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Orwell, George

· George Orwell: On a Ruined Farm near the His Master’s Voice Gramophone Factory · George Orwell: A dressed man and a naked man · George Orwell: Ironic Poem about Prostitution · MATHIAS JANSSON: 1984 BY ORWELL · George Orwell: The Lesser Evil

George Orwell: On a Ruined Farm near the His Master’s Voice Gramophone Factory

 

On a Ruined Farm near
the His Master’s Voice
Gramophone Factory

As I stand at the lichened gate
With warring worlds on either hand –
To left the black and budless trees,
The empty sties, the barns that stand

Like tumbling skeletons – and to right
The factory-towers, white and clear
Like distant, glittering cities seen
From a ship’s rail – as I stand here,

I feel, and with a sharper pang,
My mortal sickness; how I give
My heart to weak and stuffless ghosts,
And with the living cannot live.

The acid smoke has soured the fields,
And browned the few and windworn flowers;
But there, where steel and concrete soar
In dizzy, geometric towers –

There, where the tapering cranes sweep round,
And great wheels turn, and trains roar by
Like strong, low-headed brutes of steel –
There is my world, my home; yet why

So alien still? For I can neither
Dwell in that world, nor turn again
To scythe and spade, but only loiter
Among the trees the smoke has slain.

Yet when the trees were young, men still
Could choose their path – the winged soul,
Not cursed with double doubts, could fly,
Arrow-like to a foreseen goal;

And they who planned those soaring towers,
They too have set their spirit free;
To them their glittering world can bring
Faith, and accepted destiny;

But none to me as I stand here
Between two countries, both-ways torn,
And moveless still, like Buridan’s donkey
Between the water and the corn.

George Orwell
(1903 – 1950)
The Adelphi Magazine, April 1934.

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive O-P, Archive O-P, George Orwell, Orwell, George


George Orwell: A dressed man and a naked man

 

A dressed man
and a naked man

A dressed man and a naked man
Stood by the kip-house fire,
Watching the sooty cooking-pots
That bubble on the wire;

And bidding tanners up and down,
Bargaining for a deal,
Naked skin for empty skin,
Clothes against a meal.

‘Ten bob it is,’ the dressed man said,
‘These boots cost near a pound,
This coat’s a blanket of itself.
When you kip on the frosty ground.’

‘One dollar,’ said the naked man,
‘And that’s a hog too dear;
I’ve seen a man strip off his shirt
For a fag and a pot of beer.’

‘Eight and a tanner,’ the dressed man said,
‘And my life-work is yours,
All I’ve earned at the end of a life
Knocking at farmers’ doors;

Turnips, apples, hops and peas,
And the spike when times are slack,
Fifty years I’ve tobied it
For these clothes upon my back.’

‘Take seven,’ said the naked man,
‘It’s cold and the spikes are shut;
Better be naked here in kip
Than dressed in Lambeth Cut.’

‘One tanner more,’ the dressed man said,
‘One tanner says the word,
Off comes my coat of ratcatcher
And my breeches of velvet cord;

Now pull my shirt over my head,
I’m naked sole to crown,
And that’s the end of fifty years
Tobying up and down.’

A minute and they had changed about,
And each had his desire;
A dressed man and a naked man
Stood by the kip-house fire.

George Orwell
(1903 – 1950)
The Adelphi Magazine. October 1933

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive O-P, Archive O-P, George Orwell, Orwell, George


George Orwell: Ironic Poem about Prostitution

 

Ironic Poem
about Prostitution

When I was young and had no sense
In far-off Mandalay
I lost my heart to a Burmese girl
As lovely as the day.

Her skin was gold, her hair was jet,
Her teeth were ivory;
I said, “for twenty silver pieces,
Maiden, sleep with me”.

She looked at me, so pure, so sad,
The loveliest thing alive,
And in her lisping, virgin voice,
Stood out for twenty-five.

George Orwell
(1903 – 1950)

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive O-P, Archive O-P, George Orwell, Orwell, George


MATHIAS JANSSON: 1984 BY ORWELL

1984ORWELL23

Mathias Jansson ©: From the series Impossible Literature Universe: 1984 by Orwell.

Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and poet. He has contributed to visual poetry to magazines as Lex-ICON, Anatematiskpress, Quarter After #4 and Maintenant 8: A Journal of Contemporary Dada. He also published a chapbook with visual poetry and contributed with erasure poetry to anthologies from Silver Birch Press.

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More in: Jansson, Mathias, Mathias Jansson, Mathias Jansson, Orwell, George


George Orwell: The Lesser Evil

George Orwell

(1903-1950)

 

The Lesser Evil

Empty as death and slow as pain
The days went by on leaden feet;
And parson’s week had come again
As I walked down the little street.

Without, the weary doves were calling,
The sun burned on the banks of mud;
Within, old maids were caterwauling
A dismal tale of thorns and blood.

I thought of all the church bells ringing
In towns that Christian folks were in;
I heard the godly maidens singing;
I turned into the house of sin.

The house of sin was dark and mean,
With dying flowers round the door;
They spat their betel juice between
The rotten bamboos of the floor.

Why did I come, the woman cried,
so seldom to her beds of ease?
When I was not, her spirit died,
And would I give her ten rupees.

The weeks went by, and many a day
That black-haired woman did implore
Me as I hurried on my way
To come more often than before.

The days went by like dead leaves falling
And parson’s week came round again.
Once more devout old maids were bawling
Their ugly rhymes of death and pain.

The woman waited for me there
As down the little street I trod;
And musing upon her oily hair,
I turned into the house of God.

 

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More in: Archive O-P, Archive O-P, George Orwell, Orwell, George


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