Posts tagged ‘1959’

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

& The Tea Will Seem Golden by Peter Anton Orlovsky

Oh, Oh mama whare did you go
what did you do with your human cry
the wine you drank when I was 14-teen
you beat your head on the grownd
I stood near by watching this
its the tears I remember most
the yells forgotten, my age disappeared
I wanted you to stop, I even got mad at you
for banging your self so
So I through you in bed but you kissed me good night
night has made lonely dances in your head
cigrette ashes dry up your tears
I’m older now I could put my arm around you if you were to
cry again So Ma cry like you used to
lets go thro that sadness again, more agoney Ma
& then we’ll have a long talk afterwards & the tea will seem golden
& we’ll pat bellies again & tickle each others feet –

1959 N.Y.C.

From: https://www.lyrikline.org/en/poems/tea-will-seem-golden-15687

Date: 1959

By: Peter Anton Orlovsky (1933-2010)

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Suburban Song by Elizabeth Richmond Riddell

Now all the dogs with folded paws
Stare at the lowering sky
This is the hour when women hear
Their lives go ticking by.

The baker’s horse with rattling hooves
Upon the windy hill
Mocks the thunder in the heart
Of women sitting still.

The poppies in the garden turn
Their faces to the sand
And tears upon the sewing fall
And on the stranger’s hand.

Flap flap the washing flies
To meet the starting hail
Close the door on love and hang
The key upon the nail.

From: https://jml297.com/2017/10/05/poem-suburban-song-by-elizabeth-riddell/

Date: 1959

By: Elizabeth Richmond Riddell (1910-1998)

Sunday, 24 May 2020

My Mother by Leonard George Wolf

My Mother used to say:
Laughter and light—
That’s all it takes to deal with life.

And, with that,
She became urgently busy,
Worked like a horse,
Cooking, washing,
Bedroom to cellar,
Cupboard to attic,
Windows and walls,

Until her hands were like the hands
Of a day laborer:

Out of the water
Into the dough,
Out of the dough,
Into the water.

And running, running
Running like a heavy bird
Newly created and already sick
That hardly knows what food
It ought to eat

Well . . .

When she came to die
It’s true that she had, indeed,
A golden candelabrum for
Her Chanukahs,
But, as for laughter . . .

Hush—

An ugly story.

From: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/leonard-wolf/a-group-of-poems/

Date: 1959 (original in Yiddish); 1959 (translation in English)

By: Leonard George Wolf (1923-2019)

Translated by: Leonard George Wolf (1923-2019)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

If This is a Man by Primo Michele Levi

You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud,
Who does not know peace,
Who fights for a scrap of bread,
Who dies because of a yes or a no.
Consider if this is a woman
Without hair and without name,
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter.
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_This_Is_a_Man

Date: 1947 (Italian); 1959 (English)

By: Primo Michele Levi (1919-1987)

Translated by: Stuart Woolf (1936- )

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Intruder by Carolyn Kizer

My mother– preferring the strange to the tame:
Dove-note, bone marrow, deer dung,
Frog’s belly distended with finny young,
Leaf-mould wilderness, hare-bell, toadstool,
Odd, small snakes loving through the leaves,
Metallic beetles rambling over stones: all
Wild and natural -flashed out her instinctive love, and quick, she
Picked up the fluttering, bleeding bat the cat laid at her feet,
And held the little horror to the mirror, where
He gazed on himself and shrieked like an old screen door far off.

Depended from her pinched thumb, each wing
Came clattering down like a small black shutter.
Still tranquil, she began, “It’s rather sweet…”
The soft mouse body, the hard feral glint
In the caught eyes. Then we saw
And recoiled: lice, pallid, yellow,
Nested within the wing-pits, cozily sucked and snoozed.
The thing dropped from her hands, and with its thud,
Swiftly, the cat with a clean careful mouth
Closed on the soiled webs, growling, took them out to the back stoop.

But still, dark blood, a sticky puddle on the floor
Remained, of all my mother’s tender, wounding passion
For a whole wild, lost, betrayed and secret life
Among its dens and burrows, its clean stones,
Whose denizens can turn upon the world
With spitting tongue, an odor, talon, claw
To sting or soil benevolence, alien
As our clumsy traps, our random scatter of shot,
She swept to the kitchen. Turning on the tap,
She washed and washed the pity from her hands.

From: http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/5633/the_intruder

Date: 1959

By: Carolyn Kizer (1925- )

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Integrated Adjective by John Patrick O’Grady (Nino Culotta)

I was down the Riverina, knockin’ ’round the towns a bit,
And occasionally resting with a schooner in me mitt,
And on one of these occasions, when the bar was pretty full
And the local blokes were arguin’ assorted kind of bull,
I heard a conversation, most peculiar in its way.
It’s only in Australia you would hear a joker say:

“Howya bloody been, ya drongo, haven’t seen ya fer a week,
And yer mate was lookin’ for ya when ya come in from the creek.
‘E was lookin’ up at Ryan’s, and around at bloody Joe’s,
And even at the Royal, where ‘e bloody NEVER goes”.

And the other bloke says “Seen ‘im? Owed ‘im half a bloody quid.
Forgot to give it back to him, but now I bloody did –
Could’ve used the thing me bloody self. Been off the bloody booze,
Up at Tumba-bloody-rumba shootin’ kanga-bloody-roos.”

Now the bar was pretty quiet, and everybody heard
The peculiar integration of this adjectival word,
But no-one there was laughing, and me – I wasn’t game,
So I just sits back and lets them think I spoke the bloody same.

Then someone else was interested to know just what he got,
How many kanga-bloody-roos he went and bloody shot,
And the shooting bloke says “Things are crook –
the drought’s too bloody tough.
I got forty-two by seven, and that’s good e-bloody-nough.”

And, as this polite rejoinder seemed to satisfy the mob,
Everyone stopped listening and got on with the job,
Which was drinkin’ beer, and arguin’, and talkin’ of the heat,
Of boggin’ in the bitumen in the middle of the street,
But as for me, I’m here to say the interesting piece of news
Was Tumba-bloody-rumba shootin’ kanga-bloody-roos.

From: http://www.abc.net.au/overnights/stories/s1307296.htm

Date: 1959

By: John Patrick O’Grady (Nino Culotta) (1907-1981)

Alternative Title: Tumba-Bloody-Rumba

Friday, 19 July 2013

Dream Song 14 by John Berryman

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) “Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.” I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as Achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into the mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

From: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/Berryman.14.html

Date: 1959

By: John Berryman (1914-1972)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Advice to a Prophet by Richard Wilbur

When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city,
Mad-eyed from stating the obvious,
Not proclaiming our fall but begging us
In God’s name to have self-pity,
Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,
The long numbers that rocket the mind;
Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind,
Unable to fear what is too strange.
Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race.
How should we dream of this place without us?
The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us,
A stone look on the stone’s face?
Speak of the world’s own change. Though we cannot conceive
Of an undreamt thing, we know our cost
How the dreamt cloud crumbles, the vines are blackened by frost,
How the view alters. We could believe,
If you told us so, that the white-tailed deer will slip
Into perfect shade, grown perfectly shy,
The lark avoid the reaches of our eye,
The jack-pine lose its knuckled grip
On the cold ledge, and every torrent burn
As Xanthus once, its gliding trout
Stunned in a twinkling. What should we be without
The dolphin’s arc, the dove’s return,
These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken?
As us, prophet, how we shall call
Our natures forth when that live tongue is all
Dispelled, that glass obscured or broken
In which we have said the rose of our love and the clean
Horse of our courage, in which beheld
The singing locust of the soul unshelled,
And all we mean or wish to mean.
Ask us, ask us whether the worldless rose
Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding
Whether there shall be lofty or long standing
When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close.

From: http://www.ibiblio.org/ipa/poems/wilbur/advice_to_a_prophet.php

Date: 1959

By: Richard Wilbur (1921- )

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Discardment by Alan Stewart Paton

We gave her a discardment
A trifle, a thing no longer to be worn,
Its purpose served, its life done.
She put it on with exclamations,
Her eyes shone, she called and cried,
The great bulk of her pirouetted
She danced and mimed, sang snatches of a song.
she called out blessings in her native tongue
She called out to her fellow-servants
Then the strangers and passers-by
To all the continent of Africa
To see this wonder, to participate
In this intolerable joy.
And so for nothing
Is purchased loyalty and trust
And the unquestioning obedience
Of the earth’s most rare simplicity.
So for nothing
The destruction of a world.

From: http://toowylde.tripod.com/paton.html

Date: 1959

By: Alan Stewart Paton (1903-1988)

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Te Deum by Charles Reznikoff

Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day’s work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.

From: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16822

Date: 1959

By: Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976)