Category Archives: Public Domain

“Aftermath” by Siegfried Sassoon

HAVE you forgotten yet?…
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked a while at the crossing of city ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heavens of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same,—and War’s a bloody game….
Have you forgotten yet?…
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz,—
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench,—
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, “Is it all going to happen again?”

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack,—
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads, those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?…
Look up, and swear by the green of the Spring that you’ll never forget.

From “Of Him I Love Day and Night” by Walt Whitman

OF him I love day and night, I dream’d I heard he was dead;
And I dream’d I went where they had buried him I love—but he was not in that place;
And I dream’d I wander’d, searching among burial-places, to find him;
And I found that every place was a burial-place;
The houses full of life were equally full of death, (this house is now;)
The streets, the shipping, the places of amusement, the Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, the Mannahatta, were as full of the dead as of the living,
And fuller, O vastly fuller, of the dead than of the living;
—And what I dream’d I will henceforth tell to every person and age,
And I stand henceforth bound to what I dream’d;
And now I am willing to disregard burial-places, and dispense with them;
And if the memorials of the dead were put up indifferently everywhere, even in the room where I eat or sleep, I should be satisfied;
And if the corpse of any one I love, or if my own corpse, be duly render’d to powder, and pour’d in the sea, I shall be satisfied;
Or if it be distributed to the winds, I shall be satisfied.

from “Tease” by D.H. Lawrence

You have fingered all my treasures,
   Have you not, most curiously,
Handled all my tools and measures
   And masculine machinery?

Over every single beauty
   You have had your little rapture;
You have slain, as was your duty,
   Every sin-mouse you could capture.

Still you are not satisfied,
   Still you tremble faint reproach;
Challenge me I keep aside
   Secrets that you may not broach.

Maybe yes, and maybe no,
   Maybe there are secret places,
Altars barbarous below,
   Elsewhere halls of high disgraces.

Maybe yes, and maybe no,
   You may have it as you please,
Since I choose to keep you so,
   Suppliant on your curious knees.

NaPoWriMo Inspiration #3

napowrimo_plum From “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman:

A Glimpse

A GLIMPSE, through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room, around the stove, late of a winter night
—And I unremark’d seated in a corner;
Of a youth who loves me, and whom I love, silently approaching, and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand;
A long while, amid the noises of coming and going—of drinking and oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.

legal neepery of interest only to copyright holders and their publishers

The Amended Settlement filed in Authors Guild v. Google creates a non-profit Book Rights Registry governed by authors and publishers to oversee the settlement on their behalf. A Fairness Hearing has been scheduled for February 18, 2010; authors have until January 28, 2010 to opt out of the agreement. The SFWA is objecting to (among other things) Google’s potential monopoly, to the opt-out clause, and to leaving the fair use dispute (pdf) unresolved. The ALA, ARL and ACRL have some similar concerns (pdf) and have released a Guide for the Perplexed (pdf). The NWU opposes it; so does the ASJA. (previously, previously).

Mirrored from my post here.

Happy birthday, Alan.

A Birthday

MY heart is like a singing bird
  Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
  Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
  That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
  Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
  Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
  And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
  In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
  Is come, my love is come to me.

– Christina Georgina Rossetti

“The Oxen” by Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
    “Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
    By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
    They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
    To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
    In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
    “Come; see the oxen kneel,

“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
    Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
    Hoping it might be so.