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Catullus 101

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus

Carried through many nations and over many seas


advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,

I arrived, brother, for these wretched funeral rites


ut te postremo donarem munere mortis

So that I might present you with the last tribute of death


et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.

and speak in vain to silent ash,


Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum.

Since fortune has carried away from me you in the flesh


Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,

Atlas, poor brother, unfairly taken away from me,


nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum

now in the meantime, nevertheless, these things which in the ancient custom of ancestors


tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,

are handed over as a sad tribute to the rites


accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,

receive, dripping much with brotherly weeping.


atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.

And forever, brother, hail and farewell.



Adonais written by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

OPEN FORM

Author's Comments

Open Form poetry for all intent and purposes is really Free Verse. It relies on the spontaneous process which comes when the poet is not ruled by poetic constructs. This is so because the use of regular rhythmic patterns, that is, the metrical feet is abandoned. Also, it does not usually rhyme but when there is rhyming it is natural and does not send off the feeling of being forced.

To sum this up, Open Form has freed itself from all the shackles commonly associated with traditional poetry. This liberation as it were, does free the mind from dictates established, but there is an upside and a downside to this paradigm shift, the latter being greater. Persons well versed in the traditional ways of writing poetry invariably do not find difficulty when it comes for them to write Open Form. This is therefore not hard to understand why. However, it is usually not the case the other way around.

I make no apologies for saying that Open Form does little in the way of pushing the poetic bar to newer and daring heights. Poets with a passion for aesthetic nature of poetry find themselves pushing poetry to even greater heights. They are not contented to merely be caught up in poetic complacency that is more often than not the case with Open Form for which this style has the tendency to do. Especially when Open Form poetry does not exhibit a rich imagery and a rhythmic cadence that is powerful. In the final analysis, without these two important aspects of Open Form for which there is no other way to evaluate its greatness, it is not hard to see this form being relegated to what some may say just another display of verbal diarrhea.

Mind you, I’m not saying that Open Form is bad poetry, all I’m trying to say is that it tends to stymie poetic growth especially when its imagery is not vibrant or the cadence flawed as is the case of much published free verse poetry. So, in a way as free as Open Form may sound without some basic structure for guidance it falls flat on its face. So can there be such a thing as free verse! Just think about that. We tend to pull down time tested walls to build on shifting sands but sooner or later we find ourselves shifting gears and returning to base camp again, and that’s what’s happening to poetry today. People are returning to structures of yesteryear or at least acknowledging the good to be gained when poetry is pushed far beyond the qualifying bar.

I like to give Jack his jacket once I know that it will fit well. I said that to say this, I have great respect for E. E. Cummings who experimented radically with form, punctuation, spelling and syntax by way of abandoning traditional techniques and structures to create a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. He created the way for all and sundry to delve into poetry even more so for those who some people would say have no passion for academia. He amassed this gigantic following among the youth because his artistry’s simplicity and playful mode on his topics of war and sex.

No doubt, from reading the aforesaid, you may rush to conclude that I don’t like Open Form or wouldn’t write it. Far from the truth. I like all forms of poetry though some may score a higher rating nevertheless I try my head and hands at them all. It is the challenge they present and the satisfaction of striving for versatility in my creative artistry. However, there are essential aspects which I need to get from poetry whether from reading it or from writing it; to read me is to know me and here is the opening line of a poem, “If poetry be the food of the senses....” that gives a peek into what my poetic needs and what can bring me great and sustainable satisfaction. Click here to read the full poem.

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In plenty and in time of need
When this fair land was young
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed
From which our pride was sprung
A pride that makes no wanton boast
Of what it has withstood
That binds our hearts from coast to coast
The pride of nationhood



Chorus:


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate




The Lord has been the people's guide
For past three hundred years.
With Him still on the people's side
We have no doubts or fears.
Upward and onward we shall go,
Inspired, exulting, free,
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity.



Chorus


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate

The tree that gave Barbados its name

Independent Barbados Shelved Guy Fawkes Night

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Flashbacks
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No Friendly Sky Anymore
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Didactic Poetry is intended to convey instruction and
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National Anthems of New Zealand

Anthem 1

Māori Version

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai
Aotearoa

Ōna mano tāngata
Kiri whero, kiri mā,
Iwi Māori, Pākehā,
Rūpeke katoa,
Nei ka tono ko ngā hē
Māu e whakaahu kē,
Kia ora mārire
Aotearoa

Tōna mana kia tū!
Tōna kaha kia ū;
Tōna rongo hei pakū
Ki te ao katoa
Aua rawa ngā whawhai
Ngā tutū e tata mai;
Kia tupu nui ai
Aotearoa

Waiho tona takiwā
Ko te ao mārama;
Kia whiti tōna rā
Taiāwhio noa.
Ko te hae me te ngangau
Meinga kia kore kau;
Waiho i te rongo mau
Aotearoa

Tōna pai me toitū
Tika rawa, pono pū;
Tōna noho, tāna tū;
Iwi nō Ihowā.
Kaua mōna whakamā;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tū hei tauira;
Aotearoa

English Version

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our free land.
Lord of battles in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our free land.
From dishonour and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our free land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

Anthem 2

God Save the Queen

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save The Queen.

Note: The second verse of 'God Save The Queen' is commonly omitted.

Edmund Hillary

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Charlie Douglas
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