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This week: Stephen Vincent BenetEdited by: Stormy Lady
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This is poetry from the minds and the hearts of poets on Writing.Com. The poems I am going to be exposing throughout this newsletter are ones that I have found to be, very visual, mood setting and uniquely done. Stormy Lady
by Stephen Vincent Benet
I lie stretched out upon the window-seat
And doze, and read a page or two, and doze,
And feel the air like water on me close,
Great waves of sunny air that lip and beat
With a small noise, monotonous and sweet,
Against the window -- and the scent of cool,
Frail flowers by some brown and dew-drenched pool
Possesses me from drowsy head to feet.
This is the time of all-sufficing laughter
At idiotic things some one has done,
And there is neither past nor vague hereafter.
And all your body stretches in the sun
And drinks the light in like a liquid thing;
Filled with the divine languor of late spring.
Love in Twilight
by Stephen Vincent Benet
There is darkness behind the light -- and the pale light drips
Cold on vague shapes and figures, that, half-seen loom
Like the carven prows of proud, far-triumphing ships --
And the firelight wavers and changes about the room,
As the three logs crackle and burn with a small still sound;
Half-blotting with dark the deeper dark of her hair,
Where she lies, head pillowed on arm, and one hand curved round
To shield the white face and neck from the faint thin glare.
Gently she breathes -- and the long limbs lie at ease,
And the rise and fall of the young, slim, virginal breast
Is as certain-sweet as the march of slow wind through trees,
Or the great soft passage of clouds in a sky at rest.
I kneel, and our arms enlace, and we kiss long, long.
I am drowned in her as in sleep. There is no more pain.
Only the rustle of flames like a broken song
That rings half-heard through the dusty halls of the brain.
One shaking and fragile moment of ecstasy,
While the grey gloom flutters and beats like an owl above.
And I would not move or speak for the sea or the sky
Or the flame-bright wings of the miraculous Dove!
Colonel J. Walker Benet and his wife Francis Neill Benet welcomed son Stephen Vincent into the world on July 22, 1898. The family lived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Benet's mother also had military ties within her family, so it was only time before Benet would be sent to military academy. At ten years old Benet was sent to Hitchcock Military Academy. He was not fond of the school and its brutality, he would later write about it in his poem Shelley at Eton. Benet's first book Five Men and Pompey was published when Benet was only 17 years old in 1915. Benet tried to join the army but was rejected because of his vision.
Benet attended college at Yale, he graduated in 1919. He submitted two volumes of poetry to be published during his time at Yale, his third volume of poems was said to be turned into his professor instead of a thesis for his final. After graduation Benet moved to France to continue his studies. It was in France that Benet met his wife Rosemary Carr. His first novel was The Beginning of Wisdom published in 1921. In 1923 Benet and his wife returned to the United Sates. He wrote three novels over the next few years, Young People's Pride, Jean Huguenot, and Spanish Bayonet. Benet went back to France in 1926, where he worked on his poem John Brown's Body, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929.
Benet then published an assorted collection of verse in Ballads and Poems in 1931, that he had been writing over the last fifteen years. This was followed by A Book Of Americans with his wife, in 1933. James Shore's Daughter was published in 1934, and is considered one of his best works. Over the next few years Benet published The Burning City in 1931, The Headless Horseman in 1937, and a short story collection Thirteen O'clock also in 1937.
Benet wrote a prayer that President Roosevelt read in the United Nations Day speech. Benet was a strong advocate of America entry into the war. Benet Died in New York City, on March 13, 1943. Benet was working on a volume of verse Western Star, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for it in 1944.
A Minor Poet
by Stephen Vincent Benet
I am a shell. From me you shall not hear
The splendid tramplings of insistent drums,
The orbed gold of the viol's voice that comes,
Heavy with radiance, languorous and clear.
Yet, if you hold me close against the ear,
A dim, far whisper rises clamorously,
The thunderous beat and passion of the sea,
The slow surge of the tides that drown the mere.
Others with subtle hands may pluck the strings,
Making even Love in music audible,
And earth one glory. I am but a shell
That moves, not of itself, and moving sings;
Leaving a fragrance, faint as wine new-shed,
A tremulous murmur from great days long dead.
Thank you all!
The winners of "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [13+] are:
The city centre's decked up like a bride
And the air carries wafts of fat being fried
The Christmas trees decorating the shop windows
Promise wares that shoppers have never tried
People are rushing, shopping for more
A lot of them thronging the Apple store
But sitting across the street right in front,
My bedraggled state must be quite an eyesore
For I'm but a poor homeless creature
On a posh landscape, I'm an undesirable feature
Oh ! The indignity of a beggar's life
You'd be surprised I was once a school teacher
But one monetary blunder and my life's turned to dust
Did you ever hear of life being fair and just?
My lofty dreams have turned to dreams of survival
Now I dream of a job, spare cash, even of human trust
I queued up for a cleaner's job in a restaurant here
The doorman treated me as if I were a buccaneer
The job would have been my Christmas present
But not for the first time, I found the job disappear
Christmas Eve is here with weather so stern
The cold midnight air on the cheek does burn
As I try to sleep huddled by the street
To white wisps of ice my breaths do turn
Down the street, I hear voices raised and muffled
I walk towards them, a little dazed and baffled
It's the same doorman fighting some drunken youths
As he's being pushed around and being ruffled
He didn't grant my Christmas present, but I will assist
Stomach gets the kick and my jaws get the fist
Lights flash, a boom and a feeling of sharp pain
The bullet's hit its mark, and everything's turned to mist
Yet now is when I see things in full clarity
This Christmas, my present is some dignity for a little charity
Lived the life of a beggar, but I die the death of a soldier
What life wished for, death delivered with great alacrity!
SO SUNG SANDY
Southern is another hemisphere.
The sun would Wave goodbye from here,
but for the cloudy October duvet
where Sandy, wanton, has made her bed.
Watching from an armchair out on the porch
ponder pre-victims, "What is in store?"
Lights in the night take leave of the breeze.
Erratic fallen trees dance in the streets.
A Cleveland fridge pauses in thought,
"From somewhere close should ice be brought."
Like blankets and pillows in nightmare fight
the city, its' people, flood in fright.
Menacing waters perilous peer
at dark and empty windows fear.
Her tidal onslaught bathed in ardor
taken cowering surrendered seashore.
In aftermath are sad losses hung
as the song of Sandy lifts unsung
'pon the shriek of wind and cries of rain
to be forever so sung again.
These are the rules:
1) You must use the words I give in a poem or prose with no limits on length.
2) The words can be in any order and anywhere throughout the poem and can be any form of the word.
3) All entries must be posted in your portfolio and you must post the link in this forum, "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [13+] by January 11, 2013.
4) The winner will get 3000 gift points and the poem will be displayed in this section of the newsletter the next time it is my turn to post (January 13, 2013)
The words are:
New Year hope dreams prayers laughter family friends
Good luck to all
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