2549 Slices
Medium 9781847770998


John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Distance bids fair no more, few are well-met on the way, too often I journey matched with the foolish, the proud and the brute.

And often I have been caught by the bitter, the cheap and the false, who poisoned my footsore soul, and crushed the bright colours of life.

Though some companions were good, they faded slowly behind… and I, abandoned and tired, traipse the hard track alone!


Silence is everywhere; and nature sleeps and in the sky the far stars gently burn!

The sun fades slowly in the distant west, the clouds go, slow and patient, on their way.

O that my sickened soul might find some joy in such a soft, companionable light as now the evening star lets brightly fall!

Ah, why am I so dark, and full of pain?

Who can sweeten now my bitter heart?

I hope for nothing, think of nothing past; what is in my soul?… the whole world sleeps; no answer comes… only the glittered line of some fire-falling star before my eyes.

The Sway of Sounds

That song they sang a day ago will still not leave my mind; it fills me still with gloomy thoughts,

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Medium 9781847770684

Rilke, 12 July 1965 (WUL, 8)

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Sundials, chronometers, the light above –

I am not sure which moves and which stays still:

I only know we are deprived of love.

And so the world is: none has had his fill.

Why are we sick? We are not chosen ones;

We suffer sickness that do not kill.

Nobody thought this was an illness once;

We are disturbed by dreams we do not will.


You are the commentator on our nerves,

The artists of the pathological.

The odd, neurotic, suffering – each one serves

And finds a stance in the poetical.

Is this their purpose then – to fill your art,

Provide the images? There should not be

So calm an entry to the human heart:

Nor is there really, when we learn to see.

Dear Rilke, break your windows, mirrors, all

That’s kept you from the pure, the central pain,

Yet never exile language, always call

The meaning out, sort symbols once again.

Old Inhabitant

The dolls are lying round the quiet room;

The old inhabitant has gone elsewhere.

There is no sign that anyone will come

And fling a window on the must-breathed air.

The one who lived here has been taken off,

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Medium 9781847771346

Romance Sonámbulo

Julith Jedamus Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847771322

Blind Date

Burt, Dan Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Blind Date

And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings…

Nat King Cole, ‘Nature Boy’

She stands apart,

Teal suitcase, heels, flesh pantyhose,

Belted black wool dress that rose

Knee-high when she stepped off the bus

Into the Friday evening’s fuss

Of co-eds handing baggage down

To Yalies milling on the ground,

And scanned each kissing couple

For an outlier, a double,

Brows circumflex like hers to sign

The stranger both half fear to find.

He talks all night,

Through ’thirties ersatz gothic halls,

Past cloister, quad, library stalls,

Dinner in the refectory,

Dead tapes booming at a party,

In the law dorm room on loan

So she may go to sleep alone,

A white stick stumble through a dance

Learned as barter, not romance

From pre-Pill girlfriends who were paid

With promises in time gainsaid.

She sits at sunrise,

A Pre-Raphaelite, hem spread

Across bare feet on a single bed,

Immobile, silent, listening

To her distant date summoning

Ghosts, his back hard against the door,

Staring at spots on the oak floor,

Extends her hand, pats the cover

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Medium 9781847770684

All that Departing

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

For Melody

Such sweetness of sound, such

Melody just within

Hearing. I try to catch

The harmony, begin

A statement of life and death,

A concord in troubled years.

The trumpet demands strong breath

But the harp means tears.

Two Musics

There are two musics, one

Of human happiness,

Its pain and rapture, its joy at things well done.

But there is another utterly different which

Sings purely its own success,

Cries out of its own triumphant assertions. It is

The echo of a voice in the universe,

It knows neither joys nor fears

But takes them up and turns them into itself,

The delighted, exacting, wholly absorbing sound

Of the music of the spheres.

All that Departing

All that departing and parting

And the wounding others and lonely recrimination.

I learnt very early gifted children are many

And none is very special.

I learnt early too the pain that imagination

Can cause but its joys were vast and the time was now

And only now, it was a circular thing,

It was often a golden ring

In which my spirit danced and I was excited,

Much too excited and could not pause or sleep,

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