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Lefty's Thread for Inspirational, Interesting and Thought Provoking Reading.

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  • Lefty's Thread for Inspirational, Interesting and Thought Provoking Reading.

    So, expecting thread fail (as it's not about hate and vilification, which is something that you and I seem to do better) but indulge me anyway...

    Post up short writing that inspires you, captures your imagination, amuses you or just anything that you find interesting.

    My slant for this is probably toward fiction, but whatever. It could be contemporary, it could be centuries old, it could be by someone famous or someone not terribly well known. Maybe it's a poignant quote, a parable, maybe it's a poem or a short story from the bible or some other fictional collection. I don't know.

    Here's something to get it going, I really liked William Blake's writing style and use of imagery, this was one of his poems that I remember and quite like (and can maybe identify a little with):

    "Love seeketh not Itself to please,
    Nor for itself hath any care;
    But for another gives its ease,
    And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair."

    So sung a little Clod of Clay,
    Trodden with the cattle's feet;
    But a Pebble of the brook,
    Warbled out these metres meet:

    "Love seeketh only self to please,
    To bind another to Its delight,
    Joys in another's loss of ease,
    And builds a Hell in Heaven's despite."
    Originally posted by Ferris
    I love how PSB has turned into "Dear Martha"

    Figure shit out yourselves, retards.

  • #2

    Just jokes..


    • #3
      Originally posted by Nath View Post

      Just jokes..
      No one likes a thread shitter Nath,

      Can you help with foster care?


      • #4
        Brian Turner, Iraqi War veteran, soldier and poet.

        The poem is entitled 'Sadiq'

        It should make you shake and sweat,
        nightmare you, strand you in a desert
        of irrevocable desolation, the consequences
        seared into the vein, no matter what adrenaline
        feeds the muscle it's courage, no matter
        what god shines down on you, no matter
        what crackling pain and anger
        you carry in your fists, my friend,
        it should break your heart to kill.

        Also love the descriptive prose of William S. Burroughs. I shall find something to post up.
        Originally posted by Abuse this
        Get a load of this pussy, he wouldn't travel back in time to murder a baby.


        • #5
          My mum always used to say, when life hands you lemons "kill mob within spell duration with a soul gem of adequate quality for the mob's level to trap its soul"


          • #6
            Originally posted by redfern View Post
            So what part of the secret did you find inspirational, interesting or thought provoking? How has it changed your life since reading it, Redfern?
            Originally posted by Ferris
            I love how PSB has turned into "Dear Martha"

            Figure shit out yourselves, retards.


            • #7
              Sif' Im going to tell you the secret Lefty. It wouldn't be a secret then would it.
              My mum always used to say, when life hands you lemons "kill mob within spell duration with a soul gem of adequate quality for the mob's level to trap its soul"


              • #8
                Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back.
                Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
                All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
                A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
                Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

                It was on a noticeboard in a Physio clinic. I liked it so much I asked for a photocopy.
                I think it is called "Commitment" by Goethe.
                Happy to be corrected if neccessary.


                • #9
                  Raymond Chandler's riposte to the editor of The Atlantic Monthly, which corrected the split infinitives in his copy:

                  "By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss-waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed and attentive. The method may not be perfect, but it is all I have."

                  You tell 'em, Ray.
                  Originally posted by Melkor
                  The Saint is all over the answer like a Saint on a cupcake.


                  • #10
                    A simple poem I found recently...

                    On A Journey by Hermann Hesse

                    Don't be downcast, soon the night will come,
                    When we can see the cool moon laughing in secret
                    Over the faint countryside,
                    And we rest, hand in hand.

                    Don't be downcast, the time will soon come
                    When we can have rest. Our small crosses will stand
                    On the bright edge of the road together,
                    And rain fall, and snow fall,
                    And the winds come and go.

                    Somebody said it was sad and horrible, I didn't agree...It is beautiful


                    • #11
                      Well, it's a "short story" but it's much longer than anything in here so far.
                      I do really love it though

                      The White Ship
                      by H.P. Lovecraft

                      Spoiler: show
                      I am Basil Elton, keeper of the North Point light that my father and grandfather kept before me. Far from the shore stands the gray lighthouse, above sunken slimy rocks that are seen when the tide is low, but unseen when the tide is high. Past that beacon for a century have swept the majestic barques of the seven seas. In the days of my grandfather there were many; in the days of my father not so many; and now there are so few that I sometimes feel strangely alone, as though I were the last man on our planet.

                      From far shores came those white-sailed argosies of old; from far Eastern shores where warm suns shine and sweet odors linger about strange gardens and gay temples. The old captains of the sea came often to my grandfather and told him of these things which in turn he told to my father, and my father told to me in the long autumn evenings when the wind howled eerily from the East. And I have read more of these things, and of many things besides, in the books men gave me when I was young and filled with wonder.

                      But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean. Blue, green, gray, white or black; smooth, ruffled, or mountainous; that ocean is not silent. All my days have I watched it and listened to it, and I know it well. At first it told to me only the plain little tales of calm beaches and near ports, but with the years it grew more friendly and spoke of other things; of things more strange and more distant in space and time. Sometimes at twilight the gray vapors of the horizon have parted to grant me glimpses of the ways beyond; and sometimes at night the deep waters of the sea have grown clear and phosphorescent, to grant me glimpses of the ways beneath. And these glimpses have been as often of the ways that were and the ways that might be, as of the ways that are; for ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.

                      Spoiler: show
                      Out of the South it was that the White Ship used to come when the moon was full and high in the heavens. Out of the South it would glide very smoothly and silently over the sea. And whether the sea was rough or calm, and whether the wind was friendly or adverse, it would always glide smoothly and silently, its sails distant and its long strange tiers of oars moving rhythmically. One night I spied upon the deck a man, bearded and robed, and he seemed to beckon me to embark for far unknown shores. Many times afterward I saw him under the full moon, and never did he beckon me.

                      Very brightly did the moon shine on the night I answered the call, and I walked out over the waters to the White Ship on a bridge of moonbeams. The man who had beckoned now spoke a welcome to me in a soft language I seemed to know well, and the hours were filled with soft songs of the oarsmen as we glided away into a mysterious South, golden with the glow of that full, mellow moon.

                      And when the day dawned, rosy and effulgent, I beheld the green shore of far lands, bright and beautiful, and to me unknown. Up from the sea rose lordly terraces of verdure, tree-studded, and shewing here and there the gleaming white roofs and colonnades of strange temples. As we drew nearer the green shore the bearded man told me of that land, the land of Zar, where dwell all the dreams and thoughts of beauty that come to men once and then are forgotten. And when I looked upon the terraces again I saw that what he said was true, for among the sights before me were many things I had once seen through the mists beyond the horizon and in the phosphorescent depths of ocean. There too were forms and fantasies more splendid than any I had ever known; the visions of young poets who died in want before the world could learn of what they had seen and dreamed. But we did not set foot upon the sloping meadows of Zar, for it is told that he who treads them may nevermore return to his native shore.

                      Spoiler: show
                      As the White Ship sailed silently away from the templed terraces of Zar, we beheld on the distant horizon ahead the spires of a mighty city; and the bearded man said to me, “This is Thalarion, the City of a Thousand Wonders, wherein reside all those mysteries that man has striven in vain to fathom.” And I looked again, at closer range, and saw that the city was greater than any city I had known or dreamed of before. Into the sky the spires of its temples reached, so that no man might behold their peaks; and far back beyond the horizon stretched the grim, gray walls, over which one might spy only a few roofs, weird and ominous, yet adorned with rich friezes and alluring sculptures.

                      I yearned mightily to enter this fascinating yet repellent city, and besought the bearded man to land me at the stone pier by the huge carven gate Akariel; but he gently denied my wish, saying, “Into Thalarion, the City of a Thousand Wonders, many have passed but none returned. Therein walk only daemons and mad things that are no longer men, and the streets are white with the unburied bones of those who have looked upon the eidolon Lathi, that reigns over the city.” So the White Ship sailed on past the walls of Thalarion, and followed for many days a southward-flying bird, whose glossy plumage matched the sky out of which it had appeared.

                      Then came we to a pleasant coast gay with blossoms of every hue, where as far inland as we could see basked lovely groves and radiant arbors beneath a meridian sun. From bowers beyond our view came bursts of song and snatches of lyric harmony, interspersed with faint laughter so delicious that I urged the rowers onward in my eagerness to reach the scene. And the bearded man spoke no word, but watched me as we approached the lily-lined shore. Suddenly a wind blowing from over the flowery meadows and leafy woods brought a scent at which I trembled. The wind grew stronger, and the air was filled with the lethal, charnel odor of plague-stricken towns and uncovered cemeteries. And as we sailed madly away from that damnable coast the bearded man spoke at last, saying, "This is Xura, the Land of Pleasures Unattained.”

                      Spoiler: show
                      So once more the White Ship followed the bird of heaven, over warm blessed seas fanned by caressing, aromatic breezes. Day after day and night after night did we sail, and when the moon was full we would listen to soft songs of the oarsmen, sweet as on that distant night when we sailed away from my far native land. And it was by moonlight that we anchored at last in the harbor of Sona-Nyl, which is guarded by twin headlands of crystal that rise from the sea and meet in a resplendent arch. This is the Land of Fancy, and we walked to the verdant shore upon a golden bridge of moonbeams.

                      In the Land of Sona-Nyl there is neither time nor space, neither suffering nor death; and there I dwelt for many aeons. Green are the groves and pastures, bright and fragrant the flowers, blue and musical the streams, clear and cool the fountains, and stately and gorgeous the temples, castles, and cities of Sona-Nyl. Of that land there is no bound, for beyond each vista of beauty rises another more beautiful. Over the countryside and amidst the splendor of cities can move at will the happy folk, of whom all are gifted with unmarred grace and unalloyed happiness. For the aeons that I dwelt there I wandered blissfully through gardens where quaint pagodas peep from pleasing clumps of bushes, and where the white walks are bordered with delicate blossoms. I climbed gentle hills from whose summits I could see entrancing panoramas of loveliness, with steepled towns nestling in verdant valleys, and with the golden domes of gigantic cities glittering on the infinitely distant horizon. And I viewed by moonlight the sparkling sea, the crystal headlands, and the placid harbor wherein lay anchored the White Ship.

                      Spoiler: show
                      It was against the full moon one night in the immemorial year of Tharp that I saw outlined the beckoning form of the celestial bird, and felt the first stirrings of unrest. Then I spoke with the bearded man, and told him of my new yearnings to depart for remote Cathuria, which no man hath seen, but which all believe to lie beyond the basalt pillars of the West. It is the Land of Hope, and in it shine the perfect ideals of all that we know elsewhere; or at least so men relate. But the bearded man said to me, “Beware of those perilous seas wherein men say Cathuria lies. In Sona-Nyl there is no pain or death, but who can tell what lies beyond the basalt pillars of the West?” Nonetheless at the next full moon I boarded the White Ship, and with the reluctant bearded man left the happy harbor for untraveled seas.

                      And the bird of heaven flew before, and led us toward the basalt pillars of the West, but this time the oarsmen sang no soft songs under the full moon. In my mind I would often picture the unknown Land of Cathuria with its splendid groves and palaces, and would wonder what new delights there awaited me. “Cathuria,” I would say to myself, “is the abode of Gods and the land of unnumbered cities of gold. Its forests are of aloe and sandalwood, even as the fragrant groves of Camorin, and among the trees flutter gay birds sweet with song.

                      On the green and flowery mountains of Cathuria stand temples of pink marble, rich with carven and painted glories, and having in their courtyards cool fountains of silver, where purr with ravishing music the scented waters that come from the grotto-born river Narg. And the cities of Cathuria are cinctured with golden walls, and their pavements also are of gold. In the gardens of these cities are strange orchids, and perfumed lakes whose beds are of coral and amber. At night the streets and the gardens are lit with gay lanthorns fashioned from the three-colored shell of the tortoise, and here resound the soft notes of the singer and the lutanist. And the houses of the cities of Cathuria are all palaces, each built over a fragrant canal bearing the waters of the sacred Narg. Of marble and porphyry are the houses, and roofed with glittering gold that reflects the rays of the sun and enhances the splendor of the cities as blissful Gods view them from the distant peaks.

                      Fairest of all is the palace of the great monarch Dorieb, whom some say to be a demi-God and others a God. High is the palace of Dorieb, and many are the turrets of marble upon its walls. In its wide halls many multitudes assemble, and here hang the trophies of the ages. And the roof is of pure gold, set upon tall pillars of ruby and azure, and having such carven figures of Gods and heroes that he who looks up to those heights seems to gaze upon the living Olympus. And the floor of the palace is of glass, under which flow the cunningly lighted waters of the Narg, gay with gaudy fish not known beyond the bounds of lovely Cathuria.”

                      Spoiler: show
                      Thus would I speak to myself of Cathuria, but ever would the bearded man warn me to turn back to the happy shore of Sona-Nyl; for Sona-Nyl is known of men, while none hath ever beheld Cathuria.

                      And on the thirty-first day that we followed the bird, we beheld the basalt pillars of the West. Shrouded in mist they were, so that no man might peer beyond them or see their summits-- which indeed some say reach even to the heavens. And the bearded man again implored me to turn back, but I heeded him not; for from the mists beyond the basalt pillars I fancied there came the notes of singers and lutanists; sweeter than the sweetest songs of Sona-Nyl, and sounding mine own praises; the praises of me, who had voyaged far from the full moon and dwelt in the Land of Fancy. So to the sound of melody the White Ship sailed into the mist betwixt the basalt pillars of the West. And when the music ceased and the mist lifted, we beheld not the Land of Cathuria, but a swift-rushing resistless sea, over which our helpless barque was borne toward some unknown goal. Soon to our ears came the distant thunder of falling waters, and to our eyes appeared on the far horizon ahead the titanic spray of a monstrous cataract, wherein the oceans of the world drop down to abysmal nothingness.

                      Then did the bearded man say to me, with tears on his cheek, "We have rejected the beautiful Land of Sona-Nyl, which we may never behold again. The Gods are greater than men, and they have conquered." And I closed my eyes before the crash that I knew would come, shutting out the sight of the celestial bird which flapped its mocking blue wings over the brink of the torrent.

                      Out of that crash came darkness, and I heard the shrieking of men and of things which were not men. From the East tempestuous winds arose, and chilled me as I crouched on the slab of damp stone which had risen beneath my feet. Then as I heard another crash I opened my eyes and beheld myself upon the platform of that lighthouse whence I had sailed so many aeons ago. In the darkness below there loomed the vast blurred outlines of a vessel breaking up on the cruel rocks, and as I glanced out over the waste I saw that the light had failed for the first time since my grandfather had assumed its care.

                      And in the later watches of the night, when I went within the tower, I saw on the wall a calendar which still remained as when I had left it at the hour I sailed away. With the dawn I descended the tower and looked for wreckage upon the rocks, but what I found was only this: a strange dead bird whose hue was as of the azure sky, and a single shattered spar, of a whiteness greater than that of the wave-tips or of the mountain snow.

                      And thereafter the ocean told me its secrets no more; and though many times since has the moon shone full and high in the heavens, the White Ship from the South came never again.


                      • #12
                        This Be the Verse by Philip Larkin c1971

                        They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
                        They may not mean to, but they do.
                        They fill you with the faults they had
                        And add some extra, just for you.

                        But they were fucked up in their turn
                        By fools in old-style hats and coats,
                        Who half the time were soppy-stern
                        And half at one another's throats.

                        Man hands on misery to man.
                        It deepens like a coastal shelf.
                        Get out as early as you can,
                        And don't have any kids yourself.

                        Pure bloody genius if you ask me


                        • #13
                          The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot

                          Mistah Kurtz -- he dead.

                          A penny for the Old Guy


                          We are the hollow men
                          We are the stuffed men
                          Leaning together
                          Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
                          Our dried voices, when
                          We whisper together
                          Are quiet and meaningless
                          As wind in dry grass
                          Or rats' feet over broken glass
                          In our dry cellar

                          Shape without form, shade without colour,
                          Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

                          Those who have crossed
                          With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
                          Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
                          Violent souls, but only
                          As the hollow men
                          The stuffed men.


                          Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
                          In death's dream kingdom
                          These do not appear:
                          There, the eyes are
                          Sunlight on a broken column
                          There, is a tree swinging
                          And voices are
                          In the wind's singing
                          More distant and more solemn
                          Than a fading star.

                          Let me be no nearer
                          In death's dream kingdom
                          Let me also wear
                          Such deliberate disguises
                          Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
                          In a field
                          Behaving as the wind behaves
                          No nearer --

                          Not that final meeting
                          In the twilight kingdom


                          This is the dead land
                          This is cactus land
                          Here the stone images
                          Are raised, here they receive
                          The supplication of a dead man's hand
                          Under the twinkle of a fading star.

                          Is it like this
                          In death's other kingdom
                          Waking alone
                          At the hour when we are
                          Trembling with tenderness
                          Lips that would kiss
                          Form prayers to broken stone.


                          The eyes are not here
                          There are no eyes here
                          In this valley of dying stars
                          In this hollow valley
                          This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

                          In this last of meeting places
                          We grope together
                          And avoid speech
                          Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

                          Sightless, unless
                          The eyes reappear
                          As the perpetual star
                          Multifoliate rose
                          Of death's twilight kingdom
                          The hope only
                          Of empty men.


                          Here we go round the prickly pear
                          Prickly pear prickly pear
                          Here we go round the prickly pear
                          At five o'clock in the morning.

                          Between the idea
                          And the reality
                          Between the motion
                          And the act
                          Falls the Shadow

                          For Thine is the Kingdom

                          Between the conception
                          And the creation
                          Between the emotion
                          And the response
                          Falls the Shadow

                          Life is very long

                          Between the desire
                          And the spasm
                          Between the potency
                          And the existence
                          Between the essence
                          And the descent
                          Falls the Shadow

                          For Thine is the Kingdom

                          For Thine is
                          Life is
                          For Thine is the

                          This is the way the world ends
                          This is the way the world ends
                          This is the way the world ends
                          Not with a bang but a whimper.
                          Originally posted by Ferris
                          I love how PSB has turned into "Dear Martha"

                          Figure shit out yourselves, retards.


                          • #14
                            The Clock of Life

                            The clock of life is wound but once,
                            And no man has the power
                            To tell just when the hands will stop
                            At late or early hour.

                            To lose one's wealth is sad indeed,
                            To lose one's health is more,
                            To lose one's soul is such a loss
                            That no man can restore.

                            The present only is our own,
                            So Live, Love, toil with a will --
                            Place no faith in 'Tomorrow' --
                            For the clock may then be still.

                            Robert H. Smith
                            "He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice." Albert Einstein


                            • #15

                              I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
                              When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
                              When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
                              And the river flows like a stream of glass;
                              When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
                              And the faint perfume from its chalice steals -
                              I know what the caged bird feels!

                              I know why the caged bird beats his wing
                              Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
                              For he must fly back to his perch and cling
                              When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
                              And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
                              And they pulse again with a keener sting -
                              I know why he beats his wing!

                              I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
                              When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, -
                              When he beats his bars and he would be free;
                              It is not a carol of joy or glee,
                              But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
                              But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings -
                              I know why the caged bird sings!

                              Paul Laurence Dunbar

                              Dunbar's poem inspired Maya Angelou's Caged Bird :

                              The free bird leaps
                              on the back of the wind
                              and floats downstream
                              till the current ends
                              and dips his wings
                              in the orange sun rays
                              and dares to claim the sky.

                              But a bird that stalks
                              down his narrow cage
                              can seldom see through
                              his bars of rage
                              his wings are clipped and
                              his feet are tied
                              so he opens his throat to sing.

                              The caged bird sings
                              with a fearful trill
                              of the things unknown
                              but longed for still
                              and his tune is heard
                              on the distant hill
                              for the caged bird
                              sings of freedom.

                              The free bird thinks of another breeze
                              and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
                              and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
                              and he names the sky his own
                              But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
                              his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
                              his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
                              so he opens his throat to sing.

                              The caged bird sings
                              with a fearful trill
                              of things unknown
                              but longed for still
                              and his tune is heard
                              on the distant hill
                              for the caged bird
                              sings of freedom.