Selected Poems

The Brain | Emily DICKINSON

After Great Pain | Emily DICKINSON

One Flower | Jack KEROUAC

Mexico city blues - 121th Chorus | Jack KEROUAC

Written While Drunk in Lake-View Pavilion on the 27th Day of the Sixth Month | SU DONGPO (1037- 1101)

Haiku | BASHO

You Were My Death | Paul CELAN

If, After I Die | Fernando PESSOA

Drinking Alone By Moonlight | LI PO (701-762)

Que ferais-je sans ce monde - What would I do without this world | Samuel BECKETT

Alone with Everybody| Charles BUKOWSKI

Epitaph on a Tyrant | W. H. AUDEN



The Brain - Emily DICKINSON

 

THE brain is wider than the sky,
        For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
        With ease, and you beside.

The brain is deeper than the sea,
        For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
        As sponges, buckets do.

The brain is just the weight of God,
        For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
        As syllable from sound.


After Great Pain - Emily DICKINSON

After great pain, a formal feeling comes--
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round--
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought--
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone--

This is the Hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons recollect the Snow--
First - Chill - then Stupor - then the letting go--


One Flower - Jack KEROUAC

 

One flower
on the cliffside
Nodding at the canyon



Mexico city blues - 121th Chorus - Jack KEROUAC


Everything is in the same moment
It doesnt matter how much money you have
It's happening feebly now,
         the works
I can taste uneaten food
         I'll find
In the next city
         in this dream

I can feel the iron railroads
like marshmallow

I cant tell the difference
between mental and real

It's all happening
It wont end
It'll be good
The money that was to have been spent
          on the backward nations
of the world, has already been
          spent in Forward Time

Forward to the Sea,
           and the Sea Comes back to you
           and there's no escaping
           when you're a fish
           the nets of summer destiny


Written While Drunk in Lake-View Pavilion on the 27th Day of the Sixth Month - SU DONGPO(1037- 1101)

Black cloud fly ink not cover hills
White rain leap drops random into boat
Sweep earth wind come suddenly blow disperse
View lake downstairs water like sky

The inky clouds fly in, but do not hide the hills,
As random drops of white rain leap into the boats.
A sudden wind arrives and sweeps across the earth,
Below I see the lake a mirror of the sky.

Haiku - BASHO

 

Nothing in the cry
of cicadas suggests they
are about to die

From The Essential Basho, Translated by Sam Hamill.  Published by Shambala in Boston, 1999.


You Were My Death - Paul CELAN

You were my death:
you I could hold
when all fell away from me.


If, After I Die - Fernando PESSOA

If, after I die, they should want to write my biography,
There's nothing simpler.
I've just two dates - of my birth, and of my death.
In between the one thing and the other all the days are
mine.

I am easy to describe.
I lived like mad.
I loved things without any sentimentality.
I never had a desire I could not fulfil, because
I never went blind.
Even hearing was to me never more than an
accompaniment of seeing.
I understood that things are real and all different from
each other;
I understood it with the eyes, never with thinking.
To understand it with thinking would be to find them
all equal.

One day I felt sleepy like a child.
I closed my eyes and slept.
And by the way, I was only Nature poet.

Translated by J.Griffin.


Drinking Alone By Moonlight - LI PO
Three Poems

1

A cup of wine, under the flowering trees;
I drink alone, for no friend is near.
Raising my cup I beckon the bright moon,
For he, with my shadow, will make three men.
The moon, alas, is no drinker of wine;
Listless, my shadow creeps about at my side.
Yet with the moon as friend and the shadow as slave
I must make merry before the Spring is spent.
To the songs I sing the moon flickers her beams;
In the dance I weave my shadow tangles and breaks.
While we were sober, three shared the fun;
Now we are drunk, each goes his way.
May we long share our odd, inanimate feast,
And meet at last on the Cloudy River of the sky.

2

IN the third month the town of Hsien-yang
Is thick-spread with a carpet of fallen flowers.
Who in Spring can bear to grieve alone?
Who, sober, look on sights like these?
Riches and Poverty, long or short life,
By the Maker of Things are portioned and disposed;
But a cup of wine levels life and death
And a thousand things obstinately hard to prove.
When I am drunk, I lose Heaven and Earth,
Motionless—I cleave to my lonely bed.
At last I forget that I exist at all,
And at that moment my joy is great indeed.

3

If high heaven had no love for wine,
There would not be a Wine Star in the sky.
If Earth herself had no love for wine,
'There would not be a city called Wine Springs.
Since Heaven and Earth both love wine,
I can love wine, without shame before God.
Clear wine was once called a Saint;
Thick wine was once called "a Sage."
Of Saint and Sage I have long quaffed deep,
What need for me to study spirits and hsien?
At the third cup I penetrate the Great Way;
A full gallon—Nature and I are one ...
But the things I feel when wine possesses my soul

Que ferais-je sans ce monde - Samuel Beckett

que ferais-je sans ce monde sans visage sans questions
où être ne dure qu'un instant où chaque instant
verse dans le vide dans l'oubli d'avoir été
sans cette onde où à la fin
corps et ombre ensemble s'engloutissent
que ferais-je sans ce silence gouffre des murmures
haletant furieux vers le secours vers l'amour
sans ce ciel qui s'élève
sur la poussière de ses lests
 
 

que ferais-je je ferais comme hier comme aujourd'hui
regardant par mon hublot si je ne suis pas seul
à errer et à virer loin de toute vie
dans un espace pantin
sans voix parmi les voix
enfermées avec moi

 
 

What would I do without this world - Samuel Beckett

what would I do without this world faceless incurious
where to be lasts but an instant where every instant
spills in the void the ignorance of having been
without this wave where in the end
body and shadow together are engulfed
what would I do without this silence where the murmurs die
the pantings the frenzies towards succour towards love
without this sky that soars
above its ballast dust
 
 

what would I do what I did yesterday and the day before
peering out of my deadlight looking for another
wandering like me eddying far from all the living
in a convulsive space
among the voices voiceless
that throng my hiddenness

 
 

Translated by Beckett himself

Alone with Everybody - Charles Bukowski

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

 

there's no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else
fills.

"Alone with everybody", by Charles Bukowski
From "Love is a dog from hell (Poems 1974-1977)."

Epitaph on a Tyrant - W.H AUDEN

 

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
 

From Another Time by W. H. Auden, published by Random House. Copyright © 1940 W. H. Auden, renewed by The Estate of W. H. Auden. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.