2014. augusztus 31., vasárnap

Ashley Anna McHugh: The Unquarried Blue of Those Depths Is All But Blinding

       for John Fogleman

There are some things we just don’t talk about—
Not even in the morning, when we’re waking,
When your calloused fingers tentatively walk
The slope of my waist:
                                 How love’s a rust-worn boat,
Abandoned at the dock—and who could doubt
Waves lick their teeth, eyeing its hull? We’re taking
Our wreckage as a promise, so we don’t talk.
We wet the tired oars, tide drawing us out.
We understand there’s nothing to be said.
Both of us know the dangers of this sea,
Warned by the tide-worn driftwood of our pasts—.
But we’ve already strayed from the harbor. We thread
A slow wake through the water—then silently,
We start to row, and will for as long as this lasts.

2014. augusztus 30., szombat

Simon Márton: Elalvás előtt

Mindegy, mi tölt be, tenyeret milyen mell,
milyen mélység, milyen mély levegő,
mindegy, miről hallgatsz és kihez
beszélsz álmodban, nem hallja;

nyugodj meg, és mintha valami sokkal
fontosabbra várnál, várd a reggelt,
fordulj a fal felé, csak képzeld azt, hogy
alszol, mint a beégett fotók a gépben

felejtve - egyébként strand, mosoly,
erdőszél, erdő.

2014. augusztus 29., péntek

Naomi Shihab Nye: Fresh

To move
Needing to be
Nowhere else.
Wanting nothing
From any store.
To lift something
You already had
And set it down in
A new place.
Awakened eye
Seeing freshly.
What does that do to
The old blood moving through
Its channels?

2014. augusztus 28., csütörtök

Ellen Bass: The Thing Is

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

2014. augusztus 27., szerda

A.P. Herbert: At the Theatre: To the Lady Behind Me

Dear Madam, you have seen this play;
I never saw it till today.
You know the details of the plot,
But, let me tell you, I do not.
The author seeks to keep from me
The murderer’s identity,
And you are not a friend of his
If you keep shouting who it is.
The actors in their funny way
Have several funny things to say,
But they do not amuse me more
If you have said them just before;
The merit of the drama lies,
I understand, in some surprise;
But the surprise must now be small
Since you have just foretold it all.
The lady you have brought with you
Is, I infer, a half-wit too,
But I can understand the piece
Without assistance from your niece.
In short, foul woman, it would suit
Me just as well if you were mute;
In fact, to make my meaning plain,
I trust you will not speak again.
And—may I add one human touch?—
Don’t breathe upon my neck so much.

2014. augusztus 26., kedd

Billy Collins: Reading an Anthology of Chinese Poems of the Sung Dynasty, I Pause To Admire the Length and Clarity of Their Titles

It seems these poets have nothing
up their ample sleeves
they turn over so many cards so early,
telling us before the first line
whether it is wet or dry,
night or day, the season the man is standing in,
even how much he has had to drink.
Maybe it is autumn and he is looking at a sparrow.
Maybe it is snowing on a town with a beautiful name.
“Viewing Peonies at the Temple of Good Fortune
on a Cloudy Afternoon” is one of Sun Tung Po’s.
“Dipping Water from the River and Simmering Tea”
is another one, or just
“On a Boat, Awake at Night.”
And Lu Yu takes the simple rice cake with
“In a Boat on a Summer Evening
I Heard the Cry of a Waterbird.
It Was Very Sad and Seemed To Be Saying
My Woman Is Cruel–Moved, I Wrote This Poem.”
There is no iron turnstile to push against here
as with headings like “Vortex on a String,”
“The Horn of Neurosis,” or whatever.
No confusingly inscribed welcome mat to puzzle over.
Instead, “I Walk Out on a Summer Morning
to the Sound of Birds and a Waterfall”
is a beaded curtain brushing over my shoulders.
And “Ten Days of Spring Rain Have Kept Me Indoors”
is a servant who shows me into the room
where a poet with a thin beard
is sitting on a mat with a jug of wine
whispering something about clouds and cold wind,
about sickness and the loss of friends.
How easy he has made it for me to enter here,
to sit down in a corner,
cross my legs like his, and listen.

2014. augusztus 25., hétfő

Yevgeny Yevtushenko: No, I’ll not take the half…

No, I’ll not take the half,
Give me the whole sky! The far-flung earth!
Seas and rivers and mountain avalanches–
All these are mine! I’ll accept no less!
No, life, you cannot woo me with a part.
Let it be all or nothing! I can shoulder that!
I don’t want happiness by halves,
Nor is half of sorrow what I want.
Yet there’s a pillow I would share,
Where gently pressed against a cheek,
Like a helpless star, a falling star,
A ring glimmers on a finger of your hand.

2014. augusztus 23., szombat

Simon Márton: Szeretnék lenni, de nem

Ezen a fotón csak a szemed látszik, meg a pléd,
amibe csavarva ültem én is, egyébként meztelenül,
egyszer. Amikor néhány napja véletlenül
összefutottunk egy szórakozóhelyen, végig erre,
a képre gondoltam – te közben illedelmesen érdeklődni
próbáltál a mivanvelemről, vagy valami más, közepesen
érdektelen dologról. Ha jól emlékszem nem
válaszoltam, de aztán hazafelé annyi eszembe jutott,
hogy semmi. Mit mondhattam volna? Hogy
egy szentimentális közhely szeretnék lenni a szádban?
Már hajnalodik. Ha lenne tévém, most bekapcsolnám.
Vagy épp ki. Ülök, a szoba üres, fehér fala
ilyenkor lesz kék. Mint akinek a szájába ment
egy szőke hajszál és képtelen szabadulni tőle,
csak ez jár a fejemben. Van ilyen. Hogy rájössz,
hogy semmi. És állsz és szédülsz és hallgatsz,
vagy ülsz 5:43-kor egy kanapén egyedül, egy másik plédbe
csavarva, közhelyeken rágódva. Olyan csöndben,
mint aki arra ébred, hogy ötvenhét éves, süket,
polinéz gyöngyhalász lett, aki egy fotóba szerelmes,
és valaki lélegezzen helyette, mert fölötte nyolc méter.

2014. augusztus 22., péntek

Paul Mitchell: Woman Leaves Poetry Seminar

          (for Kevin Brophy)
finished with the poetry thing
now I have to deal with
dirty nappies, screaming,
a husband who thinks poetry’s quaint
where is it all leading?
there it goes
through the traffic
leaving a trail of tail lights
smudging up the rain
there it is
carved up on a butcher’s tray
but not yet dead
& there it was
in the split of curtain
drawn down in Jesus’ last words
the poetry thing is over
the reading, the talking
now for the living
where the bloody poetry thing
keeps on appearing
leading to places
where words are used
to describe what words cannot
& I’m a fool that tries

2014. augusztus 21., csütörtök

Ellen Cole: The Poet Explains Why She Has Never Written A Love Poem

Poor clichés! Words like dear, sweet, nice and good
are banned from every poet’s lexicon, deemed meaningless
because their meaning has been drained away
from too much use, and nothing’s left but a shell.
All banned from every poet’s lexicon, meaningless
as an ice cream cone with the cream dripped out
from too much use, nothing left but the shell,
all crunch, no taste. A phrase like I love you
reduced to an ice cream cone, the cream dripped out.
Sweet words all neutralized from over use
all crunch, no taste. Phrases like I love you
make poor poems, and love poems are the worst
of all, sweet words neutralized from overuse.
Vanilla wafers stuffing every valentine.
Poor poems, love poems most of all,
disgust, and so, I euphemize, I similize.
I love you like vanilla wafers, Valentine.
You’re sweet as plain English, the crust in my pie.
See how I euphemize, I love you’s banned, unlike
this poem. In sweet plain English, my love’s
no pie crust fantasy. It’s full of meaning
and can never drain away. I love you, dear.
There. I said it. I’m no Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
but I can count the ways.

2014. augusztus 20., szerda

Dan Edwards: Mary Oliver’s Ducks

If I had Mary Oliver’s ducks,
          it would be a different story.
We might be talking
          National Book Award or better.
Mary Oliver’s ducks, or David Whyte’s
          – not to mention Annie Dillard’s –
          make life worth living
          no matter what your people are up to.
They quack and a quiet joi de vivre
          seeps into your soul.
But the ducks in my neighborhood
          are big and ugly,
          the size of geese and just as vicious.
Red, splotchy faces betraying some ancestral liaisons
          with turkey buzzards.
One has a wing that sticks straight out,
          – his badge of honor from a bar room brawl.
The ducks in my neighborhood
          chase the dogs.
          Even the menacing chow turns tail.
Large these ducks, but quick of webbed foot.
They hurry between your car and the porch,
          block your path, demanding bread,
                    then your watch.
You cannot write poems about such ducks.
Even Mark Strand could not
          – they have escaped from his disquiet dreams.
Oh but if I had Mary Oliver’s ducks,
          it would be a different story.

2014. augusztus 18., hétfő

Lyn Lifshin: On Trying To Like A Poem I Don’t Understand

the title seems clear
enough tho even after
7 readings, I’m not
sure what it mans.
Somehow, there are
boys and grasshoppers
and capitals in the
middle of a line.
Someone not there
is wanting something
so much he could do
anything to get it.
Adjectives and
jesters stud the poem
somebody must have
understood to give
it a prize. Somebody
in the poem is having
nightmares. Or they
could be dreams. In
fact, every image in the
poem could be what
ever you want it to be

2014. augusztus 16., szombat

Lator László: A rád zuhant idő alatt

A rád zuhant idő alatt
agyamban elsüllyedtél.
A sejtjeimbe zártalak,
világom része lettél.
Van úgy, hogy rád se gondolok,
de nem feledlek mégse,
s váratlanul felszínre dob
bensőm hullámverése.
S akár a kés, a gyötrelem
a rostjaimba mélyed,
hogy nemcsak bennem – kívülem
külön formádat éled.
A kútnál egyszer néztelek,
ívvé hajolt a hátad,
s éreztem, most is ellenem
emelsz magadban gátat.
Míg magát minden pillanat
a homlokodba ássa,
te máris készíted magad
az újabb változásra.
S hogy ott álltunk az elhagyott
paradicsomban társak,
szerettem volna szólni, hogy
nincs hozzád joga másnak.
De hallgattam. Vad kényszerek
szétágazó húzása tép.
Rossz nélküled. De meglehet,
ha volnál, nem volnál elég.

2014. augusztus 15., péntek

Marilyn Taylor: Cover Letter

Dear Sir or Madam: In this envelope
please find some poems that I have written.
I send them to you in the earnest hope
that you will read them and be wildly smitten.
In fact, you’ll jump up, cheering, from your chair
And holler out, *Hey, get a load of these!
We’ve got the poems of the decade here,
we’d better print them in our journal! Jeez,
is this a little miracle, or what?*
And then you’ll fax or phone me right away
to tell me that you’re breaking out a split
of Taittinger, to toast your lucky day
     and call me back to say you might as well
     FedEx my check this minute, what the hell.

2014. augusztus 14., csütörtök

Len Anderson: A Note on the Use of Metaphor

In the living room, perched
on the curtain rod above the open French door
is a female house sparrow. It is stunned
by the alien landscape
it has chanced onto
and the impenetrable
patch of clear glass sky
it has now flown into
three times. It glances here,
then there, perhaps feeling
for a moment its own end
rising in its throat. My wife pleads
with it, explains how
to fly down and out, then laments
that her words cannot speak
to its tiny body. At last, we drape
sheets over two wide brooms to form
tall gods and approach the bird,
these majestic beings looming above us,
until it flutters, turns down,
darts out into the spring air.

2014. augusztus 13., szerda

Celia Bland: Ars Geologica

Today I will teach you the poem of the wall.
Don’t plumb it. Stones
don’t allow uniformity
of line, although
some will break off outcroppings, digressive
noses with their hammers
but that’s a sin against
stones. Concentrate on fitting one
rock striated with quartz or hardened
lava into a rock
veined with pyrite, that almost-gold.
Then do it again with granite.
No mortar. Each rock must bear
the weight and share
the weight in three dimensions.
How high? Let the stones
have their say. Here,
put your ear to the wall.
Nothing? You must hear
the enjambment: stone
stONE, STONE, STone, stone.

2014. augusztus 12., kedd

Lyn Lifshin: Poetry Reading Benefit

there are women
in navy blue suits
who leave when some
one says prick in
a room where you
can hear it. It's
45 and there's only
cold apple juice.
Someone pulls a
blanket closer.
There is a long
haired pale, thin
woman in a rose
flowered dress
pulling her arms so
tight around her you
nearly hear a rib
crack. One poet
listens for lines
he can use and jots
them down on a
boot heel. None of
the poets have watches.
The mic hums and
buzzes, a nest of
bees a giant stamps
on. There is more pain
than apple juice.
The poet who talks
about splitting
wood and seeing his
breath over a
desolate frozen
stream has written
a thirty one part
poem about this.
Someone tries to listen,
sniffs patchoulli as
if that could help.
The poet who is
building his body takes
off his clothes and
reads a poem about
how people prefer wrestling
to poetry readings and for
the first time so far
the audience knows
what he means

2014. augusztus 11., hétfő

Wendell Berry: What We Need Is Here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

2014. augusztus 9., szombat

Zelk Zoltán: Vers a lehetről és a nem lehetről

A nem-lehetből, mondjad, még lehet
másképp lehet, vagy már csak így lehet,
hogy nem lehet más, csak a nem lehet?
Kimondanám már, hogy isten veled,
de fölsikolt bennem a nem lehet!
mert hajad, orrod, szájad és szemed -
mert az leszek, jaj, megint az leszek,
az a csordából kimart, seblepett,
kölyke-se-volt, nősténye-elveszett
csikasz, ki nyugtot csak akkor talál,
ha puskavégre fogja a halál.
De este lett, és olyan este lett,
megleltem újra arcod és kezed,
egymás szájába sírtuk: Nem lehet,
hogy már csak így, hogy másképp nem lehet!
és hajad, orrod, szájad és szemed.
S ki azt hittem, hogy élni ébredek,
megint csak itt, megint e dérlepett
falak között, megint a nem lehet.
Vacog a szív, veri a perceket,
veri, hogy nem, hogy nem, hogy nem lehet!
Ha megyek már az utcán, úgy megyek,
gázolva folyót, zihálva hegyet,
mert voltak folyók és voltak hegyek
és voltak évek, voltak emberek
és mi volt még! mi volt!
és azután
egy nyári perc december udvarán -
a vén remény… és voltak reggelek,
mikor veled, melletted ébredek
és hajad, orrod, szájad és szemed
s az ing, s a váll, s a paplanon kezed…
Úgy szól a szó, mint az emlékezet -
hát nincs szavam több és nem is lehet.

2014. augusztus 8., péntek

Richard Brautigan: 2

Everybody wants to go to bed
with everybody else, they're
lined up for blocks, so I'll
go to bed with you. They won't
miss us.

2014. augusztus 7., csütörtök

Naoshi Koriyama: A Loaf of Poetry

you mix
the dough
of experience
the yeast
of inspiration
and knead it well
with love
and pound it
with all your might
and then
leave it
it puffs out big
with its own inner force
and then
knead it again
shape it
into a round form
and bake it
in the oven
of your heart

2014. augusztus 6., szerda

Fujiwara No Kiyosuke: I May Live On

I may live on until
I long for this time
In which I am so unhappy,
And remember it fondly.

(translated from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth)

2014. augusztus 5., kedd

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Sonnet XLII

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

2014. augusztus 4., hétfő

Shel Silverstein: Bear In There

There's a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire--
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles,
He's munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he's in there--
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

2014. augusztus 2., szombat

Christian Morgenstern: A két párhuzamos

Két párhuzamos ment, járni
a végtelen teret,
egyenes lélek-pár, ki
szolid házból ered.
Nem akarták metszeni, ó jaj,
egymást, míg nem jön a vég:
jó támasz volt ez az óhaj,
és titkos büszkeség.
De midőn azután tíz vándor
fényév is elszaladt,
kiveszett a magányos párból
a földi gondolat.
Maguk se tudták, hogy még
Az örök fénybe folyt szét
két lélek fény-jele.
Őbenne egyesültek,
átfolyt rajtuk sugara,
mint két szeráf merültek
az öröklét karjaiba.

2014. augusztus 1., péntek

Nazim Hikmet: Angina Pectoris

If half my heart is here, doctor,
the other half is in China
with the army flowing
toward the Yellow River.
And, every morning, doctor,
every morning at sunrise my heart
is shot in Greece.
And every night, doctor,
when the prisoners are asleep and the infirmary is deserted,
my heart stops at a run-down old house
in Istanbul.
And then after ten years
all i have to offer my poor people
is this apple in my hand, doctor,
one read apple:
my heart.
And that, doctor, that is the reason
for this angina pectoris--
not nicotine, prison, or arteriosclerosis.
I look at the night through the bars,
and despite the weight on my chest
my heart still beats with the most distant stars.

(Translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk)