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poem of the moment
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MInty: thank you so much for the translation of "La Grasse Matinee," something to remind us what food and hunger are all about. It's the repetitions in the French lines ("cafe creme...") etc. and abrupt twists (from man's to calf's head) that made such an impression on me.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:19 pm    Post subject: poem of the moment Reply with quote

Yes, thanks loads minty, it's such an impressive poem and as Deste puts it perfectly, the change from food/coffee to the suggestion of murder and crime is so powerfully done. Useful to have your comments too. I have the Saturnien poems of Verlaine... I knew that poem looked familiar! Confused Wink And it has such wonderful touches...

Quote:
Sous ces mitaines de fil noir
Ses meurtriers ongles d'agate,
Coupants et clairs comme un rasoir.

I love the 'murderous nails of agate, cutting and clear (?) as a razor.'

Debbie,
I know exactly what you mean by pussypuncture!!! I always loved having Manfred lying on my chest with his forepaws over my heart and feeling his purr all the way through me. The look on his face of sheer content always made me chuckle too. Such a beautiful face.

Now we don't have a cat, I really miss it. I talk to every cat I see but they are usually in mid-prowl, so they pause/paws for a while but then continue prowling. I get sense-memories of Manfred still. The feel and scent of his fur and the warmth of his body on mine. The sound of his meeyoooww in the morning, or his miu when he wanted to go out. The sight of him stretched on the rug in a patch of sunlight. ... I really miss having a cat around. You're right, it's definitely a privilege to have a cat want to be friends with you. The thought of gingerpuss sitting on your chest with his face in yours puts a big smile on my face! I love it when they do that! Smile
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Have Not Forgotten ...

I have not forgotten the house I shared with you
In the suburbs, small and white, but quiet too.
A Venus and Pomona hid their bare
Worn stucco limbs in the scant shrubbery there;
And the sun at evening splendidly ablaze
Behind the panes that caught the glittering rays
As if he watched with open, curious eye
Our long and silent dinners, from the sky,
Like candle-gleams his lavish glories shed
On the hanging serge, the frugal cloth we spread.

Baudelaire...
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not have a poem as such.... but went (again) to the Musee de Montmartre today.

The whole place is a poem.

Pears dripping heavily
from the branches of trees
drooping in the midday sun
the silence has its own sound
that of the resident cat
sinuously winding its way
to a more comfortable perch
on an old wooden bench
in the cooling breeze

J'adore, j'adore, j'adore... I could spend hours in the garden, and hours viewing the works of Steinlen in the Musee...

Sigh, my idea of heaven in Montmartre.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:23 am    Post subject: poem of the moment Reply with quote

Debbie,

I am also a big fan of Steinlen... and Louis Wain! That poem of yours is lovely and very evocative.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meeting Alberto Giacometti in Sydney

the rocks
part of childhood it seems
granite Dolomites
I hug you
streaks of bronze
striding pencils
mittened
Spoon Woman 1926
the scoop of us!
calves, some have calves
Diego has a mountain torso
why so Alberto?

your Diego has life in bronze
Diego and energy
we stare

further
work on walls
your pencil marks became
weightless bronze

Waiting for Godot's tree
your tree for Sam
golly gosh
how about that!

a tree and an apple
of Cezanne's contemplation you spoke
the wonder of our realities methinks
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madame,

That is simply lovely.

Quote:
streaks of bronze
striding pencils


That couldn't be anyone else but Giacometti.
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two little poems I like : Very Happy


How to get on in society

Phone for the fish-knives, Norman
As Cook is a little unnerved;
You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
And I must have things daintily served

Are the requisites all in the toilet ?
The frills round the cutlets can wait
Till the girl has replenished the cruets
And switched on the logs in the grate

It’s ever so close in the lounge, dear,
But the vestibule’s comfy for tea
And Howard is out riding on horseback
So do come and take some with me

Now here’s a fork for your pastries
And do use the couch for your feet;
I know what I wanted to ask you –
Is trifle sufficient for sweet ?

Milk and then just as it comes dear?
I’m afraid the preserve’s full of stones ;
Beg pardon, I’m soiling the doilies
With afternoon tea-cakes and scones

John Betjeman (1906-1984) Poet Laureate


Naked

Imagine us really naked. We never are.
Even in private we clothe ourselves
With one another, with the thought of love.
Alone I search for hidden animals
On the tight skin of the mirror:
The callous, muscular bear of me who feeds
On honey and blood; the bird of paradise;
The sweet-faced jackal sniffing at the glass.
Eventually I find a lizard
Nakedness and this is hard to take:
Nothing I would show to someone else,
Not even you. Yet going dressed –
One seeming member of a seemly world –
I am single and sure, and naked to the bone.

John Burnside (1955-)
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Miroslav Holub (1923-1998)

from my beloved "Poem a Day" book: Miroslav Holub was born in Pilsen, Czechoslavakis,and received a MD as well as a Ph.D. in immunology. He considered science his vocation and poetry a pastime, but often combined the two, as in this poem. After the communist invasion of Czechoslovakis in 1968, he was declared a non-person, but he was never jailed. His work was banned there until the government's collapse in 1998, the same year he died.

In the Microscope

Here too are dreaming landscapes,
lunar, derelict.
Here too are the masses,
tillers of the soil.
And cells, fighters
who lay down their lives
for a song.

Here too are cemeteries,
fame and snow.
And I hear murmuring,
the revolt of immense estates.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At His Last Gig

At his last gig in horrid Amsterdam—
City to which Camus consigned the fallen—
Ben Webster, Uncle Ben, then on the lam
From Denmark, escaping as always, swollen
And rheumy-eyed, spoke in a somewhat sullen
And more than somewhat smashed voice to the jam
Out front. It was his first speech, and a melan-
choly occasion. "You're growing and—" ham
That he was "—I'm going," he said. No scam,
However commonplace, wherever stolen;
He said it and he died, and no flim-flam.
But it was obnoxious. He was a felon,
A brute, a drunk, a sob-sister. Yet song
Was his in paradox his whole life long.

Hayden Carruth
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope this is not too long, but...

The Song of Mehitabel

this is the song of mehitabel
of mehitabel the alley cat
as i wrote you before boss
mehitabel is a believer
in the pythagorean
theory of the transmigration
of the souls and she claims
that formerly her spirit
was incarnated in the body
of cleopatra
that was a long time ago
and one must not be
surprised if mehitabel
has forgotten some of her
more regal manners

i have had my ups and downs
but wotthehell wotthehell
yesterday sceptres and crowns
fried oysters and velvet gowns
and today i herd with bums
but wotthehell wotthehell
i wake the world from sleep
as i caper and sing and leap
when i sing my wild free tune
wotthehell wotthehell
under the blear eyed moon
i am pelted with cast off shoon
but wotthehell wotthehell

do you think that i would change
my present freedom to range
for a castle or moated grange
wotthehell wotthehell
cage me and i d go frantic
my life is so romantic
capricious and corybantic
and i m toujours gai toujours gai

i know that i am bound
for a journey down the sound
in the midst of a refuse mound
but wotthehell wotthehell
oh i should worry and fret
death and i will coquette
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's just the first bit... by Don Marquis from 'archy and mehitabel'. I hope you enjoy after all, wotthehell, wotthehell, there's a dance in the old dame yet, toujours gai, toujours gai!

... n'est pas, mes amis?!
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this river of feeling by Bella Akhmadulina (at one time Mrs Yevtushenko)~ methinks I'll take maself to Russia one day...to walk through Russian seasons..

Silence

Who was it that took away my voice?
The black wound he left in my throat
Can't even cry.

March is at work under the snow
And the birds of my throat are dead,
Their gardens turning into dictionaries.

I beg my lips to sing.
I beg the lips of the snowfall,
Of the cliff and the bush to sing.

Between my lips, the round shape
Of the air in my mouth.
Because I can say nothing.

I'll try anything
For the trees in the snow.
I breathe. I swing my arms. I lie.

From this sudden silence,
Like death, that loved
The names of all words,
You raise me now in song.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After This Deluge

After this deluge
I would like to see the dove,
and nothing but the dove,
saved once more.

For I'd perish in this sea!
if she didn't fly away,
if she didn't bring back,
in the last hour,
the leaf.

Ingeborg Bachmann (1926 ~ 1973)

for me, that poem is full of life ~ that surreal mix of almost despair 'n everpresent hope

imagining the leaf...
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cigalechanta



Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Posts: 200
Location: cambridge, ma.

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year my dog died(Iadopted one from a shelter since) It was very traumatic for me bcause of the intense relationshipp the last year . He was blind and had Alzheimers(canine cognitive syndrome) I sent this poem to my friends to announce his last sleep:

A Dog Has Died
My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I'll join him right there,
but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea's movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don't now and never did lie to each other.

So now he's gone and I buried him,
and that's all there is to it.


Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer

Pablo Neruda
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