Posts tagged ‘1967’

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

The Spirit by Michael Benedikt

Touches of the things upon which we press
Clutch back now; we reach out in thought
And feel their hands in ours
And together we walk down the long road between the summerlit trees
In the park, watching out for the rapists. We do not see anymore
In our room full of glossy furnitures
But feel them (the way we feel the sagging willowyness of that tree
Becoming emblematic of our tenuousness).
They are rising in their lumps and patterns
And we identify them with the various understructurings
Of the body we are forced to use
Whenever we set forth to explore the atmosphere, by breathing.

They have all become the actual people,
We the things.

From: Benedikt, Michael, “The Spirit” in Ambit, No. 33 (1967), p. 3.

Date: 1967

By: Michael Benedikt (1935-2007)

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Same Old Story by Jean Follain

A crow spends the night
on a column
the earth
bedecks itself in primroses
someone delicately breaks
the shell of an egg
without even thinking of death.
It all comes to the same thing
a woman hears herself say in a dream
her head on the hem of the sheet.


Date: 1967 (original in French); 2018 (translation in English)

By: Jean Follain (1903-1971)

Translated by: Ciaran Carson (1948-2019)

Monday, 3 June 2019

What She Said by Kacipettu Nannakaiyar

My lover capable of terrible lies
at night lay close to me
in a dream
that lied like truth.

I woke up, still deceived,
and caressed the bed
thinking it my lover.

It’s terrible. I grow lean
in loneliness,
like a water lily
gnawed by a beetle.

From: Cosman, Carol; Keefe, Joan and Weaver, Kathleen (eds.), The Penguin Book of Women Poets, 1978, Penguin Books: London, p. 50.

Date: c50-300 (original in Tamil); 1967 (translation in English)

By: Kacipettu Nannakaiyar (c50-300)

Translated by: Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan (1929-1993)

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Liberal Christ Gives an Interview by Adrian Mitchell

I would have walked on the water
But I wasn’t fully insured
And the BMA sent a writ my way
With the very first leper I cured.

Would’ve preached a golden sermon
But I didn’t like the look of the Mount
And I would’ve fed fifty thousand
But the Press wasn’t there to count.

And the businessmen in the temple
Had a team of coppers on the door
And if I’d spent a year in the desert
I’d have lost my pension for sure.

I would’ve turned the water into wine
But they weren’t giving licences
And I would have died and been crucified
But like – you know how it is.

I’m going to shave off my beard
And cut my hair
Buy myself some bullet-proof
I’m the Liberal Christ
And I’ve got no blood to spare.


Date: 1967

By: Adrian Mitchell (1932-2008)

Monday, 29 October 2018

The Suicides by Janet Frame (Nene Janet Paterson Clutha)

It is hard for us to enter
the kind of despair they must have known
and because it is hard we must get in by breaking
the lock if necessary for we have not the key,
though for them there was no lock and the surrounding walls
were supple, receiving as waves, and they drowned
though not lovingly; it is we only
who must enter in this way.

Temptations will beset us, once we are in.
We may want to catalogue what they have stolen.
We may feel suspicion; we may even criticize the décor
of their suicidal despair, may perhaps feel
it was incongruously comfortable.

Knowing the temptations then
let us go in
deep to their despair and their skin and know
they died because words they had spoken
returned always homeless to them.


Date: 1967

By: Janet Frame (Nene Janet Paterson Clutha) (1924-2004)

Monday, 17 September 2018

Condolence by Noël Peirce Coward

The mind, an inveterate traveller
Journeys swiftly and far
Faster than light, quicker than sound
Or the flaming arc of a falling star
But the body remains in a vacuum
Gagged, bound and sick with dread
Knowing the words that can’t be spoken
Searching for words that must be said
Dumb, inarticulate, heartbroken.
Inadequate, inhibited.

From: Coward, Noël, Payn, Graham and Tickner, Martin (eds.) Noël Coward: Collected Verse, Bloomsbury: London, p. 65.

Date: 1967

By: Noël Peirce Coward (1899-1973)

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Melancholy in the Women’s Apartments by Jiang Zong

A silent, blue pavilion by the highway,
With white snow fluttering past its silken windows.
The love-birds on the lake are not alone,
Behind the curtains Suhe incense smokes.
The screen seems bent on shutting out the moonlight,
The unfeeling lantern-flame glares on her, sleeping alone.
“In Liaoxi with its frozen rivers, spring is very short,
From Jibei the geese are coming, several thousand leagues.
May you cross quickly over the mountain passes,
Knowing my beauty, like peach or plum, will last but a moment.”

From: Minford, John and Lau, Joseph S. M. (eds.), Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations, Volume I: From Antiquity to the Tang Dynasty, 2000, Columbia University Press: New York and The Chinese University Press: Hong Kong, p. 561.

Date: 6th century (original); 1967 (translation)

By: Jian Zong (518-590)

Translated by: John David Frodsham (1930-2016)

Monday, 19 March 2018

Excerpt from “Elegy for Madog ap Maredudd, Prince of Powys” by Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr

Door of a fort he was, companion shield,
Buckler on battlefield, and in brave deeds:
A tumult like flame blazing through heather,
Router of enemies, his shield stopped their way;
Lord sung by a myriad, hope of minstrels,
Crimson, irresistible, unswerving companion.

From: Leoussi, Athena S. and Grosby, Steven (eds.), Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations, Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, p. 86.

Date: c1160 (original in Welsh); 1967 (translation in English)

By: Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr (fl. c1155-1200)

Translation by: Anthony Conran (1931-2013)

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Light the Festive Candles by Aileen Lucia Fisher


Light the first of eight tonight—
the farthest candle to the right.

Light the first and second, too,
when tomorrow’s day is through.

Then light three, and then light four—
every dusk one candle more

Till all eight burn bright and high,
honoring a day gone by

When the Temple was restored,
rescued from the Syrian lord,

And an eight-day feast proclaimed—
The Festival of Lights—well named

To celebrate the joyous day
when we regained the right to pray
to our one God in our own way.


Date: 1967

By: Aileen Lucia Fisher (1906-2002)

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

What the Chairman Told Tom by Basil Cheesman Bunting

Poetry? It’s a hobby.
I run model trains.
Mr Shaw there breeds pigeons.

It’s not work. You dont sweat.
Nobody pays for it.
You could advertise soap.

Art, that’s opera; or repertory—
The Desert Song.
Nancy was in the chorus.

But to ask for twelve pounds a week—
married, aren’t you?—
you’ve got a nerve.

How could I look a bus conductor
in the face
if I paid you twelve pounds?

Who says it’s poetry, anyhow?
My ten year old
can do it and rhyme.

I get three thousand and expenses,
a car, vouchers,
but I’m an accountant.

They do what I tell them,
my company.
What do you do?

Nasty little words, nasty long words,
it’s unhealthy.
I want to wash when I meet a poet.

They’re Reds, addicts,
all delinquents.
What you write is rot.

Mr Hines says so, and he’s a schoolteacher,
he ought to know.
Go and find work.


Date: 1967

By: Basil Cheesman Bunting (1900-1985)