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Old 06-23-2017, 08:52 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,181

Thanks John for the new De Andrade. I have a book of his but haven't dived into it deep yet.

I think this Boruch poem has some of the same feel--the presentational voice. I like it quite a bit.

Still Life
by Marianne Boruch

Someone arranged them in 1620.
Someone found the rare lemon and paid
a lot and neighbored it next
to the plain pear, the plain
apple of the lost garden, the glass
of wine, set down mid-sipó
donít drink it, someone said,itís for
the painting. And the rabbit skulló
whose idea was that? There had been
a pistol but someone was told, no,
put that away, into the box with a key
though the key had been
misplaced now for a year. The artist
wanted light too, for the shadows.
So the table had to be moved. Somewhere
I dreamt the diary entry
on this, reading the impossible
Dutch quite well, thank you, and I can
translate it here, someone writing
it is spring, after all, and Herr Muller
wants a window of it in the painting, almost
a line of poetry, I thought even then,
in the dream, impressed
with that "spring after all," that
"window of it" especially, how sweet
and to the point it came over
into English with no effort at all
as I slept through the night. It was heavy,
that table. Two workers were called
from the east meadow to lift
and grunt and carry it
across the room, just those
few yards. Of course one of them
exaggerated the pain in his shoulder.
Not the older, the younger man.
No good reason
to cry out like that. But this
was art. And he did, something
sharp and in the air that
one time. All of them turning then,
however slightly. And there he was,
eyes closed, not much
more than a boy, before
the talk of beauty
started up again.
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:19 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 919

Beautiful. How nice to be reminded how much good poetry gets written in the world! I guess I'll post something quite different, which may be my favorite Garcia Lorca poem:

Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias

1. Cogida and death

At five in the afternoon.
It was exactly five in the afternoon.
A boy brought the white sheet
at five in the afternoon.
A frail of lime ready prepared
at five in the afternoon.
The rest was death, and death alone.

The wind carried away the cottonwool
at five in the afternoon.
And the oxide scattered crystal and nickel
at five in the afternoon.
Now the dove and the leopard wrestle
at five in the afternoon.
And a thigh with a desolated horn
at five in the afternoon.
The bass-string struck up
at five in the afternoon.
Arsenic bells and smoke
at five in the afternoon.
Groups of silence in the corners
at five in the afternoon.
And the bull alone with a high heart!
At five in the afternoon.
When the sweat of snow was coming
at five in the afternoon,
when the bull ring was covered with iodine
at five in the afternoon.
Death laid eggs in the wound
at five in the afternoon.
At five in the afternoon.
At five o'clock in the afternoon.

A coffin on wheels is his bed
at five in the afternoon.
Bones and flutes resound in his ears
at five in the afternoon.
Now the bull was bellowing through his forehead
at five in the afternoon.
The room was iridiscent with agony
at five in the afternoon.
In the distance the gangrene now comes
at five in the afternoon.
Horn of the lily through green groins
at five in the afternoon.
The wounds were burning like suns
at five in the afternoon.
At five in the afternoon.
Ah, that fatal five in the afternoon!
It was five by all the clocks!
It was five in the shade of the afternoon!
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:22 PM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,732

I've been enjoying the following Auden lately. My favorites of his are the witty, wildly allusive poems that are not quite narrative yet not quite not. The stanzas hang together under the title, which Auden interprets widely. In this way it is similar to "The Fall of Rome," another great one.

The fourth stanza is the wriest thing I've read on colonialism.


Old saints on millstones float with cats
xxxTo islands out at sea
Whereon no female pelvis can
xxxThreaten their agape.

Beyond the long arm of the Law,
xxxClose to a shipping road,
Pirates in their island lairs
xxxObserve the pirate code.

Obsession with security
xxxIn Sovereigns prevails;
His Highness and the People both
xxxPick islands for their jails.

Once, where detected worldlings now
xxxDo penitential jobs,
Exterminated species played
xxxWho had not read their Hobbes.

His continental damage done,
xxxLaid on an island shelf,
Napoleon has five years more
xxxTo talk about himself.

How fascinating is that class
xxxWhose only member is Me!
Sappho, Tiberius and I
xxxHold forth beside the sea.

What is cosier than the shore
xxxOf a lake turned inside out?
How do all these other people
xxxDare to be about?

In democratic nudity
xxxTheir sexes lie; except
By age or weight you could not tell
xxxThe keeping from the kept.

They go, she goes, thou goest, I go
xxxTo a mainland livelihood:
Farmer and fisherman complain
xxxThe other has it good.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:30 PM
Michael Ferris's Avatar
Michael Ferris Michael Ferris is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kingston, NY and San Francisco, CA
Posts: 710

Very nice, Walter. You're right on the 4th stanza. The 8th is also a wry commentary on beauty and the price to be paid for it. And do I hear a negative allusion to Donne in S6? At any rate, it made me think of him.

Thanks for posting it.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:29 PM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,732

Yes, I thought of Donne, too, and the Simon & Garfunkel song, which Auden wouldn't have known of course.

The stanzas are nicely sequenced in that the first two lines of each one could be interpreted as fitting the previous stanza until Auden switches the subject; for instance, the "continental damage" of S5 could be in reference to Hobbes' influence on political thought in Europe, until we learn that it is Napoleon to whom Auden refers; or between S3 and 4, the transportation of convicts to Australia at the eventual expense of that island's indigenous population.

Anyway, an excellent poem of Auden's I hadn't read until recently.
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