Posts tagged ‘1920’

Friday, 20 January 2023

Childhood Memories by William Saphier

Those years are foliage of trees,
their trunks hidden by bushes’
behind them a grey haze topped with silver
hides the swinging steps of my first love
the Danube.

On its face
grave steel palaces with smoking torches,
parading monasteries moved slowly to the Black Sea
till the bared branches scratched the north wind.

On its bed
a great Leviathan waited
for the ceremonies on the arrival of Messiah
and bobbing small fishes snapped sun splinters

for the pleasure of the monster.
Along its shores
red capped little hours danced
with rainbow colored kites,
messengers to heaven.

My memory is a sigh
of swallows swinging
through a slow dormant summer
to a timid line on the horizon.


Date: 1920

By: William Saphier (1886-1942)

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Not Yet by Edith C M Dart

Someday I’ll know again, maybe,
All that once made Spring rich for me
Strange sense of beauty’s leaping thrill
At the first budding daffodil,
Swift echo of the blackbird’s song
Within the heart; the sudden throng
Of bud and flower the whole wood through
As when … I walked it, once . . . with you.
Surely I shall be glad again
For April meadows after rain,
For hawthorns white along the lea,
Sky bluer than a summer sea.
When years have gone, will earth not show
Once more her treasures ‘neath the snow,
Waking my heart with crocus gold
Against the darkness of the mould?
Shall I rejoice then o’er and o’er
In the great bounty of Earth’s store?
Maybe . . someday . . . when I forget.
Not yet, beloved, ah! not yet!


Date: 1920

By: Edith C M Dart (1873-1924)

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Even Coughing by Ozaki Hōsai/Hideo

Even coughing,
I am


Date: c1920 (original in Japanese); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Ozaki Hōsai/Hideo (1885–1926)

Translated by: Richard Medhurst (19??- )

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Black and White by Harold Henry Abbott

I met a man along the road
⁠⁠To Withernsea;
Was ever anything so dark, so pale
⁠⁠As he?
His hat, his clothes, his tie, his boots
⁠Were black as black
⁠⁠Could be,
And midst of all was a cold white face,
And eyes that looked wearily.

The road was bleak and straight and flat
⁠⁠To Withernsea,
Gaunt poles with shrilling wires their weird
⁠⁠Did dree;
On the sky stood out, on the swollen sky
⁠The black blood veins
⁠⁠Of tree
After tree, as they beat from the face
Of the wind which they could not flee.

And in the fields along the road
⁠⁠To Withernsea,
Swart crows sat huddled on the ground
While overhead the seamews wheeled, and skirled
⁠⁠In glee;
But the black cows stood, and cropped where they stood,
⁠⁠And never heeded thee,
O dark pale man, with the weary eyes,
⁠⁠On the road to Withernsea.

From: Walters, L D’O, The Year’s At the Spring: An Anthology of Recent Poetry, 1920, Brentano’s: New York, pp. 126-127.

Date: 1920

By: Harold Henry Abbott (1891-1976)

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Oriflamme by Jessie Redmon Fauset

I can remember when I was a little, young girl, how my old mammy would sit out of doors in the evenings and look up at the stars and groan, and I would say, ‘Mammy, what makes you groan so?’ And she would say, ‘I am groaning to think  of my poor children; they do not know where I be and I don’t know where they be. I look up at the stars and they look up at the stars!’ —Sojourner Truth

I think I see her sitting, bowed and black,
Stricken and seared with slavery’s mortal scars,
Reft of her children, lonely, anguished, yet
Still looking at the stars.

Symbolic mother, we thy myriad sons,
Pounding our stubborn hearts on Freedom’s bars,
Clutching our birthright, fight with faces set,
Still visioning the stars!


Date: 1920

By: Jessie Redmon Fauset (1882-1961)

Monday, 10 February 2020

A Drop of Sea-Water by Mahmoūd Shabestarī

Behold how this drop of sea-water
Has taken so many forms and names;
It has existed as mist, cloud, rain, dew, and mud,
Then plant, animal, and Perfect man;
And yet it was a drop of water
From which these things appeared.
Even so this universe of reason, soul, heavens, and bodies,
Was but a drop of water in its beginning and ending.

…When a wave strikes it, the world vanishes;
And when the appointed time comes to heaven and stars,
Their being is lost in not being.

From: Shabestarī, Mahmoūd and Lederer, Florence (ed.), The Secret Rose Garden of Sa’d ud din Mahmūd Shabistarī, rendered from the Persian with an Introduction, 1920, John Murray: London, p. 36.

Date: c1311 (original in Persian), 1920 (translation in English)

By: Mahmoūd Shabestarī (1288–1340)

Translated by: Florence Lederer (18??-19??)

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Take From My Palms Some Sun to Bring You Joy by Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam

Take from my palms some sun to bring you joy
and take a little honey – so the bees
of cold Persephone commanded us.

No loosing of the boat that is not moored,
no hearing of the shadow shod in fur,
no overcoming fear in life’s dense wood.

And kisses are all that’s left us now,
kisses as hairy as the little bees
who perish if they fly out of the hive.

They rustle in transparent depths of night,
their home dense forests on Taigetos’ slopes,
their food is honeysuckle, mint and time.

So for your joy receive my savage gift,
a dry and homely necklace of dead bees
who have transmuted honey into sun.

November 1920


Date: 1920 (original in Russian); 2011 (translation in English)

By: Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam (1891-1938)

Translated by: Peter France (1935- )

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Canción by Álvaro de Luna

Since to cry
And to sigh
I ne’er cease;
And in vain
I would gain
My release;
Yet I still
Have the will,
Though I see
That the way
Every day
Is less free.
She is light
And the blight
Wrecks my joy;
Better death
Than such breath
I employ!
But perchance
For such glance
I was born;
And my grief
Is relief
For your scorn.

From: Walsh, Thomas (ed.), Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated from the Spanish by English and North American Poets, 1920, G. P. Putnam’s Sons: New York and London, pp. 52-53.

Date: 15th century (original in Spanish); 1920 (translation in English)

By: Álvaro de Luna (c1388-1453)

Translated by Thomas Walsh (1875-1928)

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Sydney Cove, 1788 by Roderic Quinn

She sat on the rocks, her fireless eyes
Teased and tired with the thoughts of yore;
And paining her sense were alien skies,
An alien sea and an alien shore.

In gold-green dusks she glimpsed new flowers
And the glittering wings of gleaming birds —
But haunting her still were English bowers
And the clinging sweetness of old love-words.

A soft breeze murmured of unknown shores
And laughed as it touched her with fingers light,
But she mourned the more for the wind that roars
Down sullen coasts on a northern night.

Like topaz gems on a sable dome
The stranger stars stole shyly forth;
She saw no stars like the stars of home
That burned, white-fired, in the frosty north.

A restless sea was at her feet,
A restless sea of darkest blue;
The lights burned dimly on The Fleet,
And these were all the ships it knew.

She watched the dark tides rise and fall,
The lion-tides that, night and noon,
Range round the world, and moan and call
In sad sea-voices to the moon.

Thus while she watched they ebbed and flowed;
Till last with sudden splendour Day
Lit all the scene with gold, and showed
An arrow black on a garb of grey.

From: Quinn, Roderic, Poems, 2003, University of Sydney Library: Sydney, p. 18.

Date: 1920

By: Roderic Quinn (1867-1949)

Monday, 26 March 2018

Child’s Song by Leah McTavish Cohen

My mother was a harlot,
My father was a clerk;
My mother wore scarlet,
My father a coat dark.

They met once only.
Parted at morn —
But from that lone lie
Was I born.

When she grew bigger,
Mother in dread
Pinched in her figure,
Bore me dead.

They buried my body
Deep in a hole.
And prayed to God He
Would save my soul.

From: Sitwell, Edith (ed.), Wheels, 1920 (Fifth Cycle), 1920, B. H. Blackwell: Oxford, p. 43.

Date: 1920

By: Leah McTavish Cohen (fl. 1920)