Posts tagged ‘1983’

Saturday, 7 March 2020

From “Return to Frankfurt” by Marie Luise von Holzing-Berslett Kaschnitz

The girl thinks     if I can only manage
not to step on any of these
delicate hands of shadow
cast on the sidewalk by the chestnut trees

The boy thinks     if I reach the trolley
in time and if it doesn’t have to wai
at the switch and the traffice policeman really
does his job and tries to clear the street

If     thinks the girl     before I reach that tree
the third on the left no nun comes out at me
and if not more than twice I pass small boys
crossing the street in groups, carrying toys
oh     then it’s certain that we’ll meet

Unless     the boy thinks     there’s a power failure
unless forked lightning strikes the driver
unless the trolley-car gets smashed to bits
surely we’ll meet     yes I can count on it

And many times the girl must shiver
And the boy think     will this last forever
until under the chestnut trees they meet,
wordless and smilling, in some quite street.

From: Philip, Neil (ed.), It’s A Woman’s World A Century of Women’s Voices in Poetry, 2000, Dutton Children’s Books: New York, p. 20.
(https://archive.org/details/isbn_9780525463283_0/)

Date: 1946 (original in German); 1983 (translation in English)

By: Marie Luise von Holzing-Berslett Kaschnitz (1901-1974)

Translated by: Esther Beatrice Cameron (1941- )

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Morning, Thinking of Empire by Raymond Clevie Carver, Junior

We press our lips to the enameled rim of the cups
and know this grease that floats
over the coffee will one day stop our hearts.
Eyes and fingers drop onto silverware
that is not silverware. Outside the window, waves
beat against the chipped walls of the old city.
Your hands rise from the rough tablecloth
as if to prophesy. Your lips tremble …
I want to say to hell with the future.
Our future lies deep in the afternoon.
It is a narrow street with a cart and driver,
a driver who looks at us and hesitates,
then shakes his head. Meanwhile,
I coolly crack the egg of a fine Leghorn chicken.
Your eyes film. You turn from me and look across
the rooftops at the sea. Even the flies are still.
I crack the other egg.
Surely we have diminished one another.

From: Carver, Raymond, All of Us, 2016, Vintage Classics: London, p. [unnumbered].
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=DbFnCwAAQBAJ)

Date: 1983

By: Raymond Clevie Carver, Junior (1938-1988)

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

To Poems by Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkosky

My poems: fledglings, heirs,
Plaintiffs and executors,
The silent ones, the loud,
The humble and the proud.

As soon as the shovel of time
Threw me onto the potter’s wheel—
Myself without kith or kin—
I grew beneath the hand, a miracle.

Something stretched out my long neck
And hollowed round my soul
And marked on my back
Legends of flowers and leaves.

I stoked the birch in the fire
As Daniel commanded
And blessed my red temper
Until I spoke as a prophet.

I had long been the earth—
Arid, ochre, forlorn since birth—
But you fell on my chest by chance
From beaks of birds, from eyes of grass.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/54749/to-poems

Date: 1983 (original in Russian); 2011 (translation in English)

By: Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky (1907-1989)

Translated by: Philip J. Metres III (1970- )

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Fog by Amy Clampitt

A vagueness comes over everything,
as though proving color and contour
alike dispensable: the lighthouse
extinct, the islands’ spruce-tips
drunk up like milk in the
universal emulsion; houses
reverting into the lost
and forgotten; granite
subsumed, a rumor
in a mumble of ocean.
Tactile
definition, however, has not been
totally banished: hanging
tassel by tassel, panicled
foxtail and needlegrass,
dropseed, furred hawkweed,
and last season’s rose-hips
are vested in silenced
chimes of the finest,
clearest sea-crystal.
Opacity
opens up rooms, a showcase
for the hueless moonflower
corolla, as Georgia
O’Keefe might have seen it,
of foghorns; the nodding
campanula of bell buoys;
the ticking, linear
filigree of bird voices.

From: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/fog-0

Date: 1983

By: Amy Clampitt (1920-1994)

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Patience by Bobbi Katz

Chocolate Easter bunny
In a jelly bean nest,
I’m saving you for very last
Because I love you best.
I’ll only take a nibble
From the tip of your ear
And one bite from the other side
So that you won’t look queer.
Yum, you’re so delicious!
I didn’t mean to eat
Your chocolate tail till Tuesday.
Ooops! There go your feet!
I wonder how your back tastes
With all that chocolate hair.
I never thought your tummy
Was only filled with air!
Chocolate Easter bunny
In a jelly bean nest,
I’m saving you for very last
Because I love you best.

From: http://lists.project-wombat.org/pipermail/project-wombat-project-wombat.org/2009-May/000232.html

Date: 1983

By: Bobbi Katz (1933- )

Friday, 13 February 2015

I Could Go, But Why Should I? by Shakti Chattopadhyay

I think it best to turn around

My hands smeared so black
For so long
Never thought of you, as yours

When I stand by the ravine at night
The moon calls to me, come
When I stand by the Ganga, asleep
The pyre calls to me, come

I could go
I could go either way
But why should I?

I shall kiss my child’s face

I’ll go
But not just yet
Not alone, unseasonably

From: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/poetry/five-poems-0

Date: 1983 (original in Bengali); 2013 (translation in English)

By: Shakti Chattopadhyay (1933-1995)

Translated by: Arunava Sinha (19??- )

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Among Philistines by R S (Sam) Gwynn

The night before they meant to pluck his eyes
He caught his tale at six on Action News—
Some blow-dried moron blabbing the bald lies
The public swallowed as “Official Views.”

After a word for douche, Delilah made
A live appearance and was interviewed.
Complaining what a pittance she was paid,
She plugged the film she starred in in the nude.

Unbearable, he thought, and flipped the switch,
Lay sleepless on the bed in the bright room
Where every thought brought back the pretty bitch
And all the Orient of her perfume,

Her perfect breasts, her hips and slender waist,
Matchless among the centerfolds of Zion,
Which summoned to his tongue the mingled taste
Of honey oozing from the rotted lion;

For now his every mumble in the sack
(Bugged, of course, and not a whisper missed)
Would be revealed in lurid paperback
“As told to” Sheba Sleaze, the columnist.

Beefcake aside, he was a man of thought
Who heretofore had kept to the strict law:
For all the cheap celebrity it brought
He honestly deplored that ass’s jaw,

The glossy covers of their magazines
With taut chains popping on his greasy chest,
The ads for razors with the corny scenes
And captions: Hebrew Hunk Says We Shave Best!

Such were his thoughts; much more severe the dreams
That sped him through his sleep in a wild car:
Vistas of billboards where he lathered cream,
Gulped milk, chugged beer, or smoked a foul cigar,

And this last image, this, mile after mile—
Delilah, naked, sucking on a pair
Of golden shears, winking her lewdest smile
Amid a monumental pile of hair

And blaring type: The Babe Who Buzzed the Yid!
Starring in JUST A LITTLE OFF MY HEAD
.
He noted how his locks demurely hid
Those monstrous tits. And how her lips were red,

Red as his eyes when he was roused at seven
To trace back to its source the splendid ray
Of sunlight streaming from the throat of Heaven
Commanding him to kneel and thus to pray:

“Lord God of Hosts, whose name cannot be used
Promotion-wise, whose face shall not adorn
A cornflake box, whose trust I have abused:
Return that strength of which I have been shorn

That we might smite this tasteless shiksa land
With hemorrhoids and rats, with fire and sword.
Forgive my crime.  Put forth thy fearsome hand
Against them and their gods, I pray thee, Lord.”

So, shorn and strengthless, led through Gaza Mall
Past shoeshop, past boutique, Hallmark, and Sears,
He held his head erect and smiled to all
And did not dignify the scene with tears,

Knowing that God could mercifully ordain,
For punishment, the blessing in disguise.
“Good riddance,” he said, whispering to the pain
As searing, the twin picks hissed in his eyes.

From: http://www.poemtree.com/poems/AmongPhilistines.htm

Date: 1983

By: R S (Sam) Gwynn (1948- )

Monday, 30 December 2013

Year’s End by Ellen Bryant Voigt

The fingers lie in the lap,
separate, lonely, as in the field
the separate blades of grass
shrivel or grow tall.

We sat together in the little room,
the walls blotched with steam,
holding the baby as if the two of us
could breathe for him and were not helpless.
Upstairs, his sister turned in her sleep
as the phone rang—

to have wakened to a child’s cry,
gagged and desperate,
and then repeat that terror when the call
split the quiet house and centered
its dire message:
a child was dead
and his mother so wrung by grief
she stared and stared
at the moon on its black stalk,
the road glistening like wire.
Rubbing the window clear of steam
as a child rubs sleep from its eyes,
and looking past the fence to where
he had plunged the sled up and down the hill,
we could still see the holes his feet made,
a staggered row of graves
extracting darkness from the snow.
When morning brought the new year in,
the fever broke, and fresh snow
bandaged the tracks on the hill.
For a long time we stayed in the room,
listening to him breathe,
like refugees who listen to the sea,
unable to fully rejoice, or fully grieve.

From: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/177986

Date: 1983

By: Ellen Bryant Voigt (1943- )

Saturday, 14 September 2013

In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

From: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/?date=2009%2F05%2F03

Date: 1983

By: Mary Oliver (1935- )

Monday, 3 June 2013

Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

From: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178948

Date: 1983

By: Maya Angelou (1928- )