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A Poem A Day


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48 replies to this topic

#41 brokenclay

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 16:03

all-goats-coatsworth.jpg
 
All Goats
By Elizabeth J. Coatsworth
 
All goats have a wild-briar grace.
They are as elegant as thorns,
With little bells beneath their chins,
And pointed horns.
 
So quick are they upon their feet,
So light and gaily do they prance,
Their hoofs seem little castanets
To which they dance.
 
And as they raise sagacious heads
Disturbed by some crude passer-by
They look upon him with a most
Satiric eye.
 
Searched this morning for "goals", and got "goats". Probably just as well. I'm finding goal-setting difficult in the Time of Pandemic.


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#42 brokenclay

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 17:59

on-the-birth-su.jpg

 

On the Birth of a Son

by Su Tung-Po

translated by Arthur Waley

 

Families when a child is born

Hope it will turn out intelligent.

I, through intelligence

Having wrecked my whole life,

Only hope that the baby will prove

Ignorant and stupid.

Then he'll be happy all his days

And grow into a cabinet minister.



#43 brokenclay

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 15:31

the-house-stevens.jpg
 
The House Was Quiet and The World Was Calm 
By Wallace Stevens
 
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night
 
Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
 
The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,
 
Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom
 
The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.
 
The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.
 
And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself
 
Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.


#44 brokenclay

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 15:35

For the penultimate day of July, poetic comfort food.

 

sweet-afton-burns.jpg

 

Sweet Afton
by Robert Burns
 
Flow gently, sweet Afton! amang thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.
 
Thou stockdove whose echo resounds thro' the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing thy screaming forbear,
I charge you, disturb not my slumbering Fair.
 
How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,
Far mark'd with the courses of clear, winding rills;
There daily I wander as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.
 
How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
Where, wild in the woodlands, the primroses blow;
There oft, as mild Ev'ning weeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.
 
Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides;
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As, gathering sweet flowerets, she stems thy clear wave.
 
Flow gently, sweet Afton, amang thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.


#45 brokenclay

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 18:10

I'm going to wrap this up tomorrow, and move on to another discipline (not quite sure what it's going to be yet).

 

Here are some extra poems that I didn't squeeze in during the month:

 

Herbsttag

by Rainer Maria Rilke
 
Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren lass die Winde los.
 
Befiehl den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gib ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süsse in den schweren Wein.
 
Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.
 
Lord, it's time. The summer was grand.
Lay your shadow on the sundial,
Loose the wind over the fields.
 
Command the last fruits to ripen;
give them a few more southerly days,
bring them to completion and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy grapes.
 
Whoever has no home now, won't find one.
Whoever is alone now, stays alone,
wakes, reads, writes long letters,
wanders restlessly in the lanes
to and fro, as the leaves fall.
 
_________________________________
 
Language Lesson 1976
By Heather Mchugh
 
When Americans say a man
takes liberties, they mean
 
he’s gone too far. In Philadelphia today I saw
a kid on a leash look mom-ward
 
and announce his fondest wish: one
bicentennial burger, hold
 
the relish. Hold is forget,
in American.
 
On the courts of Philadelphia
the rich prepare
 
to serve, to fault. The language is a game as well,
in which love can mean nothing,
 
doubletalk mean lie. I’m saying
doubletalk with me. I’m saying
 
go so far the customs are untold.
Make nothing without words,
 
and let me be
the one you never hold.
 
_________________________________
 
Do You Speak Persian?
By Kaveh Akbar
 
Some days we can see Venus in mid-afternoon. Then at night, stars
separated by billions of miles, light travelling years
 
to die in the back of an eye.
 
Is there a vocabulary for this—one to make dailiness amplify
and not diminish wonder?
 
I have been so careless with the words I already have.
 
I don’t remember how to say home
in my first language, or lonely, or light.
 
I remember only
delam barat tang shodeh, I miss you,
 
and shab bekheir, goodnight.
 
How is school going, Kaveh-joon?
Delam barat tang shodeh.
 
Are you still drinking?
Shab bekheir.
 
For so long every step I’ve taken
has been from one tongue to another.
 
To order the world:
I need, you need, he/she/it needs.
 
The rest, left to a hungry jackal
in the back of my brain.
 
Right now our moon looks like a pale cabbage rose.
Delam barat tang shodeh.
 
We are forever folding into the night.
Shab bekheir.
 
_________________________________
 
The Borders Are Fluid Within Us
By Dan Vera
 
This is what is feared:
that flags do not nourish the blood,
that history is not glorious or truthful.
 
I sleep and dream in two languages.
I gain wisdom from more than one fountain.
 
I pass between borders
made to control what is owned.
The body cannot be owned.
The land cannot be owned,
only misunderstood or named by its knowing.
 
_________________________________
 
Here are some sites I used during this month:
 
_________________________________

Edited by brokenclay, 30 July 2020 - 18:11.


#46 brokenclay

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 17:13

Last day of the month, last poem.

 

This is from the 1747 edition of Poor Richard's Almanac:

 

july-franklin.jpg

 

pra-1747-july.jpg

 

V Mon. July [1747] hath xxxi days.
By Benjamin Franklin
 
Men drop so fast, ere Life’s mid Stage we tread,
Few know so many Friends alive as dead;
Yet, as immortal, in our uphill Chace,
We press coy Fortune with unslacken’d Pace;
Our ardent Labours for the Toy we seek,
Join Night to Day, and Sunday to the Week,
Our very Joys are anxious, and expire
Between Satiety and fierce Desire.
 
Take care, everyone.
 


#47 madeline

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 20:57

What a grand run this has been~

 

Thank you!  Thank you!  for all these poems!  Such grand company in these so uncertain times!


Moderation in everything, including moderation.     

                                                                                     --Mark Twain


#48 txomsy

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 13:11

Yep! My most sincere thanks for these poems. They made me feel, think and enjoy through these days. Thanks.



#49 brokenclay

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 18:19

I'm so glad you enjoyed them.

 

I found the exercise very beneficial - I looked forward to it every day, and it cut out some of the doom-scrolling :-).








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