Posts tagged ‘1918’

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Sick Wife by Anonymous

She had been ill for years and years;
She sent for me to say something.
She couldn’t say what she wanted
Because of the tears that kept coming of themselves.
“I have burdened you with orphan children,
With orphan children two or three.
Don’t let our children go hungry or cold;
If they do wrong, don’t slap or beat them.
When you take out the baby, rock it in your arms.
Don’t forget to do that.”
Last she said,
“When I carried them in my arms they had no clothes
And now their jackets have no linings.”

[She dies.]

I shut the doors and barred the windows
And left the motherless children.
When I got to the market and met my friends, I wept.
I sat down and could not go with them.
I asked them to buy some cakes for my children.
In the presence of my friends I sobbed and cried.
I tried not to grieve, but sorrow would not cease.
I felt in my pocket and gave my friends some money.
When I got home I found my children
Calling to be taken into their mother’s arms.
I walked up and down in the empty room
This way and that a long while.
Then I went away from it and said to myself
“I will forget and never speak of her again.”

From: Waley, Arthur, A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems, 1918, Constable and Company: London, pp. 29-30.

Date: 1st century BCE (original); 1918 (translation)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Arthur David Waley (1889-1966)

Monday, 14 November 2016

If I Should Die, Be Not Concerned to Know by Philip Bainbrigge

If I should die, be not concerned to know
The manner of my ending, if I fell
Leading a forlorn charge against the foe,
Strangled by gas, or shattered by a shell.
Nor seek to see me in this death-in-life
Mid shirks and curse, oaths and blood and sweat,
Cold in the darkness, on the edge of strife,
Bored and afraid, irresolute, and wet

But if you think of me, remember one
Who loved good dinners, curious parody,
Swimming, and lying naked in the sun,
Latin hexameters, and heraldry,
Athenian subtleties of 1and 2,
Beethoven, Botticelli, beer, and boys.


Date: 1918

By: Philip Bainbrigge (1891-1918)

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

On the Birth of a Son by Su Tung-Po (Su Shi)

Families when a child is born
Hope it will turn out intelligent.
I, through intelligence
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope that the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he’ll be happy all his days
And grow into a cabinet minister.


Date: c1060 (original); 1918 (translated)

By: Su Tung-Po (Su Shi) (1037-1101)

Translated by Arthur Waley (1889-1966)

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Sic Semper by Don Carlos Seitz

I do not like to hear
The hushed opinion
Or the timid view
Uttered in fear.

I do not like to see
The people kneel
In tame submission
To the powers that be.

Such earn their fate
In time to come
To have some ruler say
“I am the state!”

No tyrant vain
E’er welded shackles
But the people blind
Held out the chain!


Date: 1918

By: Don Carlos Seitz (1862-1935)

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Last Voyage by Norah Mary Holland

When I loose my vessel’s moorings, and put out to sea once more
On the last and longest voyage that shall never reach the shore,
O Thou Master of the Ocean, send no tranquil tides to me,
But ‘mid all Thy floods and thunders let my vessel put to sea.

Let her lie within no tropic sea, dead rotten to the bone,
Till the lisping, sluggish waters claim my vessel for their own;
Till the sun shall scar her timbers, and the slimy weed shall crawl
O’er her planks that gape and widen, and the slow sea swallow all.

Let her not go down in darkness, where the smoking mist-wreaths hide
The white signal of the breakers, dimly guessed at, overside;
While her decks are in confusion, and the wreck drops momently,
And she drifts in dark and panic to the death she cannot see.

But out in the open ocean, where the great waves call and cry,
Leap and thunder at her taffrail, while the scud blows stinging by,
With the life still strong within her, struggling onward through the blast,
Till one last long wave shall whelm her, and our voyaging is past.

From: Holland, Norah M., Spun-Yarn and Spindrift, 1918, J. M. Dent & Sons: London & Toronto, p.77.

Date: 1918

By: Norah Mary Holland (1876-1925)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Exile by Harold Hart Crane

My hands have not touched pleasure since your hands,—
No,—nor my lips freed laughter since ‘farewell’,
And with the day, distance again expands
Voiceless between us, as an uncoiled shell.

Yet love endures, though starving and alone.
A dove’s wings cling about my heart each night
With surging gentleness, and the blue stone
Set in the tryst-ring has but worn more bright.


Date: 1918

By: Harold Hart Crane (1899-1932)

Monday, 11 November 2013

We Shall Keep the Faith by Moina Michael

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.


Date: 1918

By: Moina Michael (1869-1944)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Deserter by Gilbert Frankau

‘I’m sorry I done it, Major.’
We bandaged the livid face;
And led him out, ere the wan sun rose,
To die his death of ignorance.

The bolt-heads locked to the cartridges;
The rifles stead to rest,
As cold stock nestled at colder cheek
And foresight lined on the breast.

‘Fire’ called the Sergeant-Major.
The muzzles flamed as he spoke:
And the shameless soul of a nameless man
Went up in cordite-smoke.


Date: 1918

By: Gilbert Frankau (1884-1952)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Edelweiss by Frank Wilmot (Furnley Maurice)

There grows a white, white flower
By the wild Alps of romance;
And who would reach its dainty leaves
Takes life and death in chance.

There is a dark, dark cavern
Where a woman goes alone,
Takes hope and peril in her hand
And fights Death on his throne.

To our heart’s breathless calling
She comes from the cavern wild,
Holding in her exhausted arms
A small, white, blossoming child.


Date: c1918

By: Frank Wilmot (Furnley Maurice) (1881-1942)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Somewhere in France by Isabel Howe Fiske

Somewhere in France my heart is kept
In a soldier’s heart, out there.
Last night I know not where it slept,
My heart, in his heart’s care.

I know not if he slept at all,
My man across the sea.
I do not know if he will fall
Or come back safe to me.

He has my heart. That is my share,
My bit, that I have sent out there.


Date: 1918

By: Isabel Howe Fiske (?-?)