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SUSAN JOHNSTON OWEN

SITE OWNER/MUSICIAN, WRITER,ARTIST, ELEMENTARY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER (RETIRED)

POETRY

 

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Poetry may seem easy, but it is perhaps the most difficult on the emotions. Every poem must have a driving force which pushes the energy and flow. Occasionally I write light, silly poems for fun, but usually they're dark or deep. Claiming that they're not about me is only partially true. They'd have no impetus if they had no inner drive. Poems, good poems, are heart driven, anger evoked or written from passion about anything; even a tree. Poems are a look into the soul. They're little pictures or letters from the heart. Usually a first line will get into my mind and my mood will move it forward.
They're  tweaked several times making sure that the rhythm and beat are smooth. I see poetry as music, lyrics to my emotions.
One thing I know for sure, I can't write a first draft on a computer. Very rarely will the flow get moving. I'm more likely to write while sitting in a comfy chair or lying on my bed. I could write anywhere at all if an idea strikes and I get lost in thought. The computer is too impersonal for me, there's no interaction, with the words, pen or page. It may sound silly but my journals are one thing I spend good money to buy. They have to be leather bound and my pen has to be of a particular type. Yes, I can write on any scrap of paper, but  lose get lost. It's a personal quirk, but I don't usually get blocked working this way. When my comfort level is high I'm able to concentrate.


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FAMOUS POEMS AND POETS


A Dream Within a Dream-Edgar Allen Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

DYLAN THOMAS

 

 

 

THE SECRET ROSE

W.B. YEATS

Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose,

Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those

Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre,

Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir

And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep

Among pale eyelids, heavy with the sleep

Men have named beauty. Thy great leaves enfold

The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold

Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes

Saw the Pierced Hands and Rood of elder rise

In Druid vapour and make the torches dim;

Till vain frenzy woke and he died; and him

Who met Fand walking among flaming dew

By a grey shore where the wind never blew,

And lost the world and Emer for a kiss;

And him who drove the gods out of their liss,

And till a hundred morns had flowered red

Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead;

And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown

And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown

Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods;

And him who sold tillage, and house, and goods,

And sought through lands and islands numberless years,

Until he found, with laughter and with tears,

A woman of so shining loveliness

That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress,

A little stolen tress. I, too, await

The hour of thy great wind of love and hate.

When shall the stars be blown about the sky,

Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die?

Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,

Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?

W.B.YEATS

 

 

 

What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, and Where, and Why

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,

I have forgotten, and what arms have lain

Under my head till morning; but the rain

Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh

Upon the glass and listen for reply,

And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain

For unremembered lads that not again

Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,

Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,

Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:

I cannot say what loves have come and gone,

I only know that summer sang in me

A little while, that in me sings no more.

 

How Do I Love Thee?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Advice To A Son

Ernest Hemingway

Never trust a white man,
Never kill a Jew,
Never sign a contract,
Never rent a pew.
Don't enlist in armies;
Nor marry many wives;
Never write for magazines;
Never scratch your hives.
Always put paper on the seat,
Don't believe in wars,
Keep yourself both clean and neat,
Never marry whores.
Never pay a blackmailer,
Never go to law,
Never trust a publisher,
Or you'll sleep on straw.
All your friends will leave you
All your friends will die
So lead a clean and wholesome life
And join them in the sky.
  

 

 


  My Voice by Oscar Wilde

Within this restless, hurried, modern world
We took our hearts' full pleasure - You and I,
And now the white sails of our ship are furled,
And spent the lading of our argosy.

Wherefore my cheeks before their time are wan,
For very weeping is my gladness fled,
Sorrow has paled my young mouth's vermilion,
And Ruin draws the curtains of my bed.

But all this crowded life has been to thee
No more than lyre, or lute, or subtle spell
Of violets, or the music of the sea
                   That sleeps, a mimic echo, in the shell.        

 

 

 

 

A BLUE VALENTINE

BY

JOYCE KILMER


(For Aline)

Monsignore,
Right Reverend Bishop Valentinus,
Sometime of Interamna, which is called Ferni,
Now of the delightful Court of Heaven,
I respectfully salute you,
I genuflect
And I kiss your episcopal ring. 

It is not, Monsignore,
The fragrant memory of your holy life,
Nor that of your shining and joyous martyrdom,
Which causes me now to address you.
But since this is your august festival, Monsignore,
It seems appropriate to me to state
According to a venerable and agreeable custom,
That I love a beautiful lady.
Her eyes, Monsignore,
Are so blue that they put lovely little blue reflections
On everything that she looks at,
Such as a wall
Or the moon
Or my heart.
It is like the light coming through blue stained glass,
Yet not quite like it,
For the blueness is not transparent,
Only translucent.
Her soul's light shines through,
But her soul cannot be seen.
It is something elusive, whimsical, tender, wanton, infantile, wise
And noble.
She wears, Monsignore, a blue garment,
Made in the manner of the Japanese.
It is very blue-
I think that her eyes have made it more blue,
Sweetly staining it
As the pressure of her body has graciously given it form.
Loving her, Monsignore,
I love all her attributes;
But I believe
That even if I did not love her
I would love the blueness of her eyes,
And her blue garment, made in the manner of the Japanese. 

Monsignore,
I have never before troubled you with a request.
The saints whose ears I chiefly worry with my pleas
are the most exquisite and maternal Brigid,
Gallant Saint Stephen, who puts fire in my blood,
And your brother bishop, my patron,
The generous and jovial Saint Nicholas of Bari.
But, of your courtesy, Monsignore,
Do me this favour:
When you this morning make your way
To the Ivory Throne that bursts into bloom with roses
because of her who sits upon it,
When you come to pay your devoir to Our Lady,
I beg you, say to her:
"Madame, a poor poet, one of your singing servants yet on earth,
Has asked me to say that at this moment he is especially grateful to you
For wearing a blue gown".


 

 

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