Oread, by H. D.

11 March 2012

Having just made another post from Kosovel seems like a good excuse to post this poem by H. D., which transposes Kosovel’s dramatic ‘Pines’ to another element.


Whirl up, sea–
whirl your pointed pines,
splash your great pines
on our rocks
hurl your green over us,
cover us with your pools of fir.

[Ripped from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/177767]


Seat No. . . .
undresses, undresses.
Everyone watches.
No one sees
how she’s hauled up
by her teeth.
Already at the top.
Spicy remarks.
Shameful laughter.
Now she drops the last veil.
They watch her,
devouring her tender body
with their eyes.
They applaud.
She has beautiful thighs.
Undulating breasts.
They applaud
mocking her pain,
shaming her.
You see: the animal
applauds the human.
The human is animal.
The animal is human.
The latch snaps.
The lions rage.

[From from Look Back, Look Ahead: The Selected Poems of Srečko Kosovel, translated from the Slovenian by Ana Jelnikar and Barbara Siegel Carlson. Published after a facsimile of the manuscript, with the circus ticket still stuck to it.]

Processions that lack high stilts have nothing that catches the eye.
What if my great-granddad had a pair that were twenty foot high,
And mine were but fifteen foot, no modern stalks upon higher,
Some rogue of the world stole them to patch up a fence or a fire.
Because piebald ponies, led bears, caged lions, are but poor shows,
Because children demand Daddy-long-legs upon This timber toes,
Because women in the upper storeys demand a face at the pane,
That patching old heels they may shriek, I take to chisel and plane.

Malachi Stilt-Jack am I, whatever I learned has run wild,
From collar to collar, from stilt to stilt, from father to child.
All metaphor, Malachi, stilts and all. A barnacle goose
Far up in the stretches of night; night splits and the dawn breaks loose;
I, through the terrible novelty of light, stalk on, stalk on;
Those great sea-horses bare their teeth and laugh at the dawn.

[Ripped from http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/high-talk/]

I picked up Ginsbergy’s Reality Sandwiches in Maelstrom this week. I opened it, and straight away, something punchy. But I must make a disclosure: I was besuited when I bought it, strolling back from a conference in the European quarter, my own beat credentials in tatters.


Now that I’ve wasted
five years in Manhattan
life decaying
talent a blank

talking disconnected
patient and mental
sliderule and number
machine on a desk

autographed triplicate
synopis and taxes
obedient prompt
poorly paid

stayed on the market
youth of my twenties
fainted in offices
wept on typewriters

deceived multitudes
in vast conspiracies
deodorant battleships
serious business industry

every six weeks whoever
drank my blood bank
innocent evil now
part of my system

five years unhappy labor
22 to 27 working
not a dime in the bank
to show for it anyway

dawn breaks it’s only the sun
the East smokes O my bedroom
I am damned to Hell what
alarmclock is ringing

NY 1953

[Ripped from http://www.nbu.bg/webs/amb/american/5/ginsberg/alba.htm; they state the date of publication rather than the date of composition.]