imagined I was a star
Light traveling into space
Then I grew as a tree
With leaves of galaxies eating the light
Becoming the angel of life and the bearer of light.
I imagined I was a black hole
Flying through myself and swallowing myself
While eating others to consume the abyss of energy
But still, holding the whole galaxy in order
Keeping billions of stars circling around me.
I imagined I was God for a millisecond
And became speechless for a long time.
Thomas Hood | |
She was a woman peerless in her station,
With household virtues wedded to her name;
Spotless in linen, grass-bleached in her fame;
And pure and clear-starched in her conversation;
Thence in my Castle of Imagination
She dwells for evermore, the dainty dame,
To keep all airy draperies from shame
And all dream furnitures in preservation:
There walketh she with keys quite silver bright,
In perfect hose and shoes of seemly black,
Apron and stomacher of lily white,
And decent order follows in her track:
The burnished plate grows lustrous in her sight,
And polished floors and tables shine her back.
Denise Levertov | |
There's in my mind a woman
of innocence, unadorned but
fair-featured and smelling of
apples or grass.
a utopian smock or shift, her hair
is light brown and smooth, and she
is kind and very clean without
but she has
And there's a
turbulent moon-ridden girl
or old woman, or both,
dressed in opals and rags, feathers
and torn taffeta,
who knows strange songs
but she is not kind.
Denise Levertov | |
From the tawny light
from the rainy nights
from the imagination finding
itself and more than itself
alone and more than alone
at the bottom of the well where the moon lives,
can you pull me
into December? a lowland
of space, perception of space
towering of shadows of clouds blown upon
clouds over new ground, new made
under heavy December footsteps? the only
way to live?
The flawed moon acts on the truth, and makes
an autumn of tentative silences.
You lived, but somewhere else,
your presence touched others, ring upon ring,
Did you think I would not change?
The black moon turns away, its work done.
A tenderness, unspoken autumn.
We are faithful only to the imagination.
What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth.
What holds you to what you see of me is
that grasp alone.
Elinor Wylie | |
Why should my sleepy heart be taught
To whistle mocking-bird replies?
This is another bird you've caught,
Soft-feathered, with a falcon's eyes.
The bird Imagination,
That flies so far, that dies so soon;
Her wings are coloured like the sun,
Her breast is coloured like the moon.
Weave her a chain of silver twist,
And a little hood of scarlet wool,
And let her perch upon your wrist,
And tell her she is beautiful.
Robert William Service | |
Some inherit manly beauty,
Some come into worldly wealth;
Some have lofty sense of duty,
Others boast exultant health.
Though the pick may be confusing,
Health, wealth, charm or character,
If you had the chance of choosing
Which would you prefer?
I'm not sold on body beauty,
Though health I appreciate;
Character and sense of duty
I resign to Men of State.
I don't need a heap of money;
Oh I know I'm hard to please.
Though to you it may seem funny,
I want none of these.
No, give me Imagination,
And the gift of weaving words
Into patterns of creation,
With the lilt of singing birds;
Passion and the power to show it,
Sense of life with love expressed:
Let my be a bloody poet,--
You can keep the rest.
Robert William Service | |
A gaunt and hoary slab of stone
I found in desert place,
And wondered why it lay alone
In that abandoned place.
Said I: 'Maybe a Palace stood
Where now the lizards crawl,
With courts of musky quietude
And turrets tall.
Maybe where low the vultures wing
'Mid mosque and minaret,
The proud pavilion of a King
Was luminously set.
'Mid fairy fountains, alcoves dim,
Upon a garnet throne
He ruled,--and now all trace of him
Is just this stone.
Ah well, I've done with wandering,
But from a blousy bar
I see with drunk imagining
A Palace like a star.
I build it up from one grey stone
With gardens hanging high,
And dream .
Long, long ere Babylon
It's King was I.
Delmore Schwartz | |
Where the sea gulls sleep or indeed where they fly
Is a place of different traffic.
Consider the fishing bay (where I see them dip and curve
And purely glide) a place that weakens the nerve
Of will, and closes my eyes, as they should not be
(They should burn like the street-light all night quietly,
So that whatever is present will be known to me),
Nevertheless the gulls and the imagination
Of where they sleep, which comes to creation
In strict shape and color, from their dallying
Their wings slowly, and suddenly rallying
Over, up, down the arabesque of descent,
Is an old act enacted, my fabulous intent
When I skated, afraid of policemen, five years old,
In the winter sunset, sorrowful and cold,
Hardly attained to thought, but old enough to know
Such grace, so self-contained, was the best escape to know.
Delmore Schwartz | |
This is the greatest thing in North America:
Europe is the greatest thing in North America!
High in the sky, dark in the heart, and always there
Among the natural powers of sunlight and of air,
Changing, second by second, shifting and changing the
Bring fresh rain to the stone of the library steps.
Under the famous names upon the pediment:
Cicero, Augustine, Scotus, Galileo,
Joseph, Odysseus, Hamlet, Columbus and Spinoza,
Anna Karenina, Alyosha Karamazov, Sherlock Holmes.
And the last three also live upon the silver screen
Three blocks away, in moonlight's artificial day,
A double bill in the darkened palace whirled,
And the veritable glittering light of the turning world's
Burning mind and blazing imagination, showing, day by
And week after week the desires of the heart and mind
Of all the living souls yearning everywhere
From Canada to Panama, from Brooklyn to Paraguay,
From Cuba to Vancouver, every afternoon and every night.
George Meredith | |
Give to imagination some pure light
In human form to fix it, or you shame
The devils with that hideous human game:
Imagination urging appetite!
Thus fallen have earth's greatest Gogmagogs,
Who dazzle us, whom we can not revere:
Imagination is the charioteer
That, in default of better, drives the hogs.
So, therefore, my dear Lady, let me love!
My soul is arrowy to the light in you.
You know me that I never can renew
The bond that woman broke: what would you have?
'Tis Love, or Vileness! not a choice between,
Save petrifaction! What does Pity here?
She killed a thing, and now it's dead, 'tis dear.
Oh, when you counsel me, think what you mean!
Wallace Stevens | |
Light the first light of evening, as in a room
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.
This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:
Within a single thing, a single shawl
Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,
A light, a power, the miraculous influence.
Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.
Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one.
How high that highest candle lights the dark.
Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.
Barry Tebb | |
Two nights I have dreamed of you
Once as an adolescent, evanescent
Yet tangible still to the spirit’s touch,
Then as a ten year old in the shared
Secret garden of our imagination.
Quincy Troupe | |
ice sheets sweep this slick mirrored dark place
space as keys that turn in tight, trigger
pain of situations
where we move ever so slowly
so gently into time — traced agony
the bright turning of imagination
grooved through revolving doors, opening up to enter
mountains where spirits walk voices, ever so slowly
swept by cold, breathing fire
as these elliptical moments of illusion
link fragile loves sunk deep in snows as footprints
the voice prints cold black gesticulations
bone bare voices
chewed skeletal choices
in fangs of piranha gales
spewing out slivers of raucous laughter
glinting bright as hard polished silver nails
Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |
WE overstate the ills of life, and take
Imagination (given us to bring down
The choirs of singing angels overshone
By God's clear glory) down our earth to rake
The dismal snows instead, flake following flake,
To cover all the corn; we walk upon
The shadow of hills across a level thrown,
And pant like climbers: near the alder brake
We sigh so loud, the nightingale within
Refuses to sing loud, as else she would.
O brothers, let us leave the shame and sin
Of taking vainly, in a plaintive mood,
The holy name of GRIEF !--holy herein
That by the grief of ONE came all our good.
Robert Frost | |
Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.
Emily Dickinson | |
The gleam of an heroic Act
Such strange illumination
The Possible's slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination.
William Butler Yeats | |
Picture and book remain,
An acre of green grass
For air and exercise,
Now strength of body goes;
Midnight, an old house
Where nothing stirs but a mouse.
My temptation is quiet.
Here at life's end
Neither loose imagination,
Nor the mill of the mind
Consuming its rag and bonc,
Can make the truth known.
Grant me an old man's frenzy,
Myself must I remake
Till I am Timon and Lear
Or that William Blake
Who beat upon the wall
Till Truth obeyed his call;
A mind Michael Angelo knew
That can pierce the clouds,
Or inspired by frenzy
Shake the dead in their shrouds;
Forgotten else by mankind,
An old man's eagle mind.