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This city…

29 Aug

I have been thinking a lot about moving recently. Finding myself graduated and still living in the city where I grew up, I’ve been questionning if there isn’t somewhere else I ‘should’ be. I’ve done a lot of travelling and have always enjoyed the thrill of discovering somewhere new. However moving back home a year ago, rather than taking up the offer of a teaching post abroad, has probably been the best decision I ever made. I have properly reconnected with old friends, come to really appreciate the support of my family and faced up to a few demons. I think now I’m ready to see somewhere new again, but this poem serves as a good antidote to the ‘grass is always greener’ mindset that we’re all prone to sometimes. That said I am off for a week’s sunshine in a few days and I can’t wait!

THE CITY
by Constantine P. Cavafy

You said: ‘I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart -like something dead – lies buried.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I’ve spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.’

You won’t find a new country, won’t fin another shore.
This city will always pursue you.
You’ll walk the same streets, grow old
in the same neighbourhoods, turn grey in these same houses.
You’ll always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
there’s no ship for you, no road.
Now that you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you’ve destroyed it everywhere in the world.

Shan’t

25 Aug

Good morning,

Apologies for the delay in posting my next poem. I’ve been working on some new stuff but it’s not quite there yet so for now I’m posting a poem I wrote a couple of years back. It’s supposed to be a light-hearted take on a break-up but inevitably comes out a bit bitter… Yup,  sounds like most of my break-ups!

SHAN’T

I won’t apologise for what I said,
Only for the way in which it was said.
And the vase that went flying past your head.

I won’t tell you that I didn’t mean it all.
I mean, you were a bastard after all,
When I think of the thousands of times you didn’t call.

I shan’t lament your absence
Even though the house is sombre.

Thank god you took your paintings,
I couldn’t stand them any longer.

Are you a Control Freak?

18 Aug

It’s half way though the week now, and all of us office monkeys out there are already getting excited about the weekend! This is the first of my poems that I’m publishing on here. If, like me, you are yet to find your dream job, I’m dedicating it to you. This is for anyone who has ever got angry at work, glared at their colleagues from behind the safety of your monitor and fantasised about one day being your own boss. (It’s also for those, like me, who just don’t know how to delegate.)

CONTROL FREAK

I sit, silently and seethe,
You repeat the question.
I try to focus on the screen and breathe.
You look at me, expectant.

Infuriated by your incompetence,
“Don’t worry, I’ll do it alone.”
My severe lack of tolerance
Expresses itself in the iciest of tones.

“Maybe you could show me how to…?”
My glare rises from the screen to your glasses.
“You know I think it’s best if I just…”
Your gaze drops from my frown to the floor.

I sit, silently and seethe,
Awaiting the next question.
“Do you, er… want a cup of tea?”
Might just dispel the tension.
 

 An original poem.

Happy Wednesday everyone, two and a half days til the weekend…

Hello from La Poetisa

17 Aug

Poetisa (Del lat. poetissa) =

1. f. Mujer que compone obras poéticas y está dotada de las facultades necesarias para componerlas.

2. f. Mujer que escribe obras poéticas.

(From the Real Academia Española, diccionario de la lengua española.)

***

I am La Poetisa.

I have created this blog in order to share with you my favourite poems, whether classics or new discoveries, and also to share my own poems. I am a keen linguist but my poems are in English and I will always endeavour to provide an English translation where I’ve posted a foreign language poem by someone else. Quite frankly I can think of only one poem which will suitably welcome you to this blog, and it’s by the Chilean ‘anti-poet’ Nicanor Parra. It may seem a little violent – but who said should poetry be about flowers and maidens?

LA MONTAÑA RUSA

Durante medio siglo
La poesía fue
El paraíso del tonto solemne.
Hasta que vine yo
Y me instalé con mi montaña rusa.
Suban, si les parece.
Claro que yo no respondo si bajan
Echando sangre por boca y narices.
 
ROLLER COASTER
 
For half a century
Poetry was the paradise
Of the solemn fool.
Until I came
And built my roller coaster.
 
Go up, if you feel like it.
I’m not responsible if you come down
Bleeding from your mouth and nose.
 
Poem by Nicanor Parra.
Translation by Miller Williams.
 
WELCOME!