I had the idea a long time ago to do a photo shoot in Freak Alley. I thought I could give the kids all spray paint and let them do graffiti while I showed off my stellar parenting skills. We were talking about what they could write, when Gideon mentioned lines from “Ozymandias.” It dawned on me that poetry was the perfect compliment to vandalism. We tried to squeeze in some of the lines from all the poems we enjoyed this year, even though you can’t necessarily read them. I’ll put the full poems in below, because they’re really quite awesome.
Ozymandias – Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
The Destruction of Sennacherib – Lord Byron
The Assyrian came down like the 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.Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,That host with their banners at sunset were seen:Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.And there lay the rider distorted and pale,With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
To a Mouse – Robert Burns
Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!Thou need na start awa sae hasty,Wi’ bickerin brattle!I wad be laith to rin an’ chase theeWi’ murd’ring pattle!I’m truly sorry Man’s dominionHas broken Nature’s social union,An’ justifies that ill opinion,Which makes thee startle,At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,An’ fellow-mortal!I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!A daimen-icker in a thrave’S a sma’ request:I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,An’ never miss ’t!Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,O’ foggage green!An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,Baith snell an’ keen!Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,An’ weary Winter comin fast,An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,Thou thought to dwell,Till crash! the cruel coulter pastOut thro’ thy cell.That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibbleHas cost thee monie a weary nibble!Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,But house or hald,To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,An’ cranreuch cauld!But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,In proving foresight may be vain:The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ MenGang aft agley,An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,For promis’d joy!Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!The present only toucheth thee:But Och! I backward cast my e’e,On prospects drear!An’ forward tho’ I canna see,I guess an’ fear!
Jenny kiss’s Me – Leigh HuntJenny kiss’d me when we met,Jumping from the chair she sat in;Time, you thief, who love to getSweets into your list, put that in!Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,Say I’m growing old, but add,Jenny kiss’d me.
A Red, Red Rose – Robert BurnsO my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune!As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I:
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt with the sun;
I will luve thee still my dear,
When the sands of life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again , my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
Speech to the Troops at Tilbury – Queen Elizabeth
My loving people
We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.
I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.
I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you on a word of a prince, they shall be duly paid. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over these enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.
Queen of My Double Wide Trailer – Sammy KershawWell I met her out at Murphy’s restaurant
She said she was fresh from the farm
And I remember thinkin’ for a country girl
That she went pretty well armed
We sat there talkin’ by the lobster tank
I ordered her a sloe gin fizz
And when them chicken fried steaks arrived
She said I like living like thisSo I made her the queen of my double wide trailer
With the polyester curtains and the redwood deck
NOW she’s run off and I’ve got to trail her
Dang her black heart and her pretty red neckWell a few nights later I run into her
With some stranger on a park bench
She said he rebuilds engines and his name is Earl
He’s the Charlie Daniels of the torque wrench
I whispered honey let’s just go on home
And have some onion rings and watch TV
And as I walked her to the truck
Earl was cryin’ don’t you leave me
I told him
This here’s the queen of my double wide trailer
With the polyester curtains and the redwood deck
Sometimes shes runs and I’ve got to trail her
Dang her black heart and her pretty red neck
She’s the Queen
She’s the Queen
To Lucasta, Going to the Wars – Richard LovelaceTell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,That from the nunneryOf thy chaste breast and quiet mindTo war and arms I fly.True, a new mistress now I chase,The first foe in the field;And with a stronger faith embraceA sword, a horse, a shield.Yet this inconstancy is suchAs you too shall adore;I could not love thee (Dear) so much,Lov’d I not Honour more.
Does this dress make me look fat?