Posts tagged ‘1921’

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

War-Time by Mary Eliza Fullerton

Young John, the postman, day by day,
In sunshine or in rain,
Comes down our road with words of doom
In envelopes of pain.

What cares he as he swings along
At his mechanic part,
How many times his hand lets fall
The knocker on a heart?

He whistles merry scraps of song,
What’er his bag contain—
Of words of death, of words of doom
In envelopes of pain.

From: Fullerton, Mary E., The Breaking Furrow, 2003, University of Sydney Library: Sydney, p. 28.
(http://adc.library.usyd.edu.au/data-2/fulbrea.pdf)

Date: 1921

By: Mary Eliza Fullerton (1868-1946)

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Monday, 29 February 2016

Queen-Anne’s-Lace by William Carlos Williams

Her body is not so white as
anemone petals nor so smooth—nor
so remote a thing. It is a field
of the wild carrot taking
the field by force; the grass
does not raise above it.
Here is no question of whiteness,
white as can be, with a purple mole
at the center of each flower.
Each flower is a hand’s span
of her whiteness. Wherever
his hand has lain there is
a tiny purple blemish. Each part
is a blossom under his touch
to which the fibres of her being
stem one by one, each to its end,
until the whole field is a
white desire, empty, a single stem,
a cluster, flower by flower,
a pious wish to whiteness gone over—
or nothing.

From: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/queen-annes-lace

Date: 1921

By: William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

My Heart by Loureine Aber

This is my heart:
Cliffs,
And sea gulls beating against them piteously,
Moons,
Hungry and demented,
Flowers drying up before drought.

This is my heart:
The dusky presence of trees
Hung with night,
Stars falling……………
Who shall encompass it and bear chains to it?
Who shall measure its girth
Or give it a name?
Not you — girl with the pleading eyes —
Nor you — man with fire fingers……………
For where is its limit,
And where its boundaries?

From: Aber, Loureine, We, the Musk Chasers, 1921, Ralph Fletcher Seymour: Chicago, p. 39.
(https://archive.org/stream/wemuskchasers00aber#page/38/mode/2up)

Date: 1921

By: Loureine Aber (1893-1930)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

War and Peace by Edgell Rickword

In sodden trenches I have heard men speak,
Though numb and wretched, wise and witty things;
And loved them for the stubbornness that clings
Longest to laughter when Death’s pulleys creak;

And seeing cool nurses move on tireless feet
To do abominable things with grace,
Deemed them sweet sisters in that haunted place
Where, with child’s voices, strong men howl or bleat.

Yet now those men lay stubborn courage by,
Riding dull-eyed and silent in the train
To old men’s stools; or sell gay-coloured socks
And listen fearfully for Death; so I
Love the low-laughing girls, who now again
Go daintily, in thin and flowery frocks.

From: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/248656

Date: 1921

By: Edgell Rickword (1898-1982)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

One Shall Be Taken and the Other Left by Aline Murray Kilmer

There is no Rachel any more
And so it does not really matter.
Leah alone is left, and she
Goes her own way inscrutably.
Soft-eyed she goes, content to scatter
Fine sand along a barren shore
Where there was sand enough before:
Or from a well that has no water
Raising a futile pitcher up
Lifts to her lips an empty cup.
Now she is Laban’s only daughter:
There is no Rachel any more.

From: Kilmer, Aline, Vigils, 1921, George H. Doran Company: New York, p. 48.
(http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/kilmer/vigils/vigils.html)

Date: 1921

By: Aline Murray Kilmer (1888-1941)

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Leda by Hilda Doolittle

Where the slow river
meets the tide,
a red swan lifts red wings
and darker beak,
and underneath the purple down
of his soft breast
uncurls his coral feet.

Through the deep purple
of the dying heat
of sun and mist,
the level ray of sun-beam
has caressed
the lily with dark breast,
and flecked with richer gold
its golden crest.

Where the slow lifting
of the tide,
floats into the river
and slowly drifts
among the reeds,
and lifts the yellow flags,
he floats
where tide and river meet.

Ah kingly kiss–
no more regret
nor old deep memories
to mar the bliss;
where the low sedge is thick,
the gold day-lily
outspreads and rests
beneath soft fluttering
of red swan wings
and the warm quivering
of the red swan’s breast.

From: H.D., Hymen, 1921, The Egoist Press: London, p. 23.
(http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/doolittle/hymen/hymen.html)

Date: 1921

By: Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

America by Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate,
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet, as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time’s unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

From: http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poem/173957

Date: 1921

By: Claude McKay (1889-1948)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Land of Beginning Again by Laurel Louisa (Fletcher) Tarkington Connely

I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat by the door
And never be put on again.

I wish we could come on it all unaware
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail
And I wish that the one whom our blindness has done
The greatest injustice of all
Could be at the gates like an old friend that waits
For the comrade he’s gladdest to hail.

We would find all the things we intended to do
But forgot, and remembered too late;
Little praises unspoken, little promises broken
And all of the thousand and one
Little duties neglected that might have perfected
The day for one less fortunate.

It wouldn’t be possible not to be kind
In the Land of Beginning Again
And the ones we misjudged and the ones whom we grudged
Their moments of victory then
Would find in the grasp of our loving handclasp
More than penitent lips could explain.

For what had been hardest we’d know had been best
And what had seemed loss would be gain
For there isn’t a sting that will not take a wing
When we’ve faced it and laughed it away,
And I think that the laughter is most what we’re after
In the Land of Beginning Again.

So I wish that there were some wondered place
Called the Land of Beginning Again
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never be put on again.

From: http://pastortomsims.typepad.com/the_dream_factory/2009/01/the-land-of-beg.html

Date: 1921

By: Laurel Louisa (Fletcher) Tarkington Connely (?1880-1923)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Said Hanrahan by John O’Brien

“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
     In accents most forlorn,
Outside the church, ere Mass began,
     One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,
     Coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
     As it had done for years.

“It’s looking crook,” said Daniel Croke;
     “Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad,
For never since the banks went broke
     Has seasons been so bad.”

“It’s dry, all right,” said young O’Neil,
     With which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel
     And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran
     “It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt.”
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
     “Before the year is out.”

“The crops are done; ye’ll have your work
     To save one bag of grain;
From here way out to Back-o’-Bourke
     They’re singin’ out for rain.

“They’re singin’ out for rain,” he said,
     “And all the tanks are dry.”
The congregation scratched its head,
     And gazed around the sky.

“There won’t be grass, in any case,
     Enough to feed an ass;
There’s not a blade on Casey’s place
     As I came down to Mass.”

“If rain don’t come this month,” said Dan,
     And cleared his throat to speak –
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
     “If rain don’t come this week.”

A heavy silence seemed to steal
     On all at this remark;
And each man squatted on his heel,
     And chewed a piece of bark.

“We want an inch of rain, we do,”
     O’Neil observed at last;
But Croke “maintained” we wanted two
     To put the danger past.

“If we don’t get three inches, man,
     Or four to break this drought,
We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
     “Before the year is out.”

In God’s good time down came the rain;
     And all the afternoon
On iron roof and window-pane
     It drummed a homely tune.

And through the night it pattered still,
     And lightsome, gladsome elves
On dripping spout and window-sill
     Kept talking to themselves.

It pelted, pelted all day long,
     A-singing at its work,
Till every heart took up the song
     Way out to Back-o’-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran,
     And dams filled overtop;
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
     “If this rain doesn’t stop.”

And stop it did, in God’s good time;
     And spring came in to fold
A mantle o’er the hills sublime
     Of green and pink and gold.

And days went by on dancing feet,
     With harvest-hopes immense,
And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
     Nid-nodding o’er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face,
     As happy lad and lass
Through grass knee-deep on Casey’s place
     Went riding down to Mass.

While round the church in clothes genteel
     Discoursed the men of mark,
And each man squatted on his heel,
     And chewed his piece of bark.

“There’ll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
     There will, without a doubt;
We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
     “Before the year is out.”

From: http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/obrienj/poetry/hanrahan.html

Date: 1921

By: John O’Brien (1878-1952)