Posts tagged ‘1935’

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

I Know It As the Sorrow by William “Bill” Everson (Brother Antoninus)

I have wondered long at the ache in my blood,
The waking as a child weeping in the dark for no reason,
The strange sadness when the storm-tide lures the leaves to the wanton dance.
I know it now as the grief of long-gone women
Shivering in the cliff-wind,
While the lean boats dipped in the fjord,
And the home-returning warriors stooped on the bitter shore, bearing the slain.
I know it as the intolerable sorrow of little children too strong to weep in the light,
Who could not smother the sobs in the gloom of the Norway pines,
Remember the Danes from the dawn,
And the bright steel slashing the dusk.
It is the unutterable sadness of the sea;
The memory, deep in the bone, of the flesh straining,
The nerves screaming, but the lips loosing it never;
The unrejectable heritage, learned in the womb a thousand years ago,
And given from blood to blood
Till it lis at last in the secret depths of my soul.

In the lightning-whetted night,
When the thick wind sucks at the eaves
And rides the ridgepole into the wisp of the first dim dawn,
I dream in the dark,
And voice again the ancient song,
And find no joy in the singing.

From: Everson, William, The Residual Years: Pomes 1934-1948, Including A Selection of Uncollected and Previously Unpublished Poems, Volume I, 1997, Black Sparrow Press: Santa Rosa, California, p. 13.

Date: 1935

By: William “Bill” Everson (Brother Antoninus) (1912-1994)

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Goblin Tower by Frank Belknap Long

The Goblin Tower stood and stood
And stood for years and years:
And it was haunted splendidly
By twenty thousand Fears.
The Fears were tall and very old,
With scars upon their faces;
And there were Greek and Hindoo Fears,
And Fears of Saxon races.
The Tower’s window looked upon
A moat of thunderous green;
And red lights shone behind the panes
Where gallant ghosts had been.
The ghosts were shyer than the rats
That lived in Roland´s hall;
And they reposed upon the chairs
Or walked upon the wall.
Until the Fears took up the lance
And chased them screaming hence;
And now they wander in the moat
Or climb the castle fence.
I dreamed the Goblin Castle fell
And vanished in the night:
And yet for years and years and years
It was a gorgeous sight.


Date: 1935

By: Frank Belknap Long (1901-1994)

Thursday, 1 October 2015

An Epistle to a Patron by Frank Templeton Prince

My lord, hearing lately of your opulence in promises and your house
Busy with parasites, of your hands full of favours, your statutes
Admirable as music, and no fear of your arms not prospering, I have
Considered how to serve you and breed from my talents
These few secrets which I shall make plain
To your intelligent glory. You should understand that I have plotted,
Being in command of all the ordinary engines
Of defence and offence, a hundred and fifteen buildings
Less others less complete: complete, some are courts of serene stone,
Some the civil structures of a war-like elegance as bridges,
Sewers, aqueducts and citadels of brick, with which I declare the fact
That your nature is to vanquish. For these I have acquired a knowledge
Of the habits of numbers and of various tempers, and skill in setting
Firm sets of pure bare members which will rise, hanging together
Like an argument, with beams, ties and sistering pilasters:
The lintels and windows with mouldings as round as a girl’s chin; thresholds
To libraries; halls that cannot be entered without a sensation as of myrrh
By your vermilion officers, your sages and dancers. There will be chambers
Like the recovery of a sick man, your closet waiting not
Less suitably shadowed than the heart, and the coffers of a ceiling
To reflect your diplomatic taciturnities. You may commission
Hospitals, huge granaries that will smile to bear your filial plunders,
And stables washed with a silver lime in whose middle tower seated
In the slight acridity you may watch
The copper thunder kept in the sulky flanks of your horse, a rolling field
Of necks glad to be groomed, the strong crupper, the edged hoof
And the long back, seductive and rebellious to saddles.
And barracks, fortresses, in need of no vest save light, light
That to me is breath, food and drink, I live by effects of light, I live
To catch it, to break it, as an orator plays off
Against each other and his theme his casual gems, and so with light,
Twisted in strings, plucked, crossed or knotted or crumbled
As it may be allowed to be by leaves,
Or clanged back by lakes and rocks or otherwise beaten,
Or else spilt and spread like a feast of honey, dripping
Through delightful voids and creeping along long fractures, brimming
Carved canals, bowls and lachrymatories with pearls: all this the work
Of now advancing, now withdrawing faces, whose use I know.
I know what slabs thus will be soaked to a thumb’s depth by the sun
And where to rob them, what colour stifles in your intact quarries, what
Sand silted in your river-gorges will well mix with the dust of flint; I know
What wood to cut by what moon in what weather
Of your sea-winds, your hill-wind: therefore tyrant, let me learn
Your high-ways, ways of sandstone, roads of the oakleaf, and your sea-ways.
Send me to dig dry graves, exposing what you want: I must
Attend your orgies and debates (let others apply for austerities), admit me
To your witty table, stuff me with urban levities, feed me, bind me
To a prudish luxury, free me thus, and with a workshop
From my household consisting
Of a pregnant wife, one female and one boy child and an elder bastard
With other properties; these let me regard, let me neglect, and let
What I begin be finished. Save me, noble sir, from the agony
Of starved and privy explorations such as those I stumble
From a hot bed to make, to follow lines to which the night-sky
Holds only faint contingencies. These flights with no end but failure,
And failure not to end them, these palliate or prevent.
I wish for liberty, let me then be tied: and seeing too much
I aspire to be constrained by your emblems of birth and triumph,
And between the obligations of your future and the checks of actual state
To flourish, adapt the stubs of an interminable descent, and place
The crested key to confident vaults; with a placid flurry of petals,
And bosom and lips, will stony functionaries support
The persuasion, so beyond proof, of your power. I will record
In peculiar scrolls your alien alliances,
Fit an apartment for your eastern hostage, extol in basalt
Your father, praise with white festoons the goddess your lady;
And for your death which will be mine prepare
An encasement as if of solid blood. And so let me
Forget, let me remember, that this is stone, stick, metal, trash
Which I will pile and hack, my hands will stain and bend
(None better knowing how to gain from the slow pains of a marble
Bruised, breathing strange climates). Being pressed as I am, being broken
By wealth and poverty, torn between strength and weakness, take me, choose
To relieve me, to receive of me and must you not agree
As you have been to some — a great giver of banquets, of respite from swords,
Who shook out figured cloths, who rained coin,
A donor of laurel and of grapes, a font of profuse intoxicants — and so,
To be so too for me? And none too soon, since the panting mind
Rather than barren will be prostitute, and once
I served a herd of merchants; but since I will be faithful
And my virtue is such, though far from home let what is yours be mine, and this be a match
As many have been proved, enduring exiles and blazed
Not without issue in returning shows: your miserly freaks
Your envies, racks and poisons not out of mind
Although not told, since often borne — indeed how should it be
That you employed them less than we? But now be flattered a little
To indulge the extravagant gist of this communication,
For my pride puts all in doubt and at present I have no patience,
I have simply hope, and I submit me
To your judgement which will be just.

From: Schmidt, Michael (ed.), The Harvill Book of Twentieth-Century Poetry in English, 2003, The Harvill Press: London, pp. 290-292.

Date: 1935

By: Frank Templeton Prince (1912-2003)

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Poetry by Marianne Moore

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
all this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp,
eyes that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
they are
useful. When they become so derivative as to become
the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand: the bat
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless
wolf under
a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse
that feels a flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician–
nor is it valid to discriminate against “business documents and

school-books”; all these phenomena are important. One must make
a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
result is not poetry,
nor till the poets among us can be
“literalists of
the imagination”—above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, “imaginary gardens with real toads in them,”
shall we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry.


Date: 1935 (earlier 13 line version 1925, final 4 line version 1951)

By: Marianne Moore (1887-1972)

Monday, 30 April 2012

Woman Alone by Naomi Mitchison

A woman comforts a man, staring
Beyond his pillowed head, thinking
Of other things, of needful cooking and sewing,
Of flowers in a vase, of the idea of God.
She is giving only her body.
But the man is comforted, he does not know,
Blinded by customary eyes, lips, breasts, tender hands,
That woman’s mind is faithless
It is not with him
Nor with any man, for to her all men are children.
She has been sucked by baby men, giving them her body
As she now gives it.
Suckling, she thought of other things,
Staring out gently over small, breast-pillowed heads, thinking
Of necessary things.
The woman alone.

From: Dowson, Jane, Women’s Poetry of the 1930s: A Critical Anthology, 1996, Routledge:London and New York, p. 81.

Date: 1935

By: Naomi Mitchison (1897-1999)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sunday Morning by Louis MacNeice

Down the road someone is practising scales,
The notes like little fishes vanish with a wink of tails,
Man’s heart expands to tinker with his car
For this is Sunday morning, Fate’s great bazaar;
Regard these means as ends, concentrate on this Now,

And you may grow to music or drive beyond Hindhead anyhow,
Take corners on two wheels until you go so fast
That you can clutch a fringe or two of the windy past,
That you can abstract this day and make it to the week of time
A small eternity, a sonnet self-contained in rhyme.

But listen, up the road, something gulps, the church spire
Open its eight bells out, skulls’ mouths which will not tire
To tell how there is no music or movement which secures
Escape from the weekday time. Which deadens and endures.


Date: 1935

By: Louis MacNeice (1907-1963)