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Work Elegy Poems | Elegy Poems About Work

These Work Elegy poems are examples of Elegy poems about Work. These are the best examples of Work Elegy poems written by international PoetrySoup poets

Details | Elegy |

Elegy For Delphina

We come again to the stall at the gate
We come to the memory of empire
Where Delphine sat, the humble queen in state
And fed her family from one desire
That they should noble live, and work and dream
And love … and the gate was her throne supreme

But roll back now the tears of dusty days
When the sweet scent of sugar like anthem rise
From the sweat of workers, and see amaze
Miss Delphina with God’s fire in her eyes
This woman at Caymanas toiling pass
The sun’s hot noon, noble and full of class

See her, a mother, a warrior queen
Whipped by circumstance without surrender
Did anyone call her timid, call her mean?
Who could not find a place then to shelter?
Who did not taste her kindness? Higglers too
Serve for love, O mother, we honor you

From the coal black of days you supplied us
And your children five want not, O, nor need
But your hard work and love so inspired us
We rise in common hope so to succeed
With dignity, but not proud, a true friend
Rarely found in the common walks of men.

Caste nor class can cast decree, nor limit
Our aptitude to rise. Belief has wings
Death cannot break, faith flies in the spirit
And through slant of rain its brimmed vision sings
Delphina, Delphina, we miss you though
The door is so silent through which you go

No more the produce truck will hear her voice
Nor weary hands dry a child’s hungry tears
O death be humble, dare you now rejoice
She sleeps till Jesus shall  for his kingdom appears
And we will hear great heaven’s trumpet blow
And with you mother we will rise and go


Details | Elegy |

Stop writing Literature, You garrulous Indian

 for Eric Mottram (1924 - 1995)*

 a life of toil for the man in the centre
 a hub in the peripheral tireless wheel
 
   where he go then where he go this working man
   he go on waking people   working at waking man
  
no words cling now no words meant in blame
the tongue  he lash the words  they now tame
 
no shock of blast open laughter rock the hall
everyman there say    there sure were a man
 
a man  no fear cowed    in communion to other
made for no gods   made for no demons either
 
all men he know best when he see just once
no second thought resurrect the man if bad
 
so go tell the magi   no trek in sight in sky
here a man be born  here he so sure die
 
other no like see one so bright stand up high
other no like feel like sky fall low into ocean
 
what make ‘m i say with feeling so just
is sure he different  he force hisself work
 
work work work   work an’ again work
he work nite an’ nite so 50-hour in day
 
   where he go then where he go this working man
   he go on waking people   working at waking man
 
where you go from word born here now
turn and twist   all whoring the alphabet
 
‘don’t write anything you can get published’
so publish only what you can’t call your own
 
writing like reading’s a public coital act
so showing your work is exhibitionism
 
‘why don’t you send your stuff around
keeping it to yourself’s sheer masturbation’
 
reading-watching-listening’s just voyeurism
so sending wares around is prostitutionism
 
    where he go then where he go this working man
    he go on waking people  working at waking man
 
he it was in minesweeper capture aurora borealis
message from extrasensory enter into he word
 
in Bengal waters alone he hear No-man cry
only in deepdown psyche water drip drip dry
 
then on land he no see reason to the fight
so he let he wrists spill he guts to the fill
 
then he take the world on all by he torn self
he spare no skin in dug-Malayan-jungle-out
 
what he do  what he think he do   he no tell
everybody meet man an’ no see albatross hang
 
he no tell story like ol’ mariner in dream
he go wake people from dumb dead trance
 
many many people high up no like this act
some call him stuckup other just ‘im damn
 
is all he do then     what kind of working this
is big work man ‘cause most body dead sleep
 
    where he go then where he go this working man
    he go on waking people  working at waking man
 

* The late Eric N. W. Mottram, made Chair Professor of English and American Literature at King's College, University of London, in 1983, was appointed Lecturer
in American Literature - the first such appointment - in the University of London. By then he had already taught English literature in Zurich, Singapore, and Groningen. He obtained a Double First in English Tripos at Cambridge University after serving out the Second World War (in the North Sea and the Bay of Bengal) on a mine-sweeper. He edited 22 issues of the Poetry Review in the seventies, the organ of the Poetry Society in England. He published some 35 books of poems and some fifteen books of criticism and was the recepient of the American Learned Society's Award for 1965. He also taught at Northwestern University and in New York University at Buffalo. In 1994-1995, he was recommended for the Nobel Prize in Literature, but he passed away on January 16, 1995 while a E-meritus Professor at London University. 


 © T. Wignesan 13-15 October 1995. Pub. in "Radical Poetics (Inventory of Possibilities)", London, 1997.