Links, July 20

HISTORY
THE GREAT WAR

French soldier’s room unchanged 96 years after his death in first world war
Sainsbury’s Christmas ad is a dangerous and disrespectful masterpiece
Fighting talk: how Tommies found a common language in the trenches: “First world war soldiers would fight side by side but often not share a language – so they invented their own”
Mother’s Day Turns 100: Its Surprisingly Dark History

ODE TO A FULLERPHONE

By Sigmn R.MELLOR, published in ‘Jimmy’,
the WW2 journal of the Royal Corps of
Signals in the Middle East (AN: also used in WWI, poem came up in re: ‘Tolkien and the Great War’)

What is my greatest joy in life,
More precious even than my wife,
So comforting ‘midst all this strife?
My Fullerphone.

How well I love your merry tricks;
Even when your buzzer sticks;
Delighting me with faint key clicks;
Oh Fullerphone.

How tunefully your buzzer throbs
As tenderly I turn those knobs.
Most fascinating of all jobs.
Oh Fullerphone.

Potentiometer, its true
I’m not sure what to do with you.
Yet even you add beauty to
My Fullerphone.

Oh how I pity those poor souls
Who daily work remote controls,
Attached to crazy wireless poles.
Oh Fullerphone.

They never hear the tuneful tones
Of perfect Morse within their ‘phones:
Just atmospherics, shrieks and groans.
Oh Fullerphone.

But I must cease to write more verse.
Communication getting worse.
No wonder that I rave and curse
At Fullerphone.

Asthmatic buzzers, – crazy keys.
How can one live a life of ease,
With damful instruments like these
Foul Fullerphones!

SEE ALSO THE HISTORY OF THE EMOTIONS POST FOR GIMSBY CHUMS, ET AL

Links, June 9

POETRY
Sestina: Bob
Air Raid over Harlem
“Indispensable Man”, Saxon White Kessinger
Ars Poetica, BY ARCHIBALD MACLEISH
15 TYPES OF POETS YOU’LL FIND AT READINGS
Poet-to-Poet: Ron Padgett, “Nothing in That Drawer”
Understanding Poetry: lol thanks for prescribing my singular airy reverent encounter with art
Cambridge University students lost for words at ‘blank’ poem in exam
No rose that in a garden ever grew, / In Homer’s or in Omar’s or in mine
Kuble Khan by Coleridge

Fire and Ice,
BY ROBERT FROST

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.

Cradle Songs:

Cradle Song
Thomas Dekker

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
Smiles awake you when you rise ;
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby,
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.
Care is heavy, therefore sleep you,
You are care, and care must keep you ;
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby,
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

To Be Of Use

To Be Of Use
by Marge Piercy
MONDAY, 4 SEPTEMBER, 2006
Listen (RealAudio) | How to listen
Poem: “To be of use” by Marge Piercy from Circles on the Water. © Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

To be of use

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.