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  1. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    I've only read a limited selection of her poems. I've been meaning to read Power Politics.
  2. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    I've read a limited selection of all poems. Every once in a while I will come across something I like. I do like her novels, though.
  3. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    RIP Seamus Heaney

    Below is a brief excerpt of his translation of Beowulf. If you don't want to tackle such a long work, please at least check out one of his collections if you haven't read his work before.

    Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (2000)

    It is always better
    to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.
    For every one of us, living in this world
    means waiting for our end. Let whoever can
    win glory before death. When a warrior is gone,
    that will be his best and only bulwark.

    — Seamus Heaney (1939 – 2013)​
    • Like Like x 1
  4. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member Donor

    His translation is really fabulous.

    "Digging" showed up a lot yesterday.


    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

    Under my window, a clean rasping sound
    When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
    My father, digging. I look down

    Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
    Bends low, comes up twenty years away
    Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
    Where he was digging.

    The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
    Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
    He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
    To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
    Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

    By God, the old man could handle a spade.
    Just like his old man.

    My grandfather cut more turf in a day
    Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
    Once I carried him milk in a bottle
    Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
    To drink it, then fell to right away
    Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
    Over his shoulder, going down and down
    For the good turf. Digging.

    The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
    Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
    Through living roots awaken in my head.
    But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests.
    I’ll dig with it.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. FreeVerse

    FreeVerse Screw Tilted, I'm all the way upside down.

    Suburban Chicago
    Death is a Fisherman

    Death is a fisherman, the world we see
    His fish-pond is, and we the fishes be;
    His net some general sickness; howe'er he
    Is not so kind as other fishers be;
    For if they take one of the smaller fry,
    They throw him in again, he shall not die:
    But death is sure to kill all he can get,
    And all is fish with him that comes to net.

    Benjamin Franklin
  6. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Let me make this perfectly clear.
    I have never written anything because it is a Poem.
    This is a mistake you always make about me,
    A dangerous mistake. I promise you
    I am not writing this because it is a Poem.

    You suspect this is a posture or an act
    I am sorry to tell you it is not an act.

    You actually think I care if this
    Poem gets off the ground or not. Well
    I don’t care if this poem gets off the ground or not
    And neither should you.
    All I have ever cared about
    And all you should ever care about
    Is what happens when you lift your eyes from this page.

    Do not think for one minute it is the Poem that matters.
    Is is not the Poem that matters.
    You can shove the Poem.
    What matters is what is out there in the large dark
    and in the long light,

    - Gwendolyn MacEwan
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    MacEwan is a national treasure.
  8. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    I'd never heard of her before. :)
    But I like this very much.
  9. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    It was not my fault, these animals
    who once were lovers

    it was not my fault, the snouts
    and hooves, the tongues
    thickening and rough, the mouths grown over
    with teeth and fur

    I did not add the shaggy
    rugs, the tusked masks,
    they happened

    I did not say anything, I sat
    and watched, they happened
    because I did not say anything.

    It was not my fault, these animals
    who could no longer touch me
    through the rinds of their hardening skins,
    these animals dying
    of thirst because they could not speak

    these drying skeletons
    that have crashed and litter the ground
    under the cliffs, these
    wrecked words.

    I made no choice
    I decided nothing

    One day you simply appeared in your stupid boat,
    your killer's hands, your disjointed body, jagged as a
    skinny-ribbed, blue-eyed, scorched, thirsty, the usual,
    pretending to be what? a survivor?

    Those who say they want nothing
    want everything.
    It was not this greed
    that offended me, it was the lies.

    Nevertheless I gave you
    the food you demanded for the journey
    you said you planned; but you planned no journey
    and we both knew it.

    You've forgotten that,
    you made the right decision.
    The trees bend in the wind, you eat, you rest,
    you think of nothing,
    your mind, you say,

    is like your hands, vacant:

    vacant is not innocent.

    - Margaret Atwood
  10. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    The Crack

    While snow fell carelessly
    floating indifferent in eddies of
    rooftop air, circling the black

    a spring night entered
    my mind through the tight-closed window

    a loose Russian shirt of
    light silk.
    For this, then,
    that slanting
    line was left, that crack, the pane
    never replaced.

    Denise Levertov
  11. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted Donor

    Translation of a poem written in Greek by C. P. Cavafy (1911), about Marcus Antonius, known in English as Mark Antony, who rules the city Alexandria, while beseiged by Octavian's army. The night before he loses the city (and ultimately his life, and Cleopatra's, through suicide), Antony has a vision of the Roman god Bacchus, his protector, leaving the city.

    The God Abandons Antony

    When suddenly, at midnight, you hear
    an invisible procession going by
    with exquisite music, voices,
    don’t mourn your luck that’s failing now,
    work gone wrong, your plans
    all proving deceptive—don’t mourn them uselessly.
    As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
    say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
    Above all, don’t fool yourself, don’t say
    it was a dream, your ears deceived you:
    don’t degrade yourself with empty hopes like these.
    As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
    as is right for you who proved worthy of this kind of city,
    go firmly to the window
    and listen with deep emotion, but not
    with the whining, the pleas of a coward;
    listen—your final delectation—to the voices,
    to the exquisite music of that strange procession,
    and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.

    A different translation (Cavafy does not translate easily):

    The God Forsaketh Anthony

    If unexpectedly, in middle night,
    an unseen company be heard to pass,
    with music and with voices exquisite, —
    turn not away and uselessly lament
    your fortune that is giving in, your work
    that came to nothing, the projects of your life
    that proved illusory from first to last.
    As one prepared long since, as fits the brave,
    bid now farewell to the departing city,
    farewell to the Alexandria you love.
    And above all, do not deceive yourself:
    say not that your impression was a dream,
    that, it may be, your hearing played you false:
    to futile hopes like these never descend.
    As one prepared long since, as fits the brave,
    as most fits you who gained so great a city,
    approach the open window steadily,
    and with emotion, but without the plaints
    and supplications of the timorous,
    listen — knowing it to be your last delight —
    listen to the elysian sounds, the exquisite
    instruments of the mystic company;
    and bid farewell to the city you are losing,
    farewell to the Alexandria you love.

    Leonard Cohen's song (2001) based on this poem, with the subject changed from the city Alexandria to a woman Alexandra:

    Alexandra Leaving

    Suddenly the night has grown colder.
    The god of love preparing to depart.
    Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder,
    They slip between the sentries of the heart.

    Upheld by the simplicities of pleasure,
    They gain the light, they formlessly entwine;
    And radiant beyond your widest measure
    They fall among the voices and the wine.

    It’s not a trick, your senses all deceiving,
    A fitful dream, the morning will exhaust –
    Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
    Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

    Even though she sleeps upon your satin;
    Even though she wakes you with a kiss.
    Do not say the moment was imagined;
    Do not stoop to strategies like this.

    As someone long prepared for this to happen,
    Go firmly to the window. Drink it in.
    Exquisite music. Alexandra laughing.
    Your firm commitments tangible again.

    And you who had the honor of her evening,
    And by the honor had your own restored –
    Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving;
    Alexandra leaving with her lord.

    Even though she sleeps upon your satin;
    Even though she wakes you with a kiss.
    Do not say the moment was imagined;
    Do not stoop to strategies like this.

    As someone long prepared for the occasion;
    In full command of every plan you wrecked –
    Do not choose a coward’s explanation
    that hides behind the cause and the effect.

    And you who were bewildered by a meaning;
    Whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed –
    Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
    Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

    Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
    Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.
  12. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...



    Welcome to the silly, comforting poem.

    It is not the sunrise,
    which is a red rinse,
    which is flaring all over the eastern sky;

    it is not the rain falling out of the purse of God;

    it is not the blue helmet of the sky afterward,

    or the trees, or the beetle burrowing into the earth;

    it is not the mockingbird who, in his own cadence,
    will go on sizzling and clapping
    from the branches of the catalpa that are thick with blossoms,
    that are billowing and shining,
    that are shaking in the wind.


    You still recall, sometimes, the old barn on your
    great-grandfather's farm, a place you visited once,
    and went into, all alone, while the grownups sat and
    talked in the house.
    It was empty, or almost. Wisps of hay covered the floor,
    and some wasps sang at the windows, and maybe there was
    a strange fluttering bird high above, disturbed, hoo-ing
    a little and staring down from a messy ledge with wild,
    binocular eyes.
    Mostly, though, it smelled of milk, and the patience of
    animals; the give-offs of the body were still in the air,
    a vague ammonia, not unpleasant.
    Mostly, though, it was restful and secret, the roof high
    up and arched, the boards unpainted and plain.
    You could have stayed there forever, a small child in a corner,
    on the last raft of hay, dazzled by so much space that seemed
    empty, but wasn't.
    Then--you still remember--you felt the rap of hunger--it was
    noon--and you turned from that twilight dream and hurried back
    to the house, where the table was set, where an uncle patted you
    on the shoulder for welcome, and there was your place at the table.


    Nothing lasts.
    There is a graveyard where everything I am talking about is,

    I stood there once, on the green grass, scattering flowers.


    Nothing is so delicate or so finely hinged as the wings
    of the green moth
    against the lantern
    against its heat
    against the beak of the crow
    in the early morning.

    Yet the moth has trim, and feistiness, and not a drop
    of self-pity.

    Not in this world.


    My mother
    was the blue wisteria,
    my mother
    was the mossy stream out behind the house,
    my mother, alas, alas,
    did not always love her life,
    heavier than iron it was
    as she carried it in her arms, from room to room,
    oh, unforgettable!

    I bury her
    in a box
    in the earth
    and turn away.
    My father
    was a demon of frustrated dreams,
    was a breaker of trust,
    was a poor, thin boy with bad luck.
    He followed God, there being no one else
    he could talk to;
    he swaggered before God, there being no one else
    who would listen.
    this was his life.
    I bury it in the earth.
    I sweep the closets.
    I leave the house.


    I mention them now,
    I will not mention them again.

    It is not lack of love
    nor lack of sorrow.
    But the iron thing they carried, I will not carry.

    I give them--one, two, three, four--the kiss of courtesy,
    of sweet thanks,
    of anger, of good luck in the deep earth.
    May they sleep well. May they soften.

    But I will not give them the kiss of complicity.
    I will not give them the responsibility for my life.


    Did you know that the ant has a tongue
    with which to gather in all that it can
    of sweetness?

    Did you know that?


    The poem is not the world.
    It isn't even the first page of the world.

    But the poem wants to flower, like a flower.
    It knows that much.

    It wants to open itself,
    like the door of a little temple,
    so that you might step inside and be cooled and refreshed,
    and less yourself than part of everything.


    The voice of the child crying out of the mouth of the
    grown woman
    is a misery and a disappointment.
    The voice of the child howling out of the tall, bearded,
    muscular man
    is a misery, and a terror.


    Therefore, tell me:
    what will engage you?
    What will open the dark fields of your mind,
    like a lover
    at first touching?


    there was no barn.
    No child in the barn.

    No uncle no table no kitchen.

    Only a long lovely field full of bobolinks.


    When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
    the orderliness of the world. Notice
    something you have never noticed before,

    like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
    whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.

    Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
    shaking the water-sparks from its wings.

    Let grief be your sister, she will whether or no.
    Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
    like the diligent leaves.

    A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
    and the responsibilities of your life.

    Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
    Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.

    In the glare of your mind, be modest.
    And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.

    Live with the beetle, and the wind.

    This is the dark bread of the poem.
    This is the dark and nourishing bread of the poem.

    Mary Oliver
  13. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    A Warning

    In the lap of childhood you have slept long.
    Consider how your youth vanishes like straw in the wind:
    Do you think the Springtime of life is forever? Look up,
    Old age shuffles ever nearer.
    Then shake off this world, just as the bird
    Shakes off the night’s dew upon its wings.
    Fly upward, be cleansed of your wrongs,
    Of the grime of mortality that covers you.
    Draw close to God, see the forerunners of His presence,
    You, for whom His mercy flows like rivers.

    -Yehudah Ha-Levi (tr. Levite)
    • Like Like x 3
  14. evaderum

    evaderum Getting Tilted

    It's not as good as some of the ones I've read on this thread
    [I didn't mean for that to rhyme] but I thought I'd share this one


    Peace of mind, it's not so easy to find
    Withering away in the darkness inside of me
    I turned off the light, I'm too tired to fight
    Haunting dreams of things I will never be
    I've no wings to fly, with nothing left to try
    Floating away down to an end I cannot see
    Is it all in my head or am I just already dead
    I just want to let go and finally set it free
  15. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member Donor

    wonderfully crazy but not insane
    delightfully corrupt but not dishonorable
    woeful & dark but not without heart
    passionate & lusting but not without care
    searching yet already found
    wandering yet already home
    a contradiction with no definition
    a weird with no normal
    pain, hope, tears, joys
    all in one
    all with many

    my first in years...
  16. Dreamingon303

    Dreamingon303 New Member

    Love the poetry.. definitely put together well.
  17. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    Autumn Wrote

    Autumn, with the ink of its drenching rain and dews,
    with the pen of its bright lightnings, its hand of cloud,
    wrote a leaf-letter of indigo and scarlet upon the garden.
    No designer's imagination could plan the like.
    It is because the earth, having become impassioned for the face of the Heavens,
    Embroidered upon the blank boughs and furrows a tapestry like stars.

    -Shlomo ibn Gabirol (1021-1055, Spain), tr. Levite
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    This has been running through my head lately.

    Spring and Fall: To a Young Child

    Margaret, are you grieving
    Over Goldengrove unleaving?
    Leaves, like the things of man, you
    With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
    Ah! as the heart grows older
    It will come to such sights colder
    By and by, nor spare a sigh
    Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
    And yet you will weep and know why.
    Now no matter, child, the name:
    Sorrow's springs are the same.
    Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
    What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
    It is the blight man was born for,
    It is Margaret you mourn for.

    -Gerard Manley Hopkins
  19. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    The Laughing Heart

    your life is your life
    don't let it be clubbed into dank submission.
    be on the watch.
    there are ways out.
    there is a light somewhere.
    it may not be much light but
    it beats the darkness.
    be on the watch.
    the gods will offer you chances.
    know them.
    take them.
    you can't beat death but
    you can beat death in life, sometimes.
    and the more often you learn to do it,
    the more light there will be.
    your life is your life.
    know it while you have it.
    you are marvelous
    the gods wait to delight
    in you.
    Charles Bukowski
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    I find I have a lot of poetry on the brain of late.

    Vision and Prayer

    Are you
    Who is born
    In the next room
    So loud to my own
    That I can hear the womb
    Opening and the dark run
    Over the ghost and the dropped son
    Behind the wall thin as a wren's bone?
    In the birth bloody room unknown
    To the burn and turn of time
    And the heart print of man
    Bows no baptism
    But dark alone
    Blessing on
    The wild

    -Dylan Thomas