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This thread is to post up your favourite poetry.

 

This is a fine poem by Simon Armitage.

 

It Ain't What You Do, It's What It Does To You

 

I have not bummed across America

with only a dollar to spare, one pair

of busted Levi's and a bowie knife.

I have lived with thieves in Manchester.

 

I have not padded through the Taj Mahal,

barefoot, listening to the space between

each footfall picking up and putting down

its print against the marble floor. But I

 

 

skimmed flat stones across Black Moss on a day

so still I could hear each set of ripples

as they crossed. I felt each stone's inertia

spend itself against the water; then sink.

 

I have not toyed with a parachute cord

while perched on the lip of a light-aircraft;

but I held the wobbly head of a boy

at the day centre, and stroked his fat hands.

 

And I guess that the tightness in the throat

and the tiny cascading sensation

somewhere inside us are both part of that

sense of something else. That feeling, I mean.

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TTP

Todesfuge by Paul Celan

 

 

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken sie abends

wir trinken sie mittags und morgens wir trinken sie nachts

wir trinken und trinken

wir schaufeln ein Grab in den Lüften da liegt man nicht eng

Ein Mann wohnt im Haus der spielt mit den Schlangen der schreibt

der schreibt wenn es dunkelt nach Deutschland

dein goldenes Haar Margarete

er schreibt es und tritt vor das Haus und es blitzen die Sterne

er pfeift seine Rüden herbei er pfeift seine Juden hervor

läßt schaufeln ein Grab in der Erde

er befiehlt uns spielt auf nun zum Tanz

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts

wir trinken dich morgens und mittags wir trinken dich abends

wir trinken und trinken

Ein Mann wohnt im Haus der spielt mit den Schlangen der schreibt

der schreibt wenn es dunkelt nach Deutschland

dein goldenes Haar Margarete

Dein aschenes Haar Sulamith

wir schaufeln ein Grab in den Lüften da liegt man nicht eng

Er ruft stecht tiefer ins Erdreich ihr einen ihr andern singet und spielt

er greift nach dem Eisen im Gurt er schwingts seine Augen sind blau

stecht tiefer die Spaten ihr einen ihr andern spielt weiter zum Tanz auf

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts

wir trinken dich mittags und morgens wir trinken dich abends

wir trinken und trinken

ein Mann wohnt im Haus dein goldenes Haar Margarete

dein aschenes Haar Sulamith er spielt mit den Schlangen

Er ruft spielt süßer den Tod der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

er ruft streicht dunkler die Geigen dann steigt ihr als Rauch in die Luft

dann habt ihr ein Grab in den Wolken da liegt man nicht eng

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts

wir trinken dich mittags der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

wir trinken dich abends und morgens wir trinken und trinken

der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland sein Auge ist blau

er trifft dich mit bleierner Kugel er trifft dich genau

ein Mann wohnt im Haus dein goldenes Haar Margarete

er hetzt seine Rüden auf uns er schenkt uns ein Grab in der Luft

er spielt mit den Schlangen und träumet

der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

dein goldenes Haar Margarete

dein aschenes Haar Sulamith

(1947)

stones.gif

 

 

 

 

Deathfugue

 

Black milk of daybreak we drink it at evening

we drink it at midday and morning we drink it at night

we drink and we drink

we shovel a grave in the air where you won't lie too cramped

A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes

he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland

your golden hair Margareta

he writes it and steps out of doors and the stars are all sparkling

he whistles his hounds to stay close he whistles his Jews into rows

has them shovel a grave in the ground

he commands us play up for the dance

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night

we drink you at morning and midday we drink you at evening

we drink and we drink

A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes

he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland

your golden hair Margareta

Your ashen hair Shulamith

we shovel a grave in the air where you won't lie too cramped

He shouts dig this earth deeper you lot there you others sing up and play

he grabs for the rod in his belt he swings it his eyes are so blue

stick your spades deeper you lot there you others play on for the dancing

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night

we drink you at midday and morning we drink you at evening

we drink and we drink

a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margareta

your aschenes Haar Shulamith he plays with his vipers

He shouts play death more sweetly this Death is a master from Deutschland

he shouts scrape your strings darker you'll rise up as smoke to the sky

you'll then have a grave in the clouds where you won't lie too cramped

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night

we drink you at midday Death is a master aus Deutschland

we drink you at evening and morning we drink and we drink

this Death is ein Meister aus Deutschland his eye it is blue

he shoots you with shot made of lead shoots you level and true

a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margarete

he looses his hounds on us grants us a grave in the air

he plays with his vipers and daydreams

der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

dein goldenes Haar Margarete

dein aschenes Haar Shulamith

 

(transl. by Prof. John Felstiner, Stanford)

 

 

 

 

Paul Celan reads his own poem:

 

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L'Albatros

Souvent, pour s'amuser, les hommes d'équipage

Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers,

Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,

Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers.

À peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches,

Que ces rois de l'azur, maladroits et honteux,

Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanches

Comme des avirons traîner À côté d'eux.

Ce voyageur ailé, comme il est gauche et veule!

Lui, naguère si beau, qu'il est comique et laid!

L'un agace son bec avec un brûle-gueule,

L'autre mime, en boitant, l'infirme qui volait!

Le Poète est semblable au prince des nuées

Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l'archer;

Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,

Ses ailes de géant l'empêchent de marcher.

 

Charles Baudelaire

 

 

 

The Albatross

 

Often, to amuse themselves, the men of a crew

Catch albatrosses, those vast sea birds

That indolently follow a ship

As it glides over the deep, briny sea.

Scarcely have they placed them on the deck

Than these kings of the sky, clumsy, ashamed,

Pathetically let their great white wings

Drag beside them like oars.

That winged voyager, how weak and gauche he is,

So beautiful before, now comic and ugly!

One man worries his beak with a stubby clay pipe;

Another limps, mimics the cripple who once flew!

The poet resembles this prince of cloud and sky

Who frequents the tempest and laughs at the bowman;

When exiled on the earth, the butt of hoots and jeers,

His giant wings prevent him from walking.

 

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

 

 

 

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The Rebel

 

Pádraig Mac Piarais

 

 

I am come of the seed of the people, the people that sorrow;

Who have no treasure but hope,

No riches laid up but a memory of an ancient glory

My mother bore me in bondage, in bondage my mother was born,

I am of the blood of serfs;

The children with whom I have played, the men and women with whom I have eaten

Have had masters over them, have been under the lash of masters,

and though gentle, have served churls.

The hands that have touched mine,

the dear hands whose touch Is familiar to me

Have worn shameful manacles, have been bitten at the wrist by manacles,

have grown hard with the manacles and the task-work of strangers.

I am flesh of the flesh of these lowly, I am bone of their bone I that have never submitted;

I that have a soul greater than the souls of my people’s masters,

I that have vision and prophecy, and the gift of fiery speech,

I that have spoken with God on the top of his holy hill.

And because I am of the people, I understand the people,

I am sorrowful with their sorrow, I am hungry with their desire;

My heart is heavy with the grief of mothers,

My eyes have been wet with the tears of children,

I have yearned with old wistful men,

And laughed and cursed with young men;

Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it

Reddened for that they have served, they who should be free

Reddened for that they have gone in want, while others have been full,

Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers and their jailors.

With their Writs of Summons and their handcuffs,

Men mean and cruel.

I could have borne stripes on my body

Rather than this shame of my people.

And now I speak, being full of vision:

I speak to my people, and I speak in my people’s name to

The masters of my people:

I say to my people that they are holy,

That they are august despite their chains.

That they are greater than those that hold them

And stronger and purer,

That they have but need of courage, and to call on the name of their God,

God the unforgetting, the dear God who loves the people

For whom he died naked, suffering shame.

And I say to my people’s masters: Beware

Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people

Who shall take what ye would not give.

Did ye think to conquer the people, or that law is stronger than life,

And than men’s desire to be free?

We will try it out with you ye that have harried and held,

Ye that have bullied and bribed.

Tyrants… hypocrites… liars!

 

 

 

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The Red Flag

:hammersickle:

 

The people's flag is deepest red,

It shrouded oft our martyred dead,

And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,

Their hearts blood dyed its every fold.

 

Chorus

Then raise the scarlet standard high.

Within its shade we'll live and die,

Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,

We'll keep the red flag flying here.

Look round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,

The sturdy German chants its praise,

In Moscow's vaults its hymns are sung

Chicago swells the surging throng.

 

It waved above our infant might,

When all ahead seemed dark as night;

It witnessed many a deed and vow,

We must not change its colour now.

 

It well recalls the triumphs past,

It gives the hope of peace at last;

The banner bright, the symbol plain,

Of human right and human gain.

 

With heads uncovered swear we all

To bear it onward till we fall;

Come dungeons dark or gallows grim,

This song shall be our parting hymn.

 

Written by Jim Connell

 

 

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My Soviet Passport

 

Vladimir Mayakovsky

 

1929

 

 

I'd tear

like a wolf

at bureaucracy.

For mandates

my respect's but the slightest.

To the devil himself

I'd chuck without mercy

every red-taped paper.

But this ...

Down the long front

of coupés and cabins

File the officials

politely.

They gather up passports

and I give in

My own vermilion booklet.

For one kind of passport -

smiling lips part

For others -

an attitude scornful.

They take

with respect, for instance,

the passport

From a sleeping-car

English Lionel.

The good fellows eyes

almost slip like pips

when,

bowing as low as men can,

they take,

as if they were taking a tip,

the passport

from an American.

At the Polish,

they dolefully blink and wheeze

in dumb

police elephantism -

where are they from,

and what are these

geographical novelties?

And without a turn

of their cabbage heads,

their feelings

hidden in lower regions,

they take without blinking,

the passports from Swedes

and various

old Norwegians.

Then sudden

as if their mouths were

aquake

those gentlemen almost

whine

Those very official gentlemen

take

that red-skinned passport

of mine.

Take-

like a bomb

take - like a hedgehog,

like a razor

double-edge stropped,

take -

like a rattlesnake huge and long

with at least

20 fangs

poison-tipped.

The porter's eyes

give a significant flick

(I'll carry your baggage

for nix,

mon ami...)

The gendarmes enquiringly

look at the tec,

the tec, -

at the gendarmerie.

With what delight

that gendarme caste

would have me

strung-up and whipped raw

because I hold

in my hands

hammered-fast

sickle-clasped

my red Soviet passport.

I'd tear

like a wolf

at bureaucracy.

For mandates

my respect's but the slightest.

To the devil himself

I'd chuck

without mercy

every red-taped paper,

But this ...

I pull out

of my wide trouser-pockets

duplicate

of a priceless cargo.

You now:

read this

and envy,

I'm a citizen

of the Soviet Socialist Union!

 

 

 

http://www.marxists....et-passport.htm

 

 

 

 

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485396_474209679316096_1199175949_n.jpg

 

Connolly by Liam Mac Gabhann

 

The man was all shot through that came today

Into the barrack square;

A soldier I – I am not proud to say

We killed him there;

They brought him in from the prison hospital.

To see him in that chair

I thought his smile would far more quickly call

A man to prayer.

 

Maybe we cannot understand this thing

That makes these rebels die,

And yet all tings love freedom and the Spring

Clear in the sky!

I think I would not do this deed again

For all that I hold by;

Gaze down my rifle at his breast – but then

A soldier I.

 

They say that he was kindly – different too

Apart from all the rest;

A lover of the poor; and all shot through

His wounds ill drest,

He came before us, faced us like a man,

Who knows a deeper pain

Than blows or bullets – ere the world began

Died he is vain?

 

Ready present! And he just smiling – God!

I felt my riffle shake.

His wounds were opened and around that chair

Was one red lake;

I swear his lips said ‘Fire!’ when all was still

Before my rifle spat that cursed lead – And I was picked to kill

A man like that.

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