If You Had to Choose...

Discussion in 'The Gameroom' started by Serein, Aug 8, 2016.

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  1. Serein

    Serein SF Supporter

    One poem that would best convey your mood and what you are feeling right at this moment, what poem would you choose?


    "Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.

    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. - (is it really?)

    Therefore be at peace with God, - (can't say I believe there's one)
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world. - (not for many)
    Be cheerful. - (trying)

    Strive to be happy. " - (really trying)

    Max Ehrmann
    chiaroscura likes this.
  2. chiaroscura

    chiaroscura BestTimePlantTree?100 YearsAgo. NextBestTime?Now. SF Supporter

    Serein, that is beautiful! I'm so glad you posted the whole poem. I've only seen the first verse before. A great poem. I'm trying to think of what I'd pick. Oh, for today, I know! "The Song of the Wandering Aengus" but William Butler Yeats.

    The Song of the Wandering Aengus

    I went out to the hazel wood,
    Because a fire was in my head,
    And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
    And hooked a berry to a thread;

    And when white moths were on the wing,
    And moth-like stars were flickering out,
    I dropped the berry in a stream
    And caught a little silver trout.

    When I had laid it on the floor
    I went to blow the fire aflame,
    But something rustled on the floor,
    And some one called me by my name:

    It had become a glimmering girl
    With apple blossom in her hair
    Who called me by my name and ran
    And faded through the brightening air.

    Though I am old with wandering
    Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
    I will find out where she has gone,
    And kiss her lips and take her hands;

    And walk among long dappled grass,
    And pluck till time and times are done
    The silver apples of the moon,
    The golden apples of the sun.-- William Butler Yeats
    Serein likes this.
  3. Serein

    Serein SF Supporter

    Thank you Chia! I'm glad you like it. Yours is equally beautiful! I was actually reading the analysis. Yep! "A lifelong search for the perfect love that people yearn for but which can seem so unattainable." He had it for a moment, but it quickly vanished. So very true for some of us... Thanks for sharing!
  4. chiaroscura

    chiaroscura BestTimePlantTree?100 YearsAgo. NextBestTime?Now. SF Supporter

    Serein, THANK you! You even looked up the analysis! In fact, in the life of the author William Butler Yeats, he lived in Ireland and actually did fall profoundly in love with an actress named Maude, and spent his ENTIRE life trying to win her, but never did. So that totally ties in with your quote of analysis. I never recognized that he was probably thinking of the unattainable Maude when he wrote it. I love his images of gold and silver and little things and moon and sun. Those kinds of words grab me. And coincidentally, I was about to ALSO research Desiderata! I was looking at the name Max Ehrman, and I get him mixed up with the man that survived Auschwitz by focusing on the moment when he would reunite with his wife. Most around him died, but he made it, because he fought to focus on that hope. He wrote a famous book about it, and became a PhD Psychologist, maybe Psychiatrist. But that wasn't Max Ehram, now that I recall. I'm about to google him and Desiderata too. Are you a poet? You seem like maybe so. Great to find this forum! Now we have a place for this! xo Hugs! PS If you want, we can even write very short comments about the poems we like for the days we like a poem. I LOVED your idea of finding the meaning and then sharing the essence of that. If you don't mind, I will follow you, and then find out when you feel like putting up another poem, or if others do. Yay for us!
  5. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    IF by Rudyard Kipling

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
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  6. chiaroscura

    chiaroscura BestTimePlantTree?100 YearsAgo. NextBestTime?Now. SF Supporter

    SinisterKid! GREAT CHOICE! PERFECT for this thread. I'm so excited you participated! I am reading this poem you posted, several times, and may even try to memorize it. Was easy as a kid to memorize. Now? NOT SO MUCH. hahahaha Thank you for putting this up. I hadn't thought of it in so long and what an encouraging piece of writing it is. I love it!
  7. chiaroscura

    chiaroscura BestTimePlantTree?100 YearsAgo. NextBestTime?Now. SF Supporter

    Serein, look what you started! This is so great! Luvs to you! xo
  8. chiaroscura

    chiaroscura BestTimePlantTree?100 YearsAgo. NextBestTime?Now. SF Supporter

    Serein, I just looked up the term "Desiderata" on wikipedia and found the whole history of it. Fascinating! It didn't stand a chance of becoming known when he wrote it, and through a series of coincidences, it is now one of the great poems of all time.
  9. chiaroscura

    chiaroscura BestTimePlantTree?100 YearsAgo. NextBestTime?Now. SF Supporter

    SinisterKid and Serein: I now looked up "If" by Kipling, on wikipedia and found its amazing history. It was written for Kipling's son, and was inspired by the courage of a military leader of Kipling's era (Victorian era). Also, did you know that Joni Mitchell made it into a song? On her album "Shine." Whoa! I never knew that, and I used to really be hooked on Joni Mitchell.
  10. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    Thats the main reason I love it so much chia, I also read about its history. Never knew about the song though, will have to look that up.
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  11. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

  12. chiaroscura

    chiaroscura BestTimePlantTree?100 YearsAgo. NextBestTime?Now. SF Supporter

    Bump back!
  13. crumbum

    crumbum Well-Known Member

    I guess this is more prose than poem.. but with Brautigan it's really difficult to divorce the two. I dedicate this to both miss Kira and Anne Charlotte.. I love you both and this is how I would describe the way you both made me smile today and many other days recent..

    I was Trying to Describe You to Someone, by Richard Brautigan

    I was trying to describe you to someone a few days ago. You don’t look like any girl I’ve ever seen before.

    I couldn’t say “Well she looks just like Jane Fonda, except that she’s got red hair, and her mouth is different and of course, she’s not a movie star…”

    I couldn’t say that because you don’t look like Jane Fonda at all.

    I finally ended up describing you as a movie I saw when I was a child in Tacoma Washington. I guess I saw it in 1941 or 42, somewhere in there. I think I was seven, or eight, or six.

    It was a movie about rural electrification, a perfect 1930’s New Deal morality kind of movie to show kids. The movie was about farmers living in the country without electricity. They had to use lanterns to see by at night, for sewing and reading, and they didn’t have any appliances like toasters or washing machines, and they couldn’t listen to the radio. They built a dam with big electric generators and they put poles across the countryside and strung wire over fields and pastures.

    There was an incredible heroic dimension that came from the simple putting up of poles for the wires to travel along. They looked ancient and modern at the same time.

    Then the movie showed electricity like a young Greek god, coming to the farmer to take away forever the dark ways of his life. Suddenly, religiously, with the throwing of a switch, the farmer had electric lights to see by when he milked his cows in the early black winter mornings. The farmer’s family got to listen to the radio and have a toaster and lots of bright lights to sew dresses and read the newspaper by.

    It was really a fantastic movie and excited me like listening to the Star Spangled Banner, or seeing photographs of President Roosevelt, or hearing him on the radio “… the President of the United States… “

    I wanted electricity to go everywhere in the world. I wanted all the farmers in the world to be able to listen to President Roosevelt on the radio….

    And that’s how you look to me.
    Kira likes this.
  14. Kira

    Kira SF Gelfling Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Ummm, I'm quite speechless. That's one of the most beautiful things ever said to me, for me, about me.... Thank you Crum. I love you immensely...
    crumbum likes this.
  15. crumbum

    crumbum Well-Known Member

    This is sort of how I feel at SF a lot. We're all in our own battles, some of us end up in hospitals and some of us just disappear into our own battles. This is a crummy time of the year to be depressed or emotionally wounded in any way. For those of you who have disappeared recently.. hopefully just to hospitals where help can be initiated.. I think about you everyday and in my own way I do pray.

    I dedicated this poem to Carmenere, WNH, Katyria, Bipolargirl, Sofie, Invisible Child, mulberrypie, Clementine, Jackie's Strength.. and so so many more.

    Little Giffen
    By Francis Orray Ticknor (1822 - 1874)

    Out of the focal and foremost fire,
    Out of the hospital walls as dire,
    Smitten of grape-shot and grangrene,
    (Eighteenth battle, and he sixteen!)
    Spectre! Such as you seldom see,
    Little Giffen, of Tennessee.
    "Take him- and welcome!" the surgeons said;
    "Little the doctor can help the dead!"
    So we took him and brought him where
    The balm was sweet in the summer air;
    And we laid him down on a wholesome bed-
    Utter Lazarus, heel to head!

    And we watched the war with abated breath-
    Skeleton boy against skeleton death.
    Months of torture, how many such!
    Weary weeks of the stick and crutch;
    And still a glint of the steel-blue eye
    Told of a spirit that wouldn't die.

    And didn't. Nay, more! In death's despite
    The crippled skeleton learned to write.
    "Dear Mother," at first, of course; and then
    "Dear Captain," inquiring about the men.
    Captain's answer: "Of eighty-and-five,
    Giffen and I are left alive."

    Word of gloom from the war, one day;
    "Johnston pressed at the front, they say."
    Little Giffen was up and away;
    A tear-his first-as he bade good-by,
    Dimmed the glint of his steel-blue eye.
    "I'll write, if spared!" There was news of the fight;
    But none of Giffen. He did not write.

    I sometimes fancy that, were I king
    Of the princely knights of the Golden Ring,
    With the song of the minstrel in mine ear,
    And the tender legend that trembles here,
    I'd give the best on his bended knee,
    The whitest soul of my chivalry,
    For Little Giffen, of Tennessee.
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