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Sasha's poetry corner
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:19 am    Post subject: Wait For Me Reply with quote

Perhaps it is because of the date today, but I have had this Simonov poem in my head all day:

В.С.

Жди меня, и я вернусь.
Только очень жди,
Жди, когда наводят грусть
Желтые дожди,
Жди, когда снега метут,
Жди, когда жара,
Жди, когда других не ждут,
Позабыв вчера.
Жди, когда из дальних мест
Писем не придет,
Жди, когда уж надоест
Всем, кто вместе ждет.

Жди меня, и я вернусь,
Не желай добра
Всем, кто знает наизусть,
Что забыть пора.
Пусть поверят сын и мать
В то, что нет меня,
Пусть друзья устанут ждать,
Сядут у огня,
Выпьют горькое вино
На помин души...
Жди. И с ними заодно
Выпить не спеши.

Жди меня, и я вернусь,
Всем смертям назло.
Кто не ждал меня, тот пусть
Скажет: - Повезло.
Не понять, не ждавшим им,
Как среди огня
Ожиданием своим
Ты спасла меня.
Как я выжил, будем знать
Только мы с тобой,-
Просто ты умела ждать,
Как никто другой.

1941


to Valentina Serova
Wait for me, and I'll come back!
Wait with all you've got!
Wait, when dreary yellow rains
Tell you, you should not.
Wait when snow is falling fast,
Wait when summer's hot,
Wait when yesterdays are past,
Others are forgot.
Wait, when from that far-off place,
Letters don't arrive.
Wait, when those with whom you wait
Doubt if I'm alive.

Wait for me, and I'll come back!
Wait in patience yet
When they tell you off by heart
That you should forget.
Even when my dearest ones
Say that I am lost,
Even when my friends give up,
Sit and count the cost,
Drink a glass of bitter wine
To the fallen friend -
Wait! And do not drink with them!
Wait until the end!

Wait for me and I'll come back,
Dodging every fate!
"What a bit of luck!" they'll say,
Those that would not wait.
They will never understand
How amidst the strife,
By your waiting for me, dear,
You had saved my life.
Only you and I will know
How you got me through.
Simply - you knew how to wait -
No one else but you.

1941
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Анна Ахматова - Вечером

Звенела музыка в саду
Таким невыразимым горем.
Свежо и остро пахли морем
На блюде устрицы во льду.

Он мне сказал: "Я верный друг!"
И моего коснулся платья.
Как не похожи на объятья
Прикосновенья этих рук.

Так гладят кошек или птиц,
Так на наездниц смотрят стройных...
Лишь смех в глазах его спокойных
Под легким золотом ресниц.

А скорбных скрипок голоса
Поют за стелющимся дымом:
"Благослови же небеса -
Ты первый раз одна с любимым".

Март 1913




Anna Akhmatova - In the Evening

The garden rang with music
Of inexpressible despair.
A dish of oysters spread on ice
Smelled like the ocean, fresh and sharp.

He told me: "I'm a faithful friend!"-
And lightly touched my dress.
How different from embraces
The touch of those two hands.

That's how one strokes a cat or bird
Or looks at slender lady riders...
Just laughter in his quiet eyes,
Beneath his light gold lashes.

And the despondent voices of the violins
Sing out beyond the hanging smoke:
"Give blessings to heaven above
At last you're alone with your beloved."

March 1913
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Владимир Маяковский

Стихи о советском паспорте

Я волком бы
выгрыз
бюрократизм.
К мандатам
почтения нету.
К любым
чертям с матерями
катись
любая бумажка.
Но эту...
По длинному фронту
купе
и кают
чиновник
учтивый
движется.
Сдают паспорта,
и я
сдаю
мою
пурпурную книжицу.
К одним паспортам -
улыбка у рта.
К другим -
отношение плевое.
С почтеньем
берут, например,
паспорта
с двухспальным
английским левою.
Глазами
доброго дядю выев,
не переставая
кланяться,
берут,
как будто берут чаевые,
паспорт
американца.
На польский -
глядят,
как в афишу коза.
На польский -
выпяливают глаза
в тугой
полицейской слоновости -
откуда, мол,
и что это за
географические новости?
И не повернув
головы кочан
и чувств
никаких
не изведав,
берут,
не моргнув,
паспорта датчан
и разных
прочих
шведов.
И вдруг,
как будто
ожогом,
рот
скривило
господину.
Это
господин чиновник
берет
мою
краснокожую паспортину.
Берет -
как бомбу,
берет -
как ежа,
как бритву
обоюдоострую,
берет,
как гремучую
в 20 жал
змею
двухметроворостую.
Моргнул
многозначаще
глаз носильщика,
хоть вещи
снесет задаром вам.
Жандарм
вопросительно
смотрит на
сыщика,
сыщик
на жандарма.
С каким наслажденьем
жандармской
кастой
я был бы
исхлестан и распят
за то,
что в руках у меня
молоткастый,
серпастый
советский паспорт.
Я волком бы
выгрыз
бюрократизм.
К мандатам
почтения нету.
К любым
чертям с матерями
катись
любая бумажка.
Но эту...
Я
достаю
из широких штанин
дубликатом
бесценного груза.
Читайте,
завидуйте,
я -
гражданин
Советского Союза.


--------------------------------------------------------------

Vladimir Mayakovsky

My Soviet passport

I'd tear
like a wolf
at bureaucracy.
For mandates
my respect's but the slightest.
To the devil himself
I'd chuck without mercy
every red-taped paper.
But this ...
Down the long front
of coupés and cabins
File the officials
politely.
They gather up passports
and I give in
My own vermilion booklet.
For one kind of passport -
smiling lips part
For others -
an attitude scornful.
They take
with respect, for instance,
the passport
From a sleeping-car
English Lionel.
The good fellows eyes
almost slip like pips
when,
bowing as low as men can,
they take,
as if they were taking a tip,
the passport
from an American.
At the Polish,
they dolefully blink and wheeze
in dumb
police elephantism -
where are they from,
and what are these
geographical novelties?
And without a turn
of their cabbage heads,
their feelings
hidden in lower regions,
they take without blinking,
the passports from Swedes
and various
old Norwegians.
Then sudden
as if their mouths were
aquake
those gentlemen almost
whine
Those very official gentlemen
take
that red-skinned passport
of mine.
Take-
like a bomb
take - like a hedgehog,
like a razor
double-edge stropped,
take -
like a rattlesnake huge and long
with at least
20 fangs
poison-tipped.
The porter's eyes
give a significant flick
(I'll carry your baggage
for nix,
mon ami...)
The gendarmes enquiringly
look at the tec,
the tec, -
at the gendarmerie.
With what delight
that gendarme caste
would have me
strung-up and whipped raw
because I hold
in my hands
hammered-fast
sickle-clasped
my red Soviet passport.
I'd tear
like a wolf
at bureaucracy.
For mandates
my respect's but the slightest.
To the devil himself
I'd chuck
without mercy
every red-taped paper,
But this ...
I pull out
of my wide trouser-pockets
duplicate
of a priceless cargo.
You now:
read this
and envy,
I'm a citizen
of the Soviet Socialist Union!
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brrrrr. Summer has truly ended in Moscow and the weather is starting to close in. Here's a lovely gem for students in class, full of useful weather adjectives:


Iubesc ploile, iubesc cu patimă ploile,
Înnebunitele ploi şi ploile calme,
Ploile feciorelnice şi ploile-dezlănţuite femei,
Ploile proaspete şi plictisitoarele ploi fără sfârşit,
Iubesc ploile, iubesc cu patimă ploile,
Îmi place să mă tăvălesc prin iarba lor albă, înaltă,
Îmi place să le rup firele şi să umblu cu ele în dinţi...


I love the rain, I passionately love the rain,
the mad rains and the gentle rains
the chaste rains and the rains like unbridled women,
refreshing rains and endless boring rains.
I love the rain, I passionately love the rain.
I like to wallow in its tall white grass,
I like to break its threads and walk with them
in my teeth.

Ana Blandiana
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't beat an e e cummings poem for a lively classroom discussion as to what it all means!


Me up at does

Me up at does
out of the floor
quietly Stare
a poisoned mouse

still who alive
is asking What
have i done that
You wouldn't have
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Sad State of Freedom

You waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you'll taste not a morsel;
you are free to slave for others--
you are free to make the rich richer.

The moment you're born
they plant around you
mills that grind lies
lies to last you a lifetime.
You keep thinking in your great freedom
a finger on your temple
free to have a free conscience.

Your head bent as if half-cut from the nape,
your arms long, hanging,
your saunter about in your great freedom:
you're free
with the freedom of being unemployed.

You love your country
as the nearest, most precious thing to you.
But one day, for example,
they may endorse it over to America,
and you, too, with your great freedom--
you have the freedom to become an air-base.

You may proclaim that one must live
not as a tool, a number or a link
but as a human being--
then at once they handcuff your wrists.
You are free to be arrested, imprisoned
and even hanged.

There's neither an iron, wooden
nor a tulle curtain
in your life;
there's no need to choose freedom:
you are free.
But this kind of freedom
is a sad affair under the stars.

Nazim Hikmet

Translated by Taner Baybars
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the air a staircase
For silence; the sun’s light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great rôle. And the audiences
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
Prompt me, God;
But not yet. When I speak,
Though it be you who speak
Through me, something is lost.
The meaning is in the waiting....R.S.Thomas..
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gaijinalways



Joined: 29 Nov 2005
Posts: 2279

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm so far I don't see a lot of ideas about how to teach with poetry, just a lot of translated poems, so perhaps this example will give this thread a bit more balance.

I have taught with some English haiku, and you can easily find haiku written in other languages as well (googling is an addictive hobby). I don't usually focus on the grammar, though certainly pronunciation and meaning, and sometimes a look at historical/cultural points is useful.

An example with 'Mending Wall by Robert Frost follows.

SOMETHING there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing: 5
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made, 10
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go. 15
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them. 20
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across 25
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it 30
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, 35
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. 40
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

In some parts of Japan, stones are also used to make walls, but many students are unaware of the significance of walls (or where the stones usually come from). What exactly walls do, and what kinds of walls (physical, mental, cultural..etc) we encounter and how we deal with them are all useful topics originating from this poem. There are of course a lot of other aspects to get into, depending on the level of your students.

I don't usually feel like I have a lot of time to explore aspects of poetry in most of my classes as I'm not sure how useful it will be (giving opinions about poetry/ explaining meaning) though certainly it can possess parallels in symbolism and irony used in other written texts. Sometimes more urgent practicalities need to be addressed, though I do teach some artists, so they of course are interested in using and understanding some poetic aspects.

Comparison with Haiku:
1) shorter
2) usually more transparent in meaning, but not always.

Been a while, perhaps have to dig out something to use this term.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read the thread from the beginning. Lots of poems deal with themes which can be used in discussions, with the students contributing most of the input, as in lots of STT. Issues of culture, of cultural constructs, of translation etc. Of course some of it localised and might not mean much to Japanese students.

Johnslat contributed the Frost poem on another thread too, by the way.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where

Poetry hides
somewhere
behind the night of words
behind the clouds of hearing,
across the dark of sight,
and beyond the dusk of music
that’s hidden and revealed.
But where is it concealed?
And how could I
possibly know
when I am
barely able,
by the light of day,
to find my pencil?

...Taha Muhammad Ali....1931-2011
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a touching little verse from Japan.

No Way to See Him

Now way to see him
on this moonless night-
I lie awake longing, burning,
*beep* racing fire,
heart in flames.

Ono No Komachi


Anybody care to volunteer ideas on how to exploit this in a classroom?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8641
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, the forum beeper didn't like one of the above words, which is a synonym for your chest, and even rhymes with it.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12057
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sasha,

Reminds me of this:

"O Western wind when wilt thou blow
That the small rain down can rain.
Christ, that my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again."

16th Century song "The Western Wynde": Anonymous

And here's another I've always liked:

Tichborne's Elegy

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my good is but vain hope of gain;
The day is past, and yet I saw no sun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

My tale was heard and yet it was not told,
My fruit is fallen, and yet my leaves are green,
My youth is spent and yet I am not old,
I saw the world and yet I was not seen;
My thread is cut and yet it is not spun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

I sought my death and found it in my womb,
I looked for life and saw it was a shade,
I trod the earth and knew it was my tomb,
And now I die, and now I was but made;
My glass is full, and now my glass is run,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

In June 1586, Tichborne agreed to take part in the Babington Plot to murder Queen Elizabeth and replace her with the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots who was next in line to the throne. The plot was foiled by Sir Francis Walsingham using a double agent and though most of the conspirators fled, Tichborne had an injured leg and was forced to remain in London. On August 14, he was arrested and sentenced to death.
While in custody in the Tower of London on September 19 (the eve of his execution), Tichborne wrote to his wife Agnes. The letter contained three stanzas of poetry that are his only known piece of work, Tichborne's Elegy, also known by its first line My Prime of Youth is but a Frost of Cares. The poem is a dark look at a life tragically cut short and is a favourite of many scholars even to this day.
Tichborne was executed by hanging on September 20 1586. He was disembowelled while still alive on the gallows at Tower Hill as a warning to other would-be conspirators.

Regards,
John
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3209

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was an old man from Nantucket.....

I'm back, I'm back, let the band play and the banners fly, I'm back!!!

Hi, Sash, hi, johnslat, hi, Spiral!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9134
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, johnt! You've been missed Very Happy
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