What Is Your Favorite "Manly" Poem?

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Fiddlepiper

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 22, 2020
716
5,441
Scotland
www.danielthorpemusic.com

While researching this poem I came across this translation. It seemed an odd departure from other translations, but one that brought more clarity to certain areas that were more difficult (for me) to understand.

Hallaig​

by Sorley MacLean, translated by Seamus Heaney

Time, the deer, is in Hallaig Wood

There's a board nailed across the window
I looked through to see the west
And my love is a birch forever
By Hallaig Stream, at her tryst

Between Inver and Milk Hollow,
somewhere around Baile-chuirn,
A flickering birch, a hazel,
A trim, straight sapling rowan.

In Screapadal, where my people
Hail from, the seed and breed
Of Hector Mor and Norman
By the banks of the stream are a wood.

To-night the pine-cocks crowing
On Cnoc an Ra, there above,
And the trees standing tall in moonlight -
They are not the wood I love.

I will wait for the birches to move,
The wood to come up past the cairn
Until it has veiled the mountain
Down from Beinn na Lice in shade.

If it doesn't, I'll go to Hallaig,
To the sabbath of the dead,
Down to where each departed
Generation has gathered.

Hallaig is where they survive,
All the MacLeans and MacLeads
Who were there in the time of Mac Gille Chaluim:
The dead have been seen alive,

The men at their length on the grass
At the gable of every house,
The girls a wood of birch trees
Standing tall, with their heads bowed.

Between The Leac and Fearns
The road is plush with moss
And the girls in a noiseless procession
Going to Clachan as always

And coming back from Clachan
And Suisnish, their land of the living,
Still lightsome and unheartbroken,
Their stories only beginning.

From Fearns Burn to the raised beach
Showing clear in the shrouded hills
There are only girls congregating,
Endlessly walking along

Back through the gloaming to Hallaig
Through the vivid speechless air,
Pouring down the steep slopes,
Their laughter misting my ear

And their beauty a glaze on my heart.
Then as the kyles go dim
And the sun sets behind Dun Cana
Love's loaded gun will take aim.

It will bring down the lightheaded deer
As he sniffs the grass round the wallsteads
And his eye will freeze: while I live,
His blood won't be traced in the woods.
The translation I gave was by the author himself which probably stays true to the original Gaelic in terms of sentence structure. That Seamus Heaney version definitely has Anglicised it more by moving the way the sentences are put together. I think both convey the same sentiments though.
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
I like Bukowski

So do I, very much. He saw clearly the sickness of the human condition, because he himself was sick. The difference with him was, though sick, he was honest about it and had the clarity to express the same.
 

gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
MY CIGAR (1895)

In spite of my physician, who is, entre nous, a fogy,
And for every little pleasure has some pathologic bogy,
Who will bear with no small vices, and grows dismally prophetic
If I wander from the weary way of virtue dietetic;

In spite of dire forewarnings that my brains will all be scattered,
My memory extinguished, and my nervous system shattered,
That my hand will take to trembling, and my heart begin to flutter,
My digestion turn a rebel to my very bread and butter;

As I puff this mild Havana, and its ashes slowly lengthen,
I feel my courage gather and my resolution strengthen:
I will smoke, and I will praise you, my cigar, and I will light you
With tobacco-phobic pamphlets by the learnéd prigs who fight you!

Let him who has a mistress to her eyebrow write a sonnet,
Let the lover of a lily pen a languid ode upon it;
In such sentimental subjects I'm a Philistine and cynic,
And prefer the inspiration drawn from sources nicotinic.

I have learnt with you the wisdom of contemplative quiescence,
While the world is in a ferment of unmeaning effervescence,
That its jar and rush and riot bring no good one-half so sterling
As your fleecy clouds of fragrance that are now about me curling.

So, let stocks go up or downward, and let politicians wrangle,
Let the parsons and philosophers grope in wordy tangle,
Let those who want them scramble for their dignities or dollars,
Be millionaires or magnates, or senators or scholars.

I will puff my mild Havana, and I quietly will query,
Whether, when the strife is over, and the combatants are weary,
Their gains will be more brilliant than my cigar's expiring flashes,
Or more solid than its dead and sober ashes.

—ARTHUR W. GUNDRY​
 
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marconi

Part of the Furniture Now
May 17, 2019
602
4,617
England
My choice is MANDALAY by Rudyard Kipling 1890 just because I like it. Thoughts of a soldier returning to a dull civilian life after being out East for ten years and leaving his lover behind I think we can all relate to this on some level. They say that soldiers loved his poems because he understood them. Has to be read with a ' Gor blimey' English accent. Small extract.as no one will read the poem.

Ship me some where east of Suez, where the best is like the worst.
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple bells' are callin', an' it's there that I would be;
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay;
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
O the road to Mandalay
Where the flyin' -fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

(pale white man meets native women for the first time)

Er petticoat was yellar an' 'er little cap was green
An' 'er name was Supi -yaw -lat - jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen
An' I seed her first a' smokin'-of a whackin' white cheroot;

(If you want to know what happened next you will just have to read the poem)
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
Give it a day, give it a day,

And let the desire go away,

Give it a moment and not a thought,

With this painful moment bought,

A reprieve to your conscience for but a day,

A day you let desire go away.

Repeat...

Repeat...

Repeat...

~ Anon
 

Infantry23

Can't Leave
Nov 8, 2020
493
1,143
41
Smithsburg, Maryland
If or Charge of the Light Brigade. Here's the text of If, by Rudyard Kipling:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor 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!
These two are the ones I immediately thought of.
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425

As Fall The Leaves

As fall the leaves, so drop the days
In silence from the tree of life;
Born for a little while to blaze
In action in the heat of strife,
And then to shrivel with Time's blast
And fade forever in the past.

In beauty once the leaf was seen;
To all it offered gentle shade;
Men knew the splendor of its green
That cheered them so, would quickly fade:
And quickly, too, must pass away
All that is splendid of to-day.

To try to keep the leaves were vain:
Men understand that they must fall;
Why should they bitterly complain
When sorrows come to one and all?
Why should they mourn the passing day
That must depart along the way?

~ Edgar Albert Guest
 

jguss

Lifer
Jul 7, 2013
1,601
3,232
And much as Wine has play’d the Infidel,
And robb’d me of my Robe of Honour — well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.

The Rubaiyat Quatrain LXXI
 
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keith929

Lifer
Nov 23, 2010
1,008
1,868
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 accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.


William Shakespeare
 

gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
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 grieve 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.
~ Dylan Thomas
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
See It Through

When you're up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it's vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don't let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you're beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don't give up, whate'er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!
~ Edgar Albert Guest
 
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