Thursday, April 26, 2007

Three for Thursday: Poetry in Motion, Day 26 (Ogden Nash, Sophocles, Allen Grossman)

As we enter the last few days of my Poetry in Motion project, I am offering up a hat trick of posters so that I can follow up with singles on the last 4 days of the month.

First up is a classic from the light verse master, Ogden Nash, which appeared on the Philadelphia transit system:

from "Riding on a Railroad Train"

Some like trips in luxury ships
and some in railroad wagons
and others swear by the upper air
and the wings of flying dragons

Let each make haste to indulge his taste
be it beer, champagne, or cider.
My private joy, both man and boy,
is being a railroad rider.

Also from Philly, we have some classic Sophocles:

from Antigone (lines 879-886)


Love, never unconquered in battle
Love the plunderer laying waste the rich!
Love standing the night-watch
Guarding a girl's soft cheek,
you range the seas, the shepherds' steading off in the wilds-
not even the deathless gods can flee your onset,
nothing human born for a day-
whoever feels your grip is driven mad.

Sophocles (496?-406 B.C.)
Translated from the Greek by Robert Fagles

And finally, the third, from Allen Grossman, as seen in Baltimore:

Quies, or Rest

A woman goes from room to room. She extinguishes
One light in each room. Darkness follows her
And in the last room she is overtaken.
Then, she mounts the dark stair confidently
And enters the room she sleeps in, and lies
Down in the dark, where a man in the dark wakes
A little and covers her with his arm.

Allen Grossman (b.1932)

Previous BillyBlog Poetry in Motion posts:

from "My Grandmother's New York Apartment" by Elizabeth
Alexander (Day 1)
from "A Bouquet" by Bei Dao (Day 2)
"Separation" by W.S. Merwin (Day 3)
"The Groundfall Pear" by Jane Hirshfield (Day 4)
"For Friendship" by Robert Creeley (Day 5)
from "Crazy Horse Speaks" by Sherman Alexie (Day 6)
"Hunger" by Billy Collins (Day 7)
from "Little Man Around the House" by Yusef Komunyakaa (Day 8)
"The Loon on Oak-Head Pond" by Mary Oliver (Day 9)
from "I Am Vertical" by Sylvia Plath (Day 10 - part 1)
"Two Haiku" by
Kobayashi Issa (Robert Hass, trans.)
(Day 10 - part 2)
"you say 'i will come' " by Lady Otomo No Sakanoe (Kenneth
Rexroth, trans.) (Day 11)
"You Called Me Corazón" by Sandra Cisneros (Day 12)
"Too Much Heat, Too Much Work" by Tu Fu (Carolyn
Kizer, trans.) (Day 13)
"Sew" by Donald Hall (Day 14)
"Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden (Day 15)
"Luck" by Langston Hughes (Day 16)
"0˚" by Elizabeth Spires (Day 17 - part 1)
"I Finally Managed to Speak with Her" by Hal
Sirowitz (Day 17 - part 2)
"Window" by Carl Sandburg (Day 18)
" 'Hope' is the thing with feathers" by Emily
Dickinson (Day 19)
from "Watch Repair" by Charles Simic (Day 20)
"Thank You, My Dear" by Sappho (Mary Barnard,
trans.) (Day 21)
"A Piece of the Storm" and "Keeping Things Whole" by
Mark Strand (Day 22)
"Lullaby for a Daughter" by Mary Jo Salter (Day 23)
"I Ask My Mother to Sing" by Li-Young Lee (Day 24)
"Let Me Think" by Faiz Ahmed Faiz (Agha Shahid
Ali, trans.) (Day 25)

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