Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Sun Rising (John Donne)

The Sun Rising

Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late schoolboys, and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices,
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

Thy beams, so reverend and strong
Why shouldst thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long:
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and tomorrow late, tell me
Whether both the'Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear: "All here in one bed lay."

She'is all states, and all princes I,
Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compar'd to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, sun, art half as happy'as we,
In that the world's contracted thus;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls, thy sphere.

- John Donne

Photo is a San Francisco morning from Andrew Sullivan's series "The View from Your Window." Can't figure out how to make line indents show up in Blogger, hence the odd formatting of this poem.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Feast in Candlelight (Fadhil Al-Azzawi)

Feast in Candlelight

Here is the twentieth century
in its long, dim hall
with murderers and conjurers
sitting at its table
in the flickering candlelight
of their victory,
waiting for their meal.
The waiters come out
one by one
from their hidden corners,
balancing dishes of darkness
on their heads
to serve their guests.

They will all drink from the same bottle
and watch the evening fall among the trees.
Parades of drunken soldiers
wave their bloody flags
and march down the street.

Through the window
the moon will soon shine.

When they finish their feast,

we will sit at that same table
and drink the same wine

- Fadhil Al-Azzawi