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Thursday, December 1, 2016

december is for this | JUDY GARLAND

This is something I knew as a kid. Judy Garland was a poet. I don't remember how I found out...

In late 1939, Judy published a small book of poetry she had written. The book was published privately, and she only gave copies to some of her closest friends. The poems in that book are presented below:

The Wish
Would that my pen were tipped
with a magic wand
That I could but tell of my
love for you
That I could but write with
the surge I feel
When I gaze upon your sweet
face -

Would that my throat were
blessed by the nightingale
That I could but sing of
my heart's great love
In some lonely tree flooded
with silver
Sing till I burst my breast
with such passion
Sing, then fall dead to lay
at your feet.

The First Cigarette
I was a woman
Glamorous, sparkling,
With eyes that shone, guarding secrets untold,
Lips that were petulant, pouting and bold
With a body moulded to gentlemen's delight
And pedicured toe-nails shining and bright.

I patronized night clubs,
Danced until three.
And hundreds of men
Were mad about me.

Then, in a panic
My dream began to cool,
I mashed out the cigarette
And was late for school.

An Illusion
How strange when an illusion dies
It's as though you've lost a child
Whom you've cherished and protected
Against the wilds of the storms and hurts
In this frightening world.
Your child is dead.
An hysterical frenzy possesses you
Your precious, virtuous dream has been taken,
Torn from your defensive, guarding breast.
Next a morose loneliness descends
You're a pitiful stumbling creature
Lost in the woods of despair.
Suddenly you see a light.
You straighten, and walk with steady footsteps into the sun
Time has done her work.
Your dream is gone - yes -
And you light a candle in your heart
In a rememberance of something never to be recovered,
But deep in your soul, in its embryonic state,
another illusion is maturing
Waiting to grow strong and radiant
Only to be crushed and join the other.

What is imagination, that it should make me so wasteful?
We cast away priceless time in dreams,
Born of imagination, fed upon illusion, and put
to death by reality.
How many lives this illusive creature has.
We create him through ecstatic joy, morbid loneliness,
through mere pensive thought.
We nourish him, we glorify him, we build him,
we add to him to make him strong.
We place him on a pedestal with a heavenly light
upon his innocent head.
Then we crush him with a change of thought,
But he will be born again.

My Love Is Lost
My love is lost.
I held it as a handful of sand, clenching my fist
to hold it there.
Yet, bit by bit, it slipped through my straining fingers.

Now, nothing but memories of every smile, every kiss,
and, above all, every word.
For 'twas not into my ear you whispered but into
my heart.
'Twas not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

And when I opened my tired hand and found my
love was gone
I trembled and died.

I struggle to hide my deadness.
To conceal the emptiness in my eyes,
that sparkle with tears always so close
but never come.

My mind quivers and screams, fight, fight to live
But why?
My handful of existence has vanished.
My love is lost.
My love is lost.

Lover's Goodbye to a Departing Soldier
How pitiful we are, my love.
How helpless against a world gone mad,
with strife, struggle, selfishness and hate.

How weak we are, my love.
Trampled beneath powers unknown to our hearts and minds.
How useless be our toil, my love.
Fighting to hold back such powers with our small
hands and hopes.

Let us cease our struggle, my love.
'Tis to no avail.
For we have been dragged to the feet of fate.
Ordered into the bloody fray.
Commanded to hush the hideous drums that
rock the earth's foundation.

Go from me, my love,
Go from the scene of your happy childhood.
Your happy, madcap, carefree childhood.
Ah, yes, remember such freedom.
Go from the cities you have learned to love.
Such tranquility in their hubbub,
Such peace in their turmoil.
Ah yes, remember such peace.
Say au revoir, not goodbye, as the lady of our
hearts fades from your view.

She will be waiting,
As I shall be waiting to clasp you when you return.
Leave me, my love.
Leave sun and moon and wind and rain
and hope and life behind.

Tread into darkness, oblivion, blindly,
Walk with tragedy by your side.
Fight, my love.

Kill and laugh as thou kill more and more,
Lest thou be killed first.
Hear not screams of pain and agony.
See not ground run red with gore.
Feel no remorse as thou destroy,
For this is a game of destruction and slaughter.

But keep me not in your heart and mind.
Fill them with justice and liberty.
Leave no room for me.
Destroy thou must,
But thou shalt be a saviour.
Lift up the bowed head of the tired soldier
to point out the sun of freedom,
shining into his frightened eyes through
the clearing battle smoke.
Give back, with hysterical gaiety what has been
stolen so treacherously.
Make the winds of liberty blow strongly
O'er green field and heather.
Make all men free, as we are free.
But leave no room in your heart for me.
Fill it with justice and liberty,
And leave me here to wait for thee.

But come back to me, my love.
Not as thou stand before me now.
But half gone, half dead, half departed.
If body sound, thought and mind contorted.
Return my love.
I ask not all of you, for that shall not be mine again.
Come back changed, unrecognizable,
But, oh, my love,
Come back.

Deny Me Not
Cry not to me, "thou hast wronged!"
Say not, of my footsteps, "that they be unheeding"
With steps so steady and sure as time,
I tread unto a sea of fire,
Of heartbreak, and of joy supreme.
Yet terrifying for its unending depth, of fatality,
humility, tragedy, and through these, ghostly reality.

God above, call not your wrath upon me.
Demand me not to hate my love.
Order me not to cast out my heart.
Recognize my love.
Bestow blessings, as should love be blessed.
Recognize its glowing purity.
Not incomprehension, which mars its beauty.
Oh, God, deny not my love to me.
'Tis helpless, 'tis crippled.
Yet, 'tis worthy of thee.

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