Poetry

Assorted Poetry & Sage Reflections

Nothing Gold can Stay by Robert Frost

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in All Blog Posts, Poetry | 0 comments


Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.
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“Generation” by P.K. Page

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Media, Poetry | 0 comments

I sit in the hotel lobby in San Fransisco. Ella Fitzgerald is singing “Blue Skies”.  Like tarot cards I pull a poem from seventy-two years ago, July 1943.  Morris was in summer school at Bowdoin. He wrote Arline often then. No mail delays. I pull up the table of contents in Poetry Magazine 1943.  I’m drawn to read the last on its list “Generation” by P.K. Page. Last lines hit me first “crash helmets of permanent beliefs”. I study the poem. It’s a lot truth, how it was. I love the line “freed from the muddle of sex by the never-mentioned method”. That sure was handed down- the never mentioning part anyway. I reflect on the poem. Art Garfunkel is playing and sings “let your honesty shine”.

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Reading My Poems from WWII

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Poetry, WW2, WW2 Letters, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Poetry Magazine  1970 issue published “Reading my WWII Letters” by William Meredith. The poem is large scale in few lines. Takes me back to the feeling of opening a whole new world the first time I read one of my father’s letters.

Reading My Poems from WWII in Poetry Magazine

Reading My Poems from WWII in Poetry Magazine

 

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The Mending Wall

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in All Blog Posts, Poetry, Vintage Style | 0 comments

Selecting photos for Arline’s 90th Birthday “This is Your life” movie
I found this snapshot of me, my brothers, and our dog, Thor.
In 1967 our family dog, Thor, was poisoned and killed by a neighbor.
My father didn’t fence our yard. Thor wandered to other homes near ours.
Reflecting, I thought “Good Fences make Good Neighbors” from a poem by Robert Frost.

Densmore Family Photo 1960s

1960s Martha and Thor

Robert Frost was a contemporary of Poet and Oxford scholar
Robert Peter Tristram Coffin. Professor R.P.T.C. was
Morris’s english teacher at Bowdoin College in 1943.

“The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost

SOMETHING there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
He is all pine and I am apple-orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down!” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

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A Fan of Professor Coffin

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Poetry, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

“A man should choose with careful eye the things to be remembered by.” ~ Robert P. Tristram Coffin

Strange Holiness
won Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 1936

…When Morris went to Bowdoin’s in 1942-43 (he returned and graduated after the war) his english professor was American poet, Robert Peter Tristram Coffin. On the evening of May 5, 1943 Morris writes Arline:

I have been sitting in the living room for more than two hours listening to him talk. He is really a remarkable man but he is a bit hard to follow. He was giving us some insights on the intellectual abilities of the medieval man. Then the conversation, or more appropriately monologue, shifted to religion. He gave us some amazing information on many religious sects such as the Shakers, Mormons…etc. It isn’t often you have the chance to talk firsthand with a Pulitzer Prize winner and Rhodes Scholar.

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REQUIEM, a Poem

Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Media, Poetry, WW2 | 0 comments

A poem, “Requiem”, was hiding in the old family Bible.
It was written by Reta Laffin on the 50th anniversary of D Day
The poem is a tribute to fallen family members in WW2:
Willis Neil, Wilfred Densmore, and Frank Tomlinson of East Noel, Canada

But first, Longfellow praise for the humble poem:

“Come read to me some poem
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters.
Not from the bards sublime.
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music.
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life’s endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart.
As showers from the clouds of summer
Or tears from the eyelids start.”
Longfellow, 1825

REQUIEM by Reta Laffin
(It’s 2 pages, 2 thumbnails)

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