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OT: well versed

(120 posts)


  1. bax

    poetry for the soul

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. bax

    ok, ok, slammin thru

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    Posted 1 year ago #

    We guess there must be edges
    We hear of loosened hinges
    We see this stylised rage
    This performance
    Are we to applaud?
    Critique? Review?
    Or quote anew, as on this page?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. unhurt

    I vote for door 4.


    Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
    to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
    Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
    in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
    Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
    the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
    who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
    that crimped your toes, don't regret those.
    Not the nights you called god names and cursed
    your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,
    chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
    You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
    over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
    across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
    coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
    You've walked those streets a thousand times and still
    you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
    of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
    when the lights from the carnival rides
    were the only stars you believed in, loving them
    for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
    You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
    ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
    after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
    window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
    of expectation. Relax. Don't bother remembering
    any of it. Let's stop here, under the lit sign
    on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

    - Dorianne Laux

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. bax

    90s poetry

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. I were right about that saddle


    Excellent misdirection. Had an in-head timewarp event caused by the nineties text followed by the Captain Scarlet intro.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. unhurt

    @bax one of my friends up north played keyboards in The Shamen (he left before they were "famous" but he did get to play support to the Jesus and Mary Chain. Apparently they were "miserable [words]"). Now he's a music teacher and a pillar of the community.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. unhurt

    This is the most painful thing I've read in a wee while:

    Loch Thom


    Just for the sake of recovering
    I walked backward from fifty-six
    Quick years of age wanting to see,
    And managed not to trip or stumble
    To find Loch Thom and turned round
    To see the stretch of my childhood
    Before me. Here is the loch. The same
    Long-beaked cry curls across
    The heather-edges of the water held
    Between the hills a boyhood’s walk
    Up from Greenock. It is the morning.

    And I am here with my mammy’s
    Bramble jam scones in my pocket.
    The Firth is miles and I have come
    Back to find Loch Thom maybe
    In this light does not recognise me.

    This is a lonely freshwater loch.
    No farms on the edge. Only
    Heath grouse-moor stretching
    Down to Greenock and One Hope
    Street or stretching away across
    Into the blue moors of Ayrshire.


    And almost I am back again
    Wading in the heather down to the edge
    To sit. The minnows go by in shoals
    Like iron-filings in the shallows.

    My mother is dead. My father is dead
    And all the trout I used to know
    Leaping from their sad rings are dead.


    I drop my crumbs into the shallow
    Weed for the minnows and pinheads.
    You see that I will have to rise
    And turn round and get back where
    My running age will slow for a moment
    To let me on. It is a colder
    Stretch of water than I remember.

    The curlew’s cry travelling still
    Kills me fairly. In front of me
    The grouse flurry and settle. GOBACK

    - W. S. Graham

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. unhurt


    Every time I get killed by a motor vehicle, God hands me a fresh life. I want to see how long it takes you to learn sense and leave the road to those mad buggers. I suck a Rescue Remedy pill from Gould's in Crowndale Road and wobble home. I bet it's because I go around saying that religion is irrelevant to my life.

    - Ivor Cutler

    Posted 11 months ago #
  10. unhurt

    (thematically relevant to forecast! Also slightly obsessed with how this is put together - though lacking the critical language to explain why... )

    The Rain

    All night the sound had
    come back again,
    and again falls
    this quiet, persistent rain.

    What am I to myself
    that must be remembered,
    insisted upon
    so often? Is it

    that never the ease,
    even the hardness,
    of rain falling
    will have for me

    something other than this,
    something not so insistent—
    am I to be locked in this
    final uneasiness.

    Love, if you love me,
    lie next to me.
    Be for me, like rain,
    the getting out

    of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
    lust of intentional indifference.
    Be wet
    with a decent happiness.

    - Robert Creeley

    Posted 11 months ago #
  11. unhurt


    On the oneness of self and universe

    TAE ME

    On the ultimate identity of matter and spirit, form and mind


    On the suchness of things.


    On identity in difference

    SIX AN

    On the implicit dualism of value judgements


    - Alan Spence

    Posted 11 months ago #
  12. unhurt

    this week in atheist has existential* crisis, reads a lot of poetry & feels compelled to share it news:

    *mid-life probably really, but existential sounds much better

    God speaks to each of us as he makes us

    God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
    then walks with us silently out of the night.

    These are the words we dimly hear:

    You, sent out beyond your recall,
    go to the limits of your longing.
    Embody me.

    Flare up like a flame
    and make big shadows I can move in.

    Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
    Just keep going. No feeling is final.
    Don’t let yourself lose me.

    Nearby is the country they call life.
    You will know it by its seriousness.

    Give me your hand.

    - Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours, I 59 (Translated by Anita Barrows & Joanna Mac)

    Posted 11 months ago #
  13. I were right about that saddle

    Like I say I don't much care for poetry but don't mess with Queneau;

    Quand bien même serais-je à l'étal de boucherie
    Exposé dépecé comme un très pauvre bœuf
    Lien môme mon chef aux narines fleuries
    D'un œil glauque attendrait l'oignon et le cerfeuil

    Quand bien môme mon ventre aux tripes déroulées
    A la curiosité s'ouvrirait bien sanglant
    Quand bien même mon cœur sur une assiette ornée
    Rejoindrait mon cerveau mon foie et mes rognons

    Nul ne saurait trouver parmi mes côtelettes

    Mes viscères et mes abats
    Le chardon qui fleurit semé par la conquête

    Que rien ne déracinera

    Le vivace chardon qui plante ses racines
    Dans les sols les plus secs et les plus rebutants
    Le chardon sans pitié qui frotte ses épines
    Pour de rudes douleurs parallèles au temps

    The complete works of Burns in seventeen lines?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  14. unhurt

    Le chardon qui fleurit semé par la conquête / Que rien ne déracinera

    I needed some help from Google translate because I'm thick at langauges but - like.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  15. I were right about that saddle


    I am with Nabokov that poetry is essentially untranslatable. The best you can do is to present the original and a literal translation side by side. Your two lines;

    The thistle which flowers sown by conquest
    That nothing will uproot

    This is the only book of poetry
    I've ever read rather than dipped into. Queneau is genius.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  16. unhurt

    A good translation is a creative exercise though, you do get something that didn't exist before. Not the same & not a replacement but still valuable - er, if the translator is good enough, anyway (especially as none of us will live long enough to learn all the languages that poetry has been written in, though I suppose it's a bit different when you speak both the original and the translated languages...).

    Slightly off topic but the Granta Idea of Canada event sent me off to find out a wee bit about Chiac . Some glorious example sentences! & now I'm finding out about "Acadieman"...

    Posted 11 months ago #
  17. I were right about that saddle

    Since when were 'gosier' and 'quérir' archaic? Clearly I need to allow automatic updates.

    Agree that new poetry is created by translation. One of the problems (for me anyway) is that when you read the original you have a very different idea of the words the poet might have used but didn't. Translate that, Google.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  18. unhurt

    Well, that's okay though? - each different translations produces a different new poem. There can't be a "correct" version, I would think, though some might be generally judged to better capture something important from the original. (Also - perhaps have at it yourself?)

    There's a great Penguin Classics book, Homer in English, which collects (excerpts from) different English translations of the Iliad and Odyssey (plus poems inspired by both) through time. If you like that sort of thing.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  19. I were right about that saddle

    perhaps have at it yourself?

    You are a bad person and you have made me take something on that is several levels above my IQ and pay-grade.

    The Thistle

    Nothwithstanding that I were on the butcher's slab
    Displayed diced like a low-grade roast
    Wish sanding my crown with flowering nostrils
    Its murky eye awaiting the onion and the parsley

    Not wish sanding my belly, the guts uncoiled
    Would open up to a blood-soaked curiosity
    Notwithstanding my heart on a gilded plate
    Alongside my brain my liver and my kidneys

    None shall find amongst my cutlets

    My organs and my offal
    The thistle sown by conquest

    That nothing will uproot

    The perennial thistle which sinks its roots
    In the driest, most hopeless soils
    The merciless thistle which rubs its spines
    For rustic pains parallel with the times

    Posted 11 months ago #
  20. gembo

    @iwrats, you should dedicate your translation to the dear departed Jonny Halliday

    Posted 11 months ago #
  21. I were right about that saddle


    We lost Johnny and Rochefort in the same year. Screening of L'Homme du train in order? I watched the DVD last night with great sadness.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  22. unhurt

    You are a bad person and you have made me take something on that is several levels above my IQ and pay-grade.

    Agreed to part one - but it did come out rather well, so clearly my moral failings are for the greater good.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  23. gembo

    Yes unhurt, from a utilitarian ethical perspective you done good.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  24. gembo

    @iwrats, I immediately thought of that movie on announcement Of Johnny's death.there is also the Jean luc Godard one wth the billiards table with no pockets and th gangster who washes his hands before peeing.

    Billiards sounds quite French? Is it the French word for billiards (without pockets)

    Posted 11 months ago #
  25. I were right about that saddle

    Is it the French word for billiards (without pockets)

    Is that not snoucœur?


    The impossibility of translation brutally exposed. Perhaps @SRD could have a go? The 'Quand Lien môme' bit is intractable and 'chef' deeply problematic.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  26. unhurt

    That was where I really needed and was failed by Google translate. Word salad (meat salad). However despite its possible impossibility this review of a translation makes it sound v appealing to me (bilingual edition too so you might even almost approve).

    @gembo the French for "pocket billiards" might skate close to Rule 2...

    Posted 11 months ago #
  27. gembo

    unhurt billiard tables in France do not have pockets so you cannot play pocket billiards :-)

    iwrats the heart of a snou?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  28. unhurt

    billiard tables in France do not have pockets so you cannot play pocket billiards

    Feel like this explains SOMETHING. Just not sure what.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  29. I were right about that saddle

    I told my old man I was taking him to a club with heated tables when he visited me in the République once. I think he was relieved when it turned out to be a billiard hall.

    French billiard tables have no pockets, but in serious clubs they are also heated in winter to keep the baize fast and the cushions bouncy.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  30. gembo

    @iwrats the Godard movie had very fast balls bouncing off cushions at speed

    Posted 11 months ago #

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