poetry

the archivist May 16, 2017

In our Global Archive series, we get to know the world a little better, one country (or territory) at a time. Today’s installment: Russia! So let’s start at the very beginning. Modern Russia has origins in about the 8th century CE. Vikings (called Varangians by the Greeks) came to rule over the people known as […]

the archivist August 3, 2015

You Want a Social Life, with Friends Kenneth Koch You want a social life, with friends. A passionate love life and as well To work hard every day. What’s true Is of these three you may have two And two can pay you dividends But never may have three. There isn’t time enough, my friends– […]

the archivist June 9, 2015

from Anima Hominis (Chap.5) William Butler Yeats We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. Unlike the rhetoricians, who get a confident voice from remembering the crowd they have won or may win, we sing amid our uncertainty; and, smitten even in the presence of the most […]

the archivist May 9, 2015

The End Mark Strand   Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end, Watching the pier as the ship sails away, or what it will seem like When he’s held by the sea’s roar, motionless, there at the end, Or what he shall hope for once it is clear that he’ll never […]

the archivist April 9, 2015

AÚN Pablo Neruda XVIII Los días no se descartan ni se suman, son abejas que ardieron de dulzura o enfurecieron el aguijón: el certamen continúa, van y vienen los viajes desde la miel al dolor. No, no se deshila la red de los años: no hay red. No caen gota a gota desde un río: […]

the archivist March 12, 2015

Going, Going Philip Larkin I thought it would last my time – The sense that, beyond the town, There would always be fields and farms, Where the village louts could climb Such trees as were not cut down; I knew there’d be false alarms In the papers about old streets And split level shopping, but […]

the archivist March 9, 2015

I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose,—words in their best order; poetry,—the best words in their best order. –Samuel Taylor Coleridge So many people, many of whom enjoy other forms of the arts, are quick to declare, “I hate poetry.” I suspect that what […]

the archivist November 13, 2014

The White Birds William Butler Yeats I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea! We tire of the flame of the meteor, before it can fade and flee; And the flame of the blue star of twilight, hung low on the rim of the sky, Has awakened in […]

the archivist November 13, 2014

Morning in the Burned House Margaret Atwood http://gty.im/101057128 In the burned house I am eating breakfast. You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast, yet here I am. The spoon which was melted scrapes against the bowl which was melted also. No one else is around. Where have they gone to, brother and […]

the archivist November 4, 2014

To Sir Richard Fanshaw, Upon His Translation Of ‘Pastor Fido’ Sir John Denham (1615-1669) Such is our pride, our folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write, translate. But what in them is want of art or voice, In thee is either modesty or choice. While this great piece, restored by thee, […]

the archivist October 2, 2014

Love After Love Derek Walcott The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your […]

the archivist September 12, 2014

Андрей Вознесенский Первый лед Мерзнет девочка в автомате, Прячет в зябкое пальтецо Все в слезах и губной помаде Перемазанное лицо. Дышит в худенькие ладошки. Пальцы—льдышки. В ушах—сережки. Ей обратно одной, одной Вдоль по улочке ледяной, Первый лед. Это в первый раз. Первый лед телефонных фраз. Мерзлый след на щеках блестит — Первый лед от людских […]

the archivist September 10, 2014

Offering and Rebuff Carl Sandburg I could love you as dry roots love rain. I could hold you as branches in the wind brandish petals. Forgive me for speaking so soon. Let your heart look on white sea spray and be lonely. Love is a fool star. You and a ring of stars may mention […]

the archivist April 30, 2014

Анна Ахматова Блажен, кто посетил сей мир В его минуты роковые. –Тютчев Н.А. О-ой Меня, как реку, Суровая эпоха повернула. Мне подменили жизнь. В другое русло, Мимо другого потекла она, И я своих не знаю берегов. О, как я много зрелищ пропустила, И занавес вздымался без меня И так же падал. Сколько я друзей Своих […]

the archivist April 30, 2014

And Yet the Books Czesław Miłosz And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings, That appeared once, still wet As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn, And touched, coddled, began to live In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up, Tribes on the march, planets in motion. “We […]