Ruvn Ayzland There are pale girls painted red yiddish poem

It’s noon. Around us, all is quiet.
Only a single machine is humming like a bee, somewhere in a corner.
A girl is eating, cracking the shell of an egg,
and one or two others are sipping tea
in a warm and cozy mood.
Nearby someone is munching onions and bread–
and there are pale girls painted red.

And in the window I sit alone, my legs crossed and my hands in my lap,
And look out — just look out.

Ruvn Ayzland.

From: Yiddish Literature in America, 1870-2000, ed: Emanuel S. Goldsmith. Translator: Ba.rnett Zumoff. 2009.

Buy at Abebooks here.

“The trees were attitudes in black” #Snow Advent by Auslander #ChristmasEve #Wintersolstice #WinterWonderland

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Photos by Theresaurus.

Snow advent

The clouds were all brushed up and back
The wrong way by the wind;
The trees were attitudes in black;
The brooks were disciplined.

Then soft as spider on a shelf,
Or satin mouse at birth,
Or as a pigeon lends itself
Reluctantly to earth —

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No louder than a silken sound
Of the web’s silver wheel,
Spraying the darkness all around
With spokes of silken steel —

As soft and softer than all these
Parted the sky at noon;
And the air stood up league-deep in bees,
The white bees of the moon.

 

-Joseph Auslander in All the Silver Pennies

H.D.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/h-d#poet

Amazing person this. Read about her life in the link.

from Sigil

XI

If you take the moon in your hands
and turn it round
(heavy, slightly tarnished platter)
you’re there;

if you pull dry seaweed from the sand
and turn it round
and wonder at the underside’s bright amber,
your eyes

look out as they did here,
(you don’t remember)
when my soul turned round,

perceiving the other-side of everything,
mullein-leaf, dog-wood leaf, moth-wing
and dandelion-seed under the ground.

from Winter Love

5

So we were together
though I did not think of you
for ten years

it is more than ten years
and the long time after;
I was with you in Calypso’s cave?

there is something left over,
the first unsatisfied desire-
the first time, the first kiss,

the rough stones of a wall,
the fragrance of honey-flowers, the bees,
and how I would have fallen but for a voice,

calling through the brambles
and tangle of bay-berry
and rough broom,

Helen, Helen, come home;
there was a Helen before there was a War,
but who remembers her?

.

Buy the Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry, ed. Fleur Adcock, from an indie bookseller here.

Maya Angelou, phenomenal woman.

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When Great Souls Die

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down in tall grasses,
and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests,
small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken.
Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us.
Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves.
And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly.
Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.
They existed.
We can be.
Be and be better.
For they existed.

 

——-

 

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou

Flame-Heart by Claude McKay; his tropical memories. Black History.

Flame-Heart by Claude McKay; his tropical memories.

SO much have I forgotten in ten years,
So much in ten brief years! I have forgot
What time the purple apples come to juice,
And what month brings the shy forget-me-not.
I have forgot the special, startling season
Of the pimento’s flowering and fruiting;
What time of year the ground doves brown the fields
And fill the noonday with their curious fluting.
I have forgotten much, but still remember
The poinsettia’s red, blood-red in warm December.

I still recall the honey-fever grass,
But cannot recollect the high days when
We rooted them out of the ping-wing path
To stop the mad bees in the rabbit pen.
I often try to think in what sweet month
The languid painted ladies used to dapple
The yellow by-road mazing from the main,
Sweet with the golden threads of the rose-apple.
I have forgotten–strange–but quite remember
The poinsettia’s red, blood-red in warm December.

What weeks, what months, what time of the mild year
We cheated school to have our fling at tops?
What days our wine-thrilled bodies pulsed with joy
Feasting upon blackberries in the copse?
Oh some I know! I have embalmed the days
Even the sacred moments when we played,
All innocent of passion, uncorrupt,
At noon and evening in the flame-heart’s shade.
We were so happy, happy, I remember,
Beneath the poinsettia’s red in warm December.

Walt Whitman- queer white man on Bumble Bees. Can you even imagine swarms of thousands of them bumbles?!

Walt Whitman was against slavery but held “the widespread opinion that even free African-Americans should not vote.” He believed all religions to be equally important. He was a supporter of temperance, the movement to set limits to drinking alcohol. White, lower middle class, I think.

Walt Whitman, diary entry on Bumble-Bees.

MAY-MONTH… I am out just after sunrise, and down towards the creek.

The lights, perfumes, melodies—the blue birds, grass birds and robins, in every direction—
For undertones, a neighboring wood-pecker tapping his tree, and the distant clarion of chanticleer.
Then the fresh earth smells—the colors, the delicate drabs and thin blues of the perspective. The bright green of the grass has receiv’d an added tinge from the last two days’ mildness and moisture.

Later.— But for the last two days it has been the great wild bee, the humble-bee, or “bumble,” as the children call him. As I walk, or hobble, from the farm-house down to the creek, I traverse the before-mention’d lane, fenced by old rails, with many splits, splinters, breaks, holes, &c., … Up and down and by and between these rails, they swarm and dart and fly in countless myriads.

As I wend slowly along, I am often accompanied with a moving cloud of them. They play a leading part in my morning, midday or sunset rambles, and often dominate the landscape in a way I never before thought of—fill the long lane, not by scores or hundreds only, but by thousands.
Large and vivacious and swift, with wonderful momentum and a loud swelling perpetual hum, varied now and then by something almost like a shriek, they dart to and fro, in rapid flashes, chasing each other, …

As I write, I am seated under a big wild-cherry tree—the warm day temper’d by partial clouds and a fresh breeze, neither too heavy nor light—and here I sit long and long, envelop’d in the deep musical drone of these bees, flitting, balancing, darting to and fro about me by hundreds—big fellows with light yellow jackets, great glistening swelling bodies, stumpy heads and gauzy wings—humming their perpetual rich mellow boom.

How it all nourishes, lulls me, in the way most needed; the open air, the rye-fields, the apple orchards…

…my spirit at peace. (Yet the anniversary of the saddest loss and sorrow of my life is close at hand.)

Almost every bird I notice has a special time in the year—sometimes limited to a few days—when it sings its best; and now is the period of these russet-backs.

The Bees’ song. Walter de la Mare

Non-sensical ballad! Hurrah!

The Bees’ song.

Thousandz of thornz there be
On the Rozez where gozez
The Zebra of Zee:
Sleek, striped, and hairy,
The steed of the Fairy
Princess of Zee.

Heavy with blossomz be
The Rozez that growzez
In the thickets of Zee.
Where grazez the Zebra,
Marked Abracadeeebra,
Of the Princess of Zee.

And he nozez the poziez
Of the Rozez that growzez
So luvez’m and free,
With an eye, dark and wary,
In search of a Fairy,
Whose Rozez he knowzez
Were not honeyed for he,
But to breathe a sweet incense
To solace the Princess
Of far-away Zee.

Walter de la Mare