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Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: January 12, 2004 06:35PM

Author: Mark Demko (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: 01-11-04 22:35

I need a poem about when a person's life changes and becomes worse


Mark read many by Poe, Wilfred Owen, Emily Dickinson. Any of the WWI poets should do the trick. Here's one.


The Show
by Wilfred Owen

My soul looked down from a vague height with Death,
As unremembering how I rose or why,
And saw a sad land, weak with sweats of dearth,
Gray, cratered like the moon with hollow woe,
And fitted with great pocks and scabs of plaques.

Across its beard, that horror of harsh wire,
There moved thin caterpillars, slowly uncoiled.
It seemed they pushed themselves to be as plugs
Of ditches, where they writhed and shrivelled, killed.

By them had slimy paths been trailed and scraped
Round myriad warts that might be little hills.

From gloom's last dregs these long-strung creatures crept,
And vanished out of dawn down hidden holes.

(And smell came up from those foul openings
As out of mouths, or deep wounds deepening.)

On dithering feet upgathered, more and more,
Brown strings towards strings of gray, with bristling spines,
All migrants from green fields, intent on mire.

Those that were gray, of more abundant spawns,
Ramped on the rest and ate them and were eaten.

I saw their bitten backs curve, loop, and straighten,
I watched those agonies curl, lift, and flatten.

Whereat, in terror what that sight might mean,
I reeled and shivered earthward like a feather.

And Death fell with me, like a deepening moan.
And He, picking a manner of worm, which half had hid
Its bruises in the earth, but crawled no further,
Showed me its feet, the feet of many men,
And the fresh-severed head of it, my head.

Les


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: January 13, 2004 04:11AM

Life is mostly grief and labour;
Two things help us through.
Jeering when it hits your neighbour.
Whining when it's you.
-Kingsley Amis

Amis's friend Philip Larkin wrote obsessively aboutthings getting worse- Expectations, The Old Fools,Aubade are obvious titles


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: January 13, 2004 02:58PM

Check out the lyrics to Sting's song HISTORY WILL TEACH US NOTHING, which includes the line:

"Without freedom from the past things can only get worse."

At:

[www.musicsonglyrics.com]


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: January 13, 2004 02:59PM

And there's a poem by Hardy (I think) about going to his childhood home and finding that he can "go there" but it doesn't look beautiful to him any more ...

I can't remember it well enough to cite it here, but someone will know what I mean. (Right, team?)


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: January 13, 2004 03:00PM

Oh, and check out the Prophets, esp. the prophets of DOOM!

The term "jeremaiad" (a long harangue about how bad things are) comes from Jeremaida ... but Isaiah also did a lot of doom-saying.

Not to mention Revelation.


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: J.H.SUMMERS (---.chartertn.net)
Date: January 13, 2004 07:21PM

Solomon Grundy (an old nursery rhyme)

Solomon Grundy,
Born on Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill Thursday,
Worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday,
This is the end of
Solomon Grundy.

john


Re Kingsley Amis poem above
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: January 14, 2004 04:09AM

This is a rather nice parody of a poem that goes something like:

In this life of froth and bubble
Two things stand alone
Comfort in anothers trouble
Silence in your own.


Re: Kingsley Amis poem above - Eureka
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: January 14, 2004 07:33AM

from Ye Wearie Wayfarer by Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-70)

Question not, but live and labour
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbour,
Seeking help from none;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own.

I prefer Chesterton - on the same subject - from a letter to Thomas Hughes:

Tho' we earn our bread, Tom
By the dirty pen,
What we can we will be,
Honest Englishmen.
Do the work that's nearest
Though it's dull at whiles,
Helping, when we meet them,
Lame dogs over stiles.

In this cyncial day and age I'm not sure the first word of line 3 would be better 'when' than 'what'.

Filed with it I found a slightly different version of the Amis parody:

Life is mainly toil and labour
Two things see you through
Chortling when it hits your neighbour
Whingeing when it's you.


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: January 14, 2004 08:31AM

Three classic poems expressing in different ways the sentiment that life is getting worse:

'I Remember, I Remember' by Thomas Hood

'Ode on Intimations of Immortality' by William Wordsworth.

'The Second Coming' by W.B.Yeats.

For something a little more modern, the lyrics to the Beatles' song 'Yesterday'.


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: January 14, 2004 01:04PM

Speaking of YESTERDAY: The majority of Blues lyrics are about how bad things are since one's baby went away.

Here are the last four lines of "Dockery and Son" by Philip Larkin:

Life is first boredom, then fear.
Whether or not we use it, it goes,
And leaves what something hidden from us chose,
And age, and then the only end of age.

Read the whole poem at:
[www.plagiarist.com] />
======


(A word here on the omnipresent copyright issue. I feel fine about quoting these four lines because -A- four lines is well within "fair use" for a poem of this length and -B- I think Larkin would appreciate having his poem recommended to someone in this setting. As for the people who posted the whole thing on their site... they're on their own.)


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: January 14, 2004 01:50PM

Here are those lyrics we've been speaking about:

Lennon/McCartney

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be,
There's a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why she had to go I don't know she wouldn't say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Mm mm mm mm mm.

Marian NYC, I'm usually pretty careful about giving credit where credit is due, but in this case I don't think Michael Jackson will object.


Les


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: January 15, 2004 10:13AM

Two more lyrics:Tom Lehrer's Bright College Days
Noel Coward: There are bad times just around the corner


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: January 15, 2004 02:40PM

Michael Jackson's a little busy right now, and probably won't notice even if he does object.

pam


Re: Kingsley Amis poem above - Eureka
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: January 15, 2004 02:43PM

I've seen this as a story, but it seems to be a song as well. [www.folkinfo.org] />
The Old Woman and her Pig
(Accumulating pieces are played on C crochets and quavers to taste!)

There was an old woman to market did go,
To purchase herself a pig.
When taking the little porker home
He led her an awful rig.
"Oh my," was the old woman's cry -
She was in a terrible plight -
The pig he won't jump over the stile;
I shall never get home tonight."

The old woman saw a dog passing by
When she'd waited a little while.
"Good doggie", said she, "will you bite the pig
And make him jump over the stile?"
"Oh my," was the old woman's cry -
She was in a terrible plight -
"Dog won't bite pig;
Pig won't jump stile;
I shall never get home tonight."

The old woman saw a stick lying by
When she'd waited a little while.
"Good stick," said she, "will you beat the dog,
For the dog to bite the pig to jump the stile?"
"Oh my," was the old woman's cry -
She was in a terrible plight -
"Stick won't beat dog;
Dog won't bite pig;
Pig won't jump over the stile;
I shall never get home tonight."

The old woman saw a blazing fire
When she'd waited a little while.
"Good fire," said she, "will you please burn the stick,
The stick to beat the dog, the dog to bite the pig,
the pig to jump the stile?"
"Oh my," was the old woman's cry -
She was in a terrible plight -
"Fire won't burn stick;
Stick won't beat dog;
Dog won't bite pig;
Pig won't jump over the stile;
I shall never get home tonight."

The old woman saw a pool of water
When she'd waited a little while.
"Good water," said she, "will you squinch the fire,
The fire to burn the stick;
The stick to beat the dog;
The dog to bite the pig,
The pig to jump the stile?"
"Oh my," was the old woman's cry -
She was in a terrible plight -
"Water won't squich fire;
Fire won't burn stick;
Stick won't beat dog;
Dog won't bite pig;
Pig won't jump over the stile;
I shall never get home tonight."

The old woman saw an ox passing by
And he came near the stile.
"Good ox," said she, "will you drink the water,
The water to squinch the fire;
The fire to burn the stick;
The stick to beat the dog;
The dog to bite the pig,
The pig to jump the stile?"
"Oh my," was the old woman's cry -
She was in a terrible plight -
"Ox won't drink water;
Water won't squich fire;
Fire won't burn stick;
Stick won't beat dog;
Dog won't bite pig;
Pig won't jump over the stile;
I shall never get home tonight."

[So the old woman saw a butcher passing by
As he came near the stile.]
The butcher began to kill the ox, the ox to drink the water;
The water began to squinch the fire, the fire to burn the stick;
The stick began to beat the dog,
(Spoken) Dog to bite the pig, the pig to jump the stile.
"Oh my," was the old woman's cry,
"I'm not in such a terrible plight."
The little pig he jumped over the stile
And the old woman got home that night.


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: January 16, 2004 05:07AM

There's the old woman who swallowed the fly, too!!


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: appgrrl (---.student.appstate.edu)
Date: January 16, 2004 12:29PM

BOA CONSTRICTOR
Shel Silverstein

I'm being eaten by a Boa Constrictor,
A Boa Constrictor,
A Boa Constrictor.
I'm being eaten by a Boa Constrictor,
And I don't like it one bit.

Whadaya know, it's nibblin' my toe.
Oh gee, it's up to my knee.
Oh fiddle, it's up to my middle.
Oh heck, it's up to my neck.
Oh dread, it's mm-mm-mm-mm...


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: Ellen (213.40.3.---)
Date: January 17, 2004 07:57PM

This one starts off with the young boy full of the joys of life, but ends with him being treated quite horribly (even although he was oblivious to it.)

False Security

John Betjeman

I remember the dread with which I at a quarter past four
Let go with a bang behind me our house fron door
And, clutching a present for my dear little hostess tight,
Sailed out for the children's party into the night
Or rather the gathering night. For still some boys
In the near municipal acres were making a noise
Shuffeling in fallen leaves and shouting and whistling
And running past hedges of hawthorn, spiky and bristling.
And black in the oncoming darkness stood out the trees
And pink shone the ponds in the sunset ready to freeze
And all was still and ominous waiting for dark
And the keeper was ringing his closing bell in the park
And the arc lights started to fizzle and burst into mauve
As I climbed West Hill to the great big house in the grove,
Where the children's party was and the dear little hostess.
But halfway up stood the empty house where the ghost is.
I crossed to the other side and under the arc
Made a rush fo rthe next kind lampost out of the dark
And so to the next and the next till I reached the top
Where the grove branched off to the left. Then ready to drop
I ran to the ironwork gateway of number seven
Secure at last on the lamplit fringe of heaven.
Oh who can say how subtle and safe one feels
Shod in ones children's sandals from Daniel Neal's,
Clad in one's party clothes made of stuff from Heal's?
And who can still one's thrill at the candle shine
On cakes and ices and jelly and blackcurrant wine,
And the warm little feel of my hostess's hand in mine?
Can I forget my delight at the conjuring show?
And wasn't I proud that I was the last to go?
Too overexcited and pleased with myself to know
That the words I heard my hostess's mother employ
To a guest departing, would ever diminish my joy,
I WONDER WHERE JULIA FOUND THAT STRANGE, RATHER COMMON LITLE BOY?


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: appgrrl (---.student.appstate.edu)
Date: January 21, 2004 12:47PM

Here's a kids' song about a guy who just can't get ahead...

Michael Finnegan

There was an old man named Michael Finnegan
He had whiskers on his chinnegan
They fell out and then grew in again
Poor old Michael Finnegan
Begin again.

There was an old man named Michael Finnegan
He went fishing with a pinnegan
Caught a fish and dropped it in again
Poor old Michael Finnegan
Begin again.

There was an old man named Michael Finnegan
He grew fat and then grew thin again
Then he died and had to begin again
Poor old Michael Finnegan
Begin again.


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: gift from god (---.cogeco.net)
Date: January 31, 2004 04:03AM

a birth i had had
a home i had found
on earth i would be
till man filled my pan
put a glove to my hand
told me sit when i stand
as 238945091474581723046 moments occur
a single infuriating instant causes another possible version of me to realise
inter(cor)rupted outcomes

ah! characters in the never ending story

my simplified answer:

i have a heart
i lose its parts
every single day
i wait for your arrival
but when its time
you squeeze a lime
and ease your crime
you like a ryhme (thats why you're here isn't it?)


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: RJAllen (---.creation-net.co.uk)
Date: February 01, 2004 09:54AM

A poem about the exact moment when a life seems futile: What Then by W B Yeats. Google.


fALSE SECURITY
Posted by: Krisitna Schweigmann (---.dip.t-dialin.net)
Date: February 25, 2004 02:37PM

I have to analyse the poem false security by John Betjeman. About which chIld expereince from John Beltjeman is this poem and what are the most stressing stylistic devices?


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: February 25, 2004 07:28PM

About which chIld expereince

I .... Sailed out for the children's party into the night

what are the most stressing stylistic devices?

I am not sure what that question means, but if forced to guess, I would go with the weird meter. A strange mixture of anapests and iambs, I assume to mimic the child's boundless energy.


Re: Poem about life getting worse
Posted by: steveparadise (---.bchsia.telus.net)
Date: February 27, 2004 02:47AM

Madame Ackermann.

Youth passed us by with empty hands,
without having feasted us, without having smiled at us.
The springs of love beneath our eager lips
like fugitive stream, dried up in the springtide.
Parched and flowerless were the paths we trod,
and if to aid our steps some kindly support
offered itself to us upon the desolate road,
when we touched them the props we leaned on broke;
Everything became a reed when our hearts leant upon it.
Into the abyss that destiny dug for us
an invisible hand implacably pushed us.
Like an executioner, fearing to see us escape,
beside marched relentless woe.
We bore wounds in every tender spot
and blind chance knew where to strike us.

It may be we should have the right to celestial bliss;
No ! it is not for us to fear hell,
for our faults did not deserve tourchure;
If we have failed, we have suffered so!
Ah well ! we renounce even that hope
of entering into thy kingdom and beholding thy splendours ;
Lord, we refuse even thy reward,
We will not have it at the price of our sufferings.

We know that thou canst give wings again
to souls that were bowed beneath too heavey a burden ;
Thou canst if it please thee, far from mortal spheres
Lift them up to thee in grace and love ;
Thou canst amid the choirs that sing thy praises
at thy feet, beneath thine eyes, set us in the front rank,
canst have us crowned by the hands of angels,
canst clothe us with glory, transfiguring us,
Thou canst infuse new vigour in us,
Restore to us the desire that we had lost....
Ay, but memory, that immortal briar
clinging to our hearts, wilt thou tear it away ?....
So be it ! Resume this pinch of obscure dirt
That for a few moments took on life beneath thy hand ;
In thy superb distain, implacable nature,
Shatter for ever the human mould !

When thou beholdest with delight other creations
Unfold themselves into multitudes from these mournful remains,
beholdest thine idea flash into the forms of life
More obedient to thy designs.

Is this to say that, thy hope, thy chimeara,
Because he was dreamed, may one day exist ?
Thou thinkest to have conceived : thou wouldst be a mother ;
To work then ! Let the child be born.

Let thy sublime hope become a reality.
But lo ! the distance is too great, the abyss too deep
for thee to cross, despite all thine eagerness,
between thy thought and thy womb.

Death is the sole fruit that in thy future struggles
thou wilt be granted to reach and pluck ;
Always fresh refuse, always creatures
Which thou wilt have to bury !

for only thy road in vain does age succeed to age,
In vain do tombs and cradles heap themselves up,
The idea flees thee, the ideal that obsesses thee
Infinitely, only to withdraw.




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