Posts tagged ‘1932’

Monday, 2 August 2021

Fish Food by John Brooks Wheelwright

An Obituary to Hart Crane

As you drank deep as Thor, did you think of milk or wine?
Did you drink blood, while you drank the salt deep?
Or see through the film of light, that sharpened your rage with its stare,
a shark, dolphin, turtle? Did you not see the Cat
who, when Thor lifted her, unbased the cubic ground?
You would drain fathomless flagons to be slaked with vacuum-
The sea’s teats have suckled you, and you are sunk far
in bubble-dreams, under swaying translucent vines
of thundering interior wonder. Eagles can never now
carry parts of your body, over cupped mountains

as emblems of their anger, embers to fire self-hate
to other wonders, unfolding white, flaming vistas.

Fishes now look upon you, with eyes which do not gossip.
Fishes are never shocked. Fishes will kiss you, each
fish tweak you; every kiss take bits of you away,
till your bones alone will roll, with the Gulf Stream’s swell.
So has it been already, so have the carpers and puffers
nibbled your carcass of fame, each to his liking. Now
in tides of noon, the bones of your thought-suspended structures

gleam as you intended. Noon pulled your eyes with small
magnetic headaches; the will seeped from your blood. Seeds
of meaning popped from the pods of thought. And you fall. And the unseen
churn of Time changes the pearl-hued ocean;
like a pearl-shaped drop, in a huge water-clock
falling; from came to go, from come to went. And you fell.

Waters received you. Waters of our Birth in Death dissolve you.
Now you have willed it, may the Great Wash take you.
As the Mother-Lover takes your woe away, and cleansing
grief and you away, you sleep, you do not snore.
Lie still. Your rage is gone on a bright flood
away; as, when a bad friend held out his hand
you said, ‘Do not talk any more. I know you meant no harm.’
What was the soil whence your anger sprang, who are deaf
as the stones to the whispering flight of the Mississippi’s rivers?
What did you see as you fell? What did you hear as you sank?
Did it make you drunken with hearing?
I will not ask any more. You saw or heard no evil.


Date: 1932

By: John Brooks Wheelwright (1897-1940)

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Ireland by John Harold Hewitt

We Irish pride ourselves as patriots
and tell the beadroll of the valiant ones
since Clontarf’s sunset saw the Norsemen broken…
Aye, and before that too we had our heroes:
but they were mighty fighters and victorious.
The later men got nothing save defeat,
hard transatlantic sidewalks or the scaffold…

We Irish, vainer than tense Lucifer,
are yet content with half-a-dozen turf,
and cry our adoration for a bog,
rejoicing in the rain that never ceases,
and happy to stride over the sterile acres,
or stony hills that scarcely feed a sheep.
But we are fools, I say, are ignorant fools
to waste the spirit’s warmth in this cold air,
to spend our wit and love and poetry
on a half-a-dozen peat and a black bog.

We are not native here or anywhere.
We were the keltic wave that broke over Europe,
and ran up this bleak beach among these stones;
but when the tide ebbed, were left stranded here
in crevices, and ledge-protected pools
that have grown saltier with the drying up
of the great common flow that kept us sweet
with fresh cold draughts from deep down in the ocean.

So we are bitter, and are dying out
in terrible harshness in this lonely place,
and what we think is love for usual rock,
or old affection for our customary ledge,
is but forgotten longing for the sea
that cries far out and calls us to partake
in his great tidal movements round the earth.

From: Bradley, Anthony (ed.), Contemporary Irish Poetry, New and Revised Edition, 1988, University of California Press: Berkeley, pp. 101-102.

Date: 1932

By: John Harold Hewitt (1907-1987)

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Epidermal Macabre by Theodore Huebner Roethke

Indelicate is he who loathes
The aspect of his fleshy clothes, —
The flying fabric stitched on bone,
The vesture of the skeleton,
The garment neither fur nor hair,
The cloak of evil and despair,
The veil long violated by
Caresses of the hand and eye.
Yet such is my unseemliness:
I hate my epidermal dress,
The savage blood’s obscenity,
The rags of my anatomy,
And willingly would I dispense
With false accouterments of sense,
To sleep immodestly, a most
Incarnadine and carnal ghost.


Date: 1932

By: Theodore Huebner Roethke (1908-1963)

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Carpe Diem by Terence Ian Fytton Armstrong (John Gawsworth)

Read me no tale that has not love for theme;
I will not hear those chronicles of gloom,
Lacking the savour of life’s fondest dream,
Telling of virgins in the loveless tomb.
We should be happy for our mortal spell.
Too soon the unbanked fires of life burn low.
Manon and Mimi may have loved too well,
Yet at the summons they were loth to go.
Brief is contentment, short are lionied hours.
Time, swift and sure, soon scythes all blooms to stalk.
Let’s make the Present wonderful whilst ours,
Lost in our love, dispense with needless talk.
Do you not know that all narrated bliss
Is but a fingersnap to your next kiss?


Date: 1932

By: Terence Ian Fytton Armstrong (John Gawsworth) (1912-1970)

Monday, 23 December 2013

Ecce Puer by James Augustine Aloysius Joyce

Of the dark past
A child is born;
With joy and grief
My heart is torn.

Calm in his cradle
The living lies.
May love and mercy
Unclose his eyes!

Young life is breathed
On the glass;
The world that was not
Comes to pass.

A child is sleeping:
An old man gone.
O, father forsaken,
Forgive your son!


Date: 1932

By: James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (1882-1941)

Friday, 5 April 2013

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Clark Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.


Date: 1932

By: Mary Elizabeth Clark Frye (1905-2004)

Friday, 22 March 2013

Menace of History by Edgar Foxall

Life is a spark between extremes,
Earth and the heavens together clash,
Pale Kingdoms vegetate in dreams
Else softly and as softly crash.

We think in pools between the sharks
Of history looming through the void;
Beneath the whiskers of Karl Marx
Libido generated Freud.


Date: 1932

By: Edgar Foxall (1906-1990)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Winter Night by Cecil Day Lewis

For Charles Fenby

This evening holds her breath
And makes a crystal pause;
The streams of light are frozen,
Shining above their source.

Now if ever might one
Break through the sensual gate;
Seraph’s wing glimpse far-glinting.
Is it, is it too late?

We look up at the sky.
Yes, it is mirror clear;
Too well we recognise
The physiognomy there.

Friend, let us look to earth,
Be stubborn, act and sleep.
Here at our feet the skull
Keeps a stiff upper lip;

Feeling the weight of winter,
Grimaces underground;
But does not need to know
Why spirit was flesh-bound.


Date: 1932

By: Cecil Day Lewis (1904-1972)

Monday, 24 October 2011

Dinah in Heaven by Rudyard Kipling

She did not know that she was dead,
But, when the pang was o’er,
Sat down to wait her Master’s tread
Upon the Golden Floor,

With ears full-cock and anxious eye
Impatiently resigned;
But ignorant that Paradise
Did not admit her kind.

Persons with Haloes, Harps, and Wings
Assembled and reproved;
Or talked to her of Heavenly things,
But Dinah never moved.

There was one step along the Stair
That led to Heaven’s Gate;
And, till she heard it, her affair
Was–she explained–to wait.

And she explained with flattened ear,
Bared lip and milky tooth–
Storming against Ithuriel’s Spear
That only proved her truth!

Sudden–far down the Bridge of Ghosts
That anxious spirits clomb–
She caught that step in all the hosts,
And knew that he had come.

She left them wondering what to do,
But not a doubt had she.
Swifter than her own squeal she flew
Across the Glassy Sea;

Flushing the Cherubs every where,
And skidding as she ran,
She refuged under Peter’s Chair
And waited for her man.

. . . . . . .

There spoke a Spirit out of the press,
‘Said:–“Have you any here
That saved a fool from drunkenness,
And a coward from his fear?

“That turned a soul from dark to day
When other help was vain;
That snatched it from Wanhope and made
A cur a man again?”

“Enter and look,” said Peter then,
And set The Gate ajar.
“If I know aught of women and men
I trow she is not far.”

“Neither by virtue, speech nor art
Nor hope of grace to win;
But godless innocence of heart
That never heard of sin:

“Neither by beauty nor belief
Nor white example shown.
Something a wanton–more a thief–
But–most of all–mine own.”

“Enter and look,” said Peter then,
“And send you well to speed;
But, for all that I know of women and men
Your riddle is hard to read.”

Then flew Dinah from under the Chair,
Into his arms she flew–
And licked his face from chin to hair
And Peter passed them through!


Date: 1932

By: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)