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“My Papa's Waltz_” by Theodore R


									Poems for Studying Marxist Criticism                     In speech--which I have not--to make your will                     And for my nineteenth birthday I got a union card and a wedding
                                                         Quite clear to such an one, and say, "Just this                    coat
“My Papa’s Waltz,” by Theodore Roethke                   "Or that in you dis gusts me; here you miss,                       We w ent down to the courthouse
                                                         "Or there exceed the mark"--and if she let                         and the judge put it all to rest
The w hiskey on your breath                              Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set                            No w edding day smiles no walk down the aisle
Could make a small boy dizzy;                            Her w its to yours, forsooth, and make excuse,                     No flow ers no wedding dress
But I hung on like death:                                --E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Such waltzing was not easy.                              Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,                      That night w e went down to the river
                                                         Whene'er I passed her; but who passed w ithout                     And into the river we'd dive
We romped until the pans                                 Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;                   Oh dow n to the river we did ride
Slid from the kitchen shelf ;                            Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
My mother’s countenance                                  As if alive. Will't please you rise? We'll meet                    I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
Could not unfrown itself.                                The company below, then. I repeat,                                 But lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy
                                                         The Count your master's known munificence                          Now all them things that seemed so important
The hand that held my wrist                              Is ample w arrant that no just pretense                            Well mister they vanished right into the air
Was battered on one knuckle;                             Of mine for dowry will be disallow ed;                             Now I just act like I don't remember
At every step you missed                                 Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed                       Mary acts like she don't care
My right ear scraped a buckle.                           At starting, is my object. Nay we'll go
                                                         Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,                        But I remember us riding in my brother's car
You beat time on my head                                 Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,                              Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
With a palm caked hard by dirt,                          Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!                    At night on them banks I'd lie aw ake
Then w altzed me off to bed                              _____                                                              And pull her close just to feel each breath she'd take
Still clinging to your shirt.                                                                                               Now those memories come back to haunt me
_____                                                    “Uphill,” by Christina Rossetti                                    they haunt me like a curse
                                                                                                                            Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
“My Last Duchess,” by Robert Browning                    DOES the road w ind uphill all the w ay?                           Or is it something w orse
                                                          Yes, to the very end.                                             that sends me dow n to the riv er
That's my last duchess painted on the wall,              Will the day's journey take the whole long day?                    though I know the riv er is dry
Looking as if she were alive. I call                      From morn to night, my friend.                                    That sends me down to the river tonight
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands                                                                               Dow n to the river
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.               But is there for the night a resting-place?                        my baby and I
Will't please you sit and look at her? I said             A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.                       Oh dow n to the river we ride
"Frà Pandolf" by design, for never read                  May not the darkness hide it from my face?                         _____
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,             You cannot miss that inn.
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,                                                                                “Common People,” by Jarvis Cocker
But to myself they turned (since none puts by            Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)                  Those who have gone before.                                       She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge,
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,          Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?                     she studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first           They w ill not keep you waiting at that door.                     that's where I,
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 'twas not                                                                                caught her eye.
Her husband's presence only, called that spot            Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?                        She told me that her Dad w as loaded,
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps                   Of labour you shall find the sum.                                 I said "In that case I'll have a rum and coca-cola."
Frà Pandolf chanced to say "Her mantle laps              Will there be beds for me and all w ho seek?                       She said "Fine."
"Over my lady's wris t too much," or "Paint               Yea, beds for all w ho come.                                      and in thirty seconds time she said,
"Must never hope to reproduce the faint                  _____
"Half-flush that dies along her throat": such stuff                                                                         "I w ant to live like common people,
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough              “The River,” by Bruce Springsteen                                  I w ant to do whatever common people do,
For calling up that spot of joy. She had                                                                                    I w ant to sleep w ith common people,
A heart--how shall I say?--too soon made glad,           I come from dow n in the valley                                    I w ant to sleep w ith common people,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er                 where mister when you'r e young                                    like you."
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.            They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Sir, 'tw as all one! My favor at her breast,             Me and Mary w e met in high school                                 Well w hat else could I do -
The dropping of the daylight in the West,                when she was just seventeen                                        I said "I'll see w hat I can do."
The bough of cherries some offic ious fool               We'd ride out of that valley down to where the fields were green   I took her to a supermarket,
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule                                                                                I don't know why but I had to start it somew here,
She rode with round the terrace--all and each            We'd go down to the river                                          so it started there.
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,          And into the river we'd dive                                       I said pretend you'v e got no money,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men--good! but thanked   Oh dow n to the river we'd ride                                    she just laughed and said,
Somehow --I know not how --as if she ranked                                                                                 "Oh you're so funny."
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name                 Then I got Mary pregnant                                           I said "yeah?
With anybody's gif t. Who'd stoop to blame               and man that w as all she wrote                                    Well I can't see anyone else smiling in here.
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill                                                                                   Are you sure you want to live like common people,
you want to see whatever common people see,                                                                       And I swear to you by the garden of the angels,
you want to sleep with common people,              Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bell's chime                     I sw ear by the miracle-working ikon,
you want to sleep with common people,              Floats through their woods at morn;                            and by the fire and smoke of our nights:
like me."                                          All other sounds, in that still time,                          I w ill never come back to you.
But she didn't understand,                         Of breeze and leaf are born.                                   _____
she just smiled and held my hand.
Rent a flat above a shop,                          The cottage homes of England!                                  “Departure,” by Anna Akhmatova
cut your hair and get a job.                       By thousands on her plains,
Smoke some fags and play some pool,                They are smiling o'er the silvery brooks,                      Although this land is not my own,
pretend you never went to school.                  And round the hamlet fanes.                                    I w ill remember its inland sea
But still you'll never get it right,                                                                              and the waters that are so cold
cos when you're laid in bed at night,              Through glow ing orchards forth they peep,
watching roaches climb the w all,                  Each from its nook of leaves;                                  the sand as white
if you call your Dad he could stop it all.         And fearless there the low ly sleep,                           as old bones, the pine trees
                                                   As the bird beneath their eaves.                               strangely red where the sun comes down.
You'll never live like common people,
you'll never do what common people do,             The free fair homes of England!                                I cannot say if it is our love,
you'll never fail like common people,              Long, long, in hut and hall,                                   or the day, that is ending.
you'll never watch your life slide out of view,    May hearts of native proof be reared                           _____
and dance and drink and screw,                     To guard each hallowed wall!
because there's nothing else to do.                                                                               “You w ill hear thunder,” by Anna Akhmatova
                                                   And green for ever be the groves,
Sing along w ith the common people,                And bright the flowery sod,                                    You will hear thunder and remember me,
sing along and it might just get you through,      Where first the child's glad spirit loves                      And think: she wanted storms. The rim
laugh along w ith the common people,               Its country and its God!                                       Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson,
laugh along even though they're laughing at you,   _____                                                          And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.
and the stupid things that you do.
Because you think that poor is cool.               Sonnet XVII , by Pablo Neruda                                  That day in Moscow, it will all come true,
                                                                                                                  when, for the last time, I take my leave,
I w ant to live with common people,                I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,          And hasten to the heights that I have longed for,
I w ant to live with common people etc...          or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.                Leaving my shadow still to be with you.
_____                                              I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
                                                   in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
“The Homes of England,” by Felicia Hemans
                                                   I love you as the plant that never blooms
"Where's the coward that would not dare            but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
To fight for such a land?"-- MARMION.              thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
                                                   risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
THE stately homes of England,
How beautif ul they stand,                         I love you w ithout know ing how, or when, or from where.
Amidst their tall ancestral trees,                 I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
O'er all the pleasant land!                        so I love you because I know no other way

The deer across their greensward bound,            than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
Through shade and sunny gleam;                     so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
And the swan glides past them w ith the sound      so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Of some rejoicing stream.                          _____

The merry homes of England!                        “You thought I w as that type,” by Anna Akhmatova
Around their hearths by night,
What gladsome looks of household love              You thought I was that type:
Meet in the ruddy light!                           that you could forget me,
                                                   and that I'd plead and w eep and throw myself
There woman's voice flows forth in song,           under the hooves of a bay mare,
Or childhood's tale is told,
Or lips move tunefully along                       or that I'd ask the sorcerers
Some glorious page of old.                         for some magic potion made from roots
                                                   and send you a terrible gift:
The blessed homes of England!                      my precious perfumed handkerchief.
How softly on their bowers
Is laid the holy quietness                         Damn you! I w ill not grant
That breathes from Sabbath hours!                  your cursed soul vic arious tears or a single glance.

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