2018年3月6日 星期二

Sonnets from the Portuguese

Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning​ was born in Kelloe, Durham, England on this day in 1806.
"I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears 
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair,
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove, ...
Guess now who holds thee?'—Death,' I said. But there,
The silver answer rang ... Not Death, but Love'."
--"1: I thought once how Theocritus had sung" from SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE (1850)
First published in 1850 and considered some of the finest love lyrics in the English language, Sonnets from the Portuguese comprise 44 interlocking poems that Elizabeth Barrett Browning composed for her husband, Robert Browning. This wonderful illustrated edition includes 22 additional works as well. READ more here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/sonnets-from-the-port…/

'How do I love thee? Let me count the ways'.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning eloped with Robert Browning #onthisday in 1846. They met in May 1845 and while his attraction to her was almost instantaneous, her feelings for him took longer to develop. Six years his senior and a lifelong sufferer of ill health, Elizabeth needed to be convinced that his affection for her was sincere and reliable. She was also aware of all that she would risk if she married Browning as her father had forbidden his children from marrying and said he would disinherit those who did.
In Sonnets from the Portuguese, these initial fears and doubts can be seen but by the later sonnets, such as Sonnet 43, these fears have been replaced by feelings of love and excitement as Elizabeth became surer of the relationship. Elizabeth and Robert remained married for 15 years until 29 June 1861 when Elizabeth died in Robert’s arms after a long illness. http://bit.ly/2cCXAUT
Image © The Provost and Fellows of Eton College

2018年2月22日 星期四

William Stafford (1914~1993) wrote a new poem every day for over 50 years

長短篇, Ask Me  --才一分半,請各取所需。

William Stafford - What Happens When You Get Lost

William Stafford
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica
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William Stafford, in full William Edgar Stafford, (born January 17, 1914, Hutchinson, Kansas, U.S.—died August 28, 1993, Lake Oswego, Oregon), American poet whose work explores man’s relationship with nature. He formed the habit of rising early to write every day, often musing on the minutia of life.

Stafford attended the University of Kansas (B.A., 1937; M.A., 1945) and the State University of Iowa, where he received a doctorate in 1955. A conscientious objector, he participated in outdoor work camps during World War II, and these experiences were the basis for his master’s thesis, which was published as Down in My Heart (1947). In 1968 he joined the faculty of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, serving as English professor from 1960 to 1980. Stafford also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (1970–71; now poet laureate consultant in poetry) and poet laureate of Oregon (1975–90).

A prolific poet, Stafford often wrote about the American West while exploring universal themes. West of Your City, his first poetry collection , was published in 1960. In Traveling Through the Dark (1962),a volume of restrained and introspective verse , Stafford revealed his fascination with self-searching and discovery; it received the National Book Award for Poetry in 1962. Later collections include Allegiances (1970), A Glass Face in the Rain (1982), and An Oregon Message (1987). Stafford’s style is often described as accessible, straightforward, and intimate. In an interview published in The Paris Review, he characterized his writing as “a back and forth with the people in your town, in your street, in the field where you’re working, or the camp where you are.”

Stafford also wrote criticism and edited several anthologies. In Writing the Australian Crawl (1978) he described his writing process.

BBC Radio 4

Over 20,000 all together,

William Stafford wrote a new poem every day for over 50 years

He was America's poet laureate. His poetry was accessible and timeless.


2018年2月15日 星期四

ThomasGray’s great ‘Elegy in a Country Churchyard’

“Full many a desert flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air”.
#ThomasGray’s great ‘Elegy in a Country Churchyard’ was first published #onthisday 1751. Two years later the celebrated edition with designs by Richard Bentley appeared. Here it is:

2018年1月31日 星期三


"The Rambler" by Thomas Hardy
I do not see the hills around,
Nor mark the tints the copses wear;
I do not note the grassy ground 
And constellated daisies there.
I hear not the contralto note
Of cuckoos hid on either hand,
The whirr that shakes the nighthawk's throat
When eve's brown awning hoods the land.
Some say each songster, tree and mead--
All eloquent of love divine--
Receives their constant careful heed:
Such keen appraisement is not mine.
The tones around me that I hear,
The aspects, meanings, shapes I see,
Are those far back ones missed when near,
And now perceived too late by me!
Poems: Hardy contains poems from Moments of Vision, Satires of Circumstance, Veteris Vestigia Flammae, Heredity, Short Stories, Afterwards, and an index of first lines. READ more here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/hardy-poems-by-thomas…/


2018年1月30日 星期二

"Barbarian" by Arthur Rimbaud

"Barbarian" by Arthur Rimbaud
Long after the days and the seasons, and people and countries.
The banner of raw meat against the silk of seas and arctic flowers;
(they do not exist). Recovered from the old fanfares of heroism,-- 
which still attack the heart and head,-- far from the old assassins.
-- Oh! the banner of raw meat against the silk of seas and arctic flowers;
(they do not exist).-- Bliss! Live embers raining in gusts of frost.--
Bliss!-- fires in the rain of the wind of diamonds
flung out by the earth's heart eternally carbonized for us.
-- O world! (Far from the old retreats and the old flames, still heard, still felt.)
Fire and foam. Magic, veering of chasms and clash of icicles against the stars.
O bliss, O world, O music! And forms, sweat, eyes
and long hair floating there. And white tears boiling,--
O bliss!-- and the feminine voice reaching to the bottom of volcanoes
and grottos of the arctic seas. The banner...
Poems: Rimbaud contains selections from Rimbaud’s work, including over 100 poems, selected prose, "Letter to Paul Demeny, May 15, 1871," and an index of first lines. READ an excerpt here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/rimbaud-poems-by-arth…/

2018年1月29日 星期一

"Demon" 等 by Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (/ˈpʊʃkɪn/;[1] RussianАлекса́ндр Серге́евич Пу́шкинtr. Aleksandr Sergeyevich PushkinIPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr sʲɪˈrɡʲejɪvʲɪtɕ ˈpuʂkʲɪn] (About this sound listen); 6 June [O.S. 26 May] 1799 – 10 February [O.S. 29 January] 1837) was a Russian poetplaywright, and novelist of the Romantic era[2] who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet[3][4][5][6] and the founder of modern Russian literature.[7][8]


(Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are terms sometimes used with dates to indicate that the calendar convention used at the time described is different from that in use at the time the document was being written. )

Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin died in St. Petersburg, Russia on this day in 1837 (aged 37). Pushkin was fatally wounded in a duel with his brother-in-law, and died two days later.
"What good is my name to you?
It will die, like the melancholy sound
Of a wave breaking on a distant shore,
Like night’s noises in the dense forest.
On the album page
It will leave a dead trace, like
The pattern of an epitaph on a tombstone
In an unknown language.
What good is it? Long forgotten
In new, stormy emotions,
It will not evoke in your soul
Peaceful, tender memories.
But... on a day of grief, in the silence
Pronounce it, pining;
Say: someone remembers me,
There is in the world a heart, in which I live..."
— Alexander Pushkin (5 January 1830) as quoted in PUSHKIN: A BIOGRAPHY by T. J. Binyon

In the course of his short, dramatic life, Aleksandr Pushkin gave Russia not only its greatest poetry–including the novel-in-verse Eugene Onegin–but a new literary language. He also gave it a figure of enduring romantic allure–fiery, restless, extravagant, a prodigal gambler and inveterate seducer of women. Having forged a dazzling, controversial career that cost him the enmity of one tsar and won him the patronage of another, he died at the age of thirty-eight, following a duel with a French officer who was paying unscrupulous attention to his wife.
In his magnificent, prizewinning Pushkin, T. J. Binyon lifts the veil of the iconic poet’s myth to reveal the complexity and pathos of his life while brilliantly evoking Russia in all its nineteenth-century splendor. Combining exemplary scholarship with the pace and detail of a great novel, Pushkin elevates biography to a work of art. READ an excerpt here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/13660/pushkin-by-t-j-…/

"Demon" by Alexander Pushkin
In bygone days when life's array -
The sweet song of the nightingale
And maidens' eyes, the rustling woods - 
Still left a fresh impression on me,
When loftiness of feeling,
And freedom, glory, love
Artistic inspiration
So deeply stirred my blood,
My times of hope were cast in shade
And pleasure dimmed by longing,
For it was then an evil genius
Began to pay me secret visits.
Our meetings were quite dolorous:
His smile, his glance mysterious,
His venom-filled and caustic sermons
Poured frozen poison in my soul.
With endless slandering remarks
He tempted Providence;
He claimed that beauty's but a dream;
Felt scorn for inspiration;
He had no faith in love or freedom;
He looked on life with ridicule-
And in the whole of nature
He did not wish to praise a single thing.

2018年1月28日 星期日

"An Irish Airman Foresees His Death" by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


"An Irish Airman Foresees His Death" is a poem by Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) written in 1918 and first published in the Macmillan edition of The Wild Swans at Coole in 1919.[1] The poem is a soliloquy given by an aviator in the First World War in which the narrator describes the circumstances surrounding his imminent death. The poem is a work that discusses the role of Irish soldiers fighting for the United Kingdom during a time when they were trying to establish independence for Ireland. Wishing to show restraint from publishing political poems during the height of the war, Yeats withheld publication of the poem until after the conflict had ended.[2]


I know that I shall meet my fate,
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.