Posts tagged ‘2007’

Monday, 2 July 2018

When Days Grow Long in May by Jaufre Rudel

When days grow long in May
I rejoice in songs of birds from afar,
For now that I have traveled far
I think of a love from far away.
So bent and bowed with desire I go
That neither song nor hawthorn flower
Pleases me more than winter’s snow.

No love will ever make me glad
Unless I rejoice in this love from afar;
I know no lady as fair or good
Anywhere, near or far.
She is so true, so pure
That over there, in Saracen lands,
I’d gladly be captured for her.

Sad but rejoicing, I’d take my leave
If I could see this love from afar;
But I do not know when we’ll meet,
For our lands lie far apart.
The passes and roads are so abundant
That I cannot see what lies ahead,
But let all be as it pleases God.

Surely joy will come to me, come from far
When for love of God, I seek my lodging there.
And if it pleases her, I shall reside
Close by her though I come from afar.
Then we shall speak truly, one to another,
When I come so near, a faraway lover,
That her gracious words will bring me joy.

Indeed I’ll know the lord is true
Who lets me see this love from afar,
But for every blessing that comes my way
I feel two blows, she’s so far away.
I wish I could go as a pilgrim
And see my staff and cloak
Reflected in her lovely eyes!

May God, who made what comes or goes
And created this love from afar,
Give me power, for I have the desire
Soon to see this love from afar
Truly, in places so pleasant
That chamber and garden
Will always seem a palace to me.

He speaks the truth who says I yearn
And lust for love from afar,
For no other joy so pleases me
As the pleasure of love from afar.
But the woman I want despises me,
Since my godfather doomed me
To love but never to be loved.

But the woman I want despises me;
A curse on the godfather
Who doomed me never to be loved!

From: Paden, William D. and Paden, Frances Freeman (transl. and eds.), Troubadour Poems from the South of France, 2007, D. S. Brewer: Cambridge, pp. 34-35.
(https://the-eye.eu/public/Books/Poetry/Troubadour%20Poems%20from%20the%20South%20of%20France.pdf)

Date: 12th century (original in Occitan); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Jaufre Rudel (1113-1147)

Translated by: William Doremus Paden (1941- ) and Frances Freeman Paden (1942- )

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Saturday, 14 April 2018

Burial Rites by Philip Levine

Everyone comes back here to die
as I will soon. The place feels right
since it’s half dead to begin with.
Even on a rare morning of rain,
like this morning, with the low sky
hoarding its riches except for
a few mock tears, the hard ground
accepts nothing. Six years ago
I buried my mother’s ashes
beside a young lilac that’s now
taller than I, and stuck the stub
of a rosebush into her dirt,
where like everything else not
human it thrives. The small blossoms
never unfurl; whatever they know
they keep to themselves until
a morning rain or a night wind
pares the petals down to nothing.
Even the neighbor cat who shits
daily on the paths and then hides
deep in the jungle of the weeds
refuses to purr. Whatever’s here
is just here, and nowhere else,
so it’s right to end up beside
the woman who bore me, to shovel
into the dirt whatever’s left
and leave only a name for some-
one who wants it. Think of it,
my name, no longer a portion
of me, no longer inflated
or bruised, no longer stewing
in a rich compost of memory
or the simpler one of bone shards,
dirt, kitty litter, wood ashes,
the roots of the eucalyptus
I planted in ’73,
a tiny me taking nothing,
giving nothing, and free at last.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/50722/burial-rites

Date: 2007

By: Philip Levine (1928-2015)

Monday, 2 April 2018

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Erin Keane

What they didn’t tell us, after we unwrapped
the lucky bar, was our place in the plot: stupid,

fat, competitive, spoiled—at a madman’s whim.
We were to make the blond kid look good

by comparison—he only had to top our
dubious virtue. Shooting fish in a stockpot!

There’s a special place in Hell reserved for
people who tempt small children with rivers

of chocolate and drown them while they drink.
Olympic cruelty—I am waiting for the irony

to stop: let us, the greedy brats, gather our spoils
to our chests. Let there be no correction tonight.

Let the good kid kneel beside his crippled elders
and massage their gouty legs, forgetting to remind

us all of his sacrifice. Let him bless their bunions.
The lazy, the conniving, the slow—we’ve gathered

outside the factory gates. The sweet-tart rejects
have come home, Wonka. We would like our reward.

From: Keane, Erin, The Gravity Soundtrack, 2007, WordFarm: La Porte, Indiana, p. 56.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=gyB6-ftyOmsC)

Date: 2007

By: Erin Keane (19??- )

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Blackberries by Karl Kirchwey

Words crushed on the palate end in silence
every time, not in the palaver of song.
You cannot fill your basket with what is merely visible,
grapeshot of onyx, gleaming confected dark,
for here neglect has grown complex and fertile,
in this tangled fane, this daggered understory,
and to pluck the sinister fruit, you must angle in
on a reach with your left arm, neither too shallow
not too steep, one from which you can recover,
then bear down gently until you feel the parting
of flesh from hollow stem in a place you cannot see.
Your own reflex will always guide you wrong,
your whole hand driven backward onto the thorn,
returned to sunlight with a wounding cursive,
your blood mingling with the pulp of the drupe.
Read what is written there. Discovering
there are seeds between your teeth, speak that language.

From: https://www.smith.edu/poetrycenter/wp/kirchwey/

Date: 2007

By: Karl Kirchwey (1956- )

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World by Sherman Joseph Alexie, Junior

The morning air is all awash with angels
—Richard Wilbur, “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World”

The eyes open to a blue telephone
In the bathroom of this five-star hotel.

I wonder whom I should call? A plumber,
Proctologist, urologist, or priest?

Who is blessed among us and most deserves
The first call? I choose my father because

He’s astounded by bathroom telephones.
I dial home. My mother answers. “Hey, Ma,”

I say, “Can I talk to Poppa?” She gasps,
And then I remember that my father

Has been dead for nearly a year. “Shit, Mom,”
I say. “I forgot he’s dead. I’m sorry—

How did I forget?” “It’s okay,” she says.
“I made him a cup of instant coffee

This morning and left it on the table—
Like I have for, what, twenty-seven years—

And I didn’t realize my mistake
Until this afternoon.” My mother laughs

At the angels who wait for us to pause
During the most ordinary of days

And sing our praise to forgetfulness
Before they slap our souls with their cold wings.

Those angels burden and unbalance us.
Those fucking angels ride us piggyback.

Those angels, forever falling, snare us
And haul us, prey and praying, into dust.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52923/grief-calls-us-to-the-things-of-this-world

Date: 2007

By: Sherman Joseph Alexie, Junior (1966- )

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Red and the Blue by Josephine Dickinson

You wonder, am I satisfied with you?
Some inequality you take as read.
But ravelling my hemp, your wool, my red,
your blue, we spin a single human hair.

From: Dickinson, Josephine, Silence Fell, 2008, Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston & New York, p. 12.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=E9xpfAHJ_R0C)

Date: 2007

By: Josephine Dickinson (1957- )

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Lake Water by David Ferry

It is a summer afternoon in October.
I am sitting on a wooden bench, looking out
At the lake through a tall screen of evergreens,
Or rather, looking out across the plane of the lake,
Seeing the light shaking upon the water
As if it were a shimmering of heat.
Yesterday, when I sat here, it was the same,
The same displaced out-of-season effect.
Seen twice it seemed a truth was being told.
Some of the trees I can see across the lake
Have begun to change, but it is as if the air
Had entirely given itself over to summer,
With the intention of denying its own proper nature.
There is a breeze perfectly steady and persistent
Blowing in toward shore from the other side
Or from the world beyond the other side.
The mild sound of the little tapping waves
The breeze has caused—there’s something infantile
About it, a baby at the breast. The light
Is moving and not moving upon the water.
The breeze picks up slightly but still steadily,
The increase in the breeze becomes the mild
Dominant event, compelling with sweet oblivious
Authority alterations in light and shadow,
Alterations in the light of the sun on the water,
Which becomes at once denser and more quietly
Excited, like a concentration of emotions
That had been dispersed and scattered and now were not.
Then there’s the mitigation of the shadow of a cloud,
And the light subsides a little, into itself.
Although this is a lake it is as if
A tide were running mildly into shore.
The sound of the water so softly battering
Against the shore is decidedly sexual,
In its liquidity, its regularity,
Its persistence, its infantile obliviousness.
It is as if it had come back to being
A beginning, an origination of life.
The plane of the water is like a page on which
Phrases and even sentences are written,
But because of the breeze, and the turning of the year,
And the sense that this lake water, as it is being
Experienced on a particular day, comes from
Some source somewhere, beneath, within, itself,
Or from somewhere else, nearby, a spring, a brook,
Its pure origination somewhere else,
It is like an idea for a poem not yet written
And maybe never to be completed, because
The surface of the page is like lake water,
That takes back what is written on its surface,
And all my language about the lake and its
Emotions or its sweet obliviousness,
Or even its being like an origination,
Is all erased with the changing of the breeze
Or because of the heedless passing of a cloud.
When, moments after she died, I looked into
Her face, it was as untelling as something natural,
A lake, say, the surface of it unreadable,
Its sources of meaning unfindable anymore.
Her mouth was open as if she had something to say;
But maybe my saying so is a figure of speech.

From: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/07/23/lake-water

Date: 2007

By: David Ferry (1924- )

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Questions for a Late Night by Gregory Djanikian

And what if the soldiers came
shouting and clattering, pulling you
out of your house for the journey
which had no clear destination?

What if the road you had to follow
looking for fruit trees, spring water,
had to be imagined each morning,
no jacarandas offering you shade,
the deserts wafting you
like a husk in the simoom?

What if the granaries were leveled, the rivers dry,
young girls bruised in the thighs,
the bird-like men without feet?

What would the darkness bring you—
wolf howls, hoof beats
sticking you like needles—
if all you wanted of it
was a place to enter, disguised
from the smallest reflection?

What if there were no night,
the heavens dismantled, the earth
lit by a hundred suns?

What if you were the perpetual witness
walking without sleep
where everyone desired it
and no one dared close his eyes?

What words could you say
to remember the sound of breakage?
In what place would you touch your body
to feel your body touching you back?

From: https://superstitionreview.asu.edu/issue9/poetry/gregorydjanikian

Date: 2007

By: Gregory Djanikian (1949- )

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Done Drinking My New Year’s Wine by Lu You

Done drinking my New Year’s wine,
truly now an eighty-year-old man,
Used to worry outspokenness would be my death,
now content just to be poor and write poems.
Rice cheap — that means no thieves this year;
cloudy skies foretell another good harvest.
Something in the food bowl — what other cares?
Smiling, happy, I tag along with the young boys.

From: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2007/11/04/books/rural-living-of-an-old-man-who-does-as-he-pleases/#.WYL5kOS1uM8

Date: 1204 (original); 2007 (translation)

By: Lu You (1125-1209)

Translated by: Burton DeWitt Watson (1925-2017)

Monday, 17 April 2017

La Città Nuova: a construction for Antonio Sant’Elia by Simon Turner

“every generation will have to build its own city”

the fire escapes clatter up the walls
repetitious inky arpeggios
everything is happening &
all at once hissing yellow
repetitious inky arpeggios
jasmine tongues the gas jets
all at once hissing yellow
igniting the interstices of
jasmine tongues the gas jets
everything is arpeggios
igniting the interstices of
repetitious inky gas jets
everything is arpeggios
jasmine tongues the walls
repetitious inky gas jets
igniting the inky arpeggios
jasmine tongues the walls
fire tongues the gas jets
igniting the inky arpeggios
everything is hissing yellow
fire tongues the gas jets
everything is happening &
everything is yellow
the fire escapes, clatters up the walls.

From: http://intercapillaryspace.blogspot.com.au/2007/02/two-poems-by-simon-turner.html

Date: 2007

By: Simon Turner (1980- )