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Draag jij je gedicht voor tijdens de Nationale Herdenking op 4 mei?
Wil jij je gedicht voordragen aan de koning en koningin, minister-president, oorlogsveteranen en bijna 3 miljoen kijkers? Doe dan mee aan de jaarlijkse dichtwedstrijd Dichter bij 4 mei. Deze wedstrijd wordt georganiseerd in samenwerking met het Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei en vindt ieder jaar in een andere provincie plaats. Dit jaar is dat de provincie Noord-Holland.
Doet jouw school niet mee aan het project Dichter bij 4 mei? Wil je toch meedoen, ben je tussen de 14 en 19 jaar oud en woonachtig in de provincie Noord-Holland? Geef je op voor de open poëzieworkshop op zaterdag 14 januari 2017 in Fort aan de Sint Aagtendijk in Beverwijk. Of stuur voor 1 februari 2017 maximaal drie gedichten naar firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dichter bij 4 mei
Dichter bij 4 mei is een poëziewedstrijd voor jongeren tussen de 14 en 19 jaar rondom het thema ‘herdenken’. De winnaar van de dichtwedstrijd mag zijn of haar gedicht voordragen op de Dam tijdens de Nationale Herdenking op 4 mei. De andere drie winnaars mogen hun gedicht voordragen tijdens de herdenkingen in de voormalige kampen Westerbork, Vught en Amersfoort.
“Tijdens de Nationale Herdenking op 4 mei herdenken wij allen – burgers en militairen – die in het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden of waar dan ook ter wereld zijn omgekomen of vermoord sinds het uitbreken van de Tweede Wereldoorlog, in oorlogssituaties en bij vredesoperaties”
Door de Nationale Herdenking op de Dam en op andere plekken in het land komt iedereen Dichter bij 4 mei.
Jouw gedicht op de Dam?
Het Poëziepaleis zoekt samen met het Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei een dichttalent dat op 4 mei op de Dam zijn of haar gedicht wil voordragen. Wanneer mag je meedoen?
– Je bent tussen de 14 en 19 jaar;
– Je zit op het vmbo/ havo/ vwo/ MBO of ROC;
– Je bent woonachtig in de provincie Noord-Holland.
Hoe kun je meedoen?
Wil jij kans maken op één van de finaleplaatsen, stuur dan voor 1 februari 2017 maximaal drie gedichten naar email@example.com en zorg dat je gedicht voldoet aan de volgende punten:
– Het thema is herdenken;
– Het gedicht is maximaal 25 regels lang;
– Het taalgebruik is passend;
– Het gedicht is geschikt om voor te dragen.
(1868 – 1941)
The Zeppelin Armada
‘To-Day, since Zeppelins are in the air,
And folks glance skywards as they go their ways,
Let us hark back a bit to an affair
That happened in Queen Bess’s sturdy days,
When the Armada, backed by Spanish lust
A fleet that floating palaces resembled
Sailed proudly forth to crush us in the dust,
While all the tremulous in England trembled.
What was the fate of those unwieldy craft ?
Our little frigates made of British oak
Harassed the mighty galleons fore and aft,
Handy to strike and shun the counterstroke.
The Great Invasion ended in defeat.
No more could Philip play the part of mocker,
The rout of the Armada was complete,
And down it went to Davy Jones’s locker.
What frigates did in 1558
May be repeated in the air to-day,
When clumsy Zeppelins may meet their fate
From aeroplanes that sting and dart away.
A well-equipped and handy air patrol
Would circumvent an aerial attack.
If London is to be the Zeppes’ goal,
It’s up to us to see they don’t go back!
(1868 – 1941)
‘There’s the girl who clips your ticket for the train,
And the girl who speeds the lift from floor to floor,
There’s the girl who does a milk-round in the rain,
And the girl who calls for orders at your door.
Strong, sensible, and fit,
They’re out to show their grit,
And tackle jobs with energy and knack.
No longer caged and penned up,
They’re going to keep their end up
‘Til the khaki soldier boys come marching back.
There’s the motor girl who drives a heavy van,
There’s the butcher girl who brings your joint of meat,
There’s the girl who calls ‘All fares please!’ like a man,
And the girl who whistles taxi’s up the street.
Beneath each uniform
Beats a heart that’s soft and warm,
Though of canny mother-wit they show no lack;
But a solemn statement this is,
They’ve no time for love and kisses
Till the khaki soldier boys come marching back.
Unveiling of the Stele for the year 2015-2016 # Reporter’s Memorial Tenth anniversary # Reporter’s Memorial – 17 00 – Thursday 6 October 2016
Ten years ago, the Reporter’s Memorial was inaugurated in Bayeux. Upon the unveiling of the 2015 stele, Reporters Without Borders will gather families and loved ones of the journalists killed on the job in the last ten years.
In 2015, 110 journalists have perished because of their profession or in dubious circumstances. Reporters Without Borders assures that of those 110, 67 have been killed for the sole reason of being journalists. In total, 787 journalists have been killed on the job since 2005. To that number, 27 netizens and 7 media associates can be added. This worrisome situation can be explained by the peak of violence against journalists in the last decade. They are now deliberately targeted and all the efforts put toward their safety have failed so far.
« It is imperative to set up a concrete mechanism for the application of the international law for the protection of journalists », declares Christophe Deloire, General Secretary of Reporters Without Borders. « Today, violent non-state actors have targeted journalists while numerous states do not respect their obligations. More than 800 reporters have been killed in the last ten years. Their death must be met with reactions that match the urgency of the situation. A special representative for the protection of journalists with the United Nation Secretary must be immediately appointed. »
Families have decided to create a stele for all the reporters who disappeared while on a mission. This monument entitled “Missing In Action”, will be placed and inaugurated this year. It takes the form of a shadow and symbolizes the absence of those whose bodies have never been found.
Present will be: Diane Foley, Claudine Kent (companion of David Gilkey dead in Afghanistan), Maryvonne Lepage, Deo Namujimbo, Elena Milachina for remembering Anna Politkoskaïa assasinated 10 years ago.
Mémorial des reporters
Boulevard Fabian Ware
Direct access from rue de Verdun, Bayeux FR
Photos: Jef van Kempen (FdM 2016)
More in: CINEMA, RADIO & TV, DICTIONARY OF IDEAS, Jef van Kempen Photos & Drawings, MUSEUM OF PUBLIC PROTEST- photos, texts, videos, street poetry, PRESS & PUBLISHING, REPRESSION OF WRITERS, JOURNALISTS & ARTISTS, WAR & PEACE
For 23 years now, the Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents has for objective to give the floor to those who help us get a better understanding of the world: war correspondents. It is with a tremendous satisfaction that we have observed a growing and enlightened public over the years. Today, within a complicated and tensed national and international context, this week of reflection is, more than ever, necessary.
REPORTERS SANS FRONTIÈRES / REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS
Major crises are reaching the planet and the Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents is, once again, shedding the light on the upheaval of our time. Far from trying to upset the viewers, the photographs displayed within the exhibitions are here for people to think: the consequences of the conflict in Syria, the crisis of refugees, the movement of populations, criminality that, in Mexico, is turning into an armed conflict… A sound exhibition, never heard before, created in association with the French radio France Inter will pay tribute to radio reporters present in the theatres of war. The meetings of the Bayeux-Calvados Award will also shed a light on conflicts that have been forgotten and will allow the viewers time to reflect, in the midst of the news that is often misrepresented. A long list of rendez-vous where professionals ever so numerous and a faithful public will be able to exchange, share and enhance their knowledge of the world.
During the 2016 edition, student actions – which includes the Regional prize for students and trainees of Normandy and the Bayeux-Calvados Award classes- are expending to the entire region of Normandy. Today, media literacy is more than a duty, it’s a necessity. Film screenings for secondary school students, viewpoint of 15 year-olds and meetings between students and professionals are at the heart of the Bayeux-Calvados Award.
For the last 23 years, the Bayeux – Calvados Award for War Correspondents has been bringing together international journalists from the field to meet the public, tell human stories and provide explanation and background to areas of tension around the world.
Next edition of the Bayeux – Calvados Award for war correspondents will be taking place from 3 to 9 October 2016 in Bayeux FR.
Jean – Claude Guillebaud, a major figure in journalism as a writer and former war correspondent, will serve as President of the Jury for this 23rd edition.
A week of meetings on international news On the program for october: original exhibitions, debate evenings, screenings, book fair, events for schools… The Bayeux Calvados award is also a week of meetings, exchanges between the public and reporter s. Unique times on international news which constitutes the strength of the Bayeux Calvados award meetings. A real public plebiscite. Journalists : you have from now until 6 June to send us your work Photo, radio, television and written press reports on a conflict or news event relating to the fight for freedom and democracy mus t be submitted before the 6 th June to be considered for the 2016 selection. They must have been made between the 1st June 2015 and the 31st May 2016. There is a €7,000 grant to be won in each category.
The meeting takes place from 3 to 9 October along with special correspondents, women and men of the ground, who, through their evidence, wake up our senses
(1890 – 1918)
Break of Day in the Trenches
The darkness crumbles away.
It is the same old druid Time as ever,
Only a live thing leaps my hand,
A queer sardonic rat,
As I pull the parapet’s poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
Your cosmopolitan sympathies.
Now you have touched this English hand
You will do the same to a German
Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
Less chanced than you for life,
Bonds to the whims of murder,
Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes
At the shrieking iron and flame
Hurled through still heavens?
What quaver—what heart aghast?
Poppies whose roots are in man’s veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe—
Just a little white with the dust.
Isaac Rosenberg poetry of The Geat War
(1915 – 1944)
Postscript: For Gweno
If I should go away,
Beloved, do not say
‘He has forgotten me’.
For you abide,
A singing rib within my dreaming side;
You always stay.
And in the mad tormented valley
Where blood and hunger rally
And Death the wild beast is uncaught, untamed,
Our soul withstands the terror
And has its quiet honour
Among the glittering stars your voices named.
Alun Lewis poetry
(1883 – 1917)
Trenches: St Eloi
Over the flat slopes of St Eloi
A wide wall of sand bags.
In the silence desultory men
Pottering over small fires, cleaning their mess- tins:
To and fro, from the lines,
Men walk as on Piccadilly,
Making paths in the dark,
Through scattered dead horses,
Over a dead Belgian’s belly.
The Germans have rockets. The English have no rockets.
Behind the line, cannon, hidden, lying back miles.
Behind the line, chaos:
My mind is a corridor. The minds about me are corridors.
Nothing suggests itself. There is nothing to do but keep on.
T.E. Hulme poetry
Tussen de Frans-Duitse oorlog in 1870-71 en de Grote Depressie in 1929 kende de maatschappij en parallel de beeldende kunst een ware omwenteling.
In deze evolutie speelden kunstenaars een voortrekkersrol. Hun intellectuele, zintuiglijke en emotionele fijngevoeligheid verzette niet alleen bakens op artistiek vlak. Omdat ze zich vrijer in het dagelijkse leven bewogen, traden ze openlijk sociale codes met de voeten en doorbraken ze maatschappelijke conventies.
MSK Gent: Love Letters in War and Peace
08.11.2014 – 22.02.2015
‘Love Letters in War and Peace’ brengt het bijzondere verhaal van prille, toegewijde, verborgen en verboden liefdes.
Hoogtepunten op de tentoonstelling zijn de liefdesbrieven van de dichter Oscar Wilde aan Alfred Douglas, van Dante Gabriel Rossetti aan Jane Morris (mevrouw William Morris), van Dora Carrington aan Lytton Strachey en van Stanley Spencer aan Hilda Carline.
Musea, bibliotheken en archieven van over de hele wereld maar ook tal van privéverzamelaars stellen hun collecties open. Door hun inbreng reizen topwerken van Hans Arp en Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Hannah Höch, Max Klinger, László Moholy-Nagy, Alfred Stieglitz, Charley Toorop en Félix Vallotton naar Gent.
Museum voor Schone Kunsten
Fernand Scribedreef 1
9000 Gent – België
Do You Remember Once . . .
Do you remember once, in Paris of glad faces,
The night we wandered off under the third moon’s rays
And, leaving far behind bright streets and busy places,
Stood where the Seine flowed down between its quiet quais?
The city’s voice was hushed; the placid, lustrous waters
Mirrored the walls across where orange windows burned.
Out of the starry south provoking rumors brought us
Far promise of the spring already northward turned.
And breast drew near to breast, and round its soft desire
My arm uncertain stole and clung there unrepelled.
I thought that nevermore my heart would hover nigher
To the last flower of bliss that Nature’s garden held.
There, in your beauty’s sweet abandonment to pleasure,
The mute, half-open lips and tender, wondering eyes,
I saw embodied first smile back on me the treasure
Long sought across the seas and back of summer skies.
Dear face, when courted Death shall claim my limbs and find them
Laid in some desert place, alone or where the tides
Of war’s tumultuous waves on the wet sands behind them
Leave rifts of gasping life when their red flood subsides,
Out of the past’s remote delirious abysses
Shine forth once more as then you shone,–beloved head,
Laid back in ecstasy between our blinding kisses,
Transfigured with the bliss of being so coveted.
And my sick arms will part, and though hot fever sear it,
My mouth will curve again with the old, tender flame.
And darkness will come down, still finding in my spirit
The dream of your brief love, and on my lips your name.
You loved me on that moonlit night long since.
You were my queen and I the charming prince
Elected from a world of mortal men.
You loved me once. . . . What pity was it, then,
You loved not Love. . . . Deep in the emerald west,
Like a returning caravel caressed
By breezes that load all the ambient airs
With clinging fragrance of the bales it bears
From harbors where the caravans come down,
I see over the roof-tops of the town
The new moon back again, but shall not see
The joy that once it had in store for me,
Nor know again the voice upon the stair,
The little studio in the candle-glare,
And all that makes in word and touch and glance
The bliss of the first nights of a romance
When will to love and be beloved casts out
The want to question or the will to doubt.
You loved me once. . . . Under the western seas
The pale moon settles and the Pleiades.
The firelight sinks; outside the night-winds moan —
The hour advances, and I sleep alone.
Farewell, dear heart, enough of vain despairing!
If I have erred I plead but one excuse —
The jewel were a lesser joy in wearing
That cost a lesser agony to lose.
I had not bid for beautifuller hours
Had I not found the door so near unsealed,
Nor hoped, had you not filled my arms with flowers,
For that one flower that bloomed too far afield.
If I have wept, it was because, forsaken,
I felt perhaps more poignantly than some
The blank eternity from which we waken
And all the blank eternity to come.
And I betrayed how sweet a thing and tender
(In the regret with which my lip was curled)
Seemed in its tragic, momentary splendor
My transit through the beauty of the world.
Alan Seeger poetry
The Deserted Garden
I know a village in a far-off land
Where from a sunny, mountain-girdled plain
With tinted walls a space on either hand
And fed by many an olive-darkened lane
The high-road mounts, and thence a silver band
Through vineyard slopes above and rolling grain,
Winds off to that dim corner of the skies
Where behind sunset hills a stately city lies.
Here, among trees whose overhanging shade
Strews petals on the little droves below,
Pattering townward in the morning weighed
With greens from many an upland garden-row,
Runs an old wall; long centuries have frayed
Its scalloped edge, and passers to and fro
Heard never from beyond its crumbling height
Sweet laughter ring at noon or plaintive song at night.
But here where little lizards bask and blink
The tendrils of the trumpet-vine have run,
At whose red bells the humming bird to drink
Stops oft before his garden feast is done;
And rose-geraniums, with that tender pink
That cloud-banks borrow from the setting sun,
Have covered part of this old wall, entwined
With fair plumbago, blue as evening heavens behind.
And crowning other parts the wild white rose
Rivals the honey-suckle with the bees.
Above the old abandoned orchard shows
And all within beneath the dense-set trees,
Tall and luxuriant the rank grass grows,
That settled in its wavy depth one sees
Grass melt in leaves, the mossy trunks between,
Down fading avenues of implicated green;
Wherein no lack of flowers the verdurous night
With stars and pearly nebula o’erlay;
Azalea-boughs half rosy and half white
Shine through the green and clustering apple-spray,
Such as the fairy-queen before her knight
Waved in old story, luring him away
Where round lost isles Hesperian billows break
Or towers loom up beneath the clear, translucent lake;
And under the deep grass blue hare-bells hide,
And myrtle plots with dew-fall ever wet,
Gay tiger-lilies flammulate and pied,
Sometime on pathway borders neatly set,
Now blossom through the brake on either side,
Where heliotrope and weedy mignonette,
With vines in bloom and flower-bearing trees,
Mingle their incense all to swell the perfumed breeze,
That sprung like Hermes from his natal cave
In some blue rampart of the curving West,
Comes up the valleys where green cornfields wave,
Ravels the cloud about the mountain crest,
Breathes on the lake till gentle ripples pave
Its placid floor; at length a long-loved guest,
He steals across this plot of pleasant ground,
Waking the vocal leaves to a sweet vernal sound.
Here many a day right gladly have I sped,
Content amid the wavy plumes to lie,
And through the woven branches overhead
Watch the white, ever-wandering clouds go by,
And soaring birds make their dissolving bed
Far in the azure depths of summer sky,
Or nearer that small huntsman of the air,
The fly-catcher, dart nimbly from his leafy lair;
Pillowed at ease to hear the merry tune
Of mating warblers in the boughs above
And shrill cicadas whom the hottest noon
Keeps not from drowsy song; the mourning dove
Pours down the murmuring grove his plaintive croon
That like the voice of visionary love
Oft have I risen to seek through this green maze
(Even as my feet thread now the great world’s garden-ways);
And, parting tangled bushes as I passed
Down beechen alleys beautiful and dim,
Perhaps by some deep-shaded pool at last
My feet would pause, where goldfish poise and swim,
And snowy callas’ velvet cups are massed
Around the mossy, fern-encircled brim.
Here, then, that magic summoning would cease,
Or sound far off again among the orchard trees.
And here where the blanched lilies of the vale
And violets and yellow star-flowers teem,
And pink and purple hyacinths exhale
Their heavy fume, once more to drowse and dream
My head would sink, from many an olden tale
Drawing imagination’s fervid theme,
Or haply peopling this enchanting spot
Only with fair creations of fantastic thought.
For oft I think, in years long since gone by,
That gentle hearts dwelt here and gentle hands
Stored all this bowery bliss to beautify
The paradise of some unsung romance;
Here, safe from all except the loved one’s eye,
‘Tis sweet to think white limbs were wont to glance,
Well pleased to wanton like the flowers and share
Their simple loveliness with the enamored air.
Thrice dear to them whose votive fingers decked
The altars of First Love were these green ways, —
These lawns and verdurous brakes forever flecked
With the warm sunshine of midsummer days;
Oft where the long straight allies intersect
And marble seats surround the open space,
Where a tiled pool and sculptured fountain stand,
Hath Evening found them seated, silent, hand in hand.
When twilight deepened, in the gathering shade
Beneath that old titanic cypress row,
Whose sombre vault and towering colonnade
Dwarfed the enfolded forms that moved below,
Oft with close steps these happy lovers strayed,
Till down its darkening aisle the sunset glow
Grew less and patterning the garden floor
Faint flakes of filtering moonlight mantled more and more.
And the strange tempest that a touch imparts
Through the mid fibre of the molten frame,
When the sweet flesh in early youth asserts
Its heyday verve and little hints enflame,
Disturbed them as they walked; from their full hearts
Welled the soft word, and many a tender name
Strove on their lips as breast to breast they strained
And the deep joy they drank seemed never, never drained.
Love’s soul that is the depth of starry skies
Set in the splendor of one upturned face
To beam adorably through half-closed eyes;
Love’s body where the breadth of summer days
And all the beauty earth and air comprise
Come to the compass of an arm’s embrace,
To burn a moment on impassioned lips
And yield intemperate joy to quivering finger-tips,
They knew; and here where morning-glories cling
Round carven forms of carefullest artifice,
They made a bower where every outward thing
Should comment on the cause of their own bliss;
With flowers of liveliest hue encompassing
That flower that the beloved body is —
That rose that for the banquet of Love’s bee
Has budded all the aeons of past eternity.
But their choice seat was where the garden wall,
Crowning a little summit, far and near,
Looks over tufted treetops onto all
The pleasant outer country; rising here
From rustling foliage where cuckoos call
On summer evenings, stands a belvedere,
Buff-hued, of antique plaster, overrun
With flowering vines and weatherworn by rain and sun.
Still round the turrets of this antique tower
The bougainvillea hangs a crimson crown,
Wistaria-vines and clematis in flower,
Wreathing the lower surface further down,
Hide the old plaster in a very shower
Of motley blossoms like a broidered gown.
Outside, ascending from the garden grove,
A crumbling stairway winds to the one room above.
And whoso mounts by this dismantled stair
Finds the old pleasure-hall, long disarrayed,
Brick-tiled and raftered, and the walls foursquare
Ringed all about with a twofold arcade.
Backward dense branches intercept the glare
Of afternoon with eucalyptus shade;
Eastward the level valley-plains expand,
Sweet as a queen’s survey of her own Fairyland.
For through that frame the ivied arches make,
Wide tracts of sunny midland charm the eye,
Frequent with hamlet, grove, and lucent lake
Where the blue hills’ inverted contours lie;
Far to the east where billowy mountains break
In surf of snow against a sapphire sky,
Huge thunderheads loom up behind the ranges,
Changing from gold to pink as deepening sunset changes;
And over plain and far sierra spread
The fulgent rays of fading afternoon,
Showing each utmost peak and watershed
All clarified, each tassel and festoon
Of floating cloud embroidered overhead,
Like lotus-leaves on bluest waters strewn,
Flushing with rose, while all breathes fresh and free
In peace and amplitude and bland tranquillity.
Dear were such evenings to this gentle pair;
Love’s tide that launched on with a blast too strong
Sweeps toward the foaming reef, the hidden snare,
Baffling with fond illusion’s siren-song,
Too faint, on idle shoals, to linger there
Far from Youth’s glowing dream, bore them along,
With purple sail and steered by seraph hands
To isles resplendent in the sunset of romance.
And out of this old house a flowery fane,
A bridal bower, a pearly pleasure-dome,
They built, and furnished it with gold and grain,
And bade all spirits of beauty hither come,
And winged Love to enter with his train
And bless their pillow, and in this his home
Make them his priests as Hero was of yore
In her sweet girlhood by the blue Dardanian shore.
Tree-ferns, therefore, and potted palms they brought,
Tripods and urns in rare and curious taste,
Polychrome chests and cabinets inwrought
With pearl and ivory etched and interlaced;
Pendant brocades with massive braid were caught,
And chain-slung, oriental lamps so placed
To light the lounger on some low divan,
Sunken in swelling down and silks from Hindustan.
And there was spread, upon the ample floors,
Work of the Levantine’s laborious loom,
Such as by Euxine or Ionian shores
Carpets the dim seraglio’s scented gloom.
Each morn renewed, the garden’s flowery stores
Blushed in fair vases, ochre and peach-bloom,
And little birds through wicker doors left wide
Flew in to trill a space from the green world outside.
And there was many a dainty attitude,
Bronze and eburnean. All but disarrayed,
Here in eternal doubt sweet Psyche stood
Fain of the bath’s delight, yet still afraid
Lest aught in that palatial solitude
Lurked of most menace to a helpless maid.
Therefore forever faltering she stands,
Nor yet the last loose fold slips rippling from her hands.
Close by upon a beryl column, clad
In the fresh flower of adolescent grace,
They set the dear Bithynian shepherd lad,
The nude Antinous. That gentle face,
Forever beautiful, forever sad,
Shows but one aspect, moon-like, to our gaze,
Yet Fancy pictures how those lips could smile
At revelries in Rome, and banquets on the Nile.
And there were shapes of Beauty myriads more,
Clustering their rosy bridal bed around,
Whose scented breadth a silken fabric wore
Broidered with peacock hues on creamiest ground,
Fit to have graced the barge that Cydnus bore
Or Venus’ bed in her enchanted mound,
While pillows swelled in stuffs of Orient dyes,
All broidered with strange fruits and birds of Paradise.
‘Twas such a bower as Youth has visions of,
Thither with one fair spirit to retire,
Lie upon rose-leaves, sleep and wake with Love
And feast on kisses to the heart’s desire;
Where by a casement opening on a grove,
Wide to the wood-winds and the sweet birds’ choir,
A girl might stand and gaze into green boughs,
Like Credhe at the window of her golden house.
Or most like Vivien, the enchanting fay,
Where with her friend, in the strange tower they planned,
She lies and dreams eternity away,
Above the treetops in Broceliande,
Sometimes at twilight when the woods are gray
And wolf-packs howl far out across the lande,
Waking to love, while up behind the trees
The large midsummer moon lifts–even so loved these.
For here, their pleasure was to come and sit
Oft when the sun sloped midway to the west,
Watching with sweet enjoyment interknit
The long light slant across the green earth’s breast,
And clouds upon the ranges opposite,
Rolled up into a gleaming thundercrest,
Topple and break and fall in purple rain,
And mist of summer showers trail out across the plain.
Whereon the shafts of ardent light, far-flung
Across the luminous azure overhead,
Ofttimes in arcs of transient beauty hung
The fragmentary rainbow’s green and red.
Joy it was here to love and to be young,
To watch the sun sink to his western bed,
And streaming back out of their flaming core
The vesperal aurora’s glorious banners soar.
Tinging each altitude of heaven in turn,
Those fiery rays would sweep. The cumuli
That peeped above the mountain-tops would burn
Carmine a space; the cirrus-whorls on high,
More delicate than sprays of maiden fern,
Streak with pale rose the peacock-breasted sky,
Then blanch. As water-lilies fold at night,
Sank back into themselves those plumes of fervid light.
And they would watch the first faint stars appear,
The blue East blend with the blue hills below,
As lovers when their shuddering bliss draws near
Into one pulse of fluid rapture grow.
New fragrance on the freshening atmosphere
Would steal with evening, and the sunset glow
Draw deeper down into the wondrous west
Round vales of Proserpine and islands of the blest.
So dusk would come and mingle lake and shore,
The snow-peaks fade to frosty opaline,
To pearl the domed clouds the mountains bore,
Where late the sun’s effulgent fire had been —
Showing as darkness deepened more and more
The incandescent lightnings flare within,
And Night that furls the lily in the glen
And twines impatient arms would fall, and then–and then . . .
Sometimes the peasant, coming late from town
With empty panniers on his little drove
Past the old lookout when the Northern Crown
Glittered with Cygnus through the scented grove,
Would hear soft noise of lute-strings wafted down
And voices singing through the leaves above
Those songs that well from the warm heart that woos
At balconies in Merida or Vera Cruz.
And he would pause under the garden wall,
Caught in the spell of that voluptuous strain,
With all the sultry South in it, and all
Its importunity of love and pain;
And he would wait till the last passionate fall
Died on the night, and all was still again, —
Then to his upland village wander home,
Marvelling whence that flood of elfin song might come.
O lyre that Love’s white holy hands caress,
Youth, from thy bosom welled their passionate lays —
Sweet opportunity for happiness
So brief, so passing beautiful–O days,
When to the heart’s divine indulgences
All earth in smiling ministration pays —
Thine was the source whose plenitude, past over,
What prize shall rest to pluck, what secret to discover!
The wake of color that follows her when May
Walks on the hills loose-haired and daisy-crowned,
The deep horizons of a summer’s day,
Fair cities, and the pleasures that abound
Where music calls, and crowds in bright array
Gather by night to find and to be found;
What were these worth or all delightful things
Without thine eyes to read their true interpretings!
For thee the mountains open glorious gates,
To thee white arms put out from orient skies,
Earth, like a jewelled bride for one she waits,
Decks but to be delicious in thine eyes,
Thou guest of honor for one day, whose fetes
Eternity has travailed to devise;
Ah, grace them well in the brief hour they last!
Another’s turn prepares, another follows fast.
Yet not without one fond memorial
Let my sun set who found the world so fair!
Frail verse, when Time the singer’s coronal
Has rent, and stripped the rose-leaves from his hair,
Be thou my tablet on the temple wall!
Among the pious testimonials there,
Witness how sweetly on my heart as well
The miracles of dawn and starry evening fell!
Speak of one then who had the lust to feel,
And, from the hues that far horizons take,
And cloud and sunset, drank the wild appeal,
Too deep to live for aught but life’s sweet sake,
Whose only motive was the will to kneel
Where Beauty’s purest benediction spake,
Who only coveted what grove and field
And sunshine and green Earth and tender arms could yield —
A nympholept, through pleasant days and drear
Seeking his faultless adolescent dream,
A pilgrim down the paths that disappear
In mist and rainbows on the world’s extreme,
A helpless voyager who all too near
The mouth of Life’s fair flower-bordered stream,
Clutched at Love’s single respite in his need
More than the drowning swimmer clutches at a reed —
That coming one whose feet in other days
Shall bleed like mine for ever having, more
Than any purpose, felt the need to praise
And seek the angelic image to adore,
In love with Love, its wonderful, sweet ways
Counting what most makes life worth living for,
That so some relic may be his to see
How I loved these things too and they were dear to me.
I sometimes think a conscious happiness
Mantles through all the rose’s sentient vine
When summer winds with myriad calyces
Of bloom its clambering height incarnadine;
I sometimes think that cleaving lips, no less,
And limbs that crowned desires at length entwine
Are nerves through which that being drinks delight,
Whose frame is the green Earth robed round with day and night.
And such were theirs: the traveller without,
Pausing at night under the orchard trees,
Wondered and crossed himself in holy doubt,
For through their song and in the murmuring breeze
It seemed angelic choirs were all about
Mingling in universal harmonies,
As though, responsive to the chords they woke,
All Nature into sweet epithalamium broke.
And still they think a spirit haunts the place:
‘Tis said, when Night has drawn her jewelled pall
And through the branches twinkling fireflies trace
Their mimic constellations, if it fall
That one should see the moon rise through the lace
Of blossomy boughs above the garden wall,
That surely would he take great ill thereof
And famish in a fit of unexpressive love.
But this I know not, for what time the wain
Was loosened and the lily’s petal furled,
Then I would rise, climb the old wall again,
And pausing look forth on the sundown world,
Scan the wide reaches of the wondrous plain,
The hamlet sites where settling smoke lay curled,
The poplar-bordered roads, and far away
Fair snowpeaks colored with the sun’s last ray.
Waves of faint sound would pulsate from afar —
Faint song and preludes of the summer night;
Deep in the cloudless west the evening star
Hung ‘twixt the orange and the emerald light;
From the dark vale where shades crepuscular
Dimmed the old grove-girt belfry glimmering white,
Throbbing, as gentlest breezes rose or fell,
Came the sweet invocation of the evening bell.
Alan Seeger poetry
Hans Hermans photos:
Westerbork Concentration Camp
May 4, 2010
kempis poetry magazine
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