Posts tagged ‘1920’

Saturday, 4 February 2017

A Quatrain on Dyeing the Hair by Abu Abdollah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki

Not for this reason, black my hair I dye.
To look more young and vices new to try ;
People in time of grief don raiment black —
I black my hair in grief at old age nigh.

From: Jackson, A. V. Williams, Early Persian Poetry: From the Beginnings Down to the Time of Firdausi, 1920, The MacMillan Company: New York, p. 41.

Date: 10th century (original in Arabic); 1920 (translation in English)

By: Abu Abdollah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki (858-c941)

Translated by: Abraham Valentine Williams Jackson (1862-1937)

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Toleration by John Leslie Barford (Philebus)

Is it too much to ask that I should be
Allowed to prove
God’s gift of infinite variety
In human love?

I do not seek that all should understand,
Much less forgive;
But surely heed man’s commonsense command
“Live and let love,”

And, if the Greatest Lover’s word divine
Further can move, —
(Who had Himself all natures, even mine,)
Love — and let love.

Serve Her Right

Gertie Green made eyes at me.
Mother ought to slap her!
But I took her out to tea
Just to see if I could be
Happy with a flapper.

But the base philanderer
Ogled with another;
So, of course to despite her,
I decided to transfer
Affections to her brother;

And I did! . . .


Date: c1920

By: John Leslie Barford (Philebus) (1886-1937)

Sunday, 14 August 2016

In Praise of Love by Juan Ruiz

Truly my mother bore me ‘neath the sign of Venus fair,
Know, therefore, that to serve good dames is aye my chiefest care;
And if the pear-tree I must see yet never taste the pear,
To rest at least beneath its shade is bliss that all may share.

Love to the foolish giveth wit by great and potent art,
Love to the dumb or slow of speech can eloquence impart,
Can make the craven, shrinking coward valiant and strong of heart,
Can by his power the sluggard spur out of his sleep to start.

Love to the young eternal youth can by his craft bestow,
The all-subduing might of eld can even overthrow;
Can make the face as swart as pitch full white and fair to grow,
And give to those not worth a doit full many a grace, I trow.

The dolt, the fool, the slow of wit, the poor man or the base
Unto his mistress seemeth rich in every goodly grace,
Then he that loseth lady fair should straightway set his face
T’ward finding one that worthily may fill her vacant place.

At length the poet, still unsuccessful in his quest of a lady,
loses patience and makes a spirited attack on Love, here, as
in Provençal poetry, represented as a young man.

From: Farnell, Ida (editor and translator), Spanish Prose and Poetry Old and New with Translated Specimens, 1920, Clarendon Press: Oxford, p. 20.

Date: c1330 (original in Spanish); 1920 (translation in English)

By: Juan Ruiz (c1283-c1350)

Translated by: Ida Farnell (18??-19??)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Alone in Spring by Caroline Giltinan

I never met the Spring alone before:
The flowers, birds, the loveliness of trees,
For with me always there was one I love—
And love is shield against such gifts as these.

But now I am alone, alone, alone;
The days and nights one long remembering.
Did other Aprils that we shared possess
The hurting beauty of this living Spring?

I never met the Spring alone before—
My starving grief—this radiance of gold!…
To be alone, when Spring is being born,
One should be dead—or suddenly grown old.


Date: 1920

By: Caroline Giltinan (1884-19??)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

All Souls’ Night, 1917 by Hortense King Flexner

You heap the logs and try to fill
The little room with words and cheer,
But silent feet are on the hill,
Across the window veiled eyes peer.
The hosts of lovers, young in death,
Go seeking down the world to-night,
Remembering faces, warmth and breath—
And they shall seek till it is light.
Then let the white-flaked logs burn low,
Lest those who drift before the storm
See gladness on our hearth and know
There is no flame can make them warm.


Date: 1920

By: Hortense King Flexner (1885-1973)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Spook by James Francis Carlin MacDonnell

The most horrible sight I ever saw
Was the soul of a scare-crow, gaunt and queer,
Made of Humor, the Shadow of straw
And a foolish notion of Fear.

From: Carlin, Francis, The Cairn of Stars, 1920, Henry Holt and Company: New York, p. 96.

Date: 1920

By: James Francis Carlin MacDonnell (1881-1944)

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dance of the Dust Witches by William Haskell Simpson

Are you not weary,
O desert dust witches?

I cannot see who waltzes with you
In close embrace–
But your lips meet hotly in kisses,

Your hair is disheveled,
Your ribbons are flying,
Your skirts are in tatters.

The music you dance to–
It comes from fiddles bewitched.


Date: 1920

By: William Haskell Simpson (1858-1933)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Flying Dutchman by Edward Arlington Robinson

Unyielding in the pride of his defiance,
Afloat with none to serve or to command,
Lord of himself at last, and all by Science,
He seeks the Vanished Land.

Alone, by the one light of his one thought,
He steers to find the shore from which we came, —
Fearless of in what coil he may be caught
On seas that have no name.

Into the night he sails; and after night
There is a dawning, though there be no sun;
Wherefore, with nothing but himself in sight,
Unsighted, he sails on.

At last there is a lifting of the cloud
Between the flood before him and the sky;
And then — though he may curse the Power aloud
That has no power to die —

He steers himself away from what is haunted
By the old ghost of what has been before, —
Abandoning, as always, and undaunted,
One fog-walled island more.


Date: 1920

By: Edward Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Little Tree by Edward Estlin Cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”.


Date: 1920

By: Edward Estlin Cummings (1894-1962)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.


Date: 1920

By: Robert Frost (1874-1963)