Posts tagged ‘1931’

Friday, 27 May 2022

This Glittering Grief by Robert Liddell Lowe

This glittering grief is all I have
Of you who went before a wave
Would go. A frightened fox in flight
Were not so swift. This sorrow, bright
And shining, is my legacy.
You are a muted memory,
A testament inscribed in sand,
A syllable the lightning’s hand
Wrote transiently across the sky.
You are no more than these—and I
Must mimic now the minor note
Of grieving water’s silver throat.
O little grief, be great. O small
Diminished sorrow, tower tall—
Lest I forget this vanished one,
Too lovely for oblivion.

From: Lowe, Robert Liddell, “This Glittering Grief” in Poetry, Volume XXXIX, Number 1, October 1931, p. 14.

Date: 1931

By: Robert Liddell Lowe (1908-1988)

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Papermill by Joseph Anthony Kalar

Not to be believed, this blunt savage wind
Blowing in chill empty rooms, this tornado
Surging and bellying across the oily floor
Pushing men out in streams before it;
Not to be believed, this dry fall
Of unseen fog drying the oil
And emptying the jiggling greasecups;
Not to be believed, this unseen hand
Weaving a filmy rust of spiderwebs
Over these turbines and grinding gears,
These snarling chippers and pounding jordans;
These fingers placed to lips saying shshsh:
Keep silent, keep silent, keep silent;
Not to be believed hardly, this clammy silence
Where once feet stamped over the oily floor,
Dinnerpails clattered, voices rose and fell
In laughter, curses, and songs. Now the guts
Of this mill have ceased and red changes to black,
Steam is cold water, silence is rust, and quiet
Spells hunger. Look at these men, now,
Standing before the iron gates, mumbling,
“Who could believe it? Who could believe it?”


Date: 1931

By: Joseph Anthony Kalar (1906-1972)

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Southern Mansion by Arnaud “Arna” Wendell Bontemps

Poplars are standing there still as death
And ghosts of dead men
Meet their ladies walking
Two by two beneath the shade
And standing on the marble steps.

There is a sound of music echoing
Through the open door
And in the field there is
Another sound tinkling in the cotton:
Chains of bondmen dragging on the ground.

The years go back with an iron clank,
A hand is on the gate,
A dry leaf trembles on the wall.
Ghosts are walking.
They have broken roses down
And poplars stand there still as death.


Date: 1931

By: Arnaud “Arna” Wendell Bontemps (1902-1973)

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

January 2nd by “Den”

How many have you broken up till now?
I know that yesterday you made a vow.
And most solemnly ’twas spoken;
But how many have you broken?
Oh, you kept ’em for an hour or two — But how?

You swore at twelve o’clock or thereabouts,
Most resolutely, scorning any doubts,
That the glad New Year would find you
With your vices all behind you.
And you’d be the very best of good boy scouts.

But you fell. And, oh, how quickly did you fall!
And now you’re feeling low, and mean, and small;
For, despite all your devising,
You have come to realising
That you’re really only human after all.

Ah, well, at least you had the will to try;
And you may reform some day before you die,
And there’s this small consolation
On the road to reformation;
There’s another New Year coming by and by.

From: “Den”, “2nd January”, The Herald, Friday 2 January 1931, p. 4.

Date: 1931

By: “Den” (fl. 1931)

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Remembering by Waldo (Goronwy) Williams

Before the sun has left the sky, one minute,
One dear minute, before the journeying night,
To call to mind the things that are forgotten
Now in the dust of ages lost from sight.

Like foam of a wave on a lonely seacoast breaking,
Like the wind’s song where there’s no ear to mind,
I know they’re calling, calling to us vainly –
Old unremembered things of humankind.

Exploit and skill of early generations,
From tiny cottages or mighty hall,
Fine tales that centuries ago were scattered,
The gods that nobody knows now at all.

Little words of old, fugitive languages
That were sprightly on the lips of men
And pretty to the ear in the prattle of children –
But no one’s tongue will call on them again.

Oh, generations on the earth unnumbered,
Their divine dreams, fragile divinity –
Is only silence left to the hearts’ affections
That once rejoiced and grieved as much as we?

Often when I’m alone and it’s near nightfall,
I yearn to acknowledge you and know each one.
Is there no way fond memory can keep you,
Forgotten ancient things of the family of man?


Date: 1931 (original in Welsh); 1997 (translation in English)

By: Waldo (Goronwy) Williams (1904-1971)

Translated by: Anthony Conran (1931-2013)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Autopsychography by Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa

(Poets feign and conceal
So completely feign and pretend
That the pain which they really feel
They’ll feign for you in the end

And he who reads what they’ve done
Never senses the twofold pain
That’s in them, only the one
Which they never feel but feign

And so, to amuse our minds
Round again to the start
On its circular railway winds
That toy train called the heart.)


Date: 1931 (original), 1969 (translation)

By: Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa (1888-1935)

Translated by: Michael Peter Leopold Hamburger (1924-2007)

Monday, 21 January 2013

Morning Has Broken by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird.
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing fresh from the word.

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dew fall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning,
Born of the one light Eden saw play.
Praise with elation, praise every morning,
God’s re-creation of the new day.

Cool the gray clouds roll, peaking the mountains,
Gull in her free flight, swooping the skies.
Praise for the mystery, misting the morning,
Behind the shadow, waiting to shine.

I am the sunrise, warming the heavens,
Spilling my warm glow over the earth.
Praise for the brightness of this new morning,
Filling my spirit with Your great love.

Mine is a turning, mine is a new life,
Mine is a journey closer to You.
Praise for the sweet glimpse, caught in a moment,
Joy breathing deeply, dancing in flight.


Date: 1931

By: Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965)

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Deserted House by Dorothy Violet Wellesley

Knowing the house deserted, amid the darkness of trees,
That seemed to my memories
Flat as vernal scenery upon a stage,
Greatly daring I came to the house again;
Came straight, for I knew its intimacies;
Broke through bracken and wood to the tower with the weather-vane:
Came to visit the place I thought not to visit again.

And knowing the secret ways between tree and tree,
I came through undergrowth to the falling folly once more,
Where we played together, my brother and I, and he
Who died by his own hand, another brother to me.
But the folly had gone; and down I kneeled on the floor
That remained, a great slab of stone, the tombstone of three.

And the ghosts rose up: children who trotted beside
Me, a child again. But alone I had not died.

And that time I feared the deserted house, and the brake,
The trees and the glades of the wood,
I feared the forsaken garden,
For none of the living were there, and another ghost,
He who gave me life (and his spirit I feared the most),
Walked, silent, forever alone, alongside the lake,
Whom no living woman had understood.

And I came yet a second time to that house and garden,
With the one whom I love, saying: “Come, let us enter the
That I feared so before to do.”
And we climbed by a window and stood
On the old blank landing I knew,
Where, a child, on the stairway to bed,
In a corner I huddled alone to look at the stars,
Where first the awe and the fear of infinity took me.
We went up the hollow stairs and after us followed the dead.
In the empty nursery I cried: “There, there, was the bed,
Where she beat me and shook me,
When I cried with terror at night.”

Then the one whom I love
Held me long on that spot, held me deep,
Murmuring: “Here is the healing,
Here is the answer, the pardon.”
Since when I play with the ghosts in the house and the garden
In dreams,
When asleep.


Date: 1931

By: Dorothy Violet Wellesley (1889-1956)

Friday, 6 April 2012

Dusk by C J Dennis

Now is the healing, quiet hour that fills
   This gay, green world with peace and grateful rest.
Where lately over opalescent hills
   The blood of slain Day reddened all the west,
   Now comes at Night’s behest,
A glow that over all the forest spills,
As with the gold of promised daffodils.
   Of all hours this is best.

It is time for thoughts of holy things,
   Of half-forgotten friends and one’s own folk.
O’er all, the garden-scented sweetness clings
   To mingle with the wood fire’s drifting smoke.
   A bull-frog’s startled croak
Sounds from the gully where the last bird sings
His laggard vesper hymn, with folded wings;
   And night spreads forth her cloak.

Keeping their vigil where the great range yearns,
   Like rigid sentries stand the wise old gums.
On blundering wings a night-moth wheels and turns
   And lumbers on, mingling its drowsy hums
   With that far roll of drums,
Where the swift creek goes tumbling amidst the ferns…
Now, as the first star in the zenith burns,
   The dear, soft darkness comes.


Date: 1931

By: C J Dennis (1876-1938)

Alternative Title: In A Forest Garden