Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Something for National Poetry Month and the PA Primary

Last week,Pages Turned dedicated a poem to Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. I thought that on this, the day before the primary of my semi-beloved home state, I'd put it up again:

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter—bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.


--Stephen Crane

Plus, best last lines ever in a poem, except perhaps Wallace Stevens's "The Snow Man":

And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.


That one always gets me.

2 comments:

Amateur Reader said...

That Crane poem must be one of the strangest ever written. Wonderful stuff.

EGant said...

On the subject eating body parts (such as hearts) or from body parts, I think of Byron's poem "Lines Inscribed Upon a Cup
Formed from a Skull". A macabre but exciting slant on death:

Start not --- nor deem my spirit fled;
In me behold the only skull,
From which, unlike a living head,
Whatever flows is never dull.

I lived, I loved, I quaff'd, like thee:
I died: let earth my bones resign;
Fill up --- thou canst not injure me;
The worm hath fouler lips than thine.

Better to hold the sparkling grape,
Than nurse the earth-worm's slimy brood;
And circle in the goblet's shape
The drink of gods, than reptile's food.

Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone,
In aid of others' let me shine;
And when, alas ! our brains are gone,
What nobler substitute than wine?

Quaff while thou canst: another race,
When thou and thine, like me, are sped,
May rescue thee from earth's embrace,
And rhyme and revel with the dead.

Why not? Since through life's little day
Our heads such sad effects produce;
Redeem'd from worms and wasting clay,
This chance is theirs, to be of use.