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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: 27-Jan-2012 at 13:31


Deor's Lament (circa 10th century AD)

Weland knew the agony of exile.
That indomitable smith was wracked by grief.
He endured countless troubles:
sorrows were his only companions
in his frozen island dungeon
after Nithad had fettered him,
many strong-but-supple sinew-bonds
binding the better man.
   That passed away; this also may.

Beadohild mourned her brothers' deaths
but even more, her own sad state
once she discovered herself with child.
She predicted nothing good could come of it.
   That passed away; this also may.

We have heard that the Geat's moans for Matilda,
his lady, were limitless,
that his sorrowful love for her
robbed him of regretless sleep.
   That passed away; this also may.

For thirty winters Theodric ruled
the Mæring stronghold with an iron hand;
many knew this and moaned.
   That passed away; this also may.

We have also heard of Ermanaric's wolfish ways,
of how he held wide sway in the realm of the Goths.
He was a grim king! Many a warrior sat,
full of cares and maladies of the mind,
wishing constantly that his kingdom might be overthrown.
   That passed away; this also may.

If a man sits long enough, sorrowful and anxious,
bereft of joy, his mind constantly darkening,
soon it seems to him that his troubles are endless.
Then he must consider that the wise Lord
often moves through the earth
granting some men honor, glory and fame,
but others only shame and hardship.
This I will say for myself:
that for awhile I was the Heodeninga's scop,
dear to my lord. My name was Deor.
For many winters I held a fine office,
faithfully serving a just lord. But now Heorrenda
a man skilful in songs, has received the estate
the protector of warriors gave me.
   That passed away; this also may.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2012 at 23:50
All, All and All the Dry Worlds Lever

I

All all and all the dry worlds lever,
Stage of the ice, the solid ocean,
All from the oil, the pound of lava.
City of spring, the governed flower,
Turns in the earth that turns the ashen
Towns around on a wheel of fire.

How now my flesh, my naked fellow,
Dug of the sea, the glanded morrow,
Worm in the scalp, the staked and fallow.
All all and all, the corpse's lover,
Skinny as sin, the foaming marrow,
All of the flesh, the dry worlds lever.


II

Fear not the waking world, my mortal,
Fear not the flat, synthetic blood,
Nor the heart in the ribbing metal.
Fear not the tread, the seeded milling,
The trigger and scythe, the bridal blade,
Nor the flint in the lover's mauling.

Man of my flesh, the jawbone riven,
Know now the flesh's lock and vice,
And the cage for the scythe-eyed raver.
Know, O my bone, the jointed lever,
Fear not the screws that turn the voice,
And the face to the driven lover.


III

All all and all the dry worlds couple,
Ghost with her ghost, contagious man
With the womb of his shapeless people.
All that shapes from the caul and suckle,
Stroke of mechanical flesh on mine,
Square in these worlds the mortal circle.

Flower, flower the people's fusion,
O light in zenith, the coupled bud,
And the flame in the flesh's vision.
Out of the sea, the drive of oil,
Socket and grave, the brassy blood,
Flower, flower, all all and all.


Dylan Thomas
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2012 at 16:43
Francoa Villon
Ballade
I die of thirst beside the fountain 
I'm hot as fire, I'm shaking tooth on tooth 
In my own country I'm in a distant land 
Beside the blaze I'm shivering in flames 
Naked as a worm, dressed like a president 
I laugh in tears and hope in despair 
I cheer up in sad hopelessness 
I'm joyful and no pleasure's anywhere 
I'm powerful and lack all force and strength 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

I'm sure of nothing but what is uncertain 
Find nothing obscure but the obvious 
Doubt nothing but the certainties 
Knowledge to me is mere accident
I keep winning and remain the loser 
At dawn I say "I bid you good night"
Lying down I'm afraid of falling 
I'm so rich I haven't a penny 
I await an inheritance and am no one's heir 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

I never work and yet I labor 
To acquire goods I don't even want 
Kind words irritate me most 
He who speaks true deceives me worst 
A friend is someone who makes me think 
A white swan is a black crow 
The people who harm me think they help 
Lies and truth today I see they're one
I remember everything, my mind's a blank 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

Merciful Prince may it please you to know 
I understand much and have no wit or learning 
I'm biased against all laws impartially 
What's next to do? Redeem my pawned goods again! 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.



Edited by Don Quixote - 29-Jan-2012 at 16:45
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2012 at 19:22
Another ballad from Villon - I find this one and the one I posted yesterday very modern as a  world view.
I know flies in milk
I know the man by his clothes
I know fair weather from foul
I know the apple by the tree
I know the tree when I see the sap
I know when all is one
I know who labors and who loafs
I know everything but myself.

I know the coat by the collar
I know the monk by the cowl
I know the master by the servant
I know the nun by the veil
I know when a hustler rattles on
I know fools raised on whipped cream
I know the wine by the barrel
I know everything but myself.

I know the horse and the mule
I know their loads and their limits
I know Beatrice and Belle
I know the beads that count and add
I know nightmare and sleep
I know the Bohemians' error
I know the power of Rome
I know everything but myself.

Prince I know all things
I know the rosy-cheeked and the pale
I know death who devours all
I know everything but myself.

François Villon

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2012 at 21:36
Francois Villon

Le Testament: Rondeau

 

Death, I cry out at your harshness,

That stole my girl away from me,

Yet you’re not satisfied I see

Until I languish in distress.

 

Since then I’ve lost all liveliness:

What harm alive, to you, was she?

Death, I cry out at your harshness,

That stole my girl away from me.

 

Two we were, with one heart blessed:

If heart’s dead, yes, then I foresee,

I’ll die, or I must lifeless be,

Like those statues made of lead.

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 31-Jan-2012 at 21:37
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2012 at 23:12
Francois Villon:

Le Testament: Ballade: Pour Robert d’Estouteville

 

A t dawn of day, when falcon shakes his wing,

M ainly from pleasure, and from noble usage,

B lackbirds too shake theirs then as they sing,

R eceiving their mates, mingling their plumage,

O, as the desires it lights in me now rage,

I ’d offer you, joyously, what befits the lover.

S ee how Love has written this very page:

E ven for this end are we come together.

 

D oubtless, as my heart’s lady you’ll have being,

E ntirely now, till death consumes my age.

L aurel, so sweet, for my cause now fighting,

O live, so noble, removing all bitter foliage,

R eason does not wish me unused to owing,

E ven as I’m to agree with this wish, forever,

Duty to you, but rather grow used to serving:

Even for this end are we come together.

 

And, what’s more, when sorrow’s beating

Down on me, through Fate’s incessant rage,

Your sweet glance its malice is assuaging,

Nor more or less than wind blows smoke away.

As, in your field, I plant I lose no grain,

For the harvest resembles me, and ever

God orders me to plough, and sow again:

Even for this end are we come together.

 

Princess, listen to this I now maintain:

That my heart and yours will not dissever:

So much I presume of you, and claim:

Even for this end are we come together.

 

Note: The ballade was written for Robert to present to his wife Ambroise de Loré, as though composed by him.

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 01-Feb-2012 at 23:13
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2012 at 01:02

Ballade: Epistre

 

Have pity now, have pity now on me,

If you at least would, friends of mine.

I’m in the depths, not holly or may,

In exile, where I’ve been consigned

By Fortune, as God too has designed.

Girls, lovers, youngsters, fresh to hand,

Dancers, tumblers that leap like lambs,

Agile as arrows, like shots from a cannon,

Throats tinkling, clear as bells on rams,

Will you leave him here, your poor old Villon?

 

Singers, singing in lawless freedom,

Jokers, pleasant in word and deed,

Run free of false gold, alloy, come,

Men of wit – somewhat deaf indeed –

Hurry, be quick now, he’s dying poor man.

Makers of lays, motets and rondeaux,

Will you bring him warmth when he’s down below?

No lightning or storm reach where he’s gone.

With these thick walls they’ve blinded him so.

Will you leave him here, your poor old Villon?

 

Come see him here, in his piteous plight,

Noblemen, free of tax and tithe,

Holding nothing by king or emperor’s right,

But by grace of the God of Paradise.

Sundays and Tuesdays he fasts and sighs,

His teeth are as sharp as the rats’ below,

After dry bread, and no gateaux,

Water for soup that floats his guts along.

With no table or chair, he’s lying low.

Will you leave him here, your poor old Villon?


Princes of note, old, new, don’t fail:

Beg the king’s pardon for me, and seal,

And a basket to raise me, I’ll sit upon:

So pigs behave, to each other, they say,

When one pig squeals, all rush that way.

Will you leave him here, your poor old Villon?

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 03-Feb-2012 at 01:02
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2012 at 23:04
Francois Villon

Le Testament: Epitaph et Rondeau

 

Epitaph

 

Here there lies, and sleeps in the grave,

One whom Love killed with his scorn,

A poor little scholar in every way,

He was named François Villon.

He never reaped a morsel of corn:

Willed all away, as all men know:

Bed, table, and basket all are gone.

Gallants, now sing his song below:

 

Rondeau

 

Oh, grant him now eternal peace,

Lord, and everlasting light,

He wasn’t worth a candle bright,

Nor even a sprig of parsley.

Of eyebrows, hair, and beard he’s free,

A turnip scraped with a spade, all right:

Oh, grant him now eternal peace.

 

Exiled with strict severity,

Rapped behind with a spade, despite

It all he cried: ‘Appeal, for me!’

      Which wasn’t the height of subtlety.

Oh, grant him now eternal peace.



Edited by Don Quixote - 05-Feb-2012 at 23:05
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Feb-2012 at 19:27
Vladimir Vysotcky
My gypsy song
Russian title: Moya cyganskaya
I dream, and distant lights I see.  In sleep, I'm snoring.
Well wait a while, it ought to be clear in the morning.
But morning comes, there's still no joy, and willy'nilly,
You find you'd rather smoke than eat, or drink yourself silly.

The bar looks smart, green tablecloths, white napkins there -
Heaven for beggars and for fools - for me, a snare.
In church, it's gloomy, incense'laden, murky light -
No, there as well, all isn't right, all isn't right.

I climb a mountain, breathing hard, and cautious - very.
Trees on the mountain, alders on high, below them, cherry.
If all the slope were draped in plush, I'd love the sight.
And yet it lacks I know not what - all isn't right.

I walk in fields along a stream. Light, darkness - godless.
The fields are bright with cornflower blue - the road seems endless.
Witches could lurk beside the road, within the wood.
At road's end - block and axe, with headsman wearing hood.

Horses hooves, clip clop, clip clop, riders unbending.
Along the road, all isn't right - worse at its ending.
Not in the church, not in the bar, there's no salvation.
All isn't right, lads, isn't right - Hell and damnation!

And I cannot resist to post the song here, it gets the meaning through even if one doesn't use Russian:




Edited by Don Quixote - 06-Feb-2012 at 19:28
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2012 at 22:20
Save our souls
Russian title: Spasite nashi dushi
Going underwater
in neutral waters.
For a year we can
not give a damn about the weather,
And if someone corners us,
The locators will scream
about our blunder.

Save our souls!
We are delirious from suffocation.
Save our souls!
Hurry to us!
Hear us on the land!
Our SOS is getting
fainter, yet fainter..
And fear slices our souls
In two.

And our aortas tear,
But don't you dare go up!
There, left of the board,
There, right of the board,
There, straight on the run -
Stands in the way
The horned death!

But its here we're at our freest!
This is our world, after all!
What are we, crazy, -
To surface in a minefield!
"Cut the hysteria!
We'll plummet into the shore,"
Said the captain.

Save our souls!
We are delirious from suffocation.
Save our souls!
Hurry to us!
Hear us on the land!
Our SOS is getting
fainter, yet fainter..
And fear slices our souls
In two.

We'll come up at dawn.
Order is always an order!
If we are destined to die in our prime -
Then be it in light!
Our way isn't feated
We didn't do much...
We didn't have much!
But do remember us!

Save our souls!
We are delirious from suffocation.
Save our souls!
Hurry to us!
Hear us on the land!
Our SOS is getting
fainter, yet fainter..
And fear slices our souls
In two.

So we came up.
But there is no exit here!
Here goes a full speed to the docks,
Our strained nerves.
It's the end to all sorrows,
Ends and beginnings -
We strive for the moorings
Instead of the torpedos!

Save our souls!
We are delirious from suffocation.
Save our souls!
Hurry to us!
Hear us on the land!
Our SOS is getting
fainter, yet fainter..
And fear slices our souls
In two.

Save our souls!
Save our..
Save..





Edited by Don Quixote - 07-Feb-2012 at 23:11
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Feb-2012 at 23:31
A poem/song by Bulat Okudjava.

Painters, dip your brushes
In the bustle of Moscow yards and in the dawn.
That your brushes would be like leaves,
Like leaves, like leaves in November.

Dip your brush into the blue,
By the forgotten city's tradition .
Draw diligently and with love,
Such love with we are walking down Tverskaya street.

Let the pavement will rock as a come round.
Let it will began what it has not begun yet .
You draw, you draw, you will be reckoned.
Why we need guess, have we succeeded or not?

You, as a judges, draw our destiny,
Our winter, our summer and spring.
Nothing that we are strangers, you draw,
I will explain later that it is unclear.

The song can be found on this site, but it doesn't let me copy it.




Edited by Don Quixote - 08-Feb-2012 at 23:34
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2012 at 00:23
One more from Bulat Okudjava, I just can't resist...

The Old Soldier's Song

There’s no more a sound of our battle song,
Nor a ring of hoofs of our horses,
Bullets made the holes the mess-kit along, 
The young sulteress’s, too, midst our losses.

We are left not many – we and our sore – 
Few our solders and few ones of foes,
We’re alive till now – baggers of the war,
Killed, we’ll go by the Eden’s roads.   

Our hands lay on gun’s locks, in a pine – our heads,
And our souls as if fled to heavens,
Why to write the farewell with our blood on sands?
Nature has not needs in our letters.

Sleep forever, brothers, - all will come again:
Will be born the new set of commanders,
And the new young solders – with their own pain – 
Will receive official apartments.

Sleep forever brothers, – all will come again,
All will be repeated as the recent:
Love and words and bullets, blood and deathly pain…
But a time to make a truce, sufficient.

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 09-Feb-2012 at 00:29
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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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  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,
tw-a-n-g...”
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: 14-Feb-2012 at 03:18
Another Mayakovsky - it takes much spaces, but goes fast.
Good!

Over those
         whom  sleep eternal claimed
that lean,
         harsh winter
                     spread
                           a pall.
What  are words!
              Words
                   are lame!
On the Volga sores
                 I refuse
                         to dwell.
Of a string of days
                  I choose
                          to speak,
akin
   to a thousand others,
                        bleak,
pushed on
        by the years,
                     oarsmen eager,
not over-fat
           nor
              over-meagre.
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,
round,
dark brown,
with a speck
           of hazel,
coal-hot,
       blazing.
The  phone's gone
                stark-raving mad,
an axe's
       blunt edge
                 striking the ear:
                                  wham!
Round  the huge brown  eyes -
                            pads:
hunger's
       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 -
                           behold!-
I'm holding
          two  carrots
                     crunchy.
They're not
          for my  stew:
I'm taking them to
my sweetheart,
             for her
                    to munch.
Boxes of sweets
              and flowers
                         freely
I handed  out,
             but
                I recall
that those carrots
                 plus firewood
                (half a billet)
were
   the most precious
                    gift
                        of all.
Thrust under my arm
                  are
damp pieces of wood:
                   knobby sticks,
             eyebrow-thick.
Face puffy,
eyes-splits:
it's
   malnutrition.
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
Mayakovsky.

I sit and chew
a fresh
piece of horse flesh.
The door whines.
My kid sister.
"Hullo!"
"Hullo!"
"Volodya, listen,
it's New Year's tomorrow.
Got some salt
            I could borrow?"
"A pinch,
        Wet  too.
Here,
    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.
Home
   to salt her potatoes
                       she hastens.
Frost
    walks
         beside her,
grows fierce,
            inches
closer,
     tickles
            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,
           yes,
              and  light.
Moscow's
        a cliff,
              bare
                  and white.
Snow lies
        in banks
                and drifts.
Of forests
        the skeleton clings
                          to the cliff.
Daybreak.
        Into the sky's thick shawl
the sun,
       a louse,
              crawls.
December's late dawn,
                    worn out,
                             shivery,
hangs
    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
coffee
     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
            when
                and where
you stuffed
         your craw
                  and your belly,
                                 but
the land
       you hungered with
                        you can never
as long as you live and breathe
                              forget!

 


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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.

Eight.
Nine.
Ten.

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

At my decrepit back
the candelabras guffawed and whinnied.

You would not recognise me now:
a bulging bulk of sinews,
groaning,
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,
enormous,
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,
softly,
a nerve leap
like a sick man from his bed.
Then,
barely moving,
at first,
it soon scampered about,
agitated,
distinct.
Now, with a couple more,
it darted about in a desperate dance.

The plaster on the ground floor crashed.

Nerves,
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
chattered.

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,
money,
love,
passion.'
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!

Hey!
Gentlemen!
Amateurs
of sacrilege,
crime,
and carnage,
have you seen
the terror of terrors
my face
when
I
am absolutely calm?

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

Hello!
Who's speaking?
Mamma?
Mamma!
Your son is gloriously ill!
Mamma!
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.

Mamma!
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.
Moan
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: 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.
Books?
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,
grinds
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
nevertheless!
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
wrath!

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:
'swine,'
and another besides,
apparently - 'borsch.'

Poets,
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:
students,
prostitutes,
salesmen.

Gentlemen!
Stop!

thousands of street folk:
students,
prostitutes,
salesmen.

Gentlemen!
Stop!
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
them,
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!

I,
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!

Listen!
It is today's brazen-lipped Zarathustra
who preaches,
dashing about and groaning!
We,
our face like a crumpled sheet,
our lips pendulant like a chandelier;
we,
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!
We
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
but
shouted:
'Crucify,
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?!

I,
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: 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.

And  
as a dreadnought founders
and men in choking spasms
dive out of an open hatch  
so Burlyuk, panic-stricken,
crawled
though the screaming gash of his eye.
Almost bloodying his teary eyelids,
he crawled out,
rose,
walked,
and, with tenderness unexpected in one so obese,
announced:
"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
crackling
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
must
split the world inside the skull!

You,
who are supremely worried by the thought:
"Am I an elegant dancer?"
Look at my way of enjoying life  
I  
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:
"Yum-yum-yum!"

Suddenly,
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!

Forward!
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,
pleaded,
stabbed,
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.

Look  
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.
I,
perhaps,
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 Domen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Feb-2012 at 20:28
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bzw0cOL1HEY
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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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