Archive for ‘Relationships’

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Sonnet by Arthur Henry Hallam

A melancholy thought had laid me low;
A thought of self-desertion, and the death
Of feelings wont with my heart’s blood to flow,
And feed the inner soul with purest breath.
The idle busy star of daily life,
Base passions, haughty doubts, and selfish fears,
Have withered up my being in a strife
Unkind, and dried the source of human tears.
One evening I went forth, and stood alone
With Nature: moon there was not, nor the light
Of any star in heaven: yet from the sight
Of that dim nightfall better hope hath grown
Upon my spirit, and from those cedars high
Solemnly changeless, as the very sky.

Sept, 1830.

From: Hallam, Arthur Henry, The Poems of Arthur Henry Hallam, Together with his Essay on the Lyrical Poems of Alfred Tennyson, 1893, Elkin Mathews & John Lane: London, p. 69.
(https://archive.org/details/poemsarthurhenr00hallgoog/)

Date: 1830

By: Arthur Henry Hallam (1811-1833)

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Sonnets, Written in the Highlands of Scotland, in the Year 1767: Sonnet I by Hugh Downman

Hence Sickness, nor about my weary head
Thy languid vapours wrap, and drooping wings
Better would’st thou thy baleful poison shed
In some dark cave where the Night-raven sings,
Where heavy fits the gloom-delighted Owl,
Where Aconite its loathsome juices throws;
Where dwells the Bat, and Serpents hissing foul,
With fell Despair, who never knows repose:
There drag the Caitiff Wretch, who hath betray’d
His trust, hath ruin’d innocence, or spilt
The sacred blood of him who gave him life;
Him torture Stern! nor will the lovely maid,
The sweet-eyed Mercy, conscious of his guilt,
Restrain thy hand, or blunt thy sharpen’d knife.

From: Downman, Hugh, Poems, 2008, University of Michigan Library: Ann Arbor, Michigan, pp. 74-75.
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/004858359.0001.000)

Date: 1767

By: Hugh Downman (1740-1809)

Monday, 20 May 2019

An Aunt’s Advice to her Niece by Alyt van Bronckhorst uunde Batenborch

Suffering is my finery;
A cloak of suffering sewn for me
Is lined with all the grief I bear.
Oh, help me God, it shows no wear or tear.

If suffering were a joy I’d seldom grieve.
Wherever I go it accompanies me.
The lining is the grief I bear.
Help me, God, this cloak will show no wear or tear.

I see more clearly every day
That I was born for grief and pain.
If I were somehow free of all this misery,
I would be lost eternally.

So I will put all trust and hope
In no one but almighty God,
Who never will leave me alone
As long as I cling to His Word.

From: van Gemert, Lia; Joldersma, Hermina; van Marion, Olga; van der Poel, Dieuwke; Schenkeveld-van der Dussen, Biet (eds.), Women’s Writing from the Low Countries, 1200-1875: A Bilingual Anthology, 2010, Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam, p. 197.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Kj7YsJVHm4MC)

Date: 1586 (original in Dutch); 2010 (translation in English)

By: Alyt van Bronckhorst uunde Batenborch (fl. 1586)

Translated by: Myra J. Heerspink Scholz (1944- )

Saturday, 18 May 2019

On an Apple by Baha’ al-din Zuhair

Many thanks to my love for the apple she sent;
I can see that a gift so ingenious was meant
To ensure my not keeping whole-hearted ;
For its colour resembles the hue of her cheeks,
And the sip of her lip its fine flavour bespeaks,
While its perfume her touch has imparted.

From: Zuhair, Baha’ al-din and Palmer, E. H. (ed. and transl.), The Poetical Works of Behā-ed-Dīn Zoheir, of Egypt. With a Metrical English Translation, Notes, and Introduction, Volume II, 1877, University Press: Cambridge, p. 40.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=5NveEgFDbJAC)

Date: 13th century (original in Arabic); 1877 (translation in English)

By: Baha’ al-din Zuhair (1186-1258)

Translated by: Edward Henry Palmer (1840-1882)

Friday, 17 May 2019

Kiritsubo I: Kiritsubo no Kōi to the Emperor by Murasaki Shikibu

Now the end has come,
We part along diverging paths,
And one sad desire
Still lies heavy in my heart:
To live, not leave, our life.

From: Cranston, Edwin A. (ed. and transl.), A Waka Anthology: Volume Two – Grasses of Remembrance, Part B, 1993, Stanford University Press: Palo Alto, California, p. 689.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=3RI7XH8bdMoC)

Date: 1000-1012 (original in Japanese); 1993 (translation in English)

By: Murasaki Shikibu (c973 or 978-c1014 or 1031)

Translated by: Edwin Augustus Cranston (1932- )

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Jade Stairs Resentment by Xie Tiao

In the evening hall, the bead curtain is lowered;
Drifting glowworms fly, then rest.
Through the long night, sewing a gossamer dress:
This longing for you—when will it ever cease?

From: Cai, Zong-qi (ed.), How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology, 2008, Columbia University Press: New York, p. 143.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=FFWsAgAAQBAJ)

Date: c490 (original); 2008 (translation)

By: Xie Tiao (464-499)

Translated by: Xiaofei Tian (1971- )

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Page-turner by Michael George Laskey

He sits in her shadow, keeps still,
as if he would be as invisible
to us as we are to him,
just his eyes imperceptibly moving

till the end of the page approaches,
when, rising from his chair, he reaches
forward, left-handed, and works
a single sheet free, then waits

for the moment to flip it over.
Pressing it flat with his palm
from below so it won’t lift up,
already he’s pushed himself back

out of consideration. Again and again.
Till the pianist bows, and he stands
apart disclaiming applause,
head down, holding the music.

From: https://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/page-turner

Date: 2007

By: Michael George Laskey (1944- )

Monday, 13 May 2019

Rose Red and Snow White by Kim Antieau

Skin as white as Virgin snow.
Ice crystals grown from dust motes,
Specks of Earth thrown skyward:
Snow White
Lips as red as pricked blood, first blood,
Unfolding like the Virgin Rose,
Whole in and of herself:
Rose Red
Colors of the Goddess,
Clues this tale is more than it seems.
Aren’t they all?
When Le Bête knocks on their door
Mid-winter, matted ice and snow giving him
A Rasti look, the twin goddesses invite
The Wild in,
Serve him tea and comb his fur.
No sign of gold at first blush.
Then what? Did they watch Jack Frost
Breathe on their windows and listen to
Ice crack into wintry art?
Their version of cable.
Today, would they gulp beer, eat chips,
And watch television, the three of them?
Would Le Bête complain about the
Commercialization of all things sacred
As he clutched the remote?
“Let’s live off the grid,” he’d murmur
While Snow White and Rose Red painted
Their fingernails black as pitch and their lips
Red as a whore’s candied tongue.
Goth or harlot?
Or, perhaps before the Bear enters their domain
The sisters are hippie-girls, wandering, modern-like,
Looking for some thing. Hitching rides.
Living off the land. Eating huckleberries plucked
From their core, the juice staining their lips and teeth
Deep purple. Watching the bloody salmon leap,
They wonder why their mouths water, wonder
What it is they have lost.
Why does it ache so much?
So when a man in gold knocks on their door
Mid-winter, they pull him inside, shining him on.
Until they spot the fur beneath the gold.
Le Bête!
They speak in tongues as they
Rip the clothes from him.
He is only a symbol, after all.
The sisters bury their faces in his fur.
When they look down at their own bodies,
They see they have grown Grizzly claws.
They laugh and embrace each other.
The man, speechless, tries to piece his
Gold suit back together. Alone
In the empty cottage, he closes the door.
Outside, the night is wild with beasts.

From: http://kathleenflenniken.com/blog/?m=201311

Date: 2013

By: Kim Antieau (1955- )

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Political Poem by Jeffrey W. Harrison

Gone are the days,
are the centuries, even,
when government officials
retired to become
poets in gardens
of their own design,
as here in Suzhou
happened for so long:
a gnarled shaft
of limestone here,
there a willow’s
green locks swaying
above the fishpond,
a zigzag bridge
to a pagoda where,
far from the capital,
one could finally
attend to matters
of real importance:
the moon’s reflection
troubled by a carp.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?volume=161&issue=4&page=32

Date: 1993

By: Jeffrey W. Harrison (19??- )

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Mansize by Maura Dooley

Now you aren’t here I find
myself ironing linen squares,
three by three, the way
my mother’s always done,
the steel tip steaming over your
blue initial. I, who resent
the very thought of this back-breaking
ritual, preferring radiator-dried
cottons, stiff as boards, any amount
of crease and crumple to this
soothing, time-snatching chore.

I never understood my father’s trick,
his spare for emergencies, but was glad
of its airing-cupboard comforts often enough:
burying my nose in it, drying my eyes
with it, staunching my blood with it,
stuffing my mouth with it. His expedience,
my mother’s weekly art, leaves me
forever flawed: rushing into newsagents
for Kleenex, rifling your pockets in the cinema,
falling on those cheap printed florals.

What I really want is Irish linen,
shaken out for me to sink my face in,
the shape and scent of you still warm
in it, your monogram in chainstitch
at the corner. Comforter, seducer, key witness
to it all, my neatly folded talisman,
my sweet flag of surrender.

From: https://anthonywilsonpoetry.com/2012/06/05/lifesaving-poems-ian-duhigs-from-the-irish-and-maura-dooleys-mansize/

Date: 1991

By: Maura Dooley (1957- )