Words, Wide Night by Carol Ann Duffy. When whom youlovelivesfar away. #valentines #poetryisjustawesome

Words, Wide Night by Carol Ann Duffy
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Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say
it is sad? In one of the tenses I singing
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine
the dark hills I would have to cross
to reach you. For I am in love with youand this is what it is like or what it is like in words..
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.Grand to hear that Duffy is first Lesbian Poet Laureate!From: Poems on the Underground, edited by Chernaik, Herbert and Benson.
Buy NEW and USED at abebooks: Poems on the Underground!!!From another poetry blog comment: a reference to George Gerwshwin:

Blah blah blah blah moon
Blah blah blah above
Blah blah blah blah croon
Blah blah blah above.

Tra la la la, tra la la la, la, merry month of May
Tra la la la, tra la la la, la, ‘neath a cloud of grey.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah your hair
Blah blah blah your eyes
Blah blah blah blah care
Bla blah blah blah skies.

Tra la la la, tra la la la, la, cottage for two
Blah blah blah blah blah blah darling with you.

Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…

 

 


Established in 1970, Glad Day Bookshop is the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore and Toronto’s oldest surviving bookstore. In 2012, a group of 23 community members pooled their funds and bought Glad Day Bookshop to save it from closing.

“Our best strategy for survival is adding new revenues streams like food and drink – which means a larger space.
We’ve picked out a great spot on Church Street that would allow us to be a bookstore & coffee shop during the day and a bar at night.
It is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible washroom.

It has a cute patio, a small space for performances and walls for art.

We will be a space where everyone feels welcome, sexy and celebrated.

We will be a queer-owned, indie place on Church Street. We will amplify the love, creativity, sexuality, diversity & liberation that Glad Day Bookshop is known for.”

Black man: I’m a black man; I’m black; I am— A black man; black— I’m a black man; I’m a black man; I’m a man; black— I am— #OscarsSoWhite, Michael S. Harper, jazz poetry.

Brother John

Black man:
I’m a black man;
I’m black; I am—
A black man; black—
I’m a black man;
I’m a black man;
I’m a man; black—
I am—

Bird, buttermilk bird—
smack, booze and bitches
I am Bird
baddest night dreamer
on sax in the ornithology-world
I can fly–higher, high, higher
I’m a black man;
I am; I’m a black man—

Miles, blue haze,
Miles high, another bird,
more Miles, mute,
Mute Miles, clean,
bug-eyed, unspeakable,
Miles, sweet Mute,
sweat Miles, black Miles;
I’m a black man;
I’m black; I am;
I’m a black man—

Trane, Coltrane; John coltrane;
it’s tranetime; chase the Trane;
it’s a slow dance;
it’s the Trane
in Alabama; acknowledgment,
a love supreme,
it’s black Trane; black;
I’m a black man; I’m black—
I am, I’m a black man—

Brother John, Brother John
plays no instrument;
he’s a black man; black;
he’s a black man; he is
Brother John; Brother John—

I’m a black man; I am;
black; I am; I’m a black
man; I am; I am;
I’m a black man;
I’m a black man;
I am; I’m a black man;
I am:

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Read more about this poem and jazz poetry here.

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From The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

Poetry books by Michael S. Harper:
NEW and USED: Dear John, dear Coltrane and Images of KinAbebookds.com

Link

Creation story

God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom

how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.

The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.

Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.

Translating, I departed from the rhymes and the almost rhymes out of necessity when the english words don’t rhyme and also because I want to show that Slauerhoff played with leaving out parts of speech, much like Joss Whedon encouraged in Buffy and Firefly. I think his play works especially well because the poem is about creating a world that is not there there and which has holes. Some of the loss of almost rhymes is sad because his choice of words was lovely. Learn Dutch!

“They remained as thrown” was the most difficult to translate because in Dutch part of the verb (“waren”=were) is left out but the last word of this line (geworpen=thrown) rhymes with the last word of the poem (dorpen). Anyway. It is a different poem in English. I love how Slauerhoff stops the story. Leaving the rest to our imagination. The whole poem stops and start and restarts at odd moments. How to play with language. When you read it aloud you need to leave space between inside some of the lines. Where depends on how you speak. The alliterations in the poem and inner rhymes are beautiful.

Also: I like he puts down the answer before we ask the question in the second stanza. He makes the lines work for him. Doesn’t let the mind dictate how he tells his story. Pay attention because G-d isn’t.

Third stanza is funny: you expect more but no.

Creation story

God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom

how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.

The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.

Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.

Dutch: Scheppingsverhaal.

Gods kind had blokken in zijn boezelaar,
Waarmee het in de wolken had gespeeld.
Maar toen zij op wou bergen, moe, verveeld,
Zag ze in de doos en wist niet hoe ze daar

In passen moesten, keurig ingedeeld.
Want God was streng, maar sliep – dus geen gevaar.
Zij liet ze vallen, zag er niet meer naar
Om en ging vlug naar een mooi engelbeeld.

De blokken vielen door een leeg heelal
En kwamen op een leege wereld, waar
Ze bleven zooals ze er heen geworpen.

De meeste sprongen stuk tot berg en dal.
En die heel bleven vormden hier en daar
De groote steden en de kleine dorpen.

© 1998, Erven J. Slauerhoff / K. Lekkerkerker / Uitgeverij Nijgh & Van Ditmar
From: Verzamelde gedichten
Publisher: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, Amsterdam, 1990.