Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Just Poems

Poems



THE BREAD OF THE PEOPLE (Bertolt Brecht)

Justice is the bread of the people
Sometimes is plentiful, sometimes it is scarce
Sometimes it tastes good, sometimes it tastes bad.
When the bread is scarce, there is hunger.
When the bread is bad, there is discontent.
Throw away the bad justice
Baked without love, kneaded without knowledge!
Justice without flavour, with a grey crust
The stale justice which comes too late!
If the bread is good and plentiful
The rest of the meal can be excused.
One cannot have plenty of everything all at once.
Nourished by the bread of justice
The work can be achieved
From which plenty comes.
As daily bread is necessary
So is daily justice.
It is even necessary several times a day.
From morning till night, at work, enjoying oneself.
At work which is an enjoyment.
In hard times and in happy times
The people requires the plentiful, wholesome
Daily bread of justice.
Since the bread of justice, then, is so important
Who, friends, shall bake it?
Who bakes the other bread?
Like the other bread
The bread of justice must be baked
By the people.
Plentiful, wholesome, daily.
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How to Tame a New Pair of Chappals
(A Poem by Gopal Honnalgere)

don't leave them together
don't allow them to talk to each other
they may form a trade union
don't at anytime leave them near
a wall clock, law books, a calendar, the national flag,
gandhi's portrait, or a newspaper
they may hear about
independence, satyagraha,
hodidays, working hours, minimum wages, corruption
don't take them to your temple
they may at once know you are weak
your god is false and they may bite you
don't let them near your dining table
they may ask for food
or cast their evil eyes on your dinner
first use them only for short walks
then gradually increase the distance
they should never know the amount of work they have to do
pull their tight straps loose
let them feel happiness
they are growing bigger
smear some old oil on the rough straps
let them feel they are anointed
now they are good subdued labourers
ready to work overtime
for your fat feet
[Honnalgere (1942-2003) published at least six books. They include Zen Tree and the Wild Innocents (1973), Gesture of Fleshless SOund (1975), Wad of Poems (1975), The Filth (1980), and Internodes (1986). Now mostly forgotten, he was an enigmatic figure who corresponded with some of the majot poets of the time. (from 60 Indian Poets, ed. Jeet Thayil, 2008)]
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One-eyed (A Poem by Meena Kandasamy)

the pot sees just another noisy child
the glass sees an eager and clumsy hand
the water sees a parched throat slaking thirst
but the teacher sees a girl breaking the rule
the doctors sees a medical emergency
the school sees a potential embarrassment
the press sees a headline and a photofeature
dhanam sees a world torn in half.
her left eye, lid open but light slapped away,
the price for a taste of that touchable water.
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The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,the first syllable already belongs to the past.
When I pronounce the word Silence,I destroy it.
When I pronounce the word Nothing,I make something no non-being can hold.
By Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh


Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

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I ’M nobody! Who are you

By Emily Dickinson 


I ’M nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.
  
How dreary to be somebody!        
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

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 Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow

A big tear wandering in the eye
Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?
Who will wash your bloody walls?
Who will safeguard the Bible?
Who will rescue the Quran?
Who will save Christ, From those who have killed Christ?
Who will save man?
(Nizar Qabbani: “Jerusalem! My Love,My Town:)