Billy Budd – Herman Melville

Ch. 30 excerpt – Billy in the Darbies

But me they’ll lash me in hammock, drop me deep.

Fathoms down, fathoms down, how I’ll dream fast asleep.

I feel it stealing now. Sentry, are you there?

Just ease this darbies at the wrist, and roll me over fair,

I am sleepy and the oozy weeds about me twist.

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In Memoriam

At the end of her life, what will they say?

What will end up being the remains of the day?

Of all she used to be, will they have a clue?

Of all she used to know…of all she in fact knew?

The passing rays that light up the dark,

Did they ever leave a mark?

The stories woven in her head,

What remains in their stead?

We say our goodbyes, we spin our lies,

We make a life of beauty, of days gone by.

After all, what is left to say

When what used to be finally goes away.

 

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Annabel Lee – Poe

Excerpt:
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we—
   Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
   Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
 For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
   Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea—
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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Je Suis Comme Je Suis – Jacques Prevert

Je suis comme je suis

Je suis comme je suis

Je suis faite comme ça

Quand j’ai envie de rire

Oui je ris aux éclats

J’aime celui qui m’aime

Est-ce ma faute à moi

Si ce n’est pas le même

Que j’aime à chaque fois

Je suis comme je suis

Je suis faite comme ça

Que voulez-vous de plus

Que voulez-vous de moi

Je suis faite pour plaire

Et n’y puis rien changer

Mes talons sont trop hauts

Ma taille trop cambrée

Mes seins beaucoup trop durs

Et mes yeux trop cernés

Et puis après

Qu’est-ce que ça peut vous faire

Je suis comme je suis

Je plais à qui je plais

Qu’est-ce que ça peut vous faire

Ce qui m’est arrivé

Oui j’ai aimé quelqu’un

Oui quelqu’un m’a aimée

Comme les enfants qui s’aiment

Simplement savent aimer

Aimer aimer…

Pourquoi me questionner

Je suis là pour vous plaire

Et n’y puis rien changer.

**********

I am what I am

I am what I am

I’m made that way

When I want to laugh

Yes I erupt with laughter

I love the one that loves me

Is it my fault
 If it’s not the same one

That I love each time

I am what I am

I’m made that way

What more do you want

What do you want from me

I’m made for pleasure

And nothing can change that

My heels are too high

My figure too curved

My breasts way too firm

And my eyes too darkly ringed

And then afterwards

What can you do about it

I am what I am

I please who I please

What can you do about it

What happened to me

Yes I loved someone

Yes someone loved me

Like children love each other

Simply knowing how to love 
love love…

Why ask me 
I’m here for your pleasure

And nothing can change that.

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I Am A Cat – Natsume Soseki

p. 245

“Those whose minds are not unwaveringly concentrated upon the pursuit of ultimate truth are normally misled by the mere appearances, however unreal, of the phenomenal world. They tend to accept what they directly see and feel, not as some empty froth of illusion but as manifestations of an eternal reality. Consequently, if someone says anything even slightly out of the ordinary, such prisoners of their senses have no choice but to treat the communication as a joke.”

**

The swallow and the sparrow see no use

In things that, to the eagle and the goose,

Are plainly useful. It could even be

That from their littleness the little see

Nothing whatever of Immensity.”

**

p. 247

“Men are supposed to be clever, but they all have the same weakness: they follow established patterns without questioning the reason for their establishment.”

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I Am A Cat – Natsume Soseki

p. 243

“One thing at least is certain,” said my master. “If civilization continues its rapid development along its present lines, I would not wish to live and witness it.”

“The choice is yours. As Seneca advises, no man should carp at life when the road to freedom runs down every vein. Why don’t you do yourself in?” Waverhouse helpfully enquired.

“I care rather less for dying than I do for living.”

“No one seems to pay much attention when he’s being born, but everybody makes no end of a fuss about his departure.” Coldmoon offers his own cool comment.

“It’s the same with money,” says Waverhouse. “When one borrows money, one does so lightly, but everyone worries like crazy when it comes to paying it back.”

“Happy are they who don’t worry about repayment; as happy as those who do not worry about death,” intoned Singleman in his most lofty and unworldly style.

“I suppose you’d argue that the bravest in the face of death are those who are most enlightened?”

“Most certainly. Perhaps you know the Zen phrase ‘The iron-ox-heart of an iron-ox-face: the ox-iron-heart of an ox-iron-face?’”

“And are you claiming to be so ox-and-iron-hearted?” Waverhouse, who happened to know that the phrase meant to have a heart so strong as to be undisturbed by anything, doubted that Singleman would dare make such a claim.

 

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I Am A Cat – Natsume Soseki

Thus, as I review the list of my friends and acquaintances, most of them emerge as stained with maniac stigmata of one sort or another. l begin to feel considerably reassured. The truth may simply be that human society is no more than a massing of lunatics. Perhaps our vaunted social organization is merely a kind of bear-garden, where lunatics gather together, grapple desperately, bicker and tussle with each other, call each other filthy names, tumble and sprawl all over each other in mindless muckiness. This agglomeration of lunatics thus becomes a living organism which, like cells, disintegrates and coalesces, crumbles again to nothing and again reintegrates. Is that not the actual nature of our marvelous human society? And within that organism, such few cells as are slightly sensible and exhibit symptoms of discretion inevitably prove a nuisance to the rest. So they find themselves confined in specially constructed lunatic asylums. It would follow that, objectively speaking, those locked up in mental homes are sane, while those careering around outside the walls are all as mad as hatters. An individual lunatic, so long as he’s kept isolated, can be treated as a lunatic, but when lunatics get together and, so massed, acquire the strength of numbers, they also automatically acquire the sanity of numbers. Many lunatics are, by their maniness, healthy persons. It is not uncommon that a powerful lunatic, abusing the authority of his wealth and with myriad minor madmen in his pay, behaves outrageously, but is nevertheless honored and praised by all and sundry as a paragon of human virtue. I just don’t understand anything any more.”

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