Posts tagged ‘2007’

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Page-turner by Michael George Laskey

He sits in her shadow, keeps still,
as if he would be as invisible
to us as we are to him,
just his eyes imperceptibly moving

till the end of the page approaches,
when, rising from his chair, he reaches
forward, left-handed, and works
a single sheet free, then waits

for the moment to flip it over.
Pressing it flat with his palm
from below so it won’t lift up,
already he’s pushed himself back

out of consideration. Again and again.
Till the pianist bows, and he stands
apart disclaiming applause,
head down, holding the music.

From: https://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/page-turner

Date: 2007

By: Michael George Laskey (1944- )

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Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Just Now by Peter Campion

a ladybug, its carapace blown open
so a translucent trace of orange gleams
from its body, has ascended link by link
the smudgy silver curve of my watch band.
It must have helicoptered past the sill
while I was slumped here squinting in the paper
at the ashen packaging another bombing’s
made of a minivan. Made available
in the photo like the homeless in a poem.
The pain is far away. But then for moments
utterly clear: molten metal guttering
down from the Milky Way to fall on us.
And sometimes, God, it lands with all its will.
My spluttered prayer for it to hold its distance:
how ludicrous to blurt it from this comfort.
Still it impels itself from me. Please stay
away from me. Please stay away from this
insectile soul who only weeks ago
was wind and shit and jasmine leaves and rain.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/49895/just-now-56d22c76e360d

Date: 2007

By: Peter Campion (1976- )

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Tao Te Ching: 4 by Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Tao is empty—
Its use never exhausted.
Bottomless—
The origin of all things.

It blunts sharp edges,
Unties knots,
Softens glare,
Becomes one with the dusty world.

Deeply subsistent—
I don’t know whose child it is.

It is older than the Ancestor.

From: Lao-Tzu, Addiss, Stephen and Lombardo, Stanley (transl.), Tao Te Ching, 2007, Shambhala: Boston and London, p. [unnumbered].
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=hXoEv5WpqukC)

Date: 6th century BCE (original); 2007 (translation)

By: Laozi (Lao Tzu) (601 BCE-c531 BCE)

Translated by: Stephen L. Addiss (1935- ) and Stanley F. Lombardo (1943- )

Monday, 25 February 2019

Send Your Spirit by Solomon ibn Gabirol

Send your spirit
to revive our corpses,
and ripple the longed-for
land again.

The crops come from you;
you’re good to all—
and always return
to restore what has been.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/146848/send-your-spirit

Date: c1035 (original in Hebrew); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Solomon ibn Gabirol (c1021-c1070)

Translated by: Peter Cole (1957- )

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Love’s Torch is Dead, His Dart Broken by Barbara Torelli

Love’s torch is dead, his dart broken,
as are his bow, quiver, and every other power,
since cruel Death has shaken the plant
under whose quiet shadow I used to sleep.

Alas, why can’t I enter the shallow
grave with him, where destiny has taken him,
he who thirteen days ago
was bound by love just before the fateful blow?

I would like to warm that ice with my great
fire, reform his dust with
tears and create a new life:

and after I’d like, boldly and openly,
to show him to the one who set the dear snare,
telling him, “Love, you cruel monster, can overcome!”

From: Cirigliano, Marc A. (ed. and transl.), Melancolia Poetica: A Dual Language Anthology of Italian Poetry 1160-1560, 2007, Troubador Publishing Ltd: Leicester, p. 331.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=p_k8szlje7YC)

Date: 1508 (original in Italian); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Barbara Torelli (1475-1533)

Translated by: Marc A. Cirigliano (19??- )

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Appeal to the Grammarians by Paul Randolph Violi

We, the naturally hopeful,
Need a simple sign
For the myriad ways we’re capsized.
We who love precise language
Need a finer way to convey
Disappointment and perplexity.
For speechlessness and all its inflections,
For up-ended expectations,
For every time we’re ambushed
By trivial or stupefying irony,
For pure incredulity, we need
The inverted exclamation point.
For the dropped smile, the limp handshake,
For whoever has just unwrapped a dumb gift
Or taken the first sip of a flat beer,
Or felt love or pond ice
Give way underfoot, we deserve it.
We need it for the air pocket, the scratch shot,
The child whose ball doesn’t bounce back,
The flat tire at journey’s outset,
The odyssey that ends up in Weehawken.
But mainly because I need it—here and now
As I sit outside the Caffe Reggio
Staring at my espresso and cannoli
After this middle-aged couple
Came strolling by and he suddenly
Veered and sneezed all over my table
And she said to him, “See, that’s why
I don’t like to eat outside.”

From: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/appeal-grammarians

Date: 2007

By: Paul Randolph Violi (1944-2011)

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- )

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- )