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· Georg Trakl: Grodek (Gedicht) · The Selected Poems of Clive Branson · Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: The Dead Soldier · Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: The Prisoner · Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: Sick I am and sorrowful · Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: Loud Shout The Flaming Tongues of war · Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: Sixteen Dead Men · Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: Ourselves Alone · Love In A Mist by Jessie Pope · Captive Conquerors by Jessie Pope · Ukrainian Studies: “Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine” · Coo-Ee by Jessie Pope

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Georg Trakl: Grodek (Gedicht)


Am Abend tönen die herbstlichen Wälder
von tödlichen Waffen, die goldnen Ebenen
und blauen Seen, darüber die Sonne
düstrer hinrollt; umfängt die Nacht
sterbende Krieger, die wilde Klage
ihrer zerbrochenen Münder.
Doch stille sammelt im Weidengrund
rotes Gewölk, darin ein zürnender Gott wohnt
das vergoßne Blut sich, mondne Kühle;
alle Straßen münden in schwarze Verwesung.
Unter goldenem Gezweig der Nacht und Sternen
es schwankt der Schwester Schatten durch den schweigenden Hain,
zu grüßen die Geister der Helden, die blutenden Häupter;
und leise tönen im Rohr die dunkeln Flöten des Herbstes.
O stolzere Trauer! ihr ehernen Altäre
die heiße Flamme des Geistes nährt heute ein gewaltiger Schmerz,
die ungebornen Enkel.

Georg Trakl
(1887 – 1914)

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The Selected Poems of Clive Branson

Clive Branson (1907–1944) was born in Ahmednagar, India, the son of a major in the Indian army.

He studied at the Slade School of Art and exhibited at the Royal Academy when he was just 23. Five of his paintings are today in the Tate. His daughter is the painter Rosa Branson.

In 1932 Branson joined the Communist Party. He taught for the National Council of Labour Colleges, spoke at weekly open-air meetings on Clapham Common and with his wife Noreen managed a Party bookshop. He took a leading role in driving Mosley’s British Union of Fascists out of Battersea, was responsible for the formation of a local Aid Spain Committee and fought with the International Brigades in Spain.

Taken prisoner at Calaceite, he spent eight months in Franco’s prison camps. After he was repatriated, Branson toured Britain raising money and support for the Spanish Republic. During the Blitz he painted Battersea street-scenes for the Artists International Association. Conscripted in 1941, he served as a tank commander in the Royal Armoured Corps. He was killed in action in Burma, aged just 36.

The Selected Poems of Clive Branson brings together, for the first time, the best of his surviving poetry. Passionate and committed, it’s a first-hand account of the most violent years of the twentieth-century – Britain in the Slump, Spain during the civil-war, Fascist prisons, the London Blitz, the cultural shock of India and its poverty, the war against Japan – recorded with a painterly eye and a communist faith in the power of the people.

Richard Knott (Editor) is a writer and poet. He has written extensively on aspects of modern history, including the experience of war artists (The Sketchbook War); war correspondents (The Trio); and most recently the surveillance of writers and artists by the Security Services over three decades: (The Secret War Against the Arts). He has also published two collections of poetry.


On Being Questioned After Capture: Alcaniz

I stood before my questioner who asked
‘Why leave home?
Why have you come?
Why?’ He must have guessed
‘Because he is a Communist.’

I thought of all the answers I could give
whether death is correct or whether to save
life for a rainy day
and told a lie to cheat his bullet with a word
to use a bullet afterward

On him the bigger lie – a conscript
‘volunteer’ to rape Spain where she slept
to save his own skin
he had come when he sought ‘The Leader’ on his hands and
To crush a thousand years in half an hour
To make Guernica
a wilderness.

I could wait and so could lie
for adjournment to another court
meanwhile to live on my bended knee
to make occasion for another start.
I could imitate the victor, cringe
till I and the world beyond
take our revenge.

Clive Branson


Selected Poems of Clive Branson
Edited by Richard Knott
Release date: 01 May, 2023
Publisher: ‎Smokestack Books
Language: ‎English
122 pages
Price: £8.99

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Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: The Dead Soldier


The Dead Soldier
(In memory of Thomas Ashe)

Where the sword has opened the way the man will follow

“Look! they came, the triumphant army!
Over yon hill see their weapons peeping!”
Still I spoke not but my wheel sent turning,
I closed my eyes for my heart was weeping,
My heart was weeping for a dead soldier.

Who is he who looks towards me ?
“’Tis no man but a gay flag flying,”
Red was his mouth and his white brow thoughtful,
Blue his eyes — how my soul is crying,
My soul is crying for a dead soldier.

“Kneel ye down, lest your eyes should dare them,
Kneel ye down and your beads be saying.”
“Lord, on their heads Thy wrath deliver,”
This is the prayer that my lips are praying,
My heart is praying for a dead soldier.

“Best cheer the path of the men victorious,
For he is dead and his blade lies broken,
His march is far where no aid can follow,
And for his people he left no token,
He left no token, the dead soldier.”

The way of the sword a man can follow,
See the young child with his gold hair gleaming.
When falls the oak must the acorn perish?
He lifts the blade and his eyes are dreaming,
He dreams the dream of the dead soldier.


Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter
(1866 – 1918)
The Dead Soldier
(In memory of Thomas Ashe)

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Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: The Prisoner

The Prisoner

All day I lie beneath the great pine tree,
Whose perfumed branches wave and shadow me.
I hear the groaning of its straining heart
As in the breeze its thin leaves meet and part
Like frantic fingers loosened and entwined;
I hear it whisper to the sighing wind,
“What of the mountain peaks, where I was born?”
As sharp tears drop I feel its falling thorn.

I see in the far clouds the wild geese fly,
Homeward once more, free, in the storm-swept sky.
Back to the land they loved, all, all, have gone,
How swift the flight by joy and hope led on.
“What of the mountain land where I was born?”
I cry, they pass, glad in the dawning morn,
Home to the moon-pale lake, the heath-clad hill,
And give no thought for one imprisoned still

All day I lie beneath the sad pine tree,
Whose groaning branches wave and shadow me,
Chained to the earth, the dark clay of the grave,
In helpless fashion feel its wild heart rave.
“Free, set free,” I hear its moaning breath,
Where liberty means naught, alas, but death
Ah, freedom is but death.

Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter
(1866 – 1918)
The Prisoner

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Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: Sick I am and sorrowful


Sick I am and sorrowful

Sick I am and sorrowful, how can I be well again
Here, where fog and darkness are, and big guns boom all day,
Practising for evil sport? If you speak humanity,
Hatred comes into each face, and so you cease to pray.

How I dread the sound of guns, hate the bark of musketry,
Since the friends I loved are dead, all stricken by the sword.
Full of anger is my heart, full of rage and misery;
How can I grow well again, or be my peace restored?

If I were in Glenmalure, or in Enniskerry now,
Hearing of the coming spring in the pinetree’s song;

If I woke on Arran Strand, dreamt me on the cliffs of Moher,
Could I not grow gay again, should I not be strong?

If I stood with eager heart on the heights of Carrantuohill,
Beaten by the four great winds into hope and joy again,
Far above the cannons’ roar or the scream of musketry,
If I heard the four great seas, what were weariness or pain?

Were I in a little town, Ballybunion, Ballybrack,
Laughing with the children there, I would sing and dance once more,
Heard again the storm clouds roll hanging over Lugnaquilla,
Built dream castles from the sands of Killiney’s golden shore.

If I saw the wild geese fly over the dark lakes of Kerry
Or could hear the secret winds, I could kneel and pray.

But ’tis sick I am and grieving, how can I be well again
Here, where fear and sorrow are—my heart so far away?

Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter
(1866 – 1918)
Sick I am and sorrowful

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Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: Loud Shout The Flaming Tongues of war


Loud Shout
The Flaming Tongues of war

Ta’n Sionac Ar Sraidib Ag Faire Go Caocrac
Air—“The West’s Asleep.”

Loud shout the flaming tongues of war.
The cannon’s thunder rolls afar
While Empires tremble for their fall.
Thou art alone amongst them all.
Where is the friend who for thy sake
Will on his sword thy freedom take?
The son who holds thy right alone
Above an Empire or a throne?

Ah, Grannia Wael, thy stricken head
Is bowed in sorrow o’er thy dead,
Thy dead who died for love of thee,
Not for some foreign liberty.
Shall we betray when hope is near,
Our Motherland whom we hold dear,

To go to fight on foreign strand,
For foreign rights and foreign land?

The Lion’s fangs have sought to kill
A Nation’s soul, a Nation’s will;
From tooth and claw thy wounded breast
Has held them safe, has held them blest.
About thy head great eagles are,
They fly with scream and storm of war,
Their shadows fall, we do not know
If they be friend,—if they be foe.

For Lion’s roar we have no fears,
We fought him down the restless years.
We watch the Eagles in the sky,
Lest they should land—or pass us by.
But, yet beware! the Lion goes
To strike our friends—to charm our foes.
By hamlet small, by hill and dale
The creeping foe is on our trail;

His face is kind, his voice is bland,
He prates of faith and fatherland;
Shall we go forth to die and die
For Belgium’s tear, and Serbia’s sigh?
Oh, Volunteers, through field and town

He seeks his prey, he tracks thee down
His voice is soft, his words are fair,
It is the creeping foe, Beware!

Ah, Grannia Wael, in blood and tears
We fought thy battles through the years,
That thou shouldst live we’re glad to die
In prison cell or gallows high.
Oh, cursed be he ! who to our shame
Drives forth thy manhood in thy name,

Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter
(1866 – 1918)
Loud Shout The Flaming Tongues of war

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Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: Sixteen Dead Men


Sixteen Dead Men

Hark! in the still night. Who goes there?
⁠“Fifteen dead men” Why do they wait?
“Hasten, comrade, death is so fair.”
⁠Now comes their Captain through the dim gate.

Sixteen dead men! What on their sword?
⁠“A nation’s honour proud do they bear.”
What on their bent heads? “God’s holy word;
⁠All of their nation’s heart blended in prayer.”

Sixteen dead men! What makes their shroud?
⁠“All of their nation’s love wraps them around.”
Where do their bodies lie, brave and so proud?
⁠“Under the gallows-tree in prison ground.”

Sixteen dead men! Where do they go?
⁠“To join their regiment, where Sarsfield leads;
Wolfe Tone and Emmet, too, well do they know.
⁠There shall they bivouac, telling great deeds.”

Sixteen dead men! Shall they return?
⁠“Yea, they shall come again, breath of our breath.
They on our nation’s hearth made old fires burn.
⁠Guard her unconquered soul, strong in their death.”

Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter
(1866 – 1918)
Sixteen Dead Men
From The Tricolour: Poems of the Irish Revolution (1922)

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Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: Ourselves Alone


Ourselves Alone*

One morning, when dreaming in deep meditation,
I met a sweet colleen a-making her moan.
With sighing and sobbing she cried and lamented;
“Oh, where is my lost one, and where has he flown?

“My house it is small, and my field is but little,
Yet round flew my wheel as I sat in the sun,
He crossed the deep sea and went forth for my battle:
Oh, has he proved faithless—the fight is not won?”

And then I said: “Kathleen, ah! do you remember
When you were a queen, and your castles were strong,

You cried for the love of a cold-hearted stranger,
And in your fair island you planted the wrong?

“And oh,” I cried, “Kathleen, I once heard you weeping
And sighing and sobbing and making your moan.
You sang of a lost one, a dear one, a false one—
‘Oh, gone is my blackbird, and where has he flown?’

“Ah! many came forth to the sound of your crying,
And fought down the years for the freedom you pined.
How many lie still, in their cold exile sleeping,
Who sought in far lands your lost blackbird to find?

“And many are caught in the net of the stranger,
And all but forgotten the sound of your name,

For other loves call them to help and to save them:
They fell to dishonour—we hold them in shame.

“Oh, why drive me forth from your hearth into exile
And into far dangers? Your house is my own.
Faithful I serve, as I ever did serve you,
Standing together, ourselves—and alone.”

*Sinn Fein Amhain

Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter
(1866 – 1918)
Ourselves Alone

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Love In A Mist by Jessie Pope

Love In A Mist

Beneath an Ilfracombe machine,
While thunderstorms were raging,
Strephon and Chloe found the scene
Exceedingly engaging;
Though Mother Earth reproached the skies
With flinging pailfuls at her,
When Strephon looked in Chloe’s eyes
The weather didn’t matter.

When ‘Arry up on ‘Ampstead ‘Eath
Performed a double shuffle,
The rain above, the mud beneath,
His spirits failed to ruffle;
For ‘Arriet was by his side
In maddened mazes whirling
And little cared his promised bride
To see her plumes uncurling.

For one resplendent Summer morn
Young Edwin fondly waited,
Till Angelina grew forlorn
And quite emaciated.
When Hampton Court was like a sponge,
With mists their way beguiling,
He seized her hand and took the plunge,
And came up wet and smiling.

Jessie Pope
(1868 – 1941)
Love In A Mist
From: War Poems

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Captive Conquerors by Jessie Pope


Captive Conquerors

OH! Stuttgart Frauleins, and capacious Fraus,
What shocking news is this that filters through?
Have you been fostering domestic rows
By casting, naughtily, glad eyes of blue
At poor old Tommy in his prison-house?
Tut! tut! This is a pretty how-d’ye do!

Anna and Gretchen, where’s your strength of mind?
Think of that khaki crowd whose force of arms
Bustles your goose-step legions from behind ;
These very captives should inspire alarms.
You are indeed disloyal and unkind .

To fall a prey to their dishevelled charms.
The gods have come among you, I admit,
To make your jealous Herren fume and fuss.
Unkempt, unshaven, rather short of kit,
The prisoners attract you even thus.
But, Fraus and Frauleins, what’s the use of it?
Their hearts, please understand, belong to us !

Jessie Pope
(1868 – 1941)
Captive Conquerors
From: War Poems

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Ukrainian Studies: “Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine”

The armed conflict in the east of Ukraine in 2017 brought about an emergence of a distinctive trend in contemporary Ukrainian poetry: the poetry of war.

Directly and indirectly, the poems collected in this volume engage with the events and experiences of war, reflecting on the themes of alienation, loss, dislocation, and disability; as well as justice, heroism, courage, resilience, generosity, and forgiveness.

In addressing these themes, the poems also raise questions about art, politics, citizenship, and moral responsibility. The anthology brings together some of the most compelling poetic voices from different regions of Ukraine. Young and old, female and male, somber and ironic, tragic and playful, filled with extraordinary terror and ordinary human delights, the voices recreate the human sounds of war in its tragic complexity.

Oksana Maksymchuk is an author of two award-winning books of poetry in the Ukrainian language, and a recipient of Richmond Lattimore and Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender translation prizes. She works on problems of cognition and motivation in Plato’s moral psychology. Maksymchuk teaches philosophy at the University of Arkansas.

Max Rosochinsky is a poet and translator from Simferopol, Crimea. His poems had been nominated for the PEN International New Voices Award in 2015. With Maksymchuk, he won first place in the 2014 Brodsky-Spender competition. His academic work focuses on twentieth century Russian poetry, especially Osip Mandelshtam and Marina Tsvetaeva.

Published by Academic Studies Press (Boston, MA) and Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (Cambridge, MA), Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine is available in hardback, paperback, and digital ebook formats.

New Poems from Ukraine by:
Anastasia Afanasieva
Vasyl Holoborodko
Borys Humenyuk
Yuri Izdryk
Aleksandr Kabanov
Kateryna Kalytko
Lyudmyla Khersonska
Boris Khersonsky
Marianna Kiyanovska
Halyna Kruk
Oksana Lutsyshyna
Vasyl Makhno
Marjana Savka
Ostap Slyvynsky
Lyuba Yakimchuk
Serhiy Zhadan

# new poetry
Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine
Edited by Oksana Maksymchuk & Max Rosochinsky
with an introduction by Ilya Kaminsky and an afterword by Polina Barskova
Publisher: Academic Studies Press
Series: Ukrainian Studies
Pages: 242 pp.
16 illus. (color)
Publication Date: December 2017
ISBN: 9781618116666 (cloth) 32,99 euro
ISBN: 9781618118615 (paper) 24,99 euro

More information:
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Coo-Ee by Jessie Pope



“Down under” boys on furlough are in town
Discharged from hospital, repaired and braced,
Their faces still retain, their native brown,
Their millinery captivates our taste.

They’ve proved themselves a terror to the Turk,
Of cut and thrust they bear full many a token,
But though they’ve been through grim, heartbreaking work,
The Anzac spirit never can be broken.

Their talk is picturesque, their manner frank,
A little hasty, what they think— they say—
They’ve got a down on arrogance and swank,
Passive submission doesn’t come their way.

Risk and adventure are their fondest joys,
If there’s a fight around, well, they’ll be in it—
To tell the truth, they really are “some” boys—
You get quite friendly with them in a minute.

Quite friendly, yes, no harm in being friends,
They must not find their furlough dull and tame,
But, girls, see to it there the matter ends,
And show thatLondongirls can play the game,

While of good comradeship you take your fill
Don’t use your power to make their hearts your plunder,
But let them pause, and hear when nights are still
The other girl who coo-ees from “down under.”

Jessie Pope
(1868 – 1941)
From: War Poems

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