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  • Poetry Hound (9/23/2005 6:39:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Thanks Marcy and Sherrie for those Charles Simic postings. I wasn’t familiar with those particular poems. I like this use of the forum to introduce each other to poets we like, e.g., Rilke, Lisel Mueller. I thought I’d mention another one I admire - Wislawa Szymborska, winner of the 1996 Noble Prize for Literature. She only has 6 poems on poemhunter, so here’s a different one:

    The Letters of the Dead

    We read the letters of the dead like helpless gods,
    But gods, nonetheless, since we know the dates that follow.
    We know which debts will never be repaid.
    Which widows will remarry with the corpse still warm.
    Poor dead, blindfolded dead,
    gullible, fallible, pathetically prudent.
    We see the faces people make behind their backs.
    We catch the sound of wills being ripped to shreds.
    The dead sit before us comically, as if on buttered bread,
    or frantically pursue the hats blown from their heads.
    Their bad taste, Napoleon, steam, electricity,
    their fatal remedies for curable diseases,
    their foolish apocalypse according to St. John,
    their counterfeit heaven on earth according to Jean-
    Jacques....
    We watch the pawns on their chessboards in silence,
    even though we see them three squares later.
    Everything the dead predicted has turned out completely
    different.
    Or a little bit different – which is to say, completely
    different.
    The most fervent of them gaze confidingly into our eyes:
    their calculations tell them that they’ll find perfection there.

    Wislawa Szymborska
    Translated from Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh.

    Replies for this message:
    • Michael Shepherd (9/23/2005 8:16:00 AM) Post reply

      Szymborska's a powerful poet - it's like reading something you know is the shadow of a greatness. I was especially impressed by 'Hunger Camp' and Under a Small Star' on this site.

  • Allan James Saywell (9/22/2005 10:48:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    fellow poets i had the opportunity to read some of my work to a audience of
    aged people in a nursing home which i did for a friend of mine who is activities manager there, a section of the home caters for people with minor
    mental problems i talked and read some of my older poetry which concerned love early love, birds forest and nature and was amazed at there response in so
    much as even with there problems they still enjoyed poetry before i read each poem i would give them a little history about the poem i also was pleased about the respect they put upone myself as a poet they seemed to understand
    the importence of my poetry to myself and the relation between all people to the writing of poetry and the reading of poetry by the poet himself
    when i finished my two 45 minute readings i sat down and ate a meal with them
    talking and joking and discussing life i told them about the little child who was staring at me in a supermarket, the child was about ten year old i said
    the child did not know that i can read minds because i said to the child
    no i only look like a indian, they roared with laughter, and i knew that they were curious about why a man aged sixty would have such a haircut
    provig that a sense of humour becomes older with us

    Replies for this message:
    • Mary Nagy (9/23/2005 7:44:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      You look like an indian Allan? ? ? ? That's so far from the image I have of you I'm shocked. Hmmm......very interesting though. Mary

    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/22/2005 10:53:00 PM) Post reply

      Very nice of you, Allan. Next time give me enough notice and I will join you. Maybe bring some of my hilarious ones and we could have a good time for all. Best wishes H

  • Jerry Hughes Rookie - 1st Stage (9/22/2005 5:44:00 PM) Post reply

    Totally agree with you, Mahnaz. Scrap the scoring system completey for two very good reasons. Firstly, to stop petulant puppies going apeshit because (they) expected a much higher score. Secondly, who are we kidding by expecting exceptional points every time we post?

    Human nature being what it is, a points system creates derision when it's given open slater. A better method would be to have an 'appointed panel' of our peers but changed periodically to ensure fairness. So movers and shakers, kick this suggestion about and see what comes from it?

  • Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler Rookie - 1st Stage (9/22/2005 10:49:00 AM) Post reply | Read 14 replies

    here's something to increase everybody's word power:

    BLOETRY: Poetry written for the sole purpose of a school assignment; shallow, meaningless, and two-dimensional poetry.

    i.e.: 'I can't believe i got an 'A' in Creative Writing for that manuscript of bloetry i turned in.'

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  • Michael Shepherd Rookie - 1st Stage (9/22/2005 7:25:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    I've discovered a delight in Dana Gioia's poetry: a sure heart, musical lines, pitch-perfect enjambment, and an elegaic spareness. IMHO.

    Replies for this message:
    • David Nelson Bradsher (9/22/2005 8:35:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      I agree, Michael. Of course, I'm a little biased in that he's affiliated with The New Formalists (and Timothy Steele, my favorite) , but I'm always motivated after reading his expert blank verse and o ... more

    • Michael Shepherd (9/22/2005 7:32:00 AM) Post reply

      ...and best of all - reading him makes me want to write poetry...

  • Herbert Nehrlich1 Rookie - 1st Stage (9/22/2005 5:13:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Wo wird einst des Wandermueden
    letzte Ruhestaette sein?
    Unter Palmen in dem Sueden
    unter Linden an dem Rhein?

    Werd ich wo in einer Wueste
    eingescharrt von fremder Hand?
    Oder ruh ich an der Kueste
    eines Meeres in dem Sand?

    Immerhin, mich wird umgeben,
    Gotteshimmel, dort wie hier.
    Und als Totenlampen schweben
    nachts die Sterne ueber mir.


    Where will he lay down his head
    wand'rer, tired from his chores
    Southern palm trees make his bed
    Linden at the Rhine's great shores?

    What if strangers lay to rest
    me in desert's foreign land
    or perhaps I shall be blessed
    on the coast, deep down in sand?

    Never mind, I'll be protected
    by our Heaven's wondrous sights
    stars for death are well reflected,
    shine above me every night.

    Note:
    The exact wording was slightly altered which would
    be unacceptable in a professional
    translation of anything
    but poetry.
    The ambience and the meaning remain the same.

    H

    Replies for this message:
    • Michael Shepherd (9/22/2005 5:25:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      What I'm hearing here is the mix of the Lutheran, Romantic, and Rational sounds of the 18th century which have percolated through translation into our English hymns! Interesting. A propos a discussion ... more

  • Marcy Jarvis Rookie - 1st Stage (9/22/2005 12:28:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    Here's a challenge for Jefferson and Lamont. Battle it out, boys.

    Errata

    Where it says snow
    read teeth-marks of a virgin
    Where it says knife read
    you passed through my bones
    like a police-whistle
    Where it says table read horse
    Where it says horse read my migrant's bundle
    Apples are to remain apples
    Each time a hat appears
    think of Isaac Newton
    reading the Old Testament
    Remove all periods
    They are scars made by words
    I couldn't bring myself to say
    Put a finger over each sunrise
    it will blind you otherwise
    That damn ant is still stirring
    Will there be time left to list
    all errors to replace
    all hands guns owls plates
    all cigars ponds woods and reach
    that beer-bottle my greatest mistake
    the word I allowed to be written
    when I should have shouted
    her name

    Charles Simic

    Replies for this message:
    • David Nelson Bradsher (9/22/2005 8:36:00 AM) Post reply

      Wow, this poem really makes me want to seek out more of his work. Thanks for posting that.

    • Poetry Hound (9/22/2005 5:11:00 AM) Post reply

      I love Charles Simic and this is a good one. I think it's a challenge for poets to write something that is at once abstract and yet very down-to-earth personal.

    • Michael Shepherd (9/22/2005 4:15:00 AM) Post reply

      Yes, what a brilliant poem! And yes, 'romantic'. We had a series of revelatory art exhibitions here some years back which set a new standard for art history. 'Romanticism' was perhaps the greatest of ... more

  • Herbert Nehrlich1 Rookie - 1st Stage (9/22/2005 12:24:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    A source is, of course
    like the horse of remorse
    but I shall not endorse
    a poetic divorce.

    H

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  • Marcy Jarvis Rookie - 1st Stage (9/22/2005 12:10:00 AM) Post reply

    Why is there a 'Source' box at the bottom of each submission page and yet, when you fill it out, it doesn't appear?

  • Herbert Nehrlich1 Rookie - 1st Stage (9/21/2005 10:12:00 PM) Post reply

    Another shortie, this time Goethe.
    I only do those that I have not seen in their English translations.
    H
    Goethe Translated


    Was ist Unendlichkeit?
    Wie kannst du dich so quaelen?
    Geh in dich selbst!
    Entbehrst du drin Unendlichkeit in Sein und Sinn
    so ist dir nicht zu helfen.


    What is eternity?
    Why must it torture you?
    Search in your self!
    And if, within your own identity you fail to find
    finality without the end,
    nothing shall save you.

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