Posts tagged ‘2003’

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Explanation by Tess Taylor

Because the snow eclipsed the woods and formed
the definite wet gravel and the lumber pilings
into rounded banks and slate diagonals.

Because across blank snow, dark cherry boughs
cast intricate, protracted hieroglyphs,
and the falling downs spun in the light.

All this new hidden-ness lay spread around us
hinting, as at some forgotten word.
Because, as if in offering you said

chrysanthemum. O I adored
the sudden world you made with your red lips:
I wanted some, and plundered it.

From: https://poetrysociety.org/features/new-american-poets/tess-taylor-1

Date: 2003

By: Tess Taylor (1977- )

Thursday, 23 June 2022

The Road North by Zbigniew Machej

We were driving north, to the sea,
through a land of dry lips and useless sweat.
All around were empty fields. Forests burned.
The sun stripped the ashen riverbeds,
the stones on the bottom white like bones.
Our hands stuck to the steering wheel, tar
to the car’s tires. The wrinkled air
throbbed with heat. Ahead and behind
the horizon blurred. On the radio
just news, ads, and songs
by Michael Jackson. By now almost everywhere
democracy had triumphed, but no one was
happy. The great furnaces had gone out.
Tankers brought water to the cities. Gas
had gone up again. Courage, of course, cost the same.
The authorities were patiently questioning
citizens. Doctors had discovered new, mysterious
infections. The bazaars were hopping, corruption
blossomed, there was an increase in assaults with a deadly
weapon, people told tales of the games
the mafia played. Olympic champions
were eliminated in the first round. In the stadiums
new messiahs worked cures, crowds sang.
Peasant prophecies of the world’s end
spread, not just among tourists.
The idolatry of computers compacted
with the superstition of satellite disks. Black icons
wept red tears and mice
fed on the epidermis of the faithful
who miaowed in the churches a miaow
of their own which wearied their God…

We were driving north.
And in the south the wars went on,
states fell apart…

When we got to the sea,
a hundred sailboats under a cloudless sky
sailed into the bay and from the forest onto the shore
the wild boar came
to lap, lap, lap
the salt water.

From: https://artfuldodge.spaces.wooster.edu/poets-as-expatriates/georgia-scott/translations-from-the-polish/

Date: 1992 (original in Polish); 2003 (translation in English)

By: Zbigniew Machej (1958- )

Translated by: Georgia Scott (19??- ) and David Malcolm (1952- )

Friday, 3 June 2022

Medusa by Frieda Hughes

She is the gypsy
Whose young have rooted
In the very flesh of her scalp.

Her eyes are drill-holes where
Your senses spin, and you are stone
Even as you stand before her.

She opens her lips to speak,
And have you believe.
She has more tongues to deceive

Than you can deafen your ears to.
If you could look away, the voices
From the heads of her vipers

Would be hard to argue.
If you could look away,
The pedestals of your feet might move.

If you could look away,
The song from the cathedral of her mouth
Would fall to the floor like a lie.

From: https://poets.org/poem/medusa

Date: 2003

By: Frieda Hughes (1960- )

Monday, 30 May 2022

Rows and Rows of Rain Clouds (Yirra, Kuji, Yirra, Karti Ngayirrmani) by Yintilypirna Kaalyamarra

Cloudbank, rain, cloudbank,
row upon row of them.
The big upper-layer clouds are rising.
As a result of the host of little clouds
multiplying the country is heating up.

In the constant thunder it talks,
telling us it’s coming.
The downpour is drenching the countryside.
In the open country the raindrops are causing a soft
roaring sound,
as the swathe of the downpour passes.

Lightning is striking at the front,
the storm is causing the dust to swirl around.
Sudden silence! Splashing of falling raindrops.
Karnkulypangu* was the cause of this!

Yirra, Kuji, Yirra, Karti Ngayirrmani

Yirra, kuji, yirra, karti ngayirrmani.
Purntura ngarra maninyu.
Kapalya kurru marnanyurulu
ngurra parlangkarna-parlangkarna kamarnu.

Ngurntika wangka yulayinyu.
Ngurra kunti marnu ngurlungkangulu.
Parlkarranguraya kuji muurrkarra, jinyjirrarangka.

Ngari para pungarnu,
kurlurlu karti ngampurrjarli marnu ngurntijartulu.
Jamukarra! Warlpa warninyu.
Karnkulypangungu.

*Rain was Karnukulypangu’s kalyartu (totem); he was therefore in charge of its increase, and so is considered to be the one responsible for this downpour. This song was composed in Ngarla, an Indigenous Aboriginal language spoken in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

From: Kinsella, John and Ryan, Tracy (eds.), The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry, 2017, Fremantle Press: Fremantle, WA, pp. [unnumbered].
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=o7i1DQAAQBAJ)

Date: 2003 (published)

By: Yintilypirna Kaalyamarra (????-c1940)

Translation by: Brian Geytenbeek (1933- )

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

The Source by Fanny Howe

The source
I thought was Arctic

the good Platonic

Up the pole
was soaked film

an electric elevation
onto a fishy platform

and waves on two sides greenly welcoming

The sunwater poured on holy atheism

It was light that powered out

my ego or my heart
before ending with a letter.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56801/the-source-56d239a391376

Date: 2003

By: Fanny Howe (1940- )

Saturday, 12 February 2022

Sunflower by André Robert Breton

for Perre Reverdy

The traveller who crossed Les Halles at summer’s end
Walked on tiptoe
Despair rolled its great handsome lilies across the sky
And in her handbag was my dream that flask of salts
That only God’s godmother had breathed
Torpors unfurled like mist
At the Chien qui Fume
Where pro and con had just entered
They chould hardly see the young woman and then only at an angle
Was I dealing with the ambassadress of saltpeter
Or with the white curve on black background we call thought
The Innocents’ Ball was in full swing
The Chinese lanterns slowly caught fire in chestnut trees
The shadowless lady knelt on the Pont-au-Change
On Rue Gît-le-Coeur the stamps had changed
The night’s promises had been kept at last
The carrier pigeons and emergency kisses
Merged with the beautiful stranger’s breasts
Jutting beneath the crepe of perfect meanings
A farm prospered in the heart of Paris
And its windows looked out on the Milky Way
But no one was lived there yet because of the guests
Guests who are known to be more faithful than ghosts
Some like that woman appear to be swimming
And a bit of their substance becomes part of love
She internalizes them
I am the plaything of no sensory power
And yet the cricket who sang in hair of ash
One evening near the statue of Etienne Marcel
Threw me a knowing glance
André Breton it said pass

26 August 1923

From: Breton, André and Polizzotti, Mark (ed. and transl.), André Breton: Selections, 2003, University of California Press: Berkeley, pp. 71-72.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=nLQRXzQ4NgoC)

Date: 1923 (original in French); 2003 (translation in English)

By: André Robert Breton (1896-1966)

Translated by: Mark Polizzotti (1957- )

Monday, 11 October 2021

The Diver by Christine Hartzler

I saw Greg Louganis dive in St. Louis
in 1984. Oh, the way he folded and
unfolded in the air. We all gasped
when he split the surface and disappeared.
But he rose up in a shimmering swath
of bubbles, unbounded joy.

Seventeen years later, a man steps out
through the lattice of a skyscraper and
folds himself into a breathtaking pike.
An anonymous diver, abandoning his
day job. Maybe you’ve seen the
photograph? A single body falling, white
oxford full and fluttering, like a peony,
blowsy, on that singular day.

From: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?cc=mqr;c=mqr;c=mqrarchive;idno=act2080.0042.219;rgn=main;view=text;xc=1;g=mqrg

Date: 2003

By: Christine Hartzler (19??- )

Sunday, 3 October 2021

What Do You Mean, Praise? by Ann Silsbee

Yes, we could die tomorrow.
A two-car crash, a second’s misjudging of speed.
Another plane might ram our woods. Anthrax
could do it, a heart attack, cancer, even a stupid
fall down the back stairs. But for now we’re staying,
counting on this burdened world to go right on
budding up next year’s leaves. I need to know
how to praise what keeps on trying, sun gifting
rooms with color after days of gray, streams
talking rain after August’s silence of drought.
Or what I don’t notice, like the taste of air,
the way my lungs know exactly how to breathe.
Or the friend I’d thought I’d lost, whom I feel
singing in my own songs. How even in grief
I remember her laugh, and savor my hunger
as onions and mushrooms sizzle on the stove,
reminding my body of a cook no longer here.

Haven’t we always been in line
for some kind of ending? It’s enough for now
that our son’s on the phone, telling us today’s
griefs, yesterday’s joys. What matters is to tug
lightly on the thin line of his voice, stretch it
over the hills and woods — what pulls between us
will not break. This must be what praise is, singing
the young men our bodies began, who go on
in this world with their wives, girls, boys,
the mothers and fathers who go on in us, too,
and ancestors we never knew who dwell unsuspected
in our corpuscles and ganglions, smiling us,
weeping us, walking with us all our lives long.

From: http://comstockreview.org/sample-poems/poems-by-ann-silsbee/

Date: 2003

By: Ann Silsbee (1930-2003)

Monday, 27 September 2021

The Pea Princess by Colleen Mills

She arches like a bowed branch of willow,
Quivering from stem to leaf.
With each flex of the wrists,
Roll of a shoulder,
Gentle realignment of the ribs,
The lump burrows deeper.

Now beneath the breast plate,
Now between hipbone and pelvis,
Now knotted at the base of the neck,
Clicking between the knobs of the spinal column
Where the vertebrae, like the panels of a washboard, find the lump,
As it rickets over the thinly sheathed bones with each shift in motion.

Whether between knucklebones or toe bones,
Nestled in the many small joints and junctures of the body,
It journeys like a pebble smoothed over in a sea of feathers,
Pressing against the inside of the knee cap,
Working its way up the thigh,
Wandering the flesh land of the belly.

Each night the same rotation
As she arches, curves, twines her body about the bedposts,
Weaved like a tight shoe lace between the pillars of the bed,
Spiraling between the sheets
Trying to find the one place
Such a lump will fit beneath her frame.

With each stretch,
Each extension or contortion of a limb,
The minutest of lumps,
Buried beneath bedding twenty upon twenty layers high,
Burrows still deeper, pressing into the skin of thinly padded skeletal extensions
As it grates to a final rest against the gentle hollow above the collarbone.

Like the smoothed sand in the mouth of an oyster,
The tenderest of peas seeks shelter
In only the softest concaves of flesh,
Where the pea, like the pearl,
Proves perfection
By defining the flaw.

From: http://karenspoetryspot.blogspot.com/2008/10/pea-princess-by-colleen-mills.html

Date: 2003

By Colleen Mills (19??- )

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Blur by Andrew Hudgins

Storms of perfume lift from honeysuckle,
lilac, clover—and drift across the threshold,
outside reclaiming inside as its home.
Warm days whirl in a bright unnumberable blur,
a cup—a grail brimmed with delirium
and humbling boredom both.  I was a boy,
I thought I’d always be a boy, pell-mell,
mean, and gaily murderous one moment
as I decapitated daises with a stick,
then overcome with summer’s opium,
numb—slumberous.  I thought I’d always be a boy,
each day its own millennium, each
one thousand years of daylight ending in
the night watch, summer’s pervigilium,
which I could never keep because by sunset
I was an old man.  I was Methuselah,
the oldest man in the holy book.  I drowsed.
I nodded, slept—and without my watching, the world,
whose permanence I doubted, returned again,
bluebell and blue jay, speedwell and cardinal
still there when the light swept back,
and so was I, which I had also doubted.
I understood with horror then with joy,
dubious and luminous joy: it simply spins.
It doesn’t need my feet to make it turn.
It doesn’t even need my eyes to watch it,
and I, though a latecomer to its surface, I’d
be leaving early.  It was my duty to stay awake
and sing if I could keep my mind on singing,
not extinction, as blurred green summer, lifted
to its apex, succumbed to gravity and fell
to autumn, Ilium, and ashes.  In joy
we are our own uncomprehending mourners,
and more than joy I longed for understanding
and more than understanding I longed for joy.

From: https://poets.org/poem/blur

Date: 2003

By: Andrew Hudgins (1951- )