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poetry thread

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Nah Ville Sky Chick
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Post  Guest Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:47 am

It is good to find people who appreciate poetry . I have always enjoyed it . I am very fond of Keats, Yeats, and many others .
When I was a teacher I always read lots of poetry to children .
There are many fine Australian poets including the old favourites Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson.
As literature Poetry does not sell well.
Despite my efforts the poetry section in most book shops is the smallest.

Last edited by Doc Watson on Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : saw something wrong)


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Post  Constance Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:52 am

Song of Myself by Walt Whitman, the first 6 stanzas


I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.


Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the
distillation, it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz'd whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine,
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing
of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and
dark-color'd sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,

The sound of the belch'd words of my voice loos'd to the eddies of
the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the earth much?
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions
of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through
the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.


I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.

Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and
increase, always sex,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of life.
To elaborate is no avail, learn'd and unlearn'd feel that it is so.

Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well
entretied, braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.

Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen,
Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn.

Showing the best and dividing it from the worst age vexes age,
Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they
discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself.

Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be
less familiar than the rest.

I am satisfied--I see, dance, laugh, sing;
As the hugging and loving bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the night,
and withdraws at the peep of the day with stealthy tread,
Leaving me baskets cover'd with white towels swelling the house with
their plenty,
Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization and scream at my eyes,
That they turn from gazing after and down the road,
And forthwith cipher and show me to a cent,
Exactly the value of one and exactly the value of two, and which is ahead?


Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and
city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss
or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news,
the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with
linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.


I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you,
And you must not be abased to the other.

Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not
even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.

I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn'd over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue
to my bare-stript heart,
And reach'd till you felt my beard, and reach'd till you held my feet.

Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass
all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women
my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love,
And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap'd stones, elder, mullein and


A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green
stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see
and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I
receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them,
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out
of their mothers' laps,
And here you are the mothers' laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken
soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
end to arrest it,
And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

Posts : 500
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 67
Location : New York City

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Post  Guest Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:01 pm

Doc Watson wrote:There are many fine Australian poets including the old favourites Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson.
I've always liked this one:

Faces in the Street
Henry Lawson

They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone
That want is here a stranger, and that misery’s unknown;
For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet
My window-sill is level with the faces in the street —
Drifting past, drifting past,
To the beat of weary feet —
While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair,
To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care;
I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet
In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street —
Drifting on, drifting on,
To the scrape of restless feet;
I can sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

In hours before the dawning dims the starlight in the sky
The wan and weary faces first begin to trickle by,
Increasing as the moments hurry on with morning feet,
Till like a pallid river flow the faces in the street —
Flowing in, flowing in,
To the beat of hurried feet —
Ah! I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

The human river dwindles when ’Tis past the hour of eight,
Its waves go flowing faster in the fear of being late;
But slowly drag the moments, whilst beneath the dust and heat
The city grinds the owners of the faces in the street —
Grinding body, grinding soul,
Yielding scarce enough to eat —
Oh! I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

And then the only faces till the sun is sinking down
Are those of outside toilers and the idlers of the town,
Save here and there a face that seems a stranger in the street,
Tells of the city’s unemployed upon his weary beat —
Drifting round, drifting round,
To the tread of listless feet —
Ah! My heart aches for the owner of that sad face in the street.

And when the hours on lagging feet have slowly dragged away,
And sickly yellow gaslights rise to mock the going day,
Then flowing past my window like a tide in its retreat,
Again I see the pallid stream of faces in the street —
Ebbing out, ebbing out,
To the drag of tired feet,
While my heart is aching dumbly for the faces in the street.

And now all blurred and smirched with vice the day’s sad pages end,
For while the short ‘large hours’ toward the longer ‘small hours’ trend,
With smiles that mock the wearer, and with words that half entreat,
Delilah pleads for custom at the corner of the street —
Sinking down, sinking down,
Battered wreck by tempests beat —
A dreadful, thankless trade is hers, that Woman of the Street.

But, ah! to dreader things than these our fair young city comes,
For in its heart are growing thick the filthy dens and slums,
Where human forms shall rot away in sties for swine unmeet,
And ghostly faces shall be seen unfit for any street —
Rotting out, rotting out,
For the lack of air and meat —
In dens of vice and horror that are hidden from the street.

I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure
Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?
Ah! Mammon’s slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat,
When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street,
The wrong things and the bad things
And the sad things that we meet
In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street.

I left the dreadful corner where the steps are never still,
And sought another window overlooking gorge and hill;
But when the night came dreary with the driving rain and sleet,
They haunted me — the shadows of those faces in the street,
Flitting by, flitting by,
Flitting by with noiseless feet,
And with cheeks but little paler than the real ones in the street.

Once I cried: ‘Oh, God Almighty! if Thy might doth still endure,
Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.’
And, lo! with shops all shuttered I beheld a city’s street,
And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet,
Coming near, coming near,
To a drum’s dull distant beat,
And soon I saw the army that was marching down the street.

Then, like a swollen river that has broken bank and wall,
The human flood came pouring with the red flags over all,
And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution’s heat,
And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street.
Pouring on, pouring on,
To a drum’s loud threatening beat,
And the war-hymns and the cheering of the people in the street.

And so it must be while the world goes rolling round its course,
The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse,
But not until a city feels Red Revolution’s feet
Shall its sad people miss awhile the terrors of the street —
The dreadful everlasting strife
For scarcely clothes and meat
In that pent track of living death — the city’s cruel street.


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Post  Guest Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:26 pm

Constance wrote:Song of Myself by Walt Whitman, the first 6 stanzas

Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

215. Aboard at a Ship’s Helm

ABOARD, at a ship’s helm,
A young steersman, steering with care.

A bell through fog on a sea-coast dolefully ringing,
An ocean-bell—O a warning bell, rock’d by the waves.

O you give good notice indeed, you bell by the sea-reefs ringing,
Ringing, ringing, to warn the ship from its wreck-place.

For, as on the alert, O steersman, you mind the bell’s admonition,
The bows turn,—the freighted ship, tacking, speeds away under her gray sails,
The beautiful and noble ship, with all her precious wealth, speeds away gaily and safe.

But O the ship, the immortal ship! O ship aboard the ship!
O ship of the body—ship of the soul—voyaging, voyaging, voyaging.


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Post  ISN Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:15 pm

Gigi wrote:
Catherine wrote:E F Catherine.....hehehe am I missing something......heheheh (I'm sure I'm missing heaps of stuff but quite what E F stands for I'm not sure)

I might have to revoke your messing around with my name rights

I would guess Endlessly Fascinating Cool

thanks Gigi - silly me..... Embarassed

in the future they'll be able to do brain transplants cheers
Endlessly Fascinating

Posts : 598
Join date : 2011-04-10
Location : hell

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Post  eddie Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:04 pm

Moony, I believe you asked me to re-post this:

poetry thread - Page 2 800px-Bruegel%2C_Pieter_de_Oude_-_De_val_van_icarus_-_hi_res
Fall of Icarus- Pieter Bruegel.

Musee des Beaux Arts

WH Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 68
Location : Desert Island

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Post  Guest Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:14 pm

...thank you so much Eddie. Very Happy
And thank you for reposting. I know how frustrating it is when they go.


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Post  Guest Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:26 pm

Syringa: John Ashbery

Orpheus liked the glad personal quality
Of the things beneath the sky. Of course, Eurydice was a part
Of this. Then one day, everything changed. He rends
Rocks into fissures with lament. Gullies, hummocks
Can't withstand it. The sky shudders from one horizon
To the other, almost ready to give up wholeness.
Then Apollo quietly told him: "Leave it all on earth.
Your lute, what point? Why pick at a dull pavan few care to
Follow, except a few birds of dusty feather,
Not vivid performances of the past." But why not?
All other things must change too.
The seasons are no longer what they once were,
But it is the nature of things to be seen only once,
As they happen along, bumping into other things, getting along
Somehow. That's where Orpheus made his mistake.
Of course Eurydice vanished into the shade;
She would have even if he hadn't turned around.
No use standing there like a gray stone toga as the whole wheel
Of recorded history flashes past, struck dumb, unable to
utter an intelligent
Comment on the most thought-provoking element in its train.
Only love stays on the brain, and something these people,
These other ones, call life. Singing accurately
So that the notes mount straight up out of the well of
Dim noon and rival the tiny, sparkling yellow flowers
Growing around the brink of the quarry, encapsulizes
The different weights of the things.
But it isn't enough
To just go on singing. Orpheus realized this
And didn't mind so much about his reward being in heaven
After the Bacchantes had torn him apart, driven
Half out of their minds by his music, what it was doing to them.
Some say it was for his treatment of Eurydice.
But probably the music had more to do with it, and
The way music passes, emblematic
Of life and how you cannot isolate a note of it
And say it is good or bad. You must
Wait till it's over. "The end crowns all,"
Meaning also that the "tableau"
Is wrong. For although memories, of a season, for example,
Melt into a single snapshot, one cannot guard, treasure
That stalled moment. It too is flowing, fleeting;
It is a picture of flowing, scenery, though living, mortal,
Over which an abstract action is laid out in blunt,
Harsh strokes. And to ask more than this
Is to become the tossing reeds of that slow,
Powerful stream, the trailing grasses
Playfully tugged at, but to participate in the action
No more than this. Then in the lowering gentian sky
Electric twitches are faintly apparent first, then burst forth
Into a shower of fixed, cream-colored flares. The horses
Have each seen a share of the truth, though each thinks,
"I'm a maverick. Nothing of this is happening to me,
Though I can understand the language of birds, and
The itinerary of the lights caught in the storm is
fully apparent to me.
Their jousting ends in music much
As trees move more easily in the wind after a summer storm
And is happening in lacy shadows of shore-trees, now,
day after day."

But how late to be regretting all this, even
Bearing in mind that regrets are always late, too late!
To which Orpheus, a bluish cloud with white contours,
Replies that these are of course not regrets at all,
Merely a careful, scholarly setting down of
Unquestioned facts, a record of pebbles along the way.
And no matter how all this disappeared,
Or got where it was going, it is no longer
Material for a poem. Its subject
Matters too much, and not enough, standing there helplessly
While the poem streaked by, its tail afire, a bad
Comet screaming hate and disaster, but so turned inward
That the meaning, good or other, can never
Become known. The singer thinks
Constructively, builds up his chant in progressive stages
Like a skyscraper, but at the last minute turns away.
The song is engulfed in an instant in blackness
Which must in turn flood the whole continent
With blackness, for it cannot see. The singer
Must then pass out of sight, not even relieved
Of the evil burthen of the words. Stellification
Is for the few, and comes about much later
When all record of these people and their lives
Has disappeared into libraries, onto microfilm.
A few are still interested in them. "But what about
So-and-so?" is still asked on occasion. But they lie
Frozen and out of touch until an arbitrary chorus
Speaks of a totally different incident with a similar name
In whose tale are hidden syllables
Of what happened so long before that
In some small town, one different summer.


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Post  Guest Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:38 pm

The More Loving One
by W. H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.


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Post  Guest Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:24 am

Foreword, Twenty Poems of Georg Trakl, Translated and Chosen by James Wright and Robert Bly

The Silence of Georg Trakl

The poems of Georg Trakl have a magnificent silence in them. It is very rare that he himself talks—for the most part he allows the images to speak for him. Most of the images, anyway, are images of silent things.

In a good poem made by Trakl images follow one another in a way that is somehow stately. The images have a mysterious connection with each other. The rhythm is slow and heavy, like the mood of someone in a dream. Wings of dragonflies, toads, the gravestones of cemeteries, leaves, and war helmets give off strange colors, brilliant and sombre colors—they live in too deep a joy to be gay. At the same time they live surrounded by a darkness without roads. Everywhere there is the suggestion of this dark silence:

The yellow flowers
Bend without words over the blue pond

The silence is the silence of things that could speak, but choose not to. The German language has a word for deliberately keeping silence, which English does not have. Trakl uses this word “schweigen” often. When he says “the flowers/Bend without words over the blue pond”, we realise that the flowers have a voice, and that Trakl hears it. They keep their silence in the poems. Since he doesn’t put false speeches into the mouths of plants, nature has more and more confidence in him. As his poems grow, more and more creatures live in his poems—first it was only wild ducks and rats, but then oak trees, deer, decaying wall-paper, ponds, herds of sheep, trumpets, and finally steel helmets, armies, wounded men, battlefield nurses, and the blood that had run from the wounds that day.

Yet a red cloud, in which a furious god,
The spilled blood itself, has its home, silently
Gathers, a moonlike coolness in the willow bottoms

Before he died, he even allowed his own approaching death to appear in the poems, as in the late poem “Mourning“.
Trakl died when he was 27. He was born in Salzburg in 1887, the son of a hardware dealer. The family was partially Czech, but spoke German. He took a degree in Pharmacy in Vienna, and became a corpsman in the army, stationed at Innsbruch. He left the service after a short time, and spent a year writing and visiting friends. In August of 1914, at the outbreak of war, he returned to the army, and served in the field near Galizia. He felt the hopelessness of the badly wounded more than most men, and his work brought him into great depressions. After the battle of Grodek, ninety badly wounded men were left in a barn for him to care for. That night he attempted to kill himself, but was prevented by friends. The last poems in this selection were written during this time, and the sense of his own approaching death is clear, and set down with astonishing courage. His poem called “Grodek”, which is thought to be his last work, is a ferocious poem. It is constructed with great care. A short passage suggesting the whole German Romantic poetry of the nineteenth century will appear, and be followed instantly by a passage evoking the mechanical violence of the German twentieth century. This alternation, so strong that it can even be felt slightly in the translation, gives the poem great strength and fiber.

After the crisis at Grodek, Trakl went on serving in his post for several months, meanwhile using the drugs obtained from his pharmacy supplies. He was transferred to the hospital at Krakow, and assigned, to his surprise, not as a corpsman, but as a patient. There, a few days later, in November of 1914, he committed suicide with an overdose sufficient to be poisonous.

His poems were edited after his death, and his work is now available in three volumes Aus Goldenem Kelch (the early poems), Die Dichtungen (the later poems), and Errinnerung An Georg Trakl (letters and reminiscences). These volumes are published by Otto Muller Verlag in Salzburg, to whom we are indebted for permission to publish the poems. Most of the poems in the volume called Die Dichtungen are of equal quality with the twenty from that volume we have chosen.
We would like to thank Franz Schneider, Stanley Kunitz, and Jackson Mathews for their help and excellent criticism of some of these poems.
Robert Bly

De Profundis: Georg Trakl

It is a stubble field, where a black rain is falling.
It is a brown tree, that stands alone.
It is a hissing wind, that encircles empty houses.
How melancholy the evening is.
A while later,
The soft orphan garners the sparse ears of corn.
Her eyes graze, round and golden, in the twilight
And her womb awaits the heavenly bridegroom.
On the way home
The shepherd found the sweet body
Decayed in a bush of thorns.
I am a shadow far from darkening villages.
I drank the silence of God
Out of the stream in the trees.
Cold metal walks on my forehead.
Spiders search for my heart.
It is a light that goes out in my mouth.
At night, I found myself on a pasture,
Covered with rubbish and the dust of stars.
In a hazel thicket
Angels of crystal rang out once more.

trans. James Wright and Robert Bly


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Post  Guest Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:36 am

poetry thread - Page 2 Trakl+stamp

The bold version is google translated.

Georg Trakl 1887-1914

1 Am Abend tönen die herbstlichen Wälder
1 On the evening tint the autumn woods
2 Von tödlichen Waffen, die goldnen Ebenen
2 Of deadly weapons, the golden plains
3 Und blauen Seen, darüber die Sonne
3 And blue lakes, above the sun
4 Düstrer hinrollt; umfängt die Nacht
4 hinrollt gloomy; embraces the night
5 Sterbende Krieger, die wilde Klage
5 Dying warriors, the wild action
6 Ihrer zerbrochenen Münder.
6 of your broken mouths.
7 Doch stille sammelt im Weidengrund
7 But still accumulated in Weidengrund
8 Rotes Gewölk, darin ein zürnender Gott wohnt
8 red cloud, is living an angry god
9 Das vergoßne Blut sich, mondne Kühle;
9 The shed blood, lunar coolness;
10 Alle Straßen münden in schwarze Verwesung.
10 All roads lead to black rot.
11 Unter goldnem Gezweig der Nacht und Sternen
11 In golden branches of night and stars
12 Es schwankt der Schwester Schatten durch den schweigenden Hain 1 ,
12 It varies sister shadow through the silent grove 1
13 Zu grüßen die Geister der Helden, die blutenden Häupter; To greet the spirits of the
13 heroes, the bleeding heads;
14 Und leise tönen im Rohr die dunklen Flöten des Herbstes.
14 And quiet sound in the tube, the dark flutes of autumn.
15 O stolzere Trauer! ihr ehernen Altäre
15 O prouder grief! You brazen altars
16 Die heiße Flamme des Geistes nährt heute ein gewaltiger Schmerz,
16 The hot flame of the spirit is fed today is a huge pain,
17 Die ungebornen Enkel.
17 The unborn grandchildren.


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Post  Guest Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:45 pm

...most of my stuff is still way east of here, but the road opened yesterday and my sister-in-law is bringing some stuff back for me...this is the long way of saying that I don't have the translation yet. I'll google one for you though... Smile

Trakl just lost it when he was nursing those 90 injured men on his own. I think he had a few bandages to deal with all of those amputees and dying men, and when he went outside and saw flesh from the last blast dripping from the trees his mind snapped...but I digress. I'll look for the poem....


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Post  Guest Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:02 am


At evening the woods of autumn are full of the sound
Of the weapons of death, golden fields
And blue lakes, over which the darkening sun
Rolls down; night gathers in
Dying recruits, the animal cries
Of their burst mouths.
Yet a red cloud, in which a furious god,
The spilled blood itself, has its home, silently
Gathers, a moonlike coolness in the willow bottoms;
All the roads spread out into the black mold.
Under the gold branches of the night and stars
The sister’s shadow falters through the diminishing
To greet the ghosts of the heroes, bleeding heads;
And from the reeds the sound of the dark flutes of
autumn rises.
O prouder grief! you bronze altars,
The hot flame of the spirit is fed today by a more
monstrous pain,
The unborn grandchildren.

Georg Trakl
trans. James Wright and Robert Bly


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Post  Guest Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:54 am

The Drunken Boat
Arthur Rimbaud
(trans. Oliver Bernard)
poetry thread - Page 2 Arthur_rimbaud300

As I was floating down unconcerned Rivers
I no longer felt myself steered by the haulers:
Gaudy Redskins had taken them for targets
Nailing them naked to coloured stakes.

I cared nothing for all my crews,
Carrying Flemish wheat or English cottons.
When, along with my haulers those uproars were done with
The Rivers let me sail downstream where I pleased.

Into the ferocious tide-rips
Last winter, more absorbed than the minds of children,
I ran! And the unmoored Peninsulas
Never endured more triumphant clamourings

The storm made bliss of my sea-borne awakenings.
Lighter than a cork, I danced on the waves
Which men call eternal rollers of victims,
For ten nights, without once missing the foolish eye of the harbor lights!

Sweeter than the flesh of sour apples to children,
The green water penetrated my pinewood hull
And washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains and the splashes of vomit,
Carrying away both rudder and anchor.

And from that time on I bathed in the Poem
Of the Sea, star-infused and churned into milk,
Devouring the green azures; where, entranced in pallid flotsam,
A dreaming drowned man sometimes goes down;

Where, suddenly dyeing the bluenesses, deliriums
And slow rhythms under the gleams of the daylight,
Stronger than alcohol, vaster than music
Ferment the bitter rednesses of love!

I have come to know the skies splitting with lightnings, and the waterspouts
And the breakers and currents; I know the evening,
And Dawn rising up like a flock of doves,
And sometimes I have seen what men have imagined they saw!

I have seen the low-hanging sun speckled with mystic horrors.
Lighting up long violet coagulations,
Like the performers in very-antique dramas
Waves rolling back into the distances their shiverings of venetian blinds!

I have dreamed of the green night of the dazzled snows
The kiss rising slowly to the eyes of the seas,
The circulation of undreamed-of saps,
And the yellow-blue awakenings of singing phosphorus!

I have followed, for whole months on end, the swells
Battering the reefs like hysterical herds of cows,
Never dreaming that the luminous feet of the Marys
Could force back the muzzles of snorting Oceans!

I have struck, do you realize, incredible Floridas
Where mingle with flowers the eyes of panthers
In human skins! Rainbows stretched like bridles
Under the seas' horizon, to glaucous herds!

I have seen the enormous swamps seething, traps
Where a whole leviathan rots in the reeds!
Downfalls of waters in the midst of the calm
And distances cataracting down into abysses!

Glaciers, suns of silver, waves of pearl, skies of red-hot coals!
Hideous wrecks at the bottom of brown gulfs
Where the giant snakes devoured by vermin
Fall from the twisted trees with black odours!

I should have liked to show to children those dolphins
Of the blue wave, those golden, those singing fishes.
- Foam of flowers rocked my driftings
And at times ineffable winds would lend me wings.

Sometimes, a martyr weary of poles and zones,
The sea whose sobs sweetened my rollings
Lifted its shadow-flowers with their yellow sucking disks toward me
And I hung there like a kneeling woman...

Almost an island, tossing on my beaches the brawls
And droppings of pale-eyed, clamouring birds,
And I was scudding along when across my frayed cordage
Drowned men sank backwards into sleep!

But now I, a boat lost under the hair of coves,
Hurled by the hurricane into the birdless ether,
I, whose wreck, dead-drunk and sodden with water,
neither Monitor nor Hanse ships would have fished up;

Free, smoking, risen from violet fogs,
I who bored through the wall of the reddening sky
Which bears a sweetmeat good poets find delicious,
Lichens of sunlight [mixed] with azure snot,

Who ran, speckled with lunula of electricity,
A crazy plank, with black sea-horses for escort,
When Julys were crushing with cudgel blows
Skies of ultramarine into burning funnels;

I who trembled, to feel at fifty leagues' distance
The groans of Behemoth's rutting, and of the dense Maelstroms
Eternal spinner of blue immobilities
I long for Europe with it's aged old parapets!

I have seen archipelagos of stars! and islands
Whose delirious skies are open to sailor:
- Do you sleep, are you exiled in those bottomless nights,
Million golden birds, O Life Force of the future? -

But, truly, I have wept too much! The Dawns are heartbreaking.
Every moon is atrocious and every sun bitter:
Sharp love has swollen me up with heady langours.
O let my keel split! O let me sink to the bottom!

If there is one water in Europe I want, it is the
Black cold pool where into the scented twilight
A child squatting full of sadness, launches
A boat as fragile as a butterfly in May.

I can no more, bathed in your langours, O waves,
Sail in the wake of the carriers of cottons,
Nor undergo the pride of the flags and pennants,
Nor pull past the horrible eyes of the hulks.

As translated by Oliver Bernard: Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems (1962).


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Post  Guest Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:02 am

The Drunken Boat
by Arthur Rimbaud
(translated by Ted Berrigan)

As I descended impassable streams
My masters vanished like ghosts;
Shrieking redskins hung them up
Naked, to use for target practice!

What possible need had I of crews?
Carriers of cotton, or Flemish grain!
Once I got rid of all that nonsense
I sailed the tides my own way, free!

And in the furious lash of the tides
I surged as freely as a child’s mind;
Madly I ran through winter, and
No isle knew greater triumphs.

Storms hallowed my wakings on the sea,
And lighter than cork I danced upon the waves;
Those victim-tossers harassed me ten nights,
But still I ignored the empty beacon lights.

Sweeter than sour apple’s flesh to boys,
The brine of brackish water pierced my hulk,
Cleansing me of rot-gut wine and puke,
Sweeping away my anchor in it’s swell.

And since then I’ve been bathing in the poem
Of the star-steeped milky flowing mystic sea,
Devouring great sweeps of azure green, and
Watching flotsam, dead men, float by me;

Where, dveing all the blue, the maddened flames
And stately rhythms of the sun, stronger
Than alchol, more great than song,
Fermented the bright red bitterness of love.

I’ve seen skies split with light, and night,
And surfs, currents, water-spouts; I know
What evening means, and doves, and I have seen
What other men sometimes have thought they’ve seen.

I’ve seen black magic horror stain the sun,
And rays of sunlight fling out violet arms
Like players in some ancient tragedy,
And dancing waves that shiver, far away.

I’ve dreamed green darkness, and dazzling white,
Slow kisses on the eyelids of the sea,
Terrible lakes of unforgettable liquid,
And singing phosphor waking yellow and blue.

For years I’ve followed the assulting tides,
Whose waves like maddened cattle leap up
On the reefs, and I have never dreamed that any Mary
Would calm the roaring of the sea’s great snout.

I’ve touched upon fantastic Floridas,
Where flowers mingle in flesh with panther’s eyes,
And rainbows stretched from here to there like reins
On glaucous flocks in rims beneath the sea.

I’ve seen fermenting Everglade-like wiers
Deep in whose reeds great elephants decay;
I’ve seen vast oceans crashing into ruin
And calm horizons cataracting away,

And glaciers, flaming skies, and silver suns,
Hideous wrecks at the depth of brown gulfs,
Where giant serpents spreading black perfume
Drop from twisted trees, and vermin eat them.

I’d like to show a child these Eldorados
And these golden fish that sing in the blue sea,
Where frail flowers bless my aimlessness,
And spooky winds give steady wing to me.

Sometime when I grow weary, feel betrayed,
The gently rolling sea sets me at rest,
Lifting her shadowy flowers up to me,
And I fall on my knees then, womanly.

I, an island, sail, and my shores toss
Arguments and dung of blond-eyed birds
While, to praise my ever-pushing on, the sea
Drifts drowned men by me dreamily.

But I, a ship, wound in the hair of coves,
And hurled by hurricanes to a birdless place,
What Monitor or Hanseatic galleon
Would care for salvaging my tattered hulk?

Who, ridden by steamy violent mists, and free,
Pierce the reddening heavens like a wall,
Covered with lichens of the sun, and phlegm,
Those condiments no poet can deny;

Who, spotted with electric crescents, run
Like a mad plank, sea-horses at my flank,
While seasons with their hammer blows tear down
The wildly-flailing sea blue spiral skies;

Who, in trembling, feel behemoths rut,
And maelstroms groaning fifty leagues away!
Bound forever to quiescent blue,
I long for Europe’s ancient magic seas.

I dream of isles, eternal archipelagoes,
Where skies burst open joyously for me.
”Can it be that in such dreams you sleep,
O exiled golden birds, O life to come?”

It’s true, I weep too much. Dawns break
My heart, I see cruel moons and bitter
Suns; acrid romance bloats me with its torpor!
O let me burst, and I be lost at sea!

The only travelled sea that I still dream of
Is the cold black pond where once,
On a fragrant evening, fraught with sadness,
I launched a boat frail as a butterfly.

O waves, since you have cleansed me,
I’m awake. I need no longer brave
The waving flags, nor pass by prison ships
Bristling hate.


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Post  Guest Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:13 pm

...well it ain't Pat Garret or Sylvester Stallone Rolling Eyes


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Post  Guest Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:07 pm similarity here:

poetry thread - Page 2 Stil600span
Kris Kristofferson, left, as the Kid and Bob Dylan as Alias, in Sam Peckinpah’s 1973 film, “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.”
Bettmann/Corbis photo

...nope:, actually, quite close!

poetry thread - Page 2 Billy-the-kid


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Post  sil Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:09 pm


Adulto? Mai- mai, come l'esistenza
che non matura- resta sempre acerba,
di splendido giorno in splendido giorno-
io non posso che restare fedele
ala stupenda monotonia del misterio.
Ecco perchè, nella felicità,
non mi sono abbandonato- ecco
perchè nell'ansia delle mie colpe
non ho mai toccato un rimorso vero.
Pari, sempre pari con l'inespresso,
all'origine di quello che io sono.


Grown up? Never- never-! Like existence itself
which never matures- staying always green
from splendid day to splendid day-
I can only stay true
to the stupendous monotony of the mystery.
That's why I've never abandoned myself to happiness,
that's why in the anxiety of my sins
I've never been touched by real remorse.
Equal, always equal, to the inexpressible
at the very source of what I am

Pier Paolo Pasolini
(from Roman Poems)

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Post  sil Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:32 pm

Another one by Pasolini:


Oso alzare gli occhi
sulle cime secche degli alberi:
non vedo il Signore, ma il suo lume
che brilla sempre immenso.

Di tutte le cose che so
ne sento nel cuore solo una:
sono giovane, vivo, abbandonato,
col corpo che si consuma.

Resto un momento sull'erba
della riva, tra gli alberi nudi,
poi cammino, e vado sotto le nuvole,
e vivo con la mia gioventù.


Daring to lift my eyes
towards the dry treetops,
I don't see God, but his light
is immensely shining.

Of all the things I know
my heart feels only this:
I'm young, alive, alone,
my body consuming itself.

I briefly rest in the tall grasses
of a river bank, under bare
trees, then move along beneath
clouds to live out my young days.

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Post  Guest Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:52 pm

...I googled Pasolini. Italian. Born in 1922. Murdered in 1975 at age 53 by being repeatedly run over by his own car.
Began writing poems at a very early age. Rimbaud an early influence. Very intresting political views.

Please excuse my ignorance but is the poem in Italian? I read he wrote also in Friuli, and I think you are Spanish. I only speak English.


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Post  sil Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:01 pm

Yep, I think that's Italian... (I've just googled Friuli to know what you were talking about hehe). I don't really speak Italian but just knowing a bit about it you can easily read Italian if you're Spanish.

Pasonlini is very interesting. He's better known as a filmmaker though.

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Post  Guest Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:12 pm

...I was going to ask you about Friuli lol!

I think all of the following is interesting. I was taught that you should read a poem as a thing-in-itself, divorced from the life or personality of the poet...but I like to know Smile

This is from Wiki:
Political views
Pasolini generated heated public discussion with controversial analyses of public affairs. For instance, during the disorders of 1969, when the autonomist university students were carrying on a guerrilla-like uprising against the police in the streets of Rome and all the leftist forces declared their complete support for the students, describing the disorders as a civil fight of proletariat against the System, Pasolini, alone among the communists, declared that he was with the police; or, more precisely, with the policemen. He considered them true proletariat, sent to fight for a poor salary and for reasons which they could not understand, against pampered boys of their same age, because they had not had the fortune of being able to study, referring to poliziotti figli di proletari meridionali picchiati da figli di papà in vena di bravate (lit. policemen, sons of proletarian southerners, beaten up by arrogant daddys' boys ). This ironic statement, however, did not stop him from contributing to the autonomist Lotta continua movement.

Pasolini was also an ardent critic of consumismo, i.e. consumerism, which he felt had rapidly destroyed Italian society in the late 1960s/early 1970s. He was particularly concerned about the class of the subproletariat, which he portrayed in Accattone, and to which he felt both humanly and artistically drawn. Pasolini observed that the kind of purity which he perceived in the pre-industrial popular culture was rapidly vanishing, a process that he named la scomparsa delle lucciole (lit. "the disappearance of glow-worms"). The joie de vivre of the boys was being rapidly replaced with more bourgeois ambitions such as a house and a family. He described the coprophagia scenes in Salò as a comment on the processed food industry. He often described consumeristic culture as "unreal", as it had been imposed by economical power and had replaced Italy's traditional peasants culture, something that not even fascism had been able to do. In one interview, he said: "I hate with particular vehemency the current power, the power of 1975, which is a power that manipulates bodies in a horrible way; a manipulation that has nothing to envy to that performed by Himmler or Hitler"

He was angered by economic globalization and the cultural domination of the North of Italy (around Milan) over other regions, especially the South. He felt this was accomplished through the power of TV. He opposed the gradual disappearance of Italian dialects by writing some of his poetry in Friulian, the regional language of his childhood. Despite his left-wing views, Pasolini opposed the liberalization of abortion laws.


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Post  sil Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:34 pm

blue moon wrote:He often described consumeristic culture as "unreal", as it had been imposed by economical power and had replaced Italy's traditional peasants culture, something that not even fascism had been able to do.
He talks about that in this video (English subtitles):

I once read or heard him saying that everything is for sale... I don't remember it well but his words had an impact on me.

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Post  Guest Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:15 pm

...wouldn't it be interesting to see footage for the same area now? He would have been a voice in the wilderness back then...35 or so years ago. That's exactly what he looks like, too. Man...I would have loved to hear him recite his poems. He is quite spellbinding, I think.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to post that. Smile


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Post  Guest Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:20 am

From The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
(1048 – 1131)
trans. from Persian by Edward FitzGerald

Some for the pleasures here below
Others yearn for The Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the cash and let the credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant drum

And much as Wine has played the Infidel
And robbed me of my robe of Honour, well ...
I often wonder what the vintners buy
One half so precious as the stuff they sell

For some we loved, the loveliest and best
That from His rolling vintage Time has pressed,
Have drunk their glass a round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest

But helpless pieces in the game He plays
Upon this chequer-board of Nights and Days
He hither and thither moves, and checks ... and slays
Then one by one, back in the Closet lays

"The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."


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