Away With Words

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Reg the Fronkey Farmer 1 year, 11 months ago.

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    Favorite quotes, funny, meaningful, or poignant with attributions when possible. What’ve you got? Here are some of mine:

    Give me an underground laboratory, half a dozen atom-smashers, and a beautiful girl in a diaphanous veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care not who writes the nation’s laws. ― S.J. Perelman

    Thomas Pynchon gave us probably the best lullaby of all time:

    “Dream tonight of peacock tails,
    Diamond fields and spouter whales.
    Ills are many, blessings few,
    But dreams tonight will shelter you.

    Let the vampire’s creaking wing
    Hide the stars while banshees sing;
    Let the ghouls gorge all night long;
    Dreams will keep you safe and strong.

    Skeletons with poison teeth,
    Risen from the world beneath,
    Ogre, troll, and loup-garou,
    Bloody wraith who looks like you,

    Shadow on the window shade,
    Harpies in a midnight raid,
    Goblins seeking tender prey,
    Dreams will chase them all away.

    Dreams are like a magic cloak
    Woven by the fairy folk,
    Covering from top to toe,
    Keeping you from winds and woe.

    And should the Angel come this night
    To fetch your soul away from light,
    Cross yourself, and face the wall:
    Dreams will help you not at all.”

    We all know the Old Mother Hubbard nursery rhyme, but I bet many of you haven’t heard the whole thing. Well, here you go:

    “Old Mother Hubbard” Lyrics
    Old Mother Hubbard
    Went to the cupboard,
    To give the poor dog a bone:
    When she came there,
    The cupboard was bare,
    And so the poor dog had none.

    She went to the baker’s
    To buy him some bread;
    When she came back
    The dog was dead!

    She went to the undertaker’s
    To buy him a coffin;
    When she came back
    The dog was laughing.

    She took a clean dish
    to get him some tripe;
    When she came back
    He was smoking his pipe.

    She went to the alehouse
    To get him some beer;
    When she came back
    The dog sat in a chair.

    She went to the tavern
    For white wine and red;
    When she came back
    The dog stood on his head.

    She went to the fruiterer’s
    To buy him some fruit;
    When she came back
    He was playing the flute.

    She went to the tailor’s
    To buy him a coat;
    When she came back
    He was riding a goat.

    She went to the hatter’s
    To buy him a hat;
    When she came back
    He was feeding her cat.

    She went to the barber’s
    To buy him a wig
    When she came back
    He was dancing a jig.

    She went to the cobbler’s
    To buy him some shoes;
    When she came back
    He was reading the news.

    She went to the sempstress
    To buy him some linen;
    When she came back
    The dog was spinning.

    She went to the hosier’s
    To buy him some hose;
    When she came back
    He was dressed in his clothes.

    The Dame made a curtsy,
    The dog made a bow;
    The Dame said, Your servant;
    The dog said, Bow-wow.

    This wonderful dog
    Was Dame Hubbard’s delight,
    He could read, he could dance,
    He could sing, he could write;
    She gave him rich dainties
    Whenever he fed,
    And erected this monument
    When he was dead.



    • This topic was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  Unseen.


    Love this one:

    E. E. Cummings, 1894 – 1962 

    Buffalo Bill ’s
    who used to
    ride a watersmooth-silver
    and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
    he was a handsome man
    and what i want to know is
    how do you like your blueeyed boy
    Mister Death

    And this one, too:

    “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
    — Friedrich Nietzsche





    a humorous one – I would rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy.




    There was a man of double deed,
    Who sowed his garden full of seed;
    When the seed began to grow,
    ‘Twas like a garden full of snow;
    When the snow began to melt,
    ‘Twas like a ship without a belt;
    When the ship began to sail,
    ‘Twas like a bird without a tail;
    When the bird began to fly,
    ‘Twas like an eagle in the sky;
    When the sky began to roar,
    ‘Twas like a lion at my door;
    When my door began to crack,
    ‘Twas like a stick across my back;
    When my back began to smart,
    ‘Twas like a penknife in my heart;
    And when my heart began to bleed,
    ‘Twas death, and death, and death indeed.

    Edgar Alan Poe’s creepiest poem:


    From childhood’s hour I have not been
    As others were—I have not seen
    As others saw—I could not bring
    My passions from a common spring—
    From the same source I have not taken
    My sorrow—I could not awaken
    My heart to joy at the same tone—
    And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
    Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
    Of a most stormy life—was drawn
    From ev’ry depth of good and ill
    The mystery which binds me still—
    From the torrent, or the fountain—
    From the red cliff of the mountain—
    From the sun that ’round me roll’d
    In its autumn tint of gold—
    From the lightning in the sky
    As it pass’d me flying by—
    From the thunder, and the storm—
    And the cloud that took the form
    (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
    Of a demon in my view—




    My own father was the kindest, purest person I ever knew, and few things I ever read have really made me think of him as much as


    my father moved through dooms of love
    through sames of am through haves of give,
    singing each morning out of each night
    my father moved through depths of height

    this motionless forgetful where
    turned at his glance to shining here;
    that if (so timid air is firm)
    under his eyes would stir and squirm

    newly as from unburied which
    floats the first who, his april touch
    drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
    woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

    and should some why completely weep
    my father’s fingers brought her sleep:
    vainly no smallest voice might cry
    for he could feel the mountains grow.

    Lifting the valleys of the sea
    my father moved through griefs of joy;
    praising a forehead called the moon
    singing desire into begin

    joy was his song and joy so pure
    a heart of star by him could steer
    and pure so now and now so yes
    the wrists of twilight would rejoice

    keen as midsummer’s keen beyond
    conceiving mind of sun will stand,
    so strictly (over utmost him
    so hugely) stood my father’s dream

    his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
    no hungry man but wished him food;
    no cripple wouldn’t creep one mile
    uphill to only see him smile.

    Scorning the Pomp of must and shall
    my father moved through dooms of feel;
    his anger was as right as rain
    his pity was as green as grain

    septembering arms of year extend
    less humbly wealth to foe and friend
    than he to foolish and to wise
    offered immeasurable is

    While I’m thinking of cummings, here’s a favorite sonnet of his about lost love:

    It May Not Always Be So; And I Say

    it may not always be so; and i say
    that if your lips,which i have loved,should touch
    another’s,and your dear strong fingers clutch
    his heart,as mine in time not far away;
    if on another’s face your sweet hair lay
    in such silence as i know,or such
    great writhing words as,uttering overmuch,
    stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;

    if this should be,i say if this should be—
    you of my heart,send me a little word;
    that i may go unto him,and take his hands,
    saying,Accept all happiness from me.
    Then shall i turn my face,and hear one bird
    sing terribly afar in the lost lands



    Both those are beautiful, @unseen.  And I read your ghoulish lullaby to my wife last night, she of the horror genre film adherents, and she loved it!


    Excerpt from “Why I am not a Christian” by Bertrand Russell:

    Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown, and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing—fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion has gone hand-in-hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the Christian religion, against the Churches, and against the opposition of all the old precepts. Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look round for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the churches in all these centuries have made it.

    We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world—its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is, and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence, and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past, or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time towards a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.

    The full work here.



    @unseen – your poem reminds me of this:
    Memory Of My Father – Poem by Patrick Kavanagh

    Every old man I see
    Reminds me of my father
    When he had fallen in love with death
    One time when sheaves were gathered.

    That man I saw in Gardner Street
    Stumbled on the kerb was one,
    He stared at me half-eyed,
    I might have been his son.

    And I remember the musician
    Faltering over his fiddle
    In Bayswater, London,
    He too set me the riddle.

    Every old man I see
    In October-coloured weather
    Seems to say to me:
    “I was once your father.”


    Also this line;

        I grow old … I grow old …

        I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    full poem here.



    Whether or not one agrees with it or thinks it the least bit reasonable or practical, when it comes to philosophical elegance  and eloquence pure and simple, it’s hard to beat this, probably the most quotable paragraph from John Rawls’ treatise, A Theory of Justice:

    Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.



    Maybe I’m beating a dead horse with another e.e. cummings poem but I’m appreciating him more and more as time goes by, and I’m a guy who doesn’t regard poetry very highly. What I like about “All in green went my love riding” is the thud! one experiences in the last two lines where you realize that the poem may not be about what it seemed to be about. Also, the phrase “four lean hounds crouched low and smiling” which is repeated several times is pure genius.

    All in green went my love riding
    on a great horse of gold
    into the silver dawn.

    four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
    the merry deer ran before.

    Fleeter be they than dappled dreams
    the swift sweet deer
    the red rare deer.

    Four red roebuck at a white water
    the cruel bugle sang before.

    Horn at hip went my love riding
    riding the echo down
    into the silver dawn.

    four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
    the level meadows ran before.

    Softer be they than slippered sleep
    the lean lithe deer
    the fleet flown deer.

    Four fleet does at a gold valley
    the famished arrow sang before.

    Bow at belt went my love riding
    riding the mountain down
    into the silver dawn.

    four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
    the sheer peaks ran before.

    Paler be they than daunting death
    the sleek slim deer
    the tall tense deer.

    Four tall stags at the green mountain
    the lucky hunter sang before.

    All in green went my love riding
    on a great horse of gold
    into the silver dawn.

    Four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
    my heart fell dead before.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  Unseen.


    I never said I loved you, John:
    Why will you teaze me day by day,
    And wax a weariness to think upon
    With always ‘do’ and ‘pray’?

    I have no heart?–Perhaps I have not;
    But then you’re mad to take offence
    That I don’t give you what I have not got:
    Use your own common sense.
    -Christina Rossetti, 1860



    Ev’rybody has to believe something.

    (long pause)

    I believe I’ll have another beer.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  Unseen.

    tom sarbeck

    I too believe U will have another beer.



    a couple/few of these poems are  toooooo looooooonnnnnng!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  garnet.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  garnet.


    a couple/few of these poems are toooooo looooooonnnnnng!

    Sorry to hear about your attention span. Nobody forced you to read any one of them.

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