Meyran Kraus

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Original text in yellow, anagram in pink.

Two celestial poems, La Fuite de la Lune ("The Flight of the Moon") by Oscar Wilde and De Profundis ("Out of the Depths") by Christina Rossetti, which were anagrammed as a single block into 2 close paraphrases. This was done so that the anagrams could possess an additional, lipogrammatic constraint: the first is written without any Es, and the second without Ts (the 1st and 2nd most common letters in English).

La Fuite de la Lune

To outer senses there is peace,
A dreamy peace on either hand,
Deep silence in the shadowy land,
Deep silence where the shadows cease.

Save for a cry that echoes shrill
From some lone bird disconsolate;
A corncrake calling to its mate;
The answer from the misty hill.

And suddenly the moon withdraws
Her sickle from the lightening skies,
And to her sombre cavern flies,
Wrapped in a veil of yellow gauze.


De Profundis

Oh why is heaven built so far,
Oh why is earth set so remote?
I cannot reach the nearest star
That hangs afloat.

I would not care to reach the moon,
One round monotonous of change;
Yet even she repeats her tune
Beyond my range.

I never watch the scatter'd fire
Of stars, or sun's far-trailing train,
But all my heart is one desire,
And all in vain:

For I am bound with fleshly bands,
Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
And catch at hope.

Lily Moon That Trails

A calm - that of a saintly sort,
A soft hush in contrasting tracts:
All still on strands with dark intact,
And still on lit up, dormant ports -

But stray hoot (that I can't discount)
Of tardy rail without its batch;
A suitor, crying to its match
That chirps back, from a hazy mount...

Oh! Instantly, a Night Orb floats
Away from taut dawn's youthful air -
And trails on to its distant lair,
In outfit of a dainty coat.


Beseech From Somewhere Deep

Oh, Eden, yonder - cheery shore!
My home's a hidden, feeble sphere...
Hey, even Venus - leagues-galore
Away from here!

I never cherished Moon's wan face,
Her cheerless glow... And even SHE
Has essence or a holy grace
None ever see!

Oh, epic scenes escape my heed -
Where rays sidereal are beamed...
Here, deep in me, lies one wee need
(If unredeemed);

Under harsh spell of blood and bone,
Jeer, fineness are high, overhead.
Whenever lone, I clench my own
Keen wish I pled.

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"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to." (In 'Catch 22' by Joseph Heller)

"Why, when Canadian & US dollars were 10 cents off on each side of the border (the Canadian dollar was 90 US cents in the states; the US dollar was 90 Canadian cents in Canada) - that fervid month, my boy Heff moseyed to some bar on the US side, wheezed "10 US cents worth of whisky!", paid 1 US dollar, then got 1 Canadian dollar in change. He then crossed the border to Canada, wheezed "Why, fetch me 10 Canadian cents worth of Jim Beam!", paid 1 Canadian dollar and was given 1 US dollar... After days, Heff was woozy - yet with the first dollar on him!"

"Oh my... Who paid for the booze?"

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A sonnet by Longfellow, anagrammed into a paraphrase which takes it in a graver direction. Also, to fit the anagram's mood, if you read down each 5th word you'll find Thomas Hobbes's (alleged) last words: "I am about to take my last voyage, the great leap into the dark!"

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Into the darkness and the hush of night
Slowly the landscape sinks, and fades away,
And with it fade the phantoms of the day,
The ghosts of men and things, that haunt the light,
The crowd, the clamor, the pursuit, the flight,
The unprofitable splendor and display,
The agitations, and the cares that prey
Upon our hearts, all vanish out of sight.
The better life begins; the world no more
Molests us; all its records we erase
From the dull common-place book of our lives,
That like a palimpsest is written o'er
With trivial incidents of time and place,
And lo! the ideal, hidden beneath, revives.

Mey K.
A Death

Through land of shade I step, though strictly still.
The den, where I am ending, disappears;
Then harsh scenes flash about, and though unclear,
I sense they point to old loves, unfulfilled;
The paths I didn't take, the fights I've lost,
The rippled echo of my better dreams...
The worries, at long last, are now all dim -
Off to the hidden voyage to new hosts.
For death is but the slab that's smooth and plain,
While on it, life's great moments are engraved
In letters sharp, which leap out from the stone.
When I was thrown into confining pain,
I knew that it's the clean slab that I'd crave;
Dull, putrid shard of dark to call my own.

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Updated: May 10, 2016


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