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Patchwork Poems

  These are just plain fun while also a challenge.  To take lines from a variety of poems and create something that carries sense and form can also be rewarding.  To me, it's more like playing, this collaborating with hundreds of real poets.  They write the lines and I put them wherever I want. 
Those below are representative.

Hope over Doubt
Progeny
"Dust" Fragments from Gibbon's Fall
The "Dark" Side of Poe
Bird of Another Feather
A Sailor's Life?

Hope Over Doubt *

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
Still do the stars impart their light.
What is your substance, where of are you made?
Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife
To see the world in a grain of sand.

Say not the struggle naught availeth.
He that is down needs fear no fall.
All is best, though we oft doubt.
Go and catch a falling star.

            - copyright  © 2001, William T. Delamar
Line:
1) "Sonnet ii" (William Shakespeare); 
2) "Falsehood" (William Cartwright); 
3) "Sonnet v" (William Shakespeare); 
4) "Answer" (Sir Walter Scott); 
5) "Augeries of Innocence" William Blake; 
6) "Say not the Struggle Naught (Arthur Hugh Clough); 
7) "The Shepherd Boy Sings in the Valley of Humiliation" (John Bunyan); 
8) "Samson Agonistes ii" (John Milton); 
9) "song" (John Donne) 
Progeny *

A muvver was barfin' 'er biby one night.
He's a little dog with a stubby tail.
God, we don't like to complain,
There are strange things done in the midnight sun.
Somebody said that it couldn't be done.

Blessings on thee, little man.
Go thou thy way, and I go mine.
Ere I went mad,
I ain't afeard uv snakes, or toads, or bugs.
May nothing evil cross this door.

            - copyright  © 2002, William T. Delamar
Line:
1)"Biby's' Epitaph" (Anonymous); 
2)"Bum"(W. Dayton Wedgefarth);
3)"Caliban in the Coal Mines"(Louis Untermeyer); 
4)"The Cremation of Sam McGee"(Robert W. Service); 
5)"It Couldn't Be Done" (Edgar A. Guest); 
6)"The Barefoot Boy"(John Greenleaf Whittier);
7)"Mizpah" (Julia A. Baker); 
8)"Ere I Went Mad" (James WhitcombRiley);
9)"Seein' Things" (Eugene Field);
10)"Prayer for a New House"(Louis Untermeyer).
 
  "Dust" Fragments from Gibbon's Fall*

Announced by a cloud of dust, 
Buried in the Dust,
The works of ages into dust.
Dust from their ancient libraries.

Cities were crumbled into dust, 
Baghdad mourned into dust,
Royalty was humbled in the dust. 
Dust excited by the troops of cavalry. 

Strewed with gold dust, 
Genius was humbled into dust,
Writings now overspread with dust.
Dust was artfully contrived. 

Idols were crumbled into dust,
Religion was trampled into dust, 
Deities crumbled into dust. 
Dust and darkness.

- copyright  © 2001, William T. Delamar
* All "dust" lines patchworked from 
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon) 

 
  The "Dark" Side of Poe*

In visions of the dark night 
His countenance was of a dark snuff color. 
On the dark part of the satellite 
The world grew dark before mine eyes. 
Dark draperies hung upon the walls 
Through many dark and intricate passages. 
Soon after dark they arrived 
By a cluster of dark rocks. 

It was a dark night when I bade her goodbye 
Above those dark and hideous mysteries. 
The earth grew dark and its figures passed by. 
It was soon after dark on this same evening 
St. Eustace called for me at dark. 
A feeble cry arose from a dark object that floated rapidly by. 
The horrors of this dark deed are known only to one or two. 
After dark bitterly did we now regret. 

It was dark--all dark. 

- copyright  © 2002, William T. Delamar
                                 - 
* All "dark" lines patchworked from Edgar Allan Poe's Works.

 


 
Bird of Another Feather *

A bird came down the walk
By the rude bridge that arched the flood
From Susquehanna's farthest springs.
Hope is the thing with feathers.

I don't know how he came.
I like to see it lap the miles.
Light-winged Smoke, Icarian bird
Now burst above the city's cold twilight.

O be swift
Skimming lightly, wheeling still.
There is the caw of a crow.
Beat hell out of it.

                - copyright  © 2001, William T. Delamar
* Lines:
1) "A Bird Came Down the Walk" (Emily Dickinson); 
2) "Concord Hymn" (Ralph Waldo Emerson); 
3) "The Indian Student" (Phillip Freneau); 
4) "Hope is the Thing With Feathers" (Emily Dickinson)
5) "Ossawatomie" (Carl Sandburg); 
6) "I Like to See it Lap the Miles" (Emily Dickinson); 
7) "Smoke" (Henry David Thoreau); 
8) "Six O'Clock" (Trumbull Stickney); 
9) "The Helmsman" (H.D.); 
10) "Shiloh, A Requiem" (Herman Melville); 
11) "Jonathan Houghton" (Edgar Lee Masters); 
12) "Paterson: Episode 17" (William Carlos Williams) 

 

A Sailor's Life? *

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
Wailing, wailing, wailing, the wind over land and sea,

Here where the wind is always north-north-east,
A brackish reach of shoal off Madaket,
Between me and the sunset, like a dome.
Where lies the land to which yon ship must go?

The penguin sits upon the shore.
The smile of the walrus is wild and distraught.
The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks.
Some things that fly there be.

The fish wade
Where the seagulls sleep.
Above the fresh ruffles of the surf
The gray tide flows and flounders in the rocks.

The tide rises, the tide falls.
The ebb slips from the rock.
I must go down to the seas again.
Oh, a sailor's life is the life for me.

Hey nonny no!
 

- copyright  © 2002, William T. Delamar
* Lines:
1) "O Captain! My Captain!" (Walt Whitman); 
2) "Rizpah" (Alfred Lord Tennyson; 
3) "New England" (Edwin Arlington Robinson"; 
4) "The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket" (Robert Lowell);
5) "The Man Against the Sky" (Edwin Arlington Robinson);
6) "Where Lies the Land" (William Wordsworth); 
7) A Penquin" (Oliver Herford); 
8) "The Smile of the Walrus" (Oliver Herford); 
9) "The Turtle" (Ogden Nash); 
10) "Some Things That Fly There Be" (Emily Dickinson);
11) "The Fish" (Marianne Moore); 
12) "The Ballet of the Fifth Year" (Delmore Schwartz); 
13) "Voyages" (Hart Crane);
14) "At Sainte-Marguerite" (Trumbull Stickney); 
15) "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls" (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow); 
16) "Night" (Robinson Jeffers); 
17) Sea Fever" (John Masefield); 
18) "The Warrior's Lament" (Owen Seaman); 
19) "Hey Nonny No!" (Anonymous) 
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