"Sonety, jaká slast..."
Ivan Blatný

Sonetové cykly

Jak Křesadlo - Vzdorověnec (reakce na Seifertův sonetový věnec Praha, v češtině a v anglickém překladu Václava Pinkavy)

7. února 2008 v 14:11 | Jak Křesadlo - Václav Pinkava
Countergarland written in reaction to and during translation of Jaroslav Seifert's Wreath of Sonnets

translated November 1995 by V.Z.J. Pinkava
Vzdorověnec

překladatelova vlastní reakce na Seifertův
Věnec Sonetů
dokončeno 1.8.1995

I

In unison of spires uprearing,
She's like a vision, beauty fair,
Not just a pile of stones somewhere,
Which one forgets without endearing.

She's permeated my every pore
Always she finds me and tracks me down,
What was I born and raised here for ?
Why not in some other city, town ?

The piping music of her spires
Forever puts me in my place:
She's like a crystal one admires.

How can we either take for granted
Or forget spires, tuned, enchanted
Below, the river's low pedal bass ?


Souzvukem věžoví se vzpíná,
je krásná jako zjevení,
není to kupa kamení,
na kterou člověk zapomíná.

Pronikla do mých cév a žil
a vždy mi bude státi v cestě,
proč právě v ní jsem vznik' a žil
a ne v nějakém jiném městě ?

Hudbou svých věžovitých píšťal
vzala mne navždy do područí:
krystalizuje jako křišťál.

Jak zvyknem si, jak zapomenem
na věže, které hučí plénem
a dole pedál řeky hučí ?

II

Below, the river's low pedal bass:
Inconstant, ever permanent.
In dark green circling firmament,
Girls there in arms I held face to face.

To float there like an astronaut
Through flood-nights of overflowing stars
The muffled roaring of distant cars
In pale torchlight the Castle caught.

And as the river by my feet,
Certain, though never same appearing,
Under that sky of changes fleet

Which sometimes smiles and sometimes glowers
With faces countless, so she has towers,
To some she tastes of wine, light, cheering.


A dole pedál řeky hučí:
Ta mění se, je neměnná.
Tma kolem ní je zelená,
bral jsem tam dívky do náručí.

Za nocí hvězdných povodní
lze hrát v ní roli astronauta,
zatímco v dálce hučí auta
a Hrad je bledou pochodní.

A jak ta řeka u nohou,
je sama stejná, pořád jiná
pod proměnlivou oblohou,

jež mračí se a zase září,
má stejně věží jako tváří
někomu chutná jak hlt vína.

III

To some she tastes of wine, light, cheering:
In fact he's doing fine, there, see
Standing, gatekeeping quietly
Albeit the Party chides him, sneering.

The Party he left a while ago
Seeing he'd have to toe the line:
Not he, down the Uranium mine
Though, an old friend he was, you know.

The Nightingale learns captivity,
Or so old Brehm's compendium says,
He sings, not pining for liberty;

But prison air is stifling, grey:
To some it tastes of wine's bouquet
To some of bile, and vinegar, base.


Někomu chutná jak hlt vína:
Nic se mu vlastně neděje,
když tiše hlídá veřeje,
i když ho partaj napomíná.

Opustil kdysi rodnou stranu,
včas poznal, že se nelze prát:
Některé dali do uranu,
však on je starý kamarád.

Slavík je pěvec: podle Brehma
se žití v kleci snadno učí
a po svobodě touhu nemá.

V kleci je atmosféra hutná:
Někomu možná vínem chutná,
někomu po octě a žluči.

IV

To some of bile and vinegar, base
pungently spring and autumn smacks
No subtlety though, this prison lacks
Where blossom bursts and music plays

Nevertheless, satanic faces
Reveal the underlying state,
When throught the morning's misty traces
Above the towers they elevate.

The asiatic Sage from hoardings
Larger than life above us, vast
Like a steamroller awesome, lording

Praise Lenin, worship him if you must
While your own shadow you cannot trust
What use is her beauty, overcast !


Někomu po octě a žluči
čpí na jaře i v jesení
to nenápadné vězení
kde hudba zní a stromy pučí.

Však přece jenom čertí tváře
skutečnou pravdu odhalí,
když v nadýchané ranní páře
se nad věžemi vyvalí

Asisjský stařík na panelu
se nadživotně na nás kasá
a podobá se sentinelu.

I když se klaníš před Leninem,
nejsi si jist svým vlastním stínem.
Co je mi platna její krása !

V

What use is her beauty, overcast
When my own shadow haunts me plain
What use a garland, daisychain
When bars that chime - for jails are cast ?

Nor holy water drought, believe
Or that we miss our slice of bread,
By bread alone man cannot live,
However thin or thickly spread.

Of course they're wondrous as we know
Flowering springs and summers swift
Or autumn, winter in dazzling snow.

I wish for more out of life than this,
What use is grace, material bliss,
When my soul deadens, will not lift ?


Co je mi platna její krása,
když sleduje mne vlastní stín,
nač je mi věnec z kopretin,
když na mne všude bručí basa ?

Není to záležitost skýv,
anebo kapek ve kropence,
člověk je nejen chlebem živ,
mazaným tlustě nebo tence.

Josu tady ovšem velmi skvělá
ta jara, léta, podzimy,
i zima, jež se sněhem bělá.

Přeji si více od života,
co je mi platná krásná hmota,
když moje duše mrtví mi ?

VI

When my soul deadens, will not lift
To stretch its wings it craves, 'bove all,
For Satan's snare I will not fall
Why join the dead's nocturnal shift ?

Let springtime so richly decorate
Imposing tombs, let grass scents please
Yet other graves can be found, where wait
Still living poets to be released.

I too would love to evoke him, call
That poet binocled, lack the gift,
While like a beaten-up dog I crawl

The imposed need to suggest, imply !
Nothing's plain spoken beneath this sky !
Into the cold I'll go, snow's drift.


Když moje duše mrtví mi,
a chce si protřepat svá křídla,
nepadnu čertu do osidla,
nač bych tu čekal s mrtvými ?

Ať jaro drahé hroby zdobí
a tráva voní silicí:
Jsou tady ještě jiné hroby
a v nich jsou živí básníci.

Chtěl bych též zpívat o binoklu,
ale to nějak nezní mi,
jsem roven spráskanému čoklu.

Ta vynucená nápověda !
Nic naplno se říci nedá !
Odejdu raděj do zimy.

VII

Into the cold I'll go, snow's drift
Wandering aimlessly far afield
Not yearning after the wine here stored
Gorilla-faced reflection chilled.

So April has come, behold, behold.
Alien bird flew o'er the river.
How do you feel Theognidos, old,
Gazing up skyward, sense a shiver ?

That fate awaits me too, I must heed
The wanderer with his pouch and mast;
Is that not all that a man should need ?

Týn churchtowers into the distance gone,
With staff and shadow I travel on
Spurning the communal flesh-pots. Fast:


Odejdu raděj do zimy,
a budu bloudit po cizině,
nebudu tesknit po tom víně,
v němž gorilenko hrozí mi.

Přišel prý duben, hleďte lidé.
Nad řekou prolét cizý pták.
Jak je ti, starý Theognide ?
Díváš se divně do oblak.

Ten osud na mne také čeká,
poutnická hůl a kalabasa;
to přece stačí pro člověka.

Do dáli propadl se týn,
i se mnou kráčí hůl a stín,
pryč od erárních hrnců masa.

VIII

Spurning the communal flesh-pots; fast
As fleshpots they're not so great, not good
For me to flourish on, curious food
Knacker's yard choice cuts, offal classed.

While the exemplary crowing drove
Echoes rebounding to us off walls
rejoicing we, in compuls'ry thralls -
Our Bard for us garlands secret wove.

Deft braiding beautiful words across
We were in awestruck reverie:
Not quite the insurgent Tyrtaios.

Apparently we should stand our place
Meanwhile disrobing girls of their lace.
What use can be her masonry.


Pryč od erárních hrnců masa,
vždyť ani nejsou největší,
ani mi příliš nesvědčí,
snad přivezli je z domu rasa.

Když kohoutí zpěv vyvolence
se echem vracel od skály,
tu povinně jsme plesali,
náš bard nám tajně pletl věnce.

Obratně splétal krásná slova,
byli jsme jimi zmámeni:
nebyla zrovna Tyrtaiova.

že prý tu máme jenom čekat
a zatím holky z krajek svlékat,
ach, na co je mi kamení.

IX

What use can be her masonry
Which long since has used up all its force
An empty shell being left, of course
And pointless symbols' armoury.

Oh if only I could break the spell !
Notice how he dares not quite name
Those to whose help he would lay claim
Oh Christ, Oh God, Oh Mary, tell !

We mused just where the sky vault meets
That Chorale which old foes had riven
We took our medals as befits

Jousting in bed, fought with all our might
What use to me lifeless form, despite
Blessings that centuries have given.


Ach, na co je mi kamení,
které už opustila síla,
skořápka prázdná po ní zbyla
a nepotřebná znamení.

Ó, kéž tu kletbu rozbiju !
Vždyť už se ani neodváží
jmenovat Ty, k nimž vztáhl paži:
Ó, Krista Boha, Máriu !

A co jsme se jen naptali
kde se ten chorál k nebi klene.
Sami jsme brali metály

a bojovali jenom v loži.
Na co je mi to mrtvé zboží
byť staletími posvěcené.

X

Blessings that centuries have given
Don't break the leg-irons which bind, compress.
He knows well how ladies to address
So let him remind Our Lady, even.

I share his sorrow, I would have tried,
But don't know how women to accost,
Yet I'm not sure She was on our side
Battle of White Mountain when we lost.

Why search so far back in history ?
Like startled deer in such scenery.
There's August - before that February.

I took my bundle, left bed unmade.
Lost in blue distance I watched them fade
The hills dressed sweet in greenery.


Byť staletími posvěcené
je v okovech, a jsme v něm sami.
Ví, jak má oslovovat dámy,
ať Jí to také připomene.

Já ovšem sdílím jeho hoře,
však neumím to se ženami,
ostatně, na té Bílé Hoře
nebyla, myslím zrovna s námi.

Co připomínat Bílou Horu ?
Jsme jako plaší jeleni.
Byl Únor - Srpen po Únoru.

Vzal jsem svůj ranec zpod kavalce.
Zmizely rychle v modré dálce
kopce, jež sládnou zelení.

XI

The hills dressed sweet in greenery
Sevenfold, just like the hills of Rome;.
Prague will forgive my deserting home
I bear her secret oratory.

White was her river brightly winding
I circled her many foaming weirs
She herself let me loose, unbinding
like some old dungeon tale one hears.

She remained behind iron grating
In depth of night she sobs, must stay
In vain looks out, in vain she's waiting.

But outwardly, and for tourists sold
She's tarted up with her coins of gold
And blossoms reborn with each spring day.


Kopce, jež sládnou zelení
a je jich sedm jako v Římě;
však vímm, že Praha odpustí mně,
mám její tajné sdělení.

A její řeka byla bílá,
letěl jsem nad jejími jezy.
Vím, že mě sama vypustila,
Jako ten vězeň na Bezdězi.

Zůstala sama za mříží
a jenom v noci tajně vzlyká
a marně, marně vyhlíží.

Však navenek a pro cizince
ji stále zdobí zlaté mince
a květ, jenž každým jarem vzniká.

XII

And blossoms reborn with each spring day
Adorn her, jewels surpassing all.
No troubled age so far made her fall,
She's made of stone, does not run away.

I also am drawn to ther neckline,
But simply, saying what I mean:
The Nigthingale, caged, survives just fine,
But not the Warbler Icterine.

Through an old Almanac I did flit,
To find out when finally they'd pay
The devil's dues - when they'll have to quit !

Nobody seems to reveal that date.
There seem no songs writtena round that fate
And erotic words in fluffed-up play.


A květ, jenž s každým jarem vzniká,
ji ze všech šperků nejvíc zdobí.
Přečkala zatím všechny doby,
je z kamene a neutíká.

Láká mne také její šíje,
leč, upřímně a bez frází:
Slavík, ten v kleci dobře žije,
však sedmihlásek zachází.

Hledal jsem v starém kalendáři,
jaká je na to pranostika,
kdy vlastně půjdou k čertu - lháři !

Kdy ale půjdou, to se neví.
Zdá se, že na to nejsou zpěvy
a načechraná erotika.

XIII

And erotic words in fluffed-up play:
I feel a blush upon my cheek.
Should I stay silent, should I speak ?
What's it about, though, if I may ?

It all seems rather unexpected
Open the "Plague Column" once again
And there it is, can't be neglected !
Would the bard please care to explain ?

Where will we find them without qualms
Those legs of Prague outspreading, cleaven
Her epicentre's secret charms,

In Brevnov ? Fispanka ? Or where ?
Prague clamps his temples, well, I swear,
By such invaders won't be driven.


A načechraná erotika;
Ruměnec cítím na líci.
Říci to, nebo neříci ?
A čeho se to vlastně týká ?

Zdá se to velmi nečekané.
Otvírám "Sloupec Morový" .
Však našel jsem to zase, pane !
Jak si to básník zodpoví ?

Kde že se vlastně nalézají
ty nohy Prahy roztažené,
střed jejich vnad, jenž tam se tají ?

V Břevnově ? Nebo u Fišpanky ?
Prý Praha drtí jeho spánky.
To okupanty nezažene.

XIV

By such invaders won't be driven.
But we won't have so long to wait !
Observe, the City's arms upheaving
Hear the dark Chorale resonate !

Although I now must make amends
Who left her, through her portals fleeing
We do dig tunnels from both ends -
And they are here for the time being !

Can either action more be blamed ?
To stay or leave ? Both owed a hearing.
In hundred years it's all the same,

A doubled up or poker back.
Meanwhile the City stays on track,
In unison of spires uprearing.


To okupanty nezaže.
Však jednou půjdou od válu !
Viz zbraně města napřažené
slyš tajný ohlas chorálu !

Ač odešel jsem z jejích bran
a nyní za to zase platím,
tunel se kope z obou stran -
a oni jsou tu jenom zatím !

Odejít, nebo zůstati ?
Je v tom či onom vůbec vina ?
Vždyť za sto let nic neplatí,

skloněná ani rovná šíje.
A zatím Město pořád žije,
souzvukem věžoví se vzpíná.

XV

In unison of spires uprearing
Below, the River's low pedal bass
To some she tastes of wine, light, cheering
To some of bile, and vinegar, base.

What use is her beauty, overcast,
When my soul deadens, will not lift ?
Into the cold I'll go, snow's drift,
Spurning the communal flesh-pots; fast.

What use can be her masonry,
Blessings that centuries have given,
The hills dressed sweet in greenery,

And blossoms reborn with each spring day,.
And erotic words in fluffed-up play ?
By such, invaders won't be driven.


Souzvukem věžoví se vzpíná
a dole pedál řeky hučí,
někomu chutná jak hlt vína,
někomu po octě a žluči,

Co je mi platna její krása,
když moje duše mrtví mi ?
Odejdu raděj do zimy,
pryč od erárních hrnců masa.

Ach na co je mi kamení,
byť staletími posvěcené,
kopce, jež sládnou zelení,

a květ, jenž s každým jarem vzniká,
a načechraná erotika ?
To okupanty nezažene.

Kathrine Varnesová, Marilyn Taylorová, Tatyana Mishelová, Emily Lloydová, Moira Eganová, Patricia Brodyová, Amy Lemmonová - What Lips. A Triple Crown of Sonnets (moderní triplikovaná varianta základního sedmibásňového sonetového věnce)

3. února 2008 v 15:38 | Kathrine Varnesová, Marilyn Taylor ová, Tatyana Mishelová, Emily Lloydová, Moira Eganová, Patricia Brodyová, Amy Lemmonová
[In the spring of 2005, poet and critic Kathrine Varnes put out a query to the Wom-po women's poetry listserv to see if any of the list members were interested in collaborating on a crown of sonnets by email. The response was enthusiastic enough to yield three groups of seven poets each. Our group included Kathrine herself, and six other women from across the country. We wrote in round-robin fashion, each poet starting with the last line of her predecessor's sonnet. By the time we reached the seventh, we didn't want to stop. Eventually, we ended up with twenty-one sonnets, a "triple crown," and we think that others will enjoy reading it as much as we did writing it. The name of the poet responsible for each individual sonnet can be found at the end of the sequence.]

1.

If only the heart came equipped with a gyroscope
to keep it on course, to keep it from running aground
with an oomph! Or a plop. Or a splat. If only the sound
of its thumpity-thump didn't unravel rope
after rope. Bring on the bon-bons! I'll out-mope,
out-howl the saddest of the sad bloodhounds
untethered from the post, the leash unwound,
when even the universe says to my orbit: Nope.

Or maybe I'll just bake that almond cake
you said you'd like to try. And as I beat
the butter with eggs and flour, I will forsake
my part in your bright future. And as I lick
the last crumb from my plate, I won't feel sick
thinking of all the things you'll never eat.

2.

Speaking of all those things you'll never eat,
my love--could one of them, in fact, be crow?
Of course it could. But you already know
how poisonous it tastes (if bittersweet).
These days you're craving quite another treat:
the one who will replace me. But that sloe-
eyed, slack-jawed creature's surely going to show
you all the nuance of a bitch in heat.

I hope she has the brains of a golden retriever,
the glamour of an aging manatee,
the refinement of a Packers wide receiver
and finds her favorite books at Dollar Tree.
-And darling, may she be a born deceiver,
and do to you what you have done to me.

3.

You're done with me-but what you've done for me.
Crying flexes muscles, man, I'm ripped!
The backyard's now a gym, it's where I lift
your rusty weights, speakers propped in trees;
Hendrix sings the blossoms to their knees
while Amy from next door spots. Thin-lipped,
she counts my reps. Twelve and pissed-gypped-
parents gone to work, or therapy.

So we play make believe, that she belongs
to me, her tattooed Mom. My bossy daughter
screams: "Give me ten!" (then plays more songs,
paints my dumbbells, sends me off to slaughter,
dressed in too-high heels.) "You're good and strong-
get out, be seen. You're hell, babe, you're high water!"

4.

"Get out; be seen! You're hell, babe, you're high water!"
-the therapist's bright spin when I quote Lowell.
I'm hell: so we agree. And hell's-not social.
Agoraphobia's my alma mater-
would this "life coach" dare to suggest a daughter
of Smith or Vassar turn her back, say "Oh, well,
that was then; I'm better now" and throw all
the newsletters away? "Get out"? I've caught her

looking as though she'd like to. I, however,
am happy going nowhere, sitting here
until she leaves, and after, and forever.
"Be seen"? Where, at the mall? My cat is clever
enough company, thanks. Her and the fear,
the high windows, the news, and not the weather.

5.

The high windows bring news: a knot of weather
pathetic-fallacies me in reverse:
this rain unslakes my Sturm und Drang-y thirst
against which I still do not own enough leather
to keep me dry. The dominatrix feather
that brushed across my cheek during the first
of last night's dreams left me the wish (or curse?)
to seek a love more genuine than pleather.

But at my back I often hear (do you?)
a Timex ticking tricky as my heart.
I fear that what the experts say is true:
we've lost the second person in our art.
If so, our only hope's Tiresias' sooth
to break the lines of me, invent the you.

6.

Day breaks night's line, invents the new morn's you.
Like daughter (mother?), watch that sky seduce.
14 // 80 -- dawn // dying -- on the loose.
One on fire, one cooled; how the salt-years blew
her lost-lust tale she shares now, by youth's pool.
At 12, I knew: her diary behind the shoes
slaughtered me. Palms rustle … waves shuffle … sluice.
Last licks before Daddy, Robair, French jew-el.

Rose-lipped Robair; he married, too (I do!).
Breathless, we wait for love's siren to wail:
Roar…CRASH. . . shuffle. . . sh-h-h-h . . . another wave sails
to sand. My sea-eyed daughter listens, rapt
to the old song of my old lady whose true
voice is so young. The sky has just turned blue.

7.

Our voices young, the sky just turning blue,
we puttered frigidly toward promised fun--
your housemate's waterbed. The winter sun
repelled by blackout shades, our tryst ('tis true)
proved not the love-feast I'd looked forward to--
your talk Anais Nin, your action Donne
without conceits. The Bud and pot you'd bummed
had fizzled things. What was a girl to do?

Now your Toyota's gone Formula Four,
your father owns a horse in this year's Derby.
(To pay the bills we cleaned a discount store.)
Your brother golfs, your mother paints, makes jewelry.
Our prospects looked so bleak at twenty-five.
Your fortune's up: how 'bout the old hard drive?

8.

Your fortunes up, we took a long hard drive
in that little wreck of a car. Red. No hood.
Convertible if the roof were any good.
Into the canyon turns so fast, a swan dive
over the edge seemed something we might survive.
I strategized. What point unbuckle? Could
the dark be as soft as it looks? What I withstood
instead - well, well - I'd rather not revive.

Do we grow wiser, or is it we forget
the moment's contingencies? How to explain
the black blank sky, the rising sound of frogs,
-that girl I was knowing things I just can't get-
tires bruising the growth of our makeshift lover's lane,
and then the howl of lobos or wild dogs.

9.

Hush. Hush. The howl of lobos, the wild dogs'
ululations will grow fainter soon,
and you, my friend, exhausted to the bone,
will stumble backward through a Cuervo fog
euphoric, if unsteady on your legs.
Your latest round of catch-me-if-you-can
is history; another brown-eyed man
has left your bed, lowering his white flag.

He was a marvel, this one, wasn't he?
Almost had you beating down the wall
between you marked adultery, adultery-
the way you felt your melting body fall
into his eager hands. The man was all
you knew. Ah, God, you said. Finally.

10.

We know. You dry-humped it, Finality-
drama-hunter, story whore. You retell
our close-call (you twelve-stitch bore), and they smell
lies like meat. The night's hilarity
(or chances of) snuff out when you hold court-
catch us in those rootless eyes, deface
us, kiss me hard in front of them. I taste
a sell-out, your tongue: Secret-keeper, tort-

reporter, paid the witness, and wheel chair bills.
Who will leave whom first, once legs revive,
unrehearsed: run or stay a while?
You're poorly made for trauma. I have pills,
they hush the flashbacks of you leaving me for
dead, locked inside a burning door.

11.

I let you run. I let the burning door
she's opened in my body burn. I could
stop this at any time. I couldn't. Good
imagination, where were you before?
What are these images that flood and floor
me, lying here but not (as if I would)
touching myself? Oh, God, maybe I should...
but--what?! I don't have to. It rains; it pours.

Imagination, she is not your type.
What was it that she said that set you on?
Her grammar's not the best. She isn't hot
by any stretch...stop stretching! Caught, you're caught!
I'm lost, I'm losing. Keep this up, I'm gone.
Imagination, she is not my wife.

12.

Imagine this: that she is not your wife,
that these illicit kisses are our own,
that, all right, if we're neither of us home,
we are invisible despite the lights
that glimmer on our half-clad bodies, white
with winter's boredom. You smiled, took the blame
when you reached out to touch my earring's gleam:
"A comma, or an angel's wing in flight?"

you asked. I ask, Is it pathology
to be content with this position, cramped
and teenaged-fucking in a just-friend's car?
I'm punctuation in his sentence, the
period's stop, the exclamation's amp,
the comma's pause: that sharp intake of air.

13.

Word up! Yeah girls, that sharp intake of air,
purple comma -- the body's arc -- desire
so hot no aloe-splash can douse its ire.
Oh, throb of long ago; now what you are
is buried. Lust's lusty interloper
bawls, Milk! Answers! Then, under the tight-wire,
slipp'ry as a wet heart, skips your beat. Your dire
mission? Done. So, toss that yellow hair,

praise perky nips, flat belly -- amigas, well,
try good-bye: Daddy's final sigh in my ear,
Mom's last shopping-spree. They flee from me
who Eros' rush -- -- deep, Garden kiss -- -- did fuel . . .
His weight on mine, pressed in apple flowers.
Backyard bliss, sweet death: Ah. Mi tangere.

14.

A blackguard's bliss, sweet death: my Tanqueray
and tonic, pint of Ben and Jerry's, bag
of chips and onion dip stave off the drag
of worried nights up late, long tired days
spent jousting wolf from door. My doctor says
I'm fine. Blame cortisol. Yet I won't beg
for some prescription when I know the drug
I need is just a yogic breath away.

Thus am I mine own prison (Christina said),
and extra pounds mine own straitjacket. Hell,
I'll shrug it off somehow. Or sweat it off.
An extra lap or two, early to bed,
rise with the dove that plagues my windowsill.
A moment's peace, sometimes, is just enough.

15.

A moment's peace from you, old Earth! Enough
losses spin from your whirly-twirly sun
obsession. Take a breath. How we run
through the tin of Danish cookies! They seemed enough
in mother's hands. I'll birth no daughter: Enough
said my body. A cousin says she loves her son
more than her daughters-be glad I got the right one.
I remember mother's patient: You were enough.

Still I dream of sisters. Six would do the trick.
We'd make injera the traditional way
by fusing concentric circles of reddish grey
with bubbles like stars in early evening's dome.
A hundred year-old starter, our fingers quick,
we lift the steaming bread and sing of home.

16.

Singing of home, you lift his self-esteem
by pressing your warm cheek against his thigh,
eliciting an undersong from him,
his moist and muted baritone reply;
two variations on the ancient theme
of tongue and touch-followed closely by
rising glissandos, sweet in the extreme,
where semiquavers rise, explode, and die.

These are the oratorios of sex:
the incandescent music of the spheres
pulsating with the power to perplex;
your bodies arch and bend toward what they hear-
the melody, persistent and complex,
that never dwindles, never disappears.

17.

We fade with time, he disses me, no peer
in bed, he likes to kiss in iffy places,
hairy bastard, wets the knobby spaces
in between my pedi'd toes. Mir-
rors hiss and steam, catch my angles, floor
me-more!-submissive Miss! He threw me in
a codpiece, butter-scotched me, licked my shins.
More S, less M, more battle-wear, less whore.

These days I'll take my kink in soft-boiled prunes
draped in hand-whipped cream, warmed on gates
of salty thighs-why dirty up the plates?
And when you leave I'll eat through family wounds-
wrap up the junkie daughter in a stash
of petit-fours, tossed in the neighbors' trash.

18.

You toss the wrapping in the neighbors' trash,
and in your glove compartment, toss the gifts:
the stone I found and hoped meant something shifts
against my breasts in black and white, a splash
of coffee on my collarbone--you crashed
almost, you say, too taken with the drifts
of sheet around my thighs to drive. Love, lift
me up where I belong: there on your dash-

board, O grand passion's heights. Drive carefully
(my great fear now: that one of us will die
before we meet). We plan. In weeks I'll be
one thousand miles from here. In one month, I
will sit in this car, pop the glove and see
the stone and laugh. I'll meet your wife and lie.

19.

I've cast my last stone, met your wife and lied
(suspicions all correct: my thespian
abilities come shining through just when
I need them most). It's resolution time
again, again. I look at you and sigh.
I'll give you up, you mortal sin, for Lent;
I'll drink no more, become a lesbian,
and maybe I'll remember how to cry.

As if. You're my addiction, my best vice,
you're opium, the dark and smoky den
in which I shed my black lace, boundaries.
I knew it once we fucked: you'd fucked me twice:
flesh into flesh, you whispered carpe diem,
and then you seized my beating heart and squeezed.

20.

Sinbad, honey-man, you knew where to squeeze.
Heart-to-haunch -- a beat -- your sneaky pass
abajo. Melted chocolate can't surpass
such sweet moan. You are the one . . . Freeze-
frame. On the fly cherry breeze
whipped our hair. My arms, your neck, class
tripping. Red Fiat, wine, our glass
of crime.

You never called. Your croon's a tease.

Crush me! No proposal? No pot of gold?
Sinbad, where's that beat my moves inspired?
So this is how hot chocolate turns cold.
Now legal tender's tender heart beats tired,
our offspring ready-launched at Cupid's ruckus.
Oh, sticky heart! Oh thighs! The tunes that fuck us.

21.

Old thighs, old sticky heart, old tunes do flick us
into this century, which clots and whines
with greed, with bullets, real and tropal mines
that burst and turn flirtatious grin to rictus.
Let poems the crime scene fit, Lex loci delictus!
And so to desk: abed with World divine
and Time, who held us on his grill-fork tines,
we wrote until it seemed that Poesy whip't us.

Yet still we write-and love-eat chocolate,
drink wine, suck oysters, cackle, drive too fast.
We're louche, near decadent. But wait-there's hope
for women veering toward the profligate:
these sonnets would let us catch our breath at last
if only the heart came equipped with a gyroscope.

Autorky:

č. 1, č. 8, č. 15 - Kathrine Varnes

č. 2, č. 9, č. 16 - Marilyn Taylor

č. 3, č. 10, č. 17 - Tatyana Mishel

č. 4, č. 11, č. 18 - Emily Lloyd

č. 5, č. 12, č. 19 - Moira Egan

č. 6, č. 13, č. 20 - Patricia Brody

č. 7, č. 14, č. 21 - Amy Lemmon

Lady Mary Wrothová - A Crown of Sonnets Dedicated to Love (sonetový věnec první anglické autorky tohoto básnického útvaru, ze sb. Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, 1621; v původním pravopisu)

3. února 2008 v 14:47 | Lady Mary Wrothová
1.

INac this strange Labyrinth how shall I turne,
Wayes are on all sids while the way I misse:
If to the right hand, there, in loue I burne,
Let mee goe forward, therein danger is.
If to the left, suspition hinders blisse;
Let mee turne back, shame cryes I ought returne:
Nor faint, though crosses [with] my fortunes kiss,
Stand still is harder, allthough sure to mourne.
Thus let mee take the right, or left hand way,
Goe forward, or stand still, or back retire:
I must these doubts indure without allay
Or helpe, but trauell finde for my best hire.
Yet that which most my troubled sense doth moue,
Is to leaue all, and take the threed of Loue.

2.

IS to leaue all, and take the threed of Loue,
Which line straite leades vnto the soules content,
Where choice delights with pleasures wings doe moue,
And idle fant'sie neuer roome had lent.
When chaste thoughts guide vs, then our minds are bent
To take that good which ills from vs remoue:
Light of true loue brings fruite which none repent;
But constant Louers seeke and wish to proue.
Loue is the shining Starre of blessings light,
The feruent fire of zeale, the roote of peace,
The lasting lampe, fed with the oyle of right,
Image of Faith, and wombe for ioyes increase.
Loue is true Vertue, and his ends delight,
His flames are ioyes, his bands true Louers might.

3.

HIs flames are ioyes, his bandes true Louers might,
No stain is there, but pure, as purest white,
Where no cloud can appaere to dimme his light,
Nor spot defile, but shame will soon requite.
Heere are affections, tryde by Loues iust might
As Gold by fire, and black discern'd by white;
Error by truth, and darknes knowne by light,
Where Faith is vallu'd, for Loue to requite.
Please him, and serue him, glory in his might
And firme hee'le be, as Innocency white,
Cleere as th'ayre, warme as Sun's beames, as day light
Iust as Truth, constant as Fate, ioy'd to requite.
Then loue obey, striue to obserue his might
And be in his braue Court a glorious light.

4.

ANd be in his braue Court a glorious light
Shine in the eyes of Faith, and Constancy
Maintaine the fires of Loue, still burning bright,
Not slightly sparkling, but light flaming be.
Neuer to slake till earth no Starres can see,
Till Sun, and Moone doe leaue to vs darke night,
And secound Chaos once againe doe free
Vs, and the World from all deuisions spight,
Till then affections which his followers are,
Gouerne our hearts, and prooue his powers gaine,
To taste this pleasing sting, seeke with all care
For happy smarting is it with small paine.
Such as although it pierce your tender heart,
And burne, yet burning you will loue the smart.

5.

ANd burne, yet burning you will loue the smart,
When you shall feele the waight of true desire,
So pleasing, as you would not wish your part
Of burthen showld be missing from that fire.
But faithfull and vnfaigned heate aspire
Which sinne abollisheth, and doth impart
Salues to all feare, with vertues which inspire
Soules with diuine loue; which showes his chast art.
And guide he is to ioyings, open eyes
He hath to happinesse, and best can learne
Vs, meanes how to deserue, this he descries,
Who blinde, yet doth our hiden'st thoughts discerne.
Thus we may gaine since liuing in blest Loue,
He may our [profitt], and our Tutor prooue.

6.

HE may our Prophett, and our Tutor prooue,
In whom alone we doe this power finde,
To ioine two hearts as in one frame to mooue
Two bodies, but one soule to rule the minde
Eyes which must care to one deare Obiect binde,
Eares to each others speach as if aboue
All else, they sweete, and learned were; this kind
Content of Louers witnesseth true loue.
It doth inrich the wits, and make you see
That in your selfe which you knew not before,
Forceing you to admire such guifts showld be
Hid from your knowledge, yet in you the store.
Millions of these adorne the throane of Loue,
How blest [bee] they then, who his fauours proue?

7.

HOw bless'd be they, then, who his fauors proue,
A life whereof the birth is iust desire?
Breeding sweete flame, which harts inuite to moue,
In these lou'd eyes which kindle Cupids fire,
And nurse his longings with his thoughts intire,
Fix't on the heat of wishes form'd by Loue,
Yet whereas fire destroyes, this doth aspire,
Increase, and foster all delights aboue.
Loue will a Painter make you, such, as you
Shall able be to draw, your onely deare,
More liuely, perfect, lasting, and more true
Then rarest Workeman, and to you more neere.
These be the least, then all must needs confesse,
He that shuns Loue, doth loue himselfe the lesse.

8.

HE that shuns Loue, doth loue himselfe the lesse,
And cursed he whose spirit, not admires
The worth of Loue, where endlesse blessednes
Raignes, & commands, maintain'd by heau'nly fires.
Made of Vertue, ioyn'd by Truth, blowne by Desires,
Strengthned by Worth, renew'd by carefulnesse,
Flaming in neuer changing thoughts: bryers
Of Iealousie shall heere misse welcomnesse.
Nor coldly passe in the pursutes of Loue
Like one long frozen in a Sea of yce:
And yet but chastly let your passions [mooue],
No thought from vertuous Loue your minds intice.
Neuer to other ends your Phant'sies place,
But where they may returne with honor's grace.

9.

BVt where they may returne with Honor's grace,
Where Venus follies can no harbour winne,
But chased are, as worthlesse of the face,
Or stile of Loue, who hath lasciuious beene.
Our hearts are subiect to her Sonne; where sinne
Neuer did dwell, or rest one minutes space;
What faults he hath in her did still beginne,
And from her breast he suck'd his fleeting pace.
If Lust be counted Loue 'tis falsely nam'd,
By wickednesse, a fairer glosse to set
Vpon that Vice, which else makes men asham'd
In the owne Phrase to warrant, but beget
This Childe for Loue, who ought like Monster borne
Be from the Court of Loue, and Reason torne.

10.

BEe from the Court of Loue, and Reason torne,
For Loue in Reason now doth put his trust,
Desert, and liking are together borne
Children of Loue, and Reason, Parents iust,
Reason aduiser is, Loue ruler must
Be of the State, which Crowne he long hath worne;
Yet so, as neither will in least mistrust
The gouernment where no feare is of scorn.
Then reuerence both their mights thus made of one,
But wantonesse, and all those errors shun,
Which wrongers be, Impostures, and alone
Maintainers of all follies ill begunne.
Fruit of a [sowre], and vnwholsome grownd
Vnprofitably pleasing, and vnsound.

11.

VNprofitably pleasing, and vnsound.
When Heauen gaue liberty to fraile dull earth,
To bringe foorth plenty that in ills abound,
Which ripest, yet doe bring a certaine dearth.
A timelesse, and vnseasonable birth,
Planted in ill, in worse time springing found,
Which Hemlocke like might feed a sicke-wits mirth
Where vnrul'd vapours swimme in endlesse round.
Then ioy we not in what we ought to shunne,
Where shady pleasures shew, but true borne fires
Are quite quench'd out, or by poore ashes won,
Awhile to keepe those coole, and wann desires.
O no, let Loue his glory haue, and might
Be giu'n to him, who triumphs in his right.

12.

BE giu'n to him who triumphs in his right;
Nor fading be, but like those blossomes faire,
Which fall for good, and lose their colours bright,
Yet dye not, but with fruit their losse repaire:
So may Loue make you pale with louing care,
When sweet enioying shall restore that light,
More cleere in beauty, then we can compare,
If not to Venus in her chosen [night].
And who so giue themselues in this deare kinde,
These happinesses shall attend them still,
To be supplide with ioyes enrich'd in minde,
With treasures of content, and pleasures fill.
Thus loue to be deuine, doth here appeare,
Free from all foggs, but shining faire, and cleare.

13.

FRee from all foggs, but shining faire, and cleare,
Wise in all good, and innocent in ill,
Where holly friendship is esteemed deare,
With Truth in loue, and Iustice in our Will.
In Loue these titles onely haue their fill
Of happy life-maintainer, and the meere
Defence of right, the punisher of skill,
And fraude, from whence directions doth appeare.
To thee then, Lord commander of all hearts,
Ruler of our affections, kinde, and iust,
Great King of Loue, my soule from faigned smarts,
Or thought of change, I offer to your trust,
This Crowne, my selfe, and all that I haue more,
Except my heart, which you bestow'd before.

14.

EXcept my heart, which you bestow'd before,
And for a signe of Conquest gaue away
As worthlesse to be kept in your choice store;
Yet one more spotlesse with you doth not stay.
The tribute which my heart doth truely pay,
Is faith vntouch'd, pure thoughts discharge the score
Of debts for me, where Constancy beares sway,
And rules as Lord, vnharm'd by Enuies sore,
Yet other mischiefes faile not to attend,
As enimies to you, my foes must be,
Curst Iealousie doth all her forces bend
To my vndoing, thus my harmes I see.
So though in Loue I feruently doe burne,
In this strange Labyrinth how shall I turne?


převzato ze stránky http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/%7Erbear/mary.html

Seanan McGuire a Batya "The Toon" Wittenberg - The Gift (moderní sonetový věnec, 2001)

3. února 2008 v 14:27 | Seanan McGuire a Batya "The Toon" Wittenberg
Sonnet Redouble: The Gift
(c) 2001 by Seanan McGuire and Batya "The Toon" Wittenberg


1. The First Slayer.
This is the Gift that only blood could buy:
Salvation in exchange for just one soul.
The Slayer does not have the right to cry,
And naught may come between her and her goal.
And this is why we don't walk in the world:
We can't wait for the waters to recede,
And while you say you're just a single girl,
Sometimes a single girl is all we need.
This is the Gift that you alone can give,
Although that giving cuts you like a knife...
But sometimes only dying lets you live,
And giving Death reversed is giving Life.
You said you'd be a fireman -- why wait?
This is the calm serenity of Fate.

2. Spike.
This is the calm serenity of Fate
That kills uncaringly as I once might;
No one to strike, or rage against, or hate,
No enemy that anyone could fight.
Just tears that scald like holy water's touch,
Just choking sobs that burn like any cross;
I knew I loved, but could I love so much
That nothing's left within me but the loss?
I told her once of her own kind's despair,
I told her of the moment's wish for death --
O, irony! -- I told her I'd be there!...
My love for her as meaningless as breath.
In all the world who better knew than I
That every Slayer is only called to die?

3. Giles.
That every Slayer is only called to die
Is something we cannot deny or fight --
And yet I find that I still wonder why
We have to pay so much to serve the light.
Reluctant hero, called against your will
To save the world: your childhood was the cost.
I taught a little girl the way to kill,
And looked away when innocence was lost.
Forgive me for betraying what you were
To make you what your destiny demands.
I had no choice, my dear one, this was war;
I sometimes thought you didn't understand,
But in the end, you didn't hesitate --
This is the lesson that we learned too late.

4. Willow.
This is the lesson that we learned too late,
The hidden book we never got to read,
Why power to destroy and to create
Stands powerless against what is decreed.
My love, my friend, each lost within her mind,
Each wandering through all the myriad ways;
The desperate hope that she was there to find
Was all that led me through the lightless maze.
My love, against all chances, I have found;
My friend is gone to find a kinder hell --
And thus the final lesson is set down:
Forgive that I could not save you as well.
This foe, this fate, this fall, we could not share;
And now the future hangs in empty air.

5. Dawn.
And now the future hangs in empty air
With pain behind and greater pain ahead:
The walls between the worlds begin to tear
And will not heal again until I'm dead.
The shallow cuts that opened up my veins
I feel no more, though still they freely bleed;
The sky is torn and through it chaos rains,
My sister's eyes are two dry wells of need.
Let lightning shriek across the tortured sky,
Let countless hells gape wide and swallow all,
Let all hope fail -- she will not let me die;
I see her turn and run, and leap, and fall.
What power holds me here and lets her go?
And when did time become so very slow?

6. Tara.
And when did time become so very slow
That one could watch a thought pass like a cloud?
Big day today; there's somewhere I should go,
Where I must go, as soon as I'm allowed.
I stumble through a fog of vague intent --
The day calls me! It's time, it's time and past --
Till love as pure as any sacrament
Burns fog away and brings me home at last.
And now she weeps, a world in every tear...
There is so clearly nothing I can say.
With all the lives that were not ended here
And all the hells now safely sealed away,
Perhaps there was no mercy left to spare;
They never said that destiny was fair.

7. Joyce.
They never said that destiny was fair;
I know there's nothing more I could have done,
I just wish I could somehow have been there,
I wish I could be proud of what you've won.
Your sister -- or, we felt as if she were,
Though she's not real ... it doesn't matter now;
You promised me that you'd take care of her,
And so you did, and never questioned how.
They must have known about your destiny,
The ones who called you to this thankless task,
Yet never thought to warn your family --
Would that have been so very much to ask?
They never told us how the tale must go;
Perhaps they thought that we'd already know.

8. Anya.
Perhaps they thought that we'd already know
That this essential sacrifice was yours;
That in the end we'd have to let you go.
Perhaps we did -- but what's a hero for
If we must always bury them and grieve?
Too many lies and too much left unsaid --
Who told you we were done? Who let you leave?
Who said that you could go and join the dead?
I've learned of grief too recently for this.
You had to fall -- who said you had to land?
Mortality is so damn hard to miss:
Some things I just don't want to understand.
I didn't know I'd have to watch you fall...
There are some steps that wishing won't recall.

9. Glory.
There are some steps that wishing won't recall;
It's such a little sacrifice to make,
And every human dies, hon, after all...
Your gods made you too delicate. You break.
You say your sister's waiting for the flood;
I say she'll never come to save your soul.
The key to what I need is in your blood,
You're just another thing I can control.
You never were the girl you claimed to be,
You only dreamed the life you thought you led.
This ritual will let us both be free --
Your death will stop the screaming in my head.
The life you had is over, babe; it's gone.
Some lines just can't be broken, once they're drawn.

10. Ben.
Some lines just can't be broken, once they're drawn;
Some choices, made, can never be unmade.
I don't owe her a thing, I'm just a pawn --
Why should she look at me as though betrayed?
I won't be hers, and never asked to be,
And neither of us wanted to be born;
There's nothing I can do -- it's her or me,
And I have drawn my conscience like a thorn.
I don't know why I'm trying to explain,
Why I hold hope that somehow you'll forgive;
Too much misunderstanding, too much pain,
Too little chance that both of us will live.
We never knew each other's lives at all;
How could we know you had so far to fall?

11. Xander.
How could we know you had so far to fall
When we believed that you could almost fly?
You were the hero, always standing tall;
You were invincible! How could you die?
There is no justice here, this makes no sense,
This isn't how the thing's supposed to end --
What kind of world gives death as recompense
To such a hero, savior, fighter, friend?
I never could have set a nobler goal
Than being heart to your unfailing hand;
More than a team, we formed a single whole,
A whole now shattered, scattered in the sand.
How could the one uniting us be gone?
How could we know we'd lose you to the dawn?

12. Angel.
How could we know we'd lose you to the dawn
When I'm the one that flees before the day?
I always knew that one day you'd be gone;
Now tell me why it had to end this way.
I only held you twice within my arms,
But held you in my heart a thousand years;
Are there no simple lies or subtle charms
To bar this bitter news or stop my tears.
They told me we were warriors for Fate:
That if I kept you with me, you would die.
I let you go, and now I learn too late
Your death was one I never could deny.
This is the ending that I would refuse...
And yet the Chosen Ones can never choose.

13. Faith.
And yet the Chosen Ones can never choose --
They Call us and they use us 'til we're killed.
They play us like our lives are theirs to lose,
And Call another once our blood's been spilled.
Did you believe I wouldn't feel you die?
We're less than sisters, more than enemies,
And destiny has bound us, you and I,
To drown in battle's hot and bloody seas.
We are Fate's chosen weapon; just a blade
With which to kill, and keep their own hands pure.
It's what we are that's left us both betrayed...
Why can't you take me through that final door?
They never let us question or refuse.
So far to fall. So very much to lose.

14. Buffy.
So far to fall. So very much to lose:
The world, my friends, my sister and my life.
My heart's the only weapon I can use:
This sacrifice my last and sharpest knife.
My innocence by inches has been paid
To save us all and keep the world alive.
I won't regret the choices that I've made;
I'd make them all again so you'd survive.
A final sacrifice is what we need,
So let the war and madness drop away:
I won't regret this, even as I bleed.
This is a price that only blood can pay.
Please understand I loved you all -- good-bye.
This is the Gift that only blood could buy.

15. The Gift.
This is the Gift that only blood could buy,
This is the calm serenity of Fate;
That every Slayer is only called to die,
This is the lesson that we learned too late.
And now the future hangs in empty air --
And when did time become so very slow?
They never said that destiny was fair...
Perhaps they thought that we'd already know.
There are some steps that wishing won't recall;
Some lines just can't be broken, once they're drawn.
How could we know you had so far to fall?
How could we know we'd lose you to the dawn?
And yet the Chosen Ones can never choose.
So far to fall. So very much to lose.

František Táborský - Ozvěna (sonetový věnec ze sb. Básně, 1884)

3. února 2008 v 14:12 | František Táborský
I.
Zvuk čarovný se snesl k mému sluchu
z jar půvabných, jež uprchla tak záhy,
jak barva ze květu, když nemá vláhy,
jak tažný pták, když tepla schází vzduchu.
Teď jiným svět se zjevil mému duchu.
Vzal vrásky na čelo, v líc vážné tahy
a přísným pohledem cíl hlásá dráhy,
kam spěti mám vždy ve zimničném ruchu.
A bujná hlava klonívá se k zemi,
když zní to kolem ní: "Jen dál, jen dál!"
a vichr prudký láme perutěmi -
Z dob blahých píseň zní mi kolem čela,
zde v péro zachyt' jsem ji - sladký žal,
vzpomínka dávná zas se rozzvučela.

II.
Vzpomínka dávná zas se rozzvučela,
a mžikem všechno změnilo se kolem:
Koberec květů rozsypal se polem,
koruna stromů v květ se rozpučela,
z dřevěných úlů vyletěla včela,
a větři povídali nad topolem,
že s motýlem a čápy, se sokolem
se žene máj jak řeka rozhučelá.
Křepelky kradmo strojily si hnízda,
slavíci tuží na námluvy hlasy,
a na třešni si drze vrabec hvízdá,
jak pěkné hnízdo ukrad'. Rozkoš vjela
též v srdce mé, a dechem vší té krásy
jak s vrchů sníh prchala chmura s čela.

III.
Jak s vrchů sníh prchala chmura s čela,
a srdce roztlouklo se volně, blaze,
jak žitné pole v ranní rosné vláze,
když "Pojďte do hor!" laškovně mi děla.
Matinka s hostmi jíť prý by tam chtěla,chtěla
- což jinak značí, bez vší totiž fráze,
že pro sebe tam ulovíme snáze
chvil sladkých - to má děva zamlčela.
Spjal vichry Eolus a pustil vánky
nad ševel harfy lehčí, a v tu chvíli
Vil zástup stlal nám v lese na libánky,
kde Amor dřív se válel v směšném ruchu.
Tam lesní zvonky v zpěv se rozzvonily,
hlas dávných bájí ozval se zas v duchu.

IV.
Hlas dávných bájí ozval se zas v duchu.
Zřím mezi vrchy údolí to svěží,
kde potok horský bujaře dál běží,
tam - málem že bych věřil ve předtuchu -
jsem Tebe zaved'. V láskytoužném ruchu
tam borů koruny, sbor štíhlých věží,
se k sobě tulily, a jak když sněží
sny s nebe, šeptaly cos vzduchu.
Tam divokrásnou pověsť o Atale
jsem Tobě četl, hlas se trhal stále,
a jindy o Aldoně, Waltru zkázku.
Při prvním čtení líbal jsem Tě v duchu,
při druhém čtení - čtli jsme svoji lásku.
Ó byl to čas - vše v divotvorném ruchu!

V.
Ó byl to čas - vše v divotvorném ruchu!
Roj zlatých včelek rozletěl se strání,
by vsedl na jetel, kde motýl už se shání,
z vísky ranní zvonek cinkal sluchu.
Tu mladý skřivan perly házel vzduchu,
je vítr chytá, roznáší je plání,
slavíka dráždí, jenž se zpěvem brání,
a píšťal zvuk zas nosí od pastuchů.
Tu nad hlavami zabzučeli brouci,
tu zpěvy ženců hlaholili slastní,
a nebem volně plulo slunce skvoucí.
My mlčeli, nám ústa oněměla,
však v očích čtli jsme si: "Ó jak jsme šťastni!
Nám všechny krásy země otevřela!"

VI.
Nám všechny krásy země otevřela,
ba srdce svoje nám též ukázala,
obrázek malý, na němž slova stála:
Ó kéž by v lidstvu taká láska vřela!
Hoch malý přiběh' k nám, líc se mu rděla,
a v hnízdě holátka nám přines' malá,
však hle, nad námi matka polétala
a strachem o ptáčata jen se chvěla.
I mněl jsem: Bože, co v tu chvíli cítí
má družka milá v duši svojí krásné?
Zda sladká touha ňadro její vznítí?
Tlukotem prudkým srdce nám se chvěla,
hoch vrátil ptáku holátka - a k jasné
k obloze duch náš křídla rozpjal smělá.

VII.
K obloze duch náš křídla rozpjal smělá,
a moře lásky, jak své vlny hází,
svou těsnou chtělo protrhnouti hrázi,
by v celý svět bouř hymny její zněla.
Byl pozdní večer, ve spánku zem celá,
stín dumné noci s tmou se černou schází,
však Cherub lásky, jenž nás doprovází,
děl obloze, by hvězdami se skvěla.
Jen potok lesklý hrčel ve vrb stínu,
my podél šli, Tys tulila se ke mně,
a bledý měsíc vyplul nad krajinu.
A poslouchaly hvězdy ve rozruchu,
když "lehkouLehkou noc!" Tys šveholila jemně,
jak skřivan vznášeje se v modrém vzduchu.

VIII.
Jak skřivan vznášeje se v modrém vzduchu,
jak skalní orel ve vznešeném letu,
tak mysl naše rozlétla se k světu,
jenž ze sna procit' do živého ruchu.
Ó božské ticho! Zdálo se nám v duchu,
že rosa padá k naší lásky květu,
že zpěv naň dýchá sta andělských retů,
harf stera sladkosť že nám splývá k sluchu.
V nach červánků se nebe rozžhavělo,
pták zpíval, slunce plálo, list se rosou třás' -
tu poprvé já políbil Tě v čelo.
I bylo nám jak dítěti, když dříme,
nám dech se ztajil, Tvůj jsem slyšel hlas:
"Ó rci, zda žijeme my nebo sníme?"

IX.
"Ó rci, zda žijeme my nebo sníme?
Či možno krásy chtíti ještě víc?"
Tak pravilas, nach přelít' Tobě líc,
když slavík pěl nevěda, že jej zříme.
To bylo v háji, kde tak rádi dlíme,
kde říčka bystrá proudí bublajíc,
kde každý list nám šeptá, kyne vstříc,
že tam si spolu vroucně promluvíme.
I byla píseň to, jež Petrarkovi zněla,
když poprvé zjev Lauřin přikouzlil mu sen;
i byla píseň to, jež chmurným Dantem chvěla,
když Beatrici v růžích rakve zřel.
A Tys mně šeptla, smích Ti vyběh' ven:
"A pravda to, co v háji slavík pěl?"

X.
"A pravda to, co v háji slavík pěl?"
,A"A co?'co?" - "Však víš?" -,O"O kráse sladkých zraků,
o hvězdách jiskřivých, jež do oblaků
bůh zasadil - úl medossavých včel?'včel?"
"Ne, ne!" - ,O"O růžných červáncích, jichž pel
Ti plane s líc?'líc?" - "Ne, ne!" - ,O"O bujném máku
opojných rtů Tvých, jež'jež" - "Ne, ne!" - ,O"O ptáku
tom zpěvném, jenž se v srdci rozepěl - ?'?"
Už neslyšelas, utekla jsi mžikem
za keře růžové, a já Tě honil,
a smích Tvůj stříbrem po zahradě zvonil.
A když přec chyt' jsem Tě, a s lehkým křikem
k mým prsům padlas - čtli jsme, co už víme,
že svět jest jiný, než my lidé mníme.

XI.
Že svět jest jiný, než my lidé mníme,
Ty pravilas, když na vrch šli jsme druhý,
a hned jsi malovala pestré duhy,
jež nad námi se pnou, aniž je zříme.
Ó zmlkni raděj, plahočivý rýme!
Na modré obloze nám bílé pruhy
stavěly zámky s jezírky a luhy,
kde pustým echem jsi - ty slovný dýme!
A slunce, které na obloze plálo,
na zlaté struny furiant nám hrálo,
i ptal jsem se tě, rýme skuhravý:
,Nuž"Nuž rci, zda blahým srdcím svět má jinou líc?'líc?"
A zášť tvá do znělky se upraví:
"Tak každý, kdo jen zažil, musí říc'!"

XII.
Tak každý, kdo jen zažil, musí říc',
že bídnější než holá skála v poušti,
kdo nezřel, jak se slunce v moře spouští,
tak velebně a slavně klesajíc.
My byli v horách. Slunce víc a víc
v dol klesalo, zaváli větři horští,
hlas zezulčin se ozval v šerém houští,
kde světlušek se sběhlo na tisíc.
A slunce zašlo. Do vln v zlatém hávě
si ulehlo jak naší lásky květ
v hlubinu srdcí. Z hor mhla vyšla právě.
V to šero z údolí nám zvonek zněl
"Ave Maria!"... a náš chvěl se ret:
To pocítiv by umříť člověk měl!

XIII.
To pocítiv by umříť člověk měl -
Ty mlčíš? slzíš, moje zlaté dítě?
Ó tajemství těch slzí nerozvité!
Ó dej, bych uslzenou tvář Ti zlíbať směl!
V té lásce, pravím, umříti by člověk měl,
červánkem zlatým shasnouť na úsvitě,
než mraků spousta rozpne svoje sítě -
či není láska nejluznější žití pel?
Ty mlčíš? štkáš?'štkáš? - A perlorosné oči
Ty vznesši mluvilas: "Což nesmí života
míť láska ve světě? Kam ona vkročí,
zda růže nevypučí ze slz bídných líc?"
- ,TyTy díš? Ó dej se zlibať, ať ret šepotá:
Krásnější nebe nemůže nám kynouť vstříc!'vstříc!

XIV.
"Krásnější nebe nemůže nám kynouť vstříc,
to nebe sotva víc nám růží rozstele -"
tak pravilas mi v horském kostele,
a zbožným nadšením Ti vzplála líc.
Ó byl to chrám! Jen dvé v něm plálo svíc,
kněz starý četl tiše rozchvěle,
a děvčátka dvě pěla vesele,
krom nich pak stařena, a nikdo víc.
A dívčí zpěv - to hlas andělských kůrů,
jej zvučných varhan doprovázel tón,
jenž chrámem zněl a s kadidlem plul vzhůru.
"Zde srdce nebem, zde bůh v našem duchu,"
kněz "Milujte se!" děl a z věže zazněl zvon.
Zvuk čarovný se snesl k mému sluchu.

XV.
Zvuk čarovný se snesl k mému sluchu.
Vzpomínka dávná zas se rozzvučela,
jak s vrchů sníh prchala chmura s čela,
hlas dávných bájí ozval se zas v duchu.
Ó byl to čas! vše v divotvorném ruchu.
Nám všechny krásy země otevřela,
k obloze duch náš křídla rozpjal smělá,
jak skřivan vznášeje se v modrém vzduchu.
"Ó rci, zda žijeme my nebo sníme?
A pravda to, co v háji slavik pěl,
že svět jest jiný, než my lidé mníme?"
Tak každý, kdo jen zažil, musí říc',
to pocítiv by umříť člověk měl -
krásnější nebe nemůže nám kynouť vstříc.

převzato ze serveru www.ceska-poezie.cz

Ladislav Quis - Věnec padlé slávě (sonetový věnec ze sb. Z ruchu, 1872)

3. února 2008 v 14:10 | Ladislav Quis
I.
Kam se sláva naše dávná děla,
zdali na vždy pomizela nám? -
Proč se neskvíneskví, jako dřív se skvěla,
proč je zbořen, spuštěn její chrám? -
Kéž by dosti páží vlast již měla,
by jich silou padl mrzký klam,
v nových pochvách stará zbraň by tkvěla,
cestu razíc novou ku hvězdám.
Marně, marně! Soumrak noci halí
vlasti drahé kraje široširé,
v dáli zřím jen slabou zář se chvět,
chmury temné nade mnou se valí.
Shasla slávy hvězda v noci širé,
neuzří-li víc ji zářit svět? -

II.
Neuzří-li víc ji zářit svět,
zdali prchla z vlasti v kraje dálné? -
Kam tvých nohou, nebes dcero, sled,
zda-li v lesy, zda-li v sluje skalné? -
Tebe hledá oko moje kalné,
kterou v hvězdách psánu četl hled,
mračna tam, a zde jen vidí pnět
pusté rumy minulosti valné.
Vyšehrad tam, zde zří siré báně,
Žižkov tam a k luhům zaletázaletá,
zbraň kde otců Římem prokletá
tříštila jim posvěcené zbraně.
Kde ti reci, kde jich síla smělá? -
Kde jsi, písni, jež jsi o ní pěla? -

III.
Kde jsi, písni, jež jsi o ní pěla,
kde jsi, dobo, která jsi ji zřela,
kde ten duch vší robské bázně prost,
kde ta láska, kde ta mužná ctnost,
jásajíc jež pro vlast drahou mřela;
krev ta kypící, kde krev ta vřelá,
před níž třásl nezvaný se host? -
Prchlo vše, co zbylo minulost! -
Zašla sláva, upomínka zbyla
a ta rána, jež se v prsa vryla.
Dávná chrabrost, dávno svadlý květ.
Na rumech já zašlé slávy stoje,
ptám se smutně smutné srdce svoje,
Vlasti, proč jsi klesla za obět? -

IV.

Vlasti, proč jsi klesla za obět,
proč jsi kruté ve otroctví klesla,
pod jarmem proč této šíji dlet
spůsobné, by k výši hvězd se nesla? -
Vlasti má, ty lodi prostá vesla,
v středu bouře rozzuřené běd,
by tě shltil okeán se zved,
več ti doufat, lide, beze hesla? -
Sbořen oltář, brat kde s bratrem svářil,
sepjat pán, jenž v pouta roba spjal,
a ten lesk, jenž s hlavy cizí zářilzářil,
s volností i slávou vítěz vzal.
Z reků nám jen mrtvá zbyla těla,
pusto tam, kde dříve radost zněla.

V.

Pusto tam, kde dříve radost zněla,
a co zní tam, jako nářek jest,
kde byl den, tam vládne noc teď tmělá,
kde zněl mečů, pout jen zvučí chřest.
Nad kolem se mnohá lebka bělá,
pro vlast v mukáchmukách, která dotrpěla,
z otroctvíotroctví, jež snad ji chtěla véstvést,
pod kolem tlí mnohá statná pěst.
Kolem zbytků otců statných kráčí
bez zpomínky mnohý, mnohý syn;
v slze té však, která oko smáčí,
snad již dřímá v zárodku ten čin,
jenž by pozdvih' k výši dávných let
trosky slávy, žalných rumů střed.

VI.

Trosky slávy žalných rumů střed,
hnizdem kavek spustlá svatyň tvoje,
pelechem jsi dravcům, vlasti moje,
které druhdy hledem plašil děd.
Synův prs však posledního boje
ranami jest krvavými set,
on jest mdlý, a mrzká, v něž je klet,
retem líbat musí pouta svoje.
Vzchop se, vzchop, než rána dokrvácí,
strhni pouta, pouta hany své,
pravice tvá posud zaburácí
dosti mocně v sloupy světové.
Korouhev nechť šumí kolem čela,
hrdě dřív jež vítězstvím se chvěla.

VII.
Hrdě dřív, jež vítězstvím se chvěla,
kam se děla ona korouhev? -
Hyna sklonil pyšné čelo lev,
na kříži pak láska k vlasti pněla.
Katů našich ruka skrvavělá
pálí ohněm i ten věštců zpěv,
ne již v boji teče pro vlast krev,
ale tam, kde druhdy hanba tlela.
Vlast je hřbitov kvítím ozdobený,
na němž celý národ pohrobený.
Muka vnitř ráj zemský na pohled.
V kvítí dřímá syn těch reků padlých,
podlé něho v středu věnců svadlých
korouhev tvou v prachu musím zřet.

VIII.

Korouhev tvou v prachu musím zřet,
zlomen meč a v poutech tvoje páže,
shaslé oko, němý tvůj je ret,
cizí v domě tvojich otců káže.
Sláva tvá si v hoři uzlík váže,
zhynul ten, kdo její věnce plet.
Zoufalostí schvácen klesá kmet,
jinoch v snách jen po lásce se táže.
Orlí mláď se zvrhá na holuby,
k milkování jen jim zobec dán,
z toho živí, co jim hází pán,
ve podruží obývají sruby.
V spuštění rod krotký ve divokém! -
Po tvých rumech zírám kalným okem.

IX.
Po tvých rumech zírám kalným okem,
rumy, rumy, kam zří pohled můj!
A já nemám nežli nářek svůj
a tu bolest v srdci ve hlubokém.
Zříš ty luhy zarosené mokem? -
Mok ten krev, jež tekla za zdar tvůj.
Žalně, vánku, přes ty pláně duj,
stav se, noho, hřešíš každým krokem!
A ty, krvi, v dávném zakyp valu,
zde to lůžko, na němž zhynul Čech,
než však na vždy ustal jeho dech
neztráceje naděj v smrti žalu,
k tvým, ó slávo, troskám vyslal hlas
táže se, zda z nich se zdvihneš zas? -

X.
Táže se, zda z nich se zdvihneš zas,
též i já zde volám v trapném bolu,
zda kdy, luhy, uzřím volné vás? -
Zda vy vrchy modré v dálném kolu,
svobody té naší dávné hráz -
proti ní kdy svět se zdvihl v spolu,
budete zas jednou ve zápolu
pro tu volnost ochranný nám pás? -
Doufej, přijde, brzy přijde den,
den to, kdy se domy hříchu ssujou;
slyš, jak bouřné větry v dáli dujoudujou,
zora blízko, na odchodu sen.
Kéž tu den, kéž nemusím se ptáti,
zda se zaskvíš opět, drahá máti. -

XI.
Zda se zaskvíš opět, drahá máti,
v lesku slávy, v lesku svobody? -
dosti-li již tobě nehody,
brzy-li se již ty chmury ztratí? -
Brzy-li své běsy temnosť schvátí? -
Viz, v tom páži síly zárody,
v prsou píseň tvojí úrody,
ty jsou tvé, víc nemohu ti dáti.
Matko drahá, pohleď v srdce hloubí,
tam se láska s nenávistí snoubí.
Tobě, matko, lásky planou city,
k vrahu tvému žár však hněvu lítý.
Srdce věří, hled jen klopí řas -
kdy se vrátí zlatý zase čas? -

XII.
Kdy se vrátí zlatý zase čas? -
Zralý ku žni jest již těžký klas,
a tvých hříchů míra dovršena.
Příliš dlouho trval dravců kvas,
příliš dlouho obět v mukách stená.
K smrtné ráně záhy, kate, tas,
než se zbudí síla neskrocená
tebe drtíc, hano svého jména.
Slávo, slávo, vidím kráčet tebe,
žár tvých dechů cítí srdce mé,
v tebe věřím, v této duši své,
oko mé zří otevřené nebe,
zří, jak v propast metáš mrzkým sokem,
výš a výše plujíc světla tokem.

XIII.
Výš a výše plujíc světla tokem,
zasedá již trůnu na vysokém,
věncem zdobíc věčně mladou skráň,
vitým z hvězd, jež nese nebes báň.
Vavřín jejím zelená se bokem
jako z jara čerstvou trávou stráň,
vité z květů, kterých nemá pláňpláň,
věnce, věnce plášti po širokém.
To jest sláva! - Požehnané oči,
které zřely v její jasnou tvář;
blahá ruka, která sobě točí
kolem čela jejich věnců zář.
Ruku tu-li svojí budeš zváti,
sláva-li se tobě, vlasti, vrátí? -

XIV.
Sláva-li se tobě, vlasti, vrátí,
zas-li vzejde zašlé hvězdy třpyt? -
Nechtěj déle v naději jen snít,
dlouho dost ti, lide, bylo lkáti.
Nechť již zplane, má-li opět zpláti
svatý boj: - Buď naděje zhyň svit
a v noc věčnou klesni bledý kmit,
buď se z šera den již musí státi!
Tak jsem volal, lid však dřímal dále,
prázný ohlas jen se plání nes,
všude sen a noci temno stálé.
Slova zašla. Ve hoři jsem kles.
Tichý hrob, jen řeka v skalách hřměla:
Kam se sláva naše dávná děla? -

XV.
Kam se sláva naše dávná děla,
neuzří-li víc ji zářit svět? -
Kde jsi, písni, o ní, jež jsi pěla?
Vlasti, proč jsi klesla za obět? -
Pusto tam, kde dříve radost zněla,
trosky slávy, žalných rumů střed.
Hrdě dřívdřív, jež vítězstvím se chvěla,
korouhev tvou v prachu musím zřet.
Po tvých rumech zírám kalným okem
táže se, zda z nich se zdvihneš zas,
zda se zaskvíš opět, drahá máti,
kdy se vrátí zlatý zase čas? -
Výš a výše plujíc světla tokem,
sláva-li se tobě, vlasti, vrátí? -
převzato ze serveru www.ceska-poezie.cz

Folgore da San Gimignano - sonet z cyklu "Sonety týdne" toskánského básníka z přelomu 13. a 14. století, překlad Jiřího Pelána)

11. ledna 2008 v 11:32 | Folgore da San Gimignano
Úterý

V den Martův jiné přání, jiný rým dám:
ať zazní trubky, bubny zavíří,
ať v zbroj se strojí pěší, rytíři
a všechny zvony nechať křičí: "dyn dan!"

Ať potom všichni vyrazí, on v čele,
trup v osníři a přílbu na hlavě;
a mocné rány dají ve vřavě
a na ústup obrátí nepřítele.

Ať spatří koně, kterak vlečou všudy
mrtvé, uvízlé nohou ve třmeni,
a krví jejich střev je palouk rudý.

Trubači ať pak dají znamení,
a zazní flétny, píšťaly a dudy;
a ať se vrátí, řady sevřeny.

Převzato z: Folgore da San Gimignano. Sonety týdne a měsíců. Opus 2007

Dylan Thomas - sonetový cyklus Altarwise by Owl-Light (v originále)

14. listopadu 2007 v 13:45 | Dylan Thomas
(Pozn. Altarwise = in the proper position of an altar, that is, at the east of a church with its ends towards the north and south.
Owl-Light = "hodina mezi psem a vlkem", soumrak)

I
Altarwise by owl-light in the half-way house
The gentleman lay graveward with his furies;
Abaddon in the hangnail cracked from Adam,
And, from his fork, a dog among the fairies,
The atlas-eater with a jaw for news,
Bit out the mandrake with to-morrow's scream.
Then, penny-eyed, that gentleman of wounds,
Old cock from nowheres and the heaven's egg,
With bones unbuttoned to the half-way winds,
Hatched from the windy salvage on one leg,
Scraped at my cradle in a walking word
That night of time under the Christward shelter:
I am the long world's gentleman, he said,
And share my bed with Capricorn and Cancer.

II

Death is all metaphors, shape in one history;
The child that sucketh long is shooting up,
The planet-ducted pelican of circles
Weans on an artery the gender's strip;
Child of the short spark in a shapeless country
Soon sets alight a long stick from the cradle;
The horizontal cross-bones of Abaddon,
You by the cavern over the black stairs,
Rung bone and blade, the verticals of Adam,
And, manned by midnight, Jacob to the stars.
Hairs of your head, then said the hollow agent,
Are but the roots of nettles and feathers
Over the groundworks thrusting through a pavement
And hemlock-headed in the wood of weathers.

III

First there was the lamb on knocking knees
And three dead seasons on a climbing grave
That Adam's wether in the flock of horns,
Butt of the tree-tailed worm that mounted Eve,
Horned down with skullfoot and the skull of toes
On thunderous pavements in the garden of time;
Rip of the vaults, I took my marrow-ladle
Out of the wrinkled undertaker's van,
And, Rip Van Winkle from a timeless cradle,
Dipped me breast-deep in the descending bone;
The black ram, shuffling of the year, old winter,
Alone alive among his mutton fold,
We rung our weathering changes on the ladder,
Said the antipodes, and twice spring chimed.

IV

What is the metre of the dictionary?
The size of genesis? the short spark's gender?
Shade without shape? the shape of the Pharaoh's echo?
(My shape of age nagging the wounded whisper.)
Which sixth of wind blew out the burning gentry?
(Questions are hunchbacks to the poker marrow.)
What of a bamboo man among your acres?
Corset the boneyards for a crooked boy?
Button your bodice on a hump of splinters,
My camel's eyes will needle through the shroud.
Love's reflection of the mushroom features,
Still snapped by night in the bread-sided field,
Once close-up smiling in the wall of pictures,
Arc-lamped thrown back upon the cutting flood.

V
And from the windy West came two-gunned Gabriel,
From Jesu's sleeve trumped up the king of spots,
The sheath-decked jacks, queen with a shuffled heart;
Said the fake gentleman in suit of spades,
Black-tongued and tipsy from salvation's bottle.
Rose my Byzantine Adam in the night.
For loss of blood I fell on Ishmael's plain,
Under the milky mushrooms slew my hunger,
A climbing sea from Asia had me down
And Jonah's Moby snatched me by the hair,
Cross-stroked salt Adam to the frozen angel
Pin-legged on pole-hills with a black medusa
By waste seas where the white bear quoted Virgil
And sirens singing from our lady's sea-straw.

VI

Cartoon of slashes on the tide-traced crater,
He in a book of water tallow-eyed
By lava's light split through the oyster vowels
And burned sea silence on a wick of words.
Pluck, cock, my sea eye, said medusa's scripture,
Lop, love, my fork tongue, said the pin-hilled nettle;
And love plucked out the stinging siren's eye,
Old cock from nowheres lopped the minstrel tongue
Till tallow I blew from the wax's tower
The fats of midnight when the salt was singing;
Adam, time's joker, on a witch of cardboard
Spelt out the seven seas, an evil index,
The bagpipe-breasted ladies in the deadweed
Blew out the blood gauze through the wound of manwax.

VII

Now stamp the Lord's Prayer on a grain of rice,
A Bible-leaved of all the written woods
Strip to this tree: a rocking alphabet,
Genesis in the root, the scarecrow word,
And one light's language in the book of trees.
Doom on deniers at the wind-turned statement.
Time's tune my ladies with the teats of music,
The scaled sea-sawers, fix in a naked sponge
Who sucks the bell-voiced Adam out of magic,
Time, milk, and magic, from the world beginning.
Time is the tune my ladies lend their heartbreak,
From bald pavilions and the house of bread
Time tracks the sound of shape on man and cloud,
On rose and icicle the ringing handprint.

VIII

This was the crucifixion on the mountain,
Time's nerve in vinegar, the gallow grave
As tarred with blood as the bright thorns I wept;
The world's my wound, God's Mary in her grief,
Bent like three trees and bird-papped through her shift,
With pins for teardrops is the long wound's woman.
This was the sky, Jack Christ, each minstrel angle
Drove in the heaven-driven of the nails
Till the three-coloured rainbow from my nipples
From pole to pole leapt round the snail-waked world.
I by the tree of thieves, all glory's sawbones,
Unsex the skeleton this mountain minute,
And by this blowcock witness of the sun
Suffer the heaven's children through my heartbeat.

IX

From the oracular archives and the parchment,
Prophets and fibre kings in oil and letter,
The lamped calligrapher, the queen in splints,
Buckle to lint and cloth their natron footsteps,
Draw on the glove of prints, dead Cairo's henna
Pour like a halo on the caps and serpents.
This was the resurrection in the desert,
Death from a bandage, rants the mask of scholars
Gold on such features, and the linen spirit
Weds my long gentleman to dusts and furies;
With priest and pharaoh bed my gentle wound,
World in the sand, on the triangle landscape,
With stones of odyssey for ash and garland
And rivers of the dead around my neck.

X

Let the tale's sailor from a Christian voyage
Atlaswise hold half-way off the dummy bay
Time's ship-racked gospel on the globe I balance:
So shall winged harbours through the rockbird's eyes
Spot the blown word, and on the seas I image
December's thorn screwed in a brow of holly.
Let the first Peter from a rainbow's quayrail
Ask the tall fish swept from the bible east,
What rhubarb man peeled in her foam-blue channel
Has sown a flying garden round that sea-ghost?
Green as beginning, let the garden diving
Soar, with its two bark towers, to that Day
When the worm builds with the gold straws of venom
My nest of mercies in the rude, red tree.

Převzato odtud.

Wallace Irwin - The Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum - 22 + 2 Pobudových milostných sonetů (v originále, 1902)

5. listopadu 2007 v 13:29 | Wallace Irwin
Prologue

WOULDN'T it jar you, wouldn't it make you sore
To see the poet, when the goods play out,
Crawl off of poor old Pegasus and tout
His skate to two-step sonnets off galore?
Then, when the plug, a dead one, can no more
Shake rag-time than a biscuit, right about
The poem-butcher turns with gleeful shout
And sends a batch of sonnets to the store.

The sonnet is a very easy mark,
A James P. Dandy as a carry-all
For brain-fag wrecks who want to keep it dark
Just why their crop of thinks is running small.
On the low down, dear Mame, my looty loo,
That's why I've cooked this batch of rhymes for you.

I

SAY, will she treat me white, or throw me down,
Give me the glassy glare, or welcome hand,
Shovel me dirt, or treat me on the grand,
Knife me, or make me think I own the town?
Will she be on the level, do me brown,
Or will she jolt me lightly on the sand,
Leaving poor Willie froze to beat the band,
Limp as your grandma's Mother Hubbard gown?

I do not know, nor do I give a whoop,
But this I know: if she is so inclined
She can come and play with me on our back stoop,
Even in office hours, I do not mind--
In fact I know I'm nice and good and ready
To get an option on her as my steady.

II

ON the dead level I am sore of heart,
For nifty Mame has frosted me complete,
Since ten o'clock, G.M., when on the street
I saw my lightning finish from the start.
O goo-goo eye, how glassy glazed thou art
To freeze my spinach solid when we meet,
And keep thy Willie on the anxious seat
Like a bum Dago on an apple cart!

Is it because my pants fit much too soon,
Or that my hand-me-down is out of style,
That thou dost turn me under when I spoon,
Nor hand me hothouse beauties with a smile?
If that's the case, next week I'll scorch the line
Clad in a shell I'll buy of Cohenstein.

II

AS follows is the make-up I shall buy,
Next week, when from the boss I pull my pay:--
A white and yellow zig-zag cutaway,
A sunset-colored vest and purple tie,
A shirt for vaudeville and something fly
In gunboat shoes and half-hose on the gay.
I'll get some green shoe-laces, by the way,
And a straw lid to set 'em stepping high.

Then shall I shine and be the great main squeeze,
The warm gazook, the only on the bunch,
The Oklahoma wonder, the whole cheese,
The baby with the Honolulu hunch--
That will bring Mame to time--I should say yes!
Ain't my dough good as Murphy's? Well, I guess!

IV

O FATE, thou art a lobster, but not dead!
Silently dost thou grab, e'en as the cop
Nabs the poor hobo, sneaking from a shop
With some rich geezer's tile upon his head.
By thy fake propositions are we led
To get quite chesty, when it's biff! kerflop!!
We take a tumble and the cog-wheels stop,
Leaving the patient seeing stars in bed.

So was I swatted, for I could not draw
My last week's pay. I got the dinky dink.
No more I see the husk in dreams I saw,
And Mame is mine some more, I do not think.
I know my rival, and it makes me sore--
'Tis Murphy, night clerk in McCann's drug store.

V

LAST night--ah! yesternight--I flagged my queen
Steering for Grunsky's ice-cream joint full sail!
I up and braced her, breezy as a gale,
And she was the all-rightest ever seen.
Just then Brick Murphy butted in between,
Rushing my funny song-and-dance to jail,
My syncopated con-talk no avail,
For Murphy was the only nectarine.

This is a sample of the hand I get
When I am playing more than solitaire,
Showing how I become the slowest yet
When it's a case of razors in the air,
And competition knocks me off creation
Like a gin-fountain smashed by Carrie Nation.

VI

SEE how that Murphy cake-walks in his pride,
That brick-topped Murphy, fourteen-dollar jay;
You'd think he'd leased the sidewalk by the way
He takes up half a yard on either side!
I'm wise his diamond ring's a cut-glass snide,
His overcoat is rented by the day,
But still no kick is coming yet from Mae
When Murphy cuts the cake so very wide.

Rubber, thou scab! Don't throw on so much spaniel!
Say, are there any more at home like you?
You're not the only lion after Daniel,
You're not the only oyster in the stew.
Get next, you pawn-shop sport! Come off the fence
Before I make you look like thirty cents!

VII

MAYHAP you think I cinched my little job
When I made meat of Mamie's dress-suit belle.
If that's your hunch you don't know how the swell
Can put it on the plain, unfinished slob
Who lacks the kiss-me war paint of the snob
And can't make good inside a giddy shell;
Wherefore the reason I am fain to tell
The slump that caused me this melodious sob.

For when I pushed Brick Murphy to the rope
Mame manned the ambulance and dragged him in,
Massaged his lamps with fragrant drug store dope
And coughed up loops of kindergarten chin;
She sprang a come back, piped for the patrol,
Then threw a glance that tommyhawked my soul.

VIII

I SOMETIMES think that I am not so good,
That there are foxier, warmer babes than I,
That Fate has given me the calm go-by
And my long suit is sawing mother's wood.
Then would I duck from under if I could,
Catch the hog special on the jump and fly
To some Goat Island planned by destiny
For dubs and has-beens and that solemn brood.

But spite of bug-wheels in my cocoa tree,
The trade in lager beer is still a-humming,
A schooner can be purchased for a V
Or even grafted if you're fierce at bumming.
My finish then less clearly do I see,
For lo! I have another think a-coming.

IX

LAST night I tumbled off the water cart--
It was a peacherino of a drunk;
I put the cocktail market on the punk
And tore up all the sidewalks from the start.
The package that I carried was a tart
That beat Vesuvius out for sizz and spunk,
And when they put me in my little bunk
You couldn't tell my jag and me apart.

Oh! would I were the ice man for a space,
Then might I cool this red-hot cocoanut,
Corral the jim-jam bugs that madly race
Around the eaves that from my forehead jut--
Or will a carpenter please come instead
And build a picket fence around my head?

X

AS one who with his landlord stands deuce high
And blocks his board bill off with IOU's,
Touching the barkeep lightly for his booze,
Sidestepping when a creditor goes by,
Soaking his mother's watch-chain on the sly,
Haply his ticker, too, haply his shoes,
Till Mr. Johnson comes to turn him loose
And lift the mortgage from that poor cheap guy;

So am I now small change in Mamie's scorn,
A microbe's egg, or two-bits in a fog,
A first cornet that cannot toot a horn,
A Waterbury watch that's slipped a cog;
For when her make-up's twisted to a frown
What can I but go 'way back and sit down?

XI

O scaly Mame to give me such a deal,
To hand me such a bunch when I was true!
You played me double and you knew it, too,
Nor cared a wad of gum how I would feel.
Can you not see that Murphy's handy spiel
Is cheap balloon juice of a Blarney brew,
A phonograph where all he has to do
Is give the crank a twist and let 'er reel?

Nay, love has put your optics on the bum,
To you are Murphy's gold bricks all O.K.;
His talks go down however rank they come,
For he has got you going, fairy fay.
Ah, well! In that I'm in the box with you,
For love has got poor Willie groggy, too.

XII

LIFE is a combination hard to buck,
A proposition difficult to beat,
E'en though you get there Zaza with both feet,
In forty flickers, it's the same hard luck,
And you are up against it nip and tuck,
Shanghaied without a steady place to eat,
Guyed by the very copper on your beat
Who lays to jug you when you run amuck.

O Life! you give Yours Truly quite a pain.
On the T square I do not like your style;
For you are playing favorites again
And you have got me handicapped a mile.
Avaunt, false Life, with all your pride and pelf:
Go take a running jump and chase yourself!

XIII

IF I were smooth as eels and slick as soap
A baked-wind expert, jolly with my clack,
Gally enough to ask my money back
Before the steerer feeds me knock-out dope,
Still might I throw a duck-fit in my hope
That I possessed a headpiece like a tack
To get my Mamie in my private sack
Ere she could flag some Handsome Hank and slope.

What ho! she bumps! My wish avails me not,
My work is coarse, and Mame is onto me;
So am I never Johnnie-on-the-spot
When any wooden Siwash ought to be.
Thus I get busy working up a grouch
Whenever heartless Mame harpoons me--ouch!

XIV

O Mommer! wsn't Mame a looty toot
Last night when at the Rainbow Social Club
She did the bunny hug with every scrub
From Hogan's Alley to the Dutchmen's Boot,
While little Willie, like a plug-eared mute,
Papered the wall and helped absorb the grub,
Played nest-egg with the benches like a dub
When hot society was easy fruit!

Am I a turnip? On the strict Q.T.,
Why do my Trilbys get so ossified?
Why am I minus when it's up to me
To brace my Paris Pansy for a glide?
Once more my hoodoo's thrown the game and scored
A flock of zeros on my tally-board.

XV

NIXIE! I'm not canned chicken till I'm cooked,
And hope still rooms in this pneumatic chest,
While something's doing underneath my vest
That makes me think I'm squiffier than I looked.
Mayhap Love knew my class when I was booked
As one shade speedier than second best
To knock the previous records galley west,
While short-end suckers on my bait were hooked.

Mayhap--I give it up--but this I know:
When I saw Mamie on the line today
She turned her happy searchlights on me so,
And grinned so like a living picture--say,
If a real lady threw you such a chunk,
Couldn't she pack her Raglan in your trunk?

XVI

OH, for a fist to push a fancy quill!
A Lovers' Handy Letter Writer, too,
To help me polish off this billy doo
So it can jolly Mame and make a kill,
Coax her to think that I'm no gilded pill,
But rather the unadulterated goo.
Below I give a sample of the brew
I've manufactured in my thinking mill:

"Gum Drop:--Your tanglefoot has got my game,
I'm stuck so tight you cannot shake your catch;
It's cruelty to insects--honest, Mame,--
So won't you join me in a tie-up match?
If you'll talk business, I'm your lemon pie.
Please answer and relieve
AN ANXIOUS GUY."

XVII

WOMAN, you are indeed a false alarm;
You offer trips to heaven at tourist's rates
And publish fairy tales about the dates
You're going to keep, (not meaning any harm),
Then get some poor old Rube fresh from the farm,
As graceful as a kangaroo on skates,
Trying to transfer at the Pearly Gates--
For instance, note this jolt that smashed the charm:--

"P.S.--You are all right, but you won't do.
You may be up a hundred in the shade,
But there are cripples livelier than you,
And my man Murphy's strictly union-made.
You are a bargain, but it seems a shame
That you should drink so much.
Yours truly,
MAME."

XVIII

LAST night I dreamed a passing dotty dream--
I thought the cards were coming all my way,
That I could shut and open things all day
While Mame and I were getting thick as cream,
And starred as an amalgamated team
In a cigar-box flat across the bay--
Just then the alarm clock blew to pieces. Say,
Wouldn't that jam you? I should rather scream.

Sleep, like a bunco artist, rubbed it in,
Sold me his ten-cent oil stocks, though he knew
It was a Kosher trick to take the tin
When I was such an easy thing to do;
For any centenarian can see
To ring a bull's-eye when he shoots at me.

XIX

A PARDON if too much I chew the rag,
But say, it's getting rubbed in good and deep,
And I have reached the limit where I weep
As easy as a sentimental jag.
My soul is quite a worn and frazzled rag,
My life is damaged goods, my price is cheap,
And I am such a snap I dare not peep
Lest some should read the price-mark on my tag.

The more my sourballed murmur, since I've seen
A Sunday picnic car on Market Street,
Full of assorted sports, each with his queen--
And chewing pepsin on the forninst seat
Were Mame and Murphy, diked to suit the part,
And clinching fins in public, heart to heart.

XX

FORGET it? Well, just watch me try to shake
The memory of that four-bit Scheutzen Park,
Where Sunday picnics boil from dawn till dark
And you tie down the Flossie you can take,
If you don't mind man-handling and can make
A prize rough house to jolly up the lark,
To show the ladies you're the whole tan bark,
And leave a blaze of fireworks in your wake.

'Twas there before the Rainbow Club that Mame
Bawled herself out as Murphy's finansay
And all the chronic glad hand-claspers came
To copper invites for the wedding day;
And when the jocund day threw up the sponge
Murphy was billed to take the fatal plunge.

XXI

AT noon today Murphy and Mame were tied.
A gospel huckster did the referee,
And all the Drug Clerks' Union loped to see
The queen of Minnie Street become a bride,
And that bad actor, Murphy, by her side,
Standing where Your Despondent ought to be.
I went to hang a smile in front of me,
But weeps were in my glimmers when I tried.

The pastor murmured, "Two and two make one,"
And slipped a sixteen K on Mamie's grab;
And when the game was tied and all was done
The guests shied footwear at the bridal cab,
And Murphy's little gilt-roofed brother Jim
Snickered, "She's left her happy home for him."

XXII

STILL joy is rubbernecking on the street,
Still hikes the Mags' parade at five o'clock,
Still does the masher march around the block
Pining in vain some hothouse plant to meet;
Still does the rounder pull your leg to treat,
Where flows the whisky sour or russet bock,
And the store-clothing dummies in a flock
Keep good and busy following their feet.

Rats! cut this out; for I'm a last year's champ;
Into the old bone orchard am I blowing,
So with the late lamented let me camp,
My walkers to the graveyard daisies toeing,
And shaking this too uppish generation,
Pass checks through cigarette asphyxiation.

Epilogue

TO just one girl I've tuned my sad bazoo,
Stringing my pipe-dream off as it occurred,
And as I've tipped the straight talk every word,
If you don't like it you know what to do.
Perhaps you think I've handed out to you
An idle jest, a touch-me-not, absurd
As any sky-blue-pink canary bird,
Billed for a record season at the Zoo.

If that's your guess you'll have to guess again,
For thus I fizzled in a burst of glory,
And this rhythmatic side-show doth contain
The sum and substance of my hard-luck story,
Showing how Vanity is still on deck
And Humble Virtue gets it in the neck.

Josef Lederer - Obýval její život (čtyřbásňový cyklus ze sb. Sopka islandská, 1973)

17. září 2007 v 18:03 | Josef Lederer
I

Obýval její život v jiné zemi,
na samém konci světa, nahoře,
kde lumíci z hor táhnou z vnitrozemí
v houfech se vrhnout střemhlav do moře.

Byl neviditelný a prokluzoval
tam podle průčelí a svítilen,
jež ve vodě se tetelí, až ovál
tváře zas poznal, vlasy jako len.

V dalekém letovisku cizí hlásky
poslouchal, když si najímala člun,
když jeho kýl pak skřípal přes oblázky,
přes mokrý jantar, hrudky plné run.

Tajil dech, aby nepřevrhl skif
a málem věřil, že je vskutku živ.

II

V úplňku zpanštěl měsíc. Chlad se line
z ukrutných střepů na zdi, z mříží vrat,
z jazyků fontány a jejich plynné
půlnoční řeči. Minul slunovrat,

skřipky jsou na hřebíku. Už se horší
léto. Jen táhlá touha zůstává.
Zámek je loď, jež pluje podle olší
ve vodách, kde se chlípí otava.

Loukám se líbí její chůze. Hlízy
hluboko v hlíně, chocholíky trav
ji chválí. Jak jí šustí šaty. Mizí
do listnatého nebe, bílý páv.

Nezřený Linné zcela blízko u ní
bezinky určil. Zhasly. Novoluní.

III

Svět ojíněných dívek. Pán je s nimi,
vzduch zkapalněl a jeho sklovina
vrství se venku; advent secesními
kresbami mrazu dovnitř prolíná.

Nečeká na nic, to, že jest jí stačí;
nastavuje se, čiré zrcátko.
Dům pojímá ji tak, jak umí ptačí
klec pojmout píseň. Zima zakrátko

kolem ní zjihla, začlo tát i v čase.
Cín, stříbro, ubrus: rajský inventář.
Klenutí malých pekel sesouvá se
v ohni a svatořečí její tvář.

Byl v plameni, svém zlatém mimikry.
A v její jméno skládají se kry.

IV

Zkrocení vlci dřepnou si a mhouří
pokorně oči zelené a zlé,
prachové kuří peří tiší bouři,
na saních přes jezero zamrzlé

za šera ještě sviští. Myslí na ni
obyvatelé města. Nejitří
jim rány. Jitřní Mozart. Pro ni, ranní,
stáří se promíjí. Je nazítří.

Do oken mírně hledí, v zimě květná,
zarámovaná do jahodení.
A její rolničky jsou nespočetná
zvonová srdce, když se rozední.

Byl plyn, jejž dýchala, vzduch lehýnký
bez chuti krve, barvy vzpomínky.

Převzato odtud.
 
 

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