Daddy (PDF)

Document Sample
Daddy (PDF) Powered By Docstoc
					Daddy                                                        I have always been scared of you,
                                                             With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
                                                             And your neat moustache
You do not do, you do not do                                 And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Any more, black shoe                                         Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,                            Not God but a swastika
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.                           So black no sky could squeak through.
                                                             Every woman adores a Fascist,
Daddy, I have had to kill you.                               The boot in the face, the brute
You died before I had time--                                 Brute heart of a brute like you.
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one grey toe                             You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
Big as a Frisco seal                                         In the picture I have of you,
                                                             A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
And a head in the freakish Atlantic                          But no less a devil for that, no not
Where it pours bean green over blue                          Any less the black man who
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.                               Bit my pretty red heart in two.
Ach, du.                                                     I was ten when they buried you.
                                                             At twenty I tried to die
In the German tongue, in the Polish town                     And get back, back, back to you.
Scraped flat by the roller                                   I thought even the bones would do.
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.                          But they pulled me out of the sack,
My Polack friend                                             And they stuck me together with glue.
                                                             And then I knew what to do.
Says there are a dozen or two.                               I made a model of you,
So I never could tell where you                              A man in black with a Meinkampf look
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.                                   And a love of the rack and the screw.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.                                  And I said I do, I do.
                                                             So daddy, I'm finally through.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.                               The black telephone's off at the root,
Ich, ich, ich, ich,                                          The voices just can't worm through.
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.                              If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
And the language obscene                                     The vampire who said he was you
                                                             And drank my blood for a year,
An engine, an engine                                         Seven years, if you want to know.
Chuffing me off like a Jew.                                  Daddy, you can lie back now.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.                                  There's a stake in your fat black heart
I think I may well be a Jew.                                 And the villagers never liked you.
                                                             They are dancing and stamping on you.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of                    They always knew it was you.
Vienna                                                       Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird
luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
                                                                                                   Sylvia Plath
I may be a bit of a Jew.




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could                           The Track
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
                                                                As we climbed on the rough track
Then took the other, as just as fair,                           Up through the bush to the clear ground beyond
                                                                We heard the sudden patter of rain on fern-frond
And having perhaps the better claim,
                                                                And turned to see the heavy sky blue-black.
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there                            So we came out of the rain
Had worn them really about the same,                            To shelter of trees, and looking out at the wild
                                                                And darkened valley, I remembered how as a child
And both that morning equally lay                               I had stood thus behind a window pane.
In leaves no step had trodden black.                            Later the rain ceased
Oh, I kept the first for another day!                           And we rose from the crushed ferns and walked down
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,                            The track again. Over the foggy town
I doubted if I should ever come back.                           Clouds dividing showed a glint of blue from the east.

                                                                                                             James K. Baxter
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less travelled by,                               A Rope for Harry Fat
And that has made all the difference.
                                                                Oh some have killed in angry love
                                               Robert Frost       And some have killed in hate,
                                                                And some have killed in foreign lands
                                                                  To serve the business State.
                                                                The hangman’s hands are abstract hands
The Clod and the Pebble                                           Though sudden death they bring –
                                                                ‘The hangman keeps our country pure,’
“Love seeketh not Itself to please,
                                                                  Says Harry Fat the King.
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
                                                                Young love will kick the chairs about
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”
                                                                 And like a rush fire burn,
                                                                Desiring what it cannot have,
So sang a little Clod of Clay
                                                                 A true love in return.
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
                                                                Who knows what rage and darkness fall
But a Pebble of the brook
                                                                 When lovers’ thoughts grow cold?
Warbled out these metres meet.
                                                                ‘Whoever kills must pay the price,’
                                                                 Says Harry Fat the old.
“Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to Its delight,
                                                           With violent hands a young man tries
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
                                                             To mend the shape of life.
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.”
                                                           This one used a shotgun
                                                             And that one used a knife.
                                             William Blake
                                                           And who can see the issues plain
                                                             That vex our groaning dust?
                                                           ‘The Law is greater than the man,’
                                                             Says Harry Fat the just.
                                                                                              James K. Baxter
C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
         Do not go gentle into that good night
         Do not go gentle into that good night,
         Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
         Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

         Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
         Because their words had forked no lightning they
         Do not go gentle into that good night.

         Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
         Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
         Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

         Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
         And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
         Do not go gentle into that good night.

         Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
         Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
         Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

         And you, my father, there on the sad height,
         Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
         Do not go gentle into that good night.
         Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                                                Dylan Thomas


         Break, Break, Break

         Break, break, break
          On they cold gray stones, O Sea!
         And I would that my tongue could utter
          The thoughts that arise in me.

         O well for the fisherman’s boy,
           That he shouts with his sister at play!
         O well for the sailor lad,
          That he sings in his boat on the bay!

         And the stately ships go on
          To their haven under the hill;
         But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
          And the sound of a voice that is still!

         Break, break, break,
          At the foot of they crags, O Sea!
         But the tender grace of a day that is dead
          Will never come back to me.

                                    Alfred Lord Tennyson


C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
          Mending Wall
         SOMETHING there is that doesn’t love a wall,
         That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
         And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
         And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
         The work of hunters is another thing:
         I have come after them and made repair
         Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
         But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
         To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
         No one has seen them made or heard them made,
         But at spring mending-time we find them there.
         I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
         And on a day we meet to walk the line
         And set the wall between us once again.
         We keep the wall between us as we go.
         To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
         And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
         We have to use a spell to make them balance:
         “Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
         We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
         Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
         One on a side. It comes to little more:
         There where it is we do not need the wall:
         He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
         My apple trees will never get across
         And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
         He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
         Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
         If I could put a notion in his head:
         “Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it
         Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
         Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
         What I was walling in or walling out,
         And to whom I was like to give offence.
         Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
         That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
         But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
         He said it for himself. I see him there
         Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
         In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
         He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
         Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
         He will not go behind his father’s saying,
         And he likes having thought of it so well
         He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
                                                                     Robert Frost




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
Just Jealous                                          FIVE WAYS TO KILL A MAN
'They're just jealous'                                There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man:
My mum used to say to me                              you can make him carry a plank of wood
When I came crying                                    to the top of a hill and nail him to it. To do this
Home from school                                      properly you require a crowd of people
Saying they'd called me 'nigger'                      wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak
And it made sense then                                to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one
Because I liked my brown skin.                        man to hammer the nails home.

But it didn't make sense                              Or you can take a length of steel,
In later years                                        shaped and chased in a traditional way,
When a man drove his car                              and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
At me on a beach                                      But for this you need white horses,
Shouting 'black bastard'                              English trees, men with bows and arrows,
He wasn't ‘just jealous'                              at least two flags, a prince and a
He was angry that I'd answered back.                  castle to hold your banquet in.

Yet I can't say                                       Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
She was wrong to say it                               allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
Thinking today of a black child in care               a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
Scrubbing her skin till it bleeds                     not to mention black boots, bomb craters,
Trying to make it white                               more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs
I wanted to say                                       and some round hats made of steel.
'Didn't anyone ever tell you
That your black skin is nice                          In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly
And they're all just jealous.'                        miles above your victim and dispose of him by
                                                      pressing one small switch. All you then
And when my own daughter                              require is an ocean to separate you, two
comes home from school                                systems of government, a nation's scientists,
Asking why they call her 'Paki'                       several factories, a psychopath and
Shall I say ‘just jealous'                            land that no one needs for several years.
Or try to explain
The centuries of racism                               These are, as I began, cumbersome ways
That are heaped behind that word?                     to kill a man. Simpler, direct, and much more neat
                                                      is to see that he is living somewhere in the middle
                                                      of the twentieth century, and leave him there.
And will it make more sense
Than what my mum said to me?
                                                                                             Edwin Brock

                   Seni Seneviratne




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
Mirror
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful -
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman

Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

                                                Sylvia Plath


MEDITATION ON THE A30
A man on his own in a car
 Is revenging himself on his wife;
He opens the throttle and bubbles with dottle
 And puffs at his pitiful life.

'She's losing her looks very fast,
  She loses her temper all day;
That lorry won't let me get past,
  This Mini is blocking my way.

'Why can't you step on it and shift her!
  I can't go on crawling like this!
At breakfast she said she wished I was dead -
  Thank heavens we don't have to kiss.

'I'd like a nice blonde on my knee
   And one who won't argue or nag.
Who dares to come hooting at me?
   I only give way to a Jag.

'You're barmy or plastered, I'll pass you, you bastard -
  I will overtake you. I will!'
As he clenches his pipe, his moment is ripe
  And the corner's accepting its kill.

                                         John Betjeman


C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
        Toads                                                To an Athlete Dying Young
Why should I let the toad work
                                                             The time you won your town the race
 Squat on my life?
                                                             We chaired you through the market-place;
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
                                                             Man and boy stood cheering by,
 And drive the brute off?
                                                             And home we brought you shoulder-high.
Six days of the week it soils
                                                             Today, the road all runners come,
  With its sickening poison-
                                                             Shoulder-high we bring you home,
Just for paying a few bills!
                                                             And set you at your threshold down,
  That's out of proportion.
                                                             Townsman of a stiller town.
Lots of folk live on their wits:
                                                             Smart lad, to slip betimes away
  Lecturers, lispers,
                                                             From fields where glory does not stay
Losels, loblolly-men, louts--
                                                             And early though the laurel grows
  They don't end as paupers.
                                                             It withers quicker than the rose.
Lots of folk live up lanes
  With a fire in a bucket;                                   Eyes the shady night has shut
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines—                           Cannot see the record cut,
  They seem to like it.                                      And silence sounds no worse than cheers
                                                             After earth has stopped the ears.
Their nippers have got bare feet,
 Their unspeakable wives                                     Now you will not swell the rout
Are skinny as whippets-and yet                               Of lads that wore their honours out,
 No one actually starves.                                    Runners whom renown outran
                                                             And the name died before the man.
Ah, were I courageous enough
 To shout Stuff your pension!                                So set, before its echoes fade,
But I know, all too well, that's the stuff                   The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
  That dreams are made on.                                   And hold to the low lintel up
                                                             The still-defended challenge-cup.
For something sufficiently toad-like
   Squats in me too;                                         And round that early-laurelled head
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,                          Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
   And cold as snow,                                         And find unwithered on its curls
                                                             The garland briefer than a girl’s.
And will never allow me to blarney
 My way to getting                                                                                  A.E. Housman
The fame and the girl and the money
  All at one sitting.

I don't say, one bodies the other
   One's spiritual truth;
But I do say it's hard to lose either,
   When you have both.

                                Philip Larkin




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
TELEPHONE CONVERSATION

The price seemed reasonable, location
Indifferent. The landlady swore she lived
Off premises. Nothing remained
But self-confession. 'Madam', I warned,
'I hate a wasted journey – I am African.'
Silence. Silenced transmission of
Pressurized good-breeding. Voice, when it came,
Lipstick coated, long gold-rolled
Cigarette-holder pipped. Caught 1 was, foully.
‘HOW DARK?'. . . I had not misheard . . . 'ARE YOU LIGHT
OR VERY DARK?' Button B. Button A. Stench
Of rancid breath of public hide-and-speak.
Red booth. Red pillar-box. Red double-tiered
Omnibus squelching tar. It was real! Shamed
By ill-mannered silence, surrender
Pushed dumbfoundment to beg simplification.
Considerate she was, varying the emphasis --
‘ARE YOU DARK? OR VERY LIGHT?' Revelation came.
'You mean -- like plain or milk chocolate?'
Her assent was clinical, crushing in its light
Impersonality. Rapidly, wave-length adjusted,
I chose. 'West African sepia'- and as afterthought,
'Down in my passport'. Silence for spectroscopic
Flight of fancy, till truthfulness clanged her accent
Hard on the mouthpiece. ‘WHAT'S THAT?’ conceding
‘DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT IS,’ ‘Like brunette.’
‘THAT'S DARK, ISN'T IT?’ ‘Not altogether.
Facially, I am brunette, but, madam, you should see
The rest of me. Palm of my hand, soles of my feet
Are a peroxide blond. Friction, caused -
Foolishly, madam - by sitting down, has turned
My bottom raven black - One moment, madam!'- sensing
Her receiver rearing on the thunderclap
About my ears -'Madam', I pleaded, 'wouldn't you rather
See for yourself?'

                                                Wole Soyinka




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
Death of a Naturalist

All year the flax-dam festered in the heart
Of the townland; green and heavy headed
Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods.
Daily it sweltered in the punishing sun.
Bubbles gargled delicately, bluebottles
Wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell.
There were dragon-flies, spotted butterflies,
But best of all was the warm thick slobber
Of frogspawn that grew like clotted water
In the shade of the banks. Here, every spring
I would fill jampotfuls of the jellied
Specks to range on window-sills at home,
On shelves at school, and wait and watch until
The fattening dots burst into nimble-
Swimming tadpoles. Miss Walls would tell us how
The daddy frog was called a bullfrog
And how he croaked and how the mammy frog
Laid hundreds of little eggs and this was
Frogspawn. You could tell the weather by frogs too
For they were yellow in the sun and brown
In rain.

Then one hot day when fields were rank
With cowdung in the grass the angry frogs
Invaded the flax-dam: I ducked through hedges
To a coarse croaking that I had not heard
Before. The air was thick with a bass chorus.
Right down the darn gross-bellied frogs were cocked
On sods: their loose necks pulsed like sails. Some hopped:
The slap and plop were obscene threats. Some sat
Poised like mud grenades, their blunt beads farting.
I sickened, turned, and ran. The great slime kings
Were gathered there for vengeance and I knew
That if I dipped my band the spawn would clutch it.

                                               Seamus Heaney




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
OPEN YOUR EYES
                                                                CRABBED AGE AND YOUTH
Open your eyes
Open them wide                                                  Grabbed Age and Youth
See what they're doing to you                                   Cannot live together:
Then run and hide                                               Youth is full of pleasance,
Don't believe me then                                           Age is full of care;
But it's the truth                                              Youth like summer mom,
You've all been brainwashed                                     Age like winter weather;
On my honour-struth!                                            Youth like summer brave,
Well here it is                                                 Age like winter bare.
No punches pulled
                                                                Youth is full of sport,
It's nuclear war kid
Don't pull down the wool                                        Age's breath is short;
There's other names too                                         Youth is nimble, Age is lame;
Two are death and destruction                                   Youth is hot and hold,
Listen kid, we're not playing                                   Age is weak, and cold;
Video games now                                                 Youth is wild, and Age is tame.
It's for real this time kid                                     Age, 1 do abhor thee;
They've all said it would never happen                          Youth, 1 do adore thee;
But any minute now kid                                          O, my Love, my Love is young!
They're going to find out the truth                             Age, 1 do defy thee:
Well                                                            O, sweet shepherd, hie thee!
That's how it is                                                For methinks thou stay'st too long.
That's life
Sorry kid, if you haven't been able                                                       William Shakespeare
To live a full life
That’s just the way the cookie crumbles
Everyone's ignored the signs too long                      Nora Criona
They should have listened
When they had the chance                                   I have looked him round and looked him through,
Ya know                                                    Know everything that he will do
I'd give something, everything,
Anything, just to live
But it's too late.                                         In such a case, and such a case;
I know it's a struggle kid                                 And when a frown comes on his face
To understand what I'm saying
After all, you're so young                                 I dream of it, and when a smile
I just hope that like me                                   I trace its sources in a while.
You know it's time to pray.
                                                           He cannot do a thing but I
                                    Juanita Marcic         Peep to find the reason why;

                                                           For I love him, and I seek,
                                                           Every evening in the week,

                                                           To peep behind his frowning eye
                                                           With little query, little pry,

                                                           And make him, if a woman can,
                                                           Happier than any man.

                                                           -Yesterday he gripped her tight
                                                           And cut her throat. And serve her right!

                                                                                             James Stephens
C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
CONFESSIONS OF A BORN SPECTATOR
One infant grows up and becomes a Jockey,
Another plays basketball or hockey,
This one the prize ring hastes to enter,
That one becomes tackle or centre.
I’m just as glad as I can be
That I’m not them, that they're not me.

With an my heart do I admire
Athletes who sweat for fun or hire,
Who take the field in gaudy pomp
And maim each other as they romp;
My limp and bashful spirit feeds
On other people's heroic deeds.

Now A runs ninety yards to score;
B knocks the champion to the floor;
C, risking vertebrae and spine,
Lashes his steed across the line.
You’d think my ego it would please
to swap positions with one of these.

Well, ego might be pleased enough,
But zealous athletes play so rough;
They do not ever, in their dealings,
Consider one another's feelings.
I'm glad that when my struggle begins.
‘Twixt prudence and ego, prudence wins.

When swollen eye meets gnarled fist,
When snaps the knee, and cracks the wrist,
When calm officialdom demands,
Is there a doctor in the stands?
My soul in true thanksgiving speaks
For this most modest of physiques.

Athletes, I’ll drink to you or eat with you,
Or anything except compete with you;
Buy tickets worth their weight in radium
To watch you gambol in a stadium,
And reassure myself anew
That you're not me and I'm not you,

                                             Ogden Nash




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
THE REBEL                                                       At the Drop-in Centre

When everybody has short hair,                                  They sit, stand, lean
The rebel lets his hair grow long.                              around tables, at counters, on walls.
                                                                They play yatsze and pool,
When everybody has long hair,                                   scrounge money for snacks,
The rebel cuts his hair short.
                                                                queue for the video game,
When everybody talks during the lesson,                         leaf through magazines,
The rebel doesn’t say a word.                                   light cigarette after cigarette -
                                                                a permitted vice.
When nobody talks during the lesson,
The rebel creates a disturbance.                                Smoke hangs like boredom
                                                                till the thrill of a sudden wind
When everybody wears a uniform,                                 clears the room. The cops blow in.
The rebel dresses in fantastic clothes.                         A youth worker's complained,
                                                                but the kid and the knife's disappeared.
When everybody wears fantastic clothes,
                                                                The law ambles off to check.
The rebel dresses soberly.
                                                                the rest slink back like a herd to the waterhole
In the company of dog lovers,                                   after lions have scented other game.
The rebel expresses a preference for cats.
                                                                They've memorised the warnings on the walls:
In the company of cat lovers,                                   No offensive language. No offensive weapons.
The rebel puts in a good word for dogs.                         This is a safe place.
                                                                A place where no one can find them,
When everybody is praising the sun,                             but their parents (if they bother to look)
The rebel remarks on the need for rain.                         and their enemies (who know their haunts).

When everybody is greeting the rain,           Day after day they return,
The rebel regrets the absence of sun.          odd bits of metal to the magnet.
                                               (The youth workers joke, advise,
When everybody goes to the meeting,            even plan trips, become unobtrusive.)
The rebel stays at home and reads a book.      They think the Centre is theirs.
                                               Empty the ashtrays, sweep the floors,
When everybody stays at home and reads a book, defend it against the blow-ins
The rebel goes to the meeting.                 with bongs under their jackets
                                               after late-night shopping.
When everybody says, Yes please,
The rebel says, No thank you.                  Soon they don't rubbish Christians,
                                               start turning up to class or the CES,
When everybody says, No thank you,             begin working an hour or two at the Caf.
The rebel says, Yes please.                    When they find they're missing the place
                                               and are missed,
It is very good that we have rebels,           when they know they're fully addicted,
You may not find it very good to be one.       they are ready to think of leaving.
                                                                                     Jeri Kroll
                                D. J. Enright




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
  Song of the Battery Hen
                                                                     AUTO WRECK
We can't grumble about accommodation
                                                                     Its quick soft silver bell, beating, beating,
we have a new concrete floor that's
                                                                     And down the dark one ruby flare
always dry, four walls that are
                                                                     Pulsing out red light like an artery,
painted white, and a sheet-iron roof
                                                                     The ambulance at top speed floating down
the rain drums on. A fan blows warm air
                                                                     Past beacons and illuminated clocks
beneath our feet to disperse the smell
                                                                     Wings in a heavy curve, dips down,
of chicken-shit and, on dull days,
                                                                     And brakes speed, entering the crowd.
fluorescent lighting sees us.
                                                                     The doors leap open, emptying light;
                                                                     Stretchers are laid out, the mangled lifted
You can tell me: if you come by
                                                                     And stowed into the little hospital.
the North door, I am in the twelfth pen
on the left-hand side of the third row
                                                                     Then the bell, breaking the hush, tolls once,
from the floor; and in that pen
                                                                     And the ambulance with its terrible cargo
I am usually the middle one of three.
                                                                     Rocking, slightly rocking, moves away,
But, even without directions, you'd
                                                                     As the doors, an afterthought, are closed.
discover me. I have the same orange-
                                                                     We are deranged, walking among the cops
red comb, yellow beak and auburn
                                                                     Who sweep glass and are large and composed.
feathers, but as the door -opens and you
                                                                     One is still making notes under the light.
hear above the electric fan a kind of
                                                                     One with a bucket douches ponds of blood
one-word wail, I am the one
                                                                     Into the street and gutter.
who sounds loudest in my head.
                                                                     One hangs lanterns on the wrecks that cling,
                                                                     Empty husks of locusts, to iron poles.
Listen. Outside this house there's
an orchard with small moss-green apple
                                                                     Our throats were tight as tourniquets,
trees; beyond that, two fields of
                                                                     Our feet were bound with splints, but now,
cabbages; then, on the far side of
                                                                     like convalescents intimate and gauche,
the road, a broiler house. Listen:
                                                                     We speak through sickly smiles and warn
one cockerel grows out of there, as
                                                                     With the stubborn saw of common sense,
tall and proud as the first hour of sun.
                                                                     The grim joke and the banal resolution.
Sometimes I stop calling with the others
to listen, and wonder if he bears me.                                The traffic "yes around with care,
                                                                     But we remain, touching a wound
The next time you come here, look for me.                            That opens to our richest horror.
Notice the way I sound inside my head.                               Already old, the question Who shall die?
God made us all quite differently,                                   Becomes unspoken Who is innocent?
and blessed with this expensive home.                                For death in war is done by hands;
                                                                     Suicide has cause and stillbirth, logic;
                                      Edwin Brock                    And cancer, simple as a flower, blooms.

                                                                     But this invites the occult mind,
                                                                     Cancels our physics with a sneer,
                                                                     And spatters all we know of denouement
                                                                     Across the expedient and wicked stones.
                                                                                                       Karl Shapiro




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
Funeral Blues
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
                                               W. H. Auden

An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum
Far far from gusty waves, these children’s faces.
Like rootless weeds the torn hair round their paleness,
The tall girl with her weighed-down head. The paper-
seeming boy with rat’s eyes. The stunted unlucky heir
Of twisted bones, reciting a father’s gnarled disease,
His lesson from his desk. At back of the dim class,
One unnoted, sweet and young: his eyes live in a dream
Of squirrels’ game, in tree room, other than this.

On sour cream walls, donations. Shakespeare’s head
Cloudless at dawn, civilized dome riding all cities.
Belled, flowery, Tyrolese valley. Open-handed map
Awarding the world its world. And yet, for these
Children, these windows, not this world, are world,
Where all their future’s painted with a fog,
A narrow street sealed in with a lead sky,
Far far from rivers, capes, and stars of words.

Surely Shakespeare is wicked, the map a bad example
With ships and sun and love tempting them to steal –
For lives that slyly turn their cramped holes
From fog to endless night? On their slag heap,
           these children
Wear skins peeped through by bones and spectacles of steel
With mended glass, like bottle bits on stones.
All of their time and space are foggy slum
So blot their maps with slums as big as doom.

Unless, governor, teacher, inspector, visitor,
This map becomes their window and these windows
That open on their lives like crouching tombs
Break, O break open, till they break the town
And show the children to the fields and all their world
Azure on their sands, to let their tongues
Run naked into books, the white and green leaves open
The history theirs whose language is the sun.
C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
                                                Stephen Spender




A Slice of Wedding Cake
Why have such scores of lovely, gifted girls
  Married impossible men?
Simple self-sacrifice may be ruled out,
  And missionary endeavour, nine times out of ten.

Repeat 'impossible men': not merely rustic,
  Foul-tempered or depraved
(Dramatic foils chosen to show the world
  How well women behave, and always have behaved).

Impossible men: idle, illiterate,
  Self-pitying, dirty, sly,
For whose appearance even in City parks
  Excuses must be made to casual passers-by.

 Has God's supply of tolerable husbands
  Fallen, in fact, so low?
 Or do I always over-value woman
  At the expense of man?
                           Do I?
                                    It might be so.

                                                      Robert Graves




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
Grandparents

They're altogether otherworldly now,
those adults champing for their ritual Friday spin
to pharmacist and five-and-ten in Brockton.
Back in my throw-away and shaggy span
of adolescence, Grandpa still waves his stick
like a policeman;
Grandmother, like a Mohammedan, still wears her thick
lavender mourning and touring veil,
the Pierce Arrow clears its throat in a horse-stall.
Then the dry road dust rises to whiten
the fatigued elm leaves--
the nineteenth century, tired of children, is gone.
They're all gone into a world of light; the farm's my own.
The farm's my own!
Back there alone,
I keep indoors, and spoil another season.
I hear the rattly little country gramophone
racking its five foot. horn:
'O Summer Time!'
Even at noon here the formidable
Ancien Régime still keeps nature at a distance. Five
green shaded light bulbs spider the billiards-table,
no field is greener than its cloth,
where Grandpa, dipping sugar for us both,
once spilled his demitasse.
His favourite ball, the number three,
still hides the coffee stain.
Never again
to walk there, chalk our cues,
insist on shooting for us both.
Grandpa! Have me, hold me, cherish me!
Tears smut my fingers. There
half my life-lease later,

                                    Robert Lowell




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc
Parable of the Russian Emigres
It was in the year twenty
or perhaps twenty-one
the Russian émigrés
came to us

tall blond people
with visionary eyes
and women like a dream

when they crossed the market-place
we used to say-migratory birds

they used to attend the soirées of the gentry
everyone would whisper-look what pearls

but when the lights of the ball were extinguished
helpless people remained

the grey newspapers were continuously silent
only solitaire showed pity

the guitars beyond the windows would cease playing
and even dark eyes faded

in the evening a samovar with a whistle
would carry them back to their family railway-stations

after a couple of years
only three of them were spoken about
the one who went mad
the one who hanged himself
she to whom men used to come

the rest lived out of the way
slowly turning into dust

         This parable is told by Nicholas
         who understands historical necessities
         in order to terrify me i.e. to convince me

                                               Zbigniew Herbert




C:\Documents and Settings\dhayn16\My Documents\POEMS - YEAR 12.doc

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:180
posted:8/25/2011
language:English
pages:17