The Japanese have a Verse for it

Hut-300x204

The flow of the river is ceaseless

and its water is never the same.

The bubbles that float in the pools,

now vanishing, now forming,

are not of long duration;

so in the world are man and his dwellings…

They die in the morning,

they are born in the evening,

like foam on the water.”

– Kamo Chomei (1153-1216), Hojo-ki (An account of my hut), 1212

Seduction

Shalott

What manner of a man must Sir Launcelot du Lac have been to induce the melancholy, Lady of Shalott, to leave her loom and suffer the curse of certain death? One fleeting glance reflected in the mirror. Launcelot, Knight of the Holy Grail, a raven-haired, sun baked beauty. The medieval bad boy whose seduction of his liege’s queen ultimately led to the downfall of the Kingdom of Camelot. Were that we could bottle that enchanted essence today.

Donal Og

Ship

It is late last night the dog was speaking of you;
the snipe was speaking of you in her deep marsh.
It is you are the lonely bird through the woods;
and that you may be without a mate until you find me.

You promised me, and you said a lie to me,
that you would be before me where the sheep are flocked;
I gave a whistle and three hundred cries to you,
and I found nothing there but a bleating lamb .

You promised me a thing that was hard for you,
a ship of gold under a silver mast;
twelve towns with a market in all of them,
and a fine white court by the side of the sea.

You promised me a thing that is not possible,
that you would give me gloves of the skin of a fish;
that you would give me shoes of the skin of a bird;
and a suit of the dearest silk in Ireland .

When I go by myself to the Well of Loneliness,
I sit down and I go through my trouble;
when I see the world and do not see my boy,
he that has an amber shade in his hair.

It was on that Sunday I gave my love to you;
the Sunday that is last before Easter Sunday
and myself on my knees reading the Passion;
and my two eyes giving love to you forever.

My mother has said to me not to be talking with you today,
or tomorrow, or on the Sunday;
it was a bad time she took for telling me that;
it was shutting the door after the house was robbed.

My heart is as black as the blackness of the sloe,
or as the black coal that is on the smith’s forge;
or as the sole of a shoe left in white halls;
it was you put that darkness over my life.

You have taken the east from me, you have taken the west from me;
you have taken what is before me and what is behind me;
you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me;
and my fear is great that you have taken God from me!

– Translation by Lady Gregory

Billy Collins Reads Animated Poetry for TED and NPR

Proud to have been Poet Laureate, America’s most accessible poet, Billy Collins, reads poems from his Nine Horses collection in this animated talk for TED – Every Day Moments Caught in Time. Using five of the twelve animated poems New York agency JWT commissioned for their client, Sundance Channel, as his backdrop, Mr. Collins strides the stage in his usual comfortable down home way and charms the crowd to their feet with his wry suggestive tone.

When you get a poem [in a public place], it happens to you so suddenly that you don’t have time to deploy your anti-poetry deflector shields that were installed in high school.

~ Billy Collins: Everyday Moments, Caught in Time.

If you are even an occasional listener to NPR his is a voice you will recognize immediately and if you are not do yourself a favor and watch and listen to these poems – and you will see why Billy Collins has been credited with the accolade of bringing poetry to the masses.

TODAY, was one of the twelve Billy Collins poems chosen by JWT to be animated. Unharnessed from the usual client restraint the agency gave full unfettered creative freedom to their appointed animation studios. We count ourselves fortunate to be amongst them. In many ways the project was a watershed moment for us at Little Fluffy Clouds – it gave us the chance to do things differently – see for yourself.

You can see the entertaining Mr. Collins’ TED talk here: http://bit.ly/GW2C5m and see all the animated poems in the line-up here: Billy Collins Action Poetry. Listen to NPR’s TED Radio Hour here: http://n.pr/Npfer7. A treat for the ears, a feast for the eyes.