Posts tagged ‘2008’

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- )

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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??- )

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

If I Were Paul by Mark Jarman

Consider how you were made.

Consider the loving geometry that sketched your bones, the passionate symmetry that sewed
flesh to your skeleton, and the cloudy zenith whence your soul descended in shimmering rivulets
across pure granite to pour as a single braided stream into the skull’s cup.

Consider the first time you conceived of justice, engendered mercy, brought parity into being,
coaxed liberty like a marten from its den to uncoil its limber spine in a sunny clearing, how you
understood the inheritance of first principles, the legacy of noble thought, and built a city like a
forest in the forest, and erected temples like thunderheads.

Consider, as if it were penicillin or the speed of light, the discovery of another’s hands, his oval
field of vision, her muscular back and hips, his nerve-jarred neck and shoulders, her bleeding
gums and dry elbows and knees, his baldness and cauterized skin cancers, her lucid and
forgiving gaze, his healing touch, her mind like a prairie.  Consider the first knowledge of
otherness.  How it felt.

Consider what you were meant to be in the egg, in your parents’ arms, under a sky full of stars.

Now imagine what I have to say when I learn of your enterprising viciousness, the discipline
with which one of you turns another into a robot or a parasite or a maniac or a body strapped to a
chair.  Imagine what I have to say.

Do the impossible.  Restore life to those you have killed, wholeness to those you have maimed,
goodness to what you have poisoned, trust to those you have betrayed.

Bless each other with the heart and soul, the hand and eye, the head and foot, the lips, tongue,
and teeth, the inner ear and the outer ear, the flesh and spirit, the brain and bowels, the blood and
lymph, the heel and toe, the muscle and bone, the waist and hips, the chest and shoulders, the
whole body, clothed and naked, young and old, aging and growing up.

I send you this not knowing if you will receive it, or if having received it, you will read it, or if
having read it, you will know that it contains my blessing.

From: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/if-i-were-paul

Date: 2008

By: Mark Jarman (1952- )

Friday, 22 September 2017

Madrigal by Chiara Matraini

When first encountering this beautiful sight,
my lord, I am engulfed by an icy flame
that little by little burns and destroys me from within.
Yet so sweet is that fire
that my heart rejoices even as my soul shatters,
and if the one gives it place
the other truly detests the sound.
So I do not understand if I live or die,
while I go on offending myself with pleasure.

From: Matraini, Chiara and Maclachlan, Elaine (ed. and transl.), Selected Poetry and Prose : A Bilingual Edition, 2014, University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London, p. 49.

Date: 1555 (original in Italian); 2008 (translation in English)

By: Chiara Matraini (1515-1604)

Translated by: Elaine Maclachlan (19??- )

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Midsummer by Louise Glück

On nights like this we used to swim in the quarry,
the boys making up games requiring them to tear off  the girls’ clothes
and the girls cooperating, because they had new bodies since last summer
and they wanted to exhibit them, the brave ones
leaping off  the high rocks — bodies crowding the water.

The nights were humid, still. The stone was cool and wet,
marble for  graveyards, for buildings that we never saw,
buildings in cities far away.

On cloudy nights, you were blind. Those nights the rocks were dangerous,
but in another way it was all dangerous, that was what we were after.
The summer started. Then the boys and girls began to pair off
but always there were a few left at the end — sometimes they’d keep watch,
sometimes they’d pretend to go off  with each other like the rest,
but what could they do there, in the woods? No one wanted to be them.
But they’d show up anyway, as though some night their luck would change,
fate would be a different fate.

At the beginning and at the end, though, we were all together.
After the evening chores, after the smaller children were in bed,
then we were free. Nobody said anything, but we knew the nights we’d meet
and the nights we wouldn’t. Once or twice, at the end of summer,
we could see a baby was going to come out of all that kissing.

And for those two, it was terrible, as terrible as being alone.
The game was over. We’d sit on the rocks smoking cigarettes,
worrying about the ones who weren’t there.

And then finally walk home through the fields,
because there was always work the next day.
And the next day, we were kids again, sitting on the front steps in the morning,
eating a peach.  Just that, but it seemed an honor to have a mouth.
And then going to work, which meant helping out in the fields.
One boy worked for an old lady, building shelves.
The house was very old, maybe built when the mountain was built.

And then the day faded. We were dreaming, waiting for night.
Standing at the front door at twilight, watching the shadows lengthen.
And a voice in the kitchen was always complaining about the heat,
wanting the heat to break.

Then the heat broke, the night was clear.
And you thought of  the boy or girl you’d be meeting later.
And you thought of  walking into the woods and lying down,
practicing all those things you were learning in the water.
And though sometimes you couldn’t see the person you were with,
there was no substitute for that person.

The summer night glowed; in the field, fireflies were glinting.
And for those who understood such things, the stars were sending messages:
You will leave the village where you were born
and in another country you’ll become very rich, very powerful,
but always you will mourn something you left behind, even though
you can’t say what it was,
and eventually you will return to seek it.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/50724

Date: 2008

By: Louise Glück (1943- )

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Swansong, Mile End by Siddhartha Bose

Pigeons on a tiled roof.
Foreground—bus stop shines in the rain.

Swans—patches of cloud—
float long Regent’s Canal, its

skin, moving fish scales.

Shirt of sky opens.
Hair of stars sprout.

Plastic bags crackle like
pellets of rain in a tin can, like fire

bled on wood.

A southbound train lunges over a
joke-bridge.

The night is radioactive.

The two swans screech their song of love,
shake their manes, become

proud as horses.

From: http://www.eclectica.org/v12n4/bose.html

Date: 2008

By: Siddhartha Bose (19??- )