POESY

po·e·sy n. pl. po·e·sies 1. Poetical works; poetry. 2. The art or practice of composing poems. 3. The inspiration involved in composing poetry. [Middle English poesie, from Old French, from Latin posis, from Greek poisis, from poiein, to create; see kwei-2 in Indo-European roots.]

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Isaac Rosenberg - November 25




Isaac Rosenberg  November 25, 1890 – April 1, 1918

Considered to be one of the greatest of all English war poets




August 1914
                                                         
What in our lives is burnt
In the fire of this?
The heart's dear granary?
The much we shall miss?
Three lives hath one life -
Iron, honey, gold.
The gold, the honey gone -
Left is the hard and cold.
Iron are our lives
Molten right through our youth.
A burnt space through ripe fields
A fair mouth's broken tooth




Break of Day in the Trenches
                              
The darkness crumbles away
It is the same old druid Time as ever,
Only a live thing leaps my hand,
A queer sardonic rat,
As I pull the parapet's poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
Your cosmopolitan sympathies,
Now you have touched this English hand
You will do the same to a German
Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
Less chanced than you for life,
Bonds to the whims of murder,
Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes
At the shrieking iron and flame
Hurled through still heavens?
What quaver -what heart aghast?
Poppies whose roots are in men's veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe,
Just a little white with the dust.

                   


Soldier: Twentieth Century by Isaac Rosenberg
                              
I love you, great new Titan!
Am I not you?
Napoleon or Caesar
Out of you grew.
Out of the unthinkable torture,
Eyes kissed by death,
Won back to the world again,
Lost and won in a breath,
Cruel men are made immortal,
Out of your pain born.
They have stolen the sun's power
With their feet on your shoulders worn.
Let them shrink from your girth,
That has outgrown the pallid days,
When you slept like Circe's swine,
Or a word in the brain's way.



On Receiving News of the War

Snow is a strange white word.
No ice or frost
Has asked of bud or bird
For Winter's cost.
Yet ice and frost and snow
From earth to sky
This Summer land doth know.
No man knows why.
In all men's hearts it is.
Some spirit old
Hath turned with malign kiss
Our lives to mould.
Red fangs have torn His face.
God's blood is shed.
He mourns from His lone place
His children dead.
O! ancient crimson curse!
Corrode, consume.
Give back this universe
Its pristine bloom.




The Immortals
                              
I killed them, but they would not die.
Yea! all the day and all the night
For them I could not rest or sleep,
Nor guard from them nor hide in flight.
Then in my agony I turned
And made my hands red in their gore.
In vain - for faster than I slew
They rose more cruel than before.
I killed and killed with slaughter mad;
I killed till all my strength was gone.
And still they rose to torture me,
For Devils only die in fun.
I used to think the Devil hid
In women's smiles and wine's carouse.
I called him Satan, Balzebub.
But now I call him, dirty louse.


                                
-- Cat