Sunday, September 09, 2012

Verse for a September Sunday

   Two selections that may seem more different than they are, though I leave it to the reader to decide for him or herself.  While on the the seasonal road toward ice we may avoid the worst of Dante's hell.  The Stars of Housman are for all to see and some to tell.

“THE BANNERS of Hell’s Monarch do come forth
Toward us; therefore look,” so spake my guide,
“If thou discern him.” As, when breathes a cloud
Heavy and dense, or when the shades of night
Fall on our hemisphere, seems view’d from far         
A windmill, which the blast stirs briskly round;
Such was the fabric then methought I saw.

Dante, Inferno, from Canto XXXIV


Stars,I have seen them fall, 
But when they drop and die 
No star is lost at all 
From all the star-sown sky. 
The toil of all that be 
Helps not the primal fault; 
It rains into the sea, 
And still the sea is salt.

A.E. Houseman, 1936


Parrish Lantern said...

Umbrella - Zhang Zao

so many words
so many words I am destined never to know
so many shadows I cannot ride into winter
in this life I will probably not Take to the greenwood
but who knows? that day I reached the summit a cold wind blew
what I wanted was to stand on tiptoe and feel the kite’s wandering heart
I was forsaken. once I played a game of chess with myself
not long after, I went mad. I want to be
a telescope in a submarine, choking with idle resentment
when the others are dead I would rather be that ferry man
out somewhere secluded, secluded, landscape as of yore
by rights a multi-dimensional space, but what kind of
kitchen smoke should waft gracefully at my temples? China,
look there, in the distance, a mantis is scurrying off to paste up slogans
among the dead, there’s a goal-keeper who once in slow-motion
was unable to utter
a sound. when the birthday candles are all blown out
someone says: “I present you with a ballet danced by a virgin”
umbrella. in a corner, wrapped up tightly in a membrane
intact. here, in this nowhere land, there should be a patch of rainscape
opening up. o life, quickly, hand it to me now

Trans:Simon Patton

James said...

Thanks for the great poem.