Saturday, November 22, 2008

The lone sands stretch far away

It's been a while since there was any poetry here. For St Andrew's Day (November 30), I'm choosing my favourite Burns poem (see if you can guess which one it is; I can tell you that although of course I love Scotland's national dish, that's not it). In the meantime, here is something I memorised a long time ago because I thought it was beautiful. Call me pretentious: if I ever have to type anything as a test, this is what I type (it's either this or "I met a traveller in an antique land"); from Byron's The Destruction of Sennacherib):

The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee...

My tag for poetry posts is from Wilfred Owen, who said "My subject is war, and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity".


Mancsoulsister said...

Wee, sleekit, cowrrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie,
Th need na start awa sa hasty
Wi' bickering brattle!

My guess for the favourite Burns poem!

Claire said...

Tam O'Shanter is my guess:

When chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neebors, neebors meet...

I challenge anyone to memorise it though!

[The word verification for this post is "tingtine", which is kind of nice]

LottieP said...

Someone in my class at uni memorised it in its entirety to recite at a Burns supper. He went on to become an advocate; he frequently used the word "miasma" in court and wrote a long-winded book on Constitutional and Administrative Law which I was unlucky enough to have to edit. Not that that takes anything away from the impressiveness of the feat of memorising Tam O'Shanter.

One of you is right.

Claire said...

Being a Libran, and interested in justice, it's got to be Tae a Moose. I've been put off that poem by having a bit of it* recited to me by a buffoon masquerading as an AA patrolman. Or was it the other way round...

*The first two lines of the second verse. He was particularly taken with them; I think reciting them made him feel clever.

Claire said...

Ha ha, I've just realised you won't take very well to that Libran comment :-)