Poetry Corner

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Motivation for this latest addition to our Literature section is simple; providing a space for all readers to post their favorite poems (all languages accepted, as long as accompanied by an English translation, please).

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The Pleasures of Hating

by Laure-Anne Bosselaar


I hate Mozart. Hate him with that healthy
pleasure one feels when exasperation has

crescendoed, when lungs, heart, throat,
and voice explode at once: I hate that! —

there’s bliss in this, rapture. My shrink
tried to disabuse me, convinced I use Amadeus

as a prop: Think further; your father perhaps?
I won’t go back, think of the shrink

with a powdered wig, pinched lips, mole:
a transference, he’d say, a relapse: so be it.

I hate broccoli, chain saws, patchouli, bra-
clasps that draw dents in your back, roadblocks,

men in black kneesocks, sandals and shorts —
I love hating that. Loathe stickers on tomatoes,

jerky, deconstruction, nazis, doilies. I delight
in detesting. And love loving so much after that.

“The Pleasures of Hating” by Laure-Anne Bosselaar from Small Gods of Grief.



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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
Sassafras


by Marjorie Thomsen


My grandfather, Hank, ran a hardware store
full of straight–shooting

solutions: washers for faucets,
filters for furnace failures, or

he could just cut you
a fresh key.

The aisles of answers held
no allure for me when I was a kid

so I stood by
the cash register where I’d wonder

which flavor candy stick
I wanted from the giant glass jars

protecting unbroken wands
of vibrant, solid confection. My grandpa

let me get sassafras, the one
sounding most like a bad word.

The store changed hands, my grandparents
continued to love each other.

In his ninety-fifth year
my grandfather got up from the breakfast table

without fanfare, went into the bedroom, sat
on a sturdy black chair and died.







“Sassafras” by Marjorie Thomsen from "Pretty Things Please."


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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
Course of Treatment

by Linda Pastan



After forty visits, after forty
invisible rays transformed
your body into something
as incandescent as a flashbulb,
they release you into

the world, where it hardly rained
those forty days, those nights, where
your ark was an old SUV shuttling you
back and forth along meandering
highways, taking their daily toll.

Now you embrace the ordinary again—
this small snow shower on the windshield,
which seems in its brevity
to have special meaning—
a shower of angel feathers perhaps,

or the bottle of wine we will
uncork in celebration,
its brothers waiting in a basement
redolent of the earth
you’ve once again escaped.



writersalmanac.org/episodes/20171015/
“Course of Treatment” by Linda Pastan from Insomnia
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
At the Tea Garden

By Margaret Hasse




My friend and I mull over the teas
displayed in square jars
with beveled glass labeled by type.
Each name seems part of a haiku:
"After the Snow Sprouting." "Moon Palace."
"Mist Over the Gorges."
I'm drawn to green teas
with unoxidized leaves that don't wither,
hold their grassy fragrance
like willow under snow in winter.

The proprietor offers real china for the Chinese tea.
Animal bones, fine ground, give whiteness,
translucency and strength
to the porcelain that appears delicate,
resists chipping.
The rim of the cup is warm and thin.

My friend's lips are plush: her lovely
mouth opens to give advice I ask for.
We talk about memory of threshold events,
like a first kiss or a poem published.
She can't remember...

I tell her about my brother-in-law's
chemotherapy—his third bout of cancer.
He wants his family to put a pinch
of his ashes in things he liked:
his banjo, the top drawer of his desk, the garden.

I wouldn't mind becoming part
of a set of bone china that serves tea
in a cozy teahouse smelling of incense,
cinnamon, musk, and carved teak.
I'd like to be brought to a small table,
sit between friends' quiet words,
held in hands so close that breath
on the surface of warm drink
makes mist rise over their faces.


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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
Drift
By Charles Rafferty

Long ago, the old friends stopped calling. I used to think they had
lost my number. Now I forgive them their children and their jobs,
their wives and their divorces, their cancer and their lawns, the fifteen
minutes they allow themselves at the piano every night. I am able to go
on without them—a kind of orphan from the life I used to live. This is
what I’m thinking as I get in the car to take my daughter to her voice
lesson. The ride is a quiet one. She is getting older and has learned to
keep things to herself. When we arrive at the lesson, she makes it clear,
without saying so, that I should wait outside. So I stay in the car—doing
the bills, doing the things I hate—as her high notes drift through the
studio door, the glass of the car window, the air that will be between us
now from here until the end.

“Drift” by Charles Rafferty from The Smoke of Horses.

writersalmanac.org/episodes/20170904/

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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
Nine-Eleven
by Charlotte Parsons

You passed me on the street
I rode the subway with you
You lived down the hall from me
I admired your dog in the park one morning
We waited in line for a concert
I ate with you in the cafes
You stood next to me at the bar
We huddled under an awning during a downpour
We dashed across the street to beat the light
I bumped into you coming round the corner
You stepped on my foot
I held the door for you
You helped me up when I slipped on the ice
I grabbed the last Sunday Times
You stole my cab
We waited forever at the bus stop
We sweated in steamy August
We hunched our shoulders against the sleet
We laughed at the movies
We groaned after the election
We sang in church
Tonight I lit a candle for you
All of you

“Nine-Eleven” by Charlotte Parsons.


writersalmanac.org/episodes/20170911/?utm_campaign=Writers+Almanac&utm_medium=email&utm_source=sfmc_&utm_content=


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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm

by Wallace Stevens


The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

writersalmanac.org/episodes/20170802/

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Dakho Dakho (@Dakho) replied to ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
The Idea of Order at Key West


"Repeated in a summer without end,
.
Oh! Blessed rage for order"
=================================


She sang beyond the genius of the sea.
The water never formed to mind or voice,
Like a body wholly body, fluttering
Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion
Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,
That was not ours although we understood,
Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.

The sea was not a mask. No more was she.
The song and water were not medleyed sound
Even if what she sang was what she heard,
Since what she sang was uttered word by word.
It may be that in all her phrases stirred
The grinding water and the gasping wind;
But it was she and not the sea we heard.

For she was the maker of the song she sang.
The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea
Was merely a place by which she walked to sing.
Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew
It was the spirit that we sought and knew
That we should ask this often as she sang.

If it was only the dark voice of the sea
That rose, or even colored by many waves;
If it was only the outer voice of sky
And cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled,
However clear, it would have been deep air,
The heaving speech of air, a summer sound
Repeated in a summer without end
And sound alone. But it was more than that,
More even than her voice, and ours, among
The meaningless plungings of water and the wind,
Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped
On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres
Of sky and sea.

It was her voice that made
The sky acutest at its vanishing.
She measured to the hour its solitude.
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.

Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know,
Why, when the singing ended and we turned
Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights,
The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,
As the night descended, tilting in the air,
Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,
Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.

Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,
The maker’s rage to order words of the sea,
Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,
And of ourselves and of our origins,
In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
Candlelight

by Tony Hoagland


Crossing the porch in the hazy dusk
to worship the moon rising
like a yellow filling-station sign
on the black horizon,

you feel the faint grit
of ants beneath your shoes,
but keep on walking
because in this world

you have to decide what
you’re willing to kill.
Saving your marriage might mean
dinner for two

by candlelight on steak
raised on pasture
chopped out of rain forest
whose absence might mean

an atmospheric thinness
fifty years from now
above the vulnerable head
of your bald grandson on vacation

as the cells of his scalp
sautéed by solar radiation
break down like suspects
under questioning.

Still you slice
the sirloin into pieces
and feed each other
on silver forks

under the approving gaze
of a waiter
whose purchased attention
and French name

are a kind of candlelight themselves,
while in the background
the fingertips of the pianist
float over the tusks

of the slaughtered elephant
without a care,
as if the elephant
had granted its permission.

writersalmanac.org/

iranian.com/main/blog/mash-ghasem/dialectical-materialism.html
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Dakho Dakho (@Dakho) Pinned comment
One More Beer



Beer
by Charles Bukowski


I don't know how many bottles of beer
I have consumed while waiting for things
to get better
I dont know how much wine and whisky
and beer
mostly beer
I have consumed after
splits with women-
waiting for the phone to ring
waiting for the sound of footsteps,
and the phone to ring
waiting for the sounds of footsteps,
and the phone never rings
until much later
and the footsteps never arrive
until much later
when my stomach is coming up
out of my mouth
they arrive as fresh as spring flowers:
"what the hell have you done to yourself?
it will be 3 days before you can fuck me!"

the female is durable
she lives seven and one half years longer
than the male, and she drinks very little beer
because she knows its bad for the figure.

while we are going mad
they are out
dancing and laughing
with horney cowboys.

well, there's beer
sacks and sacks of empty beer bottles
and when you pick one up
the bottle fall through the wet bottom
of the paper sack
rolling
clanking
spilling gray wet ash
and stale beer,
or the sacks fall over at 4 a.m.
in the morning
making the only sound in your life.

beer
rivers and seas of beer
the radio singing love songs
as the phone remains silent
and the walls stand
straight up and down
and beer is all there is.




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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
Hemispheres

by Grace Schulman

Our bodies, lucent under the bedclothes,
fit tightly like the pieces of a broken
terra-cotta vase now newly mended,
smooth surfaces, no jagged edges visible.

I’ve read that countries were so interlocked
before tectonic heavings, when the ocean
parted Mexico and Mauritania.
Brazil’s shoulder was hoisted to Nigeria,
Italy pressed Libya, Alaska
lay so close to Russia that fingers touched.
Our tremulous hands held fast in sleep at dawn;
legs, arms entwined, one continent, one mass.


writersalmanac.org/episodes/20170723/
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