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A Paradise of Poems

A Paradise of Poems

By Camellia Yang

Camellia reads classic and contemporary poems from all over the world every week.
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Australia by A D Hope

A Paradise of PoemsFeb 15, 2023

Australia by A D Hope

Australia by A D Hope

A Nation of trees, drab green and desolate grey
In the field uniform of modern wars,
Darkens her hills, those endless, outstretched paws
Of Sphinx demolished or stone lion worn away.

They call her a young country, but they lie:
She is the last of lands, the emptiest,
A woman beyond her change of life, a breast
Still tender but within the womb is dry.

Without songs, architecture, history:
The emotions and superstitions of younger lands,
Her rivers of water drown among inland sands,
The river of her immense stupidity

Floods her monotonous tribes from Cairns to Perth.
In them at last the ultimate men arrive
Whose boast is not: "we live" but "we survive",
A type who will inhabit the dying earth.

And her five cities, like five teeming sores,
Each drains her: a vast parasite robber-state
Where second hand Europeans pullulate
Timidly on the edge of alien shores.

Yet there are some like me turn gladly home
From the lush jungle of modern thought, to find
The Arabian desert of the human mind,
Hoping, if still from the deserts the prophets come,

Such savage and scarlet as no green hills dare
Springs in that waste, some spirit which escapes
The learned doubt, the chatter of cultured apes
Which is called civilization over there.

Feb 15, 202305:40
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Feb 15, 202302:15
The World Cup by chatGPT (in George Orwell's style)
Dec 05, 202201:38
Football by chatGPT (in Winston Churchill's style)
Dec 05, 202202:05
A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe by Fernando Pessoa

A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe by Fernando Pessoa


My gaze is clear like a sunflower.

It is my custom to walk the roads

Looking right and left

And sometimes looking behind me,

And what I see at each moment

Is what I never saw before,

And I’m very good at noticing things.

I’m capable of feeling the same wonder

A newborn child would feel

If he noticed that he’d really and truly been born.

I feel at each moment that I’ve just been born

Into a completely new world...

I believe in the world as in a daisy,

Because I see it. But I don’t think about it,

Because to think is to not understand.

The world wasn’t made for us to think about it

(To think is to have eyes that aren’t well)

But to look at it and to be in agreement.

I have no philosophy, I have senses...

If I speak of Nature it’s not because I know what it is

But because I love it, and for that very reason,

Because those who love never know what they love

Or why they love, or what love is.

To love is eternal innocence,

And the only innocence is not to think...

8 March 1914

Sep 02, 202203:34
Countless lives inhabit us by Fernando Pessoa

Countless lives inhabit us by Fernando Pessoa

Countless lives inhabit us.
I don’t know, when I think or feel,
Who it is that thinks or feels.
I am merely the place
Where things are thought or felt.

I have more than just one soul.
There are more I’s than I myself.
I exist, nevertheless,
Indifferent to them all.
I silence them: I speak.

The crossing urges of what
I feel or do not feel
Struggle in who I am, but I
Ignore them. They dictate nothing
To the I I know: I write.

© Translation: 1998, Richard Zenith
From: Fernando Pessoa & Co. – Selected Poems
Publisher: Grove Press, New York, 1998

Sep 02, 202202:27
Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

in the orange sun rays

and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks

down his narrow cage

can seldom see through

his bars of rage

his wings are clipped and

his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze

and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees

and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn

and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

his wings are clipped and his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

Aug 22, 202202:43
Messenger by Mary Oliver

Messenger by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Aug 22, 202202:51
SPECIAL EPISODE: Reading love poems by listeners
Aug 07, 202208:40
[SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT] Let's share the LOVE ❥(^_-)

[SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT] Let's share the LOVE ❥(^_-)

Hello, my dear listeners.

I'm Camellia. The narrator of this podcast.

Thanks a lot for listening to my show over the past two years. I'm glad to have you along the journey with me to feel the beauty of those classic and modern poems.

Today is Chinese Valentine's Day, and I'd like to create a special episode featuring your favourite LOVE poetries. I'd like to invite you to read one of your favourite LOVE poems and send the audio recording to my email box ( It can be in different languages and from various countries; as long as it's your favourite love poetry, that's good.

The recording quality doesn't need to be perfect, and you can use your mobile phone or computer to record. I'll collect all submissions early next week and make them into a special episode to post here with your name or any other links you'd like to include. 

Thanks again for your love and support. I look forward to hearing back from your soon! 

 And here is one of my favourite love poems: Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Aug 04, 202203:10
Anywhere Out of the World by Charles Baudelaire

Anywhere Out of the World by Charles Baudelaire

Life is a hospital where every patient is obsessed by the desire of changing beds. One would like to suffer opposite the stove, another is sure he would get well beside the window.

It always seems to me that I should be happy anywhere but where I am, and this question of moving is one that I am eternally discussing with my soul.

"Tell my, my soul, poor chilly soul, how would you like to live in Lisbon? It must be warm there, and you would be as blissful as a lizard in the sun. It is a city by the sea; they say that it is built of marble, and that its inhabitants have such a horror of the vegetable kingdom that they tear up all the trees. You see it is a country after my own heart; a country entirely made of mineral and light, and with liquid to reflect them."

My soul does not reply.

"Since you are so fond of being motionless and watching the pageantry of movement, would you like to live in the beatific land of Holland? Perhaps you could enjoy yourself in that country which you have so long admired in paintings on museum walls. What do you say to Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts, and ships that are moored on the doorsteps of houses?"

My soul remains silent.

"Perhaps you would like Batavia better? There, moreover, we should find the wit of Europe wedded to the beauty of the tropics."

Not a word. Can my soul be dead?

"Have you sunk into so deep a stupor that you are happy only in your unhappiness? If that is the case, let us fly to countries that are the counterfeits of Death. I know just the place for us, poor soul. We will pack up our trunks for Torneo. We will go still farther, to the farthest end of the Baltic Sea; still farther from life if possible; we will settle at the Pole. There the sun only obliquely grazes the earth, and the slow alternations of daylight and night abolish variety and increase that other half of nothingness, monotony. There we can take deep baths of darkness, while sometimes for our entertainment, the Aurora Borealis will shoot up its rose-red sheafs like the reflections of the fireworks of hell!"

At last my soul explodes! "Anywhere! Just so it is out of the world!"

Jul 04, 202205:46
When a Heavy Lid of Low Sky by Charles Baudelaire

When a Heavy Lid of Low Sky by Charles Baudelaire

When a heavy lid of low sky
covers a soul moaning with ennui and fright,
and the whole horizon is rounded by
a black day pouring down, sadder than any night;

When the earth is turned to a muggy dungeon
where Hope is the shadow of a bat, feeling
with feeble, flapping wings along the grunge on
walls and bumping its head against a putrid ceiling;

When the crawling spiders of scattershot rains
drop cold bars that imprison us,
water trickles along the channels in our brains,
and the people around us feel poisonous—

the bells speak out suddenly with fury
and lance the sky with dreadful howls,
and frightened strays and exiles, sorry
and homeless, rage from deep within their bowels.

Long hearses roll, slow, silent, hypnotic,
through my soul. Hope, defeated, cries
out its atrocious anguish—despotic.
A black hood slides over my ferocious eyes.

Jul 04, 202203:32
The Poetry Reading by Charles Bukowski

The Poetry Reading by Charles Bukowski

at high noon
at a small college near the beach
the sweat running down my arms
a spot of sweat on the table
I flatten it with my finger
blood money blood money
my god they must think I love this like the others
but it's for bread and beer and rent
blood money
I'm tense lousy feel bad
poor people I'm failing I'm failing
a woman gets up
walks out
slams the door
a dirty poem
somebody told me not to read dirty poems
it's too late.
my eyes can't see some lines
I read it
desperate trembling
they can't hear my voice
and I say,
I quit, that's it, I'm
and later in my room
there's scotch and beer:
the blood of a coward.
this then
will be my destiny:
scrabbling for pennies in tiny dark halls
reading poems I have long since become tired
and I used to think
that men who drove buses
or cleaned out latrines
or murdered men in alleys were

Jun 21, 202202:60
Poetry Readings by Charles Bukowski

Poetry Readings by Charles Bukowski

poetry readings have to be some of the saddest
damned things ever,
the gathering of the clansmen and clanladies,
week after week, month after month, year
after year,
getting old together,
reading on to tiny gatherings,
still hoping their genius will be
making tapes together, discs together,
sweating for applause
they read basically to and for
each other,
they can't find a New York publisher
or one
within miles,
but they read on and on
in the poetry holes of America,
never daunted,
never considering the possibility that
their talent might be
thin, almost invisible,
they read on and on
before their mothers, their sisters, their husbands,
their wives, their friends, the other poets
and the handful of idiots who have wandered
from nowhere.

I am ashamed for them,
I am ashamed that they have to bolster each other,
I am ashamed for their lisping egos,
their lack of guts.

if these are our creators,
please, please give me something else:

a drunken plumber at a bowling alley,
a prelim boy in a four rounder,
a jock guiding his horse through along the
a bartender on last call,
a waitress pouring me a coffee,
a drunk sleeping in a deserted doorway,
a dog munching a dry bone,
an elephant's fart in a circus tent,
a 6 p.m. freeway crush,
the mailman telling a dirty joke


Jun 21, 202203:47
She Was a Phantom of Delight by William Wordsworth

She Was a Phantom of Delight by William Wordsworth

She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin-liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A Creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

Jun 02, 202203:34
Time to Come by Walt Whitman

Time to Come by Walt Whitman

O, Death! a black and pierceless pall

Hangs round thee, and the future state;

No eye may see, no mind may grasp

That mystery of Fate.

This brain, which now alternate throbs

With swelling hope and gloomy fear;

This heart, with all the changing hues,

That mortal passions bear—

This curious frame of human mould,

Where unrequited cravings play,

This brain, and heart, and wondrous form

Must all alike decay.

The leaping blood wili stop its flow;2

The hoarse death-struggle pass; the cheek

Lay bloomless, and the liquid tongue

Will then forget to speak.

The grave will take me; earth will close

O'er cold dull limbs and ashy face;

But where, O, Nature, where shall be

The soul's abiding place?

Will it e'en live? for though its light

Must shine till from the body torn;

Then, when the oil of life is spent,

Still shall the taper burn?

O, powerless is this struggling brain

To rend the mighty mystery;

In dark, uncertain awe it waits

The common doom, to die.

Jun 01, 202203:51
A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg

A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg

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, Garcia 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

May 23, 202205:11
My Sad Self by Allen Ginsberg

My Sad Self by Allen Ginsberg

Sometimes when my eyes are red

I go up on top of the RCA Building

and gaze at my world, Manhattan—

my buildings, streets I’ve done feats in,

lofts, beds, coldwater flats

—on Fifth Ave below which I also bear in mind,

its ant cars, little yellow taxis, men

walking the size of specks of wool—

Panorama of the bridges, sunrise over Brooklyn machine,

sun go down over New Jersey where I was born

& Paterson where I played with ants—

my later loves on 15th Street,

my greater loves of Lower East Side,

my once fabulous amours in the Bronx


paths crossing in these hidden streets,

my history summed up, my absences

and ecstasies in Harlem—

—sun shining down on all I own

in one eyeblink to the horizon

in my last eternity—

matter is water.


I take the elevator and go

down, pondering,

and walk on the pavements staring into all man’s

plateglass, faces,

questioning after who loves,

and stop, bemused

in front of an automobile shopwindow

standing lost in calm thought,

traffic moving up & down 5th Avenue blocks behind me

waiting for a moment when ...

Time to go home & cook supper & listen to

the romantic war news on the radio

... all movement stops

& I walk in the timeless sadness of existence,

tenderness flowing thru the buildings,

my fingertips touching reality’s face,

my own face streaked with tears in the mirror

of some window—at dusk—

where I have no desire—

for bonbons—or to own the dresses or Japanese

lampshades of intellection—

Confused by the spectacle around me,

Man struggling up the street

with packages, newspapers,

ties, beautiful suits

toward his desire

Man, woman, streaming over the pavements

red lights clocking hurried watches &

movements at the curb—

And all these streets leading

so crosswise, honking, lengthily,

by avenues

stalked by high buildings or crusted into slums

thru such halting traffic

screaming cars and engines

so painfully to this

countryside, this graveyard

this stillness

on deathbed or mountain

once seen

never regained or desired

in the mind to come

where all Manhattan that I’ve seen must disappear.

New York, October 1958

May 23, 202206:03
Sonnet XXVI- I Lived With Visions by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sonnet XXVI- I Lived With Visions by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I lived with visions for my company
Instead of men and women, years ago,
And found them gentle mates, nor thought to know
A sweeter music than they played to me.
But soon their trailing purple was not free
Of this world’s dust, their lutes did silent grow,
And I myself grew faint and blind below
Their vanishing eyes. Then THOU didst come—to be,
Beloved, what they seemed. Their shining fronts,
Their songs, their splendors (better, yet the same,
As river-water hallowed into fonts),
Met in thee, and from out thee overcame
My soul with satisfaction of all wants:
Because God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.

May 18, 202202:44
If thou must love me... (Sonnet 14) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If thou must love me... (Sonnet 14) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say,
"I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day"—
For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
Be changed, or change for thee—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

May 18, 202202:08
After Summer Fell Apart by Yusef Komunyakaa

After Summer Fell Apart by Yusef Komunyakaa

I can’t touch you.

His face always returns;

we exchange long looks

in each bad dream

& what I see, my God.

Honey, sweetheart,

I hold you against me

but nothing works.

Two boats moored,

rocking between nowhere

& nowhere.

A bone inside me whispers

maybe tonight,

but I keep thinking

about the two men wrestling nude

in Lawrence’s Women in Love.

I can’t get past

reels of breath unwinding.

He has you. Now

he doesn’t. He has you

again. Now he doesn’t.

You’re at the edge of azaleas

shaken loose by a word.

I see your rose-colored

skirt unfurl.

He has a knife

to your throat,

night birds come back

to their branches.

A hard wind raps at the door,

the new year prowling

in a black overcoat.

It’s been six months

since we made love.

Tonight I look at you

hugging the pillow,

half smiling in your sleep.

I want to shake you & ask

who. Again I touch myself,

unashamed, until

his face comes into focus.

He’s stolen something

from me & I don’t know

if it has a name or not—

like counting your ribs

with one foolish hand

& mine with the other.

May 11, 202203:02
The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone by John Keats

The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone by John Keats

The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!

Sweet voice, sweet lips, soft hand, and softer breast,

Warm breath, light whisper, tender semi-tone,

Bright eyes, accomplish’d shape, and lang’rous waist!

Faded the flower and all its budded charms,

Faded the sight of beauty from my eyes,

Faded the shape of beauty from my arms,

Faded the voice, warmth, whiteness, paradise –

Vanish’d unseasonably at shut of eve,

When the dusk holiday – or holinight

Of fragrant-curtain’d love begins to weave

The woof of darkness thick, for hid delight,

But, as I’ve read love’s missal through to-day,

He’ll let me sleep, seeing I fast and pray.

May 11, 202201:47
Within by Bianca Caruana

Within by Bianca Caruana

Nice to meet you, I said
I admire your strength
You have courage and patience
I once only dreamt

You stand tall and move forward with passion, yet grace
Your rivers are flowing, there is light on your face
And it emanates to all of the people around
And to me, I can see, there is something you’ve found

It’s something I was searching, a long while ago
A gem in the sand, a stone in the snow
I looked under, and over, past mountains, ‘round bends
And wandered, miles yonder, to the rainbow's end

The journey was thorough
But also quite long
I got tired and weathered
Lost the words to my song

May I ask you to help me
To teach me what you know
To move forward with strength
With the peace that you show

Well, you see, darling girl, you can pass rainbow’s end
And another, and another, it’s an infinite ascend
Or you can feel with your heart, put your toes in the sand
And know all you need is right where you stand

Life is here, it is now
You have more than you know
Look inside, not out there
Close your eyes and let go

Listen in to the sound of the voices within
The way trees talk to roots, and clouds talk to wind
There you’ll find all the answers you’ve been searching for
And the light that is dim will shine once more

Oh, thank you! I said, full of joy and much glee
Then I noticed
There was something familiar to me

I saw who she was
This woman was me

May 01, 202204:20
Kosmos by Walt Whitman

Kosmos by Walt Whitman

Who includes diversity and is Nature,
Who is the amplitude of the earth, and the coarseness and sexuality of the earth, and the great charity of the earth and the equilibrium also,
Who has not look’d forth from the windows the eyes for nothing, or whose brain held audience with messengers for nothing,
Who contains believers and disbelievers, who is the most majestic lover,
Who holds duly his or her triune proportion of realism, spiritualism, and of the aesthetic or intellectual,
Who having consider’d the body finds all its organs and parts good,
Who, out of the theory of the earth and of his or her body understands by subtle analogies all other theories,
The theory of a city, a poem, and of the large politics of these States;
Who believes not only in our globe with its sun and moon, but in other globes with their suns and moons,
Who, constructing the house of himself or herself, not for a day but for all time, sees races, eras, dates, generations,
The past, the future, dwelling there, like space, inseparable together.

May 01, 202202:53
Insensibility by Wilfred Owen

Insensibility by Wilfred Owen

Happy are men who yet before they are killed

Can let their veins run cold.

Whom no compassion fleers

Or makes their feet

Sore on the alleys cobbled with their brothers.

The front line withers.

But they are troops who fade, not flowers,

For poets’ tearful fooling:

Men, gaps for filling:

Losses, who might have fought

Longer; but no one bothers.


And some cease feeling

Even themselves or for themselves.

Dullness best solves

The tease and doubt of shelling,

And Chance’s strange arithmetic

Comes simpler than the reckoning of their shilling.

They keep no check on armies’ decimation.


Happy are these who lose imagination:

They have enough to carry with ammunition.

Their spirit drags no pack.

Their old wounds, save with cold, can not more ache.

Having seen all things red,

Their eyes are rid

Of the hurt of the colour of blood for ever.

And terror’s first constriction over,

Their hearts remain small-drawn.

Their senses in some scorching cautery of battle

Now long since ironed,

Can laugh among the dying, unconcerned.


Happy the soldier home, with not a notion

How somewhere, every dawn, some men attack,

And many sighs are drained.

Happy the lad whose mind was never trained:

His days are worth forgetting more than not.

He sings along the march

Which we march taciturn, because of dusk,

The long, forlorn, relentless trend

From larger day to huger night.


We wise, who with a thought besmirch

Blood over all our soul,

How should we see our task

But through his blunt and lashless eyes?

Alive, he is not vital overmuch;

Dying, not mortal overmuch;

Nor sad, nor proud,

Nor curious at all.

He cannot tell

Old men’s placidity from his.


But cursed are dullards whom no cannon stuns,

That they should be as stones.

Wretched are they, and mean

With paucity that never was simplicity.

By choice they made themselves immune

To pity and whatever moans in man

Before the last sea and the hapless stars;

Whatever mourns when many leave these shores;

Whatever shares

The eternal reciprocity of tears.

Mar 03, 202204:41
In Warsaw by Czeslaw Milosz

In Warsaw by Czeslaw Milosz

What are you doing here, poet, on the ruins
Of St. John's Cathedral this sunny
Day in spring?

What are you thinking here, where the wind
Blowing from the Vistula scatters
The red dust of the rubble?

You swore never to be
A ritual mourner.
You swore never to touch
The deep wounds of your nation
So you would not make them holy
With the accursed holiness that pursues
Descendants for many centuries.

But the lament of Antigone
Searching for her brother
Is indeed beyond the power
Of endurance. And the heart
Is a stone in which is enclosed,
Like an insect, the dark love
Of a most unhappy land.

I did not want to love so.
That was not my design.
I did not want to pity so.
That was not my design.
My pen is lighter
Than a hummingbird's feather. This burden
Is too much for it to bear.
How can I live in this country
Where the foot knocks against
The unburied bones of kin?

I hear voices, see smiles. I cannot
Write anything; five hands
Seize my pen and order me to write
The story of their lives and deaths.
Was I born to become
a ritual mourner?
I want to sing of festivities,
The greenwood into which Shakespeare
Often took me. Leave
To poets a moment of happiness,
Otherwise your world will perish.

It's madness to live without joy
And to repeat to the dead
Whose part was to be gladness
Of action in thought and in the
Only two salvaged words:
Truth and justice.

Mar 03, 202202:21
Dreamwork Three by Jerome Rothenberg

Dreamwork Three by Jerome Rothenberg

a trembling old man dreams of a chinese garden

a comical old man dreams of newspapers under his rabbi's hat

a simple tavernkeeper dreams of icicles & fisheyes

a sinister tavernkeeper dreams of puddles with an angel of the law in every drop

the furrier's plump daughter is dreaming of a patch of old vanilla

the furrier's foreign daughter is dreaming of a hat from which a marten hangs

the proud accountant dreams of a trolleycar over the frozen river

the reluctant accountant dreams of his feet sleep in a fresh pair of red socks

the silly uncle dreams of a history written by a team of Spanish doctors

the uncle in the next apartment dreams of the cost of Katmandu

the retired gangster dreams of a right turn into a field of sacred lemons

the dancing gangster dreams of a carriage, a donkey, & a hand that holds the ace of spades

the grim man with a proposition dreams of his fingers entering a pair of gloves

the excited man with a proposition dreams of the letter E torn from the title of his poem

the remarkable elevator operator dreams of the marriage of karl marx

the easy elevator operator dreams of a seashell at the entry to the thirteenth floor

the candid photographer dreams of a wooden synagogue inside his brother's camera

the secret photographer dreams of a school of golden herrings drifting out to sea

the yiddish dadaist dreams of rare steaks & platonic pleasures

the rosy dadaist dreams that a honeycomb is being squashed against his face

the mysterious stranger dreams of a white tablecloth on which black threads are falling

the stranger whom no one sees dreams of his sister holding up a string of pearls

the asthmatic tax collector dreams of a row of sacred numbers

the rebellious tax collector dreams of a bathhouse set among old trees

the robust timber merchant dreams of a wind that blows inside the blacksmith's bellows

the sobbing timber merchant dreams that his hands have pressed the buttocks of his dreaming bride

the man with a fish between his teeth dreams of a famine for forty-five days

the man dressed in white dreams of a potato

the savage gentile dreams of a dancer with flashy lightbulbs on her shoes

the repentant gentile dreams of her fingers bringing honey to his lips

the fancy barber dreams that his hands massage the captain's neck

the silent barber dreams of a rooster with a thread tied to one leg

the salty bridegroom dreams of horses galloping they swirl around the bridegroom's house

the genuflecting bridegroom dreams of what his bride slides through her fingers he sees it white & trembling in the early sabbath light

the fat man in the derby dreams that it is spring that his seed soon will be falling through an empty sky

the ecstatic man in the derby dreams that if he dreams it his words will turn into flowers

Feb 14, 202205:43
A Paradise of Poets by Jerome Rothenberg

A Paradise of Poets by Jerome Rothenberg


He takes a book down from his shelf & scribbles across a

page of text: I am the final one. This means the world will

end when he does.


In the Inferno, Dante conceives a Paradise of Poets & calls

it Limbo.

Foolishly he thinks his place is elsewhere.


Now the time has come to write a poem about a Paradise of Poets.

Feb 14, 202201:08
Out of the Window by Pratap Adhikary