Wystan Hugh Auden – “Orpheus”

Wystan Hugh Auden, Un altro tempo, La grande poesia Corriere della Sera, Milano, 2004, page 68

Orpheus

What does the song hope for? And the moved hands

A little way from the birds, the shy, the delightful?

                         To be bewildered and happy,

                         Or most of all the knowledge of life?

 

But the beautiful are content with the sharp notes of the air;

 

The warmth is enough. O if winter really

                        Oppose, if the weak snowflake,

                        What will the wish, what will the dance do?

Advertisements

Emily Dickinson – A Page by Chance

1162 –

The Life we have is very great.

The Life that we shall see

Surpasses it, we know, because

It is Infinity.

But when all Space has been beheld

And all Dominion shown

The smallest Human Heart’s extent

Reduces it to none.

Alice Walker – Never offer your heart to someone who eats hearts

Alice Walker, Blicke vom Tigerrücken, Gedichte English-Deutsch, Rowohlt, 1995, page 24

Never offer your heart to someone who eats hearts

Never offer your heart

 to someone who eats hearts

who finds heartmeat

delicious

but not rare

who sucks the juices

drop by drop

and bloody-chinned

grins

like a God.

 

Never offer your heart

to a heart gravy lover.

Your stewed, overseasoned

heart consumed

he will sop up your grief

with bread

and send it shuttling

from side to side

in his mouth

like bubblegum.

 

If you find yourself

in love

with a person

who eats hearts

these things

you must do:

 

Freeze your heart

immediately.

Let him – next time

he examines your chest –

find your heart cold

flinty and unappetizing.

 

Refrain from kissing

lest he in revenge

dampen the spark

in your soul.

 

Now,

sail away to Africa

where holy women

await you on the shore –

long having practiced the art

of replacing hearts

with God

and Song.

Spoon River Anthology

Edgar Lee Masters, Antologia di Spoon River, La Grande Poesia Corriere della Sera, 2004, pagina 324

Marie Bateson

You observe the carven hand

With the index finger pointing heavenward.

That is the direction, no doubt.

But how shall one follow it?

It is well to abstain from murder and lust,

To forgive, do good to others, worship God

Without graven images.

But these are external means after all

By which you chiefly do good to yourself.

The inner kernel is freedom,

It is light, purity –

I can no more,

Find the goal or lose it, according to your vision.

 

Sylvia Plath – Daddy

Sylvia Plath

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You-- 

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not 
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

 

 

Emily Dickinson

1713 –

As subtle as tomorrow

That never came,

A warrant, a conviction,

Yet but a name.

Charles Bukowski – Dinosauria, We

Dinosauria, We – Charles Bukowski
*
*

Born like this
Into this
As the chalk faces smile
As Mrs. Death laughs
As the elevators break
As political landscapes dissolve
As the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
As the oily fish spit out their oily prey
As the sun is masked
We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes
Born into this
Walking and living through this
Dying because of this
Muted because of this
Castrated
Debauched
Disinherited
Because of this
Fooled by this
Used by this
Pissed on by this
Made crazy and sick by this
Made violent
Made inhuman
By this
The heart is blackened
The fingers reach for the throat
The gun
The knife
The bomb
The fingers reach toward an unresponsive god
The fingers reach for the bottle
The pill
The powder
We are born into this sorrowful deadliness
We are born into a government 60 years in debt
That soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt
And the banks will burn
Money will be useless
There will be open and unpunished murder in the streets
It will be guns and roving mobs
Land will be useless
Food will become a diminishing return
Nuclear power will be taken over by the many
Explosions will continually shake the earth
Radiated robot men will stalk each other
The rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms
Dante’s Inferno will be made to look like a children’s playground
The sun will not be seen and it will always be night
Trees will die
All vegetation will die
Radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men
The sea will be poisoned
The lakes and rivers will vanish
Rain will be the new gold
The rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind
The last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases
And the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition
The petering out of supplies
The natural effect of general decay
And there will be the most beautiful silence never heard
Born out of that.
The sun still hidden there
Awaiting the next chapter.

Anne Sexton reads “The Fury of Overshoes”

Anne Sexton

They sit in a row
outside the kindergarten,
black, red, brown, all
with those brass buckles.
Remember when you couldn’t
buckle your own
overshoe
or tie your own shoe
or cut your own meat
and the tears
running down like mud
because you fell off your
tricycle?
Remember, big fish,
when you couldn’t swim
and simply slipped under
like a stone frog?
The world wasn’t
yours.
It belonged to
the big people.
Under your bed
sat the wolf
and he made a shadow
when cars passed by
at night.
They made you give up
your nightlight
and your teddy
and your thumb.
Oh overshoes,
don’t you
remember me,
pushing you up and down
in the winter snow?
Oh thumb,
I want a drink,
it is dark,
where are the big people,
when will I get there,
taking giant steps
all day,
each day
and thinking
nothing of it?

Emily Dickinson

1200 –

Because my Brook is fluent

I know ’tis dry –

Because my Brook is silent

It is the Sea –

 

And startled at it’s rising

I try to flee

To where the Strong assure me

Is “no more Sea” –

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman, Foglie d’erba, La grande poesia, Corriere della Sera, 2004, pag. 22

Thou reader

Thou reader throbbest life and pride and love the same as I,

Therefore for thee the following chants.

« Older entries