anonymous asked:

top five favorite poems!

i tried for five there was an honest effort to choose only five and it lasted about eight seconds

  • seamus heaney, “north” (x)
  • marina tsvetaeva, “poems for moscow” (x)
  • w.h. auden, “musee des beaux arts” (x)
  • derek walcott, “midsummer, tobago” (x)
  • lewis carroll, “the walrus and the carpenter” (x)
  • james wright, “a blessing” (x)
  • alexander pushkin, “the prophet” (x)
  • dante alighieri, inferno
  • nadine sabra meyer, “invocation: a fragment” (x)
  • william blake, “jerusalem: the emanation of great albion” (x)
  • sappho, “fragment 94”
  • paul celan, “death-fugue” (x)
  • philip larkin, “bridge for the living” (x)
  • kim addonizio, “for you” (x)
  • arthur rimbaud, “barbarian” (x)
  • w.b. yeats, “the second coming” (x)
  • kay ryan, “stardust” (x)
  • wilfred owen, “dulce et decorum est”
  • geoffrey hill, “tenebrae” (x)
  • h.d., eideolon (book iii section vii (x))
  • pablo neruda, “sonnet xxxiv” (x)
  • emily dickinson, “i dwell in possibility” (x)
  • jacob shores-argeüllo, “paradise”
  • anon, sir gawain and the green knight
  • kathleen sheeder bonanno, “death barged in” (x)
  • john donne, “holy sonnet xiv” (x)
  • elizabeth bishop, “at the fish-houses” (x)
  • rainer maria rilke, “the boy” (x) and “lament” (x)
  • mahmoud darwish, “your night is of lilac” (x)
  • gregory orr, “trauma (storm)” (x)
  • frank o’hara, “having a coke with you” (x)
  • john milton, paradise lost (books v & ix)
  • anne carson, “the autobiography of red”
  • naomi shihab nye, “burning the old year” (x)
  • christopher marlowe, hero and leander
  • sylvia plath, “three women: a poem for three voices” (x)
  • anna akhmatova, “voronezh” (x)
  • ted hughes, “bride and groom lie hidden for three days” (x)
  • anon, beowulf
  • dylan thomas, “fern hill” (x)
  • margaret atwood, “sumacs” (x)
  • kiki petosino, “genuflect”
  • t.j. jarrett, “how to speak to the dead” (x)
  • louise glück, “landscape” (x)
  • jorge luis borges, “poem of the gifts” (x)
  • e.e. cummings, “i will wade out” (x)
  • sean ó coileáin, “the ruins of timoleague abbey” (x)
  • yusef komunyakaa, “jasmine” (x)
… we love each other like poppy and recollection,
we sleep like wine in the conches,
like the sea in the moon’s blood ray.
—  From the poem, 'Corona' by Paul Celan. Translated by Michael Hamburger and Christopher Middleton.
Mute Autumn odors. The
starflower, unbroken, passed
between home and chasm through
your memory.
A strange lostness was
palpably present, almost
you would
have lived.
—  Paul Celan, Poems of Paul Celan, translated by Michael Hamburger
The poet is someone who is permanently involved with a language that is dying and which he resurrects, not by giving it back some triumphant aspect but by making it return sometimes, like a specter or a ghost: the poet wakes up language and in order to really make the ‘live’ experience of this waking up, of this return to life of language, one has to be very close to the corpse of the language.
—  Jacques Derrida, on Paul Celan

Ended up reading the prose of Paul Celan during flight delay. This is my favorite so far: So Many Constellations 

In NYtimes review (A LOVE AFFAIR WITH SILENCE) of Collected Prose by Paul Celan, what’s said about the translator (from German > English) is equally poetic: “Her English (now her working language) has an idiomatic adroitness that catches the pauses and suspensions in Celan’s breath - his prose often seems breathed rather than thought into place.”


To get better does not mean it goes away.
No. It means, you have finally learned how
to make an armor from your scars. Learned
to digest before it devours. Supersonic. Metabolic.
This browser-hatched brainstorm. To write,
to wreck, to retch, to requiem - the cortex
& vent the sap of each syllable. To say,
suleiman; you are a dagger dancing on my
jugular. Each cell is coronated as carousel
of something tectonic. Something detonating
its headwound against the hospital bed. I,
hemorrhage in rabbit sized lily ponds. Some
-thing flint-toothed is scratching at the ratchet
of a red-roomed stupor. When can we start looking
for survivors instead of heroes? Here, this body.
Hear, this body. Its electric blanket. Its box guitar.
Its scissored chords. I am 13 different kinds of
amnesia. All busted lips. A barstool turned crystal
-ball. A decade of curs locked up behind my eyes.
The technique sharpens its occam’s razor on your
fingers. The technique is to lie down and pretend as
if you were lifeless. The technique is a paradox.
Self to save or spend. This. I don’t need to pretend.