Posts tagged ‘2001’

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Hell’s Bells by Jeffrey Skinner

For John Branscum

Inside me the many things I should not have done
keep up a steady ringing, tinnitus, the medical term
and I try to comfort myself that I am no longer
doing those things, most of them at least,

that I have become another man with a new face
not new of course but altered
more frayed and crumpled and hopeful
more trustworthy to others because of the fraying

or the hope, and have for some time
been set on the path, as they say, though I hear Paul
loud and clear when he says The good I would do
I do not, and the evil I would not

I do—in a sense have joined a lineage
of wakeful self-doubt, without which no waking
beyond the self is possible
so that sometimes for moments I am permitted

to sit with a dying friend without fear
to sweep up the shattered bowl without resentment
or when my daughter begs for a ride to the video rental
not slam down the paper but simply rise

and lift the ring of keys from its hook
hearing as I turn that pleasing toss of music
and all these thoughts and actions by grace help quiet
somewhat the incessant ringing.


Date: 2001

By: Jeffrey Skinner (1949- )

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Hawk in a Tree, Roadside by Kristen Lindquist

Fields assume
their contours as long, furred bodies,
rise to meet the mist.
Already oak’s bare branches skein across
the bright wash of this strange winter mist
like tangled hairs upon sheets.
Already these simple roadside epiphanies
of driving alone, fast, on a raw
December morning, having just left
the bed of a new lover,
this heightened attention to detail,
like an extra sense, somehow awakened
through the skin.
The hawk’s chest bears dark arrows
of brown feathers on white.
It flies away slowly
over the blueberry barrens, unafraid,
losing itself in the simple reality of air.


Date: 2001

By: Kristen Lindquist (19??- )

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Love Came and Emptied Me of Self by Abū-Sa’īd Abul-Khayr

Love came and emptied me of self,
every vein and every pore,
made into a container to be filled by the Beloved.
Of me, only a name is left,
the rest is You my Friend, my Beloved.

From: Abramian, Vraje (ed. and transl.), Nobody, Son of Nobody: Poems of Sheikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir, 2001, Hohm Press: Prescott, Arizona, p. 13.

Date: 11th century (original in Persian); 2001 (translation in English)

By: Abū-Sa’īd Abul-Khayr (967-1049)

Translated by: Vraje Abramian (19??- )

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Fragment 44: War by Heraclitus

War, as father
of all things, and king,
names few
to serve as gods,
and of the rest makes
these men slaves,
those free.

From: Heraclitus and Haxton, Brooks (transl.), Fragments: The Collected Wisdom of Heraclitus, 2001, Viking: New York, p. 44.

Date: 6th century BCE (original in Greek); 2001 (translation in English)

By: Heraclitus (c535 BCE-c475 BCE)

Translated by: Brooks Haxton (1950- )

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Inside Our Dreams by Jeanne Willis

Where do people go to when they die?
Somewhere down below or in the sky?
‘I can’t be sure,’ said Grandad, ‘but it seems
They simply set up home inside our dreams.’

From: Harrison, Michael (ed.), A Book of Very Short Poems, 2001, Oxford University Press: Oxford, p. 79.

Date: 2001

By: Jeanne Willis (1959- )

Monday, 8 October 2018

Sunflowers by Eugenio Montale

Bring me the sunflower so that I can transplant it
in my soil burnt by salt air,
and show all day to the mirroring blues
of the sky the anxiety of its yellow face.

Dark things tend towards clarity,
bodies consume themselves in a flowing
of colours: these in music. Vanishing
is thus the chance of chances.

Bring me the plant that leads
where blonde transparencies rise
and life evaporates like spirit;
bring me the sunflower crazed with the light.


Date: 1923 (original in Italian); 2001 (translation in English)

By: Eugenio Montale (1896-1981)

Translated by: Jack Ross (1962- )

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Nostalgia by Charles Wright

Always it comes when we least expect it, like a wave,
Or like the shadow of several waves,
one after the next,
Becoming singular as the face

Of someone who rose and fell apart at the edge of our lives.

Breaks up and re-forms, breaks up, re-forms.
And all the attendant retinue of loss foams out
Brilliant and sea-white, then sinks away.

Memory’s dog-teeth,
lovely detritus smoothed out and laid up.

And always the feeling comes that it was better then,
Whatever it was—
people and places, the sweet taste of things—
And this one, wave borne and wave-washed, was part of all that.

We take the conceit in hand, and rub it for good luck.

Or rub it against the evil eye.
And yet, when that wave appears, or that wave’s shadow, we like it,
Or say we do,
and hope the next time

We’ll be surprised again, and returned again, depite the fact
The time will come, they say, when the weight of nostalgia,
that ten-foot spread
Of sand in the heart, outweighs
Whatever living existence we drop on the scales.

May it never arrive, Lord, may it never arrive.


Date: 2001

By: Charles Wright (1935- )

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Perth: Riverside with Swans by Kim Young-Moo

I want to build a nest and spend some time here.
Becoming a water bird

I want to visit that forest of masts
across the river, moored with sails furled.

No matter how dazzlingly the lake waters
shine somewhere in the sky

I want to go flying

low, low
over the blue rippling waves

feeling the wind blowing on my breast
like a bare winter tree

on some snow-covered mountain slope.


Date: 2001 (original); 2001 (translation)

By: Kim Young-Moo (1944-2001)

Translated by: Brother Anthony of Taizé (1942- ) and Jongsook Lee (1952- )

Monday, 10 April 2017

An Evening Reflection Upon God’s Grandeur Prompted by the Great Northern Lights by Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov

The day conceals its brilliant face,
And dark night covers up the fields,
Black shadows creep upon the hills,
Light’s rays recede from us.
Before us gapes a well of stars –
Stars infinite, well fathomless.

A grain of sand in ocean swells,
A tiny glint in endless ice,
Fine ash caught in a mighty gale,
A feather in a raging fire,
So I am lost in this abyss,
Oppressed by thoughts profound.

The mouths of wise men call to us:
“A multitude of worlds dwell there,
Among them burning suns untold,
And peoples, and the wheel of time:
There, all of nature’s strength
Exists God’s glory to proclaim”

But where, O nature, is your law?
Dawn breaks from out of northern lands!
Is this the home of our sun’s throne?
Or are the icy oceans burning?
Behold, cold fire envelops us!
Behold, now day has entered night.

O thou, whose lively gaze can see
Into the book of law eternal,
For whom the smallest part of things
Reveals the code in all of nature,
Thou comprehendeth planets’ course,
Now tell us what disturbs our souls?

Why do these bright rays sparkle in the night?
Why does fine flame assault the land?
Without a thundercloud can lightning
Rise from the earth up toward the heavens?
How can it be that frozen steam
Gives birth to fire from winter’s depths?

There, oily darkness battles water,
Or rays of sunlight sparkle bright,
Bend toward us through the thickened air;
Or do the peaks of stout hills glow,
Or have the sea winds ceased their song,
And smooth waves struck the space.

Regarding what lies right before us
Thine answer’s full of doubts
O, tell us, how enormous is the world?
What lies beyond the smallest stars?
Are thou aware of all creation’s end?
Tell us, how great is our Creator?


Date: 1743 (original in Russian); 2001 (translation in English)

By: Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711-1765)

Translated by: Andrew Baruch Wachtel (19??- ), Gwenan Wilbur (19??- ) and Tanya Tulchinsky (19??- )

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

I’ve Made This Rhyme Completely Free of Sense by William IX, Duke of Aquitaine

I’ve made this rhyme completely free
of sense—it’s not of you and me,
or youth, or doings he-and-she,
or springtime thoughts.
It came to me while I was sleeping
on my horse.

What planet ruled when I was born?
I’m native here and still feel foreign.
Can’t be contented, or forlorn,
or change myself:
I was the midnight work of freaking
magic elves.

I can’t tell when I wake or sleep
unless the others keep me briefed.
It almost breaks my heart—I’m deeply
plagued by doubts,
and none of them, by Saint Martial,
is worth a mouse.

They say I’ll soon be dropping dead
Fetch that doctor, quick!—I said—
his name has just escaped my head.
No matter who:
he’s bad if I do not get well,
good if I do.

My lady friend I’ve never seen:
I don’t know if she’s cute or plain,
or if she’s kind to me or mean.
Why should I care?—
I don’t let French and Normans stay
the night in here.

My passion’s absolutely strong
but she won’t do me right, or wrong.
Avoiding her I get along
just fine. Forget her:
I’ve others nicer anyway
who please me better.

This verse I’ve made—of what or who
unknown—I’ll send to someone who
will send it on to someone who
is in Anjou,
who might decode it and convey
the key to you.


Date: 11th century (original in Occitan); 2001 (translation in English)

By: William IX, Duke of Aquitaine (1071-1127)

Translated by: Leonard Cottrell (1937-2016)