January 8: Poets

January 8



I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.

~William Cowper (1731–1800), English poet and hymnodist



Modern poets talk against business, poor things, but all of us write for money. Beginners are subjected to trial by market.

~Robert Lee Frost (1874–1963), American poet who received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.



A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.

~Robert Lee Frost


Money Matters.05b

January 8: Humor

January 8

One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.
~Michael Cibenko

A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.
~Sidney J. Harris

Don’t panic!
~Arthur C. Clarke, when asked “If you could tell people one thing, just one thing, what would that be?” [from interview published in The Futurist, July-Aug 2008]

future 2mb

January 8: L’Epitaphe Villon: Ballade Des Pendus

L’Epitaphe Villon: Ballade Des Pendus

(Villon’s Epitaph: Ballad of the Hanged Men)


My brothers who live after us,

Don’t harden your hearts against us too,

If you have mercy now on us,

God may have mercy upon you.


Five, six, you see us, hung out to view.

When the flesh that nourished us well

Is eaten piecemeal, ah, see it swell,

And we, the bones, are dust and gall,

Let no one make fun of our ill,

But pray that God absolves us all.


No need, if we cry out to you, brothers,

To show disdain, if we’re in suspense

For justice’s sake. How few of the others

Are men equipped with common sense.


Pray for us, now beyond violence,

To the Son of the Virgin Mary,

So of grace to us she’s not chary,

Shields us from Hell’s lightning fall.

We’re dead: the souls let no man harry,

But pray that God absolves us all.


The rain has soaked us, washed us: skies

Of hot suns blacken us, scorch us: crows

And magpies have gouged out our eyes,

Plucked at our beards and our eyebrows.


There’s never a moment’s rest allowed:

Now here, now there, the changing breeze

Swings us, as it wishes, ceaselessly,

Beaks pricking us more than a cobbler’s awl.


So don’t you join our fraternity,


But pray that God absolves us all.

Prince Jesus, who has all sovereignty,

Preserve us from Hell’s mastery.


We’ve no business down there at all.

Men, you’ve no time for mockery.

But pray to God to absolve us all.


(Translated by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2004 All Rights Reserved
This work may be freely reproduced, stored, and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose.)