Posts tagged ‘2013’

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Torn by Ada Limón

Witness the wet dead snake,
its long hexagonal pattern weaved
around its body like a code for creation,
curled up cold on the newly tarred road.
Let us begin with the snake: the fact
of death, the poverty of place, of skin
and surface. See how the snake is cut
in two—its body divided from its brain.
Imagine now, how it moves still, both
sides, the tail dancing, the head dancing.
Believe it is the mother and the father.
Believe it is the mouth and the words.
Believe it is the sin and the sinner—
the tempting, the taking, the apple, the fall,
every one of us guilty, the story of us all.
But then return to the snake, poor dead
thing, forcefully denying the split of its being,
longing for life back as a whole, wanting
you to see it for what it is, something
that loves itself so much, it moves across
the boundaries of death, to touch itself
once more, to praise both divided sides
equally, as if it was almost easy.


Date: 2013

By: Ada Limón (1976- )

Thursday, 3 May 2018

The Angel of History by Theo Dorgan

In the great house on Kildare Street the lamps were burning.
It was a winter night, the usual slant rain falling.
I had paused to light up a cigarette, to watch the lone Guard
stamp her feet, blow uselessly into her cupped, gloved hands.
In the colonnade of the National Library a man was standing,
a man neither old nor young, his head bare, half turned towards
the lights in the parliament house, the high blank windows.
I saw him reach inside his long loose coat, take out a notebook.
I crossed the road, gathering my own long coat around me,
stood in behind him, looked over his shoulder. He took no notice.

One after another I saw him strike them out from a long list of names:
Senators, Deputies, Ministers. One after another the names
dissolved on the page, a scant dozen remaining. I watched him
ink in a question mark after each of these, neat and precise.
He put the book away, sliding it down carefully into a deep pocket;
he turned and looked at me, nothing like pity in those hollow eyes.
He sighed, then squared his shoulders, lifted his face to the rain
and was gone. Gone as if he had never been. But I saw him,
I know who he was, I witnessed that cold, exact cancellation;
walked on, walked home, thoughtful, afraid for my country.


Date: 2013

By: Theo Dorgan (1953- )

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Mattering by Patty Seyburn

My liege, my legion of
bad habits batters the
diminishing rank and
file of my decency.
What would you have me do?
I judge, curse, rue, malign,
run out of cereal.
Everyday world depends
hardly at all on the
details of atoms or
galaxies — a lesson
in stratification —
and the feeling, woe is
me, must be mutual.


Date: 2013

By: Patty Seyburn (1962- )

Friday, 25 August 2017

You Poem by Marianne Morris

you (walking up the road)
you, you (bird with a hole in its wing)
you you you (thought under pressure)
you you (didn’t see what I was) you you you
(now see what I was) you you (a space
opening up between me and myself)
you you (a breath I took through being alone)
you you you (thought reduced to doubling) you
(blatant reformulation of) you you you (and me,
me, reformulating) you (a praxis) you (not
singing exactly) you you (can be forgiven for
everything) you (absolutely everything) you
(draw the lines according to what) you
(forgive, arrive late to the games) you
(a staging of battles) you you (just wanting more)
you you (of a nonspecific bounty) you you
(more and then less of me) you (music rising)
you you (up the stairs my thoughts climb)
you you (impose a structure onto the impossible)
you you (eternal suspension).


Date: 2013

By: Marianne Morris (1981- )

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Canto XIII: Suiceder from “The Chomedy” by Ollie Evans

No none not nothing
is no thing thought
but nothingness.

Noting this he credits
me incrementally
with one caught

in knots in what
I thought could not
in noting nothing

be taught but torn
in truth from a twist
that saps and hurts.

From: Evans, Ollie, The Chomedy. Corrupted Canticles after Dante’s Commedia, 2013, Red Ceiling Press: London, p. 14.

Date: 2013

By: Ollie Evans (19??- )

Monday, 20 March 2017

Description of Rufo the Dragon from “The Life of Saint Margaret” by Wace

One day Margaret was saying her prayers,
As was her custom,
When from a corner she saw a dragon emerge;
It was black and horrible in appearance,
And it spewed forth burning fire through its nose.
Around its neck it bore an iron chain, completely black,
It had a beard of gold and teeth of silver,
And its eyes were sparkling like a serpent’s.
It gave off a great stench all around it
And in its hand it carried a sharp sword.

From: Blacker, Jean, Burgess, Glyn S. and Ogden, Amy V. (eds. and translators), Wace: The Hagiographical Works. The Conception of Notre Dame and the Lives of St Margaret and St Nicholas, 2013, Brill: Leiden and Boston, p. 201.

Date: c1135 (original in Norman French); 2013 (translation in English)

By: Wace (c1110-after 1174)

Translated by: Jean Blacker (1952- ), Glyn Sheridan Burgess (1943- ) and Amy Victoria Ogden (1970- )

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Raising the Alarm by Meleager of Gadara

Help! He is gone. That wild boy, Love, has escaped!
Just now, as day was breaking, he flew from his bed and was gone.
Description? Sweetly tearful, talks forever, swift, irreverent,
Slyly laughing, wings on his back, and carries a quiver.
His last name? I don’t know, for his father and mother,
Whoever they are, in earth or heaven, won’t admit it.
Everyone hates him, you see. Take care, take care,
Or even now he’ll be weaving new snares for your heart.
But hush—look there, turn slowly. You don’t deceive me, boy,
Drawing your bow so softly where you hide in Zenophile’s eyes.


Date: 1st century BCE (original in Greek); 2013 (translation in English)

By: Meleager of Gadara (1st century BCE)

Translated by: Thomas McEvilley (1939-2013)

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Radiocarbon Dating by Anja König

It’s no longer done,
comparing a woman’s body to a landscape –
buttock hillocks, dales and deltas –

politically incorrect. But I want you
in charge of manning up an expedition to undefined
white spaces on my map. I want you

to use your scientific training, evaluate
my forestation, measure the circumference of both
polar caps. You can examine drilling cores

to reconstruct my seismic history. The positions
of tectonic faults, degree of liquefaction
of the crust and mantle imply

tremors are possible and could be more
than modern settlements can handle.

You can still shift your paradigm, embrace
a post-colonial sentiment and keep your footprint light.


Date: 2013

By: Anja König (19??- )

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Walk On and Forget by Rubén Darío (Félix Rubén García Sarmiento)

That is my curse: to dream.

Pilgrim who searches in vain
for a road better than your own,
why do you want me to give you my hand
if my sign is the same as your own?

You’ll never arrive at your destination;
you carry death in you like a maggot
that eats away at what you have that’s human …
at what you have that’s human and divine!

Walk peacefully, o wayfarer!
you’re still so far from that unknown
country of which you dream …

… And to dream is a curse. Walk on and forget,
for if you insist on dreaming, you insist
on fanning the flames beneath your life.


Date: 1911-1914 (original in Spanish); 2013 (translation in English)

By: Rubén Darío (Félix Rubén García Sarmiento) (1867-1916)

Translated by: Stuart Cooke (1980- )

Saturday, 22 October 2016

A Nightingale Migrates by Thomas Ironmonger

Heat – where the river swells and flaps
like a flock of white birds taking flight.
Red – where the clouds with thunder
crack, and the sky’s cool gin mixes into the night.
Here – as drunken fruits fall and explode into
the furrowed orchard aisles as the dark forest crows inside
two slight lungs drink breath
to load the songs they will carry for miles; over the
hedgerows, over the stiles; over
the bright brown African roads.


Date: 2013

By: Thomas Ironmonger (19??- )