Posts tagged ‘2008’

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Holding My Breath by Charles W. Pratt

It was a favorite aunt who used to tell
How, when I learned to swim, I’d cry out
To the attendant angels on the float,
“Going undah now,” and disappear
For as long as I could hold my breath,
Then breach spouting: call me Moby Dick.

She’s gone under now, and all her memories.
She won’t come up at sunset on the porch
To suck the orange slice from her old-fashioned,
Or cross-stitch dresses for the German dolls
Ranged in a glass-front case for neighbor children —
She had none — to visit. Where are they?

Bedtime. I pull the covers up and murmur
(So my attendant angel doesn’t hear),
“Going undah now.”

From: https://www.nh.gov/nharts/artsandartists/poetshowcase/poetlaureate54.html

Date: 2008

By: Charles W. Pratt (1934-2012)

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Sunday, 22 July 2018

I Had Hoped to Keep Secret by Mibu no Tadami

I had hoped to keep secret
feelings that had begun to stir
within my heart,
but already rumours are rife
that I am in love with you.

From: MacMillan, Peter (ed. and transl.), One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse, 2018, Penguin: London , p. 41.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=UDdmDQAAQBAJ

Date: 10th century (original in Japanese); 2008 (translation in English)

By: Mibu no Tadami (10th century)

Translated by: Peter MacMillan (19??- )

Thursday, 12 July 2018

My Young Mother by Michael Ryan

Elvera Ryan (1911-2006)

What she couldn’t give me
she gave me those long nights
she sat up with me feverish
and sweating in my sleep
when I had no idea whatsoever
what she had to do to suffer
the pain her body dealt her
to assuage the pain in mine.

That was a noble privacy—
her mothering as a practice of patience—
how deeply it must have stretched her
to watch me all night with her nerves
crying for rest while my fever
spiked under the washcloths
she passed between my forehead
and her dishpan filled with ice.

That was a noble privacy,
but even then there was so much
unsayable between us,
and why this was now looks so
ludicrous in its old costume of shame
that I wish not that she had just
said it but that I hadn’t been
so furious she couldn’t.

From: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/poem/2008/01/my_young_mother.html

Date: 2008

By: Michael Ryan (1946- )

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Dapper Street by Jakobus Cornelis (Jacques) Bloem

Nature is for the satisfied or hollow.
And what does it add up to in this land?
A patch of wood, some ripples in the sand,
A modest hill where modest villas follow.

Give me the city streets, the urban grey,
Quays and canals that keep the water tamed,
The clouds that never look finer than when, framed
By attic windows, they go their windswept way.

The least expectant have most to marvel at.
Life keeps its wonders under lock and key
Until it springs them on us, rich, complete.

One dreary morning all this dawned on me,
When, soaking wet in drizzly Dapper Street,
I suddenly felt happy, just like that.

From: Broer, Dick; Möhlmann, Thomas; den Ouden, Barbara; Schiferli, Victor; Steinz, Pieter; Valken, Maarten; and Vogt, Agnes (eds.), Dutch Classics: Poetry, 2012, Letterenfonds/Dutch Foundation for Literature: Amsterdam, p. 42.
(www.letterenfonds.nl/download.php?file=Dutch-Classics-2012-poetry.pdf)

Date: 1945 (original in Dutch); 2008 (translation in English)

By: Jakobus Cornelis (Jacques) Bloem (1887-1966)

Translated by: Judith Wilkinson (1959- )

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Rain by Donald (Don) Paterson

I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face;

one long thundering downpour
right through the empty script and score
before the act, before the blame,
before the lens pulls through the frame

to where the woman sits alone
beside a silent telephone
or the dress lies ruined on the grass
or the girl walks off the overpass,

and all things flow out from that source
along their fatal watercourse.
However bad or overlong
such a film can do no wrong,

so when his native twang shows through
or when the boom dips into view
or when her speech starts to betray
its adaptation from the play,

I think to when we opened cold
on a rain-dark gutter, running gold
with the neon of a drugstore sign,
and I’d read into its blazing line:

forget the ink, the milk, the blood—
all was washed clean with the flood
we rose up from the falling waters
the fallen rain’s own sons and daughters

and none of this, none of this matters.

From: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/05/26/rain-poems-don-paterson

Date: 2008

By: Donald (Don) Paterson (1963- )

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A World of Rights and Wrongs by Jason Tandon

Afraid of white lies,
You fessed up to everything.
The empty candy dish,
Change pilfered from your father’s sock drawer.

As you learned the pleasures of the sun
Basking like a lizard on a stone,
You embellished occurrences,
Invented girls and heartaches.

Dared by your peers you peeked up
Your teacher’s skirt,
Then without prodding
Fainted in school once a week.

You never could keep a secret,
Relishing the scarlet thrill
Of playing accomplice
To the murder of someone else’s burden.

From: http://www.versedaily.org/2008/rightswrongs.shtml

Date: 2008

By: Jason Tandon (1975- )

Monday, 29 January 2018

I See and Hear by Oswald von Wolkenstein

I see and hear
that many a person laments about the disappearance of his property;
I, on the other hand, only lament about the disappearance of my youth,
the disappearance of my carefree attitude
and of that what I used to do at that time
without any consciousness about it because the earth provided me with support.
Now, being hampered by bodily failure,
my head, back, legs, hands, and feet alert me to the approaching old age.
Whatever sins I might have committed without any need,
you, sir body, make me pay for this recklessness
with paleness, red eyes,
wrinkles, grey hair: I can no longer do big jumps.
My heart, my brain, my tongue, and my strides have become hard to move,
I am walking bent over,
my trembling weakens all my limbs.
When I sing I only intonate “O dear!”
I sing nothing else day in and day out;
my tenor has become rather rough.

My wavy blond hair
that once covered my head with curls,
now displays its beauty in grey and black,
bald spots form a round shield,
my red lips are turning blue,
which makes me look disgusting to the beloved.
My teeth have become
loose and ugly and do no longer serve for chewing.
Even if all material in this world belonged to me,
I would not be able to get the teeth renewed,
nor to purchase a carefree attitude.
This would be possible only in a dream.
My abilities to fight, to jump, and to run rapidly
have turned into limping.
Instead of singing,
I do nothing but utter coughing sounds.
My breathing has become heavy.
The cold earth would be the best for me
because I have lost my strength and am not worth much.

Oh, young man,
recognize this: do not rely on your physical beauty,
or on your upright growth or your strength. Turn upwards
[to heaven] with spiritual songs.
As you are now, I have been before.
Once you will be like me, you will not regret to have acted properly.
There is nothing better for me now
but to strive toward living according to God’s will
with fasting, praying, and attending church service,
to kneel down to pray.
But I am not strong enough to do any of this
because my body is no longer strong enough to sustain itself because of old age.
Constantly I see everything fourfold instead of in its real shape
and hear everything muted by a thick rock.
The children are mocking at me,
and so the young ladies.
My lack of reason brought this upon me.
Young men and women, do not forget God’s grace.

From: von Wolkenstein, Oswald and Classen, Albrecht (ed. and transl.), The Poems of Oswald von Wolkenstein: An English Translation of the Complete Works (1376/77-1445), 2008, Palgrave MacMillan: New York, pp. 51-52.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=UcPIAAAAQBAJ)

Date: c1430 (original in Middle High German); 2008 (translation in English)

By: Oswald von Wolkenstein (1376/77-1445)

Translated by: Albrecht Classen (1956- )

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! by Lawrence S. Pertillar

From the shallow shopping days,
Of Christmas spent.
And gifts selected …
To induce an increased seduction.
With the onslaught of ornament productions.
May they take these memories …
And wish those feelings that excited them,
Remain.
Especially during times …
That find all who cherish these “things.”
Keep within their hearts to discover …
The thankfulness and joy, Others to them bring!
Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa!
And joyous times to those,
Who are grateful and know …
They are among the blessed!
However this tradition is done,
That brings those around the world …
To address their happiness!
And fun shared with everyone.

From: http://www.ibtimes.com/kwanzaa-poems-2016-famous-poetic-verses-african-american-holiday-2464520

Date: ?2008

By: Lawrence S. Pertillar (1947- )

Friday, 1 December 2017

The Annunciation by Samuel Menashe

She bows her head
Submissive, yet
Her downcast glance
Asks the angel, “Why
For this romance,
Do I qualify?”

From: https://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/08/003-the-annunciation

Date: 2008

By: Samuel Menashe (1925-2011)

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Hit the Road by Patrick Moran

the story goes like this
you’ve heard it before
the sound of your footsteps
grows distant in the dark

beneath the star’s peculiar light
you realize you are walking
away from yourself

there’s no pity here
there’s only the body attuned
to its own diminishing.

From: http://bostonreview.net/patrick-moran-poets-sampler

Date: 2008

By: Patrick Moran (19??- )