Uncle Bob’s Treasury of Great Poems (selection)

No ideas but in things. Mr.

Paterson  has gone away

to rest and write. Inside the bus one sees

his thoughts sitting and standing. His

thoughts alight and scatter —


When the nightingale to his mate

Sings day-long and night late

My love and I keep state

In bower,

In flower,

‘Til the watchman on the tower


               “Up! Thou rascal,  Rise

               I see the white


                                             and the night



Life and death were not

Until man made up the whole

Made it lock, stock   and barrel

Out of his own bitter soul


Blood, thou art blood;

Let’s write “Good angel” on the devil’s horn


2 partidges

2 mallard ducks

a dungeness crab

24 hours out

of the pacific

and a live–frozen



Night’s candles are burnt out and jocund day

Stand tiptoe on the misty mountain tops


Cast away in the winter river:

A dead dog frozen


I shall live, if she continues in life,

               I she dies, I will go with her.

Great Zeus, save the woman,

               or she will sit before your seat in a veil

               and tell out the long list of her troubles


How crows my love, my cavalier,

How struts he like a chanticlere.

Our nest is feathered with desire

And this yard safe from fox and fire;

But fallen on the dunghill, dead,

The soldier’s blood is rooster-red.

Alas, no chick of this sad cock

Will crow for Christ at dawn o’clock


The track of the American locomotive

And the usual  geese

               in the moonlight


The ploughland has gone to bent

And the pasture to heather;

Gin the goodwife stint

She’ll keep the house together

Gin the goodwife stint

And the bairns hunger

The Duke can get his rent

One year longer

helpful bob: gin = if; bairns = babes


Mountain pool:

               Frog jumps, PLOP–

                              lapping    slow wavelets


The enormous tragedy of the dream in the peasant’s

               bent shoulders

Manes!  Manes was tanned and  stuffed


                                               Biggest damned raven

                                               I ever saw flies howling

                                               caw caw caw Lord Lord

Norbert Weiner,  co-creator of Information Theory

and thus of the Net on which we speak to each other,

wrote in 1948 that great poetry contains more information than political speeches.

We cannot measure or define Information without

including the Receiver in the  measurement or definition.

This PRECISELY mirrors the observer/observed

synergy in quantum mechnics but has

received less publicity.

The only Information scientically and mathematically

measurable = the inability of the Receiver to guess

what’s coming next [the next “signal.’] In political

speeches, measurable information runs very near

the theoretical infinitesmal; the greatest poems

[or  fragments of poems] consist of  those that

have the faintly “spooky” quality of never

losing something of their original unpredictibility,

for at least some Receivers.

These “fragmnts  I have shelved [shored]”  wd not illusrate

this so well if I had attached the author’s name

to each, thereby triggering conitioned reflexes.

Comments are closed.