Posts tagged ‘1991’

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Story from “The Epic of Gilgamesh” by Anonymous

of him who knew the most of all men know;
who made the journey; heartbroken; reconciled;

who knew the way things were before the Flood,
the secret things, the mystery; who went

to the end of the earth, and over; who returned,
and wrote the story on a tablet of stone.

He built Uruk. He built the keeping place
of Anu and Ishtar. The outer wall

shines in the sun like brightest copper; the inner
wall is beyond the imagining of kings.

Study the brickwork, study the fortification;
climb the great ancient staircase to the terrace;

study how it is made; from the terrace see
the planted and fallow fields, the ponds and orchards.

This is Uruk, the city of Gilgamesh
the Wild Ox, son of Lugalbanda, son

of the Lady Wildcow Ninsun, Gilgamesh
the vanguard and the rear guard of the army,

Shadow of Darkness over the enemy field,
the Web, the Flood that rises to wash away

the walls of alien cities, Gilgamesh
the strongest one of all, the perfect, the terror.

It is he who opened passes through the mountains;
and he who dug deep wells on the mountainsides;

who measured the world; and sought out Utnapishtim
beyond the world; it is he who restored the shrines;

two-thirds a god, one-third a man, the king.
Go to the temple of Anu and Ishtar:

open the copper chest with the iron locks;
the tablet of lapis lazuli tells the story.

From: Ferry, David, Gilgamesh: A New Rendering in English Verse, 1993, Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York, pp. 3-4.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=iTClBAAAQBAJ)

Date: c1200 BCE (original in Akkadian); 1991 (translation in English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: David Ferry (1924- )

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Wine is the Test for Love by Asclepiades of Samos

Wine is the test for love:
Nikagoras told us he loved no one,
but his many toasts betrayed him.
Oh yes! He bent his head and wept,
and then his wreath slipped,
half to cover the aching in those
sad dark eyes.

From: Nystrom, Bradley P. (transl.) and Little, Claudette Sherbert (ill.), The Song of Eros: Ancient Greek Love Poems, 2009, Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale, p. 10.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=f9nNuChxuREC)

Date: c270 BCE (original in Greek); 1991 (translation in English)

By: Asclepiades of Samos (c320 BCE-c260 BCE)

Translated by: Bradley P. Nystrom (19??- )

Sunday, 4 June 2017

[Love’s Poverty] by Paulus Silentiarius

Locked in Hippomenes’ kisses,
my heart clings to Leander;

wet with Leander’s lips,
Xanthus leaps to mind;

lying with Xanthus,
who should I dream but Hippomenes!

One after another,
I love my lovers,

but in the arms of each,
long for others.

Say what you will of me,
I know nothing

of love’s poverty.

From: Hamill, Sam, The Infinite Moment: Poems from Ancient Greek, 1992, New Directions: New York, p. 80.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=uH5R8Ar1oscC)

Date: c550 (original in Greek); 1991 (translation in English)

By: Paulus Silentiarius (d. 575-580)

Translated by: Sam Hamill (1943- )

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Liquidity by Joan Austral Fraser (Amy Witting)

In a flurry of daylight, watercold, windy and sunny,
the tall liquidamber is dancing a daydream of money,
silver coins flashing among its rich copper and gold.
Ashputtel, put out your apron for riches untold,
for bicycles, skiboots and ponies, for ease and for glee,
a ruby ring shaped like a heart and a house by the sea,
deep drifts of carpet caressing, consoling the feet,
money in pocketfuls, handfuls to toss in the street,
to startle, to melt the set faces, to cure disbelief,
a bucketful set in the doorway to smile at the thief,
for mink coats and Volvos, for Christmas trees twenty feet tall
and loaded with presents, new shoes and warm blankets for all.
O plenty, o cartloads, o boatloads … The wind starts to die,
the little hands flutter a slow, ironic goodbye.

From: http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/witting-amy/liquidity-0051011

Date: 1991

By: Joan Austral Fraser (Amy Witting) (1918-2001)

Friday, 5 August 2016

A Fallen Blossom by Arakida Moritake

A fallen blossom
returning to the bough, I thought —
But no, a butterfly.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arakida_Moritake

Date: c1500 (original in Japanese); 1991 (translation in English)

By: Arakida Moritake (1473-1549)

Translated by: Steven D. Carter (19??- )

Monday, 16 December 2013

Portrait of a Dog or To His Host with Gratitude by Dimitris Tsaloumas

for Laurie Muller

This is to thank you, Lucius,
for that weekend I spent
at your grand villa, although
the fare wasn’t on the level
of my acknowledged gifts
which, to be fair, had prompted
the invitation. Nor
was the drink, I fear –
wine of recent vintage
served by rustic girls.
I only mention this
because there seems to be
a streak of meanness in your
character, a flaw
you ought to act upon.
Your mongrel for example,
whose virtues, as you know
are few, his vices legion.
It somehow looks as if
you’ve trained him to be so.
All day he mucks around
in the vineyard barking
and whining at some rat
or pigeon, pissing wet
every low-hanging bunch
of grapes which, I observed,
you make a gift of to your friends:
“Some grapes from Lucius, greetings.”
I hate the bastard’s habit
of sniffing at my crotch,
yet I hereby confess
that in these days of sex
confusion, testing by dog
is more reliable than hair
or dress. He barks all night
to keep your guests from thinking
and your slaves alert,
then lies all in a heap
twitching in the sun
and growling at the shadows
that cross his sleep. He seems
to think of your protection
all round the clock and yet
he balks, when jogging with
his mistress in the streets
at our bottom-pinching
folks, although God knows
she hasn’t much worth guarding.
As for the grapes, when next
your slave brings to my digs
a vine-leaf topped cani-
strum with your compliments,
please see that it’s just figs.

From: http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/tsaloumas-dimitris/portrait-of-a-dog-or-to-his-host-with-gratitude-0688011

Date: 1991

By: Dimitris Tsaloumas (1921- )

Monday, 9 September 2013

The Voice of Robert Desnos by Robert Desnos

So like a flower and a current of air
the flow of water fleeting shadows
the smile glimpsed at midnight this excellent evening
so like every joy and every sadness
it is the midnight past lifting its naked body above belfries and poplars
I call to me those lost in the fields
old skeletons young oaks cut down
scraps of cloth rotting on the ground and linen drying in farm country
I call tornadoes and hurricanes
storms typhoons cyclones
tidal waves
earthquakes
I call the smoke of volcanoes and the smoke of cigarettes
the rings of smoke from expensive cigars
I call lovers and loved ones
I call the living and the dead
I call gravediggers I call assassins
I call hangmen pilots bricklayers architects
assassins
I call the flesh
I call the one I love
I call the one I love
I call the one I love
the jubilant midnight unfolds its satin wings and perches on my bed
the belfries and the poplars bend to my wish
the former collapse the latter bow down
those lost in the fields are found in finding me
the old skeletons are revived by my voice
the young oaks cut down are covered with foliage
the scraps of cloth rotting on the ground and in the earth snap to at the sound of my voice like a flag of rebellion
the linen drying in farm country clothes adorable women whom I do not adore
who come to me
obeying my voice, adoring
tornadoes revolve in my mouth
hurricanes if it is possible redden my lips
storms roar at my feet
typhoons if it is possible ruffle me
I get drunken kisses from the cyclones
the tidal waves come to die at my feet
the earthquakes do not shake me but fade completely at my command
the smoke of volcanoes clothes me with its vapors
and the smoke of cigarettes perfumes me
and the rings of cigar smoke crown me
loves and love so long hunted find refuge in me
lovers listen to my voice
the living and the dead yield to me and salute me the former coldly the latter warmly
the gravediggers abandon the hardly-dug graves and declare that I alone may command their nightly work
the assassins greet me
the hangmen invoke the revolution
invoke my voice
invoke my name
the pilots are guided by my eyes
the bricklayers are dizzied listening to me
the architects leave for the desert
the assassins bless me
flesh trembles when I call

the one I love is not listening
the one I love does not hear
the one I love does not answer.

From: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15799

Date: 1991 (translated)

By: Robert Desnos (1900-1945)

Translated by: William T Kulik (?- )

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A New Poet by Linda Pastan

Finding a new poet
is like finding a new wildflower
out in the woods. You don’t see

its name in the flower books, and
nobody you tell believes
in its odd color or the way

its leaves grow in splayed rows
down the whole length of the page. In fact
the very page smells of spilled

red wine and the mustiness of the sea
on a foggy day – the odor of truth
and of lying.

And the words are so familiar,
so strangely new, words
you almost wrote yourself, if only

in your dreams there had been a pencil
or a pen or even a paintbrush,
if only there had been a flower.

From: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/090.html

Date: 1991

By: Linda Pastan (1932- )

Monday, 26 November 2012

Black ANZAC by Cecil Fisher

They have forgotten him, need him no more
He who fought for his land in nearly every war
Tribal fights before his country was taken by Captain Cook
Then went overseas to fight at Gallipoli and Tobruk.

World War One-Two black Anzacs were there
France, Europe’s desert, New Guinea’s jungles, did his share
Korea, Malaya, Vietnam again black soldier enlisted
Fight for democracy was his duty he insisted.

Back home went his own way not looking for praise
Like when he was a warrior in the forgotten days
Down on the Gold Coast a monument in the Bora Ring
Recognition at last his praises they are starting to sing.

This black soldier who never marches on ANZAC Day
Living in his Gunya doesn’t have much to say
Thinks of his friends who fought some returned some died
If only one day they could march together side by side.

His medals he keeps hidden away from prying eyes
No one knows, no one sees the tears in his old black eyes
He’s been outcast just left by himself to die
Recognition at last black ANZAC hold your head high.

Every year at Gold Coast’s Yegumbah Bora Ring site
Black ANZAC in uniform and medals a magnificent sight
The rock with Aboriginal tribal totems paintings inset
The Kombumerri people’s inscription of LEST WE FORGET.

From: http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/korea/faces/saunders/

Date: 1991

By: Cecil Fisher (1933- )

Monday, 8 October 2012

Ashokan Farewell by Grian MacGregor

The sun is sinking low in the sky above Ashokan.
The pines and the willows know soon we will part.
There’s a whisper in the wind of promises unspoken,
And a love that will always remain in my heart.

My thoughts will return to the sound of your laughter,
The magic of moving as one,
And a time we’ll remember long ever after
The moonlight and music and dancing are done.

Will we climb the hills once more?
Will we walk the woods together?
Will I feel you holding me close once again?
Will every song we’ve sung stay with us forever?
Will you dance in my dreams or my arms until then?

Under the moon the mountains lie sleeping
Over the lake the stars shine.
They wonder if you and I will be keeping
The magic and music, or leave them behind.

From: http://www.jayandmolly.com/ashokanlyrics.shtml

Date: 1991

By: Grian MacGregor (?- )