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Sunday, June 12, 2011

PLAYING FAVORITES – PROMPT #7

Take your favorite line, from your favorite poem, by your favorite poet. Make that line the inspiration and title of your poem. Shine a fresh new light and write.


Marie Elena’s effort:


What sort of poet has a difficult time choosing between Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky … and King David? I finally chose King David, who truly is the ultimate praise poet. I have so many favorite lines from his psalms, but must say that I am partial to De Jackson’s life-motto: From Psalm 61, a psalm of David: “And I'll be the poet who sings your glory - and live what I sing every day.” This has become my own personal daily prayer as well. Several of the psalmist’s expressed feelings found their way into my sonnet, below.



AN IMPERFECT POET

My Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.
In Him, I live and breathe, and take delight.
Yet, even though I’m awed and stand amazed,
My hollow words do not reflect His might.

How regal is Your name in all the earth!
Lord, who am I, that You would care for me?
Creator of my heart before my birth,
I long for it to be a light for Thee.

Now, “may the meditation of my mind,
And words upon my lips,” as David urged,
“Be pleasing in Your sight,” and may You find
Offensive ways concealed in me, now purged.

Imperfect poet, bound in mercy’s frame,
I seek to daily lift Your sacred name.




Walt’s Week # 7 Poem:

My favorite poem from one of my favorite poets is “A Man In His Life” by Yehuda Amichai. In it there is this line:

“A man doesn't have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
he begins to forget.”


WHEN HE LOVES HE BEGINS TO FORGET

Her face retains some semblance
of familiarity, a rarity these days.
He says he can recall a time when
she was his sunshine on a cloud filled sky,
but he cannot remember her name.
The smile is soft and comforting,
yet he doesn’t know why she smiles.
“Have you seen my wife?” he asks,
confused by her tears. “She was just here.”
Her head lowers to the bed in sobs.
A hand reaches to comfort and caress.
“Dear, don’t cry. I love you,” he states
“but, what is your name?”

38 comments:

  1. Oops. Apparently, I didn't follow our rules very well. My title doesn't fit the prompt instructions. BAD host. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    (Since I'm out here, I just gotta say that I'm in love with Walt's poem. Wow.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like almost all of Charles Bukowski's work.This one is called "Are You Drinking?"

    'Something is
    walking across the
    floor
    towards me.
    Oh,it's just
    my cat
    this time.'

    Last time
    it was my
    ex
    who had
    been living
    under my desk
    for
    two years
    unbeknown
    to me


    Rose Black

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marie...what sort of poet? MY sort of poet! All my faves, as well! Loooove your poem. (Yours too, Walt.) Off to try to pen my own...

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  4. You do well this morning, Marie and Walt, to bring me to tears so early in the day. I'll be back later, I promise.

    And Happy Sunday to you, sweet Marie.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Live Like Children

    Age saw two quiet children
    Go loving by at twilight*
    Holding hands and skipping
    Twas quite a lovely sight

    Without a care or worry
    Over looming senescence
    They hit the ground a'rolling
    In earth’s field of innocence

    Until they set their eyes above
    Reveled in the moment’s hand
    Made wishes on stars falling
    Reveled in God’s mighty land

    *Carpe Diem by Robert Frost
    “Age saw two quiet children
    Go loving by at twilight,”

    ReplyDelete
  6. Marie, you inspired me to go a less traditional route... If I could group hymnwriters as my favorite "poets" and old-time hymns as my favorite "poems," then one I like especially is "Be Still, My Soul" by Ka­tha­ri­na A. von Schle­gel.
    This poem is inspired by the fourth line of the second stanza: "All now mysterious shall be bright at last."

    BRIGHT AT LAST

    Someday
    we shall flee this clouded world,
    throw off our dingy cloaks of sorrow like
    penniless strangers no longer destitute,
    dissolve the filth of our tears in perfection.

    And we,
    who now walk homeless on this earth,
    shall keep mansions in cities of gold, all
    uncommonly crafted, and we shall live
    eternally at home with the eternal Life,

    In whose
    radiance will flee shadowed imperfection,
    drab fragments made whole, dimmed souls
    enlightened by sun-surpassing glory, and
    all now mysterious shall be bright at last.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The last line there should be in quotes, as it's taken directly from the original hymn.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here is one from a favorite poet of mine, Cesar Vallejo.

    To My Brother Miguel In Memoriam

    Brother, today I sit on the brick bench of the house,
    where you make a bottomless emptiness.
    I remember we used to play at this hour, and mama
    caressed us: "But, sons..."

    Now I go hide
    as before, from all evening
    lectures, and I trust you not to give me away.
    Through the parlor, the vestibule, the corridors.
    Later, you hide, and I do not give you away.
    I remember we made ourselves cry,
    brother, from so much laughing.

    Miguel, you went into hiding
    one night in August, toward dawn,
    but, instead of chuckling, you were sad.
    And the twin heart of those dead evenings
    grew annoyed at not finding you. And now
    a shadow falls on my soul.

    Listen, brother, don't be late
    coming out. All right? Mama might worry.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my. I'm awed by your works so far. If these first few are any indication, choosing only one to highlight is going to be nearly impossible.

    Elizabeth, I believe this is your best so far, and I've seen excellent work come from your "pen" at P.A.

    Hugs to you, Clauds. =)

    De, your 3 favorites as well? No surprise there!

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Are you - Nobody - too?"

    In a house full of children
    the answer is always the same.
    Nobody did it, saw it, or heard it
    and this drives their parents insane.

    "Are you - Nobody - too?" is a line from Emily Dickinson's wonderful poem "I'm Nobody! Who are You?"



    Trying to Read the Face of My Father

    A man of few words, I
    began reading my father's face
    when I teetered just knee-high.
    Gauging the safety of
    the environment by the
    movements of his
    deep brown eyes.


    One of my favorite novels written in poems is The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith. The book is for middle grades. The line "trying to read the face of my father" is from the poem "Photo Op" found in this moving book.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Let him be rich and weary, that at least,/ If goodness lead him not, yet weariness/ May toss him to my breast. George Herbert—The Pulley

    Rich and Weary

    Life is a mixed bag,
    a weaving,
    a tossed salad of good and bad.
    So many blessings!
    Miraculous bodies,
    Beautiful creation to explore,
    Friends and family,
    Technological wonders!
    And yet, life can be so miserable,
    full of pain and trouble.
    In the good times, let’s run to Him
    and give Him praise and thanksgiving,
    so when it’s time to seek Him
    for His help, peace and comfort,
    we will know the way
    and be familiar with His voice.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Elizabeth- Absolutely breath-taking!

    Shannon- 'Nobody' hangs around my house, too.

    I added to mine. Here's the link to my poetry blog if you're interested.

    http://lkharris-kolp.blogspot.com/2011/06/live-like-children.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well, poetry lovers, school is out and I am back. Love this site, have kept up on my reading, but just not able to write and post very often.

    One of my favorite poems is by Billy Collins called "Introduction to Poetry." I love it because he describes how a poem should or should not be read, implying that teachers kill poetry by trying to get students to get the meaning out of words, rather than just enjoying the beauty of the poem.

    Here's the line:

    "But all they want to do
    is tie the poem to a chair with rope
    and torture a confession out of it."

    Poetry Reading

    The lines he wrote were scratched in ink, some smears
    along the margins. Folded words he penned

    to her with loops of L’s and O’s in Bic
    he borrowed. Rhyming words with silly pleas

    to never leave him, figures sketched beside
    his poem drawn to make her smile. That note

    he wrote in English class when Mr. Hughes
    was teaching sonnets, verse and metered feet

    while tapping beats, “da, Dum, da, Dum da, Dum.”
    He slipped the page across the aisle to Joe

    who passed it––Hughes then grabbed the note and read
    the poem. Mouths agape, they stared at both

    who blushed and shook while Hughes kept reading all
    to twenty kids who did not move or hear

    a single word. The fate of couplets, verse
    and trochees lost in fear and horror shared.

    The lesson learned, the note returned, the class
    then left the room. His poem shared, he bowed

    his head and dropped the note into the trash.
    She pulled it out and pressed his fragile words

    into her breast. She hid that note inside
    her book. The poem fresh, she breathed his verse.


    Kim King

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, some amazing poems already... Laurie & Marie, thanks SO much for your encouragement!

    Marie, love the final couplet of yours.
    Walt, your poem brought tears to my eyes- and that doesn't happen easily!
    Laurie, enjoyed your response, especially the revision on your blog.
    Connie, a favorite poet of mine as well, and enjoyed the truth in your take on his words.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Here's Jane Shlensky's poem for today:

    Heart Leaps



    The storm swept in that sunny afternoon

    fat drops joined by hail stones

    washing down the parking lot

    to overflowing gutters.

    Then lightning cracking

    and something strange that

    we had never seen—rolling fire

    among the hail stones.

    My students rushed to see,

    calling to me over their shoulders,

    quick or you’ll miss it,

    but it lasted too long for

    even the most carefree among us,

    balls of lightning rolling

    among the cars, fear tightening

    the muscles in my chest,

    my heart pounding.



    And then, like a switch thrown,

    the rain stopped but for latent mist,

    and sun beamed brighter than before,

    a challenge to other weather elements.

    I headed home searching the skies

    for rainbows, so keen my need

    that I very nearly ran head-on into

    another lane of traffic.

    No one would have known or cared

    that I needed a rainbow

    that I dearly hoped my heart eased,

    to leap with joy, with beauty

    to behold, to smile

    that this familiar prism of nature

    might yet win the day.

    Shaken by my near miss, reminded

    of the speed with which life can change

    forever, I drove on weighted

    with a new understanding of time and

    mortality, when there it was,

    shimmering with color,

    arched above the river,

    perfect as a domed gateway to grace,

    my entry into “natural piety.”



    From Wordsworth’s “My Heart Leaps Up”, 1807

    “My heart leaps up when I behold

    A rainbow in the sky:

    So was it when my life began;

    So is it now I am a man;

    So be it when I shall grow old,

    Or let me die!

    The Child is father of the Man;

    And I could wish my days to be

    Bound each to each by natural piety.”

    ReplyDelete
  16. The line (and subsequent title of my poem) "To be or not to be, what's the big diff?" is from Dean Young's poem, "Enter Fortinbras." It is a wonderful poem from a wonderful poet. There are even videos of him reading this particular poem (along with other poems) on YouTube. Anyway, that is the inspiration. Here is the poem:


    "To be or not to be, what's the big diff?"


    How strange it is to arrive somewhere
    wearing the same body but feeling as if you had new armor
    or were looking out from behind the eyes of an unrecognizable salamander,
    our lives cursed and blessed with moments
    of self awareness and self realization.

    It took 25 years to learn to difference between be and will be,
    between living and living.
    For some it takes even longer
    or never occurs at all.
    Who wouldn't want to be a hummingbird
    humming and birding near the feeder on the back deck,
    or any one of the 16 Eastern Goldfinches eyeing the ceramic monkey
    unconcerned about their financial security
    or how they would go about their sobriety today?
    We're all alone and not alone.
    The storm was so small
    you could see both ends of it in the backyard,
    its roar bigger than its puppy nip,
    but hey, someone has to bring the thunder.

    You don't need a clue
    or don't need to look for them
    because you are not entrusted with the mystery.
    The darkened clouds come and go
    but they do not darken the world.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Henry Reed's "Naming of Parts" is sad and funny and sly and sexy. I keep coming back to it.


    Nathan Gatewelder Longs for Spring

    "which in our case we have not got"

    Nathan Gatewelder put away childish things
    became a member in good standing, an adult
    with sensible shirts and foolish ones, and a dog,
    white with brown splotches, who came whenever called.

    But, in the summer
    Nathan longed for spring

    He moved from an apartment to a brick house
    with an attached garage, a green lawn mower,
    a small maple tree with fringed plum copper leaves,
    and an attic filled with someone else's past.

    And in the winter
    Nathan longed for spring

    Nathan built a deck with a stone-lined fire pit,
    a chiminea, and a big propane grill.
    He invited friends from work to parties,
    and married a woman with two small children.

    Yet, still, in the fall
    Nathan longed for spring

    when life is restless
    and carbonated
    and a man may be
    excused for wanting
    to stand in the wind
    holding a red kite.

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  18. (Hey! Cool, no verification code)
    kiss, kiss

    ReplyDelete
  19. “When I pray for you, I also pray for myself.”
                                         —Mirabai


    this kid pierces me though
    turns my body to flash fire
    a feral look beyond rage
    and i can’t be sure what species
    we belong to
    the bear or the beetle
    something that eats its young
    or destroys its sire

    in that accusation
    is the crucible of years
    the deadly kung fu
    of unappeasable caterwaul
    and the reason after reasons flee
    impulse before libraries of wisdom
    surrender of shedding live skin

    sure as any animal is chemical
    adrenaline will not let me sleep
    i need a new lair
    i need a medicinal berry
    or for the moon to set

    and in the morning
    this kid runs balm through me
    a beatific smile beyond cosmic
    and i’m still not sure what species
    we belong to
    the bear or the beetle
    something that carries its young
    to the only safe corner of the ocean
    or something whose only program
    is to nourish its queen
    with morning honey


    DA



    PS: Marie and Walt, thanks hugely for the prompt. It opened the cork for me today. I'm feeling a lot of fondness, respect and friendship for you both.

    ReplyDelete
  20. ‘Twixt Those That Love

    That most perplexing of math, in the beginning,
    charmed us, as we two became one flesh.

    And sure enough, we clung to each other’s heart
    like second skin, flesh to flesh by night,

    staying within sight once we reached home
    after days that passed in their usual humdrum way.

    Can we account for spaces in our togetherness
    then, surely more than the Prophet prescribed?

    We might retrace our steps, flip back pages
    year by year, to learn when our walkway

    first began to resemble eggshells, when talk
    hedged on uncertainty or fell dully silent.

    No bitter seed has grown there; of that I am sure.
    What I fear almost more is that hollow space

    neither you, nor me, nor us, bridging the distance
    growing where it ought not, ‘twixt those that love.


    an excerpt from a favorite:
    "My words are nearly always an offense.
    I don't know how to speak of anything
    So as to please you. But I might be taught,
    I should suppose. I can't say I see how.
    A man must partly give up being a man
    With womenfolk. We could have some arrangement
    By which I'd bind myself to keep hands off
    Anything special you're a-mind to name.
    Though I don't like such things 'twixt those that love.
    Two that don't love can't live together without them.
    But two that do can't live together with them."

    --from “Home Burial” by Robert Frost

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, my, such marvelous verse here already. I feel positively overwhelmed by the expertise shown by everyone.

    I will post mine piece anyway. I hope all enjoy it.

    This is a favorite of mine from Maya Angelou’s poem “Touched by An Angel”

    "We Are Weaned From Our Timidity"

    "We are weaned from our timidity"
    When encouragement flows
    From those who would see us blossom,
    Ever displaying petals of bright colors,
    Petals of meaning which catch the eye
    And touch the heart with a palette from love.
    For when our lives become open for others
    To appreciate, to honor, to share without fear,
    "We are weaned from our timitdity."

    ReplyDelete
  22. Taking my cue from Marge Piercy’s poem title: “To have without holding”


    To have and to hold

    To have and to hold, from this day forward,
    For better, for worse… Glowing words uttered
    Haltingly, like lines from a high school play,
    Learned by heart, yet still alien. Today
    Is a necessary burden, offered

    To assuage the desires of well-mannered
    Society. A photo-op prepared
    With eight-by-tens for all to take away
    To have and to hold

    Forever. But in truth, what just occurred
    In this place, the flowers, lace, high-collared
    Dress, unity flame, champagne toast, DJ,
    First dance, are but the entrance toll they pay
    For life to which they have not yet matured
    To have and to hold.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This week, you have all added to my reading list. Not only do I want to be sure to read what everyone is writing, but now I want to go back and read the works that inspired each poem.

    Kim K., it's funny that you see "Introduction to Poetry" as what teachers want to do to poetry. As the instructor, it's my students who want me just to tell them what the poem means and what they need to know for the test. I love the potential ambiguity of poetry, the way it speaks to us all in such a variety of voices.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Nancy, that is not a bad idea. I intend to do the same and get (re)acquainted with these pieces and their authors. Loving the work here recently more than I have said. Thanks to all for making this an enjoyable and enlightening endeavor. Walt.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one who loves his fellow men."


    Abou Ben Adhem loved his fellow men
    but they didn't have internet forums then.
    For if they had I'm certain of this
    he'd have been on a number of lists,
    and on them all he would have been first
    but alphabetically not as best or worst.

    ReplyDelete
  26. “What would you say to me, if you could talk to me. You could ask anything, I wouldn’t mind. But you’re okay with this damaging awkwardness. So, I’ll just play it safe and keep it inside. Boys don’t cry. I used to hold your hand so tight there was no question, but now even when your near, I’ve never felt so alone.“

    We made plans. Plans that stated we would beat the odds we were given. We were to never become like our parents. To maintain our childhood innocence and never give up. Marry with a family not to be broken up by divorce or an unloving marriage. When did drugs, smoking and drinking become yet another answer? You walk around missing the point of your walk. You walk so tall and fearless on the outside, but I see you. I see how scared you are. We were always going to be there for each other. I need you. Do you need me? Am I worth your change? When will you admit to yourself your lose and accept your imperfections? Your imperfect as am I, but we still need to strive for the perfection given inside.

    We were made out to be mistakes. we weren’t given a fair start in this world. So, yes it is a little harder, and we have to strive, and work harder. But why won’t you? I know it is easier to say I give up and walk away. I hold my hand out to you. I pray for you day in, day out, just awaiting your arrival back to our Father. I love you with the heart I have, but I need you back, I need you to wake up.
    I don’t know how much longer I can get hurt. How much longer I can sit on the sidelines waiting and watching our plan just crumble, fade into what you call your life. Today I make my own plan. I will beat the crappy odds given to me, with flying colors. I will use you as an example. An example of the choices you have made and decide to do the opposite. I won’t drink, I won’t smoke. My life will be what we wanted, because I owe it to me, I owe it to God, and I owed it to you. You want to protect me. But all your doing is hurting me. I will always be there for you, but now it’s time I protect myself, I will build a wall between you and I. My fear is you won’t notice the wall I’ll build, you’ll forget our plans and won’t come back. I wish it meant as much to you as me. Until it does I’m left to just pray that you will once again return.

    “Friend, I don’t know where you are and I don’t know where you‘ve been. Maybe you’re fighting for your life or just about to throw the towel in, but if you’re crying out for mercy, if there’s no hope left at all. If you’ve given everything you’ve got and you’re still about to fall. Well hold on!”

    Citation First quote: Boy's don't cry-Plumb
    Second quote: Always- Building 429

    ReplyDelete
  27. So much talent out here, and such a variety of styles and personalities.

    Daniel Ari, thanks so much for the kind comment. It pleases me greatly to have your talent included at our humble site.

    "Dreamer," it is WONDERFUL to have you join us! Everyone, she is one of the many sweethearts from our church youthgroup. Good stuff, hon. Keep 'em coming. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Michael Grove said:


    The Lord is My Shepherd

    I shall want not nothing more
    and shed earthly pain.
    The Lord is my shepherd
    He has healed me again.

    I lay down in green pastures.
    By still waters I rest.
    The Lord is my shepherd.
    I am at my best.

    He leadeth me rightly
    in His names sake.
    The Lord is my shepherd.
    He will not forsake.

    Though I walk thru the valley
    I have no more fears.
    The Lord is my shepherd.
    Rod and staff comfort tears.

    He prepares me a table,
    oil anoints my head.
    The Lord is my shepherd.
    Praise each word of Psalms read.

    Good and mercy shall follow.
    My cup runneth over.
    I shall dwell in His house
    forever and ever.


    By Michael Grove
    Copyright 6/15/2011
    ~and~
    King David - 10th century BC

    ReplyDelete
  29. Michael Grove said:


    Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day?

    Shall I compare thee to a Summers day?
    I see the parallels in every way.
    Your eyes are brighter than the burning sun.
    You gaze thru my windows here with each one.
    Your smile is a warm breeze out of the West.
    Filling my heart up with vigor and zest.
    Your lips are for kissing like warm raindrops.
    When our lips meet my heart truthfully stops.
    There’s nothing more grand than tip of your nose.
    I melt in heat as I glance at your toes.
    I live for thee Summers’ vision with grace.
    The solstice in you lights up my dim face.
    When in your absence. My personal plight.
    I wait in darkness. A cold moonless night.

    By Michael Grove

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  30. I agree with "What kind of poet?" LOL. Silverstein and King David. Now that's my kind of poetry.

    ReplyDelete
  31. As Marie, I am most inspired by the Psalmists. Psalm 1 may have been written by David or his son Solomon. I lean toward the latter, as it reads so much like the Proverbs he penned.

    Psalm 1
    Blessed is the man
    who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
    or stand in the way of sinners
    or sit in the seat of mockers.
    But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
    He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
    and whose leaf does not wither.
    Whatever he does prospers.


    A Tree Planted by Streams of Water
    (a poem to my husband)

    Every being is created to flourish, despite the end result.
    Surroundings, nourishment and choices contribute
    to the strength, stamina and sustainability of the subject.

    You have chosen the right path, the right counsel,
    the right Leader to follow. You are a flourishing tree
    planted by streams of water, yielding much fruit.

    All who venture near your shadow find comfort, refuge,
    Godly counsel. A shelter for your children, a strong tower
    for your mate. No withering leaves, prospering for eternity!

    ~Kelly
    http://livingfourreal.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  32. One of my favorites:

    “may my heart always be open to little
    birds who are the secrets of living
    whatever they sing is better than to know
    and if men should not hear them men are old” -- E.E.Cummings


    This Is My Wish


    May my heart always be open to little
    birds who are the secrets of living;
    may I never not see the amazing
    acrobatic antics of chickadees
    and hummingbirds, the happy
    flap-glide flight pattern of finches;
    may I noway not glory in the graceful
    swerve and swoop of swallows,
    nor ever fail to be bemused by co-
    mingling of formal raiment and nasal horn
    of nuthatches, nowise omit to marvel
    over multi-lingual mockingbirds,
    or disremember to delight in sweet
    dawn song of robins, and innocent,
    incessant beg & badger of
    peckish fledglings; this is my
    wish: may I always be young
    enough that my eyes and
    my ears and my heart
    are ever open
    and so, too,
    may you


    PSC

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  33. I suppose it's better late than never. Here is my poem, which I also used for the "in-form" post (among others! ...click here if you want to read the process notes: Catching Up).

    Plans and dreams unmet, our future slipping through my fingers.
    A brick wall, when viewed differently, could really be the next step.
    I welcome God’s words: “For I know the plans I have for you…”

    ~Paula

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  34. Choose a favourite poet?
    Impossible, there are so many.
    Marie and Walt come close.

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  35. Kelly, yours made me tear up. I love you guys so much.

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  36. Ooops! Looks like I can't follow directions. :-O
    Guess my title should be something like:
    "May My Heart Always Be Open".
    I'll try to read the instructions better next time!
    Sorry! ;-)
    PSC

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