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  #21  
Unread 04-20-2022, 06:24 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is online now
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Antwerp, 1961

There was a time when mornings were defined
by bicycles, and sturdy girls who rode them
to their office jobs through cold, damp, still dark
Flanders winter mornings: full of laughter,
as they lingered in the downstairs hall;
sweater sleeves pulled down to fingertips,
bare, unshaven legs chapped flaming red.

A time to pass the shell-pocked fronts of houses,
and see, and yet not see; look past the scars,
wash blood from clotted blood, put stone on stone,
restore the earth, rebuild and resurrect,
and do not ask whose blood, what earth, which God,
but hope that something had been learned in blood.
There was this time, one time, and then it passed.


Two Love Stories

Her Princeton MFA, his partnership.
A turquoise choker with a silver clasp,
two Breuer chairs, an auntís pied-a-terre,
a Baskin woodblock print. An opening
at Sothebyís, a brightly patterned vest,
a small tattoo, the scent of cloves, cocaine.
A nose once mangled in a rugby match.
The Parthenon, Antarctica, Beijing.

Her denim wedding skirt, his Zuni blood,
a way of always laughing after sex.
Two spotted dogs, a uniform, a cat
that jumps on strangerís laps, some paperbacks.
A chance to leave the pueblo far behind.
A neatly folded flag, a body bag.
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  #22  
Unread 04-25-2022, 03:57 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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This is by Cavafy as translated by Stratis Haviaras. The setting is about 175 BC. The Greek original is in Haviaras’ book, Cavafy, The Canon. I recommend it. It’s ecphrastic in a very important sense.

Craftsman of Wine Krateres

On this wine krater fashioned from purest silver—
custom-made for the house of Herakleides,
where taste of the highest order reigns supreme—
regard the delicate flowers, the streams, the thyme,
within which I’ve set a lovely young man,
sensual and naked, a leg yet dangling in the water.
O memory, I implored, guide well my efforts
as I render this young face I loved as it once was.
The undertaking, as it turned out, was difficult, in that
nearly fifteen years had passed since the day
he died, a soldier fallen in the defeat at Magnesia.

Last edited by Allen Tice; 04-26-2022 at 11:14 AM.
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  #23  
Unread 04-25-2022, 04:19 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is online now
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Did you mean to post this on the new Art Poetry and Image thread?
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  #24  
Unread 04-26-2022, 09:00 AM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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No. I put it here because of the death of the soldier at the end. Although the specific people and bowl are imaginary, the conflict and defeat are not. There are actual bowls as incredible as this imagined one. Perhaps I can locate a photo link to one. Itís a masterpiece of art that constructs a convincing ache at warís useless destruction. If the lamented individual had been a young non-combatant woman, the narratorís sorrow would have required a different last line, perhaps her being captured and sold off. I know that it might seem a stretch to put it here, but the narrator still feels the powerful individual loss.

Τεχνουργός κρατήρων

Εις τον κρατήρα αυτόν xx από αγνόν ασήμι ó
που για του Ηρακλείδη xx έγινε την οικία,
ένθα καλαισθησία xx πολλή επικρατεί ó
ιδού άνθη κομψά, xx και ρύακες, και θύμοι,
κí έθεσα εν τω μέσω xx έναν ωραίον νέον,
γυμνόν, ερωτικόν∑ xx μες στο νερό την κνήμη
την μια του έχει ακόμη.ó xx Ικέτευσα, ω μνήμη,
να σí εύρω βοηθόν xx αρίστην, για να κάμω
του νέου που αγαπούσα xx το πρόσωπον ως ήταν.
Μεγάλη η δυσκολία xx απέβη επειδή
ως δέκα πέντε χρόνια xx πέρασαν απí την μέρα
που έπεσε, στρατιώτης, xx στης Μαγνησίας την ήτταν.

Last edited by Allen Tice; 04-28-2022 at 03:43 PM.
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  #25  
Unread 04-29-2022, 08:02 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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https://brewminate.com/wp-content/up...Rome-Roman.jpg

https://i.pinimg.com/474x/e0/92/ec/e...eum-a-bowl.jpg

These illustrate what Cavafy was imagining. Neither is precise. I have not located right now my own photo of a Roman silver head whose features could be distinct enough for the poem, though Cavafyís description of the body and pool are lacking.
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  #26  
Unread 05-01-2022, 12:06 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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An old poem of mine I found in my files:

I Didnít See the Parade

I didnít see the parade this morning, no;
what I saw were blooms that glow in the sun and grow.
I didnít hear loud trumpet, cymbal, drum;
from songs of birds, with light I was overcome.
I didnít feel the gravity of the day;
I felt the warmth that launches June from May.
I heard the wind, like flutes, sough through the trees
and knew that war will never silence these.
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  #27  
Unread 05-02-2022, 08:01 AM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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The Heart of Hell

A theater where thousands shelter
as in a tombóthey swelter
dreaming of water and food,
falling as infants squall.
A maternity hospitaló
falling, they canít elude
the missiles and bombs which batter
peaceful towns, vibrant cities, a nation.
Apartments in high-rises shatter.
They fear annihilation.
They flee by the millions. An age
has begun. And who can gauge
whether this is the final stage
of humankind or the birth
of a more harmonious Earth?
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  #28  
Unread 05-09-2022, 12:43 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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It wasn't until it was recently published that I remembered the poem I posted earlier had been revised.

Slaughter

What you see are the remains:

the woodland, the smoke, the retreating flames.

Somewhere, perhaps, in a far-away country

the sky is bluer and roses cling to a stone wall,

palm trees lull a milder wind.

Here there is nothing.

Here there is nothing but snow on the branches of the spruce.

Here there is nothing to kiss with warm lips.

Here lips grow cold with time.

And you claim, my child, your heart is brave.
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