Κυριακή, 3 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017

John Ashbery: Dramedy

Things I left on your paper:
one of the craziest episodes that ever overtook me.
Do you like espionage? A watered charm?
My pod cast aside, I’ll walk in the human street,
protect the old jib from new miniseries.

I could swear it moved
in incomplete back yards
to endorse the conversation, request to be strapped in.
Then it will be time to take the step
giving fragile responses,
and finally he wrote the day.

It happened in the water
so that was nice.

It comes ready conflated:
vanilla for get lost, flavor of the time
of his sponsor’s destiny. Be on that sofa.

I was crossing the state line as they were reburying the stuff.
You break the time lock, the bride’s canister    ...    
but we did say that we’d be back.

John Ashbery: Syringa

Orpheus liked the glad personal quality
Of the things beneath the sky. Of course, Eurydice was a part
Of this. Then one day, everything changed. He rends
Rocks into fissures with lament. Gullies, hummocks
Can’t withstand it. The sky shudders from one horizon
To the other, almost ready to give up wholeness.
Then Apollo quietly told him: “Leave it all on earth.
Your lute, what point? Why pick at a dull pavan few care to
Follow, except a few birds of dusty feather,
Not vivid performances of the past.” But why not?
All other things must change too.
The seasons are no longer what they once were,
But it is the nature of things to be seen only once,
As they happen along, bumping into other things, getting along
Somehow. That’s where Orpheus made his mistake.
Of course Eurydice vanished into the shade;
She would have even if he hadn’t turned around.
No use standing there like a gray stone toga as the whole wheel
Of recorded history flashes past, struck dumb, unable to utter an intelligent
Comment on the most thought-provoking element in its train.
Only love stays on the brain, and something these people,
These other ones, call life. Singing accurately
So that the notes mount straight up out of the well of
Dim noon and rival the tiny, sparkling yellow flowers
Growing around the brink of the quarry, encapsulates
The different weights of the things.
                                                       But it isn’t enough
To just go on singing. Orpheus realized this
And didn’t mind so much about his reward being in heaven
After the Bacchantes had torn him apart, driven
Half out of their minds by his music, what it was doing to them.
Some say it was for his treatment of Eurydice.
But probably the music had more to do with it, and
The way music passes, emblematic
Of life and how you cannot isolate a note of it
And say it is good or bad. You must
Wait till it’s over. “The end crowns all,”
Meaning also that the “tableau”
Is wrong. For although memories, of a season, for example,
Melt into a single snapshot, one cannot guard, treasure
That stalled moment. It too is flowing, fleeting;
It is a picture of flowing, scenery, though living, mortal,
Over which an abstract action is laid out in blunt,
Harsh strokes. And to ask more than this
Is to become the tossing reeds of that slow,
Powerful stream, the trailing grasses
Playfully tugged at, but to participate in the action
No more than this. Then in the lowering gentian sky
Electric twitches are faintly apparent first, then burst forth
Into a shower of fixed, cream-colored flares. The horses
Have each seen a share of the truth, though each thinks,
“I’m a maverick. Nothing of this is happening to me,
Though I can understand the language of birds, and
The itinerary of the lights caught in the storm is fully apparent to me.
Their jousting ends in music much
As trees move more easily in the wind after a summer storm
And is happening in lacy shadows of shore-trees, now, day after day.”

But how late to be regretting all this, even
Bearing in mind that regrets are always late, too late!
To which Orpheus, a bluish cloud with white contours,
Replies that these are of course not regrets at all,
Merely a careful, scholarly setting down of
Unquestioned facts, a record of pebbles along the way.
And no matter how all this disappeared,
Or got where it was going, it is no longer
Material for a poem. Its subject
Matters too much, and not enough, standing there helplessly
While the poem streaked by, its tail afire, a bad
Comet screaming hate and disaster, but so turned inward
That the meaning, good or other, can never
Become known. The singer thinks
Constructively, builds up his chant in progressive stages
Like a skyscraper, but at the last minute turns away.
The song is engulfed in an instant in blackness
Which must in turn flood the whole continent
With blackness, for it cannot see. The singer
Must then pass out of sight, not even relieved
Of the evil burthen of the words. Stellification
Is for the few, and comes about much later
When all record of these people and their lives
Has disappeared into libraries, onto microfilm.
A few are still interested in them. “But what about
So-and-so?” is still asked on occasion. But they lie
Frozen and out of touch until an arbitrary chorus
Speaks of a totally different incident with a similar name
In whose tale are hidden syllables

Of what happened so long before that
In some small town, one indifferent summer.

John Ashbery: Paradoxes and Oxymorons Launch

This poem is concerned with language on a very plain level.
Look at it talking to you. You look out a window
Or pretend to fidget. You have it but you don’t have it.
You miss it, it misses you. You miss each other.

The poem is sad because it wants to be yours, and cannot.
What’s a plain level? It is that and other things,
Bringing a system of them into play. Play?
Well, actually, yes, but I consider play to be

A deeper outside thing, a dreamed role-pattern,
As in the division of grace these long August days
Without proof. Open-ended. And before you know
It gets lost in the steam and chatter of typewriters.

It has been played once more. I think you exist only
To tease me into doing it, on your level, and then you aren’t there
Or have adopted a different attitude. And the poem
Has set me softly down beside you. The poem is you.

John Ashbery: Life is a Dream

A talent for self-realization
will get you only as far as the vacant lot
next to the lumber yard, where they have rollcall.
My name begins with an A,
so is one of the first to be read off.
I am wondering where to stand – could that group of three
or four others be the beginning of the line?

Before I have the chance to find out, a rodent-like
man pushes at my shoulders. “It’s that way,” he hisses. “Didn’t they teach you anything at school? That a photograph
of anything can be real, or maybe not? The corner of the stove,
a cloud of midges at dusk-time.”

I know I’ll have a chance to learn more
later on. Waiting is what’s called for, meanwhile.
It’s true that life can be anything, but certain things
definitely aren’t it. This gloved hand,
for instance, that glides
so securely into mine, as though it intends to stay.

Κυριακή, 28 Μαΐου 2017

Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady: Pull my daisy

Pull my daisy
tip my cup
all my doors are open
Cut my thoughts
for coconuts
all my eggs are broken
Jack my Arden
gate my shades
woe my road is spoken
Silk my garden
rose my days
now my prayers awaken

Bone my shadow
dove my dream
start my halo bleeding
Milk my mind &
make me cream
drink me when you’re ready
Hop my heart on
harp my height
seraphs hold me steady
Hip my angel
hype my light
lay it on the needy

Heal the raindrop
sow the eye
bust my dust again
Woe the worm
work the wise
dig my spade the same
Stop the hoax
what’s the hex
where’s the wake
how’s the hicks
take my golden beam

Rob my locker
lick my rocks
leap my cock in school
Rack my lacks
lark my looks
jump right up my hole
Whore my door
beat my boor
eat my snake of fool
Craze my hair
bare my poor
asshole shorn of wool

say my oops
ope my shell
Bite my naked nut
Roll my bones
ring my bell
call my worm to sup
Pope my parts
pop my pot
raise my daisy up
Poke my papa
pit my plum
let my gap be shut

Σάββατο, 13 Μαΐου 2017

Aνδρέας Εμπειρίκος: Καρπός Ελαίου

Eπάνω από την δοσοληψία των μιασματικών υδάτων
      μιας νόσου που κατεδικάσθη οριστικώς
H άχνα της υγείας μεσουρανεί και μέλπει
H πίστις της περιπετείας δεν χαλαρώθηκε
Tα μάτια της είναι πράσινα και κατοπτρίζονται μέσ'
      στα νερά της νεότητος
Ένας νέος συναντά μια νέα και την φιλεί
Aπό τα χείλη τους αναπηδούν οι λέξεις μεθυσμένες
Όλη η ζωή τους μοιάζει με λειβάδι
Eπαύλεις εδώ κ' εκεί κοσμούν την πρασιά του
Nεότης νεότης τι ωραία που είναι τα μαλλιά σου
Tα χαϊμαλιά σου τα στολίζουν άνθη μυγδαλιάς που ανθεί
      σε χώρα πεδινή
Oι θρίαμβοι των καισάρων περνούν καμιά φορά απ' αυτή
      τη χώρα και παρασύρουν τα νερά των κήπων
Oι γυναίκες των κηπουρών γυμνώνουν τα στήθη τους
      και τους παρακαλούν
Mια σειρά μαργαριταριών στάζει σε μια χοάνη
Kάθε μαργαριτάρι είναι μια σταγών και κάθε σταγών
      είναι ένας δράκος
Tο κάστρο του κατέρρευσε και τώρα παίζουν τα παι-
      δάκια μέσ' στους ίσκιους
Tα θρύψαλλα του καθρέφτη της πυργοδέσποινας είναι
      κι' αυτά πετράδια
Που ρίχνουν στον πετροπόλεμο τα παλληκάρια.


Christopher Marlowe: The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the Rocks,
Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow Rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing Madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of Roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty Lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and Ivy buds,
With Coral clasps and Amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

Christopher Marlowe: Hero and Leander

The First Sestiad 


On Hellespont, guilty of true love's blood,
In view and opposite two cities stood,
Sea-borderers, disjoin'd by Neptune's might;
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
And offer'd as a dower his burning throne,
Where she could sit for men to gaze upon.
The outside of her garments were of lawn,
The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn;
Her wide sleeves green, and border'd with a grove,
Where Venus in her naked glory strove
To please the careless and disdainful eyes
Of proud Adonis, that before her lies;
Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain,
Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain.
Upon her head she ware a myrtle wreath,
From whence her veil reach'd to the ground beneath;
Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves,
Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives;
Many would praise the sweet smell as she past,
When 'twas the odour which her breath forth cast;
And there for honey bees have sought in vain,
And beat from thence, have lighted there again.
About her neck hung chains of pebble-stone,
Which lighten'd by her neck, like diamonds shone.
She ware no gloves; for neither sun nor wind
Would burn or parch her hands, but, to her mind,
Or warm or cool them, for they took delight
To play upon those hands, they were so white.
Buskins of shells, all silver'd, used she,
And branch'd with blushing coral to the knee;
Where sparrows perch'd, of hollow pearl and gold,
Such as the world would wonder to behold:
Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fills,
Which as she went, would chirrup through the bills.
Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pin'd,
And looking in her face, was strooken blind.
But this is true; so like was one the other,
As he imagin'd Hero was his mother;
And oftentimes into her bosom flew,
About her naked neck his bare arms threw,
And laid his childish head upon her breast,
And with still panting rock'd there took his rest.
So lovely-fair was Hero, Venus' nun,
As Nature wept, thinking she was undone,
Because she took more from her than she left,
And of such wondrous beauty her bereft:
Therefore, in sign her treasure suffer'd wrack,
Since Hero's time hath half the world been black.

Margarita Engle: Peering Up From Mud

       The Glass Frogs

you can't see us
not like those golden frogs
flashing their beauty
because we're not here
pretend we're not here
you can't eat us
we'd taste like clear air
we're transparent

until night when stars pass through us
moonlight flows into us
we start to sing
we need to sing
we love to sing


Margarita Engle: Tula [“City life is a whirl of poetry readings”]

City life is a whirl of poetry readings
and forbidden tertulias, gatherings
where young and old, rich and poor,
male and female, dark and light—
runaway slaves and freed ones,
former masters and former
servants—all take turns
sharing secret verses
rooted in startling
new ideas.

Each evening, I go home
with a mind that glows
in the light of words,
which leap
like flames...


Margarita Engle: Tula [“Books are door-shaped”]

Books are door-shaped
carrying me
across oceans
and centuries,
helping me feel
less alone.

But my mother believes
that girls who read too much
are unladylike
and ugly,
so my father's books are locked
in a clear glass cabinet. I gaze
at enticing covers
and mysterious titles,
but I am rarely permitted
to touch
the enchantment
of words.

All are forbidden.
Girls are not supposed to think,
but as soon as my eager mind
begins to race, free thoughts
rush in
to replace
the trapped ones.

I imagine distant times
and faraway places.
Ancient warriors.
Fantasy moves into
the tangled maze
of lonely confusion.

Secretly, I open
an invisible book in my mind,
and I step
through its magical door-shape
into a universe
of dangerous villains
and breathtaking heroes.

Many of the heroes are men
and boys, but some are girls
so tall
and clever
that they rescue other children
from monsters.


Πέμπτη, 11 Μαΐου 2017

Jean-Luc Godard: Pierrot le fou

Διονύσιος Σολωμός: Πρὸς Κύριον Γεώργιον Δὲ Ῥώσση εὑρισκόμενον εἰς τὴν Ἀγγλία

Τοῦ πατέρα σου, ὅταν ἔλθῃς,
Δὲ θὰ ἰδῇς παρὰ τὸν τάφο·
Εἶμαι ὀμπρός του, καὶ σοῦ γράφω,
Μέρα πρώτη τοῦ Μαϊοῦ.

Θὰ σπορπήσουμε τὸ Μάη
Πάνου στ᾿ ἄκακα τὰ στήθη,
Γιατὶ ἀπόψε ἀποκοιμήθη
Εἰς τὸν ὕπνο τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Ἦταν ἥσυχος κι᾿ ἀκίνητος
Ὡς τὴν ὕστερη τὴν ὥρα,
Καθὼς φαίνεται καὶ τώρα
Ποὺ τὸν ἄφησε ἡ ψυχή.

Μόνον, μία στιγμὴ πρὶν φύγῃ
Τ᾿ Οὐρανοῦ κατὰ τὰ μέρη,
Ἀργοκίνησε τὸ χέρι,
Ἴσως γιὰ νὰ σ᾿ εὐχηθῇ.

Τετάρτη, 29 Μαρτίου 2017

Μίλτος Σαχτούρης: Κύριε

—Κύριε, είναι μεσημέρι κι ακόμα
δεν ξυπνήσατε
—Κύριε, δεν πήρατε το πρωινό σας
—Κύριε, ήπιατε πολλούς καφέδες
—Κύριε, ο ήλιος λάμπει, αστράφτει
βρέχει και χιονίζει
—Κύριε, ένα κόκκινο πουλί έχει κολλήσει
στο παράθυρο σας
—Κύριε, μια μαύρη πεταλούδα φάνηκε
πάνω στο στήθος σας
—Κύριε, πώς τρέχετε με το ποδήλατο!
—Κύριε, είστε παγωμένος
—Κύριε, έχετε πυρετό

—Κύριε, είσαστε νεκρός;