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A Poem a Day

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A Poem a Day
    Posted: 05-Mar-2012 at 23:31
Al Saddic Al-Radddi


You will always carry on working
for as long as the sun rises to flush the streets
of the treasonous night studded with treachery
riming the cobblestones and trash

You will always walk through the crowd absent-minded
head up
looking down on those who look down on you
with their perfidious smiles

Every day the same streets
you murmur/sing out your greetings
meeting everyone you've ever known
making songs with their steps
pinning their hopes to the walls[1]

You show them the secret of the day
and they do the rest
they leave until sunrise
clasping your gifts in their hands

The walls are worn with affection
girls' windowsills graced with apologies and songs
and on your mouth is a radiant smile
a longing to get home after work
before the sun rises again
before they come back from the horizon of martyrdom[2]

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2012 at 02:49
Al-Saddic al-Raddi

Garden Statues

Between the last night
and the first night...
      a lake of tranquility...
.... ....

Leave that glass of memory to memory -
let its essence transmute all these nights into gold

Leave the voice of Ali Farka Toure
through the silvered light of that room,
a room inlaid with the jewels of minutes and hours

Leave your hands lost in the fleeting characters of a

Leave that wooden rocking-horse
the old teddy-bear propped on a chair
the neighbouring gardens

Leave the sun still toying with the sky at eight in the evening

Leave the window open
on a morning arrayed with morning
Leave that flower labouring to consume you

Leave the peacock emblazoned on a field of beauty

Leave.... .... ....

Whatever little time is left
will never return...

These jewels cannot return
Thirst will not be slaked by the distant glimpse of a sail

And when you left
you were burnished,
you were consumed and yet complete,
you were fashioned from mother-of-pearl

Then, suddenly, once again,
you were downcast in clay

Weekdays returned, empty handed
Routine returned

And silence reigned

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2012 at 23:39
Abboud al-Jabiri


where this dove will go
when her wings turn grey
when her call grows old.
Will she turn to the mirrors of young sparrows
to slide into delusion,
or will a deaf window offer her a perch to sing?
How will she apologise to a traveller
wanting to stroke her feathers
when the flock scatters?
How will she strut through the courtyard
or impress the grass?
Will she look for a kind boy
to grind her a grain of wheat
or an old flame
to relight ageing passions?
Perhaps she will divide her sadness
between a window and a metal cage.
Perhaps she'll become a professional mourner
at the funerals of birds.
where this dove will go
when the trees donate her their lowest branch
and when neighbours are indifferent to her past.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2012 at 00:24
Al-Saddic al-Raddi


Let the wind blow from a fisherman's mouth,
from the span of a sail to the shell of a boat,
unlocking the mouth of the river -
So, shout, drowning man, when you founder
in treacherous waters

At dawn, the river embarks in silence
Riverbanks glean suns from the scales of dead fish
Jostled by eddies, the aroma of flotsam and jetsam
bakes in the shade

Becalmed, a breeze freights the stillness
Sails lazily unfurl

They sail all night from afar,
ploughing the river with ritual persistence,
staring darkness straight in the eye

You set sail at dawn,
infused with the tincture of a heart
that had beached your whole life ashore

And yet, another beloved
is offering you heaven on earth in her glance,
demanding only the perfection of poetry - everything!

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Feb-2012 at 22:17
Al Saddic Al-Raddi

Poetry - may you be a green body.
May you be a language
in which I wander
with my wings and my self.
Be the inspiration of my tongue,
so that I may pasture
the tribes of my voice - though they are silent.

and alone, I see
you will not be
a green body.
You were neither
a good master, to be bought,
nor the muse.
My longed for delirium, my memory.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2012 at 19:49
Abboud al-Jabiri:


I want to change everything:
the crippled chair
and the rug lolling its tongue across the tiles.
I want to change the rug
because it stretches its tongue across the tiles
and the chair
because it is crippled.
I will try,
I said,
I have my reasons -
and you can wait
to see how the house turns out
when that chair has gone
and the rug, crawling in the dust,
has deserted the tiles.
I will try,
I said,
but I don't know
if that chair
would wear sackcloth and ashes
and plead with me
to stay.
And I don't know if the rug will ever stop
bothering the cracks -
so I must find a wise man to guide me
because I want to change everything
I want to kick out this routine
and free my hands to do my will.
I must rearrange everything
and all my possessions
are nothing but poems waiting to be read -
a crippled chair
and a joke of a rug.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2012 at 00:17

Al-Saddik al-Raddic

A Body

The body of a bird in your mouth
breathing songs.
Raw light spills from your eyes,
utterly naked. 

You must breach the horizon, once,
in order to wake up.
You must open window after window.
You must support the walls.
I let alphabets cling to me
as I climb the thread of language
between myself and the world.
I muster crowds in my mouth:
suspended between language and the world,
between the world and the alphabets.

I let my head
listen to the myth,
to all sides praising each other.
And I shout at the winds from the top of a mountain.

Why does my tongue tell me to climb this far?
What is the distance between my voice and my longing?
What is there?

A body transcending my body.
A body exiled by desire.
A body sheltered by the wind.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2012 at 02:18
Addoud al-Jabiri

He's satisfied with a pinch of salt on his daily bread
with a little of you at night
with a short night
with you asleep on dream's shoulder
with a brief dream
with you walking on sleep's shore
with a light sleep
that sways between the keening of the nai
and the clanging of goat bells
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2012 at 23:40

Stop, oh my friends, let us pause to weep over the remembrance of my beloved.

Here was her abode on the edge of the sandy desert between Dakhool and Howmal.


The traces of her encampment are not wholly obliterated even now;

For when the Sonth wind blows the sand over them the North wind sweeps it away.


The courtyards and enclosures of the old home have become desolate;

The dung of the wild deer lies there thick as the seeds of pepper.


On the morning of our separation it was as if I stood in the gardens of our tribe,

Amid the acacia-shrubs where my eyes were blinded with tears by the smart

from the bursting pods of colocynth.


As I lament thus in the place made desolate, my friends stop their camels;

They cry to me "Do not die of grief; bear this sorrow patiently."


Nay, the cure of my sorrow must come from gushing tears.

Yet, is there any hope that this desolation can bring me solace ?


So, before ever I met Unaizah, did I mourn for two others;

My fate had been the same with Ummul-Huwairith and her

neighbor Ummul-Rahab in Masal.


Fair were they also, diffusing the odor of musk as they moved,

Like the soft zephyr bringing with it the scent of the clove.


Thus the tears flowed down on my breast, remembering days of love;

The tears wetted even my sword-belt, so tender was my love.


Behold how many pleasant days have I spent with fair women;

Especially do I remember the day at the pool of Darat-i-Julju1.


On that day I killed my riding camel for food for the maidens:

How merry was their dividing my camel's trappings to be carried on their camels.


It is a wonder, a riddle, that the camel being saddled was yet unsaddled!

A wonder also was the slaughterer, so heedless of self in his costly gift!


Then the maidens commenced throwing the camel's fesh into the kettle;

The fat was woven with the lean like loose fringes of white twisted silk.


On that day I entered the howdah, the camel's howdah of Unaizah!

And she protested, saying, "Woe to you, you will force me to travel on foot."


She repulsed me, while the howdah was swaying with us;

She said, "You are galling my camel, Oh Imru-ul-Quais, so dismount."


Then I said, "Drive him on! Let his reins go loose, while you turn to me.

Think not of the camel and our weight on him. Let us be happy.


"Many a beautiful woman like you, Oh Unaizah, have I visited at night;

I have won her thought to me, even from her children have I won her."


There was another day when I walked with her behind the sandhills,

But she put aside my entreaties and swore an oath of virginity.


Oh, Unaizah, gently, put aside some of this coquetry.

If you have, indeed, made up your mind to cut off friendship with me, then do it kindly or gently.


Has anything deceived you about me, that your love is killing, me,

And that verily as often as you order my heart, it will do what you order?


And if any one of my habits has caused you annoyance,

Then put away my heart from your heart, and it will be put away.


And your two eyes do not flow with tears, except to strike me with arrows in my broken heart.

Many a fair one, whose tent can not be sought by others, have I enjoyed playing with.


I passed by the sentries on watch near her, and a people desirous of killing me;

If they could conceal my murder, being unable to assail me openly.


I passed by these people at a time, when the Pleiades appeared in the heavens,

As the appearance of the gems in the spaces in the ornamented girdle, set with pearls and gems.


Then she said to me, "I swear by God, you have no excuse for your wild life;

I cannot expect that your erring habits will ever be removed from your nature."


I went out with her; she walking, and drawing behind us, over our footmarks,

The skirts of an embroidered woolen garment, to erase the footprints.


Then when we had crossed the enclosure of the tribe,

The middle of the open plain, with its sandy undulations and sandllills, we sought.


I drew the tow side-locks of her head toward me; and she leant toward me;

She was slender of waist, and full in the ankle.


Thin-waisted, white-skinned, slender of body,

Her breast shining polished like a mirror.


In complexion she is like the first egg of the ostrich---white, mixed with yellow.

Pure water, unsullied by the descent of many people in it, has nourished her.


She turns away, and shows her smooth cheek, forbidding with a glancing eye,

Like that of a wild animal, with young, in the desert of Wajrah.


And she shows a neck like the neck of a white deer;

It is neither disproportionate when she raises it, nor unornamented.


And a perfect head of hair which, when loosened, adorns her back,

Black, very dark-colored, thick like a date-cluster on a heavily laden date-tree.


Her curls creep upward to the top of her head;

And the plaits are lost in the twisted hair, and the hair falling loose.


And she meets me with a slender waist, thin as the twisted leathern nose-rein of a camel.

Her form is like the stem of a palm-tree bending over from the weight of its fruit.


In the morning, when she wakes, the particles of musk are lying over her bed.

She sleeps much in the morning; she does not need to gird her waist with a working dress.


She gives with thin fingers, not thick, as if they were the worms of the desert of Zabi,

In the evening she brightens the darkness, as if she were the light-tower of a monk.


Toward one like her, the wise man gazes incessantly, lovingly.

She is well proportioned in height between the wearer of a long dress and of a short frock.


The follies of men cease with youth, but my heart does not cease to love you.

Many bitter counselors have warned me of the disaster of your love, but I turned away from them.


Many a night has let down its curtains around me amid deep grief,

It has whelmed me as a wave of the sea to try me with sorrow.


Then I said to the night, as slowly his huge bulk passed over me,

As his breast, his loins, his buttocks weighed on me and then passed afar,


"Oh long night, dawn will come, but will be no brighter without my love.

You are a wonder, with stars held up as by ropes of hemp to a solid rock."


At other times, I have filled a leather water-bag of my people and entered the desert,

And trod its empty wastes while the wolf howled like a gambler whose family starves.


I said to the wolf, "You gather as little wealth, as little prosperity as I.

What either of us gains he gives away. So do we remain thin."


Early in the morning, while the birds were still nesting, I mounted my steed.

Well-bred was he, long-bodied, outstripping the wild beasts in speed,


Swift to attack, to flee, to turn, yet firm as a rock swept down by the torrent,

Bay-colored, and so smooth the saddle slips from him, as the rain from a smooth stone,


Thin but full of life, fire boils within him like the snorting of a boiling kettle;

He continues at full gallop when other horses are dragging their feet in the dust for weariness.


A boy would be blown from his back, and even the strong rider loses his garments.

Fast is my steed as a top when a child has spun it well.


He has the flanks of a buck, the legs of an ostrich, and the gallop of a wolf.

From behind, his thick tail hides the space between his thighs, and almost sweeps the ground.


When he stands before the house, his back looks like the huge grinding-stone there.

The blood of many leaders of herds is in him, thick as the juice of henna in combed white hair.


As I rode him we saw a flock of wild sheep, the ewes like maidens in long-trailing robes;

They turned for flight, but already he had passed the leaders before they could scatter.


He outran a bull and a cow and killed them both, and they were made ready for cooking;

Yet he did not even sweat so as to need washing.


We returned at evening, and the eye could scarcely realize his beauty

For, when gazing at one part, the eye was drawn away by the perfection of another part.


He stood all night with his saddle and bridle on him,

He stood all night while I gazed at him admiring, and did not rest in his stable.


But come, my friends, as we stand here mourning, do you see the lightning ?

See its glittering, like the flash of two moving hands, amid the thick gathering clouds.


Its glory shines like the lamps of a monk when he has dipped their wicks thick in oil.

I sat down with my companions and watched the lightning and the coming storm.


So wide-spread was the rain that its right end seemed over Quatan,

Yet we could see its left end pouring down on Satar, and beyond that over Yazbul.


So mighty was the storm that it hurled upon their faces the huge kanahbul trees,

The spray of it drove the wild goats down from the hills of Quanan.


In the gardens of Taimaa not a date-tree was left standing,

Nor a building, except those strengthened with heavy stones.


The mountain, at the first downpour of the rain, looked like a

giant of our people draped in a striped cloak.

The peak of Mujaimir in the flood and rush of debris looked

like a whirling spindle.


The clouds poured forth their gift on the desert of Ghabeet, >till it blossomed

As though a Yemani merchant were spreading out all the rich clothes from his trunks,


As though the little birds of the valley of Jiwaa awakened in the morning

And burst forth in song after a morning draught of old, pure, spiced wine.


As though all the wild beasts had been covered with sand and mud, like the onion's root-bulbs.

They were drowned and lost in the depths of the desert at evening.


* The Mu'allaqat ("Hanged" or "Suspended") were poetry composed by several pre-Islamic Arab poets including Imru-ul-Quais, Antar, and Zuhair. They were called the "Suspended" because they were said to have hung on the walls of the Kabah.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2012 at 02:27
Al Mutannabi- "A Young Soul":

A young soul in my ageing body plays, Though time’s sharp blades my weary visage raze.


Hard biter in a toothless mouth is she, The will may wane, but she a winner stays.


Spare me to win glory’s forbidden prize, Glory in hardship, sloth in comfort lies.


Em’nence is not with cheap comfort bought, Hear the honey gath’rers bee-stung cries


No indolent dreaming dawdler am I, Nor am content, while riches I descry.


Life’s heaving tides of woe shall spare me not, Unless I, its unblocked courses defy


Softly do town girls their faces adorn, But Bedu are from garish colours shorn.


Town beauty is with pampered softness sought, The Bedu are with unsought beauty born.


Grave harm have lovers to themselves done, Loving, ere understanding life begun.


They, with with’ered and wasted souls, After vile, though pretty-faced creatures run.


Beauti’ful women, as experienced men know, Are but darkness wrapped in dazzling light aglow.


A life of friv’lous youth and worried age, Its futile course to futile death will flow


When my hands from brimming cups weakly shook, I awoke, ere sense my wined mind forsook.


Shunning choice wines, as rich as purest gold, I, of spring showers silv’ry draught partook.


Secrets I keep no companion can discern, Nor to it can wine its potent way burn.


Soft women I have for an hour, and then, Deserts I roam, never more to return.


Courage to reason second place must take, For valour should not balanced judgment shake.


But if both in a hard soul united are, Then Glory’s realms their own demesne shall make.


Defiantly live, or in honour die, Midst slashing blades and banners flapping high


Rage is best dispatched by lances’ points, and Spearing spiteful chests shall their spite deny.


Face with cool, carefree calm life’s caretorn climes, As long as your soul with its body chimes.


Your joys of yore have passed beyond recall, And sadness can summon not bygone times.


A charger’s saddle is an exalted throne, The best companions are books alone.


Without hardship everyone would prevail, The generous are poor, and courage kills its own.


One’s ill-conduct brooding mistrust will breed, For dark thoughts on darker suspicions feed.


Sland’ring friends with what foes have slandered one, Thus in black nights of doubt one’s life will lead.


Fie’ry rashness may as valour be seen, And nervous anger may cowardice mean.


Arms are carried by people everywhere, But not all claws are lion’s, nor as keen.


Cowards see vapid impotence as sense, Such is treacherous villainy’s defense.


Each of valour’s divers forms enriches, But valiant wisdom is of worth immense.


Our dead we mourn, though we very well know, That but Vanity they leave ere they go.


Reflection upon life’s hard course shall teach, ‘Tis one to die as be slain by a foe.


Shoreless you would be of you were a sea. If rain, earth unable to contain ye.


Country and people of you I could warn, Of that which only Noah could foresee.


Misfortune’s arrows do upon me rain, Countless arrowheads does my heart sustain.


As more shafts at my studded heart fly, Steel upon Steel shatters the hardy twain.


At times in Bedu tents a home I find, Often, home is atop the camel’s hind,


My body a target for the brigand’s lance, To scorching heat my aching face unbind.


Though a noble lady and highly born, ‘Tis your unfeminine wisdom we mourn.


True spirit is from softer self distilled, As potent wine from sweeter grapes is drawn.


Edited by Don Quixote - 23-Feb-2012 at 02:33
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2012 at 20:30

Call To Account!

 The drum of war thunders and thunders.
It calls: thrust iron into the living.
From every country
slave after slave
are thrown onto bayonet steel.
For the sake of what?
The earth shivers
and stripped.
Mankind is vapourised in a blood bath
only so
can get hold of Albania.
Human gangs bound in malice,
blow after blow strikes the world
only for
someone’s vessels
to pass without charge
through the Bosporus.
the world
won’t have a rib intact.
And its soul will be pulled out.
And trampled down
only for someone,
to lay
their hands on
Why does
a boot
crush the Earth — fissured and rough?
What is above the battles’ sky -
When will you stand to your full height,
giving them your life?
When will you hurl a question to their faces:
Why are we fighting?

Edited by Don Quixote - 20-Feb-2012 at 20:30
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2012 at 18:45
Mayakovsky "Cloud in Trousers part IV"

Maria! Maria! Maria!
Let me in, Maria!
I can't suffer the streets!
You won't?
You'd rather wait
until my cheeks cave in,
until, pawed by everyone,
I arrive,
toothlessly mumbling
that today I am
"amazingly honest."

as you see my shoulders droop.

In the streets
men will prick the blubber of four-story craws,
thrust out their little eyes,
worn in forty years of wear and tear to snigger
at my champing
again! on the hard crust of yesterday's caress.

Rain has drowned the sidewalks in sobs;
the puddle-prisoned rougue,
all drenched, licks the corpse of the streets by cobbles clobbered,
but on his grizzled eyelashes yes!
on the eyelashes of frosted icicles,
tears gush from his eyes yes! from the drooping eyes of the drainpipes.

The rain's snout licked all pedestrians;
but fleshy athletes, gleaming, passed by in carriages;
people burst asunder,
gorged to the marrow,
and grease dripped through the cracks;
and the cud of old ground meat,
together with the pulp of chewed bread,
dribbled down in a turbid stream from the carriages.

How stuff a gentle word into their fat-bulged ears?
A bird
for alms,
hungry and resonant.
But I am a man, Maria,
a simple man,
coughed up by consumptive night on the dirty hand of the Presnya.

Maria, do you want such a man?
Let me in, Maria!
With shuddering fingers I shall grip the doorbell's iron throat!


The paddocks of the streets run wild.
The fingers of the mob mark my neck.

Open up!

I'm hurt!

Look -my eyes are stuck
with ladies' hatpins!

You've let me in.

Don't be alarmed
if a mountain of women with sweating bellies
squats on my bovine shoulders through life I drag
millions of vast pure loves
and a million million of foul little lovekins.
Don't be afraid
if once again
in the inclemency of betrayal,
I'll cling to thousands of pretty faces "that love Mayakovsky!" for this is the dynasty
of queens who have ascended the heart of a madman.

Maria, come closer!

Whether in unclothed shame
or shudders of apprehension,
do yield me the unwithered beauty of your lips:
my heart and I have never got as far as May,
and in my expended life
there is only a hundredth April.

The poet sings sonnets to Tiana,
but I
am all flesh,
a man every bit I simply ask for your body
as Christians pray:
"Give us this day
our daily bread!"

Maria - give!

I fear to forget your name
as a poet fears to forget some word
sprung in the torment of the night,
mighty as god himself.

Your body
I shall cherish and love
as a soldier,
amputated by war,
and friendless,
cherishes his last remaining leg.

Maria you won't have me?
you won't have me!
The once again,
darkly and dully,
my heart I shall take,
with tears besprinkled,
and carry it,
like a dog
to its kennel
a paw which a train ran over.

With the heart's blood I gladden the road,
and flowering it sticks to the dusty tunic.
The sun, like Salome,
will dance a thousand times
round the earth - the Baptist's head.

And when my quantity of years
has finished its dance,
a million bloodstains will lie spread
on the path to my father's house.

I shall clamber out
filthy (from sleeping in ditches);
I'll stand at his side
and, bending,
shall speak in his ear:

"Listen, mister god!
Isn't it tedious
to dip your puffy eyes
every day into a jelly of cloud?
Let us¡ªwhy not start a merry-go-round
on the tree of what is good and evil!
Omnipresent, you will be in each cupboard,
and with such wines we'll grace the table
than even frowning Apostle Peter
will want to step out in the ki-ka-pou.
In Eden again we'll lodge little Eves:
and this very night, for you,
from the boulevards, I'll round up
all the most beautiful girls.

Would you like that?

You would not?

You shake your head, curlylocks?
You're frowning, grey brows?
You believe
creature with wings behind you
knows what love is?

I too am an angel; I was one
with a sugar lamb's eye I gazed;
but I'll give no more presents to mares
of ornamental vases made of tortured Sevres.
Almighty, you concocted a pair of hands,
for everyone to have a head:
but why didn't you see to it
that one could without torture
kiss, and kiss and kiss?!

I though you a great big god almighty,
but you're a dunce, a minute little godlet.
Watch me stoop
and reach for the shoemaker's knife
in my boot.

Swindlers with wings,
huddle in heaven!
Ruffle your feathers in shuddering flight!
I'll rip you open, reeking of incense,
wide open from here to Alaska!

Let me in!

You can't stop me.
I may be wrong
or right,
but I'm as calm as I can be.
again they've beheaded the stars,
and the sky is bloody with carnage!

Hey, you!
Off with your hat!
I am coming!

Not a sound.

The universe sleeps,
its huge paw curled
upon a star-infested ear.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Feb-2012 at 20:39
Domen, your link is not alive, I cannot access it - to make it so one has to click on the second little icon  from the left, /the one with the globe and the bowknot/ and paste the link inside.Smile

Edited by Don Quixote - 17-Feb-2012 at 01:09
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  Quote Domen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Feb-2012 at 20:28
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Feb-2012 at 19:15
Mayakovky, "Cloud in Trousers" part III

Ah, wherefrom this,
how explain this
brandishing of dirty fists
at bright joy!

She came,
and thoughts of a madhouse
curtained my head in despair.

as a dreadnought founders
and men in choking spasms
dive out of an open hatch  
so Burlyuk, panic-stricken,
though the screaming gash of his eye.
Almost bloodying his teary eyelids,
he crawled out,
and, with tenderness unexpected in one so obese,
"It's fine!"

It's fine, when a yellow shirt
shields the soul from investigation!
It's fine,
when thrown at the gibbet's teeth,
to shout:
"Drink Van Houten's Cocoa!"

That instant
like a Bengal light,
I would not exchange for anything,
not for any ¡­

Out of the cigar smoke,
Severyanin's drink-sodden face lurched forward
like a liqueur glass.

How dare you call yourself a poet,
and twitter greyly like a quail!
This day
brass knuckles
split the world inside the skull!

who are supremely worried by the thought:
"Am I an elegant dancer?"
Look at my way of enjoying life  
a common
pimp and cardsharp!

On you,
steeped in love
who watered
the centuries with tears,
I'll turn my back, fixing
the sun like a monocle
into my gaping eye.

Donning fantastic finery,
I'll strut the earth
to please and scorch;
and Napoleon
will precede me, like a pug, on a leash.

The earth, like a woman, will flop on her back,
a mass of quivering flesh, ready to yield;
things will come to life  
and their lips
will lisp and lisp:

the clouds
and other cloudy things in the sky
will roll and pitch madly
as if workers in white when their way
after declaring a bitter strike against the sky.

More savagely, thunder strode from a cloud,
friskily snorting from enormous nostrils;
and, for a second, the sky's face was twisted
in the Iron Chancellor's grim grimace.

And someone,
entangled in a cloudy mesh.
held out his hands to a caf';
and it looked somehow feminine,
and tender somehow,
and somehow like a gun carriage.

You believe
the sun was tenderly
patting the cheeks of the caf'?
No, it's General Gallifet,
advancing again to mow down the rebels!

Strollers, hands from your pockets  
pick a stone, knife, or bomb;
and if any of you have no arms,
come and fight with your forehead!

Forward, famished ones,
sweating ones,
servile ones,
mildewed in the flea-ridden dirt!

Painting Mondays and Tuesdays in blood,
we shall turn them into holidays.
Let the earth at knife's point, remember
whom it wished to debase!
The earth,
bulging like a mistress
whom Rothchild has overfondled!

The flags may flutter in a fever of gunfire
as on every important holiday  
will you, the street lamps, hoist high up
the battered carcasses of traders.

I swore,
fought to fasten
my teeth into somebody's flesh,

In the sky, red as Marseillaise,
the sunset shuddered at its last gasp.

It's madness.

Nothing at all will remain.

Night will arrive,
bite in two,
gobble you up.

is the sky playing Judas again
with a handful of treachery-spattered stars?
Night came.
Feasted like Mamai,
squatting with its rump on the city.
Our eyes cannot break this night,
black as Azef!

I huddle, slumped in corners of saloons;
with vodka drenching my soul and the cloth,
I notice
in one corner  rounded eyes:
the madonna's, which bite into the heart.
Why bestow such radiance of the painted form
upon a horde infesting a saloon!
Don't you see! They spit
on the man of Golgotha again,
preferring Barabbaas.

Deliberately, perhaps,
I show no newer face
amid this human mash.
am the handsomest
of your sons.

Give them,
who are mouldy with joy,
a time of quick death,
that children may grow,
boys into fathers,
girls  big with child.

And may new born babes
grow the hair of the magi  
and they will come anon
to baptise the infants
with the names of my poems.

I, who praised the machine and England,
I am perhaps quite simply
the thirteenth apostle
in an ordinary gospel.

And whenever my voice
rumbles bawdily  
then, from hour to hour,
around the clock,
Jesus Christ may be sniffing
the forget-me-nots of my soul.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2012 at 20:41
Mayakovsky "Cloud in Trousers II"

Glorify me!
For me the great are no match.
Upon every achievement
I stamp nihil

I never want
to read anything.
What are books!

Formerly I believed
books were made like this:
a poet came,
lightly opened his lips,
and the inspired fool burst into song
if you please!
But it seems,
before they can launch into a song,
poets must tramp for days with callused feet,
and the sluggish fish of the imagination
flounders softly in the slush of the heart.
And while, with twittering rhymes, they boil a broth
of loves and nightingales,
the tongueless street merely writhes
for lack of something to shout or say.

In our pride, we raise up again
the cities' towers of Babel,
but god,
confusing tongues,
cities to pasture.

In silence the street pushed torment.
A shout stood erect in the gullet.
Wedged in the throat,
bulging taxis and bony cabs bristled.
Pedestrians have trodden my chest
flatter than consumption.

The city has locked the road in gloom.

But when
the street coughed up the crush on the square,
pushing away the portico that was treading on its throat,
it looked as if:
in choirs of an archangel's chorale,
god, who has been plundered, was advancing in

But the street, squatting down, bawled:
'Let's go and guzzle!'

Krupps and Krupplets1 paint
a bristling of menacing brows on the city,
but in the mouth
corpselets of dead words putrefy;
and only two thrive and grow fat:
and another besides,
apparently - 'borsch.'

soaked in plaints and sobs,
break from the street, rumpling their matted hair
over: 'How with two such words celebrate
a young lady
and love
and a floweret under the dew?'

In the poets' wake
thousands of street folk:


thousands of street folk:

You are no beggars;
how dare you beg for alms!

We in our vigour,
whose stride measures yards,
must not listen, but tear them apart
glued like a special supplement
to each double bed!

Are we to ask them humbly:
'Assist me!'
Implore for a hymn
or an oratorio!
We ourselves are creators within a burning hymn
the hum of mills and laboratories.

What is Faust to me,
in a fairy splash of rockets
gliding with Mephistopheles on the celestial parquet!
I know
a nail in my boot
is more nightmarish than Goethe's fantasy!

the most golden-mouthed,
whose every word
gives a new birthday to the soul,
gives a name-day to the body,
I adjure you:
the minutest living speck
is worth more than what I'll do or did!

It is today's brazen-lipped Zarathustra
who preaches,
dashing about and groaning!
our face like a crumpled sheet,
our lips pendulant like a chandelier;
the convicts of the City Leprous,
where gold and filth spawned leper's sores,
we are purer than the azure of Venice,
washed by both the sea and the sun!

I spit on the fact
that neither Homer nor Ovid
invented characters like us,
pock-marked with soot.
I know
the sun would dim, on seeing
the gold fields of our souls!

Sinews and muscles are surer than prayers.
Must we implore the charity of the times!
each one of us
hold in our fists
the driving belts of the worlds!

This led to my Golgothas in the halls
of Petrograd, Moscow, Odessa, and Kiev,
where not a man
crucify him!'
But for me
all of you people,
even those that harmed me
you are dearer, more precious than anything.

Have you seen
a dog lick the hand that thrashed it?!

mocked by my contemporaries
like a prolonged
dirty joke,
I perceive whom no one sees,
crossing the mountains of time.

Where men's eyes stop short,
there, at the head of hungry hordes,
the year 1916 cometh
in the thorny crown of revolutions.

In your midst, his precursor,
I am where pain is everywhere;
on each drop of the tear-flow
I have nailed myself on the cross.
Nothing is left to forgive.
I've cauterised the souls where tenderness was bred.
It was harder than taking
a thousand thousand Bastilles!

And when,
the rebellion
his advent announcing,
you step to meet the saviour
then I
shall root up my soul;
I'll trample it hard
till it spread
in blood; and I offer you this as a banner.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2012 at 21:59
Well, since I'm on Mayakovsky-wave, i may as well continue and post all good stuff by him I find online. Here it's the 1st part of "A Cloud in Trousers". I have to keep the way the poem is organized on lines, because it's a part of the effect of it.

You think malaria makes me delirious?

It happened.
In Odessa it happened.

'I'll come at four,' Maria promised.


Then the evening
turned its back on the windows
and plunged into grim night,

At my decrepit back
the candelabras guffawed and whinnied.

You would not recognise me now:
a bulging bulk of sinews,
and writhing,
What can such a clod desire?
Though a clod, many things!

The self does not care
whether one is cast of bronze
or the heart has an iron lining.
At night the self only desires
to steep its clangour in softness,
in woman.

And thus,
I stood hunched by the window,
and my brow melted the glass.
What will it be: love or no-love?
And what kind of love:
big or minute?
How could a body like this have a big love?
It should be teeny-weeny,
humble, little love;
a love that shies at the hooting of cars,
that adores the bells of horse-trams.

Again and again
nuzzling against the rain,
my face pressed against its pitted face,
I wait,
splashed by the city's thundering surf.

Then midnight, amok with a knife,
caught up,
cut him down
out with him!

The stroke of twelve fell
like a head from a block.

On the windowpanes, grey raindrops
howled together,
piling on a grimace
as though the gargoyles
of Notre Dame were howling.

Damn you!
Isn't that enough?
Screams will soon claw my mouth apart.

Then I heard,
a nerve leap
like a sick man from his bed.
barely moving,
at first,
it soon scampered about,
Now, with a couple more,
it darted about in a desperate dance.

The plaster on the ground floor crashed.

big nerves,
tiny nerves,
many nerves!
galloped madly
till soon
their legs gave way.

But night oozed and oozed through the room
and the eye, weighed down, could not slither out of
the slime.

The doors suddenly banged ta-ra-bang,
as though the hotel's teeth

You swept in abruptly
like 'take it or leave it!'
Mauling your suede gloves,
you declared:
'D' you know,
I'm getting married.'

All right, marry then.
So what,
I can take it.
As you see, I'm calm!
Like the pulse
of a corpse.

Do you remember
how you used to talk?
'Jack London,
But I saw one thing only:
you, a Gioconda,
had to be stolen!

And you were stolen.

In love, I shall gamble again,
the arch of my brows ablaze.
What of it!
Homeless tramps often find
shelter in a burnt-out house!

You're teasing me now?
'You have fewer emeralds of madness
than a beggar has kopeks!'
But remember!
When they teased Vesuvius,
Pompeii perished!

of sacrilege,
and carnage,
have you seen
the terror of terrors
my face
am absolutely calm?

I feel
my 'I'
is much too small for me.
Stubbornly a body pushes out of me.

Who's speaking?
Your son is gloriously ill!
His heart is on fire.
Tell his sisters, Lyuda and Olya,
he has no nook to hide in.

Each word,
each joke,
which his scorching mouth spews,
jumps like a naked prostitute
from a burning brothel.

People sniff
the smell of burnt flesh!
A brigade of men drive up.
A glittering brigade.
In bright helmets.
But no jackboots here!
Tell the firemen
to climb lovingly when a heart's on fire.
Leave it to me.
I'll pump barrels of tears from my eyes.
I'll brace myself against my ribs.
I'll leap out! Out! Out!
They've collapsed.
You can't leap out of a heart!

From the cracks of the lips
upon a smouldering face
a cinder of a kiss rises to leap.

I cannot sing.
In the heart's chapel the choir loft catches fire!

The scorched figurines of words and numbers
scurry from the skull
like children from a flaming building.
Thus fear,
in its effort to grasp at the sky,
lifted high
the flaming arms of the Lusitania.

Into the calm of the apartment
where people quake,
a hundred-eye blaze bursts from the docks.
into the centuries,
if you can, a last scream: I'm on fire!

Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2012 at 03:18
Another Mayakovsky - it takes much spaces, but goes fast.

Over those
         whom  sleep eternal claimed
that lean,
         harsh winter
                           a pall.
What  are words!
                   are lame!
On the Volga sores
                 I refuse
                         to dwell.
Of a string of days
                  I choose
                          to speak,
   to a thousand others,
pushed on
        by the years,
                     oarsmen eager,
not over-fat
If ever
      something of worth
                        I wrote
it was all
        the  fault
of a pair
        of eyes-
                 bottomless skies,
my  beloved's eyes.
Huge  they are,
dark brown,
with a speck
           of hazel,
The  phone's gone
                stark-raving mad,
an axe's
       blunt edge
                 striking the ear:
Round  the huge brown  eyes -
       to blame.
Doctor's orders:
for the eyes
           to be able
to eye
      the world,

heat the place,
put greens
         on the table.
By their curly green tails -
I'm holding
          two  carrots
They're not
          for my  stew:
I'm taking them to
my sweetheart,
             for her
                    to munch.
Boxes of sweets
              and flowers
I handed  out,
                I recall
that those carrots
                 plus firewood
                (half a billet)
   the most precious
                        of all.
Thrust under my arm
damp pieces of wood:
                   knobby sticks,
Face puffy,
Greens and care -
                 eyes clear.
Bigger than saucers,
                  they eye
                          the Revolution.
Easier for me
            than for most
            (it's no boast!)
Because I'm

I sit and chew
a fresh
piece of horse flesh.
The door whines.
My kid sister.
"Volodya, listen,
it's New Year's tomorrow.
Got some salt
            I could borrow?"
"A pinch,
        Wet  too.
    let's divide it in two."
Wading  through  snow,
                     fighting fear,
with an
       "Oh, dear,
                 how'll I keep on my feet!"
Olga  stumbles along
the icy,
       three-mile long
                      Presnya Street.
   to salt her potatoes
                       she hastens.
         beside her,
grows fierce,
            and  pinches.
"Gimme it!
         Isn't that salt
                        you're hiding?"
Home at last,
            and didn't lose it.
But how  use it?
To  her fingers
             it's frozen fast.
Behind  the wall
              shuffling feet.
"Here,  wife,
           we gotta eat.
Trade  my  coat
             for millet,
                       will ye?"
Look  through the pane-
it's snowing again.
The snow  falls,
covering all.
Soft its step,
              and  light.
        a cliff,
                  and white.
Snow lies
        in banks
                and drifts.
Of forests
        the skeleton clings
                          to the cliff.
        Into the sky's thick shawl
the sun,
       a louse,
December's late dawn,
                    worn out,
    over Moscow
               like typhus fever.
Storm  clouds vagrant
to fat lands migrate.
Wrapped  in haze,
its chest sticking out,
                   America  lies.
What  is it doing? -
                   Lapping up
     and cocoa
              by  the cup.
Into your face,
              thick as the snout
of a good-sized pig,
         than a round tray rounder,
from  this hungering land of ours
                               I shout:
My love
      for my land
                 is boundless!

You can forget
                and where
you stuffed
         your craw
                  and your belly,
the land
       you hungered with
                        you can never
as long as you live and breathe


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Feb-2012 at 22:24
Mayakovsky, 1930

My most respected comrades of posterity!
Rummaging among these days’ petrified crap,
exploring the twilight of our times,
you, possibly, will inquire about me too.

And, possibly, your scholars will declare,
with their erudition overwhelming a swarm of problems;
once there lived a certain champion of boiled water,
and inveterate enemy of raw water.

Professor, take off your bicycle glasses!
I myself will expound those times and myself.

I, a latrine cleaner and water carrier,
by the revolution, mobilized and drafted,
went off to the front from the aristocratic gardens
of poetry - the capricious wench
She planted a delicious garden,the daughter, cottage,
pond, and meadow.
Myself a garden I did plant,

myself with water sprinkled it.
some pour their verse from water cans;
others spit water from their mouth -
the curly Macks, the clever jacks -
but what the hell’s it all about!
There’s no damming al this up -
beneath the walls they mandoline:
“Tara-tina, tara-tine,
It’s no great honor, then,for my monuments
to rise from such roses, above the public squares,
where consumption coughs,
where whores, hooligans and syphilis walk.

Agitprop sticks in my teeth too,
and I’d rather compose romances for you -
more profit in it, and more charm.

But I subdued myself, setting my heel
on the throat of my own song.
Listen, comrades of posterity,to the agitator
the rabble-rouser.
Stifling the torrents of poetry,I’ll skip
the volumes of lyrics;as one alive,
I’ll address the living.I’ll join you
in the far communist future,
I who am - no Esenin super-hero.

My verse will reach you across the peaks of ages,
over the heads of governments and poets.
My verse will reach you not as an arrow
in a cupid-lyred chase, not as worn penny
Reaches a numismatist, not as the light of dead stars reaches you.
My verse, by labor, will break the mountain chain of years
and will present itself ponderous, crude,tangible,as an aqueduct,
by slaves of Rome, constructed, enters into our days.
When in mounds of books, where verse lies buried,
you discover by chance the iron filings of lines,touch them
with respect, as you would, some antique, yet awesome weapon.
It’s no habit of mine, to caress, the ear, with words;
a maiden’s ear, curly-ringed, will not crimson, when flicked by smut.
In parade deploying the armies of my pages,I shall inspect
the regiments in line. Heavy as lead, my verses at attention stand,
ready for death and for immortal fame.

The poems are rigid,
pressing muzzle to muzzle their gaping pointed titles.
The favorite of all the armed forces - the cavalry of witticisms -ready
to launch a wild hallooing charge, reins its chargers still, raising
the pointed lances of the rhymes. and all these troops armed to the teeth,
which have flashed by victoriously for twenty years, all these
to their very last page, I present to you the planet’s proletarian.
The enemy of the massed working class is my enemy too
inveterate and of long standing.
Years of trial and days of hunger ordered us to march  under the red flag.
We opened each volume of Marxas we would open the shutters in our own house;
but we did not have to read to make up our mind which side to join,which side to fight on.
Our dialectics were not learned from Hegel. In the roar of battle it erupted into verse, when,
under fire, the bourgeois decamped, as once we ourselves had fled from them.
Let fame trudge after genius like an inconsolable widow to a funeral march -
die then, my verse, die like a common soldier, like our men, who nameless died attacking!

I don’t care a spit for tons of bronze.
I don’t care a spit for slimy marble.
We’re men of  kind, we’ll come to terms about our fame;let ocommon monument be
socialism built in battle. Men of posterity examine the flotsam of dictionaries:
out of Lethe will bob up the debris of such words as “prostitution,” “tuberculosis,” “blockade.”
For you, who are now healthy and agile,the poet with the rough tongue of his posters,has licked away consumptives’ spittle. With the tail of my years behind me, I begin to resemble
those monsters, excavated dinosaurs.

Comrade life, let us march faster, march faster through what’s left of the five-year plan.
My verse has brought me no rubles to spare, no craftsmen have mademahogany chairs for my house.In all conscience, I need nothing, except a freshly laundered shirt.
When I appear before the CCC of the coming bright years by way of my Bolshevik party card,
I’ll raise above the heads of a gang of self-seeking poets and rogues,
all the hundred volumes of my communist-committed books.
On the evening of April 14, the same year, Mayakovsky shot himself.

Edited by Don Quixote - 12-Feb-2012 at 22:28
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2012 at 01:06
Vysotsky, "Song for the Friend", the song with English translation:

Edited by Don Quixote - 10-Feb-2012 at 01:09
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