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  #1  
Old 04-08-2002, 11:13 PM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Poems or lines that bring a lump to your throat.

What's your favourite saddest lines/poems that invariably set your waterworks going or put a lump the size of a baseball in your throat?

Mine's:
Judgement is simply trying to reject
A part of what we are, because it hurts.
The living cannot call the dead, collect,
They won't accept the charge, and it reverts.

It's my own judgement day that I draw near
Descending in the past, without a clue,
Down to that central deadness, the despair,
Older than any hope I ever knew.

(From: Because by James McCauley
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2002, 11:41 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2002, 11:42 PM
Nocturne Nocturne is offline
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"If equal affection cannot be/Let the more loving one be me."

--W.H. Auden
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2002, 12:07 AM
Creaky Creaky is offline
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Lament, by Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Listen, children:
Your father is dead.
From his old coats
I'll make you little jackets;
I'll make you little trousers
From his old pants.
There'll be in his pockets
Things he used to put there,
Keys and pennies
Covered with tobacco..."
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2002, 12:17 AM
Soul Brother Number Two Soul Brother Number Two is offline
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aaarggh!! ive spent the last hour fruitlessly looking online for a poem called 'the brothers.' unfortunately, i dont remember the author, and my norton anthology is in any one af twenty big boxes. can anyone help?
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2002, 12:22 AM
Soul Brother Number Two Soul Brother Number Two is offline
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heres one from philip larkin thats always kicked my ass.

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2002, 01:16 AM
ndorward ndorward is offline
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If memory serves "The Brothers" is a narrative poem by Wordsworth.
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Old 04-09-2002, 01:24 AM
ndorward ndorward is offline
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Standing by the window I heard it,
while waiting for the turn. In hot light
and chill air it was the crossing flow
of even life, hurt in the mouth but
exhausted with passion and joy. Free
to leave at either side, at the fold line
found in threats like herbage, the watch
is fearful and promised before. The years
jostle and burn up as a trust plasma.
Beyond help it is joy at death itself:
a toy hard to bear, laughing all night.

--last section of J.H. Prynne, The Oval Window
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2002, 01:40 AM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is online now
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At Gallipoli, a place sacred to most Australians and New Zealanders, and the scene of a terrible allied defeat in the Great War, there is a memorial erected by the Turkish Government which bears these words:

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives...you are now lying of the soil of a friendly country, therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours...You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."
-Kemal Ataturk

Total casualties of the Gallipoli Campaign

Approximate allied casualties . . . 250,000 (incl. French forces)
Approximate allied deaths . . . 50,000
Turkish casualties . . . over 300,000

The suffering of the wounded was terrible and the facilities for dealing with them were hopelessly inadequate. Death came in horrible ways. Men were killed in action, sniped or shelled. Some died of wounds, dysentery or disease, others were drowned or died of exposure. Men were both burned and frozen to death.
Walker, R W: To What End did they Die?: Officers killed at Gallipoli: The Author: Worcester, England: 1985: pp. 1 & 4
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2002, 02:30 AM
istara istara is offline
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The old lie: Dulci et decorum est
Pro patria mori
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2002, 02:48 AM
jackelope jackelope is offline
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Thanks, essvee, for the Philip Larkin. I've got another of his. In fact, I seem to recall being recently very drunk and posting this in a different thread. No matter, it bears repeating. It is called 'Wants.'

Beyond all this, the wish to be alone:
However the sky grows dark with invitation-cards
However we follow the printed directions of sex
However the family is photographed under the flagstaff--
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.

Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs:
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar,
The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites,
The costly aversion of the eyes from death--
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs.

And I have one more, this one from W. B. Yeats, titled 'A Drinking Song':

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Until we grow old and die.
I raise the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.


Thank God for poetry!
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2002, 03:09 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Indeed, thank God for poetry.....



and wine!!

Hey TLD, ever listened to Eric Bogle stuff about the diggers of WW1 (especially 'And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda' and one....I'm not sure if it's called 'The Flutes of the Forest' but it goes...

Well how'd you do Private William McBride
D'ya mind if I sit here down by your graveside
I'll rest for a while in the warm summer sun
I've been walking all day, lord, and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene.

Did they beat the drum slowly, did they sound the fife lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sing the 'Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play the "Flutes of the Forest'?

(Well, that's the first verse and chorus anyway....)
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2002, 03:18 AM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is online now
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Yup, kambuckta, sure have. The one you quoted is a particular favourite of mine.
Quote:
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene.
I've always particularly loved the above lines because, hearing the first, you think it's just another sabre-rattling, war-glorifying song. Then you hear the second. The reality. That one chills me.
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2002, 04:43 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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"Reuben Bright" by Edwin Arlington Robinson. That second quatrain always breaks my heart:

Because he was a butcher and thereby
Did earn an honest living (and did right),
I would not have you think that Reuben Bright
Was any more a brute than you or I;
For when they told him that his wife must die,
He stared at them, and shook with grief and fright,
And cried like a great baby half that night,
And made the women cry to see him cry.

And after she was dead, and he had paid
The singers and the sexton and the rest,
He packed a lot of things that she had made
Most mournfully away in an old chest
Of hers, and put some chopped-up cedar boughs
In with them, and tore down the slaughter-house.
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2002, 08:14 AM
tsarina tsarina is offline
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Gotta be "The Soldier" by Rupert Brooke:

If I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

I'm not even English, it it still gets me.

Another one would have to be lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner"; if you don't just sing it mechanically and actually stop and think about the words, you'll get a lump in your throat too.
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  #16  
Old 04-09-2002, 09:27 AM
Fretful Porpentine Fretful Porpentine is offline
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"On My First Son" by Ben Jonson

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy:
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy,
To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
And if no other misery, yet age.
Rest in soft peace, and asked, say, "Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry."
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much.
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  #17  
Old 04-09-2002, 09:28 AM
Magickly Delicious Magickly Delicious is offline
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Buy the soundtrack to The Civil War, the PBS documentary by Ken Burns. Flip to the last track, which is an actor reading the last letter of Sullivan Ballou to his wife. He reads that, over a fiddle and guitar playing Ashokan Farewell. I have found that I am physically incapable of listening to this track without tearing up. The words are here.
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  #18  
Old 04-09-2002, 09:31 AM
Legomancer Legomancer is offline
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somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me
or which i cannot touch because they are too near


your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers
you open always petal by petal myself as spring opens
(touching skilfully, misteriously) her first rose


or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending


nothing we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility; whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries
rendering death and forever with each breathing


(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain has such small hands


-- e. e. cummings
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2002, 09:40 AM
Simetra Simetra is offline
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Well... I'm gonna get laughed at for this... but, the line that has gotten me was from Moulin Rouge. "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

Yeah, I know, everyone else here is cultured and I'm not.

Just to save a little face, one of my favs:

Life is real. Life is earnest,
and the grave is not it's goal.
Dust thou art. To dust returnest
was never spoken of the soul.

~HWL
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2002, 10:56 AM
Humble Servant Humble Servant is offline
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Thank you, kambuckta. I always enjoy these threads and the chance to read new stuff.

Death in Battle

Open the gates for me,
Open the gates of the peaceful castle, rosy in the West,
In the sweet dim Isle of Apples over the wide sea's breast,
Open the gates for me!
Sorely pressed have I been
And driven and hurt beyond bearing this summer day.
But the heat and the pain together suddenly fall away,
All's cool and green.
But a moment agone,
Among men cursing in fight and toiling, blinded I fought,
But the labour passed on a sudden even as a passing thought,
And now--alone!
Ah, to be ever alone,
In flowery valleys among the mountains and silent wastes untrod,
In the dewy upland places, in the garden of God,
This would atone!
I shall not see
The brutal, crowded faces around me, that in their toil have grown
Into the faces of devils--yea, even as my own--
When I find thee,
O Country of Dreams!
Beyond the tide of the ocean, hidden and sunk away,
Out of the sound of battles, near to the end of day,
Full of dim woods and streams.

--C.S. Lewis
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  #21  
Old 04-09-2002, 11:06 AM
ndorward ndorward is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Simetra
Well... I'm gonna get laughed at for this... but, the line that has gotten me was from Moulin Rouge. "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
I haven't seen the film, but the line is familiar from the old tune "Nature Boy" (is this used in the film?).
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  #22  
Old 04-09-2002, 11:16 AM
gallows fodder gallows fodder is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by istara
The old lie: Dulci et decorum est
Pro patria mori

Owen's "The Parable of the Old Man and the Young" always gets me:

...
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an Angel called him out of heaven;
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him, thy son.
Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.






This may not count, because it's non-fiction, but the book Hell, Healing, and Resistance, by Daniel Hallock, has a passage concerning Claude Eatherly, the man who selected the site of Hiroshima as the target for the A-bomb. Eatherly was consumed by guilt in the years after the war, and the book's passage ends with Eatherly's obituary. In the last line of the obituary, his brother was quoted as saying Eatherly never stopped having nightmares about what he had done. "He said he could feel those people burning."
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  #23  
Old 04-09-2002, 11:30 AM
Serendipity Serendipity is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Simetra
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
That always gets me, too...

Also from Moulin Rouge: "Christian, you may see me only as a drunken, vice-ridden gnome whose friends are just pimps and girls from the brothels. But I know about art and love, if only because I long for it with every fiber of my being."

"Oh, my dear one, while you're sleeping
I am leaving ere the dawn;
All my love is in your keeping;
Briefly grieving, carry on.
Though our lives be torn asunder,
We will mend it straight and strong:
Tears at parting, joys at meeting;
Parting briefly, loving long."
-- James Craddock


Honestly, though the lines that get to me the most are from songs and poems that were written for me... and they're too private to share here.
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  #24  
Old 04-09-2002, 11:38 AM
Lissla Lissar Lissla Lissar is offline
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The River-Merchant’s Wife:
A Letter

While my hair was still cut straight across my
Forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.

At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the look-out?At sixteen you departed,
You went into far Ku-to-yen, by the river of swirling
Eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.
You dragged your feet when you went out.

By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different
mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;

They hurt me. I grow older.
If you are coming down the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Cho-fu-sa.

-Ezra Pound
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  #25  
Old 04-09-2002, 11:39 AM
Simetra Simetra is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ndorward
I haven't seen the film, but the line is familiar from the old tune "Nature Boy" (is this used in the film?).
Yes... it is the line from "Nature Boy" and yes... it's used in the film.

It's the context that it's used in in the film that gets me. Not the song tho'.
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  #26  
Old 04-09-2002, 12:00 PM
MagicalSilverKey MagicalSilverKey is offline
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Toidy Pot

Toidy Pot, Toidy Pot, in the sky
Flushing poo, from up so high
Don't look up, don't even try
Or you'll get poo, right in your eye!

hey it brings something to my throat!
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  #27  
Old 04-09-2002, 12:08 PM
Soul Brother Number Two Soul Brother Number Two is offline
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ndorward, thanks, but the poem im thinking of is a WWI poem, i think. i always think its wilfred owen, but its not. neither is it brooke or sassoon.

if i remember correctly, and i probably dont, the author is writing about two of his brothers who died in the war. one of the lines, to very roughly paraphrase, goes something like this:

and did they know
ten thousand days ago
that they were beautiful?
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  #28  
Old 04-09-2002, 12:38 PM
jimpatro jimpatro is offline
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The last lines of Frost's "The Road Not Taken"

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference.
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  #29  
Old 04-09-2002, 12:47 PM
Toaster52 Toaster52 is offline
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UNDER the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

...Robrt Louis Stevenson, The Requiem


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 everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the 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.

...Elizabeth Barrett Browning, SONNET #43, FROM THE PORTUGUESE

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

...William Ernest Henley, Invictus


...too may others to post.
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  #30  
Old 04-09-2002, 02:03 PM
Zhen'ka Zhen'ka is offline
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These two poems by Robert Hass really affect me, but for different and completely opposite reasons.

I wish I could link to them, but I can’t find any online. The last lines always bring tears to my eyes.

From Field guide:

(to his wife, Leif is his son)

Letter

…..It’s you I love.
I have believed so long
in the magic of names and poems.
I hadn’t thought them bodiless
at all. Tall buttercup. Wild Vetch.
“Often I am permitted to return
to a meadow.” It all seemed real to me
last week. Words. You are the body
of my world, root and flower, the
brightness and surprise of birds.
I miss you love. Tell Leif
you’re the names of things.



From Sun Under Wood:

Faint Music

….I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain
it must sometimes make a kind of singing.
And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps—
First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing.



There are far too many to name, but recently I’ve been totally devastated by Listen! by Vladimir Mayakovsky:


Listen!

Listen,
if stars are lit
it means there is someone who needs it.
It means that someone wants them to be,
that someone deems those speckles of spit
Magnificent.

And overwrought,
in the swirls of afternoon dust,
he bursts in on God,
afraid he might be already late.
In tears,
he kisses God’s sinewy hand
and begs him to guarantee
that there will definitely be a star.
He swears
he won’t be able to stand
that starless ordeal.

Later,
he wanders around, worried,
but outwardly calm.
And to someone else, he says:
“Now,
it’s all right.
You are no longer afraid,
Are you?”

Listen,
if the stars are lit
it means there is someone who needs it.
It means it is essential
that every evening
at least one star should ascend
over the crest of the building.


1914


For more Mayakovsky (in Russian, too!) please see:

http://www.mayakovsky.com/maya/mayent.htm
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  #31  
Old 04-09-2002, 03:33 PM
sailor sailor is offline
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When times get tough I always find inspiration in the poem J.A. Goytysolo wrote for his young daughter Julia. I couldn't find an English translation so I translated the basic meaning if not the beauty of the original in Spanish

Words for Julia
José Agustín Goytisolo

You cannot turn back
because life already pushes you
like a never-ending howl.

My daughter 'tis better to live
with the happiness of mankind
than to cry before the blind wall.

You will feel cornered,
you will feel lost or lonely,
maybe you'll wish you hadn't been born.

I know very well they will tell you
that there is no object to life,
that it is an unfortunate affair.

Then always remember
what I wrote one day
thinking of you as I am now thinking.

A man alone, a woman,
Taken like that, one by one,
are like dust, are nothing.

But when I talk to you
when I write these words for you
I also think of other people.

Your destiny is in others,
your future is your own life,
your dignity that of everybody.

Others expect you to hang on,
the help of your happiness,
your song among their songs.

Then always remember
what I wrote one day
thinking of you as I am now thinking.

Never give up or halt
by the road, never say
I can't take it and here I'll remain.

Life is beautiful you will see
how in spite of everything
you'll have love, you'll have friends.

For the rest there is no choice
and this world as it is
will be all you have.

Forgive me, I do not know
what else to say but understand
I am still on my way.

And always, always, remember
what I wrote one day
thinking of you, like I am now thinking.
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  #32  
Old 04-09-2002, 04:40 PM
MrAndrewV MrAndrewV is offline
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There are waaaay too many that stick in my mind for me to pick just one so here goes.

First here is a line from Tennyson that just rrrolls off the tongue:

She only said 'The night is dreary
he cometh not', she said.
She said 'Iam aweary, weary,
I would that I were dead'.


Someone mentioned Edna St Vincent Millay:

"I only know that a summer sang in me once, that in me sings no more."


One another leve from the movie 'Chasing Amy':
"If this isnt love then I dont think I could take the real thing."


Or one an entirely differnent note:
"Turn off the sun,
pull the stars from the sky,
the more I give to you the more I die.
And I want you.
And I still want you."
-NiN

This thread is really coo btw.
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  #33  
Old 04-09-2002, 05:02 PM
TMaxwell TMaxwell is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Magickly Delicious
Buy the soundtrack to The Civil War, the PBS documentary by Ken Burns. Flip to the last track, which is an actor reading the last letter of Sullivan Ballou to his wife. He reads that, over a fiddle and guitar playing Ashokan Farewell. I have found that I am physically incapable of listening to this track without tearing up. The words are here.
Magickly Delicious...I couldn't agree more...I used to listen to that over and over again. Such an amazing letter. Incredible.
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  #34  
Old 04-09-2002, 05:46 PM
Kalashnikov Kalashnikov is offline
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So we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And Love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.

- Lord Byron

I became aware of this poem shortly after a close friend of mine died while we were both in college. Being bikers, we HAD gone roving late into the night together many times...
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  #35  
Old 04-09-2002, 06:13 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Magickly Delicious
Buy the soundtrack to The Civil War, the PBS documentary by Ken Burns. Flip to the last track, which is an actor reading the last letter of Sullivan Ballou to his wife. He reads that, over a fiddle and guitar playing Ashokan Farewell. I have found that I am physically incapable of listening to this track without tearing up. The words are here.
Tear up, hell. Just reading it made me sob like a baby.

I have always loved these lines from W.H. Auden:

He was my North, my South, My East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest.
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought love would last forever: I was wrong.

(from Twelve Songs, song IX)
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  #36  
Old 04-09-2002, 06:26 PM
KinSaba KinSaba is offline
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The Slip by Wendell Berry

The river takes the land, and leaves nothing.
Where the great slip gave way in the bank
and an acre disappeared, all human plans
dissolve. An aweful clarification occurs
where a place was. Its memory breaks
from what is known now, and begins to drift.
Where cattle grazed and trees stood, emptiness
widens the air for birdflight, wind, and rain.
As before the beginning, nothing is there.
Human wrong is in the cause, human
ruin the effect - but no matter;
all will be lost, no matter the reason.
Nothing, having arrived, will stay.
The earth, even, is like a flower, so soon
passeth it away. And yet this nothing
is the seed of all - heaven's clear
eye, where all worlds appear.
Where the imperfect has departed, the perfect
begins its struggle to return. The good gift
begins again its descent. The maker moves
in the unmade, stirring the water until
it clouds, dark beneath the surface,
stirring and darkening the soul until pain
perceives new possibility. There is nothing
to do but learn and wait, return to work
on what remains. Seed will sprout in the scar.
Though death is in the healing, it will heal.
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  #37  
Old 04-09-2002, 06:53 PM
phouka phouka is offline
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A little more Tennyson . . .

. . . Come, my friends,
Push off and sitting well in order
Smite the sounding furrows.
For my purpose holds to sail
Beyond the sunset and the baths
Of all the western stars until I die.
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  #38  
Old 04-09-2002, 06:57 PM
stargazer stargazer is offline
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these are just a few poems... and I'm not even getting into the songs, let alone the hymns! (all right, I tear up easily... my mom's the same way, and it used to embarass me to no end. And now, here I am, and it'll probably embarass my kids!)

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with the golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams beneath your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams...

William Butler Yeats


Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound or foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell;
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson


God's Grandeur

THE world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Gerard Manley Hopkins



...A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

from Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot
__________________
A condition of complete simplicity,
Costing not less than everything.

-T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"
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  #39  
Old 04-09-2002, 07:28 PM
Soul Brother Number Two Soul Brother Number Two is offline
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i found it! its by edwin muir.

The Brothers

The Brothers

Last night I watched my brothers play,
The gentle and the reckless one,
In a field two yards away.
For half a century they were gone
Beyond the other side of care
To be among the peaceful dead.
Even in a dream how could I dare
Interrogate that happiness
So wildly spent yet never less?
For still they raced about the green
And were like two revolving suns;
A brightness poured from head to head,
So strong I could not see their eyes
Or look into their paradise.
What were they doing, the happy ones?
Yet where I was they once had been.

I thought, How could I be so dull,
Twenty thousand days ago,
Not to see they were beautiful?
I asked them, Were you really so
As you are now, that other day?
And the dream was soon away.

For then we played for victory
And not to make each other glad.
A darkness covered every head,
Frowns twisted the original face,
And through that mask we could not see
The beauty and the buried grace.

I have observed in foolish awe
The dateless mid-days of the law
And seen indifferent justice done
By everyone on everyone.
And in a vision I have seen
My brothers playing on the green.
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  #40  
Old 04-09-2002, 07:45 PM
Katisha Katisha is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fretful Porpentine
"On My First Son" by Ben Jonson
Oh, absolutely -- I was going to post that one if nobody else had.

This couplet in particular always gets to me...

Quote:
Rest in soft peace, and asked, say, "Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry."
[/B]
Here's another one I find profoundly affecting, because I can really relate to the sentiment expressed therein...

Denial
George Herbert

When my devotions could not pierce
Thy silent ears,
Then was my heart broken, as my verse;
My breast was full of fears
And disorder;

My bent thoughts, like a brittle bow,
Did fly asunder:
Each took his way; some would to pleasures go,
Some to the wars and thunder
Of alarms.

As good go anywhere, they say,
As to benumb
Both knees and heart in crying night and day,
Come, come, my God, O come!
But no hearing.

O that thou shouldst give dust a tongue
To cry to thee,
And then not hear it crying! All day long
My heart was in my knee,
But no hearing.

Therefore my soul lay out of sight,
Untuned, unstrung;
My feeble spirit, unable to look right,
Like a nipped blossom, hung
Discontented.

O cheer and tune my heartless breast;
Defer no time,
That so thy favors granting my request,
They and my mind may chime,
And mend my rhyme.
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  #41  
Old 04-09-2002, 09:05 PM
Nacho4Sara Nacho4Sara is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
I love these threads. I always read something I've never read before.

The Sullivan Ballou letter made me sob.

This first bit of poetry is something I wrote myself when someone I loved very much broke my heart. I don't know if it's any good, but it always makes me cry:

Quote:
I've given you one cool drink
from a long, deep river.
I would let you drink in all of me
if you asked.
From Tenderness, by Stephen Dunn:

Quote:
It's a word I see now
you must be older to use
you must have experienced
the absence of it
often enough to know
what silk and deep balm
it is
when at last it comes.
From To a Sad Daughter by Michael Ondaatje:

Quote:
You step delicately into the wild world
and your real prize will be
the frantic search.
Want everything. If you break
break going out not in.
How you live your life I don't care
but I'll sell my arms for you,
hold your secrets forever.
From Bill's Story by Mark Doty (about his sister's death):

Quote:
Mother would fret, trying to help her
just one more time: Look for the light,

until I took her arm
and told her wherever I was in the world
I would come back, no matter how difficult
it was to reach her, if I heard her calling.
Shut up, mother, I said, and Annie died.
Also by Mark Doty, from Heaven:

Quote:
I have a friend who sometimes sells
everything, scrapes together enough money
to get to the city, and lives on the streets here,

in the parks. She says she likes waking
knowing she can be anyone she wants, keep any name
as long as it wears well. She stayed with one man
a few days; calling themselves whatever they liked

or nothing, they slept in the park
beneath a silver cloth, a "space blanket"
that mirrored the city lights, and the heat
of his dog coiled between them would warm them.

I knew, she says, I was in heaven.
Those are just a few.
__________________
If you think I'm a bitch now, wait until I pass my Bar exam. Miss ya, Wally.
"This is the urgency: Live! and have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind." Gwendolyn Brooks
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  #42  
Old 04-09-2002, 09:51 PM
TV time TV time is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
My father was a self educated man and he always loved poetry. Instead of nursery rhymes he would read me classic poetry when I was a small child and one of his favorites was Rudyard Kipling's If and he would, and now I do, tear up at at the final lines every time.

[i]If you can talk with crouds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings and not 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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  #43  
Old 04-09-2002, 10:28 PM
HelloKitty HelloKitty is offline
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Join Date: May 1999
I've always liked this passage from Thoreau:

Quote:
As surely as the sunset in my latest November
shall translate me to the ethereal world,
and remind me of the ruddy morning of youth;
as surely as the last strain of music which falls on my decaying ear
shall make age to be forgotten,
or, in short, the manifold influences of nature
survive during the term of our natural life,
so surely my Friend shall forever be my Friend,
and reflect a ray of God to me,
and time shall foster and adorn and consecrate our Friendship,
no less than the ruins of temples.
And, it's hard NOT to get choked up with this poem, after all it is titled Funeral (by W.H. Auden).

Quote:
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
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  #44  
Old 04-09-2002, 11:09 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Though I've beaten you and flayed you
By the livin Gawd that made you
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
-Gunga Din, Kipling

Every silver lining has a touch of grey.
-Garcia
__________________
"Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them."
If you don't stop to analyze the snot spray, you are missing that which is best in life. - Miller
I'm not sure why this is, but I actually find this idea grosser than cannibalism. - Excalibre, after reading one of my surefire million-seller business plans.
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  #45  
Old 04-09-2002, 11:16 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
Out of the slimy mud of words
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Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 6,992
I know this is a bit hackneyed, but it is a classic "lump bringer":

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night - 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 the 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.
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  #46  
Old 04-10-2002, 09:47 AM
Humble Servant Humble Servant is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
OK, the Herbert, Muir and Mayakovsky were all new to me and most excellent. Thank you.

stargazer: didyaknow that Eliot stole (er, paid homage to) the "All will be well" lines from Julian of Norwich? I learned that right here on the SDMB a while back.

Here's one more:

But soft! sink low!
Soft! Let me just murmur,
And do you wait a moment you husky-nois'd sea,
For somewhere I believe I heard my mate responding to me,
So faint, I must be still, be still to listen,
But not altogether still for then she might not come immediately to me.

Hither my love!
Here I am! here!
With this just sustained note I announce myself to you,
This gentle call is for you my love, for you,

Do not be decoy'd elsewhere,
That is the whistle of the wind, it is not my voice,
That is the fluttering, the fluttering of the spray,
Those are the shadows of leaves.

O darkness! O in vain!
I am very sick and sorrowful.

O brown halo in the sky near the moon, drooping upon the sea!
O troubled reflection in the sea!
O throat! O throbbing heart!
And I singing uselessly, uselessly, all the night.

O past! O happy life! O songs of joy!
In the air, in the woods, over fields,
Loved! loved! loved! loved! loved!
But my mate no more, no more with me!
We two together no more.

--Walt Whitman
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  #47  
Old 04-10-2002, 09:56 AM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Posts: 10,649
Okay, just so we don't forget that prose can be affecting, too...


"All right, then, I'll go to Hell!"

-- Huckleberry Finn
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  #48  
Old 04-10-2002, 10:07 AM
Cougarfang Cougarfang is offline
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"Farewell sweet earth and northern sky,
for ever blest, since here did lie
and here with lissom limbs did run
beneath the Moon, beneath the Sun, ---Luthien Tinuviel,
more fair than mortal tongue can tell.
Though all to ruin fell the world
and were dissolved and backward hurled
unmade into the old abyss,
yet were its making good, for this---
the dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea---
that Luthien for a time should be."

From The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
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  #49  
Old 04-10-2002, 12:58 PM
stargazer stargazer is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant
stargazer: didyaknow that Eliot stole (er, paid homage to) the "All will be well" lines from Julian of Norwich? I learned that right here on the SDMB a while back.
Yeah, I think I knew that, but it's the "a condition of complete simplicity (costing not less than everything)" that does it to me. I think that's about the perfectest description of Christianity I've ever seen. I read that and went "...yeah. That's it."


A secondary question for y'all: Do you find yourself choking up more at things that give you joy/are happy or things that upset you/are sad? And this isn't limited to poetry -- I'm talking plays, movies, books, TV, stories other people tell you, commercials (I told you I tear up easily!), whatever.
__________________
A condition of complete simplicity,
Costing not less than everything.

-T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"
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  #50  
Old 04-10-2002, 01:49 PM
bobkitty bobkitty is offline
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Location: The end of the tunnel
Posts: 2,639
Okay, I'm a goofball. The St. Crispin's Day Speech (from our good buddy Willy) has *always* brought a little lump to my throat. And watching Kenneth Branaugh say it was just a wee bit overwhelming. So.. Henry V, Act 4, scene 3..


What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
__________________
pointedly does NOT cop a cheap feel from bobkitty, who he imagines has sharp claws and can hiss like a pissed-off bobcat-iampunha
Baroness Junior Grade of Furry Wilderness Creatures.
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