Celebrating Five Years…

Completing my formative years here!
It’s still unbelievable when I look at the number! I pinch my self, is it true? really?
I want to thank you all for providing a continuous flow of views, likes, love, support, follow, comments,… making my journey a wonderful experience.

Please let me know what do you think about this blog. What do you like or dislike about it? What would you like to read here, more often?
Today I am posting, rather reposting five of the most loved English Poems, in order of the maximum number of views…

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The Burning Kite – Ouyang Jianghe (posted on 31st March 2017)

The Burning Kite

What a thing it would be, if we all could fly.
But to rise on air does not make you a bird.

I’m sick of the hiss of champagne bubbles.
It’s spring, and everyone’s got something to puke.

The things we puke: flights of stairs,
a skyscraper soaring from the gut,

the bills blow by on the April breeze
followed by flurries of razor blades in May.

It’s true, a free life is made of words.
You can crumple it, toss it in the trash,

or fold it between the bodies of angels, attaining
a permanent address in the sky.

The postman hands you your flight of birds
persisting in the original shape of wind.

Whether they’re winging toward the scissors’ V
or printed and plastered on every wall

or bound and trussed, bamboo frames wound with wire
or sentenced to death by fire

you are, first
and always, ash.

Broken wire, a hurricane at each end.
Fire trucks scream across the earth.

But this blaze is a thing of the air.
Raise your glass higher, toss it up and away.

Few know this kind of dizzy glee:
an empty sky, a pair of burning wings.

BY OUYANG JIANGHE
TRANSLATED FROM THE CHINESE BY AUSTIN WOERNER

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Chinese poet Ouyang Jianghe, known as one of the “Five Masters from Sichuan,” is a poet and prominent critic of music, art, and literature, and president of the literary magazine Jintian. His first poetry collection in English, Doubled Shadows (2012), was published by Zephyr Press.

source: poetry foundation.org

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Ouyang — a bit of a maverick, known to move against the traffic.
He is placed often in the category of the “post-Misty” school of Chinese poets — a representative voice among the second wave of poets who, in the immediate aftermath of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), chose to turn away from big historical themes, focusing instead on the apparently trivial and the quotidian elements of life. The language was obscure (hence, the name “misty”), often marked by neologisms and syntactical experiments.

“Ouyang Jianghe,” says his translator, Austin Woerner, a scholar of Chinese literature based in New York, “is the mistiest of the post-Misties. His poetry is noted for its ‘difficulty’.”

source: chinadailyasia.com

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Clouds- Rainer Maria Rilke (posted on 24th June 2015)

These laborers of rain, these heavy clouds,
see how evening takes them on celestial vacations;
a delirium of uselessness has gripped them,
and their vacationing edges dare transparencies.

They nonchalantly imitate mountains and islands
and propose luminous caps to the shipwrecks of sight.
And later, in front of the moon,
how many of there profiles will become feminine.

Around them, these depths which soon
ought to hold the numberless worlds, blanch.
And a friend who doesn’t watch herself says : Nice,
and closes herself on the unutterable.

-Rainer Maria Rilke
From French poems: translated by A.Poulin, JR

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A Journey – Nikki Giovanni (posted on 5th November 2017)

A Journey

It’s a journey . . . that I propose . . . I am not the guide . . . nor technical assistant . . . I will be your fellow passenger . . .

Though the rail has been ridden . . . winter clouds cover . . . autumn’s exuberant quilt . . . we must provide our own guide-posts . . .

I have heard . . . from previous visitors . . . the road washes out sometimes . . . and passengers are compelled . . . to continue groping . . . or turn back . . . I am not afraid . . .

I am not afraid . . . of rough spots . . . or lonely times . . . I don’t fear . . . the success of this endeavor . . . I am Ra . . . in a space . . . not to be discovered . . . but invented . . .

I promise you nothing . . . I accept your promise . . . of the same we are simply riding . . . a wave . . . that may carry . . . or crash . . .

It’s a journey . . . and I want . . . to go . . .

– Nikki Giovanni, 1943

“A Journey” from The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998.
Born in 1943, Nikki Giovanni is the author of numerous collections of poetry and was the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award.
source: poets.org

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To the foot from its child [ Al pie desde su niño ] –Pablo Neruda
(Posted on 15th March 2015)

The child’s foot is not yet aware it’s a foot,
and would like to be a butterfly or an apple.

But in time, stones and bits of glass,
streets, ladders,
and the paths in the rough earth
go on teaching the foot that it cannot fly,
cannot be a fruit bulging on the branch.
Then, the child’s foot
is defeated, falls
in the battle,
is a prisoner
condemned to live in a shoe.

Bit by bit, in that dark,
it grows to know the world in its own way,
out of touch with its fellow, enclosed,
feeling out life like a blind man.

These soft nails
of quartz, bunched together,
grow hard, and change themselves
into opaque substance, hard as horn,
and the tiny, petalled toes of the child
grow bunched and out of trim,
take on the form of eyeless reptiles
with triangular heads, like worms.
Later, they grow calloused
and are covered
with faint volcanoes of death,
a coarsening hard to accept.

But this blind thing walks
without respite, never stopping
for hour after hour,
the one foot, the other,
now the man’s,
now the woman’s,
up above,
down below,
through fields, mines,
markets and ministries,
backwards,
far afield, inward,
forward,
this foot toils in its shoe,
scarcely taking time
to bare itself in love or sleep;
it walks, they walk,
until the whole man chooses to stop.

And then it descended
underground, unaware,
for there, everything, everything was dark.
It never knew it had ceased to be a foot
or if they were burying it so that it could fly
or so that it could become
an apple.

——translated from Spanish by Alastair Reid [ A bilingual Edition] from
Extravagaria [Estravagario] -Pablo Neruda

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A certain weariness [Cierto cansancio]- Pablo Neruda
(Posted on 8th June 2015)

A certain weariness

I don’t want to be tired alone,
I want you to grow tired along with me.

How can we not be weary
of the kind of fine ash
which falls on cities in autumn,
something which doesn’t quite burn,
which collects in jackets
and little by little settles,
discolouring the heart.

I’m tired of the harsh sea
and the mysterious earth.
I’m tired of chickens-
we never know what they think,
and they look at us with dry eyes
as though we were unimportant.

Let us for once-I invite you-
be tired of so many things,
of awful aperitifs,
of a good education.

Tired of not going to France,
tired of at least
one or two days in the week
which have always the same names
like dishes on the table,
and of getting up-what for?-
and going to bed without glory.

Let us finally tell the truth:
we never thought much of
these days that are like
houseflies or camels.

I have seen some monuments
raised to titans,
to donkeys of industry.
They’re there, motionless,
with their swords in their hands
on their gloomy horses.
I’m tired of statues.
Enough of all that stone.

If we go on filling up
the world with still things,
how can the living live?

I am tired of remembering.

I want men , when they’re born,
to breath in naked flowers,
fresh soil, pure fire,
not just what everyone breaths.
Leave the newborn in peace!

Leave room for them to live!
Don’t think for them,
don’t read them the same book;
let them discover the dawn
and name their own kisses.

I want you to be weary with me
of all that is already well done,
of all that ages us.

Of all that lies in wait
to wear out other people.

Let us be weary of what kills
and of what doesn’t want to die.

——translated from Spanish by Alastair Reid [ A bilingual Edition]
from
Extravagaria [Estravagario] -Pablo Neruda