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> symons' poem
delirium
post Sep 24 2012, 04:00 PM
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I didn't find anyone mention Symons by using the forum's search.


The Absinthe Drinker


Gently I wave the visible world away.
Far off, I hear a roar, afar yet near,
Far off and strange, a voice is in my ear,
And is the voice my own? the words I say
Fall strangely, like a dream, across the day;
And the dim sunshine is a dream. How clear,
New as the world to lovers' eyes, appear
The men and women passing on their way!

The world is very fair. The hours are all
Linked in a dance of mere forgetfulness.
I am at peace with God and man. O glide,
Sands of the hour-glass that I count not, fall
Serenely: scarce I feel your soft caress.
Rocked on this dreamy and indifferent tide.


-Arthur Symons


--------------------
"Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink." -Shunryu Suzuki
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Jay
post Nov 16 2012, 12:10 AM
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A fine poem for inclusion, even if I'm a couple of months late in saying so. Incidentally, I was curious to know if this poem was written prior to the ban on absinthe, so if anyone else is curious, I found a source which dates it to 1892.
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Provenance
post Nov 16 2012, 03:45 AM
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The Last Scene

By Alan Shapiro

Extravagant sweep
of clear sky
darkening
in the big picture window
beside the bed,
lights here and there
already flashing all
across the city down below us—
Ellen
and the girls out somewhere,
you and I alone,
you with your eyes closed,
I with a drink in hand:
you suddenly in character,
your voice
a wraith’s voice,
faint, stumbling,
slurry
with morphine,
and yet
still artful
as ever,
even if the art
was obvious,
the dying brother
playing the dying brother—
Do you think
you have a problem
with that?
the question
masking a declaration,
the brother
a savior,
the savior a judge,
not all that different from
before except that now
the dying had
distilled
all doubt away
as you repeated,
Do you think
you have a
problem?
“Me? With what?”
I too in character now,
the character
without character,
the little brother who
in your mind proves
the truth
of all you think
by his resistance to it,
pulling
the scene off
by refusing to play it,
pretending not to know:
“With what?”
With that,
head tilted to the shot
glass,
“This?”
my one desire now
a little shtick,
a final moment
of material—
“This?
A problem?
Not at all.
There’s plenty more
where that came from,
almost a whole bottle.”
You imperturbable,
Look at yourself,
how you sit here
drinking all alone.
“Well, mea
gulpa.
Are you happy now?”
You drink
a lot.
“I have a lot
to drink about.”
And that was that.
For now you drifted off,
or seemed to,
your eyes closed,
head turned away,
the two of us
together
for the last
time ever on the stage
of being brothers,
our see-through
figures in the picture window
spectral and vast
against the city
flashing
a ghostly circuitry
of nerves
within
the ancient masks we wore,
the hand I lifted,
the drink I knocked back
in a final toast
in honor of the timing,
the concentration
that neither
one of us
could ever break.


--------------------
We all used to be things we aren't anymore.
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Jay
post Nov 16 2012, 08:05 PM
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I've hit reply to post this link to the same poem with the same line breaks, but with different (presumably, the original) indentations, and the format of the quoted poem in the reply box reveals that you tried to post it that way as well but the formatting was lost.

Anyway, the link is above for anyone who is interested, even if it seems unnecessarily redundant. Aesthetics are important.
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delirium
post Nov 17 2012, 05:50 AM
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The "like" -button was nowhere to be found. :(


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"Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink." -Shunryu Suzuki
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