“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

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Mary’s Song by Sylvia Plath #Wintersolstice #Shoah #Holocaust

image-4737610Mary’s Song

The Sunday lamb cracks in its fat.
The fat
Sacrifices its opacity. . . .A window, holy gold.
The fire makes it precious,
The same fireMelting the tallow heretics,
Ousting the Jews.
Their thick palls floatOver the cicatrix of Poland, burnt-out
Germany.
They do not die.Grey birds obsess my heart,
Mouth-ash, ash of eye.
They settle.  On the high

Precipice
That emptied one man into space
The ovens glowed like heavens, incandescent.

It is a heart,
This holocaust I walk in,
O golden child the world will kill and eat.

 

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

 

 

 

 

Little Brown Baby by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Photo: Matt Barnes Art direction: Natasha Romanelli, Ann Aberin

* For parents and others who love the adorableness of scallywags.
* I love how people squoosh language.
* Sometimes I look at old old poems and I feel amazing that words change and grammar too. It is pretty fantastic. “hebban olla vogala nestas bagunnan hinase hic enda thu wat unbidan we nu” Old (west) Dutch/old Kentish used to be very similar!!

Little Brown Baby
BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR

Little brown baby wif spa’klin’ eyes,
Come to yo’ pappy an’ set on his knee.
What you been doin’, suh — makin’ san’ pies?
Look at dat bib — you’s es du’ty ez me.
Look at dat mouf — dat’s merlasses, I bet;
Come hyeah, Maria, an’ wipe off his han’s.
Bees gwine to ketch you an’ eat you up yit,
Bein’ so sticky an sweet — goodness lan’s!

Little brown baby wif spa’klin’ eyes,
Who’s pappy’s darlin’ an’ who’s pappy’s chile?
Who is it all de day nevah once tries
Fu’ to be cross, er once loses dat smile?
Whah did you git dem teef? My, you’s a scamp!
Whah did dat dimple come f’om in yo’ chin?
Pappy do’ know you — I b’lieves you’s a tramp;
Mammy, dis hyeah’s some ol’ straggler got in!

Let’s th’ow him outen de do’ in de san’,
We do’ want stragglers a-layin’ ‘roun’ hyeah;
Let’s gin him ‘way to de big buggah-man;
I know he’s hidin’ erroun’ hyeah right neah.
Buggah-man, buggah-man, come in de do’,
Hyeah’s a bad boy you kin have fu’ to eat.
Mammy an’ pappy do’ want him no mo’,
Swaller him down f’om his haid to his feet!

Dah, now, I t’ought dat you’d hug me up close.
Go back, ol’ buggah, you sha’n’t have dis boy.
He ain’t no tramp, ner no straggler, of co’se;
He’s pappy’s pa’dner an’ play-mate an’ joy.
Come to you’ pallet now — go to yo’ res’;
Wisht you could allus know ease an’ cleah skies;
Wisht you could stay jes’ a chile on my breas’—
Little brown baby wif spa’klin’ eyes!

Black History Month: Nikki-Rosa by Nikki Giovanni. Childhood.

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Nikki-Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

childhood remembrances are always a drag
if you’re Black
you always remember things like living in Woodlawn
with no inside toilet
and if you become famous or something
they never talk about how happy you were to have
your mother
all to yourself and
how good the water felt when you got your bath
from one of those
big tubs that folk in chicago barbecue in
and somehow when you talk about home
it never gets across how much you
understood their feelings
as the whole family attended meetings about Hollydale
and even though you remember
your biographers never understand
your father’s pain as he sells his stock
and another dream goes
And though you’re poor it isn’t poverty that
concerns you
and though they fought a lot
it isn’t your father’s drinking that makes any difference
but only that everybody is together and you
and your sister have happy birthdays and very good
Christmases
and I really hope no white person ever has cause
to write about me
because they never understand
Black love is Black wealth and they’ll
probably talk about my hard childhood
and never understand that
all the while I was quite happy

Black History Month. From Arnold Rampersad, the Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.

 

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