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The Power of Loss

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the poems will be set up as such:
 
"TItle of Poem"
 
...poem...
................
................
 
-Author
  -Translator (if one exists)
country of origin

"Loss"
 
My paper, my pencils, my keychains, my glue,
They're nowhere to be found, nowhere, it's true,
But it does not matter much
That, now, I don't have any work to do.

The sigh for the loss of rainy days overcast
Along the lake after the shingly overpass
Does not matter much
That, now, the time does not go so fast.

The whispering gasp for the loss of sight
For lush daybreak after the night,
Does not matter much
That, now, to see, I need no light.

The weeping for the loss of wedding rings,
Fitted and dusty, those were angel wings,
Does not matter much
That, now, I need not the shape of things.

And the loss of my home, beneath the sky,
That sits near a river where the salmon swim by,
Does not matter much
That, now, home is here, where I now lie.

And the wailing for the loss of my city,
Where the lions sleep as they may,
Does not matter much
That I know we all end up the remains of the day.

But the tragedy of the loss of you, my child,
For the only one I've wept for, the only one I adore,
Has mattered, but not much anymore,
Because you know I'll wait for you
On God's golden shore.
 
-K. Jared Hosein
West Indies
 
 
"Saddest Poem"
 
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.
 
-Pablo Neruda
Chile
 
 
"Leave Me, My Blamer XIII"
 
Leave me, my blamer,
For the sake of the love
Which unites your soul with
That of your beloved one;
For the sake of that which
Joins spirit with mothers
Affection, and ties your
Heart with filial love. Go,
And leave me to my own
Weeping heart.


Let me sail in the ocean of
My dreams; Wait until Tomorrow
Comes, for tomorrow is free to
Do with me as he wishes. Your
Laying is naught but shadow
That walks with the spirit to
The tomb of abashment, and shows
Heard the cold, solid earth.


I have a little heart within me
And I like to bring him out of
His prison and carry him on the
Palm of my hand to examine him
In depth and extract his secret.
Aim not your arrows at him, lest
He takes fright and vanish 'ere he
Pours the secrets blood as a
Sacrifice at the altar of his
Own faith, given him by Deity
When he fashioned him of love and beauty.


The sun is rising and the nightingale
Is singing, and the myrtle is
Breathing its fragrance into space.
I want to free myself from the
Quilted slumber of wrong. Do not
Detain me, my blamer!


Cavil me not by mention of the
Lions of the forest or the
Snakes of the valley, for
Me soul knows no fear of earth and
Accepts no warning of evil before
Evil comes.


Advise me not, my blamer, for
Calamities have opened my heart and
Tears have cleanses my eyes, and
Errors have taught me the language
Of the hearts.


Talk not of banishment, for conscience
Is my judge and he will justify me
And protect me if I am innocent, and
Will deny me of life if I am a criminal.


Love's procession is moving;
Beauty is waving her banner;
Youth is sounding the trumpet of joy;
Disturb not my contrition, my blamer.
Let me walk, for the path is rich
With roses and mint, and the air
Is scented with cleanliness.


Relate not the tales of wealth and
Greatness, for my soul is rich
With bounty and great with God's glory.


Speak not of peoples and laws and
Kingdoms, for the whole earth is
My birthplace and all humans are
My brothers.


Go from me, for you are taking away
Life - giving repentance and bringing
Needless words.
 
-Khalil Gibran
Lebanon
 
 
"Nocturne III"
 
      One night
One night heavy with the scent of perfumes, with murmurings and music of wings,
        One night
As phantasmal fireflies flickered in humid, nuptial shadows,
We walked together, slowly, our bodies close, and you,
        Silent, pale,
As if a presentiment of infinite pain and sorrow
Had shaken you to the most secret depths of your being,
Came strolling along the garden path through fragrant gardens,
        And in the indigo
Of the vast, farthest, heavens, the full moon shed its unearthly light,
        And your shadow,
        Languid, mellow,
        And my shadow,
Lengthened by the moonbeams falling upon
The path’s somber sands
Were blending,
        Forming one
        Forming one
Forming one long, lonely shadow!
Forming one long, lonely shadow!
Forming one long, lonely shadow!
        Tonight,
        Alone, my soul
Overflowing with the unfathomable grief and agony of your death,
Separated from your being by shadows, by time and distance,
        By the infinite darkness
        No mortal voice can penetrate,
        Alone, silent,
        I walked that lonely path,
And somewhere far away dogs were barking at the moon,
        At the pale moon,
        And frogs were
        Shrilly croaking,
I felt cold; it was the chill of the chamber where you lay,
The cold of your cheeks and temples, of your beloved hands
        Among the snowy folds
        Of mortuary sheets,
It was the icy chill of the tomb, it was the chill of death,
        It was the chill of nada…
        And my shadow,
        Lengthened by the falling moonbeams,
        Walked alone,
        Walked alone,
        Walked alone through the deserted garden!
        And your slim, supple shadow,
        Languid, mellow,
As on that warm and humid night of springtime death,
As on that night filled with sweet perfumes, with murmurings and music of wings,
        Appeared and walked with mine,
        Appeared and walked with mine,
Appeared and walked with mine…  O shadows entwined!
O shadows that seek each other, blending together on nights of tears and
                                                                                          [black despair!
 
-Jose Asuncion Silva
Columbia
 
 
"The Dark Stag"
 
A startled stag, the blue-grey Night,
Leaps down beyond black pines.
Behind--a length of yellow light--
The hunter's arrow shines:
His moccasins are stained with red,
He bends upon his knee,
From covering peaks his shafts are sped,
The blue mists plume his mighty head,--
Well may the swift Night flee!

The pale, pale Moon, a snow-white doe,
 Bounds by his dappled flank:
 They beat the stars down as they go,
 Like wood-bells growing rank.
 The winds lift dewlaps from the ground,
 Leap from the quaking reeds;
 Their hoarse bays shake the forests round,
 With keen cries on the track they bound,--
 Swift, swift the dark stag speeds!
 
Away! his white doe, far behind,
Lies wounded on the plain;
Yells at his flank the nimblest wind,
His large tears fall in rain;
Like lily-pads, small clouds grow white
About his darkling way;
From his bald nest upon the height
The red-eyed eagle sees his flight;
He falters, turns, the antlered Night,--
The dark stag stands at bay!

His feet are in the waves of space;
His antlers broad and dun
He lowers; he turns his velvet face
To front the hunter, Sun;
He stamps the lilied clouds, and high
His branches fill the west.
The lean stork sails across the sky,
The shy loon shrieks to see him die,
The winds leap at his breast.

Roar the rent lakes as thro' the wave
Their silver warriors plunge,
As vaults from core of crystal cave
The strong, fierce muskallunge;
Red torches of the sumach glare,
Fall's council-fires are lit;
The bittern, squaw-like, scolds the air;
The wild duck splashes loudly where
The rustling rice-spears knit.
 
Shaft after shaft the red Sun speeds:
Rent the stag's dappled side,
His breast, fanged by the shrill winds, bleeds,
He staggers on the tide;
He feels the hungry waves of space
Rush at him high and blue;
Their white spray smites his dusky face,
Swifter the Sun's fierce arrows race
And pierce his stout heart thro'.

His antlers fall; once more he spurns
The hoarse hounds of the day;
His blood upon the crisp blue burns,
Reddens the mounting spray;
His branches smite the wave--with cries
The loud winds pause and flag--
He sinks in space--red glow the skies,
The brown earth crimsons as he dies,
The strong and dusky stag.
 
-Isabella Valancy Crawford
Canada
 
 
 
"Song"
 

I shall not go with pain
Whether you hold me, whether you forget
My little loss and my immortal gain.
O flower unseen, O fountain sealed apart!
Give me one look, one look remembering yet,
Sweet heart.

I shall not go with grief,
Whether you call me, whether you deny
The crowning vintage and the golden sheaf.
O, April hopes that blossom but to close!
Give me one look, one look and so good-bye,
Red rose.

I shall not go with sighs,
But as full-crowned the warrior leaves the fight,
Dawn on his shield and death upon his eyes.
O, life so bitter-sweet and heaven so far!
Give me one look, one look and so good night,
My star.
 
-Marjorie Pickthall
Canada

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