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ravenous reader

POEMS (or other sundry quotes) that remind you of ASOIAF

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Hi RR, great thread.  :)

Although I enjoy reading, my knowledge on poetry is limited, but having previously looked into personification in literature for Bran/tree research it led to me reading more poetry than I would've done normally.  Here's one of the poems I came across...

 

 

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Loveliest of trees, the cherry now  A. E. Housman (1859–1936)

LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

 

Now, of my threescore years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And take from seventy springs a score,

It only leaves me fifty more.

 

And since to look at things in bloom

Fifty springs are little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.

 

 

 

 

The trees 'standing and wearing white' reminded me of George's soldier and sentinel trees standing in battle formation while 'garbed in white'. 

Also, I absolutely love the second verse!  While it's probably the most beautiful solution to a simple sum I've ever heard, it touches on the season/dream of spring. 

Tenuous links maybe, but hey I stumbled across this poem due to Asoiaf research.  Any poetic enlightenment would be welcomed.    

PS: Forgive the formatting, the forum demons are at play.   

 

            

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On 12/12/2016 at 6:40 PM, Pain killer Jane said:
On 12/12/2016 at 0:19 AM, ravenous reader said:

I AM made to sow the thistle for wheat, the nettle for a nourishing dainty:

I have planted a false oath in the earth; it has brought forth a Poison Tree

The whole argument for the weirwoods being just like the shade of the evening trees. 

Indeed; I was thinking of the weirwoods with the 'PoisonTree' brought forth by false oaths! 

The speaker in Blake's poem acknowledges that he is implicated in perpetuating the corruption in the world, yet recognizes he can not extricate himself from the 'shadow' side of existence which dogs him.  The price of the one is the existence of the other.  

Apparently, the origin of 'sowing the thistle for wheat' is a biblical parable of the thistles and the wheat, the two 'crops' forever linked due to 'original sin'.  The thistle is the price of knowledge or experience.  I was reading that Blake's work -- though undoubtedly a work of high poetic genius for the ages -- sold poorly in his time, a particularly bitter experience for him as the poet; thus the lines about the 'desolate market where none come to buy' and the price of experience are very literal and personal.  The price of experience for him as an artist was like eating thistles.  Nevertheless, he persevered -- blessing future generations with wheat.

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THISTLE: The thistle is the symbol of earthly sorrow and sin because of the curse pronounced against Adam by God, in Genesis 3: 17-18. The thistle is a thorny plant, and because of its connection with thorns in the passage referred to above, it has also become one of the symbols of the Passion of Christ, and particularly of His crowning with thorns. 

The Bible verse(s) in question:

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Genesis 3:17-18New International Version (NIV)

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles 
for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.

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Psalm 139
Romans 8:12-25
Matthew 13:24-30

"He told another story. “God’s kingdom is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. That night, while his hired men were asleep, his enemy sowed thistles all through the wheat and slipped away before dawn. When the first green shoots appeared and the grain began to form, the thistles showed up, too. “The farmhands came to the farmer and said, ‘Master, that was clean seed you planted, wasn’t it? Where did these thistles come from?’ “He answered, ‘Some enemy did this.’ “The farmhands asked, ‘Should we weed out the thistles?’ “He said, ‘No, if you weed the thistles, you’ll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time. Then I’ll instruct the harvesters to pull up the thistles and tie them in bundles for the fire, then gather the wheat and put it in the barn.’”

If I may ask, if it's not too personal, why is Blake so special to you? 

On 12/12/2016 at 6:40 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

And the dead walking, field of fire and red flowers and something the living 'owe,owe,owe'

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch
; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

That's beautiful -- I wasn't familiar with John McCrae, although I'd heard the poem before.

As you say, it's a stark indictment of the living to account for the debt they owe the dead; but, also, the idea of inheriting debts one may not have consciously incurred, nor 'deserve' to be saddled with -- 'taking up the passed baton', what I've called 'catching the boomerang you can't refuse,' for better or for worse.  

As Tyrion so famously remarks:

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A Storm of Swords - Tyrion X

"It was. Even you can see that, surely?"

"Oh, surely." It all goes back and back, Tyrion thought, to our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us, and one day our own children will take up our strings and dance on in our steads.

 

On 12/12/2016 at 6:40 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . . 
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, 
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
 

This reminds me of wildfire -- and so much more.  I'm sure GRRM must have modelled his 'wildfire' after the chlorine gas as described here by Wilfred Owen, which was utilized as a chemical weapon in the First World War and had a telltale greenish tinge, hence the description of being enveloped by a poisonous cloud likened to being 'under a green sea' and 'drowning' -- the caustic gas corroded the lungs and asphyxiated its victims.  

On 12/12/2016 at 6:40 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

we have the Broken Man theme

That reminds me of another 'poem' by this year's recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature:

Quote
Everything Is Broken

Broken lines, broken strings,
Broken threads, broken springs,
Broken idols, broken heads,
People sleeping in broken beds
Ain't no use jiving
Ain't no use joking
Everything is broken

Broken bottles, broken plates,
Broken switches, broken gates,
Broken dishes, broken parts,
Streets are filled with broken hearts
Broken words never meant to be spoken,
Everything is broken

Seem like every time you stop and turn around
Something else just hit the ground

Broken cutters, broken saws,
Broken buckles, broken laws,
Broken bodies, broken bones,
Broken voices on broken phones
Take a deep breath, feel like you're chokin',
Everything is broken

Every time you leave and go off someplace
Things fall to pieces in my face

Broken hands on broken ploughs,
Broken treaties, broken vows,
Broken pipes, broken tools,
People bending broken rules
Hound dog howling, bull frog croaking,
Everything is broken

SONGWRITERS
BOB DYLAn

 

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On 12/13/2016 at 6:59 PM, Wizz-The-Smith said:

Hi RR, great thread.  :)

Thanks Wizzy!

On 12/13/2016 at 6:59 PM, Wizz-The-Smith said:

The trees 'standing and wearing white' reminded me of George's soldier and sentinel trees standing in battle formation while 'garbed in white'. 

Indeed.  GRRM often depicts the trees 'donning cloaks.'

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Also, I absolutely love the second verse!  While it's probably the most beautiful solution to a simple sum I've ever heard, it touches on the season/dream of spring. 

It touches me you find that beautiful!  You're right; it's very elegiac.  The whole poem is infused with the shadow of mortality.

@Wizz-The-Smith, I have two poems to contribute in response, which I dedicate to you my partner in all things winds, wolves, (weir)woods and winter!

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The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

 

--Wallace Stevens

The last two lines are incredibly enigmatic.  I'll confess, I still don't have a clear picture on them!

It reminds me of our quest to get 'behind' the reflections of the world and to penetrate the gossamer trace of words to get at the heart of GRRM's meaning -- i.e. to 'nail the true-seeing' -- and what a difficult task that is!  

In the line 'beholds nothing that is not there' I'm also playfully reminded that I'm oft' accused of reading into the text 'things that are not there' -- whereas I prefer to interpret the enterprise as getting to the bottom of what really is by clearing my mind of preconceptions (perhaps this is a misconception)!

It also reminds me of becoming 'no-one'.

Finally, need I say it, it reminds me of Bran.

The following isn't a poem; however, it's highly poetic -- poetry can be found in unexpected places and people!  It's a great description of the idea behind the 'weirnet.'  It reminds me of 'going into the trees' when we die, and both our wish to live on ourselves in some sacred fashion as well as to call back our dearly-departed loved ones from the dead:

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And all the names of the tribes, the nomads of faith who walked in the monotone of the desert and saw brightness and faith and colour. The way a stone or found metal box or bone can become loved and turn eternal in a prayer. Such glory of this country she enters now and becomes part of. We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography—to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience. All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps. I carried Katharine Clifton into the desert, where there is the communal book of moonlight. We were among the rumour of wells. In the palace of winds.

From 'The English Patient' -- Michael Ondaatje

'The palace of winds.'

I know I don't need to explain that one to you, my friend.  :)

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I'll contribute a song.  The Sounds of Silence which I posted elsewhere but like to listen to it anyway.  It reminds me of George Martin, Westeros, The House of Black and White and The Last Hearth among other tenement halls. Among other things....

 

Also proof that bald men are sexy.

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3 hours ago, LynnS said:

I'll contribute a song.  The Sounds of Silence which I posted elsewhere but like to listen to it anyway.  It reminds me of George Martin, Westeros, The House of Black and White and The Last Hearth among other tenement halls. Among other things....

 

Also proof that bald men are sexy.

Thank you Lynn, I enjoyed that!  

'The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls...' -- one of my most favorite lines ever!

'People talking without speaking; people hearing without listening...'-- now if we could only figure out how Jon and Bran did it in that flummoxing so-called 'weirwood sapling dream'..! :)

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
'Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools" said I,
"You do not know, silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming
And the signs said,
"The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whisper'd in the sounds of silence

Written by Paul Simon

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Talking of songs, I thought I'd take the liberty of re-quoting one of my favorite posters, whom I have dubbed the honorary 'Princess of the Green,' @Tijgy who a while ago posted this delightful Schubert clip based on Goethe's poem 'The Elfking' on the 'Bran's Growing Powers after his last POV in ADWD' re-read thread:

On 9/2/2016 at 1:58 PM, Tijgy said:

As a little intermezzo I also want to refer quickly to a ballade by Goethe, which was used by Schubert as the text of one of his songs: the Erlkönig. 

(There are subtitles and normally you can put them on)

The song is about a father and a son who ride together to home through the wood. In his fever dreams the son sees the Elfking, the symbol of death, who tries to seduce him to another side. In the end the Elfking threatens to take the son with violence. When they arrive at home, the son is dead. 

(The ballade is inspired by something written by the Dane Johann Gottfried Elder, who named the symbol of death as the Elfking. Goethe actually translated wrongly into Erlkönig, which means Alder King). 

Except for the fact the son is here seduced by a tree-like? figure to another side (just like you might say Bran is being seduced by Bloodraven), the words in this ballade are interesting. The night is called windy, the fact while the son sees and hears the Elfking, the father only sees mist, hears only the wind in the leaves, the fact while the son sees the singing and dancing daughters, his father only sees the willows shining in the moonlight

When I heard this song this week, I was a little reminded of this thread. (And four minutes of hearing to Schubert is always a great experience). 

The lyrics in German-English:

On 9/2/2016 at 2:43 PM, ravenous reader said:

Thank you for that!  You know, I'm always up for a little poetic/musical intermezzo.  I really enjoyed it.  My favorite stanza, in light of this thread is this one:

Quote
Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du nicht, My father, my father, and do you not hear
Was Erlenkönig mir leise verspricht? – What the Erlking promises me so softly? –
«Sei ruhig, bleibe ruhig, mein Kind; “Be quiet, stay quiet, my child;
In dürren Blättern säuselt der Wind.» –

In the dry leaves the wind is rustling.” -

The full poem German-English here

 

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12 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

'People talking without speaking; people hearing without listening...'-- now if we could only figure out how Jon and Bran did it in that flummoxing so-called 'weirwood sapling dream'..! :)

Yes, that small, but significant plot device with no explanation that drives me crazy.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Yes, that small, but significant plot device with no explanation that drives me crazy.

I know.  Not being able to figure it out is 'disturbing the sounds of silence'..! ;)

@LynnS Can I ask you to give your 'take' on the symbolism of 'grey-green' (which I've linked to Kipling's famous line from the 'Just So Stories' regarding the 'great grey-green, greasy' Limpopo River)?.  @Isobel Harper kindly wrote me her thoughts on the grey-green here as it pertains to ASOIAF, but I haven't been able to formulate anything convincing, since I'm often hampered by my relatively superficial knowledge of the more minor characters. (Sorry for the delay in getting back to you Isobel; although I have been thinking on it and gathering quotes!)

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On 12/13/2016 at 6:26 AM, Isobel Harper said:

I'm familiar with the pun "green sea" and "greenseeing," and I'm curious what LF or Waters' eye color might have to do with this. Does this make them potential greenseers?  "Grey and green" is the most common way that the color of the sea is described.  Are LF and Waters connected to the sea in others ways besides greenseeing?  Are "grey-green" eyes somehow connected to both the GREY King and Garth the GREEN?  

I think it might have to do with both green men and grey men. The head water of the Green Fork originate in The Neck near Greywater watch. The term greywater is for water contaminated with pollutants such as chemicals from washing machines, showers, etc. This is different from blackwater which is water that is primarily filled with urine and feces which is why I call Bronn the shitty version of Bran as Bronn is an alternative name for The Fisher King as is Bran. But I digress. The Greywater that orginates in the neck only becomes green because the coloring of the moss leeches into the water. I have different interpretation such as each Fork delineating the different forgings of lightbringer. In [light] of what you pointed out, it seems that a green man grey man can become a green man. Similar to how a green man can become a burned man; a burned man can become a green man, etc. And so the example here is a grey man becoming a green man or a green man becoming a burned man and then a grey man (Sam going from being a Tarly to NW to Maester) 

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This poem doesn't remind me of ASOIAF but I like it quite a lot.

It's about a panther (black leopard) that is encaged in the Jardin des plantes (zoo/menagerie) of Paris. It's written originally in german by Rainer Maria Rilke.

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German

Der Panther
Im Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Sein Blick ist vom Vorübergehn der Stäbe
so müd geworden, daß er nichts mehr hält.
Ihm ist, als ob es tausend Stäbe gäbe
und hinter tausend Stäben keine Welt.

Der weiche Gang geschmeidig starker Schritte,
der sich im allerkleinsten Kreise dreht,
ist wie ein Tanz von Kraft um eine Mitte,
in der betäubt ein großer Wille steht.

Nur manchmal schiebt der Vorhang der Pupille
sich lautlos auf –. Dann geht ein Bild hinein,
geht durch der Glieder angespannte Stille –
und hört im Herzen auf zu sein.

English

His gaze against the sweeping of the bars
has grown so weary, it can hold no more.
To him, there seem to be a thousand bars
and back behind those thousand bars no world.

The soft the supple step and sturdy pace,
that in the smallest of all circles turns,
moves like a dance of strength around a core
in which a mighty will is standing stunned.

Only at times the pupil’s curtain slides
up soundlessly — . An image enters then,
goes through the tensioned stillness of the limbs —
and in the heart ceases to be.

- English translation by Stanley Appelbaum

English

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone.

- English translation by Stephen Mitchell

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

Similar to how a green man can become a burned man; a burned man can become a green man, etc. And so the example here is a grey man becoming a green man or a green man becoming a burned man and then a grey man (Sam going from being a Tarly to NW to Maester) 

I like that.  So the three colors taken together could represent the transition from youth -- 'green boy';  to tainted adult -- 'burnt man' or 'blackened'; to crone -- the grey old ones.  Likewise, the three steps represent the color changes a plant undergoes when it's being burned or alternatively decaying by natural means -- from green to black to grey (ash or dust...'ashes to ashes; dust to dust...' to link it to the 'clay and dust' discussion we've been having on the other thread).

In this respect, there's also this interesting quote I found, in which grey-green is linked to deserters (an anagram of ‘red trees’), oathbreakers, human sacrifice, executions.  Of particular interest with reference to your point,  ‘grey’ may be construed as a faded version of black, as Bran notes.

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A Game of Thrones - Bran V

"Let's have a look," said the big bald man.

Bran watched him anxiously. The man's clothes were filthy, fallen almost to pieces, patched here with brown and here with blue and there with a dark green, and faded everywhere to grey, but once that cloak might have been black. The grey stubbly man wore black rags too, he saw with a sudden start. Suddenly Bran remembered the oathbreaker his father had beheaded, the day they had found the wolf pups; that man had worn black as well, and Father said he had been a deserter from the Night's Watch. No man is more dangerous, he remembered Lord Eddard saying. The deserter knows his life is forfeit if he is taken, so he will not flinch from any crime, no matter how vile or cruel.

"The pin, lad," the big man said. He held out his hand.

 

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2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

 

2 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

Similar to how a green man can become a burned man; a burned man can become a green man, etc. And so the example here is a grey man becoming a green man or a green man becoming a burned man and then a grey man (Sam going from being a Tarly to NW to Maester) 

I like that.  So the three colors taken together could represent the transition from youth -- 'green boy';  to tainted adult -- 'burnt man' or 'blackened'; to crone -- the grey old ones.  Likewise, the three steps represent the color changes a plant undergoes when it's being burned or alternatively decaying by natural means -- from green to black to grey (ash or dust...'ashes to ashes; dust to dust...' to link it to the 'clay and dust' discussion we've been having on the other thread).

In this respect, there's also this interesting quote I found, in which grey-green is linked to deserters (an anagram of ‘red trees’), oathbreakers, human sacrifice, executions.  Of particular interest with reference to your point,  ‘grey’ may be construed as a faded version of black, as Bran notes.

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran V

"Let's have a look," said the big bald man.

Bran watched him anxiously. The man's clothes were filthy, fallen almost to pieces, patched here with brown and here with blue and there with a dark green, and faded everywhere to grey, but once that cloak might have been black. The grey stubbly man wore black rags too, he saw with a sudden start. Suddenly Bran remembered the oathbreaker his father had beheaded, the day they had found the wolf pups; that man had worn black as well, and Father said he had been a deserter from the Night's Watch. No man is more dangerous, he remembered Lord Eddard saying. The deserter knows his life is forfeit if he is taken, so he will not flinch from any crime, no matter how vile or cruel.

"The pin, lad," the big man said. He held out his hand.

 

Yes absolute I agree with the transition from childhood to adulthood to old age. Its the riddle of the sphinx to Oedipus, ""Which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?" which the answer is Man. A second riddle was posed and it said ""There are two sisters: one gives birth to the other and she, in turn, gives birth to the first. Who are the two sisters?" Answer: "Day and Night". Which I can only refer back to Ned telling Arya that she and Sansa were like the sun and moon different but the same blood flowed through them. 

But I do want to point out that there is another stage, brown men which I take to be childhood in this context. Because green boys always seems to be associated with the period we call teenager. I brought up the subject of the seemingly mundane brown brothers. And @LmLcame back with the creation myths about how mud was used to create man which Fattish Leech came back with the clay doll of Bran which we spoke about RR. LmL pointed out John the Fiddler a black dragon falling in the mud representing a black meteor landing in the mud which seems to be a representation of the hypothesis that life arrived on a comet. And LmL pointed out that mud men have aquatic associations and while it may lead to Crannogman being mud men and frog eaters, Quentyn Martell being called a frog and having mud brown hair and called mud by Barry, especially in light of the transitions of man, leads me to the Water Gardens and the equality in children being observed there and the dead bodies in the Trident being washed ashore the Quiet Isle and being buried by brown brothers. 

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19 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

The speaker in Blake's poem acknowledges that he is implicated in perpetuating the corruption in the world, yet recognizes he can not extricate himself from the 'shadow' side of existence which dogs him.  The price of the one is the existence of the other.

This is why I love Blake because it is the essence of the frustration with the psyche, 'why are people the way they are' 'why am I the way I am' and to go back to that lovely poetic present-perfect exploring the meaning behind "I am become".  

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19 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

That's beautiful -- I wasn't familiar with John McCrae, although I'd heard the poem before.

As you say, it's a stark indictment of the living to account for the debt they owe the dead; but, also, the idea of inheriting debts one may not have consciously incurred, nor 'deserve' to be saddled with -- 'taking up the passed baton', what I've called 'catching the boomerang you can't refuse,' for better or for worse.

absolutely. The 'sins of the father' cycle turning always. 

 

19 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

That reminds me of another 'poem' by this year's recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature:

This is beautiful and makes me think of Tyrion's soft spot for cripples and bastards and broken things. You know for some reason this reminds me of Florence Nightingale and I have no idea why. 

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So I wanted to switch gears. 

Quote

To Mistress Margaret Hussey

Merry Margaret   
  As midsummer flower,   
  Gentle as falcon   
  Or hawk of the tower:   
With solace and gladness,
Much mirth and no madness,   
All good and no badness;   
    So joyously,   
    So maidenly,   
    So womanly
    Her demeaning   
    In every thing,   
    Far, far passing   
    That I can indite,   
    Or suffice to write
  Of Merry Margaret   
  As midsummer flower,   
  Gentle as falcon   
  Or hawk of the tower.   
  As patient and still 
  And as full of good will   
  As fair Isaphill,   
  Coliander,   
  Sweet pomander,   
  Good Cassander;
  Steadfast of thought,   
  Well made, well wrought,   
  Far may be sought,   
  Ere that ye can find   
  So courteous, so kind
  As merry Margaret,   
  This midsummer flower,   
  Gentle as falcon   
  Or hawk of the tower.

John Skelton

So RR, I was trying to find that poem about the flowers and the bird of prey being likened to each other and I found this little bit and I recently realized that Merry Meg was a popular figure in poetry and songs during the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras (and her song in ASOIAF is Meggett Was a Merry Maid, a Merry Maid Was She). Her another nickname was Long Meg of Westminster and she was very tall and quite adventurous but her actual name was Mary Barnes. Mad Moll was also a figure in poems along with Meg.

Here is some research:

A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen: Exemplary Lives And Memorable Acts: 1500-1650

An Elizabethan Wonder Woman: The Life and Fortunes of Long Meg of Westminster

Mad Moll and Merry Meg: the roaring girl as popular heroine in Elizabethan and Jacobean writings

While at first glance, Merry Meg in the novels is an allusion to Long Meg of Westminster, Merry Meg of poems is alluded to by Dany Flint, Arya, Lyanna Stark, Wenda, Wylla of Wyl, Nymeria and others. 

And for some reason Merry Meg leads me to the childhood game of Miss Mary Mack

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Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack

All dressed in black, black, black

With silver buttons, buttons, buttons [butt'ns]

All down her back, back, back.

 

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58 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

This is why I love Blake because it is the essence of the frustration with the psyche, 'why are people the way they are' 'why am I the way I am' and to go back to that lovely poetic present-perfect exploring the meaning behind "I am become".  

:)  Though expressing frustration at the 'knottiness' (and 'naughtiness'...) of existence, what's delightful about that poetic construction of 'I am become,' vs. the state of finality conveyed by the more conventional 'I have become,' is that the future, although not explicitly stated, is also already implicit in the past-present becoming of the 'am' -- and thus a state of finality can never really be reached, the knot untying itself as we tie. 

Although that didn't stop T.S. Eliot from trying to find resolution here:

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We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. 
Through the unknown, unremembered gate 
When the last of earth left to discover 
Is that which was the beginning; 
At the source of the longest river 
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for 
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always-- 
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded 
Into the crowned knot of fire 
And the fire and the rose are one.


The Little Gidding is the last of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets.

I imagine Bran-Drogon and the comet cancelling each other out in outer space ('a condition of complete simplicity costing not less than everything') as 'the tongues of flames in-folded into the crowned knot of fire...when the fire and the rose are one' and 'all manner of thing shall be well...'  (crackpot I know, both the theory and even more so my dubious poetic application thereof..but @LmL has already given my theory its own name 'Deep Impact Drogon' so maybe it's seeping into the archetypal subconscious)!

@Bironic has reminded me of Rainer Maria Rilke, who expressed the nostalgia of the 'turning':

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Und wir: Zuschauer, immer, überall,
dem allen zugewandt und nie hinaus!
Uns überfüllts. Wir ordnens. Es zerfällt.
Wir ordnens wieder und zerfallen selbst.


Wer hat uns also umgedreht, daß wir,
was wir auch tun, in jener Haltung sind
von einem, welcher fortgeht? Wie er auf
dem letzten Hügel, der ihm ganz sein Tal
noch einmal zeigt, sich wendet, anhält, weilt –,
so leben wir und nehmen immer Abschied.

And we: always and everywhere spectators,
turned toward the stuff of our lives, and never outward.
It all spills over us. We put it to order.
It falls apart. We order it again
and fall apart ourselves.

Who has turned us around like this?
Whatever we do, we are in the posture
of one who is about to depart.
Like a person pausing and lingering
for a moment on the last hill

where he can still see his whole valley --
this is how we live, forever
taking our leave.

--Rainer Maria Rilke from the Duino Elegies-- 8th Elegy

Translated by Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows; full poem here.

 

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3 hours ago, Bironic said:

This poem doesn't remind me of ASOIAF but I like it quite a lot.

It's about a panther (black leopard) that is encaged in the Jardin des plantes (zoo/menagerie) of Paris. It's written originally in german by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Thank you for joining my thread and contributing that magnetic and enigmatic poem!  

Rilke's panther, especially the line 'wie ein Tanz von Kraft um eine Mitte,
in der betäubt ein großer Wille steht' ('like a dance of power around a core
in which a mighty will stands stunned') reminded me of this one by Pablo Neruda (especially see the line:  'behind their transparent eyes energy raged, like a prisoner').  It also conjures for me the sense of neverending Winter in some places in Europe when the sky hangs like a poorly-demarcated blanket of soggy bread, in which sunrise and sunset are foggy facsimiles of one another.

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Caballos 

Vi desde la ventana los caballos. 

Fue en Berlín, en invierno. La luz 
era sin luz, sin cielo el cielo. 

El aire blanco como un pan mojado. 

Y desde mi ventana un solitario circo 
mordido por los dientes del invierno. 

De pronto, conducidos por un hombre, 
diez caballos salieron a la niebla. 

Apenas ondularon al salir, como el fuego, 
pero para mis ojos ocuparon el mundo 
vacío hasta esa hora. Perfectos, encendidos, 
eran como diez dioses de largas patas puras, 
de crines parecidas al sueño de la sal. 

Sus grupas eran mundos y naranjas. 

Su color era miel, ámbar, incendio. 

Sus cuellos eran torres 
cortadas en la piedra del orgullo, 
y a los ojos furiosos se asomaba 
como una prisionera, la energía. 

Y allí en silencio, en medio 
del día, del invierno sucio y desordenado, 
los caballos intensos eran la sangre, 
el ritmo, el incitante tesoro de la vida. 

Miré, miré y entonces reviví: sin saberlo 
allí estaba la fuente, la danza de oro, el cielo, 
el fuego que vivía en la belleza. 

He olvidado el invierno de aquel Berlín oscuro. 

No olvidaré la luz de los caballos. 


Pablo Neruda.

Horses

From the window I saw the horses.

I was in Berlin, in winter. The light
was without light, the sky without sky.

The air white like wet bread.

And from my window a vacant arena,
bitten by the teeth of winter.

Suddenly, led out by a man,
ten horses stepped out into the mist.

Hardly had they surged forth, like flame,
than to my eyes they filled the whole world,
empty till then. Perfect, ablaze,
they were like ten gods with pure white hoofs,
with manes like a dream of salt.

Their rumps were worlds and oranges.

Their color was honey, amber, fire.

Their necks were towers
cut from the stone of pride,
and behind their transparent eyes
energy raged, like a prisoner.

And there, in the silence, in the middle
of the day, of the dark, slovenly winter,
the intense horses were blood
and rhythm, the animating treasure of life.

I looked, I looked and was reborn: without knowing it,
there, was the fountain, the dance of gold, the sky,
the fire that revived in beauty.

I have forgotten that dark Berlin winter.

I will not forget the light of the horses.

@Blue Tiger I think you might like this poem, in light of our discussion on the heart of winter being an organ of fire!  It's also a marvellous expression of the 'stallion mounting the world'..'their rumps were worlds and oranges...'

Please drop me one of your favorite poems too -- I'd like that. 

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13 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

Thank you for joining my thread and contributing that magnetic and enigmatic poem!  

Rilke's panther, especially the line 'wie ein Tanz von Kraft um eine Mitte,
in der betäubt ein großer Wille steht' ('like a dance of power around a core
in which a mighty will stands stunned') reminded me of this one by Pablo Neruda (especially see the line:  'behind their transparent eyes energy raged, like a prisoner').  It also conjures for me the sense of neverending Winter in some places in Europe when the sky hangs like a poorly-demarcated blanket of soggy bread, in which sunrise and sunset are foggy facsimiles of one another.

@Blue Tiger I think you might like this poem, in light of our discussion on the heart of winter being an organ of fire!  It's also a marvellous expression of the 'stallion mounting the world'..'their rumps were worlds and oranges...'

Please drop me one of your favorite poems too -- I'd like that. 

Well... That might be hard as in the contrary to my experience of English literature (I'm even planning to translate my new short story to it by the Christmas Eve - story well... first of all I have to actually finish it) - my knowledge of poetry in English is not great.

But... Tyger by William Blake is one of my favs (for obvious reasons)... I might say it was my inspiration - if you ever read sth mine, you'll surely notice :

 

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Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 
 
In what distant deeps or skies. 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand, dare seize the fire? 
 
And what shoulder, & what art, 
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand? & what dread feet? 
 
What the hammer? what the chain, 
In what furnace was thy brain? 
What the anvil? what dread grasp, 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp! 
 
When the stars threw down their spears 
And water'd heaven with their tears: 
Did he smile his work to see? 
Did he who made the Lamb make thee? 
 
Tyger Tyger burning bright, 
In the forests of the night: 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Words of House Marbrand might be reference to it.

And when it comes to Polish poetry: My testament by Juliusz Słowacki - for us he's someone like Shakespeare for the English speakers.

Quote

I have lived with you, suffered and shed tears with you.
No noble person have I ever passed aside.
Today I leave you, ghosts in shadows to pursue,
And if happiness were here – in sorrow I stride.

I have not left behind me a single offspring
Either to play my lute or to carry my name;
My name has passed away like a flash of lightning,
And will last for generations like an empty strain.

But you that have known me, pass to all in legend
That I wore out my youth for the land of my fathers;
When the ship struggled – I stood at the mast to the end,
And when she was sinking – I too drowned in deep waters...

Yet some day, pondering about the destined lot
Of my poor homeland, any noble man will consent
That my spirit’s cloak was not by begging begot,
But as my ancestors’ glories shines resplendent.

Let my faithful friends at night gather together
And burn up my poor heart in die leaves of aloe,
Return it to die one who gave it to me later:
So the world pays mothers – giving them ashes to stow...

Let my friends sit down, each one holding a goblet,
And drown in wine my burial – and their own despair...
If I am a spirit, I’ll appear to them yet,
If God frees me from torment, I will not come there...

But I beg you – let the living not lose hope ever
And bear the torch of learning before their compatriots;
And when called, go to their death one after another,
Like the stones tossed by die Lord onto the ramparts...

As for me – I am leaving a small group of friends,
Those who were able to love my haughty spirit;
One can see I have fulfilled God’s hard assignments
And assented to have here – an unwept casket...

Who else would go on without the world’s accolades,
Such indifference to the world as I display?
To be the helmsman of a boat that’s filled with shades,
And fly off as quietly as the shade flies away?

And yet I leave behind me this fateful power,
Useless while I live... it just graces my temples;
But when I die, it will, unseen, press you ever,
Till it remakes you, bread eaters – into angels.

Obviously, it's much better in the original version.

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And this one, by Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004): (He won the 1980th Nobel Prize in Literature)

The Message of Mr.Cogito

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Go where those others went to the dark boundary 
for the golden fleece of nothingness your last prize

go upright among those who are on their knees
among those with their backs turned and those toppled in the dust

you were saved not in order to live
you have little time you must give testimony 

be courageous when the mind deceives you be courageous 
in the final account only this is important

and let your helpless Anger be like the sea
whenever you hear the voice of the insulted and beaten

let your sister Scorn not leave you
for the informers executioners cowards - they will win
they will go to your funeral with relief will throw a lump of earth 
the woodborer will write your smoothed-over biography 

and do not forgive truly it is not in your power 
to forgive in the name of those betrayed at dawn

beware however of unnecessary pride
keep looking at your clown's face in the mirror 
repeat: I was called - weren't there better ones than I

beware of dryness of heart love the morning spring 
the bird with an unknown name the winter oak 
light on a wall the splendour of the sky 
they don't need your warm breath
they are there to say: no one will console you

be vigilant - when the light on the mountains gives the sign- arise and go 
as long as blood turns in the breast your dark star

repeat old incantations of humanity fables and legends 
because this is how you will attain the good you will not attain 
repeat great words repeat them stubbornly 
like those crossing the desert who perished in the sand

and they will reward you with what they have at hand 
with the whip of laughter with murder on a garbage heap

go because only in this way you will be admitted to the company of cold skulls 
to the company of your ancestors: Gilgamesh Hector Roland 
the defenders of the kingdom without limit and the city of ashes

Be faithful Go

This one reminds me of Ned... and of Darkstar... And of Renly... And of all the people 'betrayed at dawn' by the Bloodstone Emperor, especially Nissa Nissa.

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1 hour ago, ravenous reader said:

 

2 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

This is why I love Blake because it is the essence of the frustration with the psyche, 'why are people the way they are' 'why am I the way I am' and to go back to that lovely poetic present-perfect exploring the meaning behind "I am become".  

:)  Though expressing frustration at the 'knottiness' (and 'naughtiness'...) of existence, what's delightful about that poetic construction of 'I am become,' vs. the state of finality conveyed by the more conventional 'I have become,' is that the future, although not explicitly stated, is also already implicit in the past-present becoming of the 'am' -- and thus a state of finality can never really be reached, the knot untying itself as we tie. 

Although that didn't stop T.S. Eliot from trying to find resolution here:

Quote

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. 
Through the unknown, unremembered gate 
When the last of earth left to discover 
Is that which was the beginning; 
At the source of the longest river 
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for 
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always-- 
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded 
Into the crowned knot of fire 
And the fire and the rose are one.


The Little Gidding is the last of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets.

 

Love the knottiness and naughtiness pun about living. And yes I agree that the perpetual tying of the knot in order to achieve a final state of the self is another testament of being human. And in the end, it is the frustration of uncertainty given birth by hope. 

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And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well

As T.S. Elliot puts "all shall be well" where being 'well' is a wish and a will (thus a wishing well) and so the wishing and willing leads to the frustration of the exploring will start and end at the well of hope.  

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