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Karl Shapiro Quotes
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"Already old, the question Who shall die? Becomes unspoken Who is innocent?"
"And in a comic mood, In mid-air take to bed a wife."
"But this invites the occult mind, Cancels our physics with a sneer, And spatters all we knew of denouement,Across the expedient and wicked stones."
"But with exquisite breathing you smile, with satisfaction of love, And I touch you again as you tick in the silence and settle in sleep."
"Flouncing your skirts, you blueness of joy, you flirt of politeness, You leap, you intelligence, essence of wheelness with silvery nose, And your platinum clocks of excitement stir like the hairs of a fern."
"Give me the free and poor inheritance, Of our own kind, not furniture, Of education, or the prophet's pose, The general cause of words, the hero's stance, The ambitions incommensurable with flesh."
"Haul up the flag, you mourners, Not half-mast but all the way; The funeral is done and disbanded; The devil's had the final say."
"He shall eat flowers, Chew honey and spit out gall. They shall all smile, and love and pity him. His death shall be by drowning."
"However others calculate the cost, To us the final aggregate is one, One with a name, one transferred to the blest; And though another stoops and takes the gun, We cannot add the second to the first."
"I see slip to the curb the long machines, Out of whose warm and windowed rooms pirouette, Shellacked with silk and light, The hard legs of our women."
"In the tight belly of the dead, Burrow with hungry head, And inlay maggots like a jewel."
"Lastly, his tomb shall list and founder in the troughs of grass. And none shall speak his name."
"Laughter and grief join hands. Always the heart Clumps in the breast with heavy stride; The face grows lined and wrinkled like a chart, The eyes bloodshot with tears and tide. Let the wind blow, for many a man shall die."
"My soul is now her day, my day her night, So I lie down, and so I rise."
"O hideous little bat, the size of snot, With polyhedral eye and shabby clothes."
"Oh, it is I, Incredibly skinny, stooped, and neat as pie, Ignorant as dirt, erotic as an ape, Dreamy as puberty - with dirty hair!"
"Poetry is innocent, not wise. It does not learn from experience, because each poetic experience is unique."
"Sentio ergo sum: he feels his way And words themselves stand up for him like Braille, And punch and perforate his parchment ear."
"Sunday at noon through hyaline thin air, Sees down the street, And in the camera of my eye depicts, Row-houses and row-lives: Glass after glass, door after door the same."
"The body, what is it, Father, but a sign To love the force that grows us, to give back What in Thy palm is senselessness and mud?"
"The doctor punched my vein,The captain called me Cain, Upon my belly sat the sow of fear."
"The good poet sticks to his real loves, those within the realm of possibility. He never tries to hold hands with God or the human race."
"The roof of England fell, Great Paris tolled her bell, And China staunched her milk and wept for bread."
"There is nothing so subject to the inconstancy of fortune as war. Cervantes Every war has its own excuse. That's why they're all surrounded with ideals. That's why they're all crusades."
"To girls and wives always alive and fated; To men and scholars always dead like Greek And always mistranslated."
"To make the child in your own image is a capital crime, for your image is not worth repeating. The child knows this and you know it. Consequently you hate each other."
"We are deranged, walking among the cops, Who sweep glass and are large and composed."
"We ask for no statistics of the killed, For nothing political impinges on This single casualty, or all those gone, Missing or healing, sinking or dispersed, Hundreds of thousands counted, millions lost."
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