Posts tagged ‘2002’

Monday, 20 November 2017

Dollar Bill by Michael Chitwood

Small-town AM station,
morning show,
still doing a gospel number every hour.
Who’s listening?
Bacon tenders, baby sitters.
He yucks it up for the insurance office crew,
the stop-in, mini-mart gas shacks.
He’s on the counter at The Hub,
talking coffee cups up and down.
A clown, a daily goofball,
regular as sunup and death,
he reads the obits from the local paper
and sometimes adds a personal note.
Even the disembodied here have an anecdote.
Dashboard and countertop,
new tunes and same old same old,
beer on sale, car tires, paint,
link sausage, the grind and groove
of tune. We’re coming up on noon.
Outside, in the parking lot, sparrows bathe
in the dust. Empires rise and fall. He’ll notice
and say nothing of it on the air.


Date: 2002

By: Michael Chitwood (1958- )

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Feathering Wheels by Jean Hollander

Steam driven, the old river boat
pounds up the night-lit stream,
each turn of its feathering wheel
a cataract of splintered moons.

There is a kind of cormorant
called cataract, plummets
falls straight on his prey
in a glory of blood.

A flash at the edge of the cornea—
firewheel of northern lights,
is the opening to a cataract—
a rush of vitreous humor

down the rockfall eye,
like waters falling down steep
cataracts dash into fringed
streamers of feather-wheeled light.


Date: 2002

By: Jean Hollander (1928- )

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Song of Resentment by Ban Jieyu

Newly cut white silk from Qi,
Clear and pure as frost and snow.
Made into a fan for joyous trysts,
Round as the bright moon.
In and out of my lord’s cherished sleeve,
Waved back and forth to make a light breeze.
Often I fear the arrival of the autumn season,
Cool winds overcoming the summer heat.
Discarded into a box,
Affection cut off before fulfillment.


Date: 1st century BCE (original); 2002 (translation)

By: Ban Jieyu (c48-c6 BCE)

Translated by: David R. Knegtes (19??- )

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Lines 209-218 from “Agamemnon” by Aeschylus

Zeus, who guided mortals to be wise,
has established his fixed law—
wisdom comes through suffering.
Trouble, with its memories of pain,
drips in our hearts as we try to sleep,
so men against their will
learn to practice moderation.
Favours come to us from gods
seated on their solemn thrones—
such grace is harsh and violent.


Date: 458 BCE (original in Greek); 2002 (translation in English)

By: Aeschylus (c525-c455 BCE)

Translated by: Ian C. Johnston (1938- )

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Biting Message by Jórunn Skáldmær

Red with blood of wretches
were royal prince’s weapons.
Hirdmen angered Haraldr.
Houses fell a-flaming.

O Hálfdan, Haraldr heard
of hard deeds, did Fairhair;
dastardly seemed your doings,
and dark, to kingly swordsman.

Highborn king of heroes,
his heart was stirred to action
when magnifiers of murder
dared mark their swords with bloodshed.
What more farflung fame
can be found among us
than bestowed by two bold princes
upon hearing hawk-eyed Gutþormr?

Hard-hearted kings repented.
Sindri’s skillful skaldcraft
softened stern dissension.

Strong ode from ring-destroyer
strife stopped for Haraldr.
Good pay from goodly king
Gutþormr got for skaldship.
Pair of lordly princes
poet moved to peacemake.
Spearmen planned for sword-storm;
saved they were from slaughter.

From: Anderson, Sarah M. and Swenson, Karen (eds.), Cold Counsel: Women in Old Norse Literature and Mythology, 2002, Routledge: New York and London, pp. 264-265.

Date: 10th century (original in Old Norse); 2002 (translation in English)

By: Jórunn Skáldmær (10th century)

Translated by: Sandra Ballif Straubhaar (19??- )

Note: This poem, thought to be the only surviving fragments of a longer work, refers to a conflict between Haraldr (known as Fine/Fairhair) (850-933), the first king of Norway, and his son, Hálfdan (known as the Black). Hirdmen acted as the personal guards of Viking nobility. Gutþormr Sindri was a noted court poet (a skald). Jórunn Skáldmær is notable for being one of the few known women skalds (skáldmær translates as skald/poet maiden).

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Unknown by Donald Henry Rumsfeld

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don’t know
We don’t know.


Date: 2002

By: Donald Henry Rumsfeld (1932- )

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Some Politicians by Judith Catherine Green Rodrigues

To have preached even for a moment
that money matters
more than the good it buys;
to have proclaimed the end of caring;
to have unmothered the State
and left orphans to the wind;

to have waged phony battle
on the homeless and fugitive,
the needy come to our door;
to have danced on a tally of the drowned
to have pursued the desperate
for electoral triumph;

these are your names
on the sea-bed at our shore-gate
behind razor wire
among the fatherless
the trapped and the destitute
and among the separated families.


Date: 2002

By: Judith Catherine Green Rodriguez (1936- )

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Instantly, All Ends by Walid Khazendar

One sentence to share
same as he is
seems words have escaped him.

You lead him, straight,
cold, to the seats:
they’re the same

everything’s the same
only you, like a photograph,
haven’t changed.

Only you have not heeded what’s around you
You’ve become more sullen
as you move here and there
glancing at him in confusion
furtively, and as you turn.

They fetch the same pastries
and you wait on him
Once more, he stretches out
his hand, after years
he eats, then smiles

Some clutter

Should you see him to his room
a white rug wounded by a single flower
bare walls
a window, since then closed,
a scream, still loud, short
All you do is ordained
but don’t let him see the garden bevond his window
Take him away from it
in case all ends in an instant and you vanish!
He dreams on.


Date: 2002

By: Walid Khazendar (1950- )

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Love Has Seven Names by Hadewijch

Love has seven names.
Do you know what they are?
Rope, Light, Fire, Coal
make up its domain.

The others, also good,
more modest but alive:
Dew, Hell, the Living Water.
I name them here (for they
are in the Scriptures),
explaining every sign
for virtue and form.
I tell the truth in signs.
Love appears every day
for one who offers love.
That wisdom is enough.

Love is a ROPE, for it ties
and holds us in its yoke.
It can do all, nothing snaps it.
You who love must know.

The meaning of LIGHT
is known to those who
offer gifts of love,
approved or condemned.

The Scripture tell us
the symbol of COAL:
the one sublime gift
God gives the intimate soul.

Under the name of FIRE, luck,
bad luck, joy or no joy,
consumes. We are seized
by the same heat from both.

When everything is burnt
in its own violence, the DEW,
coming like a breeze, pauses
and brings the good.

LIVING WATER (its sixth name)
flows and ebbs
as my love grows
and disappears from sight.

HELL (I feel its torture)
damns, covering the world.
Nothing escapes. No one has grace
to see a way out.

Take care, you who wish
to deal with names
for love. Behind their sweetness
and wrath, nothing endures.
Nothing but wounds and kisses.

Though love appears far off,
you will move into its depth.


Date: 13th century (original); 2002 (translation)

By: Hadewijch (13th century)

Translated by: Willis Barnstone (1927- ) and Elene Kolb (19??- )

Thursday, 24 December 2015

“Your Luck Is About To Change” by Susan Elizabeth Howe

(A fortune cookie)

Ominous inscrutable Chinese news
to get just before Christmas,
considering my reasonable health,
marriage spicy as moo-goo-gai-pan,
career running like a not-too-old Chevrolet.
Not bad, considering what can go wrong:
the bony finger of Uncle Sam
might point out my husband,
my own national guard,
and set him in Afghanistan;
my boss could take a personal interest;
the pain in my left knee could spread to my right.
Still, as the old year tips into the new,
I insist on the infant hope, gooing and kicking
his legs in the air. I won’t give in
to the dark, the sub-zero weather, the fog,
or even the neighbors’ Nativity.
Their four-year-old has arranged
his whole legion of dinosaurs
so they, too, worship the child,
joining the cow and sheep. Or else,
ultimate mortals, they’ve come to eat
ox and camel, Mary and Joseph,
then savor the newborn babe.


Date: 2002

By: Susan Elizabeth Howe (1949- )