Posts tagged ‘1918’

Monday, 13 November 2017

There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara (Sarah Trevor) Teasdale Filsinger

(War Time)

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

From: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/there-will-come-soft-rains

Date: 1918

By: Sara (Sarah Trevor) Teasdale Filsinger (1884-1933)

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Sunday, 12 November 2017

How Shall We Rise to Greet the Dawn? by Francis Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell

How shall we rise to greet the dawn?
Not timidly,
With a hand above our eyes,
But greet the strong light
Joyfully;
Nor will we mistake the dawn
For the mid-day.

We must create and fashion a new God–
A God of power, of beauty, and of strength–
Created painfully, cruelly,
Labouring from the revulsion of men’s minds.

It is not that the money-changers
Ply their trade
Within the sacred places;
But that the old God
Has made the Stock Exchange his Temple.
We must drive him from it.
Why should we tinker with clay feet?
We will fashion
A perfect unity
Of precious metals.

Let us tear the paper moon
From its empty dome.
Let us see the world with young eyes.
Let us harness the waves to make power,
And in so doing,
Seek not to spoil their rolling freedom,
But to endow
The soiled and straining cities
With the same splendour of strength.

We will not be afraid,
Tho’ the golden geese cackle in the Capitol,
In fear
That their eggs may be placed
In an incubator.
Continually they cackle thus–
These venerable birds–
Crying, “Those whom the Gods love
Die young,”
Or something of that sort.
But we will see that they live
And prosper.

Let us prune the tree of language
Of its dead fruit.
Let us melt up the cliches
Into molten metal;
Fashion weapons that will scald and flay;
Let us curb this eternal humour
And become witty.

Let us dig up the dragon’s teeth
From this fertile soil;
Swiftly,
Before they fructify;
Let us give them as medicine
To the writhing monster itself.

We must create and fashion a new God–
A God of power, of beauty, and of strength;
Created painfully, cruelly,
Labouring from the revulsion of men’s minds.
Cast down the idols of a thousand years,
Crush them to dust
Beneath the dancing rhythm of our feet.
Oh! let us dance upon the weak and cruel:
We must create and fashion a new God.

November, 1918.

From: Sitwell, Osbert, Argonaut and Juggernaut, 1919, Chatto & Windus: London, pp. vii-ix.
(https://archive.org/details/argonautjuggerna00sitwuoft)

Date: 1918

By: Francis Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell (1892-1969)

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Education by Pauline Buckner Barrington

The rain is slipping. Dripping down the street;
The day is grey as ashes on the hearth.
The children play with soldiers made of tin,
While you sew
Row after row.

The tears are slipping, dripping one by one;
Your son has shot and wounded his small brother.
The mimic battle’s ended with a sob,
While you dream
Over your seam.

The blood is skipping, dripping drop by drop;
The men are dying in the trenches’ mud.
The bullets search the quick among the dead.
While you drift,
The Gods sift.

The ink is slipping, dripping from the pens,
On papers, White and Orange, Red and Grey , –
History for the children of tomorrow, –
While you prate
About Fate.

War is slipping, dripping death on earth.
If the child is father of the man,
Is the toy gun father of Krupps?
For Christ’s sake think!
While you sew
Row after row.

From: https://allpoetry.com/Pauline-Barrington

Date: 1918

By: Pauline Buckner Barrington (1876-1956)

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The American by Roy Addison Helton

I have no race, nor ancient wrongs:
I do not even know
How many of my sires came
From countries far too far to name:
I am a mongrel with no shame
For what is in my blood.

I dare not boast a single line,
Nor show one chance heroic strain;
I cannot feel myself the seed
Of some far patriot’s stirring deed —
It does not seem to be a need
Among my friends.

For of my fathers, some were rude,
Some old and sick for solitude;
A few were mad for blood and gold,
And others merely poor and cold
And kind.

And some sought food and some sought wine;
Some were for lust and some for land —
Now all their gathered griefs are mine,
And all their hopes are in my hand:

Some sought the stars of other skies,
And some new worlds to win and sway;
Some wanted freedom for their eyes
And some had need to think and say;

Some craved the gift to He alone
With labor done and heart at ease,
To heed the pausing monotone
Of laughing winds among the trees;

Some were for women, some for sleep;
Some craved salt kisses of the sea;
And some were fools that sin and weep —
Now all their strains are fleshed in me.

From: Helton, Roy, Outcasts in Beulah Land, and Other Poems, 1918, Henry Holt and Company: New York, pp. 74-75.
(https://archive.org/details/outcastsinbeulah00heltrich)

Date: 1918

By: Roy Addison Helton (1886-1977)

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.
(http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42290)

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.

From: http://www.poetropical.co.uk/4.html

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.

From: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/3155

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!

From: http://www.unz.org/Pub/Nation-1918feb07-00145?View=PDF

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.
(http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/holland/spindrift/spindrift.html)

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.

From: http://www.thehypertexts.com/Hart%20Crane%20Poet%20Poetry%20Picture%20Bio.htm

Date: 1918

By: Harold Hart Crane (1899-1932)