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Sasha's poetry corner
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great poem to start class discussions on language, politics and history.

The bullets can kill us, but cannot deter;
Though our houses fall, we will stand —
Through it all we will keep you alive, Russian word,
Mighty language of our Russian land.


Anna Akhmatova
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Living

1
Living is no laughing matter :
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example -
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much so and to such a degree
that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory,
in your white coat and safety glasses,
you can die for people -
even for people whose faces you have never seen,
even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you'll plant olive trees -
and not for your children, either
but because although you fear death you don't believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.






2
Let's say we are seriously ill, need surgery -
which is to say we might not get up
from the white table.
Even though it's impossible not to feel sad
about going a little too soon,
we'll still laugh at the jokes being told,
we'll look out the window to see if it's raining,
or still wait anxiously
for the latest newscast…

Let's say we are at the front -
for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
We might fall on our face, dead.
We'll know this with a curious anger,
but we'll still worry ourselves to death
about the outcome of the war, which could last years.

Let's say we're in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years, say,
before the iron doors will open.
We’ll still live with the outside,
with its people and animals, struggle and wind –
I mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
we must live as if we will never die...



3
This earth will grow cold, a star among stars
and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet -
I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day.
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
in pitch-black space.
You must grieve for this right now
- you have to feel this sorrow now -
for the world must be loved this much
if you're going to say "I lived"...

Nazim Hikmet
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1116
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When looking for poetry to read with my own children. I found this poem and decided to use it with my Applied Mathematics students. They really liked it. I think it could be used with any first year uni students.

I Like My Triangular Kitten

I have a triangular kitten.
He has a triangular face.
He traipses triangular pathways
through any triangular space.

He plays with triangular cat toys.
He dreams of triangular fish.
He'd like to try angling for tuna
to fill his triangular dish.

Whenever his relatives visit
he's pointedly pleasant and nice.
And, also, my kitten's unequaled
at catching triangular mice.

My kitten is clearly a cute one,
though often obtuse and oblique.
He hasn't a parallel out there.
He's plainly and flatly unique.

The point is we're right for each other.
He's simply the finest I've found.
I like my triangular kitten.
I think that I'll keep him around.

--Kenn Nesbitt
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 1820
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about this one for an advanced vocabulary class? I swallowed a dictionary before writing this one! Wink

Lost in a dream, all sentience
Adopts another attitude
Vexation melts in restful state
Dissimulating restless mood

Such circumstance ameliorates
Exasperation's dire trance
An idealistic simulacrum
Of stress and tension's bold advance

A hypothetic resolution
Emerges in such tranquil mode
When peaceful, still insouciance
In blissful slumber is bestowed

How eminent the towering mind
With innate equanimity
Accomplishing an equal feat
As daylight's fuddled nominee.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12353
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, should romance be the topic (good for paradox, too Very Happy)

When Love is Born

When Love is born, then pleasure dies,
Or goes about disguised as pain,
And those who once were counted wise
Now find their wisdom all in vain.

Against the armor of her eyes
The shafts of reason fall like rain
Until all thought in terror flies
And only Love and I remain.

Now even Love's sharp pain is sweet,
More sweet than pleasure was to me.
I won my Love by my defeat,
She captured me and set me free.

A prisoner within her heart,
A prison I would not depart.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 501

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's too much Russian on this thread-intolerable. Here's a Polish classic (albeit widely considered a work for children, it's great for learning the language).

Stoi na stacji lokomotywa,
Ciężka, ogromna i pot z niej spływa -
Tłusta oliwa.
Stoi i sapie, dyszy i dmucha,
Żar z rozgrzanego jej brzucha bucha:
Buch - jak gorąco!
Uch - jak gorąco!
Puff - jak gorąco!
Uff - jak gorąco!
Już ledwo sapie, już ledwo zipie,
A jeszcze palacz węgiel w nią sypie.
Wagony do niej podoczepiali
Wielkie i ciężkie, z żelaza, stali,
I pełno ludzi w każdym wagonie,
A w jednym krowy, a w drugim konie,
A w trzecim siedzą same grubasy,
Siedzą i jedzą tłuste kiełbasy.
A czwarty wagon pełen bananów,
A w piątym stoi sześć fortepianów,
W szóstym armata, o! jaka wielka!
Pod każdym kołem żelazna belka!
W siódmym dębowe stoły i szafy,
W ósmym słoń, niedźwiedź i dwie żyrafy,
W dziewiątym - same tuczone świnie,
W dziesiątym - kufry, paki i skrzynie,
A tych wagonów jest ze czterdzieści,
Sam nie wiem, co się w nich jeszcze mieści.

Lecz choćby przyszło tysiąc atletów
I każdy zjadłby tysiąc kotletów,
I każdy nie wiem jak się natężał,
To nie udźwigną - taki to ciężar!

Nagle - gwizd!
Nagle - świst!
Para - buch!
Koła - w ruch!

Najpierw
powoli
jak żółw
ociężale
Ruszyła
maszyna
po szynach
ospale.
Szarpnęła wagony i ciągnie z mozołem,
I kręci się, kręci się koło za kołem,
I biegu przyspiesza, i gna coraz prędzej,
I dudni, i stuka, łomoce i pędzi.

A dokąd? A dokąd? A dokąd? Na wprost!
Po torze, po torze, po torze, przez most,
Przez góry, przez tunel, przez pola, przez las
I spieszy się, spieszy, by zdążyć na czas,
Do taktu turkoce i puka, i stuka to:
Tak to to, tak to to, tak to to, tak to to,
Gładko tak, lekko tak toczy się w dal,
Jak gdyby to była piłeczka, nie stal,
Nie ciężka maszyna zziajana, zdyszana,
Lecz fraszka, igraszka, zabawka blaszana.

A skądże to, jakże to, czemu tak gna?
A co to to, co to to, kto to tak pcha?
Że pędzi, że wali, że bucha, buch-buch?
To para gorąca wprawiła to w ruch,
To para, co z kotła rurami do tłoków,
A tłoki kołami ruszają z dwóch boków
I gnają, i pchają, i pociąg się toczy,
Bo para te tłoki wciąż tłoczy i tłoczy,,
I koła turkocą, i puka, i stuka to:
Tak to to, tak to to, tak to to, tak to to!...

-Tuwim

A big locomotive has pulled into town,
Heavy, humungus, with sweat rolling down,
A plump jumbo olive.
Huffing and puffing and panting and smelly,
Fire belches forth from her fat cast iron belly.

Poof, how she's burning,
Oof, how she's boiling,
Puff, how she's churning,
Huff, how she's toiling.
She's fully exhausted and all out of breath,
Yet the coalman continues to stoke her to death.

Numerous wagons she tugs down the track:
Iron and steel monsters hitched up to her back,
All filled with people and other things too:
The first carries cattle, then horses not few;
The third car with corpulent people is filled,
Eating fat frankfurters all freshly grilled.
The fourth car is packed to the hilt with bananas,
The fifth has a cargo of six grand pi-an-as.
The sixth wagon carries a cannon of steel,
With heavy iron girders beneath every wheel.
The seventh has tables, oak cupboards with plates,
While an elephant, bear, two giraffes fill the eighth.
The ninth contains nothing but well-fattened swine,
In the tenth: bags and boxes, now isn't that fine?

There must be at least forty cars in a row,
And what they all carry — I simply don't know:

But if one thousand athletes, with muscles of steel,
Each ate one thousand cutlets in one giant meal,
And each one exerted as much as he could,
They'd never quite manage to lift such a load.

First a toot!
Then a hoot!
Steam is churning,
Wheels are turning!

More slowly - than turtles - with freight - on their - backs,
The drowsy - steam engine - sets off - down the tracks.
She chugs and she tugs at her wagons with strain,
As wheel after wheel slowly turns on the train.
She doubles her effort and quickens her pace,
And rambles and scrambles to keep up the race.
Oh whither, oh whither? go forward at will,
And chug along over the bridge, up the hill,
Through mountains and tunnels and meadows and woods,
Now hurry, now hurry, deliver your goods.
Keep up your tempo, now push along, push along,
Chug along, tug along, tug along, chug along
Lightly and sprightly she carries her freight
Like a ping-pong ball bouncing without any weight,
Not heavy equipment exhausted to death,
But a little tin toy, just a light puff of breath.
Oh whither, oh whither, you'll tell me, I trust,
What is it, what is it that gives you your thrust?
What gives you momentum to roll down the track?
It's hot steam that gives me my clickety-clack.
Hot steam from the boiler through tubes to the pistons,
The pistons then push at the wheels from short distance,
They drive and they push, and the train starts a-swooshin'
'Cuz steam on the pistons keeps pushin' and pushin';
The wheels start a rattlin', clatterin', chatterin'
Chug along, tug along, chug along, tug along! . .
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No such thing as too much Russian. Here's some Lermontov.


The Dream

Noon heat, a gorge in Daghestan,
I lay still, a bullet in my chest:
The deep wound was still red-hot,
blood seeped, drop by drop.

I lay lonely on the gorge’s sand,
the cliff-ledges towered around,
the sun burned their yellow heights,
and I – I slept like the dead.

And I dreamed of a midnight ball,
in my homeland, gleaming light,
young girls wreathed in flowers
talking about me, with delight.

But one sat there, deep in thought,
not part of the joyful theme,
and her young soul, God knows,
was plunged in the saddest dream.

Her dream, a gorge in Daghestan…
in that gorge a friend lay dead,
a black wound in his chest:
of dark blood a cooling stream…

Сон
(Михаил Юрьевич Лермонтов)

Композитор: Александр Фет
Исполнители: Николай Дорожкин (тенор), Сергей Чечетко (фортепиано)

В полдневный жар в долине Дагестана
С свинцом в груди лежал недвижим я;
Глубокая еще дымилась рана,
По капле кровь точилася моя.

Лежал один я на песке долины;
Уступы скал теснилися кругом,
И солнце жгло их желтые вершины
И жгло меня - но спал я мертвым сном.

И снился мне сияющий огнями
Вечерний пир в родимой стороне.
Меж юных жен, увенчанных цветами,
Шел разговор веселый обо мне.

Но в разговор веселый не вступая,
Сидела там задумчиво одна,
И в грустный сон душа ее младая
Бог знает чем была погружена;

И снилась ей долина Дагестана;
Знакомый труп лежал в долине той;
В его груди, дымясь, чернела рана,
И кровь лилась хладеющей струей.
1841


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uMMuYpL0wY
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A short one, but a good one from the, sadly, recently deceased Samuel Menashe (1925-2011).


Voyage

Water opens without end
At the bow of the ship
Rising to descend
Away from it

Days become one
I am who I was
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:13 pm    Post subject: Adonis Reply with quote

May try to use this fellow's work in a class or two:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/aug/30/adonis-arab-win-goethe-prize
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For TEFLers everywhere:

The Wanderer

The wanderer gasps for air. By leaving nothing
behind he has experienced how everything remains.

Along the years gone by his journey passes.
That which has been made calm,
as a cloth sprinkled with water, is remembered.

In landscapes layered one upon the other
he finds one by one everyone again.

Only this: turning back to himself he cannot do....


Eddy van Vliet
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those teachers who have to teach more than 20 contact hours a week, here's a poem by the great Pushkin to inspire you:

Deep in Siberia's mines, let naught...

Deep in Siberia's mines, let naught
Subdue your proud and patient spirit.
Your crushing toil and lofty thought
Shall not be wasted - do not fear it.
Misfortune's sister, hope sublime,
From sombre dungeon pain will banish;
Joy will awake and sorrow vanish...
'Twill come, the promised, longed-for time;
The heavy locks will burst - rejoice! -
And love and friendship 'thought delusion
Will reach you in your grim seclusion
As does my freedom-loving voice.
The prison walls will crash... Content,
At door will freedom wait to meet you;
Your brothers, hastening to greet you,
To you the sword will glad present.

Во глубине сибирских руд...

Во глубине сибирских руд
Храните гордое терпенье,
Не пропадет ваш скорбный труд
И дум высокое стремленье.
Несчастью верная сестра,
Надежда в мрачном подземелье
Разбудит бодрость и веселье,
Придет желанная пора:
Любовь и дружество до вас
Дойдут сквозь мрачные затворы,
Как в ваши каторжные норы
Доходит мой свободный глас.
Оковы тяжкие падут,
Темницы рухнут - и свобода
Вас примет радостно у входа,
И братья меч вам отдадут.
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sounion



Joined: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 30
Location: Bhutan

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one I haven't used in class yet but penned during a 6 hour meeting in Dzongkha my first month in Bhutan.

Drops of Thought

Drops of thought land in my mind
And cascade wonder, amusement, benevolence.
Thankfully, exhaustion triumphs worry or regret.
A drone of language numbs my consciousness
While flashes of bright color and responsibility
Punctuate the scene.
My attention flows with an ebb and tide;
It crests with each discernable utterance,
And crashes when faced with native familiarities.
The cycle is endless yet impermanent,
Just like my drops of thought.


Na-me sa-me kadinchay Cool
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great stuff! Keep 'em coming.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Silly Poem

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?


Spike Milligan
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Aleksander Blok favourite. Perfect for any celebration... Or every other day, hic!


I’m nailed to the tavern counter.
I’m drunk already, but not through.
The happiness that I’ve encountered
The troika took into the blue...

It flew off in the sleigh, and drowned
In snows of time, beyond the sky…
And silver haze, raised from the ground,
Just whipped my soul as it flashed by…

In muffled darkness, sparks fly up,
All night, the night appears to burn…
The sleigh bell’s jangling nonstop,
Of happiness that won’t return…

And just the harness made of gold
Is seen all night… heard through the haze…
But you, my soul… my hopeless soul…
Are drunk and dazed… are drunk and dazed….


Я пригвожден к трактирной стойке.
Я пьян давно. Мне всё - равно.
Вон счастие мое - на тройке
В сребристый дым унесено...

Летит на тройке, потонуло
В снегу времен, в дали веков...
И только душу захлестнуло
Сребристой мглой из-под подков...

В глухую темень искры мечет,
От искр всю ночь, всю ночь светло...
Бубенчик под дугой лепечет
О том, что счастие прошло...

И только сбруя золотая
Всю ночь видна... Всю ночь слышна...
А ты, душа... душа глухая...
Пьяным пьяна... пьяным пьяна...
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