The Naughty Artist * R. Tagore

What has always been the issue > The Naughty Artist vs. The Practical Marketman.

I know my voice is too feeble to raise itself above the uproar of this bustling time, and it is easy for any street urchin to fling against me the epithet of ‘unpractical.’ It will stick to my coat-tail, never to be washed away, effectively excluding me from the consideration of all respectable persons. I know what a risk one runs from the vigorously athletic crowds to be styled an idealist in these days, when thrones have lost their dignity and prophets have become an anachronism, when the sound that drowns all voices is the noise of the market-place. Yet when, one day, standing on the outskirts of Yokohama town, bristling with its display of modern miscellanies, I watched the sunset in your southern sea, and saw its peace and majesty among your pine-clad hills, with the great Fujiyama growing faint against the golden horizon, like a god overcome with his own radiance, the music of eternity welled up through the evening silence, and I felt that the sky and the earth and the lyrics of the dawn and the dayfall are with the poets and idealists, and not with the marketmen robustly contemptuous of all sentiments, that, after the forgetfulness of his own divinity, man will remember again that heaven is always in touch with his world, which can never be abandoned for good to the hounding wolves of the modern era, scenting human blood and howling to the skies. R.Tagore

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Make 2015 THAT year.

Arthur O’Shaughnessy (1844-1881)

Ode

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We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams; —
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
 
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample a kingdom down.
 
We, in the ages lying,
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself in our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
 
A breath of our inspiration
Is the life of each generation;
A wondrous thing of our dreaming
Unearthly, impossible seeming —
The soldier, the king, and the peasant
Are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present,
And their work in the world be done.
 
They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising;
They had no divine foreshowing
Of the land to which they are going:
But on one man’s soul it hath broken,
A light that doth not depart;
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,
Wrought flame in another man’s heart.
 
And therefore to-day is thrilling
With a past day’s late fulfilling;
And the multitudes are enlisted
In the faith that their fathers resisted,
And, scorning the dream of to-morrow,
Are bringing to pass, as they may,
In the world, for its joy or its sorrow,
The dream that was scorned yesterday.
 
But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we!
The glory about us clinging
Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing:
O men! it must ever be
That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing,
A little apart from ye.
 
For we are afar with the dawning
And the suns that are not yet high,
And out of the infinite morning
Intrepid you hear us cry —
How, spite of your human scorning,
Once more God’s future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
That ye of the past must die.
 
Great hail! we cry to the comers
From the dazzling unknown shore;
Bring us hither your sun and your summers;
And renew our world as of yore;
You shall teach us your song’s new numbers,
And things that we dreamed not before:
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,
And a singer who sings no more.

Notes

1] Palgrave writes in pencil, “some power & original — hardly perfect enough” (p. 5). He especially disapproved of the word “amazing” (33) and of the rhyming of “dawning” and “morning” (57, 59).
Edward Elgar (1857-1934) set this poem to music for contralto solo, chorus, and orchestra (Opus 69; London: Novello, 1940; M 1533 E38 OP.69 Music Library). Zoltán Kodály also composed a piano-vocal score for the poem (London: Boosey & Hawkes, 1970; M 1533 K76M82 Music Library).

19] Nineveh: ruined ancient city in Iraq, opposite Mosul on the Tigris River.

20] Babel: see Genesis 10-11. Nimrod’s city, famous for a tower built so high that God confounded its makers by causing them to speak in different tongues.

borrowed from: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/html/1807/4350/poem1540.html

Vasko Popa – Dandelion

popa

Vasko Popa, Selected Poems (1969)

Translated by Anne Pennington, introduction by Ted Hughes

Vasko Popa (Serbian Cyrillic: Васко Попа) (June 29, 1922 – January 5, 1991) was a Yugoslav poet of Romanian descent.

Biography

Popa was born in the village of Grebenac, Vojvodina, Serbia. After finishing high school, he enrolled as a student of The Faculty of Philosophy at the Belgrade University. He continued his studies at the University of Bucharest and in Vienna. During World War II, he fought as a partisan and was imprisoned in a German concentration camp in Bečkerek (today Zrenjanin, Serbia).

After the war, in 1949, Popa graduated from the Romanic group of Faculty of Philosophy at Belgrade University. He published his first poems in the magazines Književne novine (Literary Magazine) and daily Borba (Struggle).

From 1954 until 1979 he was the editor of the publishing house Nolit. In 1953 he published his first major verse collection, Kora (Bark). His other important work included Nepočin-polje (Field of No Rest, 1956), Sporedno nebo (Secondary Heaven, 1968), Uspravna zemlja (Earth Erect, 1972), Vučja so (Wolf’s Salt. 1975), and Od zlata jabuka (The Golden Apple, 1978), an anthology of Serbian folk literature. His Collected Poems, 1943–76, a compilation in English translation, appeared in 1978, with an introduction by the British poet Ted Hughes.

On May 29, 1972 Vasko Popa founded “The Literary Municipality Vršac” and originated a library of postcards, called Slobodno lišće (Free Leaves). In the same year, he was elected to become a member of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Vasko Popa is one of the founders of Vojvodina Academy of Sciences and Arts, established on December 14, 1979 in Novi Sad. He is the first laureate of the Branko’s award (Brankova nagrada) for poetry, established in the honour of the poet Branko Radičević. In the year 1957 Popa received another award for poetry, Zmaj’s Award (Zmajeva nagrada), which honours the poet Jovan Jovanović Zmaj. In 1968 Popa received the Austrian state award for European literature. In 1976 he received the Branko Miljković poetry award, in 1978 the Yugoslav state AVNOJ Award, and in 1983 the literary award Skender Kulenović.

In 1995, the town of Vršac established a poetry award named after Vasko Popa. It is awarded annually for the best book of poetry published in Serbian language. The award ceremony is held on the day of Popa’s birthday, 29 June.

Vasko Popa died on January 5, 1991 in Belgrade and is buried in the Aisle of the Deserving Citizens in Belgrade’s New Cemetery.
Vasko Popa wrote in a succinct modernist style that owed more to French surrealism and Serbian folk traditions than to the Socialist Realism that dominated Eastern European literature after World War II. He created a unique poetic language that combines a modern form with old, oral folk traditions of Serbia – epic poems, stories, myths, riddles, etc. In his work, earthly and legendary mix, the myths come to surface from the collective subconscious, the inheritance and everyday are in constant interplay.

Since his first book of verse, Kora, Vasko Popa has gained steadily in stature and popularity. His poetic achievement – eight volumes of verse written over a period of thirty-eight years – has received extensive critical acclaim both in his native land and beyond. He is one of the most translated Serbian poets

Poetical oeuvre:

* Kora (Bark), 1953
* Nepočin polje (Field of No Rest),1965
* Sporedno nebo (Secondary Heaven), 1968
* Uspravna zemlja (Earth Erect) 1972
* Vučja so (Wolf’s Salt), 1975
* Kuća nasred druma (Home in the Middle of the Road), 1975
* Živo meso (Raw Meat), 1975
* Rez (The Cut), 1981

A Supermarket in California

32

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.

In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!

What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes! —and you, García Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?

   I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.

I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?

I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.

We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

   Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?

(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.)

Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be lonely.

Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?

Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

Berkeley, 1955

Allen Ginsberg-Collected Poems 1947-1997-Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2007)

After Making Love We Hear Footsteps

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For I can snore like a bullhorn
or play loud music
or sit up talking with any reasonably sober Irishman
and Fergus will only sink deeper
into his dreamless sleep, which goes by all in one flash,
but let there be that heavy breathing
or a stifled come-cry anywhere in the house
and he will wrench himself awake
and make for it on the run—as now, we lie together,
after making love, quiet, touching along the length of our bodies,
familiar touch of the long-married,
and he appears—in his baseball pajamas, it happens,
the neck opening so small he has to screw them on—
and flops down between us and hugs us and snuggles himself to sleep,
his face gleaming with satisfaction at being this very child.

In the half darkness we look at each other
and smile and touch arms across this little, startlingly muscled body—
this one whom habit of memory propels to the ground of his making,
sleeper only the mortal sounds can sing awake,
this blessing love gives again into our arms.

Galway Kinnell-A New Selected Poems-Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2001)

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by John Ashbery


The passionate are immobilized.
The case-hardened undulate over walls
of the library, in more or less expressive poses.
The equinox again, not knowing
whether to put the car in reverse
or slam on the brakes at the entrance
to the little alley. Seasons belong
to others than us. Our work keeps us
up late nights; there is no more joy
or sorrow than in what work gives.
A little boy thought the raven on the bluff
was a winged instrument; there is so little
that gives and says it gives. Others
felt themselves ostracized by the moon.
The pure joy of daily living became impacted
with the blood of fate and battles.
There’s no turning back the man says,
the one waiting to take tickets at the top
of the gangplank. Still, in the past
we could always wait a little. Indeed,
we are waiting now. That’s what happens.

meaningful love

by John Ashbery


What the bad news was
became apparent too late
for us to do anything good about it.
I was offered no urgent dreaming,
didn’t need a name or anything.
Everything was taken care of.
In the medium-size city of my awareness
voles are building colossi.
The blue room is over there.
He put out no feelers.
The day was all as one to him.
Some days he never leaves his room
and those are the best days,
by far.
There were morose gardens farther down the slope,
anthills that looked like they belonged there.
The sausages were undercooked,
the wine too cold, the bread molten.
Who said to bring sweaters?
The climate’s not that dependable.
The Atlantic crawled slowly to the left
pinning a message on the unbound golden hair of sleeping maidens,
a ruse for next time,
where fire and water are rampant in the streets,
the gate closed—no visitors today
or any evident heartbeat.
I got rid of the book of fairy tales,
pawned my old car, bought a ticket to the funhouse,
found myself back here at six o’clock,
pondering “possible side effects.”
There was no harm in loving then,
no certain good either. But love was loving servants
or bosses. No straight road issuing from it.
Leaves around the door are penciled losses.
Twenty years to fix it.
Asters bloom one way or another.