“So now she’s gone and I buried her, and that’s all there is to it.” For the love of a dog. #valentines #poetryisjustawesome

Before I started trauma therapy I didn’t connect to people, not like I can do now, in any case, or for a longer time, not knowing whether we would move houses again, countries, towns. For the last 13 and a half years my pug Tommie was one of the closest beings I had- in happy times and times of grief. And that is all there is to it. I love this poem.

A Dog Has Died by Pablo Neruda

My dog has died.
I buried her in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I’ll join her right there,
but now she’s gone with her shaggy coat,
her bad manners and her cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving her fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
Her friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
she never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of her hair or her mange,
she never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, she was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
she’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all her sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied her tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with her golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now she’s gone and I buried her,
and that’s all there is to it.

“A 14-Year-Old Convalescent Cat in Winter” by Gavin Ewart. #meow #cat #valentines

A 14-Year-Old Convalescent Cat in Winter

I want him to have another living summer,
to lie in the sun and enjoy the douceur de vivre –
because the sun, like golden rum in a rummer,
is what makes an idle cat un tout petit peu ivre –

I want him to lie stretched out, contented,
revelling in the heat, his fur all dry and warm,
an Old Age Pensioner, retired, resented
by no one, and happinesses in a beelike swarm

to settle on him – postponed for another season
that last fated hateful journey to the vet
from which there is no return (and age the reason),
which must come soon – as I cannot forget

Gavin Ewart

 

From: Poems on the Underground, edited by Chernaik, Herbert and Benson.
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Love built of a long marriage: “Tongues” by Philip Martin. #Valentines #poetryisjustawesome

Tongues
(The speaker is a woman whose husband has died after a long illness)

Three days before he died the hospital called me:
He was unconscious, sinking. I went at once.
His face was closed, remote against the pillows.
I sat by the window.The leaves outside were moving
Suddenly he began to speak. I thought
He was asking me for something, but before
I could cross the room I saw have fixed his eyes were,
And then I realized: he was speaking verse,
But in a language neither of us knew.
Not English certainly, not German, and not Russian,
His family’s language from the thirteenth century,
Though he had never learnt it.
.                                              He continued
For a full minute, measured, authoritative.
I picked up the rhythm: four stresses to each line.
I recall only the opening words of one:
Alléndam tatsú…
.                         He seemed to be speaking
Past me, his eyes directed to the window,
Yet also to me. For thirty lines or more
He spoke, and then, as if the poem was finished,
Fell silent and lay back.
.                                   Two hours after,
He spoke once more, in German, using my name.
His eyes were soft and and again familiar.
We did not refer to the poem, then or later.
But though he was conscious almost until he died
He took no leave of me. And I think now
The poem was his taking-leave.
.                                                His doctor,
Who speaks German fluently, believes
That what I heard was German, much distorted.
I’m certain it was not: the voice was too
Distinct, unfaltering.
.                              His father said,
‘Ah, yes. Of course I need not remind you, we
Are an old family. It was our forbears speaking.’

Philip Martin

The New Oxford Book of Australian Verse, chosen by Les A. Murray.

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A mother’s yearning/love: “Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing…” Sylvia Plath #Valentines #poetryisjustawesome

Child by Sylvia Plath

Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new

Whose names you meditate —
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,
Little

Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical

Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.

.

.

From: Poems on the Underground. Illlustrated edition. Edited by Judith Chernaik, Gerard Benson and Cicely Herbert.

 

No need to spell out love— poems: “Beyond the last horizon/We’ll see what there is to see…” #TweetHearts #Valentines

When you don’t have to spell out that you love.

North London Sonnet
for Lucinda

A boom-box boats by,
less music than sonic muscle
assaulting the night sky,
a pumped-up hustle-bustle

which manages to disturb
the twirly, needling alarm
of a car tucked into the kerb—
its mantra, or charm—

but that too, soon, quiets
and you sleep on, proof
against the rumpuses and riots
encircling our roof,

till my switching off the light
prompts a muffled Good Night

Christopher Reid

From: London a History in Verse, ed by Mark Ford.

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Canto IV

[…]
You know your glance bedecks the sailboats
In the rocking nights of the catch
You know your glance ties the knot of stars
And the knot of song that will come from this chest
Your glance carries the word to the heart
And the enchanted mouth of a nightingale

There’s no time to lose
At the hour of the body in the dubious shipwreck
I measure the infinite step by step

The sea waits to conquer
So there’s no time to lose
Then
.    Ah then

Beyond the last horizon
We’ll see what there is to see

[…]

Vicente Huidobro

From: Pinholes in the Night, essential poems for Latin America. Selected by Raul Zurita, edited by Forrest Gander.

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Love poems that are boss of Valentine’s Day: “…Your dream will sleep in my hands…”

Canto IV
[…]
And I lifted the cape of your laughter
And I cut through the shadows
That cast the signs of distance over you

Your dream will sleep in my hands
Marked with the lines of my inseparable fate
In the breast of the same bird
That consumes itself in the fire of its song
Of its song that weeps for time
For time slips through fingers

[…]
I love my eyes and your eyes and eyes
Eyes with their own flash-point
Eyes that dance to the sound of an inner music
And open like a door onto a crime
[…]
Vicente Huidobro

From: Pinholes in the Night, essential poems for Latin America. Selected by Raul Zurita, edited by Forrest Gander.

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Rain Journal: London: June 65
by Lee Harwood

sitting naked together
on the edge of the bed
drinking vodka

this my first real love scene

your body so good
your eyes sad love stars

but John
now when we’re miles apart
the come-down from mountain visions
and the streets all raining
and me in the back of the shop
making free phone calls to you

what can we do?

crackling telephone wires shadow me
and this distance haunts me
and yes – i am miserable
and lost without you

whole days spent
remaking your face
the sound of your voice
the feel of your shoulder
.

From: London a History in Verse, ed by Mark Ford.

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I shall drown you in love poems. By Valentine’s Day you will be able to face the chocolate hearts and red red roses!

Not typical love poems, although some are.

Freedom, summer (To my mother, reminding her of the fire)

I hold the photo of two lovers who fell into the sea. They’re dressed
.   for winter, I ask them to take off their clothes. During siestas we sit
.   beside the water pump and stare at each other: light collects in her
.   breasts again; he loved horses and one time he tried to kill himself. (1978)

La Libertad, el verano (A mi madre, recordándole el fuego)

Tengo la foto de dos novios que cayeron al mar. Están vestidos de
.   invierno, los invito a desnudarse. En las siestas nos sentamos junto
.   a la bomba de agua y nos miramos: de nuevo embolsan luz los
.   pechos de ella; él amaba a los caballos y una vez intentó suicidarse. (1978)

For more on Héctor Viel Témperley go here!

Canto IV
[…]
Rose upturned and rose returned and rose and rose
Though the warden don’t want it
Muddy rivers make for clean fishing.
[…]

Vicente Huidobro

From: Pinholes in the Night, essential poems for Latin America. Selected by Raul Zurita, edited by Forrest Gander.

USED and NEW: Pinholes in the Night at Abebooks.com.

Stations by Audre Lorde

Some women love
to wait
for life          for a ring
in the June light          for a touch
of the sun to heal them           for another
woman’s voice       to make them whole
to untie their hands
put words in their mouths
form to their passages      sound
to their screams        for some other sleeper
to remember         their future         their past.

Some women wait for their right
train          in the wrong station
in the alleys of morning
for the noon to holler
the night come down.

Some women wait for love
to rise up
the child of their promise
to gather from earth
what they do not plant
to claim pain for labor
to become
the tip of an arrow       to aim
at the heart of now
but it never stays.

Some women wait for visions
That do not return
Where they were not welcome
Naked
For invitations to places
They always wanted
To visit
To be repeated.

Some women wait for themselves
Around the next corner
And call the empty spot peace
But the opposite of living
Is only not living
And the stars do not care.

Some women wait for something
To change        and nothing
Does change
So they change
Themselves.

 

From The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
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