Archive for ‘Religious’

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Winter Solstice by Janlori Goldman

for Jean Valentine

O odd light
bring me the old season
that winter familiar
a slow sheathing of moon in shadow
as if sky were a gill
through which all things
flow in                 filter out
bring me a home with no right angles
a space of curling in
not too bright or sharp
and bring me the time before that
with the garden dark with broken-down
coffee grounds                 rows of flowering mustard greens
the smell of ripped roots fresh
from the pull
and then before that
to my round house a friend will come
or maybe the friend’s mother
I’ll say stay for dinner
she’ll say let me sew that button.

From: https://www.gwarlingo.com/2012/the-sunday-poem-janlori-goldman/

Date: 2012

By: Janlori Goldman (19??- )

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Thursday, 13 June 2019

Prudence: An Acrostic by Elizabeth Gread Braund

Prudent be in all thy dealings;
Regulate aright thy feelings;
Undertake no work in haste;
Deal with friend and foe in grace;
Envy none their high estate;
Nought but craft and meanness hate;
Catch the moments as they fly —
Excelsior thy motto high!

From: Braund, Elizabeth, Fugitive Pieces: Historical, Fragmentary, and Sacred, 1868, Charles Griffin & Co: London, p. 53.
(https://archive.org/details/fugitivepieceshi00braurich/)

Date: 1868

By: Elizabeth Gread Braund (fl. 1864-1868)

Friday, 3 May 2019

Quatrain by Najmuddīn-e Kubrā

What never existed
leaves nothing in the hand
but wind
while “reality”
offers nothing but imperfection
and failure;
that being the case
one can only dream
of what never was
and as for what “really is,”
remember:
it doesn’t exist.

From: Wilson, Peter Lamborn and Pourjvady, Nasrollah, The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry, 1987, Phanes Press: Grand Rapids, USA, p. 20.
(https://archive.org/details/TheDrunkenUniverse/)

Date: 13th century (original in Persian); 1987 (translation in English)

By: Najmuddīn-e Kubrā (1145-1221)

Translated by: Peter Lamborn Wilson (1945- ) and Nasrollah Pourjvady (1943- )

Sunday, 21 April 2019

The Discipline of Craft, Easter Morning by Judith Harris

for John Easterly

No use going hunting for angels,
for a Christ in the tree-tops,
a Moses winding his way up the mount,
into the fire of God’s fresh stubble.

There is just a serious rain,
a steady crutch for the air,
colder than any April should be.

I am up to my neck in chores:
the cat needs more food,
my daughter’s clutter piles up like anthills.
I fold her little sleeves, ghost by ghost.
What melody springs from the heart so well?

These lone trees can’t be dazzled by sun today;
they have tremors like the pope’s.
Lost loons pitched into sky folds,
their crusty buds just blinking
as if to test how fierce the light is.

They sag and meander from their stems;
they bleed from transparency.
Needless or hopeless as overused fountains,
they are my metrics, my fortitude,
plants with lemony grass spigots
that will never go dry.

From: https://imagejournal.org/article/discipline-craft-easter-morning/

Date: 2006

By: Judith Harris (19??- )

Friday, 19 April 2019

Good Friday by Edwin George Morgan

Three o’clock. The bus lurches
round into the sun. ‘D’s this go –‘
he flops beside me – ‘right along Bath Street?
– Oh tha’s, tha’s all right, see I’ve
got to get some Easter eggs for the kiddies.
I’ve had a wee drink, ye understand –
ye’ll maybe think it’s a – funny day
to be celebrating – well, no, but ye see
I wasny working, and I like to celebrate
when I’m no working – I don’t say it’s right
I’m no saying it’s right, ye understand – ye understand?
But anyway tha’s the way I look at it –
I’m no boring you, eh? – ye see today,
take today, I don’t know what today’s in aid of,
whether Christ was – crucified or was he –
rose fae the dead like, see what I mean?
You’re an educatit man, you can tell me –
– Aye, well. There ye are. It’s been seen
time and again, the working man
has nae education, he jist canny – jist
hasny got it, know what I mean,
he’s jist bliddy ignorant – Christ aye,
bliddy ignorant. Well –’ The bus brakes violently,
he lunges for the stair, swings down – off,
into the sun for his Easter eggs,
on very
nearly
steady
legs.

From: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poem/good-friday/

Date: c1968

By: Edwin George Morgan (1920-2010)

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Lines 232-245 from “The Life of Saint Katherine, Prologue” by John Capgrave with rough rendering into modern English by flusteredduck

Aftyr him nexte I take upon me
To translate this story and set it more pleyne,
Trostyng on other men that her charyté
Schall help me in this caas to wryght and to seyne.
Godd send me part of that hevynly reyne
That Apollo bare abowte, and eke Sent Poule;
It maketh vertu to growe in mannes soule.

If ye wyll wete what that I am,
My cuntré is Northfolke, of the town of Lynne;
Owt of the world to my profyte I cam
Onto the brotherhode whech I am inne.
Godd geve me grace nevyr for to blynne
To folow the steppes of my faderes before,
Whech to the rewle of Austen were swore.

After him next I take upon me
To translate this story and set it more plain,
Trusting on other men that her charity
Shall help me in this cause to write and to say,
God send me part of that heavenly rain
That Apollo bore about, and also Saint Paul:
It makes virtue to grow in man’s soul.

If you will know what that I am,
My country is Norfolk, of the town of Lynn;
Out of the world to my profit I came
Onto the brotherhood which I am in,
God give me grace never for to cease
To follow the steps of my fathers before,
Which to the rule of Austen were swore*.

*In other words, he is a monk of the order of Saint Augustine.

From: https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/text/winstead-capgrave-life-of-saint-katherine-prologue

Date: 1440s

By: John Capgrave (1393-1464)

Saturday, 30 March 2019

A Recusant by James Thomson (Bysshe Vanolis)

The church stands there beyond the orchard-blooms:
How yearningly I gaze upon its spire!
Lifted mysterious through the twilight glooms,
Dissolving in the sunset’s golden fire,
Or dim as slender incense morn by morn
Ascending to the blue and open sky.
For ever when my heart feels most forlorn
It murmurs to me with a weary sigh,
How sweet to enter in, to kneel and pray
With all the others whom we love so well!
All disbelief and, doubt might pass away,
All peace float to us with its Sabbath bell.
Conscience replies, There is but one good rest,
Whose head is pillowed upon Truth’s pure breast.

From: http://www.public-domain-poetry.com/james-thomson-bysshe-vanolis/recusant-7637

Date: 1858

By: James Thomson (Bysshe Vanolis) (1834-1882)

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Final Verse of “Mahābhārata” by Nannaya Bhattaraka

Autumn nights under the glowing canopy of stars,
dense with the wind-borne fragrance
of unfolding water lilies,
flooded with light white as camphor
flowing down from the moon,
and filled with sky.

From: Velcheru, Narayana Rao and Shulman, David (eds. and transls.), Classical Telugu Poetry: An Anthology, 2002, University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, p. 55.
(https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=kt096nc4c5)

Date: 11th century (original in Telugu); 2002 (translation in English)

By: Nannaya Bhattaraka (11th century)

Translated by: Narayana Rao Velcheru (1932- ) and David Dean Shulman (1949- )

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Life’s Illusion by Sarmad Kashani

You sleep
you forget yourself
and forgetfulness
brings no fruit but regret.
Your friends have gone ahead
you too are on the way;
Why do you not contemplate
life’s illusion?

From: Wilson, Peter Lamborn and Pourjavady, Nasrollah (eds. and transls.), The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry, 1987, Phanes Press: Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 20.
(https://archive.org/details/TheDrunkenUniverse/)

Date: 17th century (original in Persian); 1987 (translation in English)

By: Sarmad Kashani (c1590-1661)

Translated by: Peter Lamborn Wilson (1945- ) and Nasrollah Pourjavady (1943- )

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Verses 46-50 of “Black Marigolds [Caurapañcāśikā]” by Kavi Bilhana

Even now
The night is full of silver straws of rain,
And I will send my soul to see your body
This last poor time. I stand beside our bed;
Your shadowed head lies leaving a bright space
Upon the pillow empty, your sorrowful arm
Holds from your side and clasps not anything.
There is no covering upon you.

Even now
I think your feet seek mine to comfort them.
There is some dream about you even now
Which I’ll not hear at waking. Weep not at dawn,
Though day brings wearily your daily loss
And all the light is hateful. Now is it time
To bring my soul away.

Even now
I mind that I went round with men and women,
And underneath their brows, deep in their eyes,
I saw their souls, which go slippng aside
In swarms before the pleasure of my mind;
The world was like a flight of birds, shadow or flame
Which I saw pass above the engraven hills.
Yet was there never one like to my woman.

Even now
Death I take up as consolation.
Nay, were I free as the condor with his wings
Or old kings throned on violet ivory,
Night would not come without beds of green floss
And never a bed without my bright darling.
Most fit that you strike now, black guards,
And let the fountain out before the dawn.

Even now
I know that I have savoured the hot taste of life
Lifting green cups and gold at the great feast.
Just for a small and a forgotten time
I have had full in my eyes from off my girl
The whitest pouring of eternal light.
The heavy knife. As to a gala day.

From: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/bilhana/bil01.htm

Date: 11th century (original); 1919 (translation in English)

By: Kavi Bilhana (11th century)

Translated by: Edward Powys Mathers (1892-1939)