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


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