Ode To A Nightingale By John Keats (1795-1821)

Ode To A Nightingale By John Keats (1795-1821)

…tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around By all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,

John Keats (Wikipedia)

John Keats (Wikipedia)

 

 

John Keats (1795–1821) was one of the English Romantic poets. “He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.” (Wikipedia)

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Winter Stars By Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)

Winter Stars By Sara Teasdale

I went out at night alone;
The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—
I bore my sorrow heavily.
But when I lifted up my head
From shadows shaken on the snow,
I saw Orion in the east
Burn steadily as long ago.
From windows in my father’s house,
Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
Above another city’s lights.
Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars,
All things are changed, save in the east
The faithful beauty of the stars.

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)

Sara Teasdale (Wikimedia Image)

 

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) was an American lyric poet.”In 1918 she won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1917 poetry collection Love Songs. It was ‘made possible by a special grant from The Poetry Society’ but the sponsoring organization now lists it as the earliest Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.” (Wikipedia)

The Solitary Reaper By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

The Solitary Reaper By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing By herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

 

Part 1. Verses 1 and 2 of 4. Graphical illustration in digital media of classic British poetry by William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

The Solitary Reaper By William Wordsworth-Part 2

The Solitary Reaper By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Will no one tell me what she sings?—
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;—
I listen’d, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

Part 2. Verses 3 and 4 of 4. Graphical illustration in digital media of classic British poetry by William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Visionary Park

Dystopian Playland on Harmony

In a yet to be published part of Whispers I wrote “Where do the others live, the ones who sent us here? The ones who exiled us to the earth?”


One restless night, I dreamed about a dystopian planet named Harmony. All the poets, writers, artists, and seers of Harmony had been banished. Eventually they all died out and nobody grew up to replace them.

After a very short time, that alien world with a desperate name withered and almost died.

After a very long time Harmony’s dominant species finally realized their terrible error so they tried to manufacture new artists and poets. Sadly, nobody could find any books on “How to Make an Artist” or “How to Make a Poet,” and definitely not “How to Make a Prophet.” Their people flew from Harmony out to the faraway stars but they found no thinkers they could understand. Too long ago Harmony’s rulers had exiled their visionaries to alien worlds that were long forgotten and out of their reach. At the time nobody thought much about it.

Harmony built effigies and habitats. Harmony made studio replicas. Harmony put desks covered with pens and notebook computers in a place of memory and reverence. It was a theme park complete with carousels, a roller coaster, and ice cream stands.

They named it Visionary Park.

People thronged to see the effigies of the long-gone creative souls but all they saw were wax statues. The walls were all bare. There was no art, no poetry, and there were no books. Nobody remembered what books were, what purpose they had, or what might have been in them. Nobody knew how to make new ones anymore.

So, it was too late. And not long thereafter everyone was gone. The planet Harmony became a desert. It was dead.

The End

Is this poetry or is it history? Remember the Stalinist Purges, the Maoist Cultural Revolution, the Cambodian Killing Fields, the Nazi book burnings, the Holocaust, the Inquisition, endless Jihads still raging today, the exiles of every Prophet and the martyrdoms of many, the persecutions of the Baha’is in Iran, and oh, so many more on a smaller scale, all in the name of maintaining the status quo and social harmony.

“Art at its most significant is a distant early warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen.” (Marshall McLuhan)