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A Poem A Day


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48 replies to this topic

#1 brokenclay

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 21:34

This is a modest attempt to impose a little discipline on my pandemic-disordered life.

 

For today:

 

summer-chen-jun.jpg

 

Summer
TRANSLATED BY MING DI
The swinger the swirler the swirled: stop grieving.
I drink all night but in a diminishing appetite.
The scene outside is obscene from a humbling window.
My sentiment spreads, my famine a flagpole, a grizzle.
Birds sing next year’s songs, or antique rescues.
I write but where shall I send it?
Let go — I shall go tie the flowers the leaves the whole orchard.
The outskirts are curved, shadows of countrywoman donors    ...    
You bring me a cup of fresh tea that I love,
I return you two kapok leaves — like hand waves.
 
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#2 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 00:44

Years afo, I wrote very bad haiku for a few weeks based on a morning glance out my window. I remember it was a composition notebook, a Waterman Carene (M), and some brick-colored ink.

#3 inkstainedruth

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 01:25

For the past several years I have been doing NaPoWriMo.  This year, because of that's when the lockdown happened around here, I was even more prolific than I had been in past years -- 36 poems and one first draft of a prose poem in 31 days (including the early bird prompt).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#4 txomsy

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 08:26

Great idea, please keep the poems coming.



#5 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 13:39

Oops, thought this meant composing poems rather than writing them out in the beautiful example above.

I will just slink away now.

#6 brokenclay

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 13:44

No, no, no, don't slink away!

 

I have neither the talent or the mental energy to compose, but those who do have my full admiration.



#7 brokenclay

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 14:47

passing-over-hearne.jpg

 

Passing Over Your Virtues
BY VICKI HEARNE
To pass over in silence
Is to acknowledge logic,
The necessity of form,
 
The stunning curve of language,
The curious way it seems
To turn out that “love” means “need”
 
Even in a lush garden.
To pass over the Red Sea
Or your bounty—so long as
 
True silence and not some tense
Paralysis of the false
Is achieved—then Passover
 
Is always a charity,
The painted fish in the blue
Water turns to their own colors.
 
To pass over in silence
Is to acknowledge you if
This chatter dissolve as it
 
Will in the marvelous sky.
 
Pelikan Signum P520 M
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#8 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 17:40

Beautiful handwriting too.

#9 brokenclay

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 16:52

Beautiful handwriting too.

 

Oh, thank you!

 

Not a poem, per se, but certainly poetic, and taken from a poem: Benjamin Banneker Helps to Build a City, by Jay Wright.

 

banneker.jpg

 

Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson

 

Sir, suffer me to recall to your mind that time, in which the arms and tyranny of the British crown were exerted, with every powerful effort in order to reduce you to a state of servitude: look back, I entreat you, on the variety of dangers to which you were exposed; reflect on that time, in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict, and you cannot but be led to a serious and grateful sense of your miraculous and providential preservation; you cannot but acknowledge, that the present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy you have mercifully received, and that it is the peculiar blessing of Heaven.
Here was a time, in which your tender feelings for yourselves had engaged you thus to declare, you were then impressed with proper ideas of the great violation of liberty, and the free possession of those blessings, to which you were entitled by nature; but, Sir, how pitiable it is to reflect, that although you were so fully convinced of the benevolence of the Father of Mankind, and of his equal and impartial distribution of these rights and privileges, which he hath conferred upon them, that you should at the same time counteract his mercies, in detaining by fraud and violence so numerous a part of my brethren, under groaning captivity, and cruel oppression, that you should at the same time be found guilty of that most criminal act, which you professedly detested in others, with respect to yourselves.
 
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Full correspondence between Banneker and Jefferson can be read at Founders Online.


#10 brokenclay

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 13:57

natural-law-deutsch.jpg

 

Natural Law
By Babette Deutsch
 
If you press a stone with your finger,
Sir Isaac Newton observed,
The finger is also
Pressed by the stone.
 
But can a woman, pressed by memory’s finger,
In the deep night, alone,
Of her softness move
The airy thing
That presses upon her
With the whole weight of love? This
Sir Isaac said nothing of.
 
Waterman Phileas, M
J. Herbin Perle Noire
 
Trivia:  On July 5, 1687, Isaac Newton's Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica was published.


#11 brokenclay

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 15:17

Yesterday a thread here on FPN reminded me about Tübingen, where some of my family live, so here is part of a poem by native son Friedrich Hölderlin.

 

in-lieblicher-holderlin.jpg

 

In lieblicher Bläue blühet
Friedrich Hölderlin
 
In lieblicher Bläue blühet 
mit dem metallenen Dache der Kirchturm. 
Den umschwebet Geschrei der Schwalben,
den umgiebt die rührendste Bläue. 
Die Sonne gehet hoch darüber und färbet das Blech, 
im Winde aber oben stille krähet die Fahne. 
 
Kaweco Sport AL Grey, 1.1m stub
Iroshizuku Take-sumi
 
and a (very) free translation by George Kalogeris:
 
Like the stamen inside a flower   
The steeple stands in lovely blue   
And the day unfolds around its needle;   
 
The flock of swallows that circles the steeple   
Flies there each day through the same blue air   
That carries their cries from me to you;   
 
We know how high the sun is now   
As long as the roof of the steeple glows,   
The roof that’s covered with sheets of tin;   
 
Up there in the wind, where the wind is not   
Turning the vane of the weathercock,   
The weathercock silently crows in the wind.   

 



#12 brokenclay

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 15:01

bread-minton.jpg

 

Bread
by Helen Minton
 
The dough rises in the sun,
history of the human race inside it:
orgies, famines, Christianity,
eras when a man could have his arm
chopped off for stealing half a loaf.
 
I punch it down, knead the dark
flour into the light, let it back,
then set it on the table beside the knife,
learning the power
cooks have over others, the pleasure
of saying eat.
 
 
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Monteverde Fireopal
 
Trivia: on 7 July 1928, a bakery in Missouri sold the first pre-cut bread using the automatic bread-slicing machine invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder.


#13 brokenclay

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 15:17

rediscovery-awoonor.jpg

 

Rediscovery
by Kofi Awoonor
 
When our tears are dry on shore
and the fishermen carry their nets home
and the seagulls return to bird island
and the laughter of the children recedes at night
there shall still linger the communion we forged
the feast of oneness which we partook of.
 
There shall still be the eternal gateman
who will close the cemetery doors
and send the late mourners away.
It cannot be the music we heard that night
that still lingers in the chambers of memory
It is the new chorus of our forgotten comrades
and the halleluyahs of our second selves.
 
One week into this personal poetry project, it's the looking for poems that's interesting. One of my goals is to find poets and works that I'm not familiar with (not hard, my current mental inventory of poetry is quite small). Ideally I'd go the library and just browse, but that's not an option. Since I don't necessarily have particular authors in mind, I've looked for a hook of some sort (is it a saint's day? did something particularly interesting or quirky happen this day in history, like the sliced bread anniversary? did I spend the day weeding the tomatoes?) and then browsing the internet for poems instead. I was recently hunting for something on our bookshelves and came across Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drinkard, which sent me on a search for other West African authors, and that's how I learned about Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor.
 
Spending screen time looking for poetry is better than spending it diving into all the internet black holes of what's wrong with the world.

Edited by brokenclay, 08 July 2020 - 15:18.


#14 inkstainedruth

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 19:41

Try poetryfoundation.org for sources.  Or http://www.napowrimo.net (because she has links to various poets' websites and also provides links in the prompts for NaPoWriMo every year).

Oh and I love the one entitled "Bread" -- that one is going into the folder of interesting poems (in a folder that also has file folders of lyrics for songs and interesting or funny quotes from movies and TV shows (and the occasional comment or signature file here on FPN).  Don't remember where I found it but that last folder includes a lovely Afghan proverb which is a variant of "every cloud has a silver lining":

"The cloud is dark but what comes from it is pure water."

 

Of course, it also has one that was somebody's sig. file a number of years ago: "Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes."  And a quote attributed to Will Rogers re: "government experts": "An ex is a has been and a spurt is a drip under pressure...."  :rolleyes: 

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"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#15 brokenclay

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 17:01

Thank you, great suggestions.

 

mysticism-zagejewski.jpg

 

Mysticism for Beginners
By Adam Zagajewski
Translated By Clare Cavanagh
 
The day was mild, the light was generous.
The German on the café terrace
held a small book on his lap.
I caught sight of the title:
Mysticism for Beginners.
Suddenly I understood that the swallows
patrolling the streets of Montepulciano
with their shrill whistles,
and the hushed talk of timid travelers
from Eastern, so-called Central Europe,
and the white herons standing—yesterday? the day before?—
like nuns in fields of rice,
and the dusk, slow and systematic,
erasing the outlines of medieval houses,
and olive trees on little hills,
abandoned to the wind and heat,
and the head of the Unknown Princess
that I saw and admired in the Louvre,
and stained-glass windows like butterfly wings
sprinkled with pollen,
and the little nightingale practicing
its speech beside the highway,
and any journey, any kind of trip,
are only mysticism for beginners,
the elementary course, prelude
to a test that's been
postponed.
 
I love this poem. It grabbed me at the white herons, and followed up with the evocative descriptions, and then hit me with the punchline.

 



#16 inkstainedruth

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 19:15

Here's one you might like, if you like that one (while different, it evokes similar feelings in me as that one):

https://www.poetryfo...r-56d22853677f9

I got introduced to it in one of my poetry writing classes in college and it has always resonated with me.

It's very hard to translate a poem into another language because you have to strike such a delicate balance between the meaning and the emotions as well as (in some instances) the form.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#17 brokenclay

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 22:43

I do like it, thank you!

 

Translation is indeed tricky. I don't know any Polish (which Adam Zagajewski writes in), and I searched in vain for the original text of "Mysticism for Beginners" just because I'd like to plug it into Google Translate and look at a word for word translation.



#18 inkstainedruth

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:24

Several years ago one of the NaPoWriMo prompts was to do a translation of a poem -- but not necessarily a literal translation so much as an aural/visual one (you'd look at a word or phrase in a foreign language poem and then take what you thought it would sound like and base your translation on that).  

My attempt was not particularly successful, and is still sort of a work in progress.... :blush: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth 


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#19 brokenclay

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 16:00

interview-parker.jpg

 

Interview
By Dorothy Parker
 
The ladies men admire, I’ve heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.
Their candle gives a single light;
They’d rather stay at home at night.
They do not keep awake till three,
Nor read erotic poetry.
They never sanction the impure,
Nor recognize an overture.
They shrink from powders and from paints ...
So far, I’ve had no complaints.
 


#20 brokenclay

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 16:01

Several years ago one of the NaPoWriMo prompts was to do a translation of a poem -- but not necessarily a literal translation so much as an aural/visual one (you'd look at a word or phrase in a foreign language poem and then take what you thought it would sound like and base your translation on that).  

My attempt was not particularly successful, and is still sort of a work in progress.... :blush: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth 

 

That's an interesting approach. I'm deeply wedded to etymology and meaning; I think I'd have a very hard time with that assignment.








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