poetry thread

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Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:01 pm

blue moon wrote:
...took me ages to locate the hexagram and appropriate line.

...a snow white steed
progress delayed by a betrothal
unwarranted suspicion

Can you remember in which line the 6 or 9 appeared?
The Gap Minder

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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:25 pm

Line 6 for the FOURTH place

Six in the fourth place means:
Grace or simplicity?
A white horse comes as if on wings.
He is not a robber,
He will woo at the right time.

An individual is in a situation in which doubts arise as to which is better-to
pursue the grace of external brilliance, or to return to simplicity. The doubt
itself implies the answer. Confirmation comes from the outside; it comes like
a white winged horse. The white color indicates simplicity. At first it may be
disappointing to renounce the comforts that might have been obtained, yet
one finds peace of mind in a true relationship with the friend who courts
him. The winged horse is the symbol of the thoughts that transcend all limits
of space and time.


"The symbolism of Pegasus varies with time. Symbol of wisdom and especially of fame from the Middle Ages until the Renaissance, he became one symbol of the poetry and the creator of sources in which the poets come to draw inspiration, particularly in the 19th century. Pegasus is the subject of a very rich iconography, especially through the ancient Greek pottery and paintings and sculptures of the Renaissance. Personification of the water, solar myth, or shaman mount, Carl Jung and his followers have seen in Pegasus a profound symbolic esoteric in relation to the spiritual energy that allows to access to the realm of the gods on Mount Olympus."

Very Happy


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Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:51 am


I am very much obliged to you for that, Moony.

You understand that the treacherous young witch will always take second place in my affections. I love you
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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:59 am

eddie wrote:^

I am very much obliged to you for that, Moony.

You understand that the treacherous young witch will always take second place in my affections. I love you
...age and stealth will always defeat youth and inexperience


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Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:18 pm

blue moon wrote:
eddie wrote: Dante's first sight of Beatrice

...the musician ex-partner sent it as a postcard from Firenze, a long time ago. I still have it.

In the book, the painting gets an Elvis Costello caption:

When we first met I didn't know what to do
My old love lines were all worn out on you
And the world walked round my mouth
(Jack of All Parades- EC.)
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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:57 pm

eddie wrote:
Dante's first sight of Beatrice working on the gateline at Liverpool Street station.

In the book, the painting gets an Elvis Costello caption:

When we first met I didn't know what to do
My old love lines were all worn out on you
And the world walked round my mouth
(Jack of All Parades- EC.)

I've reached the Paradiso section of my contemporary Divine Comedy...been writing some more poems about my personal Beatrice...going to use this as as an epigraph for this section:

She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
"I thought you'd never say hello" she said
"You look like the silent type"
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
Tangled up in blue
(Bob Dylan)

Don't know that it really matters but Bob gets the century wrong: Dante lived in 14th c. Tuscany.

I'm looking forward to the book.... study


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:09 pm

pinhedz wrote:We have just learned that Svetlana's son has set a poem by Pablo Neruda to music, and that we will be performing it with the Metropolitan Chorus in April. Shocked


EL futuro es espacio,
espacio color de tierra,
color de nube,
color de agua, de aire,
espacio negro para muchos sueños,
espacio blanco para toda la nieve,
para toda la música.

Atrás quedó el amor desesperado
que no tenía sitio para un beso,
hay lugar para todos en el bosque,
en la calle, en la casa,
hay sitio subterráneo y submarino,
qué placer es hallar por fin,
un planeta vacío,
grandes estrellas claras como el vodka
tan transparentes y deshabitadas,
y allí llegar con el primer teléfono
para que hablen más tarde tantos hombres
de sus enfermedades.

Lo importante es apenas divisarse,
gritar desde una dura cordillera
y ver en la otra punta
los pies de una mujer recién llegada.

Adelante, salgamos
del río sofocante
en que con otros peces navegamos
desde el alba a la noche migratoria
y ahora en este espacio descubierto
volemos a la pura soledad.

...I haven't been able to find a translation.


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:14 pm


Pablo Neruda

The future is space,
earth-colored space,
color of water, air,
black space with room for many dreams,
white space with room for all snow,
for all music.

Behind lies despairing love
with no room for a kiss.
There's a place for everyone in forests,
in streets, in houses;
there's an underground space, a submarine space,
but what joy is to find in the end,
an empty planet
great stars clear as vodka,
so uninhabited and so transparent,
and arrive there with the first telephone
so that so many men can later discuss
all their infirmities.

The important thing is to be scarcely aware of oneself,
to scream from a rough mountain range
and see on another peak
the feet of a woman newly arrived.

Come on, let's leave
this suffocating river
in which we swim with other fish
from dwan to shifting night
and now in this discovered space
let's fly to a pure solitude

Artwork for the poem by someone called Caroline Attan


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:25 pm

cheers thank you vera.


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:26 pm

I live my life in growing orbits
by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 -1926)

I live my life in growing orbits
Which move out over the things of the world.
Perhaps I can never achieve the last,
but that will be my attempt.

I am circling around God, the ancient tower,
and I have been circling for a thousand years,
and I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm,
or a great song.


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:27 pm

The Agamemnon Rag
by Jack Conway

Atlas, you’re Homer. I am so glad you’re Hera.
Thera so many things to tell you. I went on that
minotaur of the museum. The new display centaurs
on how you can contract Sisyphus if you don’t use
a Trojan on your Dictys. It was all Greek to me, see.
When I was Roman around,
I rubbed Midas against someone. “Medea, you look like a Goddess,”
he said. The Minerva him! I told him to
Frigg off, oracle the cops. “Loki here,” I said.
“In Odin times men had better manners.” It’s best to try
and nymph that sort of thing in the bud. He said he knew
Athena two about women like me, then tried to Bacchus
into a corner. Dryads I could, he wouldn’t stop.
“Don’t Troy with my affections,” he said.
“I’m already going to Helen a hand basket.”
I pretended to be completely Apollo by his behavior.
If something like that Mars your day, it Styx with you
forever. “I’m not Bragi,” he said. “But Idon better.”
Some people will never Lerna. Juno what I did?
Valhalla for help. I knew the police would
Pegasus to the wall. The Sirens went off.
Are you or Argonaut guilty, they asked.
He told the cops he was Iliad bad clams.
He said he accidentally Electra Cupid himself
trying to adjust a lamp shade. This job has its
pluses and Minos. The cops figured he was Fulla it.
He nearly Runic for me. I’m telling you,
it was quite an Odyssey, but I knew things would
Pan out. And oh, by the way, here’s all his gold.
I was able to Fleece him before the museum closed.


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:28 pm

I Broke the Spell That Held Me Long
by William Cullen Bryant 1794–1878

I broke the spell that held me long,
The dear, dear witchery of song.
I said, the poet’s idle lore
Shall waste my prime of years no more,
For Poetry, though heavenly born,
Consorts with poverty and scorn.

I broke the spell–nor deemed its power
Could fetter me another hour.
Ah, thoughtless! how could I forget
Its causes were around me yet?
For wheresoe’er I looked, the while,
Was Nature’s everlasting smile.

Still came and lingered on my sight
Of flowers and streams the bloom and light,
And glory of the stars and sun; –
And these and poetry are one.
They, ere the world had held me long,
Recalled me to the love of song.


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:31 pm

Never Love Unless
by Thomas Campion 1567–1620

Never love unless you can
Bear with all the faults of man:
Men sometimes will jealous be
Though but little cause they see;
And hang the head, as discontent,
And speak what straight they will repent.

Men that but one saint adore
Make a show of love to more.
Beauty must be scorned in none,
Though but truly served in one:
For what is courtship but disguise?
True hearts may have dissembling eyes.

Men, when their affairs require,
Must awhile themselves retire;
Sometimes hunt, and sometimes hawk,
And not ever sit and talk.
If these and such-like you can bear,
Then like, and love, and never fear!


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:48 pm

by Arthur Rimbaud 1854–1891
translated By Wallace Fowlie

When the world is reduced to a single dark wood for our two pairs of dazzled eyes—to a beach for two faithful children—to a musical house for our clear understanding—then I shall find you.
When there is only one old man on earth, lonely, peaceful, handsome, living in unsurpassed luxury, then I am at your feet.

When I have realized all your memories, —when I am the girl who can tie your hands,—then I will stifle you.

When we are very strong, who draws back? or very happy, who collapses from ridicule? When we are very bad, what can they do to us.

Dress up, dance, laugh. I will never be able to throw Love out of the window.

—Comrade of mine, beggar girl, monstrous child! How little you care about the wretched women, and the machinations and my embarrassment. Join us with your impossible voice, oh your voice! the one flatterer of this base despair.

* * *
A dark morning in July. The taste of ashes in the air, the smell of wood sweating in the hearth, steeped flowers, the devastation of paths, drizzle over the canals in the fields, why not already playthings and incense?

* * *
I stretched out ropes from spire to spire; garlands from window to window; golden chains from star to star, and I dance.

* * *
The high pond is constantly streaming. What witch will rise up against the white sunset? What purple flowers are going to descend?

* * *
While public funds disappear in brotherly celebrations, a bell of pink are rings in the clouds.

* * *
Arousing a pleasant taste of Chinese ink, a black powder gently rains on my night, —I lower the jets of the chandelier, throw myself on the bed, and turning toward thedark, I see you, O my daughters and queens!

* * *


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:05 am

hello pinz...vera posted a translation ^


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Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:13 am

The Complete Poems by Philip Larkin, edited by Archie Burnett - review

An exhaustive, awe-inspiring monument to Philip Larkin

John Banville

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 25 January 2012 10.55 GMT

Sculpture of Philip Larkin by Martin Jennings in Hull's Paragon station. Photograph: Asadour Guzelian

A "Complete Poems" is a death certificate and memorial combined. After the Selected and the Collected, the Complete marks the poet's official demise and at the same time erects a carven monument designed to outlast the ages. In the case of this mighty volume of the all of Larkin, there is something too of the coroner's report. The Larkinesquely named Archie Burnett conducts a forensic examination of the poet's imaginative venture, and in the process leaves no headstone unturned. The result is awe-inspiring, exhaustive and faintly risible. Larkin himself would have made merciless fun of it, but the poet, and the librarian, in him would have been immensely pleased and proud.

The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin

Burnett, professor of English at Boston University and the editor of AE Housman's poems and letters, is a scholar to his pencil-tips; one suspects he was born with the word "definitive" stamped on his brow. A poet once Burnetted will stay Burnetted. In his introduction here he writes, managing to sound both defensive and well pleased with himself: "A major justification for a new edition is to provide, for the first time, a commentary on the poems. It covers: Larkin's many comments on his work; closely relevant historical contexts; persons and places; echoes and allusions; and linguistic usage."

Larkin is in what is probably the unique position of having two separate Collected Poems published after his death, one in 1988 and the second, for good or perhaps better measure, in 2003, both edited by Anthony Thwaite. The first time round Thwaite had come in for some stick from reviewers because of what they saw as his eccentric presentation of the poems, though all he had done was arrange them in chronological order of completion, thus mingling published and unpublished work and ignoring Larkin's own arrangements in the four slim volumes that he brought out in his lifetime. On the second go he sought to set all to rights. There are some of us who still prefer his original effort, eccentric or not.

Burnett in his acknowledgments pays rich tribute to Thwaite – "who over the years has done more than anyone for Larkin" – while taking, as he delicately puts it, "a different editorial view". The Burnett view is both panoptic and microscopic. The critical apparatus he erects approaches the shaky heights of Babel, yet the wealth and profusion of detail within it would purblind Larkin's own shivering sizar. There are moments too of unintentional mild comedy. Larkin, the most politically incorrect of poets, would have enjoyed, and snarled at, the citation Burnett offers from a fellow critic who, warning against a too literal linking of the poet's life and the poet's poems, "correctly insists that 'An April Sunday Brings the Snow' does not specify the sex of the 'you' addressed, the relationship of the speaker to that person, or indeed details of skin colour and ethnicity". True, of course, and a valid point, yet one finds it hard to resist the urge to respond as Larkin would have done in one of his outrageous letters to Kingsley Amis, by saying: "Bum".

However, we must settle down, here at the back of the class, and grant that The Complete Poems is an almost fanatically painstaking and altogether admirable piece of work. The publishers, though betraying a hint of desperation in their efforts to make the volume seem attractive to the common poetry reader – is there such a creature? – are right when they urge that "Archie Burnett's commentary establishes [Larkin] as a more complex and more literary poet than many readers have suspected." That it does, and much else besides.

Larkin had such an acute, anarchic and bleak sense of humour, or of the comic, at least – the comical and the humorous not being always synonymous – that we might be forgiven for taking him at his own face value. Although he produced some of the most delicately beautiful works of art of the 20th century, it amused him to present himself to the world as a cross between Colonel Blimp and The Archers' Walter Gabriel of old, and to adopt in his public utterances the baleful tones of an apoplectic stockbroker complaining about immigrants on the letters page of the Daily Telegraph. Self-depreciation was not second but first nature to him. Here he is in his rueful but not unfond Introduction to the 1966 Faber reissue of his first collection, The North Ship:

Looking back, I find in the poems not one abandoned self but several – the ex-schoolboy, for whom Auden was the only alternative to "old-fashioned" poetry; the undergraduate, whose work a friend affably characterised as "Dylan Thomas, but you've a sentimentality that's all your own"; and the immediately post-Oxford self, isolated in Shropshire with a complete Yeats stolen from the local girls' school.

That "local girls' school" is a quintessential Larkin detail, an interjection from his "Brunette Coleman" persona.

Yeats was one of Larkin's earliest and most compelling exemplars, thrust to his attention in a talk at Oxford by the poet Vernon Watkins – "impassioned and imperative, he swamped us with Yeats" – yet many other voices twitter in the backgrounds of his poems, early and late. For instance, what a soft surprise it is to come upon the Eliotian languishings of "Femmes Damnées" from 1943:

But the living room is ruby: there upon
Cushions from Harrods, strewn in tumbled heaps
Around the floor, smelling of smoke and wine,
Rosemary sits. Her hands are clasped. She weeps.

And who would have expected a little ode to, of all people and poets, Hart Crane – "At night / A thin mist blurred the Hudson, and he sought / Bell-bottomed sex, and the saloons like birds" – or a poem with a title in French, "(À un ami qui aime)"? And there are many other revelations. Indeed, the volume overall is one vast revelation.

Page-counting is always a vulgar and dispiriting exercise, but in this case the results are truly impressive. The book is divided roughly in half, into two large sections, "The Poems" and "Commentary", followed by a couple of brief appendices, the first devoted to Larkin's early collections that he made in 11 typescript booklets, the second to dates of composition. Of the 700-odd pages of text, a mere 90 accommodate the four volumes that Larkin published when he was alive – The North Ship (1945), The Less Deceived (1955), The Whitsun Weddings (1964) and High Windows (1974) – while nearly 300 are given to poems published but not collected, poems not published, and undated or approximately dated poems. As Burnett squarely declares: "This edition includes all of Larkin's poems whose texts are accessible," so that even "verses from letters, mainly short, and by turns sentimental, affectionate, satirical and scurrilous, are included." And yes, by the way, you will enjoy the satirical and scurrilous ones.

In the matter of publishing, Larkin was the most frugal of poets. One readily understands why he should wish to suppress or at least not display the bulk of his early work, in which, like so many (male) poets in their youth he spends so much of the time mirror-gazing. The pre-1945 poems throb with forced passion, as he struggles to give a metaphysical cast to his youthful lusts and longings for romance. But even after 1945, when he had discovered Hardy's poetry and forged his own voice, he left scores of wonderful poems undisclosed to public view.

At the same time, he made sure to preserve these pieces. Burnett quotes another Larkin scholar, James Booth, writing that "from 5 October 1944 to November 1980" – Larkin died in 1985, after five sadly fallow years – "he wrote (and carefully dated) virtually all his complete and incomplete drafts." From an early age, then, he was confidently looking forward to that "posthumous volume" that Thwaite, in his introduction to the 1988 Collected Poems, has him referring to often, even "if jocularly". As one goes through the uncollected and unpublished poems, one is confronted on every other page with first-rate work. Consider, for instance, the sonnet "And Now the Leaves Suddenly Lose Strength", a glorious evocation of autumn and one of Larkin's finest "death" poems. Only a major poet could have afforded to leave such a masterpiece unpublished. The Complete Poems reveals Larkin as a poet of great and rich abundance, and for this, and for so much else, we owe a debt of gratitude to his surely "definitive" editor.

John Banville's The Infinities is published by Picador.
The Gap Minder

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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:14 pm

by Phillip Larkin

The fire is ash: the early morning sun
Outlines the patterns on the curtains, drawn
The night before. The milk's been on the step,
The 'Guardian' in the letter-box, since dawn.

Upstairs, the beds have not been touched, and thence
Builders' estates, and the main road, are seen,
With labourers, petrol-pumps, a Green Line 'bus,
And plots of cabbages set in between.

But the living-room is ruby: there upon
Cushions from Harrod's, strewn in tumbled heaps
Around the floor, smelling of smoke and wine,
Rosemary sits. Her hands are clasped. She weeps.

She stares about her: round the decent walls
(The ribbon lost,her pale gold hair falls down)
Sees books and photos: 'Dance'; 'The Rhythmic Life';
Miss Rachel Wilson in a cap and gown.

Stretched out before her, Rachel curls and curves,
Eyelids and lips apart, her glances filled
With satisfied ferocity: she smiles,
As beasts smile on the prey they have just killed.

The marble clock has stopped. The curtained sun
Burns on: the room grows hot. There, it appears,
A vase of flowers has spilt, and soaked away.
The only sound heard is the sound of tears.


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:16 pm

Femmes Damnées - Delphine et Hippolyte
Charles Baudelaire 1857 (pub. 1866)
(trans ?)

By the pallid light of languid lamps,
On deep cushions steeped in fragrance,
Hippolyta relived the potent caresses
That had parted the veil of her virginity.

She sought, with eyes unsettled, disturbed,
The skies of innocence already remote,
Just as travellers look back to catch
A last glimpse of horizons fading by dawn.

The tears slowly filling her now vacant eyes,
Her exhaustion, her stupor, her voluptuous sorrow,
Her vanquished arms, cast down in submission,
All served to delineate her delicate beauty.

Reclining at her feet, poised in her delight,
Delphine gazed eagerly with flaming eyes
Like a powerful predator surveying her prey
Once she has marked it hers with her fangs.

Strong beauty kneeling before fragile beauty,
Superb, she voluptuously savoured
The wine of her triumph, reaching out
To gather the maiden's tenderest thanks.

She searched the face of her pale victim,
For the silent prayer that sings of pleasure,
And gratitude infinite and sublime
From fluttering eye-lids like a long sigh.

Hippolyta, my love, what is in your heart?
Do you understand now you do not have to give
The holy sacrifice of your first rose-bud
To violent storms that desecrate all?

My kisses are light as may-flies
That at dusk caress limpid lakes,
Those of men would gouge rough furrows
Like crude ploughs savaging your flesh;

Trampling you like a lumbering team
Of oxen with their brutal hooves...
Hippolyta, o my sister! turn to me,
You, my love, my heart, my bride, my all,

Turn to me your eyes of azure and starlight!
For one enchanting, heavenly, narcotic glance,
I would initiate you into darker pleasures
Entrancing you into a dream without end!

Then Hippolyta raised her youthful head:
I am not ungrateful, nor do I repent,
But my Delphine, I suffer and am distraught,
As after some sinful feast of the night.

I am paralysed by such crushing dread,
As black hordes of skeletal spectres
Drag me down ever-shifting paths
Relentlessly toward horizons of blood.

Have we done something unspeakable?
I beg you, soothe my terrors and dread;
I tremble with fear when you call me 'My angel!'
Even so my lips crave only yours.

Do not look at me like that, my soul!
You whom I love forever, my heart's only desire,
Even though you are the trap in which I am caught
And the gateway to my Damnation!

Then Delphine tossed her flowing mane of hair,
And like the tragic oracle on her tripod of fire,
Fatal-eyed, replied with a despotic voice:
Who in Love's presence dares speak of Hell?

Damned forever be that useless dreamer
Who first tried, in his stupidity,
Obsessed with arguments pointless and sterile,
To let morality intrude into matters of Love!

He who would unite in some magical harmony
Darkness with light, night with day,
Will never warm his miserable flesh,
In the red sunlight we know as Love!

Go, if you want, find some stupid youth;
Submit your virgin heart to his brutal lust;
And, filled with remorse, white lipped with horror,
Bring back to me your slaughtered breasts...

Here below you can satisfy but one sole Master!
But the girl, overcome in her distress,
Cried suddenly:- There is within me
A gaping abyss - this abyss is my heart!

Burning like lava, deep as a void!
Nothing satisfies this howling monster
Or slakes the thirst of the Furies
Who, torch in hand, burn into my blood.

Draw the shades to hide us from the world,
And from my lassitude may I find repose!
Let me annihilate myself in your deep bosom,
And find in your breast the respite of the tomb!

Descend, descend, lamentable victims,
Descend the path of eternal Hell!
Plunge the deepest gulf, where all crimes,
Are scourged by a wind not from Heaven sent,

Swirling, boiling with the noise of thunder.
Maddened shadows, run to the goal of your desires;
Never will you gratify your passions,
For from your pleasures your punishment is born.

Never more will light enter your dark cavern;
Though through cracks in the walls fevered miasmas
Filter in, and burning like censers
Suffuse your bodies with their corrupt perfumes.

Your ecstasies, sterile and bitter,
Will parch your throat and wither your skin,
And the raging tempest of your lust
Makes your flesh shudder like a torn flag.

Far from the living world, go wander, condemned,
Running like wolves across the desert,
Chase your destiny, reckless souls,
And flee the infinite you carry within you!


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:47 am

This is what I was writing in the chat:


La luna vino a la fragua
con su polisón de nardos.
El niño la mira, mira.
El niño la está mirando.

En el aire conmovido
mueve la luna sus brazos
y enseña, lúbrica y pura,
sus senos de duro estaño.

Huye luna, luna, luna.
Si vinieran los gitanos,
harían con tu corazón
collares y anillos blancos.

Niño, déjame que baile.
Cuando vengan los gitanos,
te encontrarán sobre el yunque
con los ojillos cerrados.

Huye luna, luna, luna,
que ya siento sus caballos.

Niño, déjame, no pises
mi blancor almidonado.

El jinete se acercaba
tocando el tambor del llano.
Dentro de la fragua el niño,
tiene los ojos cerrados.

Por el olivar venían,
bronce y sueño, los gitanos.
Las cabezas levantadas
y los ojos entornados.

Cómo canta la zumaya,
¡ay, cómo canta en el árbol!
Por el cielo va la luna
con un niño de la mano.

Dentro de la fragua lloran,
dando gritos, los gitanos.
El aire la vela, vela.
El aire la está velando.

Ballad of the moon

The moon came into the forge
in her bustle of flowering nard.
The little boy stares at her, stares.
The boy is staring hard.

In the shaken air
the moon moves her amrs,
and shows lubricious and pure,
her breasts of hard tin.

"Moon, moon, moon, run!
If the gypsies come,
they will use your heart
to make white necklaces and rings."

"Let me dance, my little one.
When the gypsies come,
they'll find you on the anvil
with your lively eyes closed tight.

"Moon, moon, moon, run!
I can feel their horses come."
"Let me be, my little one,
don't step on me, all starched and white!"

Closer comes the horseman,
drumming on the plain.
The boy is in the forge;
his eyes are closed.

Through the olive grove
come the gypsies, dream and bronze,
their heads held high,
their hooded eyes.

Oh, how the night owl calls,
calling, calling from its tree!
The moon is climbing through the sky
with the child by the hand.

They are crying in the forge,
all the gypsies, shouting, crying.
The air is veiwing all, views all.
The air is at the viewing.

By Federico García Lorca
Translated by Will Kirkland


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:16 am

Contra Jaime Gil de Biedma
(de Jaime Gil de Biedma)

De qué sirve, quisiera yo saber, cambiar de piso,
dejar atrás un sótano más negro
que mi reputación -y ya es decir-,
poner visillos blancos
y tomar criada,
renunciar a la vida de bohemio,
si vienes luego tú, pelmazo,
embarazoso huésped, memo vestido con mis trajes,
zángano de colmena, inútil, cacaseno,
con tus manos lavadas,
a comer en mi plato y a ensuciar la casa?

Te acompañan las barras de los bares
últimos de la noche, los chulos, las floristas,
las calles muertas de la madrugada
y los ascensores de luz amarilla
cuando llegas, borracho,
y te paras a verte en el espejo
la cara destruida,
con ojos todavía violentos
que no quieres cerrar. Y si te increpo,
te ríes, me recuerdas el pasado
y dices que envejezco.

Podría recordarte que ya no tienes gracia.
Que tu estilo casual y que tu desenfado
resultan truculentos
cuando se tienen más de treinta años,
y que tu encantadora
sonrisa de muchacho soñoliento
-seguro de gustar- es un resto penoso,
un intento patético.
Mientras que tú me miras con tus ojos
de verdadero huérfano, y me lloras
y me prometes ya no hacerlo.

Si no fueses tan puta!
Y si yo no supiese, hace ya tiempo,
que tú eres fuerte cuando yo soy débil
y que eres débil cuando me enfurezco...
De tus regresos guardo una impresión confusa
de pánico, de pena y descontento,
y la desesperanza
y la impaciencia y el resentimiento
de volver a sufrir, otra vez más,
la humillación imperdonable
de la excesiva intimidad.

A duras penas te llevaré a la cama,
como quien va al infierno
para dormir contigo.
Muriendo a cada paso de impotencia,
tropezando con muebles
a tientas, cruzaremos el piso
torpemente abrazados, vacilando
de alcohol y de sollozos reprimidos.
Oh innoble servidumbre de amar seres humanos,
y la más innoble
que es amarse a sí mismo!

This is the only translation I've found:

Against Jaime Gil de Biedma
by Jaime Gil de Biedma

why should i, i'd like to know, change flat,
leave behind a basement blacker
than my reputation -and that's saying something-
put up white net curtains
and get a maid,
give up this bohemian life
if later you come, twat
embarassing guest, dickhead dressed in my suit
beehive drone, useless, shithead
with your washed hands
to eat from my plate and dirty my house

the bars of the bars acompany you
the last of the night, the pimps, the flirts
the dead streets of the early morming
and lifts with yellow light
when you arrive, drunk,
and you stop to look at yourself in the mirror
your face destroyed
with still violent eyes
thet you dont want to shut. And if i tell you off,
you laugh, you remind me of the past
and you say i'm getting old.

I could remind you you're not funny any more.
That your casual style and your cool
seem bad tempered
when you're more than thirty
and that your charming
young man's dreamy smile
-really lovely- is the sad left-over,
a crap try.
While you look at me with your eyes
of true orphan, and you cry to me
and you promise not to do it any more.

If you weren't such a slag!
And if I knew, ages ago,
that you are strong while i am weak
and that you are weak when i get mad...
I have a blurry impression of when you come back
of panic, of sadness and unhappiness,
and the desperation
and the impatience and the resentment
of suffering again, one more time,
the unforgivable humilliation
of excessive privacy

i can hardly take you to bed,
like someone who is going to hell
to sleep with you.
Dying with each impotent step,
banging into the furniture
fumbling, we cross the flat
hugging each other ungainly, hesitating
from alcohol and from repressed tears
Oh ignoble servitude loving human beings
and the most ignoble of all
that is loving oneself!


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:52 am

Y después

Los laberintos
que crea el tiempo,
se desvanecen.

(Sólo queda
el desierto.)

El corazón
fuente del deseo,
se desvanece.

(Sólo queda
el desierto.)

La ilusión de la aurora
y los besos,
se desvanecen.

Sólo queda
el desierto.
Un ondulado

And afterwards

The labyrinths
that time creates

(Only the desert

The heart,
fountain of desire,

(Only the desert

The illusion of dawn
and kisses

Only the desert

by Federico García Lorca


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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:05 am

La Casa Del Sol

Oye un canto mi corazón
me pongo a llorar
me lleno de dolor

Nos vamos entre flores
Tenemos que dejar esta tierra
Estamos prestados unos a otros

Iremos a la casa del sol

No es verdad que se vive aquí,
Aquí en la tierra
Un sueño es.

El oro se rompe
El jade se quiebra
La pluma de Quetzal se desgarra
Como una pintura, nos borraremos

Iremos a la casa del sol


I hear a song in my heart
and I start to cry
I fill up with pain

We are walking amongst a field of flowers
And we have to leave this Earth.
We are only borrowing each other.

We will go to the house of the Sun.

It is not true that we live here,
here on Earth.
It is only a dream.

Gold will be destroyed.
Jade will break.
The feather of Quetzal will tears.
Like a painting, we will be erased.
We will go to the house of the sun.

hmmm I've found this version on youtube but it seems like a combination of several ballads... telling from the ones I've read in Spanish ("Ballads of the Lords of New Spain")

If I trust the internet, the author would be Nezahualcoyotl, a philosopher, warrior, architect, poet and ruler (tlatoani) of the city-state of Texcoco in pre-Columbian Mexico.


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Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:23 am

John Keats – autumnal idealist or trenchant social commentator?

Traditionally regarded as a bucolic idyll, Keats's ode 'To Autumn' has a hitherto unsuspected political edge, say scholars

Alison Flood

guardian.co.uk, Friday 23 March 2012 12.16 GMT

Was a burning sense of social injustice, rather than soothing walks by the river Itchen, the shaping influence behind Keats's ode To Autumn? Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

The bucolic calm of John Keats's "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" hides a searing criticism of contemporary landowners, according to a group of Aberystwyth academics.

The 23-year-old Keats spent time in Winchester in the summer of 1819, planning to finish his poem "Lamia" but instead composing "To Autumn". The ode, with its idyllic images of ripening fruit, drowsing workers and a maturing sun, was published the following year, and was originally thought to have been inspired by the poet's regular walks through the meadows by the river Itchen.

However, after analysing maps and records from the time, Professor Richard Marggraf Turley of Aberystwyth University and fellow researchers Jayne Archer and Howard Thomas believe it was the view from St Giles's Hill that informed the poem – giving it a previously unsuspected political edge.

"We found a walking guide which Keats would have used, and at the front there is an engraving of the view from St Giles's Hill," said Marggraf Turley. "People have looked at it for years, but it suddenly occurred to us that what looked like shading was actually a ploughed furrow."

They looked through archives to discover the leasehold for the field at the time, and discovered the city-facing slopes had just been appropriated for corn by the banker Nicholas Waller, who had been buying as much of Winchester's grain-producing land as possible during a period of record bread prices.

Keats, they knew, had written in a letter to his sister Fanny about climbing St Giles's Hill; the scenes of harvesting, labour, fruit and flowers that he records in the poem would all have been visible from the elevated vantage point. "The scenes don't make sense if he was by the water meadows – if he was on the hill then suddenly it is no longer a series of unconnected images," said Marggraf Turley.

The poem was written at a time of national debate around fair wages for labour as bread prices spiralled; Keats's mentor, Leigh Hunt, had railed against the practice of financial and leasehold consolidation. With this background in mind, the suggestion that Keats was looking at actual fields, rather than writing about an imagined idyll of autumnal perfection, also sheds new light on the labourer in the poem, "sitting careless on a granary floor", or "on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep".

"Suddenly the scenes of idleness in the poem seem to look more interesting," said Marggraf Turley. "It's not a charming scene of a sleeping labourer, but a worn-out labourer who can't afford to buy the corn he is harvesting."

Keats, Marggraf Turley said, is seen as a "transcendental genius, interested in the big themes – love and death and art. But we're saying no. He looked at things with an accurate poet's eye, and was able to record acute human struggle … We're suggesting that To Autumn is not a bucolic idyll, but a far angrier poem. It's been seen as a poem of solace and comfort, but a far more interesting Keats appears when you realise he was a young man who was plugged in, who was looking straight on at what he viewed as exploitation."

And the corn fields today? Buried, said Margraff Turley, under a multi-storey car park.
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 62
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Re: poetry thread

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:32 am

My hero: John Keats by Andrew Motion

'It's hard – no, it's impossible – to think of another writer who suffered and achieved so much in such a short time at such an early age'

Andrew Motion

guardian.co.uk, Friday 13 April 2012 22.47 BST

'The man we discover is fierce in his dislikes, generous in his friendships, passionate in his loves.' Photograph: Mary Evans/Rue des Archives/PVDE

The story of John Keats has an irresistible pathos: the humble origins; the early death of his father; his mother's disappearance, reappearance, illness and (again) early death; the noble labours as a trainee doctor; the even more noble aspirations as a poet; the peerlessly precocious flowering (he was 23 when he wrote most of the great poetry); the appalling illness; the courage with which he endured it; the tragic journey to Rome; the miserable end. It's hard – no, it's impossible – to think of another writer who suffered and achieved so much in such a short time at such an early age.

These things alone are enough to make Keats seem heroic. But while they instantly catch our attention and keep our sympathy, they can also detain us in a way that blinds us to the actual texture of his personality – his everyday self; the self that lived beneath and within the tragic narrative of his circumstances.

This is where his real heroism resides. We can see it, of course, in the poems – in their profound concern for the deepest questions in life (what is suffering for? How can art help us enjoy and endure? How much does love weigh compared to death? ). We can find it even more clearly in his letters, which by their nature allow us to hear Keats's speaking voice – because their comparative informality encourages him to produce a different kind of immediacy.

The man we discover is fierce in his dislikes, generous in his friendships, passionate in his loves, funny, generous, big-hearted, clever, compassionate, brilliant in his apprehensions about the business of writing, seriously good fun and marvellously well able to combine what we would call highbrow seriousness with japes, larks and capers. If that's not a heroic combination I don't know what is.
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 62
Location : Desert Island

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Re: poetry thread

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:47 pm

Keats' "Ode on Indolence"
(from: http://englishhistory.net/keats/poetry/odeonindolence.html)

Ode on Indolence

This ode was written in spring 1819, between mid-March and early June. On 19 March Keats wrote of his 'sort of temper indolent' in a letter to his brother George and sister-in-law Georgiana. And on 9 June, he told one Miss Jeffrey that 'the thing I have most enjoyed this year has been writing an ode to Indolence'. The ode was first published in 1848.

In the letter to George and Georgiana, Keats described his indolence: 'This is the only happiness; and is a rare instance of advantage in the body overpowering the Mind.' The ode itself is the least well-known of the six great odes of 1819. Most critics consider it the least accomplished of the group.

The epigraph is from Matthew 6:28.


'They toil not, neither do they spin.'

One morn before me were three figures seen,
With bowed necks, and joined hands, side-faced;
And one behind the other stepp'd serene,
In placid sandals, and in white robes graced:
They pass'd, like figures on a marble urn,
When shifted round to see the other side;
They came again; as when the urn once more
Is shifted round, the first seen shades return;
And they were strange to me, as may betide
With vases, to one deep in Phidian lore.

How is it, shadows, that I knew ye not?
How came ye muffled in so hush a masque?
Was it a silent deep-disguised plot
To steal away, and leave without a task
My idle days? Ripe was the drowsy hour;
The blissful cloud of summer-indolence
Benumb'd my eyes; my pulse grew less and less;
Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath no flower.
O, why did ye not melt, and leave my sense
Unhaunted quite of all but - nothingness?

A third time pass'd they by, and, passing, turn'd
Each one the face a moment whiles to me;
Then faded, and to follow them I burn'd
And ached for wings, because I knew the three:
The first was a fair maid, and Love her name;
The second was Ambition, pale of cheek,
And ever watchful with fatigued eye;
The last, whom I love more, the more of blame
Is heap'd upon her, maiden most unmeek, -
I knew to be my demon Poesy.

They faded, and, forsooth! I wanted wings:
O folly! What is Love? and where is it?
And for that poor Ambition - it springs
From a man's little heart's short fever-fit;
For Poesy! - no, - she has not a joy, -
At least for me, - so sweet as drowsy noons,
And evenings steep'd in honied indolence;
O, for an age so shelter'd from annoy,
That I may never know how change the moons,
Or hear the voice of busy common-sense!

A third time came they by: - alas! wherefore?
My sleep had been embroider'd with dim dreams;
My soul had been a lawn besprinkled o'er
With flowers, and stirring shades, and baffled beams:
The morn was clouded, but no shower fell,
Though in her lids hung the sweet tears of May;
The open casement press'd a new-leaved vine,
Let in the budding warmth and throstle's lay;
O shadows! 'twas a time to bid farewell!
Upon your skirts had fallen no tears of mine.

So, ye three ghosts, adieu! Ye cannot raise
My head cool-bedded in the flowery grass;
For I would not be dieted with praise,
A pet-lamb in a sentimental farce!
Fade softly from my eyes, and be once more
In masque-like figures on the dreary urn;
Farewell! I yet have visions for the night,
And for the day faint visions there is store;
Vanish, ye phantoms, from my idle spright,
Into the clouds, and never more return!


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