Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Poemquotes 3

"Vijaya. I will wait here, Amrita. // Anashuya. By mighty Brahma's ever-rustling robe, / Who is Amrita? Sorrow of all sorrows! / Another fills your mind. // Vijaya. My mother's name."
-W. B. Yeats, "Anashuya and Vijaya", from Crossways, 1889

"Between the 4 walls of this low-slung room moved dark spirits, and others extremely light and luminous. / A nearly naked man entered in the middle of these webs and in these expanses of ice and desert."
-Pierre Reverdy, "L'intrus" [The Intruder], from Poèmes en prose [Poems in Prose], 1915, my translation

"I heard that you ask'd for something to prove this puzzle the New World, / And to define America, her athletic Democracy, / Therefore I send you my poems that you behold in them what you wanted."
-Walt Whitman, "To Foreign Lands" (whole poem presented here), from Leaves of Grass, "Inscriptions", 1855-1892

"Have the greenish succubus and the rose elf / Poured you fear and love from their urns? / Has the nightmare, with a despotic and mutinous grip, / Drowned you at the bottom of a fabled Minturnae?"
-Charles Baudelaire, "La muse malade" [The Sick Muse], from Les fleurs du mal [The Flowers of Evil], "Spleen et Idéal" [Spleen and Ideal], 1857, my translation

"She too is discontent / And would have purple stuff upon her arms"
-Wallace Stevens, "The Paltry Nude Starts on a Spring Voyage", from Harmonium, 1923/1931


Monday, November 26, 2018

Poemquotes 2

" 'What do you weave with wool so white?' // 'I weave the shoes of Sorrow: / Soundless shall be the footfall light / In all men's ears of Sorrow, / Sudden and light.' "
-W. B. Yeats, "The Cloak, the Boat, and the Shoes", from Crossways, 1889

"His head fearfully took shelter beneath the lamp shade. It is green, and his eyes are red. There's a musician who doesn't move. He sleeps; his severed hands play violin to make him forget his poverty."
-Pierre Reverdy, "Les poètes" [The Poets], from Poèmes en prose [Poems in Prose], 1915, my translation

"By sailors young and old haply will I, a reminiscence of the land, be read, / In full rapport at last."
-Walt Whitman, "In Cabin'd Ships at Sea", from Leaves of Grass, "Inscriptions", 1855-1892

"Cybele, then, fertile in generous yields, / Found not her sons too costly a weight, / But, she-wolf with heart swollen by common tendernesses, / Fed the universe at her brown teats."
-Charles Baudelaire, "J'aime le souvenir de ces époques nues" [I Love the Memory of Those Naked Epochs], from Les fleurs du mal [The Flowers of Evil], "Spleen et Idéal" [Spleen and Ideal], 1857, my translation

"Timeless mother, / How is it that your aspic nipples / For once vent honey? // The pine-tree sweetens my body. / The white iris beautifies me."
-Wallace Stevens, "In the Carolinas", from Harmonium, 1923/1931

"How I love you / With warm blood, / For you give me youth / And joy and mood // For new songs / And dances. / Be ever happy / In the same way that you love me!"
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "Mailied" [May-Song], 1775, my translation

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; / There will be time to murder and create, / And time for all the works and days of hands / That lift and drop a question on your plate"
-T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", from Prufrock and Other Observations, 1917


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Poemquotes 1

New feature: excerpts from poets I'm currently reading.

"Then nowise worship dusty deeds, / Nor seek, for this is also sooth, / To hunger fiercely after truth, / Lest all thy toiling only breeds / New dreams, new dreams; there is no truth / Saving in thine own heart. Seek, then, / No learning from the starry men, / Who follow with the optic glass / The whirling ways of stars that pass —"
-W. B. Yeats, "The Song of the Happy Shepherd", from Crossways, 1889

"And he called loudly to the stars to bend / From their pale thrones and comfort him, but they / Among themselves laugh on and sing alway: / And then the man whom Sorrow named his friend / Cried out, Dim sea, hear my most piteous story!"
-W. B. Yeats, "The Sad Shepherd", from Crossways, 1889

"let's go elsewhere where no-one else looks."
-Pierre Reverdy, "Plus loin que là" [Further Away Than Here], from Poèmes en prose [Poems in Prose], 1915, my translation

"Does the smoke come from their chimneys, or from our pipes?"
-Pierre Reverdy, "Toujours seul" [Always Alone], from Poèmes en prose [Poems in Prose], 1915, my translation

"Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power, / Cheerful, for freest action form'd under the laws divine, / The Modern Man I sing."
-Walt Whitman, "One's-Self I Sing", from Leaves of Grass, "Inscriptions", 1855-1892

"Lo, I too am come, chanting the chants of battles, / I above all promote brave soldiers."
-Walt Whitman, "As I Ponder'd in Silence", from Leaves of Grass, "Inscriptions", 1855-1892

"It's Ennui! — his eye laden with an involuntary tear, / He dreams scaffolds, smoking his hookah. / You know him, reader, that delicate monster, / — Hypocrite reader, — my likeness, — my brother!" -Charles Baudelaire, "Au lecteur" [To the Reader], from Les fleurs du mal [The Flowers of Evil], 1857, my translation

"The Poet is similar to the prince of clouds / Haunting the tempest and laughing at the archer; / Exiled on the soil in the midst of jeers, / His giant's wings keep him from walking."
-Charles Baudelaire, "L'albatros" [The Albatross], from Les fleurs du mal [The Flowers of Evil], "Spleen et Idéal" [Spleen and Ideal], 1857, my translation

"Every time the bucks went clattering / Over Oklahoma / A firecat bristled in the way." -Wallace Stevens, "Earthy Anecdote", from Harmonium, 1923/1931

"Behold, already on the long parades / The crows anoint the statues with their dirt."
-Wallace Stevens, "Invective Against Swans", from Harmonium, 1923/1931