Wilfred Owen – The End

After the blast of lightning from the east,
The flourish of loud clouds, the Chariot throne,
After the drums of time have tolled and ceased
And from the bronze west long retreat is blown,

Shall Life renew these bodies? Of a truth
All death will he annul, all tears assuage?
Or fill these void veins full again with youth
And wash with an immortal water age?

When I do ask white Age, he saith not so, –
„My head hangs weighed with snow.”
And when I hearken to the Earth she saith
My fiery heart sinks aching. It is death.
Mine ancient scars shall not be glorified
Nor my titanic tears the seas be dried.

Ciaran Carson – Belfast Confetti

Suddenly as the riot squat moved in, it was raining
exclamation
marks,
Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the explosion

itself – an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst of rapid fire …
I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept stuttering.
All the alleyways and side-streets blocked with stops and colons.

I know this labyrinth so well – Balaklava, Raglan, Inkerman, Odessa Street –
Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea Street.
Dead end again.
A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-talkies. What is
my name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going?
A fusillade of question-marks.

Nichita Stănescu – Poezie sentimentală

Pe urmă ne vedeam din ce în ce mai des.
Eu stăteam la o margine-a orei,
tu – la cealaltă,
ca două toarte de amforă.
Numai cuvintele zburau între noi,
înainte şi înapoi.
Vârtejul lor putea fi aproape zărit,
şi deodată,
îmi lăsam un genunchi,
iar cotul mi-înfigeam în pământ,
numai ca să privesc iarba-nclinată
de căderea vreunui cuvânt,
ca pe sub laba unui leu alergând.
Cuvintele se roteau, se roteau între noi,
înainte şi înapoi,
şi cu cât te iubeam mai mult, cu atât
repetau, într-un vârtej aproape văzut,
structura materiei, de la-nceput.

Pablo Neruda – Artă poetică

În spaniola originală:

Entre sombra y espacio, entre guarniciones y doncellas,
dotado de corazon singular y sueños funestos,
precipitadamente palido, marchito en la frente
y con luto de viudo furioso por cada dia de vida,
ay, para cada agua invisible que bebo soñolientamente
y de todo sonido que acojo temblando,
tengo la misma sed ausente y la misma fiebre fria,
un oido que nace, una angustia indirecta,
como si llegaran ladrones o fantasmas,
y en una cascara de extension fija y profunda,
como un camarero humillado, como una campana un poco ronca,
como un espejo viejo, como un olor de casa sola
en la que nos huespedes entran de noche perdidamente ebrios,
y hay un olor de ropa tirada al suelo, y una ausencia de flores,
– posiblemente de otro modo aun menos melancolico –,
pero, la verdad, de pronto, el viento que azota mi pecho,
las noches de substancia infinita caidas en mi dormitorio,
el ruido de un dia que arde con sacrificio
me piden lo profetico que hay en mi, con melancolia,
y un golpe de objetos que llaman sin ser respondidos
hay, y un movimiento sin tregua, y un hombre confuso.

Și în engleză:

Between shadow and space, between trimmings and damsels,
endowed with a singular heart and sorrowful dreams,
precipitously pallid, withered in the brow
and with a furious widower’s mourning for each day of life,
ah, for each invisible water that I drink somnolently
and from every sound that I welcome trembling,
I have the same absent thirst and the same cold fever,
a nascent ear, an indirect anguish,
as if thieves or ghosts were coming,
and in a shell of fixed and profound expanse,
like a humiliated waiter, like a slightly raucous bell,
like an old mirror, like the smell of a solitary house
where the guests come in at night wildly drunk,
and there is a smell of clothes thrown on the floor,
and an absence of flowers
– possibly in another even less melancholy way –
but the truth is that suddenly the wind that lashes my chest,
the nights of infinite substance fallen in my bedroom,
the noise of a day that burns with sacrifice,
ask me, mournfully, for what prophecy there is in me,
and there is a swarm of objects that call without being answered,
and a ceaseless movement, and a bewildered man.

Allen Ginsberg – America

America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I’m doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I’m not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.

I’m addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven’t got a chinaman’s chance.
I’d better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I’m a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they’re all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don’re really want to go to war.
America it’s them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader’s Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

Wilfred Owen – Apologia pro Poemate Meo

I, too, saw God through mud –
The mud that cracked on cheeks when wretches smiled.
War brought more glory to their eyes than blood,
And gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child.

Merry it was to laugh there –
Where death becomes absurd and life absurder.
For power was on us as we slashed bones bare
Not to feel sickness or remorse of murder.

I, too, have dropped off fear –
Behind the barrage, dead as my platoon,
And sailed my spirit surging, light and clear
Past the entanglement where hopes lay strewn;

And witnessed exultation –
Faces that used to curse me, scowl for scowl,
Shine and lift up with passion of oblation,
Seraphic for an hour; though they were foul;.

I have made fellowships –
Untold of happy lovers in old song.
For love is not the binding of fair lips
With the soft silk of eyes that look and long,

By joy, whose ribbon slips, –
But wound with war’s hard wire whose stakes are strong;
Bound with the bandage of the arm that drips;
Knit in the welding of the rifle-thong.

I have perceived much beauty
In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight;
Heard music in the silentness of duty;
Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate.

Nevertheless, except you share
With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell,
Whose world is but the trembling of a flare,
And heaven but as the highway for a shell,

You shall not hear their mirth:
You shall not come to think them well content
By any jest of mine. These men are worth
Your tears: You are not worth their merriment.

November 1917

Simon Armitage – Killing Time #2

Time in the brain cells sweating like a nail bomb,
trouble with the heartbeat spitting like a Sten gun,
cut to the chase,
pick up the pace;
no such thing as a walkabout fun-run,
shoot yourself a glance in the chrome in the day-room,
don’t hang about, your running out of space, son.

Red light, stop sign, belly full of road rage,
ticket from the fuzz if you dawdle in the slow lane,
pull up your socks,
get out of the blocks;
twelve-hour day-shift grafting at the coal face,
turning up the gas brings blood to the boat race,
strike with the iron or you’re sleeping in the stone age.

Don’t dilly dally or the trail goes cold, sir,
don’t hold back till you’re mouldy old dough, sir,
sprint for the line,
turn on a dime;
sit tight, hang fire, I’m putting you on hold, sir,
too late, snail pace, already sold, sir,
blame it on the kids but it’s you getting old, sir.

Short cut, fast track, trolley dash at Quick Save,
four minute warning, boil yourself an egg, babe,
crack the whip,
shoot from the hip;
close shave, tear arse, riding on a knife blade,
twenny-four-seven in the brain drain rat race,
finger on the pulse but you’d better watch your heart rate.

Cheap thrills, speed kills, pop yourself a pill, mate,
thumb a free ride on amphetamine sulphate,
run with the pack,
don’t look back;
pedal to the floor when you’re burning up the home straight,
her indoors doesn’t want you getting home late,
love’s in the freezer and your dinner’s in the dog-grate.

Ten to the dozen to the grave from the carry-cot,
bolt like a thoroughbred, talk like a chatterbox,
oil the wheels,
pick up your heels;
ginseng tea turns out to be tummyrot,
reach for the future with a hand full of liver-spots,
fuse-wire burns in the barrel of a body clock.

Cut yourself in half doing life at the sharp end,
meet your own self coming back around the U-bend,
get with the beat,
turn up the heat;
sink like a stone by going off the deep end,
fifty quid an hour for a top-flight shrink, said
start killing time, it’s later than you think, friend.

Wendy Cope – From June to December

1 Prelude

It wouldn’t be a good idea
To let him stay.
When they knew each other better –
Not today.
But she put on her new black knickers
Anyway.

2 A Serious Person

It’s nice to meet serious people
And hear them explain their views:
Your concern for the rights of women
Is especially welcome news.
I’m sure you’d never exploit one;
I expect you’d rather be dead;
I’m thoroughly convinced of it –
Now can we go to bed?

3 Summer Villanelle

You know exactly what to do –
Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh –
I think of little else but you.

It’s bliss to have a lover who,
Touching one shoulder, makes me sigh –
You know exactly what to do.

You make me happy through and through,
The way the sun lights up the sky –
I think of little else but you.

I hardly sleep – an hour or two;
I can’t eat much and this is why –
You know exactly what to do.

The movie in my mind is blue –
As June runs into warm July
I think of little else but you.

4 The Reading

In crumpled, bardic corduroy,
The poet took the stage
And read aloud his deathless verse,
Page by deathless page.

I gazed at him as though intent
On every word he said.
From time to time I’d close my eyes
And smile and nod my head.

He may have thought his every phrase
Sent shivers down my spine.
Perhaps I helped encourage him
To read till half past nine.

Don’t ask what it was all about –
I haven’t got a clue.
I spent a blissful evening, lost
In carnal thoughts of you.

5 Some People

Some people like sex more than others –
You seem to like it a lot.
There’s nothing wrong with being innocent or high-minded
But I’m glad you’re not.

6 Going Too Far

Cuddling the new telephone directory
After I found your name in it
Was going too far.

It’s a safe bet you’re not hugging a phone book,
Wherever you are.

7 Verse for a Birthday Card

Many happy returns and good luck.
When it comes to a present, I’m stuck.
If you weren’t far away
On your own special day,
I could give you a really nice glass of lager.

8 Love Story

I thought you’d be a pushover;
I hoped I wouldn’t hurt you.
I warned you this was just a fling
And one day I’d desert you.

So kindly in your spectacles,
So solid in your jacket,
So manly in your big white car
That must have cost a packet.

I grew to like you more and more –
I didn’t try to hide it.
Fall in love with someone nice? –
I’d hardly ever tried it.

The course of true love didn’t run
Quite the way I’d planned it.
You failed to fall in love with me –
I couldn’t understand it.

9 Spring Onions

Decapitating the spring onions,
She made this mental note:
You can tell it’s love, the real thing,
When you dream of slitting his throat.

10 I’ll Be Nice

I’ll be nice to you and smile –
It’s easy for a man to win –
But I’ll hate you all the while..

I shall go the extra mile
And condone your every sin –
I’ll be nice to you and smile.

You will think I like your style;
You’ll believe I’ve given in
But I’ll hate you all the while.

Safe as an atomic pile,
Good as nitroglycerine,
I’ll be nice to you and smile.

I’ll say hypocrisy is vile
And give a reassuring grin
But I’ll hate you all the while.

Set against my wits and guile,
Manly strength won’t save your skin.
I’ll be nice to you and smile
But I’ll hate you all the while.

Luisa-Claudia Sovijärvi – Kevätvala

O poezie pe care am citit-o de pe un stâlp, într-un parc, în decembrie, la Helsinki. (Mi-e din ce în ce mai greu să cred în coincidențe).
Jos kutsut minua nyt
voisin rakastaa sinua ikuisesti
voin unohtaa sinut
tai voimme jotakin muuta
voin ottaa sinut iholleni
tai vain sydämeeni
olen sinulle avoin risteys,
solmu joka aukeaa sormillesi
olet yksi monista
niinkuin yksi elämäni päivistä
loputtoman tärkeistä
kaikki mitä minulla on koskaan ollut
Și o traducere, sper nu prea stângace, a subsemnatului:
Dacă m-ai chema acum,
te-aș putea iubi pe vecie
aș putea să te uit
sau putem alege altceva
vreau să te port pe piele
sau doar în inimă
îți sunt ca o intersecție deschisă
un nod care se desface în degetele tale
ești unul dintre cei mulți
la fel ca una din zilele vieții mele
de o importanță nesfârșită
tot ce nu am avut vreodată
LATER EDIT: Și o poză cu stâlpul.
DSCF4627
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