Monday, 7 November 2011

Adelaide Crapsey-unconscious experimenter

Adelaide Crapsey
Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914) was an American poet best known for establishing the five-line form known as the cinquain.
She had a deep appreciation for metrics and was an admirer of Japanese Tanka and Haiku. Her Cinquain was developed partly as an American analogue of these forms.

Her poetry was published posthumously in 1915 in a collection titled ,Verse, many poems of which were written in the last year of her life, and in the knowledge that she was dying of tuberculosis. Their publication in the year following her death was met with critical acclaim, particularly for the brevity, poise, and metrical sophistication of those she called Cinquains She is considered one of the first Imagist poets.

Her interest in Japanese poetry has also led some critics to link her to the Imagist movement that became popular shortly after she died and was led by the likes of Ezra Pound, H. D., and Amy Lowell. Louis Untermeyer, editor for many years of Modern American Poetry, for example, called her “an unconscious Imagist.” Although her untimely death precluded any chance for her to collaborate with these poets, Crapsey was undoubtedly influenced by some of the same factors that fomented their movement including a desire to pull back from some of the excesses of the Georgian poets. Like Crapsey’s cinquains, Imagist poetry is characterized by the precise use of imagery and economy of language.

She struggled to assemble the manuscript for Verse (which contains many poems still in draft form) as she neared death and clearly intended the collection to be, as Edward Butscher describes, “a sort of last testament and self-memorial.”4 This perception is underscored to her readers by the decision to offer the following poem at the conclusion of Verse:

Listen . . .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.

I know
Not these my hands
And yet I think there was
A woman like me once had hands
Like these.
Seen on a Night in November
How frail
Above the bulk
Of crashing water hangs,
Autumnal, evanescent, wan,
The moon.
These be
three silent things:
The falling snow . . . the hour
Before the dawn . . . the mouth of one
Just dead.
Just now,
Out of the strange
Still dusk . . . as strange, as still . . .
A white moth flew . . . Why am I grown
So cold?

Milk and Honey.wmv - YouTube

Sunday, 6 November 2011

At Baia

H. D.
On September 10, 1886, Hilda Doolittle was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She attended Bryn Mawr, as a classmate of Marianne Moore and later the University of Pennsylvania where she befriended Ezra Pound and William Carlos William

She traveled to Europe in 1911, intending to spend only a summer, but remained abroad for the rest of her life.

Through Pound, H. D. grew interested in and quickly became a leader of the imagist movement some of her earliest poems gained recognition when they were published by Harriet Monroe in Poetry.

Her work is characterized by the intense strength of her images, economy of language, and use of classical mythology. Her poems did not receive widespread appreciation and acclaim during her lifetime, in part because her name was associated with the Imagist movement even as her voice had outgrown the movement's boundaries, as evidenced by her book-length works, Trilogy and Helen in Egypt.

As Alicia Ostriker said in American Poetry Review, "H.D. by the end of her career became not only the most gifted woman poet of our century, but one of the most original poets—the more I read her the more I think this—in our language."

Neglect of H. D. can also be attributed to her times, as many of her poems spoke to an audience which was unready to respond to the strong feminist principles articulated in her work. She died in 1961.
At Baia
I should have thought

in a dream you would have brought

some lovely, perilous thing,

orchids piled in a great sheath,

as who would say (in a dream),

"I send you this,

who left the blue veins

of your throat unkissed."

Why was it that your hands

(that never took mine),

your hands that I could see

drift over the orchid-heads

so carefully,

your hands, so fragile, sure to lift

so gently, the fragile flower-stuff--

ah, ah, how was it

You never sent (in a dream)

the very form, the very scent,

not heavy, not sensuous,

but perilous--perilous--

of orchids, piled in a great sheath,

and folded underneath on a bright scroll,

some word:

"Flower sent to flower;

for white hands, the lesser white,

less lovely of flower-leaf,"


"Lover to lover, no kiss,

no touch, but forever and ever this."


Helen   by H. D.
All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre as of olives
where she stands,
and the white hands.

All Greece reviles
the wan face when she smiles,
hating it deeper still
when it grows wan and white,
remembering past enchantments
and past ills.

Greece sees, unmoved,
God's daughter, born of love,
the beauty of cool feet
and slenderest knees,
could love indeed the maid,
only if she were laid,
white ash amid funereal cypresses

Friday, 1 April 2011

After Midnight

Mohan Rana

Mohan Rana, who was born in Delhi in 1964, graduated in Humanities from Delhi University. He has published six poetry collections in Hindi, Jagah (Dwelling, 1994), Jaise Janam Koi Darwaza (As If Life Were a Door, 1997), Subah ki Dak (Morning's Post, 2002), Is Chhor Par (On This Shore, 2003), Pathar Ho Jayegi Nadi (Stone-River, 2007) and Dhoop Ke Andhere Mein (In the Darkness of the Sun, 2008). Some of his poems were included in Modern Poetry in Translation special issue no 17 ‘Mother Tongues'. A bilingual collection With Eyes Closed (Suryastra; Delhi), with translations by Lucy Rosenstein, was published in 2008.

The poet and critic, Nandkishore Acharya, has written that, 'Amongst the new generation of Hindi poets, the poetry of Mohan Rana stands alone; it defies any categorisation. However, its refusal to fit any ideology doesn't mean that Mohan Rana's poetry shies away from thinking - but that it knows the difference between thinking in verse and thinking about poetry. For Mohan Rana the poetic process in itself is also thought process.'Mohan Rana lives in Bath.

तीसरा पहर

by Mohan Rana

मैंने तारों को देखा बहुत दूर
जितना मैं उनसे
वे दिखे इस पल में
टिमटिमाते अतीत के पल
अँधेरे की असीमता में,
सुबह का पीछा करती रात में
यह तीसरा पहर

और मैं तय नहीं कर पाता
क्या मैं जी रहा हूँ जीवन पहली बार,
या इसे भूलकर जीते हुए दोहराए जा रहा हूँ
सांस के पहले ही पल को हमेशा !

क्या मछली भी पानी पीती होगी
या सूरज को भी लगती होगी गरमी
क्या रोशनी को भी कभी दिखता होगा अँधकार
क्या बारिश भी हमेशा भीग जाती होगी,
मेरी तरह क्या सपने भी करते होंगे सवाल नींद के बारे में

दूर दूर बहुत दूर चला आया मैं
जब मैंने देखा तारों को - देखा बहुत पास,
आज बारिश होती रही दिनभर
और शब्द धुलते रहे तुम्हारे चेहरे से


After Midnight

I saw the stars far off -
as far as I from them:
in this moment I saw them -
in moments of the twinkling past.
In the boundless depths of darkness,
these hours
hunt the morning through the night.

And I can't make up my mind:
am I living this life for the first time?
Or repeating it, forgetting as I live
the first moment of breath every time?

Does the fish too drink water?
Does the sun feel the heat?
Does the light see the dark?
Does the rain too get wet?
Do dreams ask questions about sleep as I do?

I walked a long, long way
and when I saw, I saw the stars close by.
Today it rained all day long and the words were washed away
from your face.

நடுநிசிக்குப் பின்
நான் தொலை தூரத்து நட்சத்திரங்களைப் பார்த்தேன்
நான் எவ்வளவு தொலைவிலோ
இந்தக் கணம் அத்தனைதொலைவிலுள்ள அவற்றை
எல்லையில்லா இருளின் ஆழத்தில்
அவற்றின் கழிந்துபோன கண்சிமிட்டல்
தருணங்களைக் கண்டேன்
இந்த மூன்றாம் நாழிகையில்
என்னால் தீர்மானிக்க முடியவில்லை ;
இந்த வாழ்வை நான் முதன் முறையாகத்தான் வாழ்கின்றேனா?
அல்லது வாழ்ந்தபடியே மறந்து போய்
திருப்பித்திருப்பி நகலெடுத்துக் கொண்டிருக்கின்றேனா?
மீன் கூட தண்ணீரைப்பருகுமா?
சூரியனுக்குக் கூட சூடு உறைக்குமா?
ஒளியும் இருளைப் பார்க்குமா?
மழை கூட நனைந்து போகுமா?
கனவுகள் கூட என்னைப் போன்றேதூக்கத்தைப் பற்றி கேள்விகள் கேட்குமா?
வெகு தூரம் , வெகுவெகு தூரம் நான் வந்து விட்டேன்
நான் பார்த்தபோது நட்சத்திரங்கள் நெருக்கத்தில் இருந்தன
இன்று நாள் முழுவதும மழை பெய்து கொண்டே இருந்தது
உன் முகத்திலிருந்து எல்லா வார்த்தைகளும் வழிந்து சென்றுகொண்டே இருந்தன
தமிழ் மொழிபெயர்ப்பு : வையவன்