Posts tagged ‘1995’

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Lines 1-17 of “The Chatelaine of Vergi” by Anonymous

There are people who pretend
Loyalty, say they intend
To keep your confidence so well
That you may without danger tell
Your secrets; and when they discover
Proof that someone has a lover
Make it their pleasure and their pride
To send the news out far and wide,
And afterward make fun of those
Who lose their joy because they chose
To have it known. The greater the love
The more will be the sorrow of
The true lover who must start
Doubting the one who rules his heart.
And oftentimes such harm is done
By this that love will quickly run
Its course, to end in grief and shame.

From: Terry, Patricia (ed. and transl.), The Honeysuckle and the Hazel Tree: Medieval Stories of Men and Women, 1995, University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, Section 8.
(https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft4580069z)

Date: 13th century (original in French); 1995 (translation in English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Patricia Terry (1929- )

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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

In My Garden by Ōtomo no Tabito

In my garden
plum blossoms fall—
or is not rain
but snow, cast down
from the sky?

From: Addiss, Stephen, The Art of Haiku: Its History Through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters, 2012, Shambhala Publications: Boston, p. 17.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Jdnb44l3uNgC)

Date: c8th century (original in Japanese); 1995 (translation in English)

By: Ōtomo no Tabito (665-731)

Translated by: Edwin Augustus Cranston (1932- )

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Summer of the Ladybirds by Vivian Brian Smith

Can we learn wisdom watching insects now,
or just the art of quiet observation?
Creatures from the world of leaf and flower
marking weather’s variation.

The huge dry summer of the ladybirds
(we thought we’d never feel such heat again)
started with white cabbage butterflies
sipping at thin trickles in the drain.

Then one by one the ladybirds appeared
obeying some far purpose or design.
We marvelled at their numbers in the garden,
grouped together, shuffling in a line.

Each day a few strays turned up at the table,
the children laughed to see them near the jam
exploring round the edges of a spoon.
One tried to drink the moisture on my arm.

How random and how frail seemed their lives,
and yet how they persisted, refugees,
saving energy by keeping still
and hiding in the grass and in the trees.

And then one day they vanished overnight.
Clouds gathered, storm exploded, weather cleared.
And all the wishes that we might have had
in such abundance simply disappeared.

From: https://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/summer-ladybirds

Date: 1995

By: Vivian Brian Smith (1933- )

Thursday, 11 October 2018

House of Air by Philip Gross

a letter was sent
but no one was there
no one at home
in the house of air

no window no frame
no number no door
between sixty eight
and sixty four

just a pit prop joist
wedged there to shore
two end walls peeling
patchwork squares

paint patterns plaster
layers on layers
unpicked by rain
and roots and years

like generations
a stray cat stirs
in the deep pile carpet
of rubble and briars

it’s one big room
just follow the stairs
zig zag to the sky
through invisible floors

a fireplace smoulders
green then flares
mauve buddleia
the postman stares

number sixty six
strange it was there
this time yesterday
he could swear.

From: http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/house-of-air/

Date: 1995

By: Philip Gross (1952- )

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Touch Me by Stanley Jasspon Kunitz

Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that’s late,
it is my song that’s flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it’s done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.

From: https://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/poetry/antholog/kunitz/touchme.htm

Date: 1995

By: Stanley Jasspon Kunitz (1905-2006)

Sunday, 27 August 2017

I.21 by Sextus Propertius

“You, soldier, rushing to escape our fate–
wounded beside beseiged Perusia’s walls–
why, when I moan, do you turn shocked eyes?
I was your comrade in arms just now.
Save yourself so your parents may rejoice,
so your sister won’t read my fate in your tears:
Gallus, snatched from Caesar’s jaws,
could not fly death from unknown hands;
whatever scattered bones she’ll find
on Etruscan hills, tell her these are mine.”

From: Rayor, Diane J. and Batstone, William W. (eds.), Latin Lyric and Elegiac Poetry: An Anthology of New Translations, 2013, Routledge: New York and London, p. 56.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=IGTFBQAAQBAJ)

Date: c25 BCE (original in Latin); 1995 (translation in English)

By: Sextus Propertius (50/45-15 BCE)

Translated by: Helen E. Deutsch (19??- )

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Song Against the Sea by Roi Fernandez de Santiago

Whenever I look at the waves
that break below the bluffs,
I feel a pounding of waves
in my heart for the one I loved.
Damn the sea
that makes me grieve!

I never look at the waves
that beat against the shores
without being pounded by waves
in my heart for the one I adored.
Damn the sea
that makes me grieve!

Each time I look at the waves
that crash into the cliffs,
I feel a pounding of waves
in my heart for the one I miss.
Damn the sea
that makes me grieve!

From: http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poem/item/4676/auto/0/SONG-AGAINST-THE-SEA

Date: 13th century (original in Galician-Portugese); 1995 (translation in English)

By: Roi Fernandez de Santiago (13th century)

Translated by: Richard Zenith (1956- )

Thursday, 26 May 2016

A Question of Belief by Rika Lesser

The first time wasn’t real, I mean
for real, a real attempt. No one
believed me when I said the medicine
was at fault, kept me from sleeping,
thinking, set my limbs tingling. Taking
those pills, staying in that house–
pigeons roosting on the roof, their
insistent coos and cries–in one of my
old bedrooms, made me an invalid.
What they believed was what I said
in scorn, in response to threats. That I’d
like to jump out of a window. All I wanted
was sleep.

And in the hospital that first time,
after the countless pills, the ipecac,
the papers signed, the break
with my first shrink, once I had slept
my fill and felt like a child in some
giant’s grip, they handed me nearly
the same damned drugs. Again I flipped,
stopped sleeping, believed they would kill me
on Walpurgis Night, not one swift scalpel,
ritual sacrifice–not just the staff,
the other patients too…

We were so frail. No one
believed what we said.
And we learned to get out
by saying: We won’t try it
again. Grateful to be alive,
we will pay our dues. Just
show us the way out of Hell,
dear Doctors, release us. Please.

From: Lesser, Rika, All We Need of Hell: Poems, 1995, University of North Texas Press: Denton, Texas, p. 5.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=WXNVKNssPYQC)

Date: 1995

By: Rika Lesser (1953- )

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Pearl: Section I by Pearl Poet/Gawain Poet

Pearl, to delight a prince’s day,
Flawlessly set in gold so fair
In all the East, I dare to say,
I have not found one to compare.
So round, so radiant in array,
So small, so smooth her contours were,
Wherever I judged jewels gay
I set her worth as truly rare.
I lost her in a garden where
Through grass she fell to earthen plot;
Wounded by love beyond repair
I mourn that pearl without a spot.

Since from that spot it fled that day
I waited oft, in hope to see
What once could drive my gloom away
And charge my very soul with glee;
But heavy on my heart it lay
And filled my breast with misery.
Yet no song ever seemed so gay
As that quiet hour let steal to me
Though in my heart one thought ran free,
Her fresh face wrapped in earthly clot;
Earth, you have marred her purity,
My secret pearl without a spot.

That spot of spices needs must spread
Where such rich bounty doth decay,
With yellow flowers and blue and red
That shine so bright in sun’s clear ray.
Flower and fruit can ne’er be dead
Where that pearl slipped into the clay,
For grass will grow from seed once shed
Or grain could not be stored away,
And good will always good repay.
This comely seed shall perish not,
And spices will their fruit display
From that dear pearl without a spot.

From that spot I in speech expound
I entered in that garden green,
As August’s season came around
When corn is cut with sickles keen,
There that pearl rolled into the ground,
Shadowed with plants both bright and clean,
Wallflower, ginger, gromwell abound
Bright paeonies scattered in between;
Though they were seemly to be seen
No less in their scent my sense caught;
And there that jewel long has been,
My precious pearl without a spot.

Before that spot I clasped my hand,
In chilling care my heart was caught;
A bitter grief my soul unmanned
Though reason wiser comfort sought.
I mourned my pearl from freedom banned
With arguments that fiercely fought;
Though Christ’s grace bade me understand
My wretched will fresh sorrow brought.
On flowery sward I fell, distraught;
Such fragrance to my senses shot
In deepest sleep I dreamt, methought,
On that dear pearl without a spot.

From: http://www.billstanton.co.uk/pearl/pearl0203.htm
http://www.billstanton.co.uk/pearl/pearl0405.htm
http://www.billstanton.co.uk/pearl/pearl0607.htm

Date: 14th century (original); 1995 (translation)

By: Pearl Poet/Gawain Poet (14th century)

Translated by: William Graham Stanton (1917-1999)

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year by Bei Dao (Zhao Zhenkai)

a child carrying flowers walks toward the new year
a conductor tattooing darkness
listens to the shortest pause

hurry a lion into the cage of music
hurry stone to masquerade as a recluse
moving in parallel nights

who’s the visitor? when the days all
tip from nests and fly down roads
the book of failure grows boundless and deep

each and every moment’s a shortcut
I follow it through the meaning of the East
returning home, closing death’s door.

From: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/180394

Date: 1995 (original); 1995 (translation)

By: Bei Dao (Zhao Zhenkai) (1949- )

Translated by: David Hinton (1954- ) and Yanbing Chen (19??- )