Posts tagged ‘1949’

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Solstice by Col M.

I trace my trail on Winter’s frosted glass,
The long beach dull save where the shallows shine;
The wind finds voices in the withered grass,
And where the waves die winter’s eyes meet mine.
Bleak and inhuman, glittering from a mask.
And all this world lies crushed in winter’s hand,
The shells like fallen stars in seaweed’s dusk,
The sodden driftwood sinking in the sand,
The grey horizon melting in the night.
The fingers of the waves slip from my own,
Sand stings, and storm-clouds roll and spill their light;
Their thunder drums me home. And now, alone,
Winter resumes its mask to hide its hate,
While ghosts of summer flicker in my grate.


From: Col M., ‘Solstice’ in The Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 3624 (27 July 1949), p. 10.

Date: 1949

By: Col M. (fl. 1949)

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Song by Jacques Prévert

What day are we?
We are every day
My friend
We’re the whole of life
My love
We love and we live
We live and we love
And we don’t really know
What life is
And we don’t really know
What the day is
And we don’t really know
What love is


Date: 1949 (original in French); 1997 (translation in English)

By: Jacques Prévert (1900-1977)

Translated by: Alastair Campbell (19??- )

Sunday, 28 October 2018

The Banshee Called for Me by John Alfred “Jack” Sorensen

I heard the Banshee call last night
The Banshee called for me,
Out where the shrouded clouds slain light
Patterned a bloodwood tree
She called twice eerily.

The wind gushed down from the Leopolds
To sunder the sullen night
With a song it learned in the mystery holds
That never knew light nor sight.
The voice of a mountain’s might.

With fright clutched throat and sweat-bathed face
I lay on my bamboo bed,
My hut was fey as is a place
Of the unforgiven dead.
But a voice within me said:

Her grim forbode in my native “Meath”
I well could understand
But she follows me with moan of death
To this carefree sun sweet land.
Then anger forced my hand.

I went forthwith to the bloodwood tree
And found her crouching there.
Raw rage was running red in me
My despair had mastered fear
As I grasped her wind-swept hair.

Wind flayed the staid Pandana Palms
(The wind is a frantic fool)
As I carried her with hate-steeled arms
To the bunyip-haunted pool.
She drowned in the waters cool.

The lilies closed above her head
But never a cry made she;
Then I sought sleep on the bamboo bed
In my hut near the bloodwood tree.
But ere dawn she called for me.


Date: 1949

By: John Alfred “Jack” Sorensen (1907-1949)

Friday, 29 June 2018

Epigram: A Ship-Wreck’d Sailor by Theodoridas of Syracus

A ship-wreck’d sailor, buried on this coast,
Bids you set sail.
Full many a gallant ship, when we were lost,
Weathered the gale.

From: Wellesley, Henry, Anthologia Polyglotta. A selection of versions in various languages, chiefly from the Greek Anthology, 1849, John Murray: London, p. 300.

Date: 3rd century BCE (original in Greek); 1849 (translation in English)

By: Theodoridas of Syracuse (3rd century BCE)

Translated by: Henry Wellesley (1791-1866)

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

A Letter for All-Hallows by Peter Kane Dufault

I am still hurt, Plin,
by your desertion. Now and again,
between rains, or among
sagged syllables on a page,
I am stopped suddenly by your grinning
lantern-jawed, monkey-eared beautiful face —
and I am hurt because you went to war
and died right in the middle of your letters
and never said goodbye.

And then your father followed you,
at a respectful distance,
and the high house on the hill went
for a Trappist monkery. . . . I hope those monks
have veneration for the juniper
and the blackberries and the frogpond
and the dust of toy-soldiers in the attic
where we warred long November afternoons. —
Above all, for the black road that,
if I listen on All-Souls’ Eve, will clatter
to the gait of you riding home
from the white woods on Diamond, your horse.

The glue is long since dry
they made of him. Yet we mark well:
He was the last of the historic horses.
Revere rode him, and Sheridan,
and Sitting Bull. . . .

I hope those monks treat you gently, shades
galloping alongside the emptying meadows,
from Concord and Lexington,
from the fords of the Shenandoah,
the forks of the Little Bighorn.

Surely they would not be unmerciful
and frighten away with signs and bells and torches
so young an old-soldier and his friend
who, one way or another, were made ghosts
in all their country’s wars.


Date: 1949

By: Peter Kane Dufault (1923-2013)

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Viking Terror by Anonymous

Fierce is the wind tonight,
It ploughs up the white hair of the sea
I have no fear that the Viking hosts
Will come over the water to me.


Date: 7th or 8th century (original in Gaelic); 1949 (translation in English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Fred Norris Robinson (1871-1966)

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Song for the Last Act by Louise Bogan

Now that I have your face by heart, I look
Less at its features than its darkening frame
Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame,
Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd’s crook.
Beyond, a garden. There, in insolent ease
The lead and marble figures watch the show
Of yet another summer loath to go
Although the scythes hang in the apple trees.

Now that I have your face by heart, I look.

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read
In the black chords upon a dulling page
Music that is not meant for music’s cage,
Whose emblems mix with words that shake and bleed.
The staves are shuttled over with a stark
Unprinted silence. In a double dream
I must spell out the storm, the running stream.
The beat’s too swift. The notes shift in the dark.

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read.

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see
The wharves with their great ships and architraves;
The rigging and the cargo and the slaves
On a strange beach under a broken sky.
O not departure, but a voyage done!
The bales stand on the stone; the anchor weeps
Its red rust downward, and the long vine creeps
Beside the salt herb, in the lengthening sun.

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see.


Date: 1949

By: Louise Bogan (1897-1970)

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Slow Days Passing by Yosa Buson (Taniguchi Buson)

Slow days passing, accumulating, –
How distant they are,
The things of the past!


Date: 17? (Japanese), 1949 (translated)

By: Yosa Buson (Taniguchi Buson) (1716-1784)

Translated by: Reginald Horace Blyth (1898-1964)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Drovers by Roland Robinson

Over the plains of the whitening grass
and the stunted mulga the drovers pass,
and in the red dust cloud, each side
of the cattle, the native stockmen ride.

And day after day lays bare the same
endless plains as the way they came,
and ever the cloven ranges lie
at the end of the land and the opal sky.

With creak of pack and saddle leather,
and chink of chain and bit together,
with moan of the herd with hobble and bell
they come to the tanks at the tea-tree well.

And through corroding blood-red hills
by sanded rivers the Gulf-rain fills,
far, where the morning star has shone
and paled above, their tracks are gone.


Date: 1949

By: Roland Robinson (1913-1992)