Favourite poems

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I have read, unfortunately couldn't appreicate the Chinese version. Do you write them in Chinese and then translate?

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Porphyria's Lover (Robert Browning, 1836)

 

The rain set early in tonight,

The sullen wind was soon awake,

It tore the elm-tops down for spite,

and did its worst to vex the lake:

I listened with heart fit to break.

 

When glided in Porphyria; straight

She shut the cold out and the storm,

And kneeled and made the cheerless grate

Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;

Which done, she rose, and from her form

 

Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,

And laid her soiled gloves by, untied

Her hat and let the damp hair fall,

And, last, she sat down by my side

And called me. When no voice replied,

 

She put my arm about her waist,

And made her smooth white shoulder bare,

And all her yellow hair displaced,

And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,

And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair,

 

Murmuring how she loved me--she

Too weak, for all her heart's endeavor,

To set its struggling passion free

From pride, and vainer ties dissever,

And give herself to me forever.

 

But passion sometimes would prevail,

Nor could tonight's gay feast restrain

A sudden thought of one so pale

For love of her, and all in vain:

So, she was come through wind and rain.

 

Be sure I looked up at her eyes

Happy and proud; at last I knew

Porphyria worshiped me: surprise

Made my heart swell, and still it grew

While I debated what to do.

 

That moment she was mine, mine, fair,

Perfectly pure and good: I found

A thing to do, and all her hair

In one long yellow string I wound

Three times her little throat around,

 

And strangled her. No pain felt she;

I am quite sure she felt no pain.

As a shut bud that holds a bee,

I warily oped her lids: again

Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.

 

And I untightened next the tress

About her neck; her cheek once more

Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:

I propped her head up as before

Only, this time my shoulder bore

 

Her head, which droops upon it still:

The smiling rosy little head,

So glad it has its utmost will,

That all it scorned at once is fled,

And I, its love, am gained instead!

 

Porphyria's love: she guessed not how

Her darling one wish would be heard.

And thus we sit together now,

And all night long we have not stirred,

And yet God has not said a word!

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I have read, unfortunately couldn't appreicate the Chinese version. Do you write them in Chinese and then translate?

I don't always translate them. But sometimes. Poems written in classical Chinese are not really translatable, since the rhyme system is too sophisticated, and I know little about rhymes in English.

 

Hope you liked some of them. :)

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The wind of love has blown into our sails,

Stirred up my and your souls.

Whether us to float together up to the ground?

Be here with me and do not take your eyes away...

 

Heart is beating, that can be heard all around.

It is not a thunder - but the beat of my heart.

And black clouds were blown away,

If only them not to be here again...

 

Let it burn... Read More, as never,

As a night star in the dead sky.

Let me know how to tell

Or not to remember...

Let it burn, as never,

As a night star in the revived sky.

Let me know how to tell

Or not to remember...

..catching the wind...

 

Can you hear my song in the morning?

The happiness I shall not give to anybody.

Only you do not break my wings off,

Do not let me fall from height into a precipice, please I beg you.

 

There is a dark night after a white day again.

Only you can can help me in that.

As if in a fog I walk on the sky.

How to realize that I simply fly?

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Omar Khayam (this time with interpretation added -translation from Farsi)

 

Literal:

 

The caravan of life shall always pass

Beware that is fresh as sweet young grass

Let’s not worry about what tomorrow will amass

Fill my cup again, this night will pass, alas.

 

Meaning:

 

To be aware of each moment spent

Is to live in the now, and be present

Worry for morrow shan’t make a dent

Caring for the now, your mind must be bent.

 

Fitzgerald:

 

One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,

One moment, of the Well of Life to taste--

The Stars are setting, and the Caravan

Starts for the dawn of Nothing--Oh, make haste!

 

German:

 

Diese Lebenskarawane ist ein seltsamer Zug,

Drum hasche die flьchtige Freude im Elug!

Mach' Dir im kьnftigen Gram keine Sorgen,

Fьlle das Glas, bald naht wieder der Morgen

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Of course, I did, especially Loneliness and, Jung and Zaratushtra.

 

And the painting there, did you make it?

 

I think the feelings, meaning and the rhythm are still there.

 

Maybe you shouldn't worry about rhymes.

 

 

I don't always translate them. But sometimes. Poems written in classical Chinese are not really translatable, since the rhyme system is too sophisticated, and I know little about rhymes in English.

 

Hope you liked some of them.

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Ozymandias

 

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown

And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:

`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

 

Percy Bysshe Shelly

 

and

 

Not Waving But Drowning

 

Nobody heard him, the dead man,

But still he lay moaning:

I was much further out than you thought

And not waving but drowning.

 

Poor chap, he always loved larking

And now he's dead

It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,

They said.

 

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always

(Still the dead one lay moaning)

I was much too far out all my life

And not waving but drowning.

 

Stevie Smith

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One of my favourite poems :

The Warning

Jenny Josef

 

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick the flowers in other people's gardens

And learn to spit.

 

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

Or only bread and pickle for a week

And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

 

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

And pay our rent and not swear in the street

And set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

 

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple

 

post-33471-1225835776.jpg

(can't remember where I found this picture)

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Fantastic.

Is it related or is it really an independent piece of work not related to the poem.

 

Was wondering, is it common for Chinese poets to make paintings as illustrations to their poems? :)

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Some of the pictures are related to the poems. Some are not. It depends on the actual moments of creation -- sometimes came only words, or only pictures, sometimes both. :)

 

Glad that you like my works.

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For someone who lives in Düsseldorf, I thought Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 'Cologne' quite funny.

 

Cologne

 

In Köhln, a town of monks and bones,

And pavements fang'd with murderous stones

And rags, and hags, and hideous wenches ;

I counted two and seventy stenches,

All well defined, and several stinks!

Ye Nymphs that reign o'er sewers and sinks,

The river Rhine, it is well known,

Doth wash your city of Cologne ;

But tell me, Nymphs, what power divine

Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?

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Your voice...

The sweetness of it

Its kindness,

generosity.

The conversation.

 

May it never end.

Under the twilight,

Late at night,

Moonlight in your hair.

 

Your dark brown eyes,

Shining bright in the dim

Light of the silvery moon.

May it never end.

 

Words spoken softly,

Whispers of happiness

Tickling the ear...

Pounding heart.

 

The softness of your touch

As your gaze drops,

Your voice lowers..

I love you.

 

May it never end

The conversation

That lovely night

We fell in love.

 

May it never end

I love you.

May it never end.

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A Love Story

 

I shall seek and find you.

 

I shall take you to bed and control you.

 

I will make you ache, shake and sweat until you grunt and groan.

 

I will make you beg for mercy.

 

I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I leave you.

 

And you will be weak for days.

 

All my love,

 

...

 

The Sexy Flu Bug

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My Hips by Lucille Clifton

 

these hips are big hips.

they need space to

move around in.

they don't fit into little

petty places. these hips

are free hips.

they don't like to be held back.

these hips have never been enslaved,

they go where they want to go

they do what they want to do.

these hips are mighty hips.

these hips are magic hips.

i have known them

to put a spell on a man and

spin him like a top

 

 

 

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there once was a man named jack

didnt have a job because he was black

he made all his monies

pimping out honeys

and dealing weed and crack

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Derby born, Derby bred

Thick in the ´ead (Trad: last seen on a toilet wall in the Strumpf und Ecke pub in Harburg c. AD2000)

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Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll... great poem for linguists :)

 

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

 

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!"

 

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

Long time the manxome foe he sought --

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

And stood awhile in thought.

 

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

 

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

 

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'

He chortled in his joy.

 

 

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

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Stopping by woods on a snowy evening by Robert Frost. I can not explain why but I am deeply moved by this poem.

 

 

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

 

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

 

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

 

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

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