Alice Soon

My Literary Life & other obsessions…

Poetry Time!!!

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OK, as I’ve been slacking a great deal from the ‘poetry’ side of things, here are a couple of poems from Anne Carson, a Canadian poet who I love and is vastly more intelligent than most normal people. She has studied Ancient Greek (!!!), is a professor of “erratic” subjects at various universities, and who I think Harold Bloom once called a “genius”. ENJOY!

Catullus 101 – Translated from the Greek – From “NOX”

Many the peoples many the oceans I crossed –
I arrive at these poor, brother, burials
so I could give you the last gift owed to death
and talk (why?) with mute ash.
Now that Fortune tore you from me, you
oh poor (wrongly) brother (wrongly) taken from me,
now still anyway this – what a distant mood of parents
handed down as the sad gift for burials –
accept! Soaked with tears of a brother
and into forever, brother, farewell and farewell.

Father’s Old Blue CardiganFrom Brick Magazine

Now it hands on the back of the kitchen chair
where I always sit, as it did
on the back of the kitchen chair where he always sat.

I put it on whenever I come in,
as he did, stamping
the snow from his boots.

I put it on and sit in the dark.
He would not have done this.
Coldness comes paring down from the moonbone in the sky.

His laws were a secret.
But I remember the moment at which I knew
he was going mad inside his laws.

He was standing at the turn of the driveway when I arrived.
He had on the blue cardigan with the buttons done up all the way to the top.
Not only because it was a hot July afternoon

but the look on his face –
as a small child who has been dressed by some aunt early in the morning
for a long trip

on cold trains and windy platforms
will sit very straight at the edge of his seat
while the shadows like long fingers

over the haystacks that sweep past
keep shocking him
because he is riding backwards.

Some further reading:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/magazine/the-inscrutable-brilliance-of-anne-carson.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

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