Aeschylus   |   the Bible   |   Emily Dickinson   |   Leonard Cohen   |   Pablo Neruda   |   Dylan Thomas   |   William Wordsworth


Prometheus Bound
And every hour shall bring its weight of woe
To wear thy heart away; for yet unborn
Is he who shall release Thee from they pain.
This is thy wage for loving humankind.

PROMETHEUS: I took from man expectancy of death.
CHORUS: What medicine found'st thou for this malady?
PROMETHEUS: I planted blind hope in the heart of him.

The Bible:
Amos 5:23-24
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and Righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Hosea 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
  because you have rejected knowledge,
  I reject you from being a priest to me.

Mark 10:45
For the son of man came not to be served but to serve and gave his life as a ransom for many.

Isaiah 30:8

Go now, write it before them on a tablet,
  and inscribe it in a book,
 So that it may be for the time to come
  as a witness forever.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is devious above all else;
  it is perverse--
  who can understand it?

Job 5:6
For misery does not come from the earth
nor does trouble sprout from the ground,
but human beings are born to trouble
just as sparks fly upwards.

Hosea 9:13
Once I saw Ephraim as a young palm
  planted in a lovely meadow,
  but now Ephraim must lead out his
    children for slaughter.

Emily Dickinson
I died for Beauty - but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In an adjoining Room -

He questioned softly "Why I failed"?
"for Beauty", I replied -
"And I - for Truth - Themself are One - We Brethren, are", He said -

And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night -
We talked between the Rooms -
Until the Moss had reached our lips -
And covered up - our names -

Of Course - I prayed -
And did God Care?
He cared as much as on the Air
A Bird - had stamped her foot -
And cried "Give Me" -
My Reason - Life -
I had not had - but for Yourself
'Twere better Charity
To leave me in the Atom's Tomb -
Merry, and Nought, and gay, and numb -
Than this smart misery.

Pablo Neruda:
My Soul

My soul is an empty carousel at sunset.

Dylan Thomas:
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

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.

William Wordsworth:
The Prelude
Oh, blank confusion! true epitome
Of what the mighty city is herself,
To thousands upon thousands of her sons,
Living amid the same perpetual whirl
Of trivial objects, melted and reduced
To one identity, by differences
That have no law, no meaning, and no end--
Oppression, under which even highest minds
Must labor, whence the strongest are not free.

Imagination and Taste, how Impaired and Restored
Oh! mystery of man, from what a depth
Proceed thy honors. I am lost, but see
In simple childhood something of the base
On which thy greatness stands; but this I feel,
That from thyself it comes, that thou must give,
Else never canst receive. The days gone by
Return upon me almost from the dawn
Of life: the hiding-places of man's power
Open; I would approach them, but they close.
I see by glimpses now; when age comes on,
May scarcely see at all; and i would give,
While yet we may, as far as words can give,
Substance and life to what I feel, enshrining,
Such is my hope, the spirit of the Past
for future restoration.

William Blake

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

Prisons are built with stones of law,
Brothels with bricks of religion.

The Garden of Love

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen

A chapel built in the midst,

Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And thou shalt not write over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bare,

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be
And priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.

Leonard Cohen

And you say you've been humbled in love
Cut down in your love
Forced to kneel in the mud next to me
Ah but why so bitterly turn from the one
Who kneels there are deeply as thee.

The Favorite Game

Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the world is made flesh.

ee cummings

You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we'll leave it far and far away...
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the things you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and--
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And I knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart--
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I'll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I'll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

To be nobody--but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else--means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

Robert Frost

What Fifty Said

When I was young my teachers were the old.
I gave up fire for form till I was cold.
I suffered like a metal being cast.
I went to school to age to learn the past.

Now when I am old my teachers are the young.
When can't be molded must be cracked and sprung.
I strain at lessons fit to start a future.
I go to school to youth to learn the future.

Phillip Larkin
This be the Verse (1974)

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.