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Focus In China

The focus in China is progress industrial.
The focus in China is economic development.
Human Rights Liberty Freedom of Speech?
Recognition of human rights is not Chinese agenda.
Propaganda clouds Chinese leaders in medieval mists.


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Universal Freedom Is......

Freedom from hunger and freedom from pain
freedom from loss and so freedom from gain.
Freedom to give and freedom to share
freedom from want and that of despair.

Freedom to think and freedom to know
freedom to achieve and freedom to grow.
Freedom from bondage and freedom of liberation
freedom from ignorance and any unknown situation.

Freedom to come and freedom to leave
freedom to stay and freedom to conceive.
Freedom from struggle and freedom of ease
freedom to enjoy and the capacity to please.

Freedom from failure and freedom of success
freedom from denial and freedom of access.
Freedom from illusion and freedom of reality
freedom to become what we are in actuality.

Freedom to live and freedom to die
freedom to laugh and freedom to cry.
Freedom to speak and freedom to listen
freedom to act based on a wise decision.

Freedom from hate and freedom of love
freedom of below and freedom of above.
Freedom of the past and freedom of the present
freedom of the future and what it can represent.

Freedom from war and freedom of peace
freedom to begin and freedom to cease.
Freedom from sickness and freedom of health
freedom from poverty and mishandled wealth.

Freedom from wrong and freedom being right
freedom of the day and freedom of the night.
Freedom to choose and freedom to reject
freedom to imagine what there is to expect.

Freedom from lust and freedom from greed
freedom from anger and freedom from breed.
Freedom from jealousy and freedom from pride
freedom from within and freedom from outside.
Freedom of always not having anything to hide.

Freedom from space and also freedom from time
freedom from attachment and freedom from crime
Freedom to work and freedom to play
freedom to believe and freedom to pray.

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Nazim Hikmet

Gioconda And Si-Ya-U

to the memory of my friend SI-YA-U,
whose head was cut off in Shanghai

A CLAIM

Renowned Leonardo's
world-famous
"La Gioconda"
has disappeared.
And in the space
vacated by the fugitive
a copy has been placed.

The poet inscribing
the present treatise
knows more than a little
about the fate
of the real Gioconda.
She fell in love
with a seductive
graceful youth:
a honey-tongued
almond-eyed Chinese
named SI-YA-U.
Gioconda ran off
after her lover;
Gioconda was burned
in a Chinese city.

I, Nazim Hikmet,
authority
on this matter,
thumbing my nose at friend and foe
five times a day,
undaunted,
claim
I can prove it;
if I can't,
I'll be ruined and banished
forever from the realm of poesy.

1928


Part One
Excerpts from Gioconda's Diary

15 March 1924: Paris, Louvre Museum

At last I am bored with the Louvre Museum.

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Book VI - Part 02 - Great Meteorological Phenomena, Etc

And so in first place, then
With thunder are shaken the blue deeps of heaven,
Because the ethereal clouds, scudding aloft,
Together clash, what time 'gainst one another
The winds are battling. For never a sound there come
From out the serene regions of the sky;
But wheresoever in a host more dense
The clouds foregather, thence more often comes
A crash with mighty rumbling. And, again,
Clouds cannot be of so condensed a frame
As stones and timbers, nor again so fine
As mists and flying smoke; for then perforce
They'd either fall, borne down by their brute weight,
Like stones, or, like the smoke, they'd powerless be
To keep their mass, or to retain within
Frore snows and storms of hail. And they give forth
O'er skiey levels of the spreading world
A sound on high, as linen-awning, stretched
O'er mighty theatres, gives forth at times
A cracking roar, when much 'tis beaten about
Betwixt the poles and cross-beams. Sometimes, too,
Asunder rent by wanton gusts, it raves
And imitates the tearing sound of sheets
Of paper- even this kind of noise thou mayst
In thunder hear- or sound as when winds whirl
With lashings and do buffet about in air
A hanging cloth and flying paper-sheets.
For sometimes, too, it chances that the clouds
Cannot together crash head-on, but rather
Move side-wise and with motions contrary
Graze each the other's body without speed,
From whence that dry sound grateth on our ears,
So long drawn-out, until the clouds have passed
From out their close positions.
And, again,
In following wise all things seem oft to quake
At shock of heavy thunder, and mightiest walls
Of the wide reaches of the upper world
There on the instant to have sprung apart,
Riven asunder, what time a gathered blast
Of the fierce hurricane hath all at once
Twisted its way into a mass of clouds,
And, there enclosed, ever more and more
Compelleth by its spinning whirl the cloud
To grow all hollow with a thickened crust
Surrounding; for thereafter, when the force
And the keen onset of the wind have weakened
That crust, lo, then the cloud, to-split in twain,
Gives forth a hideous crash with bang and boom.
No marvel this; since oft a bladder small,

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On the Innate Drive For What is Right

As life bled, martyrdom flared its buds.
Repression, red from irritation,
Rendered chinks and cracks; but thuds of
Armament - in cowardice - accomplice of the
Dictatorial blight thro' countless years -
Wreaked its retribution:
Yet hope began to bloom a coloured carapace
Enshrining their allegiance ‘gainst the
Terror in their tears.

And on! Splits yawned - breaches in the junta:
Flesh fought fanatical minds -
Bullets welcomed into open hands
And blessed with yearnings for morality:
Chiselled man-toys of death and mutilation
Couldn't repel the might of freedom
Surging at the bright horizon.

Crepuscular rays of purpose, body,
Flooded pandemonium with
Overwhelming clarity, direction -
Burdened clouds drifting wayward as the
Light channelled out a vision,
Intensifying focus on tomorrow -
Deepen their stride
As they home in to
What is theirs,
Rightfully theirs!


Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2011


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Na Tian Piet's Sha'er Of The Late Sultan Abu Bakar Of Johor

In the name of God, let his word begin:
Praise be to God, let praises clear ring;
May our Lord, Jesus Christ's[8] blessings
Guide my pen through these poetizings!

This sha'er is an entirely new composition
Composed by myself, no fear of imitation.
It's Allah's name, I will keep calling out
While creating this poem to avoid confusion.

This story I'm relating at the present moment
I copy not, nor is it by other hands wrought;
Nothing whatsoever is here laid out
That hereunder is not clearly put forth.

Not that I am able to create with much ease,
To all that's to come I'm yet not accustomed;
Why, this sha'er at this time is being composed
Only to console my heart which is heavily laden.

I'm a peranakan[9], of Chinese origin,
Hardly perfect in character and mind;
I find much that I can not comprehend,
I'm not a man given to much wisdom.

Na Tian Piet[10] is what I go by name
I have in the past composed stories and poems;
Even when explained to - most stupid I remain
The more I keep talking the less I understand.

I was born in times gone by
In the country known as Bencoolen[11];
Indeed, I am more than stupid:
Ashamed am I composing this lay.

Twenty-four years have gone by
Since I moved to the island of Singapore;
My wife and children accompanied me
To Singapore, a most lovely country.

I stayed in Riau[12] for some time
Together with my wife and children;
Two full years in Riau territory,
Back to Singapore my legs carried me.

At the time when Acheh[13] was waging war
I went there with goods to trade,
I managed to sell them at exhorbitant prices:
Great indeed were the profits I made.

[...] Read more

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Extension 33

Living at the y, extension 33,
Nothing to care or to worry.
Once I was in love with a blind man,
But my auntie told me, dont do it, its not worth it.
Living at the y, 33 years,
No one to call or to write to.
Once I was in love with a married man,
But my instincts told me, dont tell him, itll kill you.
Im sad I didnt marry the blind man,
But whats a life with three blind children?
Im glad I never told the married man,
It saved my pride and freedom.
Living at the y, in 33 rooms,
Nowhere to visit or write to.
Once I was in love, it nearly killed me,
But now I have my pride and freedom.
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom,
Freedom, freedom, freedom and pride.
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom,
Freedom, freedom, freedom and pride.
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom,
Freedom, freedom, freedom and pride.
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom,
Freedom, freedom, freedom and pride.
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom,
Freedom, freedom, freedom and pride.
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom,
Freedom, freedom, freedom.

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The Great Chinese Dragon

The great Chinese dragon which is the greatest dragon in all the
world and which once upon a time was towed across the
Pacific by a crew of coolies rowing in an open boat—was
the first real live dragon ever actually to reach these shores

And the great Chinese dragon passing thru the Golden Gate
spouting streams of water like a string of fireboats then broke
loose somewhere near China Camp gulped down a hundred
Chinese seamen and forthwith ate all the shrimp in San Francisco Bay

And the great Chinese dragon was therefore forever after confined
in a Chinatown basement and ever since allowed out only for
Chinese New Year’s parades and other Unamerican demonstrations
paternally watched-over by those benevolent men in
blue who represent our more advanced civilization which has
reached such a high state of democracy as to allow even a
few barbarians to carry on their quaint native customs in our midst

And thus the great Chinese dragon which is the greatest dragon
in all the world now can only be seen creeping out of an
Adler Alley cellar like a worm out of a hole sometime during
the second week in February every year when it sorties out
of hibernation in its Chinese storeroom pushed from behind
by a band of fortythree Chinese electricians and technicians
who stuff its peristaltic accordion-body up thru a sidewalk
delivery entrance

And first the swaying snout appears and then the eyes at ground
level feeling along the curb and then the head itself casting
about and swayingand heaving finally up to the corner of
Grant Avenue itself where a huge paper sign proclaims the
World’s Largest Chinatown

And the great Chinese dragon’s jaws wired permanently agape as
if by a demented dentist to display the Cadmium teeth as the
hungry head heaves out into Grant Avenue right under the
sign and raising itself with a great snort of fire suddenly proclaims
the official firecracker start of the Chinese New Year

And the lightbulb eyes lighting up and popping out on coiled wire
springs and the body stretching and rocking further and
further around the corner and down Grant Avenue like a
caterpillar rollercoaster with the eyes sprung out and waving
in the air like the blind feelers of some mechanical preying
mantis and the eyes blinking on and off with Chinese red
pupils and tiny bamboo-blind eyelids going up and down

And here comes the St. Mary’s Chinese Girls’ Drum Corps and
here come sixteen white men in pith helmets beating big bass
drums representing the Order of the Moose and here comes

[...] Read more

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Living In China

They got the red book, they got the new look
All the little people that are living in china
They got the answers to all the questions
All the little people that are living in china
The solution is revolution
For all of the little people that are living in china
They got ping pong egg foo yung
For all the little people that are living in china
What would chairman mao say, if he knew what theyre doing to his wife today
What did china do? she ordered out for submarines instead of chinese food
China fields of rice, modern man no longer evil hes a paradise
What did the chairman want?
A great big wall they could all watch orientals on
They got the red book, they got the new look
The little people that are living in china
They got the answers to all the questions
The little people that are living in china
The solution is revolution
For all the little people that are living in china
They got ping pong egg foo yung
All the little people that are living in china
What would chairman mao say
If he knew what his people think of him today
Revolution is out of hand
The gang of four, trying to make it as a western band
China, what do you need
Youve got everything from your scruffy head to dirty feet
China you want to dance
Youre wearing makeup and listening to adam and the ants
They got the new look, they got the red book,
All the little people that are living in china
They got the answers to all the questions
All the little people that are living in china
The solution is revolution
For all the little people that are living in china
They got ping pong egg foo yung
The little people that are living in china
The solution is revolution
They got the answers to all the questions
All the little people that are living in china
China, living in china
China, living in china
China, living in china

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The Booker Washington Trilogy

I. A NEGRO SERMON:—SIMON LEGREE

(To be read in your own variety of negro dialect.)


Legree's big house was white and green.
His cotton-fields were the best to be seen.
He had strong horses and opulent cattle,
And bloodhounds bold, with chains that would rattle.
His garret was full of curious things:
Books of magic, bags of gold,
And rabbits' feet on long twine strings.
But he went down to the Devil.

Legree he sported a brass-buttoned coat,
A snake-skin necktie, a blood-red shirt.
Legree he had a beard like a goat,
And a thick hairy neck, and eyes like dirt.
His puffed-out cheeks were fish-belly white,
He had great long teeth, and an appetite.
He ate raw meat, 'most every meal,
And rolled his eyes till the cat would squeal.

His fist was an enormous size
To mash poor niggers that told him lies:
He was surely a witch-man in disguise.
But he went down to the Devil.

He wore hip-boots, and would wade all day
To capture his slaves that had fled away.
But he went down to the Devil.

He beat poor Uncle Tom to death
Who prayed for Legree with his last breath.
Then Uncle Tom to Eva flew,
To the high sanctoriums bright and new;
And Simon Legree stared up beneath,
And cracked his heels, and ground his teeth:
And went down to the Devil.

He crossed the yard in the storm and gloom;
He went into his grand front room.
He said, "I killed him, and I don't care."
He kicked a hound, he gave a swear;
He tightened his belt, he took a lamp,
Went down cellar to the webs and damp.
There in the middle of the mouldy floor
He heaved up a slab, he found a door —
And went down to the Devil.

[...] Read more

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King Solomon And The Queen Of Sheba

(A Poem Game.)

“And when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, . . .
she came to prove him with hard questions.”


[The men’s leader rises as he sees the Queen unveiling
and approaching a position that gives her half of the stage.]

Men’s Leader: The Queen of Sheba came to see King Solomon.
[He bows three times.]
I was King Solomon,
I was King Solomon,
I was King Solomon.

[She bows three times.]
Women’s Leader: I was the Queen,
I was the Queen,
I was the Queen.

Both Leaders: We will be king and queen,
[They stand together stretching their hands over the land.]
Reigning on mountains green,
Happy and free
For ten thousand years.

[They stagger forward as though carrying a yoke together.]
Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred oxen.

Congregation: We were the oxen.

[Here King and Queen pause at the footlights.]
Both Leaders: You shall feel goads no more.
[They walk backward, throwing off the yoke and rejoicing.]
Walk dreadful roads no more,
Free from your loads
For ten thousand years.

[The men’s leader goes forward, the women’s leader dances round him.]
Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred sweethearts.

[Here he pauses at the footlights.]
Congregation: We were the sweethearts.

[He walks backward. Both clap their hands to the measure.]
Both Leaders: You shall dance round again,
You shall dance round again,
Cymbals shall sound again,
Cymbals shall sound again,
[The Queen appears to gather wildflowers.]

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Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society

Epigraph

Υδραν φονεύσας, μυρίων τ᾽ ἄλλων πόνων
διῆλθον ἀγέλας . . .
τὸ λοίσθιον δὲ τόνδ᾽ ἔτλην τάλας πόνον,
. . . δῶμα θριγκῶσαι κακοῖς.

I slew the Hydra, and from labour pass'd
To labour — tribes of labours! Till, at last,
Attempting one more labour, in a trice,
Alack, with ills I crowned the edifice.

You have seen better days, dear? So have I —
And worse too, for they brought no such bud-mouth
As yours to lisp "You wish you knew me!" Well,
Wise men, 't is said, have sometimes wished the same,
And wished and had their trouble for their pains.
Suppose my Œdipus should lurk at last
Under a pork-pie hat and crinoline,
And, latish, pounce on Sphynx in Leicester Square?
Or likelier, what if Sphynx in wise old age,
Grown sick of snapping foolish people's heads,
And jealous for her riddle's proper rede, —
Jealous that the good trick which served the turn
Have justice rendered it, nor class one day
With friend Home's stilts and tongs and medium-ware,—
What if the once redoubted Sphynx, I say,
(Because night draws on, and the sands increase,
And desert-whispers grow a prophecy)
Tell all to Corinth of her own accord.
Bright Corinth, not dull Thebes, for Lais' sake,
Who finds me hardly grey, and likes my nose,
And thinks a man of sixty at the prime?
Good! It shall be! Revealment of myself!
But listen, for we must co-operate;
I don't drink tea: permit me the cigar!
First, how to make the matter plain, of course —
What was the law by which I lived. Let 's see:
Ay, we must take one instant of my life
Spent sitting by your side in this neat room:
Watch well the way I use it, and don't laugh!
Here's paper on the table, pen and ink:
Give me the soiled bit — not the pretty rose!
See! having sat an hour, I'm rested now,
Therefore want work: and spy no better work
For eye and hand and mind that guides them both,
During this instant, than to draw my pen
From blot One — thus — up, up to blot Two — thus —
Which I at last reach, thus, and here's my line
Five inches long and tolerably straight:

[...] Read more

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Don't Only Focus On The Money

When you go for the money,
You'll be selling your soul.
And when one goes for just the money,
The heart turns cold.
So don't focus on the money,
Don't.
Don't only focus on the money,
Don't.

Bling is nice but there's more to life.
Don't focus on the money,
Don't.
Open your mind with bright wide eyes,
To take a ride that will excite you.
With a view to greater heights.
So...
Don't focus on the money,
Don't.
No don't you focus on the money,
Don't.

When you go for the money,
You'll be selling your soul.
Don't focus on the money,
Don't.

Don't let your heart grow old and cold.
Don't focus on the money,
Don't.
So...
Don't you focus on the money,
Don't.
No don't you focus on the money,
Don't.
So...
Don't you focus on the money,
Don't.
No don't you focus on the money,
Don't.

Don't only focus on the money,
Don't.
No don't you focus on the money,
Don't.
So you just don't focus on the money,
Don't.
So you just don't focus on the money,
Don't.
No don't you focus on the money,
Don't.

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China

(ian hunter)
(transcribed by colin ford
China, china, the evenings moving in
See you, soon now, the boat moves with the wind
China, china, I can see the harbour lights
Light your, fire, well be warm tonight
China, china, the thoughts drift from the sea
Im dreaming, of you, wear your dress for me
China, china, the oceans on the wheel(? )
The seagulls flying lower now
China I can feel you by my side
Across the bay, across the tyne
Can you hear me say
China, china, wear your hair down low
Lady, lady, youre frozen to the bone
China, china, the catch was good today
The oilskins clinging to my back
And the lantern gently sways
Oh dont you cry, the kids to bed
Didnt mean the things I said
China, china, the years go rolling by
Laughter, sorrow, I will not make you cry
China, china, think before you speak
Always remember the ocean hauls as deep
And if Im tired of feeling low
Dont let me sleep, you know
China, china, the men are on the quay
Drinking, smoking, talking quietly
The waters calmer now
All my work is done
So china, see ya.

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China (Ronson Vocal)

China, China, the evening's moving in
See you, soon now, the boat moves with the wind
China, China, I can see the harbour lights
Light your, fire, we'll be warm tonight
China, China, the thoughts drift from the sea
I'm dreaming, of you, wear your dress for me
China, China, the oceans on the wheel(?)
The seagulls flying lower now
China I can feel you by my side
Across the bay, across the Tyne
Can you hear me say
China, China, wear your hair down low
Lady, Lady, you're frozen to the bone
China, China, the catch was good today
The oilskins clinging to my back
And the lantern gently sways
Oh don't you cry, the kids to bed
Didn't mean the things I said
China, China, the years go rolling by
Laughter, sorrow, I will not make you cry
China, China, think before you speak
Always remember the ocean hauls as deep
And if I'm tired of feeling low
Don't let me sleep, you know
China, China, the men are on the quay
Drinking, smoking, talking quietly
The water's calmer now
All my work is done
So China, see ya.

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Liberty

(if you wanna stay with me, at your liberty
If you wanna be with me, at your liberty)
-
(ahh, ohh, do-doo)
Ill tell you something,
To let you understand the way I feel, just what you mean to me
Thank you for fine times, we nearly made it all -
The way we know, it wasnt meant to be.
You say we feel the same, there aint no blame.. to decide
But if a little time, could change your mind, Ill be here..
And you can call me (if you wanna stay with me) at your liberty.
You can hold me (if you wanna be with me) at your liberty.
(do you, do you)
Do you remember, how lovers right for summers - even nights,
Would never seem to end,
And as december, comes stirring with that finger of desire
To feel it once again
You worry bout youre friends, what if they find whats going on?
But if you want to try to make it come alive, Ill be here..
And you can call me (you wanna stay with me) at your liberty.
You can hold me (you wanna be with me) at your liberty.
And you can call me (you wanna stay with me) at your liberty.
And you can touch me girl (you wanna run to me) at your liberty.
Help me out!
I live in doubt
Sort me out, yeaaaahhhhhhh....
-
Dont make it every night, dont wanna be the love of your life
So if you are inclined to spend a little time, Ill be here..
And you can call me (if you wanna stay with me) at your liberty.
You can hold me (if you wanna be with me) at your liberty.
And you can call me (if you wanna stay with me) at your liberty.
And you can touch me girl (if you wanna run to me) at your liberty.
Touch me girl, (if you wanna stay with me) at your liberty.
Help me out, (if you wanna be with me) at your liberty.
Sort me out, (if you wanna run to me), at your liberty.
Or you can set me free (if you wanna run to me), at your liberty.
(if you wanna stay with me, at your liberty).
(if you wanna be with me, at your liberty).
(if you wanna stay with me, at your liberty).
(if you wanna run to me, at your liberty).
At your liberty...

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William Cowper

The Task: Book V. -- The Winter Morning Walk

‘Tis morning; and the sun, with ruddy orb
Ascending, fires the horizon; while the clouds,
That crowd away before the driving wind,
More ardent as the disk emerges more,
Resemble most some city in a blaze,
Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray
Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale,
And, tinging all with his own rosy hue,
From every herb and every spiry blade
Stretches a length of shadow o’er the field.
Mine, spindling into longitude immense,
In spite of gravity, and sage remark
That I myself am but a fleeting shade,
Provokes me to a smile. With eye askance
I view the muscular proportion’d limb
Transform’d to a lean shank. The shapeless pair
As they design’d to mock me, at my side
Take step for step; and as I near approach
The cottage, walk along the plaster’d wall,
Preposterous sight! the legs without the man.
The verdure of the plain lies buried deep
Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents
And coarser grass, upspearing o’er the rest,
Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine
Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad,
And fledged with icy feathers, nod superb.
The cattle mourn in corners, where the fence
Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep
In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait
Their wonted fodder; not like hungering man,
Fretful if unsupplied; but silent, meek,
And patient of the slow-paced swain’s delay.
He from the stack carves out the accustom’d load,
Deep plunging, and again deep plunging oft,
His broad keen knife into the solid mass:
Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands,
With such undeviating and even force
He severs it away: no needless care,
Lest storms should overset the leaning pile
Deciduous, or its own unbalanced weight.
Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcern’d
The cheerful haunts of man; to wield the axe
And drive the wedge in yonder forest drear,
From morn to eve his solitary task.
Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears
And tail cropp’d short, half lurcher and half cur,
His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
Now creeps he slow; and now, with many a frisk
Wide scampering, snatches up the driften snow
With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout;

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Blunt And Instructive

Words can be blunt and instructive,
but frequently they are destructive.
Far better perhaps to be Trappist
than savagely, hip-hoppy rappist,
but silence is no vow I’m able
to take, so I put up with Babel,
and hope you, also, dear reader,
accept like a Lebanon cedar
that destruction of forests cannot
be avoided when you have a lot
set aside for a temple. The same
applies to the words that we maim
when writing a poem, but silence
is, passive-aggressively, violence.
You have to destroy when instructive;
if not, you will be counterproductive.

Michael Kuczynski in Bryn Mawr Review reviews Sandy Bardsley’s “Venomous Tongues: Speech and Gender in Late Medieval England, “ Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,2006:

Speech, Chaucer explains in the House of Fame is only broken air. The definition is intended (however scientifically accurate) as
pedantic: it's spoken by a burlesque Dantean eagle, one of many instances in the poem of ironic understatement. Joking aside,
however, medieval poets, like such modern novelists as Philip Roth and Salman Rushdie, know that there's nothing soft about language. In satire, especially, it's often wielded as a weapon. And outside the literary ambit, in life, it can get even more unruly. Courts of law have to concern themselves constantly with the blunt and destructive social impact of words. How they do so, and the often self-serving aims behind their policing efforts, is in any age a complex cultural narrative.

Sandy Bardsley's fascinating new book is not so much interested in medieval satire (there is a brief interlude on literary texts, on
which see below) , but rather in historical fact, insofar as incomplete medieval records allow this to be reconstructed. She uses case
documents from medieval courts of law, both firsthand and by means of previous investigators' forays, to demonstrate how a particular kind of violent speech, scolding, became matter for jurisdiction in late medieval England. More specifically, she emphasizes a key cultural moment in post-plague England when women were losing access to an informal but respected means of drawing public attention to outrageous crimes, the 'hue and cry, ' while at the same time enduring demonstrable 'overrepresentation in the scolding category' (89) . Within this jurisdictional frame, Bardsley argues, scolding came to be associated primarily if not exclusively with women, although pre-plague it was an offense just as likely to be charged against men. Through careful analysis of patterns of litigation, she is able to show the extent to which male society, in the venues of both secular and church courts, worked to silence women's dissenting discourse by labeling it as mere nagging: a stereotypical rather than idiosyncratic vice. Her argument is richly supported with statistics drawn from more than 600 late medieval records and graphs that represent convincing patterns inferred from these numbers.


12/9/07

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Focus

focus
focus on god
focus on freedom
focus on forgiveness
focus on sweet speech
focus on treasures
focus on humility
focus on commitment
focus on mind
focus on success
focus on health
focus on healthy transformation
focus on goodness
focus on laughter
focus on fun
focus on angel
focus on sweetness
focus on wealth
focus

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William Cowper

Table Talk

A. You told me, I remember, glory, built
On selfish principles, is shame and guilt;
The deeds that men admire as half divine,
Stark naught, because corrupt in their design.
Strange doctrine this! that without scruple tears
The laurel that the very lightning spares;
Brings down the warrior’s trophy to the dust,
And eats into his bloody sword like rust.
B. I grant that, men continuing what they are,
Fierce, avaricious, proud, there must be war,
And never meant the rule should be applied
To him that fights with justice on his side.
Let laurels drench’d in pure Parnassian dews
Reward his memory, dear to every muse,
Who, with a courage of unshaken root,
In honour’s field advancing his firm foot,
Plants it upon the line that Justice draws,
And will prevail or perish in her cause.
‘Tis to the virtues of such men man owes
His portion in the good that Heaven bestows.
And, when recording History displays
Feats of renown, though wrought in ancient days,
Tells of a few stout hearts, that fought and died,
Where duty placed them, at their country’s side;
The man that is not moved with what he reads,
That takes not fire at their heroic deeds,
Unworthy of the blessings of the brave,
Is base in kind, and born to be a slave.
But let eternal infamy pursue
The wretch to nought but his ambition true,
Who, for the sake of filling with one blast
The post-horns of all Europe, lays her waste.
Think yourself station’d on a towering rock,
To see a people scatter’d like a flock,
Some royal mastiff panting at their heels,
With all the savage thirst a tiger feels;
Then view him self-proclaim’d in a gazette
Chief monster that has plagued the nations yet.
The globe and sceptre in such hands misplaced,
Those ensigns of dominion how disgraced!
The glass, that bids man mark the fleeting hour,
And Death’s own scythe, would better speak his power;
Then grace the bony phantom in their stead
With the king’s shoulder-knot and gay cockade;
Clothe the twin brethren in each other’s dress,
The same their occupation and success.
A. ‘Tis your belief the world was made for man;
Kings do but reason on the self-same plan:
Maintaining yours, you cannot theirs condemn,
Who think, or seem to think, man made for them.

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Yesterday, To-day, and For Ever: Book IV. - The Creation of Angels and of Men

O tears, ye rivulets that flow profuse
Forth from the fountains of perennial love,
Love, sympathy, and sorrow, those pure springs
Welling in secret up from lower depths
Than couch beneath the everlasting hills:
Ye showers that from the cloud of mercy fall
In drops of tender grief, - you I invoke,
For in your gentleness there lies a spell
Mightier than arms or bolted chains of iron.
When floating by the reedy banks of Nile
A babe of more than human beauty wept,
Were not the innocent dews upon its cheeks
A link in God's great counsels? Who knows not
The loves of David and young Jonathan,
When in unwitting rivalry of hearts
The son of Jesse won a nobler wreath
Than garlands pluck'd in war and dipp'd in blood?
And haply she, who wash'd her Saviour's feet
With the soft silent rain of penitence,
And wiped them with her tangled tresses, gave
A costlier sacrifice than Solomon,
What time he slew myriads of sheep and kine,
And pour'd upon the brazen altar forth
Rivers of fragrant oil. In Peter's woe,
Bitterly weeping in the darken'd street,
Love veils his fall. The traitor shed no tear.
But Magdalene's gushing grief is fresh
In memory of us all, as when it drench'd
The cold stone of the sepulchre. Paul wept,
And by the droppings of his heart subdued
Strong men by all his massive arguments
Unvanquish'd. And the loved Evangelist
Wept, though in heaven, that none in heaven were found
Worthy to loose the Apocalyptic seals.
No holy tear is lost. None idly sinks
As water in the barren sand: for God,
Let David witness, puts his children's tears
Into His cruse and writes them in His book; -
David, that sweetest lyrist, not the less
Sweet that his plaintive pleading tones ofttimes
Are tremulous with grief. For he and all
God's nightingales have ever learn'd to sing,
Pressing their bosom on some secret thorn.
In the world's morning it was thus: and, since
The evening shadows fell athwart mankind,
Thus hath it always been. Blind and bereft,
The minstrel of an Eden lost explored
Things all invisible to mortal eyes.
And he, who touch'd with a true poet's hand
The harp of prophecy, himself had learn'd

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