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Wow, hearty congratulations Eryan. I wont pretend to comment on the translation, my Polish is not good (!) heck it's non existent. But well done, do you realize how difficult it is to find English translations of Liesman's poetry! Several years ago some of my Polish friends talked to me about Liesman as the greatest 20th century Polish poet. I wont debate that, although I think his kind of writing is coser to 19 th century.

"In living there's nothing except living
So lets live until the graveyards end"
The Shoemaker- B. Liesman

I doubt if this quote is representative of Liesman thought, considering his "religious/mystical" preoccupations.

How about a debate around John of the Cross, Yeats and Liesman.!

PS reading Kapuscinski's Imperium - just started.

Thanks for the poetry[Edited on 16/3/2002 by Huan]
I like this a lot! Really great poem...thanks Eryan... Big Smile Smilie
I am really glad that my poor translation could anyway give you a glimpse of beautiful poetry of Boleslaw Lesmian!
For me Lesmian IS the greatest Polish poet from XXth century. I also love the poetry of Baczynski - he died very young during the 2nd world war but his poetry is tremendous.
The two lines quoted by you Huan come from another moving poem of Lesmian - about a mad shoemaker who is making gigantic shoes for... God, to thank him for the gift of life...
As for Kapuscinski, I simply adore every line he ever wrote! "Imperium" is great!
Know of any English or French translations of Lesmian's poetry?
No I'm afraid not!
Loved that poem, Eryan, great translation, btw.
Since the thread here is called poetry, I think I can post my fav poem here. It's called "Never give all the heart" and was written by the late William Butler Yeats.

Never give all the heart, for love
will hardly seem worth thinking of
to passionate women if it seem
certain, and they never dream
that it will fade out from kiss to kiss
for everything that's lovely is
but a brief, dreamy, kind delight
o never give the heart outright
for they, for all smooth lips can say
have given their hearts up to the play
and who could play it well enough
if deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost
for he gave all his heart and lost.
A beautiful poem, Tommy... thanks!
*sniff*
*wipes a tear*
This is one of my fav's from LOTR:

Oliphaunt
Grey as a mouse,
Big as a house,
Nose like a snake,
I make the earth shake,
As I tramp through the grass;
Trees crack as I pass.
With horns in my mouth
I walk in the South,
Flapping big ears.
Beyond count of years
I stump round and round,
Never lie on the ground,
Not even to die.
Oliphaunt am I,
Biggest of all,
Huge, old, and tall.
If ever you'd met me
You wouldn't forget me.
If you never do,
You won't think I'm true;
But old Oliphaunt am I,
And I never lie.

I laughed my head off when Sam did this one! Big Smile Smilie
My favorite is JRR Tolkien's 'The Stone Troll' from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and The Tolkien Reader
Quote:
Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone;
For many a year he had gnawed it near,
For meat was hard to come by.
Done by! Gum by!
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone,
And meat was hard to come by.

Up came Tom with his big boots on.
Said he to Troll: 'Pray, what is yon?
For it looks like the shin o' my nuncle Tim,
As should be a-lyin' in graveyard.
Caveyard! Paveyard!
This many a year has Tim been gone,
And I thought he were lyin' in graveyard'.
:grin I'll provide the next pair of the remaining six stanzus in a day or two.
Erm. Grondy? That particualr poem also appears in Fotr, Sam sings it while they are resting by the stone trolls.
Well don't that just frost ya? Mad Smilie Here I spend all that time typing and proofreading something that I think everybody would enjoy, only to find they already have it at their finger tips. :rolleyes I suppose it would have been a better joke on me had you waited for me to type in the remaining six stanzas. :grin Oh well, I have again proven I'm neither infallible nor omnipotent. Big Smile Smilie

Well then, would anyone like to see the serialized sixteen stanzas of Perry-the-Winkle, a poem about how The Lonely Troll gained a lifelong friend? I'll sneak around copyright by only putting up a couple stanzas at a time and removing the old ones so the whole thing isn't available at any one time. :angel
:grin Yeah, that'd be good.
I better stop correcting you everywhere today really, hadn't I?
Quote:
I better stop correcting you everywhere today really, hadn't I?
No, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and the record should be set straight; else how will myself and others know what is correct, or at least more enlightened? Big Smile Smilie
Fair enough, you will now be told wherever you are wrong. Or at least not in agreement with me. :P
LOL! Very Big Grin Smilie
This one's for you, Plastic:

Why worry?

There are only two things to worry about:
Either you are well or you are sick
If you are well, there's nothing to worry about
But if you're sick, there are two things to worry about:
Either you will get well, or you will die
If you get well, there's nothing to worry about
If you die, there are only two things to worry about:
Either you will go to Heaven or Hell
If you go to Heaven, there's nothing to worry about
And if you go to Hell, you'll be so d*mn busy shaking hands with friends
You won't have time to worry!
Just found another one for you, Plastic! Wink Smilie

Something to hide (by Roger Woddis)

When Oscar Wilde once visited New York
He told them: "I have nothing to declare,
Except my genius." Such modest pride
In talents that we may possess is rare,
And often what we have we try to hide.

"Just holy water? Let's remove the cork."
The traveller can only hope and pray.
The Customs watchdog gravely rubs his chin -
"You brought this bottle back from Lourdes, you say?
Well, here's a miracle - it's turned into gin."

Day after day, to guard the Revenue,
Someone is searched, a ship turned upside down
To trap the gentleman who dreams of gain.
Trough brandy for the parson robs the Crown,
It lacks the profit-margin of cocaine.

Even the guiltless, merely passing through
With legal quantities of duty-free,
A box of Dutch cigars, Parisian scent,
May drop their eyes before postAuthorIDity.
On life's brief journey who is innocent?
What you trying to say about me Tommy? Animated Wink Smilie
Oh nothing, nothing... Animated Wink Smilie
This is a kind of poem that stole my heart a couple of years ago, because it comes straight from the heart, and you can feel it. It was written by Gabriel Byrne the day after his daughter was born, for his two children Jack and Romy, and for himself. (source: Pictures in my head - Gabriel Byrne)

Prayer for my daughter

You are born in love and pain, given to us for a short time only, before we must let you go again with love and pain. One day you'll come to know how close they are one to the other - You are a treasure, a blessing, a prayer's answer, a jig in my Irish soul. You are me. And I am you. You are both of us, the love of your mother and me.

Let me be worthy of you. Let me lead you to truth, to beauty, to the mystery of the universe. Be a comfort for you, be your rock, your refuge, your eejit, your scratching post, your kick the cat, your guide and teacher. Your truest friend.

Let me be open to your child's wisdom teaching me with your soul's innocence the true nature of things. Don't let me take you for granted. Let me always be myself and allow you always to be yourself without judgement - give you the key to my secret heart and not be afraid to show you who I really am, nor of who you really are. Give me the strength to be gone from you when I must go, and to be near you when you most need me.

Let me take your hand and help you to find your true path. There will be sorrow, for that is the way of the world; but out of suffering, joy can come too - the peacock swallows a poisoned thorn to grow the miracle of a feather.

You will ask me great questions, and sometimes I will not know the answer. Perhaps we are not meant to know some things, for that is life too. A seeking. It may be our only purpose here.

All things are changing always. Yesterday is dust. Tomorrow a dream. Our gift is now. And so, my sweet angel, may you know love and be loved in return. May you know truth and laughter and peace and happiness, and may the great spirit of the universe enfold you in his arms and keep you safe for always.

[Edited on 17/6/2002 by TomBombadillo]
Hamlet. To be or not to be,- that is the question;
Whether't is nobler in the mind to suffer
the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them? - to die, - to sleep; -
No more; and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, - 't is a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, - to sleep; -
To sleep! perchance to dream: - ay, there's the rub
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthytakes,
When he himself might his quitus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,-
That undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns - puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. --shakespeare

and here tomB is master Will's Soliluquy on Death
Ah yes, tuesday, i like that one from Shakespeare too!

Quote:
and here tomB is master Will's Soliluquy on Death


what's a Soliluquy??? Question Smilie
A soliloquy is a piece of narative, often seen in drama, where someone speaks a piece to himself. It is like an actor expressing his thoughts to the audience. Shakespeare was particularly good at them.
Quote:
what's a Soliluquy??? Question Smilie
Quote:
soliloquy: 1. an act or instance of talking to oneself. 2. lines in a drama, in which the character reveals his thoughts to the audience but not to the other characters by speaking as if to himself.
Read Smilie
In the Advertisements section is a post by Swampfaye about a poetry contest you may want to check out. Cool Smilie
Gosh there are some silly words in English! Wink Smilie Ta! I'm a bit more literate now. Big Smile Smilie
Actually soliluquy is one of English's many many 'borrowed' words. I believe it is latin.
Yup: L. solus, alone, and loqui, to speak.
I wonder, is English the only language to borrow so much from others?

Anyway, in keeping with the topic, here is one of my favorite poems. I posted the first stanza in the 'Quotes' thread, here is the whole thing.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
The higher he's a-getting
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
Expect not the last and worst,
Time still succeeds the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.
--Robert Herrick (1591 - 1674 )


In a nutshell, seize the day. This poem is recited in the song 'A Change of Seasons' by Dream Theater. It's a 23 minute suite that stands as my absolute favorite song of all time by my absolute favorite band of all time.


[Edited on 8/12/02 by ProgHead777]
Dream Theater? Really? I always found them really really dull.
But I love Robert Herrick, so there's always some redeeming feature somewhere. Smile Smilie
Dream Theater dull??? To each his own I suppose... Wink Smilie
What is all this about dream theatre??? I thought we were talking about poetry? Smoke Smilie
Ahh, but Tommy, Dream Theater is poetry ...to my ears anyway. Aural Poetry if you will. Wink Smilie
So Dream Theater is a music group? Sort of... Figured as much. Smoke Smilie Don't mind me, get on with whatever you were talking about... Tongue Smilie
Yiddish poem
Yiddish was the secret code, therefore I don't farshtaist,
A bisseleh maybe here and there, the rest has gone to waste.
Sadly when I hear it now, I only get the gist, My Bubbie spoke it
beautifully; but me, I am tsemisht.

So och un vey as I should say, or even oy vey iz mir,
Though my pisk is lacking Yiddish, it's familiar to my ear.
And I'm no Chaim Yonkel , in fact I was shtick naches,
But, when it comes to Yiddish though, I'm talking out my tuchas.

Es iz a shandeh far di kinder that I don't know it better
(Though it's really nishtkefelecht when one needs to write a letter)
But, when it comes to characters, there's really no contention, No
other linguist can compete with honorable mentshen:

They have nebbishes and nebechels and others without mazel,
Then, too, schmendriks and schlemiels, and let's not forget
schlemazel. These words are so precise and descriptive to the
listener, So much better than "a pill " is to call someone
'farbissener'.

Or - that a brazen woman would be better called chaleria,
And you'll agree farklempt says more than does hysteria.
I'm not haken dir a tsheinik and I hope I'm not a kvetch,
But isn't mieskeit kinder, than to call someone a wretch?

Mitten derinnen, I hear Bubbie say, "It's nechtiker tog, don't fear,
To me you're still a maven, zol zein shah, don't fill my ear. A leben
ahf dein keppele, I don't mean to interrupt, But you are speaking
narishkeit.....And A gezunt auf dein kup!"



GLOSSARY
Farshtaist = (Do You?) Understand
Bisseleh = A little
Bubbie = Grandmother
Tsemisht = Confused or mixed up
Och un vai = Alas and alack
Oi vai iz mir = Woe is me
Pisk = mouth
Naches = Joy, Gratification
Shandeh far di kinder = A pity/shame for the children
Nishtkefelecht = Not so terrible
Nebbishes = A nobody or simpleton
Nebechels = A pititful person or playing the role of being one
Schlemiel = Clumsy bungler, an inept person, butter-fingered; dopey person
Schmendrik = Nincompoop; an inept or indifferent person; same as chlemiel
Schlemazel = Luckless person. Unlucky person; one with perpetual bad luck (it is said that the shlemiel spills the soup on the Shlimazel!)
Farbissener = Embittered; bitter person
Chaleria = Evil woman. Probably derived from cholera

Credited to Gene Wilder
I LOVE MY JOB (abject apologies to Dr. Seuss)

I love my job, I love the pay,
I love it more and more each day.

I love my boss and he's the best.
I love HIS boss and all the rest.

I love my office and it's location.
I hate to have to take vacation.

I love my desk, drab and gray,
and love those paper piles each day.

I love my chair in my padded cell;
there's nothing else I love so well.

I love to work among my peers.
I love their leers 'n jeers 'n sneers.

I love my computer and all its ware;
I hug it often to show I care.

I love each program and every file;
I even try using it once in a while.

I'm happy to be here, I am, I am...
I'm the happiest slave to my Uncle Sam.

I love this work; I love these chores;
I love the meetings with deadly bores.

I love my job AND I'll say it again,
I even love these friendly men:

These men who've come to visit today,
in lovely white coats to take me away!

around the corner I have a friend
in this great city that has no end
yet days go by and weeks rush on
and before I know it, the year is gone.
And I never see my old friend's face,
for life's a swift amd terrible race
he knows I like him just as well
as in the days I rang his bell
and he rang mine.
But were older now than then.
Now were busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
tired of trying to make a name.
"Tommorow," i say, "I will call Jim,
Just to say I'm thinking of him"
But tommorow comes and tommorow goes
And distance between us comes and goes
Around the corner, yet miles away.
"Here's your telegram, sir" Jim Died today.
That's what we get and deserve in the end
around the corner, a vanished friend.
They are so young and beautiful

They are so young and beautiful,
The soldiers gone to war.
The signed up for a great career,
Did they know what it held in store?

Their faces leave an imprint,
Burnt deep within my mind.
The ones we have lost to war,
And the ones they cannot find.

They fight for their country,
So patriotic and with pride.
To end this world of terror,
Yet terror it does hide.

It hides within a household,
It hides within a school,
It hides where ever there is room,
For terror has no rule.

Draped in camo, they rush in,
Guns held at their breast,
For they have vowed to end this,
Until they do there will be no rest.

The guns and tanks fire loud,
The air strikes shake the ground.
This enemy is a fighter,
And they are hiding all around.

But still they keep on marching,
To end this once and for all,
They will stand their to the tragic end,
For they answered their countries call.

These soldiers stand for freedom,
A freedom felt world wide.
And I for one support them all,
And look over them with pride.

~Anon
When Tomorrow Starts Without me.

When tomorrow starts without me and Iím not here to see,
If the sun should rise and fill your eyes all filled with tears for me,
I wish so much you wouldnít cry the way you did today,
While Iím think of the many ways things we didnít get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you,
And each time you think of me, I know you miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand
And said my place was ready in Heaven far above,
And that Iíd have to leave behind all those I dearly love.

But as I turned and walked away, a tear fell from my eye,
For all my life Iíd thought I didnít want to die.
I had so much to live for, I had so much to do,
It seemed almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all my yesterdays, the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, I thought, just for a while,
Iíd say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.

So when tomorrow stars without me,
Donít think weíre apart, for each time you think of meÖ
Iím right here in your heart.

~ by David M. Romano
Beans beans, the musical fruit!