Posts tagged ‘1934’

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Song in Danger by Raymond Peckham Holden

Narrow as the willow leaf,
Slender and full and slight,
Under my love’s belief
That warms this heavy night
Lie still, lie still, my Light!
Love has its peace, though brief.

What latch those thieves may move
That want your happiness,
What small, unnoticed groove
Wedge wide, we cannot guess
Nor their disguise nor dress.
Forget them. Here is love.

Rest, with my lips to shield
The eyelids of your eyes,
My breast to seal the sealed
Breast, where your wild heart flies
Its caught bird, and where lies
Your life, half harmed, half healed.

From: Holden, Raymond, ‘Song in Danger’ in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Volume XLV, Number III, December 1934, pp. 148-149.

Date: 1934

By: Raymond Peckham Holden (1894-1972)

Monday, 9 August 2021

Excerpt from “Women up North, I Want You to Know” by Tillie Lerner Olsen

Women up north, I want you to know
when you finger the exquisite hand-made dresses
what it means, this working from dawn to midnight,
on what strange feet the feverish dawn must come
to maria, catalina, ambrosa,
how the malignant fingers twitching over the pallid faces jerk
them to work,
and the sun and the fever mount with the day-
long plodding hours, the eyes bum like coals, heat jellies
the flying fingers,
down comes the night like blindness.
long hours more with the dim eye of the lamp, the breaking
weariness crawls in the flesh like worms, gigantic like earth’s
in winter.
And for Catalina Rodriguez comes the night sweat and the blood
embroidering the darkness.
for Catalina Torres the pinched faces of four huddled
the naked bodies of four bony children,
the chant of their chorale of hunger.
And for twenty eight hundred ladies of joy the grotesque act gone
over-the wink-the grimace-the “feeling like it baby?”
And for Maria Vasquez, spinster, emptiness, emptiness,
flaming with dresses for children she can never fondle.
And for Ambrosa Espinoza-the skeleton body of her brother on
his mattress of rags, boring twin holes in the dark with his eyes
to the image of christ, remembering a leg, and twenty five years
cut off from his life by the railroad.

Women up north, I want you to know,
I tell you this can’t last forever.

I swear it won’t.

From: Olsen, Tillie, “I Want You Women up North to Know” in Feminist Studies, Autumn 1981, Vol. 7. No. 3, pp. 367-370.

Date: 1934

By: Tillie Lerner Olsen (1912-2007)

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Into the Streets May First by Alfred Hayes

Into the streets May First!
Into the roaring Square!
Shake the midtown towers!
Shatter the downtown air!
Come with a storm of banners,
Come with an earthquake tread,
Bells, hurl out of your belfries,
Red flag, leap out your red!
Out of the shops and factories,
Up with the sickle and hammer,
Comrades, these are our tools,
A song and a banner!
Roll song, from the sea of our hearts,
Banner, leap and be free;
Song and banner together,
Down with the bourgeoisie!
Sweep the big city, march forward,
The day is a barricade;
We hurl the bright bomb of the sun,
The moon like a hand grenade.
Pour forth like a second flood!
Thunder the alps of the air!
Subways are roaring our milllons–
Comrades, into the square!


Date: 1934

By: Alfred Hayes (1911-1985)

Sunday, 25 March 2018

The Phoenix by William Gerald Golding

The phoenix rose again and flew
With crest and plume and pinion
In splendour from grey ashes flashing
Like a jewel turned beneath the sun

In cities and in palaces,
Or toiling through the hot dumb sand
Bare-footed in the barren hills,
Men saw – and would not understand.

But some there were among the fields
That let the swerving plough jolt on
And stood and gazed against the light
Through wide eyes filled with tears as bright,
Until the burning bird was gone.

Oh Phoenix! did they hear as I
The agony, the lonely cry
Of mateless, mateless, mateless Beauty,
Echoing in the desert sky?

From: “Contemporary Poetry” in The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld), Saturday, 15 December 1934, p. 12.

Date: 1934

By: William Gerald Golding (1911-1993)

Friday, 26 May 2017

Dyad by Richmond Alexander Lattimore

If lead or steel should interrupt
By sleight or driven force the task
Of this red stubborn muscle cupped
Behind the ribs, then, I must ask,

Shall this dead organ labeled dust
Drag in immediate decline
The soul’s self down with it, and must
The inward world that I call mine

Dissolve in powder? Or in pride
Above the gross material
Wrecked under it, shall something ride
Spelled thereby into freedom, shall

The death about the heart unsheathe
A bud within that waits compressed
And blossoms when I cease to breathe?
Shall I make answer? It is best

Where all men’s reasoning is weak
To take the answer that is sent.
What man shall have the right to speak
Who has not dared experiment?


Date: 1934

By: Richmond Alexander Lattimore (1906-1984)

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Scholar and His Cat, Pangur Bán by Anonymous

I and Pangur Bán my cat,
‘Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his simple skill.

‘Tis a merry task to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our task we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.


Date: 9th century (original in Gaelic); 1934 (translation in English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Robin Ernest William Flower (1881-1946)

Friday, 19 December 2014

Lynched by Frank Ankenbrand, Jr

The flames that licked his bronzed
Body into deathless ash
Have leaped into a giant flame
And burned and blackened all the sky;
For beauty burned and died with him.
No stars can shine again;
Our hearts can never smile;
These lips of ours can never part in mirth;
For in the dust about our feet,
Trampled into earth, are the white ashes of a man,
Who went to his death in a black flame.
The clouds above are black with soot
While bolts of lightning, finger-like,
Point down in shame at this smoldering fire,
This heap of nauseating ash;
For God sees and disapproves
But, American-like, does not act.


Date: 1934

by: Frank Ankenbrand, Jr (1905-1972)

Friday, 25 April 2014

Those Heroes that Shed their Blood by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives…
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore, rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side,
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons from far away countries…
Wipe away your tears.
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land, they have
Become our sons as well.


Date: 1934

By: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938)

Monday, 12 August 2013

Swift Things Are Beautiful by Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth

Swift things are beautiful:
Swallows and deer,
And lightening that falls
Bright-veined and clear,
Rivers and meteors,
Wind in the wheat,
The strong-withered horse,
The runner’s sure feet.

And slow things are beautiful:
The closing of day,
The pause of the wave
That curves downward to spray,
The ember that crumbles,
The opening flower,
And the ox that moves on
In the quiet of power.

From: Coatsworth, Elizabeth, Away Goes Sally, 2003, Bethlehem Books: North Dakota, p. 60.

Date: 1934

By: Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth (1893-1986)

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Summertime by Edwin DuBose Heyward

And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Oh, your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry

One of these mornings
You’re going to rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll take to the sky

But until that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mammy standing by.


Date: 1934

By: Edwin DuBose Heyward (1885-1940)