Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Art Fags and Emo Kids Unite!

funny pictures

I stayed home from work today because I was feeling pretty much like shit. However, I wasn't feeling good enough to actually leave the house, but I was feeling restless and a bit too plagued by my own morose thoughts so I decided to do some organizational stuff that I had been putting off for a long time now...almost the better part of a year!

In any case, going through my things, I found several things of value. Probably not much value to anyone else, but a lot to me, but such is the way sentimental value works, I suppose. A lot of it was hilarious, which I'll put up over the next few days, some of it was serious and thoughtful. Its the serious and thoughtful things I'll post today. Get out your art fag caps, its poetry!

These 3 poems are probably 3 of my favorite of all time, all for different reasons. This first is "She Walks in Beauty" by George Gordon Byron. Its my favorite romantic poem, mostly because its written so beautifully, with an easy sort of rhythm and cadence, and partially because I think its cliche to think of Shakespeare when you think of romantic poetry. There's no doubt that Shakespeare wrote A LOT of romantic poetry, such as his collection of sonnets, but being as contrarian as I am, I like to be different.

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that's best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellow'd to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair'd the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o'er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

The second poem is more modern, and one I loved the moment I read it. "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou. It's very rhythmic, and its a poem I feel was written to be spoken aloud. Many feminist and femi-nazis have made this into their little "anthem" but its a poem I feel isn't about how great women are, or how they're better than me, or even the power they hold over men, but more of the power of a woman who truly knows herself, loves herself, and is comfortable in her own skin. It's something I've always aspired to be.

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies

I'm not cute or built to suit a model's fashion size

But when I start to tell them 

They think I'm telling lies.

I say

It's in the reach of my arms 

The span of my hips 

The stride of my steps 

The curl of my lips. 

I'm a woman 


Phenomenal woman

That's me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please

And to a man 

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees 

Then they swarm around me

A hive of honey bees. 

I say

It's the fire in my eyes

And the flash of my teeth

The swing of my waist 

And the joy in my feet. 

I'm a woman 


Phenomenal woman

That's me.

Men themselves have wondered 

What they see in me 

They try so much 

But they can't touch 

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them

They say they still can't see.

I say

It's in the arch of my back 

The sun of my smile

The ride of my breasts 

The grace of my style.

I'm a woman


Phenomenal woman 

That's me.

Now you understand

Just why my head's not bowed

I don't shout or jump about 

Or have to talk real loud

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud. 

I say

It's in the click of my heels

The bend of my hair 

The palm of my hand 

The need for my care.

'Cause I'm a woman 


Phenomenal woman 

That's me.

And the last poem is "Curiosity" by Alastair Reid. It's truly my favorite poem of all time, and I think those that understand and relate will know why I've always felt a wee bit more of a cat person than a dog person.

may have killed the cat;more likely

the cat was just unlucky, or else curious

to see what death was like, having no cause

to go on licking paws, or fathering

litter on litter of kittens, predictably.

Nevertheless, to be curious

is dangerous enough. To distrust

what is always said, what seems

to ask odd questions, interfere in dreams,

leave home, smell rats, have hunches

do not endear cats to those doggy circles

where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, good lunches

are the order of things, and where prevails

much wagging of incurious heads and tails.

Face it. Curiosity

will not cause us to die--

only lack of it will.

Never to want to see

the other side of the hill

or that improbable country

where living is an idyll

(although a probable hell)

would kill us all.

Only the curious have, if they live, a tale

worth telling at all.

Dogs say cats love too much, are irresponsible,

are changeable, marry too many wives,

desert their children, chill all dinner tables

with tales of their nine lives.

Well, they are lucky. Let them be

nine-lived and contradictory,

curious enough to change, prepared to pay

the cat price, which is to die

and die again and again,
each time with no less pain.

A cat minority of one

is all that can be counted on

to tell the truth. And what cats have to tell

on each return from hell

is this: that dying is what the living do,

that dying is what the loving do,

and that dead dogs are those who do not know

that dying is what, to live, each has to do.


  1. The first poem most folks remember from when Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) recited it during an ep of The Cosby Show. The next one was done by damn near every Black girl for Declamation at some point in time during my 5 years at Boston Latin School and the last joint is new to me.


  2. But I saved the best for last, imo. What'd you think of it?