Poems that you love
A Song on the End of the World
BY CZESLAW MILOSZ
TRANSLATED BY ANTHONY MILOSZ

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.

Warsaw, 1944
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ps i might be posting a lot of stuff already posted in other threads throughout the site -- not that i don't have anything new, it's just that i'd love to discuss some pieces in a somewhat different context -- but if y'all want to talk about pieces you've read that you just wanna share with everyone, and in a slightly different context from this thread, pms welcome.
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"y'all" ! You sound like the folks from here. I say that too sometimes, but not nearly as much as the ones born and raised here in South Carolina. I do love this area. What state are you in?

By the way, I really like the style of that last poem. Very clear and full of great images. Thanks for sharing.
"The best way out is always through."-Robert Frost
dwcapture.com
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YW.

Ooh, I'm not American. I just like using y'all when typing (or speaking) because it's easier (and sounds better). Although maybe my very brief time in Texas had something to do with it, too...
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Klein is one of my favorite poets of all time.

Heirloom

by A. M. Klein

My father bequeathed me no wide estates;
No keys and ledgers were my heritage;
Only some holy books with yahrzeit dates
Writ mournfully upon a blank front page —

Books of the Baal Shem Tov, and of his wonders;
Pamphlets upon the devil and his crew;
Prayers against road demons, witches, thunders;
And sundry other tomes for a good Jew.

Beautiful: though no pictures on them, save
The scorpion crawling on a printed track;
The Virgin floating on a scriptural wave,
Square letters twinkling in the Zodiac.

The snuff left on this page, now brown and old,
The tallow stains of midnight liturgy —
These are my coat of arms, and these unfold
My noble lineage, my proud ancestry!

And my tears, too, have stained this heirloomed ground,
When reading in these treatises some weird
Miracle, I turned a leaf and found
A white hair fallen from my father’s beard.
Time is the best editor.
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Good Bones

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

BY Maggie Smith
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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(09-11-2018, 03:43 AM)Todd Wrote:  Good Bones

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

BY Maggie Smith

Terrible, terrible - the world is not beautiful.  But perhaps only half of it...
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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(09-11-2018, 03:43 AM)Todd Wrote:  sunk in a lake.

Wow!
She’s put up a fair bit of her poetry online
Thanks for the discovery
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(09-19-2018, 07:09 AM)Busker Wrote:  
(09-11-2018, 03:43 AM)Todd Wrote:  sunk in a lake.
Wow!
She’s put up a fair bit of her poetry online
Thanks for the discovery
Glad, you like her!
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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Skeins o Geese

Skeins o geese write a word
across the sky. A word
struck lik a gong
afore I wis born.
The sky moves like cattle, lowin.

I’m as empty as stane, as fields
ploo’d but not sown, naked
an blin as a stane. Blin
tae the word, blin
tae a’ soon but geese ca’ing.

Wire twists lik archaic script
roon a gate. The barbs
sign tae the wind as though
it was deef. The word whistles
ower high for ma senses. Awa.

No lik the past which lies
strewn aroun. Nor sudden death.
No like a lover we’ll ken
an connect wi forever.
The hem of its goin drags across the sky.

Whit dae birds write on the dusk?
A word niver spoken or read.
The skeins turn hame,
on the wind’s dumb moan, a soan,
maybe human, bereft.

Kathleen Jamie
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^^^^mmmm. It took a bit of work as Scottish doesn't come naturally for me but now that I've got it it's lovely. Thanks Smile
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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Dream Song 1
John Berryman

Huffy Henry hid the day,
unappeasable Henry sulked.
I see his point,–a trying to put things over.
It was the thought that they thought
they could do it made Henry wicked & away.
But he should have come out and talked.

All the world like a woolen lover
once did seem on Henry’s side.
Then came a departure.
Thereafter nothing fell out as it might or ought.
I don’t see how Henry, pried
open for all the world to see, survived.

What he has now to say is a long
wonder the world can bear & be.
Once in a sycamore I was glad
all at the top, and I sang.
Hard on the land wears the strong sea
and empty grows every bed.
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The words won't paste.

Listening is better.


James Dickey Under Buzzards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHkZhYDxmNw


Mine is the Turkey-Vulture. I've written about them. They're graceful. I got them in my Deep Woods book I've been making lately.
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Voices From The Other World  James Merrill


Presently at our touch the teacup stirred,
Then circled lazily about
From A to Z. The first voice heard
(If they are voices, these mute spellers-out)
Was that of an engineer

Originally from Cologne.
Dead in his 22nd year
Of cholera in Cairo, he had KNOWN
NO HAPPINESS. He once met Goethe, though.
Goethe had told him: PERSEVERE.

Our blind hound whined. With that, a horde
Of voices gathered above the Ouija board,
Some childish and, you might say, blurred
By sleep; one little boy
Named Will, reluctant possibly in a ruff

Like a large-lidded page out of El Greco, pulled
Back the arras for that next voice,
Cold and portentous: ALL IS LOST.
FLEE THIS HOUSE. OTTO VON THURN UND TAXIS.
OBEY. YOU HAVE NO CHOICE.

Frightened, we stopped; but tossed
Till sunrise striped the rumpled sheets with gold.
Each night since then, the moon waxes,
Small insects flit round a cold torch
We light, that sends them pattering to the porch . . .

But no real Sign. New voices come,
Dictate addresses, begging us to write;
Some warn of lives misspent, and all of doom
In way’s that so exhilarate
We are sleeping sound of late.

Last night the teacup shattered in a rage.
Indeed, we have grown nonchalant
Towards the other world. In the gloom here,
our elbows on the cleared
Table, we talk and smoke, pleased to be stirred

Rather by buzzings in the jasmine, by the drone
Of our own voices and poor blind Rover’s wheeze,
Than by those clamoring overhead,
Obsessed or piteous, for a commitment
We still have wit to postpone

Because, once looked at lit
By the cold reflections of the dead
Risen extinct but irresistible,
Our lives have never seemed more full, more real,
Nor the full moon more quick to chill.

The moon gives me a warm feeling. But I see his point.
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(04-10-2018, 02:13 PM)RiverNotch Wrote:  A Song on the End of the World
BY CZESLAW MILOSZ
TRANSLATED BY ANTHONY MILOSZ

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.
       
On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.

Warsaw, 1944

coming to it late.....beautiful, just beautiful
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Knowing I Live in a Dark Age
by Milton Acorn

Knowing I live in a dark age before history,
I watch my wallet and
am less struck by gunfights in the avenues
than by the newsie with his dirty pink chapped face
calling a shabby poet back for his change.

The crows mobbing the blinking, sun-stupid owl;
wolves eating a hamstrung calf hind end first,
keeping their meat alive and fresh. . .these
are marks of foresight, beginnings of wit:
but Jesus wearing thorns and sunstroke
beating his life and death into words
to break the rods and blunt the axes of Rome;
this and like things followed.

Knowing that in this advertising rainbow
I live like a trapeze artist with a headache,
my poems are no aspirins. . . they show
pale bayonets of grass waving thin on dunes;
the paralytic and his lyric secrets;
my friend Al, union builder and cynic,
hesitating to believe his own delicate poems
lest he believe in something better than himself:
and history, which is yet to begin,
will exceed this, exalt this
as a poem erases and rewrites its poet.
Time is the best editor.
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“hesitating to believe his own delicate poems”

Good read, Richard, thanks.
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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Darling, It’s Frightening

Darling, it's frightening! When a poet loves 
he might be an unshriven god enraptured.
And chaos creeps again up to the light,
as in the far off ages of the fossils.

His eyes weep tons of billows and he's swathed 
in cloud, so that you'd take him for a mammoth.
He's out of date. He knows it's no more use.
His days are over now and he's illiterate.

He sees the way his neighbors hold their weddings,
how they get roaring drunk and sleep it off,
how they call common roe - that pickled frogspawn, -
once she's been married off, the best pressed caviar.

And how they manage to squeeze in a snuff-box 
life that is like a pearly dream by Watteau.
They take revenge on him; perhaps it's only 
because, while they are twisting and contorting,

while sniggering bourgeois comfort lies and flatters
and they rub shoulders with the drones and crawl,
he's raised a girl like you from earth and used her,
like a Bacchante from her amphora.

And thawing of the Andes melts in kisses 
and morning's on the steppe, beneath the dominion 
of stars that fall in dust, as night goes stumbling 
with bleat growing ever paler, through the village.

And round the straw bed's fevered pain breathe all 
the exhalations of the ancient pit
and all the vestry's gloomy vegetation.
And chaos splashes up out of the jungle.


Boris Pasternak (1890-1960)
Trans. J. M. Cowen
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Let's keep the Canadian content coming Smile

Warren Pryor
by Alden Nowlan

When every pencil meant a sacrifice
his parents boarded him at school in town,
slaving to free him from the stony fields,
the meager acreage that bore them down.

They blushed with pride when, at his graduation,
they watched him picking up the slender scroll,
his passport from the years of brutal toil
and lonely patience in a barren hole.

When he went in the Bank their cups ran over.
They marveled how he wore a milk-white shirt
work days and jeans on Sundays. He was saved
from their thistle-strewn farm and its red dirt.

And he said nothing. Hard and serious
like a young bear inside his teller's cage,
his axe-hewn hands upon the paper bills
aching with empty strength and throttled rage.
Time is the best editor.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7K2iF3hDT0

Because it's not always a good poem unless you hear them read it.
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