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WCW, "Rain"

 

RAIN

As the rain falls 
so does 
           your love 

bathe every 
                  open 
object of the world-- 

In houses 
the priceless dry 
                         rooms 

of illicit love 
where we live 
hear the wash of the 
                                rain-- 

There 
          paintings 
and fine 
             metalware 
woven stuffs-- 
all the whorishness 
of our 
           delight 
sees 
from its window 

the spring wash 
of your love 
                      the falling 
rain-- 

The trees 
are become 
beasts fresh-risen 
from the sea-- 
water 

trickles 
from the crevices of 
their hides-- 

So my life is spent 
                              to keep out love 
with which 
she rains upon 

                         the world 

of spring 

                    drips 

so spreads 

                     the words 

far apart to let in 

                           her love 

And running in between 

the drops 

                   the rain 

is a kind physician 

                              the rain 
of her thoughts over 

the ocean 
                     every 

where 

           walking with 
invisible swift feet 
over 

         the helpless 
                            waves-- 

Unworldly love 
that has no hope 
                            of the world 

                            and that 
cannot change the world 
to its delight-- 

           The rain 
falls upon the earth 
and grass and flowers 

come 
          perfectly 

into form from its 
                           liquid 

clearness 

                But love is 
unworldly 

                and nothing 
comes of it but love 

following 
and falling endlessly 
from 
          her thoughts

 
 

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WCW: The Young Housewife

 

At ten AM the young housewife
moves about in negligee behind
the wooden walls of her husband’s house.
I pass solitary in my car.

Then again she comes to the curb
to call the ice-man, fish-man, and stands
shy, uncorseted, tucking in
stray ends of hair, and I compare her
to a fallen leaf.

The noiseless wheels of my car
rush with a crackling sound over
dried leaves as I bow and pass smiling. 

 
 

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from Two Translations of "Some Like Poetry" by Symborska

The first is translated by C. Cavanagh, the second by J. Trzeciak. I was reading David Lehman's, State of the Art, in which he compares these two translations. He writes: 

So profound is the difference that the concurrent appearance of the two translations seemed itself to constitute a literary event—an ambiguous parable that could yield lessons ranging from the familiar (‘“poetry is what is lost in translation’”) to the paradoxical (‘“poetry is mistranslation”).
 

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Shelley, "The Dreariest Journey"

 
Shelley, %22The Dreariest Journey%22.png
 

I never was attached to that great sect,
Whose doctrine is, that each one should select
Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivion, though it is the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread,
By the broad highway of the world, and so
With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe,
The dreariest and the longest journey go.


Note:  I've been reading David Lehman's The State of the Art.  This poem was discussed in the chapter titled 2013 with the subtitle, "It was his poetry that kept him going."  It begins with the sentence:  "Shelley's 'Defense of Poetry' (1821) culminates in an assertion of poetry as a source not only of knowledge but of power.  

I've been thinking about that.  Poetry, a source of power.

 
 

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"I PANT, I SINK, I TREMBLE, I EXPIRE!" from Shelley's "Epipsychidion"

 
 
"One hope within two wills, one will beneath
Two overshadowing minds, one life, one death,
One Heaven, one Hell, one immortality,
And one annihilation. Woe is me!
The winged words on which my soul would pierce
Into the height of Love's rare Universe,
Are chains of lead around its flight of fire—
I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire!"

from the last lines Shelley's "Epipsychidion"
 
 

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Shelley on poetry

 
[Poetry] strips the veil of familiarity from the world, and lays bear the naked and sleeping beauty which is the spirit of its forms.
 
 

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