Poem by Babaji, Himalayan Saint

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I came across this poem in an astrology book by James Braha (fantastic writings — check out his books online!).

I have many favorite lines from this poem. Two of my favorite lines can be inferred from this accompanying image.

angel_and_devil

Anna Ignatieva – Demon and Angel, 2005]

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A Poem by Babaji, A Himalayan Saint

Love and serve all mankind. Assist everyone.
Be cheerful, be courteous.
Be a dynamo of irrepressible happiness.
See God and good in every face.
There is no saint without a past.
There is no sinner without a future.
Praise every soul.
If you cannot praise someone, let them pass out of your life.
Be original, be inventive.
Dare, dare, and then dare more.
Do not imitate. Stand on your own ground.
Do not lean on the borrowed staff of others.
Think your own thoughts. Be yourself.
All perfection and all virtues of the Deity are hidden inside you — reveal them.
The savior also is already within you – reveal Him.
Let his grace emancipate you. Let your life be that of a rose.
Through silence it speaks in the language of fragrance.

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Erotic Books: Poetry

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* This post is part of a short series:

QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)

PART 1: Introduction + Erotic Art Books
PART 2: Erotic Books (Non-Fiction)
PART 3: Erotic Poetry
PART 4: Erotic Books (Fiction)
PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships

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erotic_books

Jess’s erotic stash / “sex education”

[PART 3: Erotic Books / Poetry]

I’ve loved poetry since a really long time ago (of all subject matter and styles). It combines succinctness with wisdom/clarity, beauty with spirituality, so on and so forth. What’s there not to like?

AND when the topic is about sex or erotic love…

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erotic_love_poems

11. Erotic Love Poems of Greece and Rome | Amazon.com

Blurb:

A taste of amour in the ancient world-newly translated. From the famous erotic poetry of Sappho to love scenes from Homer’s The Iliad, as well as works from such eminent Roman poets as Virgil and Catullus, this enthralling collection taps into a range of passionate, timeless emotions.

Excerpt:

Seeing someone incredibly beautiful can leave the timid observer speechless. So it was twenty-six centuries ago. In this poem, Sappho describes what she experienced when, from a distance, she saw a young man sitting close to the young woman she loved.

(Tongue-Tied, Page 27)

The beauty of ancient Greek/Roman culture and mythology are things I’ll never get tired of. A very concise + tasteful book.

Link: Amazon.com

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love_poems_japanese

12. Love Poems from the Japanese (Shambhala Library) | Amazon.com

Blurb:

Drawn from classical, medieval, and modern sources — including the imperial collections of the Manyoshu and Kokinshu — the poems in this collection are some of the greatest love poems from the Japanese tradition. The poems range in tone from the spiritual longing of an isolated monk to the erotic ecstasy of a court princess — but share the extraordinary simplicity and luminosity of language that marks Kenneth Rexroth’s (the translator’s) verse style.

Excerpt:

Since “the pillow knows all”
we slept without a pillow.
Still my reputation
reaches to the skies
like a dust storm.

(Lady Ise / Page 43)

This is the most expensive of all the poetry books here (bought from Singapore at Kinokuniya a long time ago — I won some book vouchers). Money well spent. It’s a perfect book — nothing superfluous.

Link: Amazon.com

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emily_dickinson

13. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson | Amazon.com

Blurb:

Though generally overlooked during her lifetime, Emily Dickinson’s poetry has achieved acclaim due to her experiments in prosody, her tragic vision and the range of her emotional and intellectual explorations.

Excerpt:

Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds
To a heart in port, —
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!

(XXV, Emily Dickinson)

Wow, Emily Dickinson. A poet before her time, I think (with regards to style / mode of expression). But with reading her poetry, what I remembered the most was how she captured the sentiments/moments of our existence. I got this at the same time as the Japanese poetry book above, by the way.

Link: Amazon.com

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baudelaire

14. Baudelaire | Amazon.com

Blurb:

Modern poetry begins with Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), who employed his unequalled technical mastery to create the shadowy, desperately dramatic urban landscape — populated by the addicted and the damned — which so compellingly mirrors our modern condition. Deeply though darkly spiritual, titanic in the changes he wrought, Baudelaire looms over all the work, great and small, created in his wake.

Excerpt:

Eyes glowing like an angel’s
I’ll come back to your bed
and reach for you from the shadows:
you won’t hear a thing.

(“Incubus” / Page 102)

Baudelaire was a French poet, essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe (!).

Links: Amazon.com | Wikipedia

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erotic_poems

15. Erotic Poems | Amazon.com

Blurb:

These poems, selected from most of the cultures and histories of world literature, provide magnificent witness to the fact that love is as much an act of the imagination as it is of the body. From fourth-century Li Ch’ung’s “Parody of a Lover” to John Betmeman’s “Late-Flowering Lust,” they re-create, through the revelations of language, that experience of the erotic. Other poets include Theodore Roethke, Robert Graves, Octavio Paz, Joseph Brodsky, Sylvia Plath, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and many others.

Excerpt:

…but I won’t call
Her ‘beautiful’. She has one fatal fault —
No sex-appeal: there’s not a grain of salt
In that big dish to stir the appetite.

(“Many Think Quintia’s Beautiful,” by Gaius Valerius Catullus)

Never know what I might find in this eclectic collection ;)

Link: Amazon.com

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QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)

PART 1: Introduction + Erotic Art Books
PART 2: Erotic Books (Non-Fiction)
PART 3: Erotic Poetry
PART 4: Erotic Books (Fiction)
PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships

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Poet Interview: Leena Prasad

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Interview #60, with the sassy, girly and geeky: Leena Prasad!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

leena prasad

sassy, sexy, goofy, girly, geek

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

notexactlyhaiku

gaza
on tv, the gaza conflict
outside my window
a bird chirps

happiness
happiness is a
decision, unfortunately
i’m indecisive

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

I don’t have a favorite poet but I read Robert Frost’s Mending Wall in my teenage years and it made a lasting impression.

Here are the first four lines —

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.”

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

When I was 13, I started writing sappy love poems about hopeless crushes on boys.

I’ve probably done that at least a couple of times myself ;) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

It’s a way for me to journal and to comprehend my emotional and intellectual life.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Don’t be afraid to write a poem because even a “bad” poem is an entry into a thrilling new world.

ITA. Your websites/blogs/etc:

Website: NotExactlyHaiku.com

Twitter: @notexactlyhaiku

Amazon: not exactly haiku

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Much thanks to Leena Prasad for stopping by! Be sure to check out Not Exactly Haiku, where Leena’s haiku book is available as an iPhone app. You can also follow her latest haiku, senryu, and haiga via Twitter :)

Poet Interview, Amber Decker

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Interview #58, with the funny, blunt and nerdy: Amber Decker!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Nerdy
Industrious
Romantic
Funny
Blunt

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

amberdecker_lostgirlsbookcover

True Beauty (excerpted from Lost Girls)

Her dead father once told her
that dead things are beautiful
because they have given of themselves
and in their death show the living
the truest form of beauty.

Once, she fell in love deeply enough
to let a boy stretch himself through
the wilderness of her body.

When he surfaced as if from under oceans,
he licked her nectar from the flowers of his fingertips
and told her she was beautiful.

And when she opened her mouth to reply,
only dead things fell out.

That’s deep — well-done! Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

Bluebird (by Charles Bukowski)

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve been writing since I can remember, but I think I really started to take poetry seriously in high school. Someone gave me a copy of Verses that Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets, which was the first poetry anthology I’d ever owned up to that point. Before that, I hadn’t experienced much poetry outside of an English class — mainly Whitman, Poe, Frost and Dickinson.

Verses showed me what poetry could accomplish and how it could be used to take snapshots of places, people and experiences. It taught me about abstract images and how to open up worlds with fresh new language. After that, I was reading anything poetry-related I could get my hands on, and suddenly I was writing my own poetry. Now I can’t seem to stop.

Oh yes, Poe and Dickinson ;) Good thing the Verses anthology somehow founds its way to you. What goal do you seek through your poetry?

My main goal is to take my readers into a moment, to create images that stick in their minds even after the poem is finished. I also try to be as relatable as possible. I don’t want to be one of those elitist, academic poets with no clue how to talk to or write for people who are not also academics. I believe that poetry is like good fiction; it’s meant to be enjoyed — not decoded.

Yes, the best type of art is perhaps memorable as well as accessible. Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

If you want to write poetry (and do it well), you need to READ poetry. There are many fledgling poets out there who just don’t do this…and I’m afraid it’s pretty obvious when a poet hasn’t done their homework. Also, while I think that the classic “master poets” were (and still are) quite fabulous and should certainly be added to a list of poetic “must-reads”, remember that a lot has changed since these poets were alive and writing. POETRY has changed..a lot. Read contemporary journals. There are tons of them out there, and the range of the poets published in those journals is amazing. Try different forms, experiment, and find your own unique voice.

ITA — language is something that evolves along with the human species (for better or worse). Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://roughverse.wordpress.com

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amber decker

[Sweet Relish, by Amber Decker]

Much thanks to Amber Decker for stopping by! Be sure to check out Rough Verse, where she talks about life and poetry :)

Poet Interview, David Greshel

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Interview #57, with pop-culture junkie, David Greshel!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

David

Creative, Dreamer, Listener, Pop-Culture Junkie.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

watch the silhouette fade away to the inside of a distant shadow as we creep along the expanse of this haunted night…..footsteps tread lightly as we walk among the dwellings of the left behind….tension dimly lit by the last sliver of a dying moon….will the past undo the things we’ve often hoped for with their whispered resolutions and uncertain dreams….troubling this sleep we often never rest…compelled we wander on…..not quite lost but never really found…

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

Sirens

Midnight
criminal metabolism of guilt forest
Rattlesnakes whistles castanets

Remove me from this hall of mirrors
This filthy glass

Are you her
Do you look like that
How could you be when
no one ever could

Jim Morrison

We just featured Matthew Andrako the other day who’s greatly inspired by Jim Morrison! Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

I think it was a bit of both really. My grandmother wrote poetry and she used to read some of them to us when we were kids. I think that was my first real exposure to the form, but I didn’t get the desire to write my own until much later on. That came from a Jr. High English assignment, and I discovered that I really enjoyed reaching inside myself to pull out these ideas and emotions that I had a hard time really getting out in other ways.

That was kind of like what I experienced with journal writing :) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

I think more than anything I want it to mean something. Not just to me, but to everyone who takes the time to read them. I want everyone to take a piece of it with them because it speaks to them, maybe in more ways than I even consciously intended. I remember reading Morrison’s work outside of The Doors, and also works by Rimbaud, William Blake, Baudelaire, Bukowski and Kerouac and being completely moved by them. They spoke to me on many different levels and enlightened experiences that I might never have but could somehow relate to. Those are the same things that I aspire to. Money and Fame might be nice, but Poets are generally not famous until after death and the last bookstore I was in had their Poetry section reduced to four shelves in the corner by the bathroom so record sales figures are clearly not there.

Yes, I do sometimes think that commodity production is costing society its soul (and its ability to appreciate good things like the arts). Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Don’t be afraid of your influences. It’s ok for those to shine through your work as they helped you develop and aspire to the work you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to grow beyond them either and become your own voice. Don’t let the fact that Publishers aren’t knocking down your door to promote your work stop you from putting it out. If you’re happy with it, there are plenty of DIY options available to help you share your dream with the world.

ITA — that DIY aspect is one of the best things about the Internet era. Your websites/blogs/etc:

* My book on Amazon

* My Blog

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Much thanks to Dave for stopping by!

Poet Interview, Edward G. Brown

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Interview #56, with Edward Giles Brown, who wrote a Sonnet every day for a year in 2005!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

edward_brown

Patient Industrious Stubborn Impulsive Curious

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

365 Days of Verse
(365 Days of Verse: Volume II | Book Cover)

From Volume 1:

Good it does breathing the provincial air,
While wet bullets plunge from the well-armed line,
And spent shells run slick under foot, downhill;
Canopies of green hover on ridges
When no mist grows thick around their borders,
In every season, envious they bloom;
And when no white eclipses heaven’s edge,
Myriad ancient signals make their way
Across an infinite span to meet me,
Each flicker never to be repeated,
New and fragile and then at once dispatched
Through the glory of eyes and intellect.
Many pleasures and sweets in city lights,
But none compare to these rustic delights.

— Copyright 2005-2011 Edward G. Brown

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

From W.H. Auden’s The More Loving One

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,

Though this might take me a little time.

— Copyright 1960 W. H. Auden

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

When I was in high school I used to sit under a tree in the back yard and read Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. There were many times when reading the poetry transformed my experience of life. It taught me to observe and truly see what was around me. Writing poetry always puts me in touch with that kind of experience and I began to crave it. So in a sense, both.

Nice :) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

I always endeavor to capture some sense of truth in my life, and to do it in a way that isn’t trite or shopworn. It’s a huge challenge, especially when working on a project that requires output every day. If I’m honest, I wouldn’t hate a bit of recognition for my efforts. I’ll keep at it regardless because writing is its own reward in many ways.

Yes, the work itself has to bring satisfaction (along with the recognition)! Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Write something every day.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://365daysofverse.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/#!/365DaysOfVerse
http://amazon.com/author/edwardgilesbrown

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Much thanks to Edward for stopping by!

POET BIO: Edward Giles Brown wrote a Sonnet every day for a year in 2005 and is publishing them in 3 volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 are currently available on Amazon. Check out his WordPress blog and Amazon author page for more info!

Poet Interview, Kezia Jones

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Interview #55, with poet and preacher’s daughter, Kezia Jones!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

kezia

Loyal, Humble, Loving, Sensitive, and God-Fearing.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

Labels, Tags what is it all 4 2 show

the world you aren’t poor

status symbol of the struggle

a product of your time

proof to the world that u

can shine bright yes u a star

Gucci, Louis, Prada is your light

the label of success

growing up juicy couture

we find our true religion in jeans

and we rock our republic

while our world is falling apart at the seams

but at least we are somebody and we can afford the right things

this is what we struggle 4

these labels and tags have become the American dream

Very nice ;) Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

My diary is where I released my issues, let out my fears, and learned who I was it was where I first wrote poetry and learned I could express myself through my poetry.

I can totally relate to that :) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

To inspire people to go after their dreams and to seek spiritual connection.

Yes, materialism is not the same as spirituality (and if people can’t understand that, well…). Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Write from your heart.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

www.facebook.com/mytestimonymydiary

www.twitter.com/Queendown4life

www.amazon.com/Kezia-Jones/e/B0080JDV54

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Much thanks to Kezia for stopping by!