The Nacreous Oughts

25 March 2008

'The Mute Griffins

They pass across the sky at noon,
the summer noon,
through seas ablaze with searing light--
the golden barbed and golden scaled
lions of flight.

The birds of story, treasure griffins,
unglossal griffins,
are gazers of the solar zone
who proudly bear a vulture head
of diamond stone.

These birds are voiceless, proudly mute,
despairing mute,
and if they make a sound they sway
and fall to earth a shadowy brown,
a sparrow gray.

And there they pass the sky at noon,
the summer noon,
in black of pride through seas of light--
the golden barbed and golden scaled
lions of flight.'

--Endre Ady (tr Anton Nyerges)
April Mortality

Rebellion shook an ancient dust,
And bones bleached dry of rottenness
Said: Heart, be bitter still, nor trust
The earth, the sky in their bright dress.

Heart, heart, dost thou break to know
This anguish thou wilt bear alone?
We sang of it an age ago,
And traced it dimly upon stone.

With all the drifting race of men
Thou also art begot to mourn
That she is crucified again,
The lonely Beauty yet unborn.

And if thou dreamest to have won
Some touch of her in permanence,
'T is the old cheating of the sun,
The intricate lovely play of sense.

Be bitter still, remember how
Four petals, when a little breath
Of wind made stir the pear-tree bough,
Blew delicately down to death.

LĂ©onie Adams

K. S.

24 March 2008

I think I will start a new project, an anthology of about 100 poems by 100 poets.
It will be different from most anthologies, in having both original-English and translated poems. I will be calling it Florilegium, Anthropocene, and I may comment on the poems as I post them (I haven't decided that part yet). When I finish, I'll make it a book. (So I may go back and delete some of my earlier entries.) I'll be starting with a poem by the Canadian poet, Milton Acorn.

     Knowing I Live in a Dark Age

Knowing I live in a dark age before history,
I watch my wallet and
am less struck by gunfights in the avenues
than by the newsie with his dirty pink chapped face
calling a shabby poet back for his change.

The crows mobbing the blinking, sun-stupid owl;
wolves eating a hamstrung calf hind end first
keeping their meat alive and fresh...these
are marks of foresight, beginnings of wit;
but Jesus wearing thorns and sunstroke
beating his life and death into words
to break the rods and blunt the axes of Rome:
this and like things followed.

Knowing that in this advertising rainbow
I live like a trapeze artist with a headache,
my poems are no aspirins...they show
pale bayonets of grass waving thin on dunes;
the paralytic and his lyric secrets;
my friend Al, union builder and cynic,
hesitating to believe his own delicate poems
lest he believe in something better than himself:
and history, which is yet to begin,
will exceed this, exalt this
as a poem erases and rewrites its poet.

--Milton Acorn
1923 - 1986

(I got this text from the excellent blog wood_s lot.)

K. S.

11 March 2008

   Relic of Some Earlier World

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fading love thee.

K. S.

07 March 2008

    Hospital Poem

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cold rain reachThe wizard is
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