Monthly Archives: January 2016

Excerpt from The Charge of the Light Brigade – Tennyson

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d ?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

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Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman

Song of Myself

1

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
3
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the begin-
ning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.
There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.
Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.
51
***
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

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The Ballad of Reading Gaol – Oscar Wilde

For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.

VI

In Reading gaol by Reading town
There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
Eaten by teeth of flame,
In burning winding-sheet he lies,
And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

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To His Coy Mistress – Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
       But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
       Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

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The Kitten Chronicles

They gathered every week, usually on Sundays unless a special meeting was required earlier in the week and then they would assemble during a weeknight. The meetings were held at the Gordons’ treehouse in their large backyard. The Gordon kids were well past the age of treehouse rendezvous, the prerequisite of those already nostalgic bildungsromanesque films so popular in earlier days of filmmaking. Thus, the meetings usually went on uninterrupted, except of course for the occasional distractions such as a beam of sunlight or the rustling of leaves indicative of a nearby intruder, a critter of some sort. Most likely a squirrel, the cats’ mortal enemy.

“I call this emergency meeting to order,” boomed the thunderous voice of Balthus, the eldest and founding member of the Kitten Club, also a noted martinet. His old school strictness and adherence to form, not to mention his formidable size (he was of the Maine Coon breed) was probably what kept the group together and in relative order. He waited patiently for the murmur typical of large gatherings to die down before he spoke again.

“We will now take roll. Each member please call out your name, starting from the left of myself.”

“Aw man, do we hafta do this every meeting? I mean, we all know who’s who by now,” whined Merv, a ginger cat with a propensity for irritating most others cats, especially Balthus.

“As I’ve already explained Mervin, we keep the minutes of these meetings and it is necessary to record the names of those present, which is easiest done through roll call.” Balthus was used to having his patience tried so maintained his calm demeanor. Once roll call was over Balthus cleared his throat and began.

“Now, as I’m sure you’re all aware of by now, there is a new threat to our neighborhood which demands our immediate attention.” All of the neighborhood cats within a ten block radius, assuming they are indoor outdoor or just outdoor cats try to attend the meetings regularly to stay informed and form plans for the riddance of any and all obstacles to the general well-being of the neighborhood and it’s inhabitants. Most of the residents were friendly humans and provided the cats with food and water regularly. They respected the animals and treated them with kindness. In return, the cats kept a watchful, though often lazy, eye upon their assigned territory. The elders ensure that every feline under their jurisdiction are well-fed and healthy, that strange or new residents are thoroughly investigated, and that no rats dare intrude upon their turf.

“You mean that giant raccoon that nearly murdered Patty?” piped in Ginger, ironically a gray cay, who kept forgetting how little Balthus hated interruptions in her eagerness to voice her every thought. “I saw it all happen this morning as we were crossing the Daltons’ side yard. Me and Snowball were gonna go for a walk down Greenwich Lane when we spotted Patty on the roof of the Myers’s garage on her way down to meet us. All of a sudden this huge black raccoon, twice the size of Patty at least, leaped out at her from outta nowhere.” She was breathless from excitation but forged ahead. “It bit Patty hard on the shoulder and started dragging her towards the top of the garage to get to the house. We screamed as loudly as we could and rushed to go help poor Patty. She had fainted from fright by that time.”

“Thank you Ginger, for your rather graphic and detailed description.”

“Oh, but I wasn’t…”

“As I was saying,”continued Balthus before Ginger could relaunch into her lengthy observations, “this new threat requires a plan of action and absolute cooperation from all operatives in the field.” His tail swished back and forth behind him as he looked down sternly upon his listeners. Balthus was rumored to have descended from the ancient Gods of Egypt. His thunderous voice, stern demeanor, and august presence marked him out for leadership even as a young kitten, very green but exceedingly intelligent.

“We must have all eyes peeled and all ears to the ground. You must always travel in pairs and remain alert. At the first sign of the black raccoon you will signal the others and remain hidden while keep a close eye on his every move. No one should try anything without the others or you might find yourself worse than Patty.”

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Uncle Vanya – Anton Chekov

“Man is forgetful, but God remembers.”

Act 1

 

“Straining the mind, wrinkling the brow,

We write, write, write,

Without respite

Or hope of praise in the future or now.”

 

Act 1

 

Helena: What a fine day! Not too hot. [A pause.]

Voitski: A fine day to hang oneself.

Act 1

 

“Man is endowed with reason and the power to create, so that he may increase that which has been given him, but until now he has not created, but demolished. The forests are disappearing, the rivers are running dry, the game is exterminated, the climate is spoiled, and the earth becomes poorer and uglier every day.”

“how you thoughtlessly destroy the forests, so that there will soon be none left. So you also destroy mankind, and soon fidelity and purity and self-sacrifice will have vanished with the woods.”

Act 1

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On The Road – Kerouac

“But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Ch.1

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