• New Home.

    Hey all, just a little update.

    We have moved servers and as a result, we are now under a new URL and a new name, we are now Irishpolitics.net. Please change your bookmarks and update how you get to this site.

    Our new URL is

    www.irishpolitics.net

    The old URL will become obsolete over the coming week.

    We will also be upgrading the site software to the latest version but this will be done over the coming weeks, once everyone is comfortable with the new URL.

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Colm
  • Important Information regarding posting about Covid 19 Click Here

The Poetry Thread

soccop

Pavlov rings my bell.
Staff member
Moderator
Member
Nov 28, 2018
10,445
10,122
Temporally dislocated.

Statsman

The nice one, or so it seemed.
Staff member
Moderator
Member
Nov 28, 2018
10,770
11,819
A quiet retirement home
Something seasonal.

Halloween
Robert Burns


Upon that night, when fairies light
On Cassilis Downans dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,
On sprightly coursers prance;
Or for Colean the rout is ta'en,
Beneath the moon's pale beams;
There, up the Cove,to stray an' rove,
Amang the rocks and streams
To sport that night;

Amang the bonie winding banks,
Where Doon rins, wimplin, clear;
Where Bruce ance rul'd the martial ranks,
An' shook his Carrick spear;
Some merry, friendly, countra-folks
Together did convene,
To burn their nits, an' pou their stocks,
An' haud their Halloween
Fu' blythe that night.

The lasses feat, an' cleanly neat,
Mair braw than when they're fine;
Their faces blythe, fu' sweetly kythe,
Hearts leal, an' warm, an' kin':
The lads sae trig, wi' wooer-babs
Weel-knotted on their garten;
Some unco blate, an' some wi' gabs
Gar lasses' hearts gang startin
Whiles fast at night.

Then, first an' foremost, thro' the kail,
Their stocks maun a' be sought ance;
They steek their een, and grape an' wale
For muckle anes, an' straught anes.
Poor hav'rel Will fell aff the drift,
An' wandered thro' the bow-kail,
An' pou't for want o' better shift
A runt was like a sow-tail
Sae bow't that night.

Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane,
They roar an' cry a' throu'ther;
The vera wee-things, toddlin, rin,
Wi' stocks out owre their shouther:
An' gif the custock's sweet or sour,
Wi' joctelegs they taste them;
Syne coziely, aboon the door,
Wi' cannie care, they've plac'd them
To lie that night.

The lassies staw frae 'mang them a',
To pou their stalks o' corn;
But Rab slips out, an' jinks about,
Behint the muckle thorn:
He grippit Nelly hard and fast:
Loud skirl'd a' the lasses;
But her tap-pickle maist was lost,
Whan kiutlin in the fause-house
Wi' him that night.

The auld guid-wife's weel-hoordit nits
Are round an' round dividend,
An' mony lads an' lasses' fates
Are there that night decided:
Some kindle couthie side by side,
And burn thegither trimly;
Some start awa wi' saucy pride,
An' jump out owre the chimlie
Fu' high that night.

Jean slips in twa, wi' tentie e'e;
Wha 'twas, she wadna tell;
But this is Jock, an' this is me,
She says in to hersel':
He bleez'd owre her, an' she owre him,
As they wad never mair part:
Till fuff! he started up the lum,
An' Jean had e'en a sair heart
To see't that night.

Poor Willie, wi' his bow-kail runt,
Was brunt wi' primsie Mallie;
An' Mary, nae doubt, took the drunt,
To be compar'd to Willie:
Mall's nit lap out, wi' pridefu' fling,
An' her ain fit, it brunt it;
While Willie lap, and swore by jing,
'Twas just the way he wanted
To be that night.

Nell had the fause-house in her min',
She pits hersel an' Rob in;
In loving bleeze they sweetly join,
Till white in ase they're sobbin:
Nell's heart was dancin at the view;
She whisper'd Rob to leuk for't:
Rob, stownlins, prie'd her bonie mou',
Fu' cozie in the neuk for't,
Unseen that night.

But Merran sat behint their backs,
Her thoughts on Andrew Bell:
She lea'es them gashin at their cracks,
An' slips out-by hersel';
She thro' the yard the nearest taks,
An' for the kiln she goes then,
An' darklins grapit for the bauks,
And in the blue-clue throws then,
Right fear't that night.

An' ay she win't, an' ay she swat
I wat she made nae jaukin;
Till something held within the pat,
Good Lord! but she was quaukin!
But whether 'twas the deil himsel,
Or whether 'twas a bauk-en',
Or whether it was Andrew Bell,
She did na wait on talkin
To spier that night.

Wee Jenny to her graunie says,
"Will ye go wi' me, graunie?
I'll eat the apple at the glass,
I gat frae uncle Johnie:"
She fuff't her pipe wi' sic a lunt,
In wrath she was sae vap'rin,
She notic't na an aizle brunt
Her braw, new, worset apron
Out thro' that night.

"Ye little skelpie-limmer's face!
I daur you try sic sportin,
As seek the foul thief ony place,
For him to spae your fortune:
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight!
Great cause ye hae to fear it;
For mony a ane has gotten a fright,
An' liv'd an' died deleerit,
On sic a night.

"Ae hairst afore the Sherra-moor,
I mind't as weel's yestreen
I was a gilpey then, I'm sure
I was na past fyfteen:
The simmer had been cauld an' wat,
An' stuff was unco green;
An' eye a rantin kirn we gat,
An' just on Halloween
It fell that night.

"Our stibble-rig was Rab M'Graen,
A clever, sturdy fallow;
His sin gat Eppie Sim wi' wean,
That lived in Achmacalla:
He gat hemp-seed, I mind it weel,
An'he made unco light o't;
But mony a day was by himsel',
He was sae sairly frighted
That vera night."

Then up gat fechtin Jamie Fleck,
An' he swoor by his conscience,
That he could saw hemp-seed a peck;
For it was a' but nonsense:
The auld guidman raught down the pock,
An' out a handfu' gied him;
Syne bad him slip frae' mang the folk,
Sometime when nae ane see'd him,
An' try't that night.

He marches thro' amang the stacks,
Tho' he was something sturtin;
The graip he for a harrow taks,
An' haurls at his curpin:
And ev'ry now an' then, he says,
"Hemp-seed I saw thee,
An' her that is to be my lass
Come after me, an' draw thee
As fast this night."

He wistl'd up Lord Lennox' March
To keep his courage cherry;
Altho' his hair began to arch,
He was sae fley'd an' eerie:
Till presently he hears a squeak,
An' then a grane an' gruntle;
He by his shouther gae a keek,
An' tumbled wi' a wintle
Out-owre that night.

He roar'd a horrid murder-shout,
In dreadfu' desperation!
An' young an' auld come rinnin out,
An' hear the sad narration:
He swoor 'twas hilchin Jean M'Craw,
Or crouchie Merran Humphie
Till stop! she trotted thro' them a';
And wha was it but grumphie
Asteer that night!

Meg fain wad to the barn gaen,
To winn three wechts o' naething;
But for to meet the deil her lane,
She pat but little faith in:
She gies the herd a pickle nits,
An' twa red cheekit apples,
To watch, while for the barn she sets,
In hopes to see Tam Kipples
That vera night.

She turns the key wi' cannie thraw,
An'owre the threshold ventures;
But first on Sawnie gies a ca',
Syne baudly in she enters:
A ratton rattl'd up the wa',
An' she cry'd Lord preserve her!
An' ran thro' midden-hole an' a',
An' pray'd wi' zeal and fervour,
Fu' fast that night.

They hoy't out Will, wi' sair advice;
They hecht him some fine braw ane;
It chanc'd the stack he faddom't thrice
Was timmer-propt for thrawin:
He taks a swirlie auld moss-oak
For some black, grousome carlin;
An' loot a winze, an' drew a stroke,
Till skin in blypes cam haurlin
Aff's nieves that night.

A wanton widow Leezie was,
As cantie as a kittlen;
But och! that night, amang the shaws,
She gat a fearfu' settlin!
She thro' the whins, an' by the cairn,
An' owre the hill gaed scrievin;
Whare three lairds' lan's met at a burn,
To dip her left sark-sleeve in,
Was bent that night.

Whiles owre a linn the burnie plays,
As thro' the glen it wimpl't;
Whiles round a rocky scar it strays,
Whiles in a wiel it dimpl't;
Whiles glitter'd to the nightly rays,
Wi' bickerin', dancin' dazzle;
Whiles cookit undeneath the braes,
Below the spreading hazel
Unseen that night.

Amang the brachens, on the brae,
Between her an' the moon,
The deil, or else an outler quey,
Gat up an' ga'e a croon:
Poor Leezie's heart maist lap the hool;
Near lav'rock-height she jumpit,
But mist a fit, an' in the pool
Out-owre the lugs she plumpit,
Wi' a plunge that night.

In order, on the clean hearth-stane,
The luggies three are ranged;
An' ev'ry time great care is ta'en
To see them duly changed:
Auld uncle John, wha wedlock's joys
Sin' Mar's-year did desire,
Because he gat the toom dish thrice,
He heav'd them on the fire
In wrath that night.

Wi' merry sangs, an' friendly cracks,
I wat they did na weary;
And unco tales, an' funnie jokes
Their sports were cheap an' cheery:
Till butter'd sowens, wi' fragrant lunt,
Set a' their gabs a-steerin;
Syne, wi' a social glass o' strunt,
They parted aff careerin
Fu' blythe that night.
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854

Strange line : Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
This, I think, is an example of where you put your own thoughts into unanimated things for no good reason. Maybe I’m too prosaic, but I would’ve thought the scythe would be saying, cut, cut, cut.
 
Last edited:

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854
I'm working on a poem - it's still in draft:


The trees are in their Autumn beauty
The woodland paths are dry;
Under the October twilight
The water is full of beer cans and green slime;
It's a crime.


I feel that the last line needs something?
Always use your own words. I wrote something on the same subject back in the 'sixties and sent it to New Irish Writing (David Marcus) in the Irish Press. Marcus’s verdict: It’s too like a catalogue.
 

soccop

Pavlov rings my bell.
Staff member
Moderator
Member
Nov 28, 2018
10,445
10,122
Temporally dislocated.
Too much bucolic nonsense for me:

THE SEX FIENDS

"I go to this
Rehabilitation Center
with my sister,"
he said
"and the sex fiends all sit together
they're all gus 5 feet tall or under,.
and this one guy, they call him the rabbit.
well, the rabbit's problem is that he propositions every woman he sees.
he just walks up and asks them to go to bed with him."

"I think that's very honest," I said.
"Some very greasy characters use a roundabout approach."

"Maybe so," he said.,
"but it's still got the rabbit into trouble.
In fact," he said, "the rabbit saw a woman at the center, and said
will you go to bed with me?

"and the woman said no, and he said
I'll give you a dollar...

"then, all the sex fiends went into this room to masturbate,
and the rabbit was workign away when a therapist walked in and he tried to rape her."

"yeah yeah, what happened?"

"oh, she just pushed him off and walked out."

"By the way," I asked,
"what were you doing there?"

"Oh," he said,
"I'm a sex fiend."

"I go every Thursday morning at 8 AM.
Do you want to come with me next week?"

"I ought to," I said, "but
I like to
sleep late in the mornings..."

Charles Bukowski.
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854
He's changed it into a doggerel thread.


What do you think of poetry in translation is it still the best words in the best order?

I ask because I quite like this:


It seems the trouble with translations is that some expressions cannot easily be translated into another language, so something as near as possible must be used. If you don’t understand the original, you’ve no way of knowing.

Personally it doesn’t worry me at all. If I like what I read in the language I understand, then that’s all that matters.

Look at Edward Fitzgerald and his “translation” of Omar Khayyam’s quatrains. Other people later published what they claimed were more faithful translations of Khayyam, but I never cared for them myself. I thought them completely soulless.
 

Cruimh

Rhubarb fetishist and proud of it!
Staff member
Moderator
Member
Nov 28, 2018
18,714
12,401
Under the blue skies
www.xxx-rhubarb.com
Too much bucolic nonsense for me:

THE SEX FIENDS

"I go to this
Rehabilitation Center
with my sister,"
he said
"and the sex fiends all sit together
they're all gus 5 feet tall or under,.
and this one guy, they call him the rabbit.
well, the rabbit's problem is that he propositions every woman he sees.
he just walks up and asks them to go to bed with him."

"I think that's very honest," I said.
"Some very greasy characters use a roundabout approach."

"Maybe so," he said.,
"but it's still got the rabbit into trouble.
In fact," he said, "the rabbit saw a woman at the center, and said
will you go to bed with me?

"and the woman said no, and he said
I'll give you a dollar...

"then, all the sex fiends went into this room to masturbate,
and the rabbit was workign away when a therapist walked in and he tried to rape her."

"yeah yeah, what happened?"

"oh, she just pushed him off and walked out."

"By the way," I asked,
"what were you doing there?"

"Oh," he said,
"I'm a sex fiend."

"I go every Thursday morning at 8 AM.
Do you want to come with me next week?"

"I ought to," I said, "but
I like to
sleep late in the mornings..."

Charles Bukowski.


Huge fan of Buk.
 

milipod

Member
Nov 27, 2018
11,658
10,890
Stepaside
Too much bucolic nonsense for me:

THE SEX FIENDS

"I go to this
Rehabilitation Center
with my sister,"
he said
"and the sex fiends all sit together
they're all gus 5 feet tall or under,.
and this one guy, they call him the rabbit.
well, the rabbit's problem is that he propositions every woman he sees.
he just walks up and asks them to go to bed with him."

"I think that's very honest," I said.
"Some very greasy characters use a roundabout approach."

"Maybe so," he said.,
"but it's still got the rabbit into trouble.
In fact," he said, "the rabbit saw a woman at the center, and said
will you go to bed with me?

"and the woman said no, and he said
I'll give you a dollar...

"then, all the sex fiends went into this room to masturbate,
and the rabbit was workign away when a therapist walked in and he tried to rape her."

"yeah yeah, what happened?"

"oh, she just pushed him off and walked out."

"By the way," I asked,
"what were you doing there?"

"Oh," he said,
"I'm a sex fiend."

"I go every Thursday morning at 8 AM.
Do you want to come with me next week?"

"I ought to," I said, "but
I like to
sleep late in the mornings..."

Charles Bukowski.
Love Bukowski
 

Statsman

The nice one, or so it seemed.
Staff member
Moderator
Member
Nov 28, 2018
10,770
11,819
A quiet retirement home
Dusk
BY RAE ARMANTROUT
spider on the cold expanse
of glass, three stories high
rests intently
and so purely alone.

I’m not like that!
Believe it or not, I've met Rae. Love her work.
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
2,367
1,854
One of the poems which I can still quote to myself is Frank O’Connor’s translation of “Kilcash”. It was really a song, of course – a lament – but I learned it as a poem at school

I see another translation by Thomas Kinsella (here). So someone – or both – were a bit free with the translation.

And here it is,(Kilcash) played on the harp, which is the version which appeals to me most.

Kilcash

Translated by Frank O'Connor

What shall we do for timber?
The last of the woods is down.
Kilcash and the house of its glory
And the bell of the house are gone,
The spot where that lady waited
Who shamed all women for grace
When earls came sailing to greet her
And Mass was said in the place.

My grief and my affliction
Your gates are taken away,
Your avenue needs attention,
Goats in the garden stray.
The courtyard's filled with water
And the great earls where are they?
The earls, the lady, the people
Beaten into the clay.

No sound of duck or geese there,
Hawk's cry or eagle's call,
No humming of the bees there
That brought honey and wax for all,
Nor even the song of the birds there
When the sun goes down in the west,
No cuckoo on top of the boughs there,
Singing the world to rest.

There's mist there tumbling from branches,
Unstirred by night and by day,
And darkness falling from heaven,
For our fortune has ebbed away,
There's no holly nor hazel nor ash there,
The pasture's rock and stone,
The crown of the forest has withered,
And the last of its game is gone.

I beseech of Mary and Jesus
That the great come home again
With long dances danced in the garden,
Fiddle music and mirth among men,
That Kilcash the home of our fathers
Be lifted on high again,
And from that to the deluge of waters
In bounty and peace remain.
 
Last edited:

ast

Member
Dec 15, 2018
230
126
Boogieland
Mainz hon est si hastis,
Quant rien a entrepris,
Tantost veut a chief traire;
Le suen despent et gaste
Et si pert par sa haste
Le plus de son afaire.
Rome ne fu pas faite toute en un jour,
ce dit li vilains.

Li proverbe au vilain, die Sprichwörter des gemeinen Mannes (free Google ebook)

Tentative translation into contemporary Belgian..

Mais honnie soit la hâte,
Qui n'a rien entrepris,
Tantôt veut à chef traire;
Sa dépense est vaste
Et si perdue par sa hâte
La plupart de son affaire.
Rome ne s'est pas faite en un jour,
dit le plébéien.
 

Shaadi

Member
Feb 16, 2019
2,594
2,890
The Workers Bus


The workers bus was old and rickety
It hummed a diesel tune and smell
Juddering through Galway streets
Violently enough to knock out teeth

Moving swiftly through the outskirts
The regulars alighting at familiar points
In for the long haul I'd slowly drift away
Off to the land of nod for forty winks

Safely wrapped in a tattered cocoon
My guardian angel watching over me
Tom the kind faced and soft voiced driver
Always there to wake this weary traveller

Hai wake up sleepy head we're nearly home
Up I’d get to sit up close and have the chat
Good luck until tomorrow we’d say on our way
Till one day Tom himself had drifted away

Taking with him a little piece of me


Shaadi...
 

Cruimh

Rhubarb fetishist and proud of it!
Staff member
Moderator
Member
Nov 28, 2018
18,714
12,401
Under the blue skies
www.xxx-rhubarb.com
Biscuit

The dog has cleaned his bowl
and his reward is a biscuit,
which I put in his mouth
like a priest offering the host.

I can't bear that trusting face!
He asks for bread, expects
bread, and I in my power
might have given him a stone.

Jane Kenyon from Constance (1993)
 
Top Bottom