Tupac Shakur |
Father forgive us for living
Why are all my homies stuck in prison?
Barely breathing, believing that this world is a prison
It's like a ghetto we can never leave
A broken rose giving bloom through the cracks of the concrete
So many things for us to see
Things to be
Our history so full of tragedy and misery
To all the homies who never made it home
The dead peers I shed tattooed tears for when I'm alone
Picture us inside a ghetto heaven
A place to rest finding peace through this land of stress
In my chest I feel pain come in sudden storms
A life full of rain in this game watch for land thorns
Our unborn never got to grow, never got to see what's next
In this world filled with countless threats
I beg God to find a way for our ghetto kids to breath
Show a sign make us all believe
Rupert Brooke |
Sir, since the last Elizabethan died,
Or, rather, that more Paradisal muse,
Blind with much light, passed to the light more glorious
Or deeper blindness, no man's hand, as thine,
Has, on the world's most noblest chord of song,
Struck certain magic strains.
With the clamorous, timorous whisperings of to-day,
Thrilled to perceive once more the spacious voice
And serene unterrance of old.
-- With rapturous breath half-held, as a dreamer dreams
Who dares not know it dreaming, lest he wake --
The odorous, amorous style of poetry,
The melancholy knocking of those lines,
The long, low soughing of pentameters,
-- Or the sharp of rhyme as a bird's cry --
And the innumerable truant polysyllables
Multitudinously twittering like a bee.
Fulfilled our hearts were with the music then,
And all the evenings sighed it to the dawn,
And all the lovers heard it from all the trees.
All of the accents upon the all the norms!
-- And ah! the stress of the penultimate!
We never knew blank verse could have such feet.
Where is it now? Oh, more than ever, now
I sometimes think no poetry is read
Save where some sepultured C?sura bled,
Royally incarnadining all the line.
Is the imperial iamb laid to rest,
And the young trochee, having done enough?
Ah! turn again! Sing so to us, who are sick
Of seeming-simple rhymes, bizarre emotions,
Decked in the simple verses of the day,
Infinite meaning in a little gloom,
Irregular thoughts in stanzas regular,
Modern despair in antique metres, myths
Incomprehensible at evening,
And symbols that mean nothing in the dawn.
The slow lines swell.
The new style sighs.
Moans round with many voices.
God! to see
Gaunt anap?sts stand up out of the verse,
Combative accents, stress where no stress should be,
Spondee on spondee, iamb on choriamb,
The thrill of all the tribrachs in the world,
And all the vowels rising to the E!
To hear the blessed mutter of those verbs,
Conjunctions passionate toward each other's arms,
And epithets like amaranthine lovers
Stretching luxuriously to the stars,
All prouder pronouns than the dawn, and all
The thunder of the trumpets of the noun!
Tupac Shakur |
With all this extra stressing the question I wonder is after death
After my last breath
When will I finally get to rest from this oppression?
They punish the people that's asking questions
And those that possess steal from the ones without possessions
The message I stress
To make you stop study your lessons
Don't settle for less
Even the genius asks his questions
Be grateful for blessings
Don't ever change, keep your essense
The power is in the people and politics we address
Always do your best
Don't let the pressure make you panic
And when you get stranded and things don't go the way you planned it
Dreaming of riches in the position of making a difference
Politicians is hypocrites
They don't want to listen
If I'm insane it's the fame
I ain't about to change
It ain't nothing like the game
It's just me against the world
More great poems below...
Adrienne Rich |
First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.
There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.
I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.
And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
you breathe differently down here.
I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed
the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and away into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.
This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he
whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass
We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
our names do not appear.
Vernon Scannell |
Perhaps I can make it plain by analogy.
Imagine a machine, not yet assembled,
Each part being quite necessary
To the functioning of the whole: if the job is fumbled
And a vital piece mislaid
The machine is quite valueless,
The workers will not be paid.
It is just the same when constructing a sentence
But here we must be very careful
And lay stress on the extreme importance
Of defining our terms: nothing is as simple
As it seems at first regard.
"Sentence" might well mean to you
The amorous rope or twelve years" hard.
No, by "sentence" we mean, quite simply, words
Put together like the parts of a machine.
Now remember we must have a verb: verbs
Are words of action like Murder, Love, or Sin.
But these might be nouns, depending
On how you use them –
Already the plot is thickening.
Except when the mood is imperative; that is to say
A command is given like Pray, Repent, or Forgive
(Dear me, these lessons get gloomier every day)
Except, as I was saying, when the mood is gloomy –
I mean imperative
We need nouns, or else of course
Pronouns; words like Maid,
Man, Wedding or Divorce.
A sentence must make sense.
Sometimes I believe
Our lives are ungrammatical.
I guess that some of
Have misplaced the direct object: the longer I live
The less certain I feel of anything I do.
But now I begin
Write down these simple sentences:--
I am sentenced: I love: I murder: I sin.
Edgar Albert Guest |
(For John Bunker)
The roar of the world is in my ears.
Thank God for the roar of the world!
Thank God for the mighty tide of fears
Against me always hurled!
Thank God for the bitter and ceaseless strife,
And the sting of His chastening rod!
Thank God for the stress and the pain of life,
And Oh, thank God for God!
Thomas Hardy |
WILLIAM Dewy, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late at plough,
Robert's kin, and John's, and Ned's,
And the Squire, and Lady Susan, lie in Mellstock churchyard now!
"Gone," I call them, gone for good, that group of local hearts and
Yet at mothy curfew-tide,
And at midnight when the noon-heat breathes it back from walls and
They've a way of whispering to me--fellow-wight who yet abide--
In the muted, measured note
Of a ripple under archways, or a lone cave's stillicide:
"We have triumphed: this achievement turns the bane to antidote,
Unsuccesses to success,
Many thought-worn eves and morrows to a morrow free of thought.
"No more need we corn and clothing, feel of old terrestrial stress;
Chill detraction stirs no sigh;
Fear of death has even bygone us: death gave all that we possess.
--"Ye mid burn the wold bass-viol that I set such vallie by.
--"You may hold the manse in fee,
You may wed my spouse, my children's memory of me may decry.
--"You may have my rich brocades, my laces; take each household
Ransack coffer, desk, bureau;
Quiz the few poor treasures hid there, con the letters kept by me.
--"Ye mid zell my favorite heifer, ye mid let the charlock grow,
Foul the grinterns, give up thrift.
--"If ye break my best blue china, children, I sha'n't care or
All--"We've no wish to hear the tidings, how the people's fortunes
What your daily doings are;
Who are wedded, born, divided; if your lives beat slow or swift.
"Curious not the least are we if our intents you make or mar,
If you quire to our old tune,
If the City stage still passes, if the weirs still roar afar.
Thus, with very gods' composure, freed those crosses late and soon
Which, in life, the Trine allow
(Why, none witteth), and ignoring all that haps beneath the moon,
William Dewy, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late at plough,
Robert's kin, and John's, and Ned's,
And the Squire, and Lady Susan, murmur mildly to me now.
Algernon Charles Swinburne |
From the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable nimbus of nebulous noonshine,
Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float,
Are they looks of our lovers that lustrously lean from a marvel of mystic miraculous moonshine,
These that we feel in the blood of our blushes that thicken and threaten with throbs through the throat?
Thicken and thrill as a theatre thronged at appeal of an actor's appalled agitation,
Fainter with fear of the fires of the future than pale with the promise of pride in the past;
Flushed with the famishing fullness of fever that reddens with radiance of rathe recreation,
Gaunt as the ghastliest of glimpses that gleam through the gloom of the gloaming when ghosts go aghast?
Nay, for the nick of the tick of the time is a tremulous touch on the temples of terror,
Strained as the sinews yet strenuous with strife of the dead who is dumb as the dust-heaps of death:
Surely no soul is it, sweet as the spasm of erotic emotional exquisite error,
Bathed in the balms of beatified bliss, beatific itself by beatitude's breath.
Surely no spirit or sense of a soul that was soft to the spirit and soul of our senses
Sweetens the stress of suspiring suspicion that sobs in the semblance and sound of a sigh;
Only this oracle opens Olympian, in mystical moods and triangular tenses--
"Life is the lust of a lamp for the light that is dark till the dawn of the day when we die.
Mild is the mirk and monotonous music of memory, melodiously mute as it may be,
While the hope in the heart of a hero is bruised by the breach of men's rapiers, resigned to the rod;
Made meek as a mother whose bosom-beats bound with the bliss-bringing bulk of a balm-breathing baby,
As they grope through the grave-yard of creeds, under skies growing green at a groan for the grimness of God.
Blank is the book of his bounty beholden of old, and its binding is blacker than bluer:
Out of blue into black is the scheme of the skies, and their dews are the wine of the bloodshed of things;
Till the darkling desire of delight shall be free as a fawn that is freed from the fangs that pursue her,
Till the heart-beats of hell shall be hushed by a hymn from the hunt that has harried the kennel of kings.
Rudyard Kipling |
"The Village That Voted the Earth Was Flat"-- A Diversity of Creatures
The Soldier may forget his Sword,
The Sailorman the Sea,
The Mason may forget the Word
And the Priest his Litany:
The Maid may forget both jewel and gem,
And the Bride her wedding-dress--
But the Jew shall forget Jerusalem
Ere we forget the Press!
Who once hath stood through the loaded hour
Ere, roaring like the gale,
The Harrild and the Hoe devour
Their league-long paper-bale,
And has lit his pipe in the morning calm
That follows the midnight stress--
He hath sold his heart to the old Black Art
We call the daily Press.
Who once hath dealt in the widest game
That all of a man can play,
No later love, no larger fame
Will lure him long away.
As the war-horse snuffeth the battle afar,
The entered Soul, no less,
He saith: "Ha! Ha!" where the trumpets are
And the thunders of the Press!
Canst thou number the days that we fulfill,
Or the Times that we bring forth?
Canst thou send the lightnings to do thy will,
And cause them reign on earth?
Hast thou given a peacock goodly wings,
To please his foolishness?
Sit down at the heart of men and things,
Companion of the Press!
The Pope may launch his Interdict,
The Union its decree,
But the bubble is blown and the bubble is pricked
By Us and such as We.
Remember the battle and stand aside
While Thrones and Powers confess
That King over all the children of pride
Is the Press--the Press--the Press!
Henrik Ibsen |
NOW, rallying once if ne'er again,
With flag at half-mast flown,
A people in dire need and strain
Mans Tyra's bastion.
Betrayed in danger's hour, betrayed
Before the stress of strife!
Was this the meaning that it had--
That clasp of hands at Axelstad
Which gave the North new life?
The words that seemed as if they rushed
From deepest heart-springs out
Were phrases, then! -- the freshet gushed,
And now is fall'n the drought.
The tree, that promised rich in bloom
Mid festal sun and shower,
Stands wind-stript in the louring gloom,
A cross to mark young Norway's tomb,
The first dark testing-hour.
They were but Judas kisses, lies
In fatal wreaths enwound,
The cheers of Norway's sons, and cries
Towards the beach of Sound.
What passed that time we watched them meet,
'Twixt Norse and Danish lord?
Oh! nothing! only to repeat
King Gustav's play at Stockholm's seat
With the Twelfth Charles' sword.
"A people doomed, whose knell is rung,
Betrayed by every friend!" --
Is the book closed and the song sung?
Is this our Denmark's end?
Who set the craven colophon,
While Germans seized the hold,
And o'er the last Dane lying prone
Old Denmark's tattered flag was thrown
With doubly crimsoned fold?
But thou, my brother Norsemen, set
Beyond the war-storm's power
Because thou knewest to forget
Fair words in danger's hour:
Flee from thy homes of ancient fame--
Go chase a new sunrise--
Pursue oblivion, and for shame
Disguise thee in a stranger's name
To hide from thine own eyes!
Each wind that sighs from Danish waves
Through Norway's woods of pine,
Of thy pale lips an answer craves:
Where wast thou, brother mine?
I fought for both a deadly fight;
In vain to spy thy prow
O'er belt and fiord I strained my sight:
My fatherland with graves grew white:
My brother, where wast thou?
It was a dream! Arise, awake
To do a nation's deed!
Each to his post, swift counsel take;
A brother is in need!
A nobler song may yet be sung--
Danes, Danes, keep Tyra's hold--
And o'er a Northern era, young
And rich in hope, be proudly flung
The red flag's tattered fold.
Robert William Service |
Once, when a boy, I killed a cat.
I guess it's just because of that
A cat evokes my tenderness,
And takes so kindly my caress.
For with a rich, resonant purr
It sleeks an arch or ardent fur
So vibrantly against my shin;
And as I tickle tilted chin
And rub the roots of velvet ears
Its tail in undulation rears.
Then tremoring with all its might,
In blissful sensuous delight,
It looks aloft with lambent eyes,
Mystic, Egyptianly wise,
And O so eloquently tries
In every fibre to express
Consummate trust and friendliness.
I think the longer that we live
The more do we grow sensitive
Of hurt and harm to man and beast,
And learn to suffer at the least
Surmise of other's suffering;
Till pity, lie an eager spring
Wells up, and we are over-fain
To vibrate to the chords of pain.
For look you - after three-score yeas
I see with anguish nigh to tears
That starveling cat so sudden still
I set my terrier to to kill.
Great, golden memories pale away,
But that unto my dying day
Will haunt and haunt me horribly.
Why, even my poor dog felt shame
And shrank away as if to blame
of that poor mangled mother-cat
Would ever lie at his doormat.
What's done is done.
No power can bring
To living joy a slaughtered thing.
Aye, if of life I gave my own
I could not for my guilt atone.
And though in stress of sea and land
Sweet breath has ended at my hand,
That boyhood killing in my eyes
A thousand must epitomize.
Yet to my twilight steals a thought:
Somehow forgiveness may be bought;
Somewhere I'll live my life again
So finely sensitized to pain,
With heart so rhymed to truth and right
That Truth will be a blaze of light;
All all the evil I have wrought
Will haggardly to home be brought.
Then will I know my hell indeed,
And bleed where I made others bleed,
Till purged by penitence of sin
To Peace (or Heaven) I may win.
Well, anyway, you know the why
We are so pally, cats and I;
So if you have the gift of shame,
O Fellow-sinner, be the same.
Thomas Hardy |
I need not go
Through sleet and snow
To where I know
She waits for me;
She will wait me there
Till I find it fair,
And have time to spare
When I've overgot
The world somewhat,
When things cost not
Such stress and strain,
Is soon enough
By cypress sough
To tell my Love
I am come again.
And if some day,
When none cries nay,
I still delay
To seek her side,
(Though ample measure
Of fitting leisure
Await my pleasure)
She will riot chide.
What--not upbraid me
That I delayed me,
Nor ask what stayed me
So long? Ah, no! -
New cares may claim me,
New loves inflame me,
She will not blame me,
But suffer it so.
Gerard Manley Hopkins |
How lovely the elder brother's
Life all laced in the other's,
Lóve-laced!—what once I well
Witnessed; so fortune fell.
When Shrovetide, two years gone,
Our boys' plays brought on
Part was picked for John,
Young Jóhn: then fear, then joy
Ran revel in the elder boy.
Their night was come now; all
Our company thronged the hall;
Henry, by the wall,
Beckoned me beside him:
I came where called, and eyed him
By meanwhiles; making my play
Turn most on tender byplay.
For, wrung all on love's rack,
My lad, and lost in Jack,
Smiled, blushed, and bit his lip;
Or drove, with a diver's dip,
Clutched hands down through clasped knees—
Truth's tokens tricks like these,
Old telltales, with what stress
He hung on the imp's success.
Now the other was bráss-bóld:
Hé had no work to hold
His heart up at the strain;
Nay, roguish ran the vein.
Two tedious acts were past;
Jack's call and cue at last;
When Henry, heart-forsook,
Dropped eyes and dared not look.
Eh, how áll rúng!
Young dog, he did give tongue!
But Harry—in his hands he has flung
His tear-tricked cheeks of flame
For fond love and for shame.
Ah Nature, framed in fault,
There 's comfort then, there 's salt;
Nature, bad, base, and blind,
Dearly thou canst be kind;
There dearly thén, deárly,
I'll cry thou canst be kind.
Emma Lazarus |
THE MIGHT that shaped itself through storm and stress
In chaos, here is lulled in breathing sweet;
Under the long brown ridge in gentleness
Its fierce old pulses beat.
Quiet and sad we go at eve; the fire
That woke exultant in an earlier day
Is dead; the memories of old desire
Only in shadows play.
We liken love to this and that; our thought
The echo of a deeper being seems:
We kiss, because God once for beauty sought
Within a world of dreams.
Sidney Lanier |
In the heart of the Hills of Life, I know
Two springs that with unbroken flow
Forever pour their lucent streams
Into my soul's far Lake of Dreams.
Not larger than two eyes, they lie
Beneath the many-changing sky
And mirror all of life and time,
-- Serene and dainty pantomime.
Shot through with lights of stars and dawns,
And shadowed sweet by ferns and fawns,
-- Thus heaven and earth together vie
Their shining depths to sanctify.
Always when the large Form of Love
Is hid by storms that rage above,
I gaze in my two springs and see
Love in his very verity.
Always when Faith with stifling stress
Of grief hath died in bitterness,
I gaze in my two springs and see
A Faith that smiles immortally.
Always when Charity and Hope,
In darkness bounden, feebly grope,
I gaze in my two springs and see
A Light that sets my captives free.
Always, when Art on perverse wing
Flies where I cannot hear him sing,
I gaze in my two springs and see
A charm that brings him back to me.
When Labor faints, and Glory fails,
And coy Reward in sighs exhales,
I gaze in my two springs and see
Attainment full and heavenly.
O Love, O Wife, thine eyes are they,
-- My springs from out whose shining gray
Issue the sweet celestial streams
That feed my life's bright Lake of Dreams.
Oval and large and passion-pure
And gray and wise and honor-sure;
Soft as a dying violet-breath
Yet calmly unafraid of death;
Thronged, like two dove-cotes of gray doves,
With wife's and mother's and poor-folk's loves,
And home-loves and high glory-loves
And science-loves and story-loves,
And loves for all that God and man
In art and nature make or plan,
And lady-loves for spidery lace
And broideries and supple grace
And diamonds and the whole sweet round
Of littles that large life compound,
And loves for God and God's bare truth,
And loves for Magdalen and Ruth,
Dear eyes, dear eyes and rare complete --
Being heavenly-sweet and earthly-sweet,
-- I marvel that God made you mine,
For when He frowns, 'tis then ye shine!