Long Paris Poems. These are the most popular long Paris by PoetrySoup Members. You can search for long Paris poems by poem length and keyword.
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O P S
R - M A D - N
from its fetters
no power without the people
does power arise from any other source
than through the intent to control confine confiscate con conk conjure
computerize contort compel complicate concoct compress concuss conflict
confute condemn corrupt collar convict collectivize confound
concenter communalize collogue collude collonize commandeer
compartmentalize castrate calumniate crucify combinate cutdown curtail
curryfavour curb cully cuff cuckold crush crunch cross-question curveball
conform confuse criticize croak criminate crash cramp cram crackdown
countermine counterfeit counterattack corrode convert contrive
contaminate constrain consecrate
power is a venomous snake
that sheds its skin
but not its venom
free power from its sting
free power from belief
from don’t-not-look-at-me aloofness
from megalomanic mindlessness
from i’m-right-Jack exclusiveness
from self-opining holiness
from airy-fairy grandiloquence
from haughty vengefulness
from scary authoritarianism
from the love of command
from sexually dominating abusiveness
from un-empathic tightfistedness
from back-scratching dastardliness
from building castles in the air-ness
from masonic clubbiness
from musty brotherhood-ness
from stealing and selling-ness
from never-enough greediness
from carion-loving usury
from thoughtless puttingdown-ness
from self-aggrandizing acquisitiveness
from the love of pomposity
from the seclusive-ness of honours
from fawning and flattery
from foggy non-visibility
from armoured parades
© T. Wignesan, Fresnes-Paris, May 14-17, 1997. From the collection : « Poems Omega Plus : a less than obvious sequence », Paris, 2005.
for René Etiemble (Jan. 26, 1909 – Jan. 2002)*
Barely a few speechless moments before your first words
burned the « Coplas por la muerte de su padre » :
‘Nuestras vidas son los ríos
que van a dar en la mar,
que es el morir ;
y llegados, son iguales
los que viven por sus manos
y los ricos.’
Is the open back door which emboldens courage
No untarnished name to be remembered by
No selfless mate to lay by your honour
No issue laying about themselves for your prize
Decidedly it was a door of stealth
As if choosing it you let it be known
you were only merely passing by
and stopped to hang your hat here for a while
Yet you let your kin and callers believe
your whims were worth putting up with
your mischievous tantrums and gripes
merely the mental athlete’s unwinding antics
The poïetic birth pangs of imminent glory
just the mounting stones in the monumental lighthouse
that ages from hence would pick forth
your works your unfathomable literary resource
You upheld dozens who did leave behind a name
a lasting name not quite torn from solitary pain
Yet who could deny you could have bettered their fame
What undisclosed pain you harboured in your brain
Oh so strangely were you endowed with the intelligence
of the Chun Tzu - that uncanny eagle’s scan
To rout out of the mazes of your students’ past lives
just that one passqge through their Tierra del Fuego
But then you who completely espoused the rigours
of that step by step mounting of respectful steps
Were unsparing in your demands of adherence
to old Master Kung’s hierarchical obedience
An open hand ready to sign any cheque
to succour the caller’s needs
was alas ! also the whip hand
To keep the renegades in constant check
You were possessed of a rare brand of anger
which shook the land about you
At those who bent justice to their unsavoury will
such thunder boiled from the guts of the earth
Now you’re gone and empty lecture halls echo your
uncontainable ire where forged resounding silence
You said at the start of a seminal master-seminar :
« Nul n’est prophète dans son pays ! »
With the distaff side hanging on your every word
wondering if your plans were for something yet undone
No stray notes lie about to record your travail
No visible correspondence to make it all credible
Only books and books files magazines and books
and an overcrowdedly conquered mental pad
jumbled words scratched into shaded inchoate sketches
ganglia synapses shot-up neurons
no clues to a ragingly flailing mind
none to record the lives you succoured
nor even the beneficiaries’ hurriedly scribbled thanks
nor besides to the beclouding relations with one and all
not even a hint at why you may have refused
to forge a name beyond the beaten path of fame
Would going by the front door
in a fanfare of tv talkshows conference papers prize-giving ceremonies paper- interviews in ample studied poses and thoughts for future auto-memoirs volume one to seven the rest put-together posthumously in an omnibus
expurgated version with prefaces notes introductions critiques eulogies
would it have been less like you
to exit by the side-door
the baywindow leading to reflected glory
in a cool cloister of loosened leaves
stray poems in the tradition of your schooled masters
or did you burn them all
in a fit of (cou)rage
tore them to bits incinerated by your fiery mind
or squashed within yesterday’s leftovers
not caring who thought what
the mocking condescension
* The late Professor René Etiemble held the Chair of Comparative Literature at the old, pre-1968 Sorbonne University but retired in 1978 while a professor at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University. In later life, he even refused nomination to the French Academy of Letters, though he did accept the Academy’s Prize. He was a prolific critic, essayist, and memorialist, having published some poetry and three novels. A renowned linguist and grammarian (a graduate of the prestigious and elite Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris), he remained until his very last days an inveterate Sinophile. He edited the Gallimard-instituted UNESCO oriental literary classics series, a fitting tribute to his encyclopaedic learning.
© T.Wignesan, 6 novembre 1997, Fresnes-94, France (from the collection : Poems Omega Minus, Paris, 2002)
‘ In general, quantum mechanics does not predict a single definite result for an observation. Instead, it predicts a number of different possible outcomes and tells us how likely each of these is. ‘
Which side of the Wolf-coin are we looking at
the red or the green
nothing then is certain
not even death but the life one endures
quarks protons neutrons electrons bosons
particles like men and beings in general
bathe not necessarily in the same lifeless soup
great teachers or rather teachers with great followings
those that always attract those who prefer to let others do the thinking for them
especially through transcendentally transmitted interstellar telegraphy
would want us believe
there’s just This One
and all comes and goes to That Only ONE
If only it were just as simple as that
Then what is it that This One wants
Or is It caught up in its own caveat
And must of needs come apart
on the seed that It alone plants
and do what we may
nothing goes wrong
whatever the explanation
everybody is right
right from the start
Big Bang from a tight-fisted unfurling hand
Big Crunch to a crushing tightening stranglehold
and out again
for the Brahma Day
and after aeons the Brahma Night
And at the stillstanding blackhole singularity
neither space nor time
squeezed in and out
Birth as in Death
An eventual point of total extinction
if ever there was one
Yet always the two extremes
and the ever-changing in-betweens
Matter versus Anti-Matter
Here the Yang is not lkely to be set againt the Yin
Though matter itself is neither
Is nor Is-Not-ness
And the 96% Dark Matter
And the infinite number of parallel universes
Does it really matter
‘ … if you meet your antiself, don’t shake hands !
You would both vanish in a great flash of light.’
Vanish into what
or just non-dark matter
Still the duality of matter
Still the ever-changing conundrum
Everything moves jostles couples alters reproduces destructs
‘Sex is emotion in motion.’
into thin air
and roots one here
tied to the lunar year
why should it matter
if we cannot know the reason why
ego id libido
drive faith fame femme father future
if super/alter ego connects the ego
to the collective unconscious
why drown the self in the Great Self
by wilful act
when the Ultimate One
is the sum of all the little ones
Is the Original One incapable of absorbing all the ones
each of whom must move to eat drink sleep
copulate make money grow roots in a society
get and fight to keep a job
make love marry raise children
struggle to keep one’s wife one’s children
one’s house if one can get one
one’s career one’s future
and helter-skelter race to cheat death
If it’s the self-same thing that’s being born anew
What does it matter if it keeps changing in view
Of the desperate haste with which everything
We see smell hear feel intute sense
Keeps hurtling away from the Ding an Sich
And leaves us with a parochial Milky Way
Bastardised stealthily by grandiose Andromeda
Left retrograded entwined within measely galaxy clusters
Through some trillion cataclysmic light years
What’s the impulse to keep moving
Is the yogi’s stilled-centre
The death of all action
Which cannot call for a reaction
Or is the art of keeping still
Merely the art of making belief
‘…actors act out the pun that life is the art of acting
until your performed role becomes your normal character.
Then you are safe inside your character armour.’
As soon as you have thought It out
It turns around and re-structrures Itself inside out
and you know just why
don’t you now
References to the quotations
Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time : From the Big Bang to Black Holes, London-New York, 1988.
Attributed to Mae West.
Eric N. W. Mottram, « Men & Gods : A Study of Eugene O’Neill », Encore (London), 1963.
I’m not sure the « re-structuring » bit at the end comes from
Steven Weinberg or John Gribbin, or perhaps even from Fred Allan Wolf ?
© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2005 ; rev. 2012. From the collection : Poems Omega-Plus, 2005.
...inspired by 'Portrait Of A Lady' by T.S. Eliot
On winter days the view outside is nebulous at best,
within, the furniture is as it always was, and I am waiting,
waiting for a glimpse of you to silence my equivocating.
Somber is my attitude, the light is dim, curtains at rest,
as dust mites dance, the clock ticks unobtrusively,
marking time, the chamber maids make ready for my guest,
and dust the tables, clean the silver, place the flowers perfectly.
You return from 'La Boheme,' affected by the tragedy,
emboldened by Puccini's art, transfiguring his sadness
to an everlasting theme of hope eternal, with no misery.
A small group of confederates who seize the meaning clearly,
examine his conceptions with a true and honest face,
only those who can conceptualize his grace.
And we are bereft of conversation.
The curtain falls between our faces,
we are left with little else to say.
Gone are common talk, and airs and graces,
walls have grown, and bars along the way.
Your friends have grown in stature, tried and true,
reflecting what you feel within your soul,
and you must follow them and share their view,
as long as it will bring you to your goal.
Friendship is a bond that can't be broken,
even though you dally with your heart,
you cannot spring the lock, that sacred token,
that keeps your deepest feelings true to art.
Your friends are pure disciples of your creed,
they will legitimize your need
to pave your way to conquer and succeed.
Within the mellow of the violins,
the sweetness of the celli and the horns,
I hear a tattoo beating all alone,
the tympani begin to pound
a loud crescendo of their own.
I listen, there is something out of tone.
With cigarettes and sherry, unconcerned,
we wander through the garden unaware,
take in the sights and pass without a care,
as if our similarities don't matter,
we give ourselves to nonsense, idle chatter.
Roses now are brightly blooming,
to your friends now you are calling.
I know not of what you speak,
I cannot fathom your delight.
You say: 'Try to understand my mission,
learn to trust in things unseen,
I must find what nature seeks
and fathom its eternal meaning.
Youth will never gather roses,
never see beyond the garden.'
I will stay for now, trapped in the cold.
Though I'll remember nature's wonders,
sunsets and the breath of spring,
feel the wind blow through my hair
and know the thrill of sunrise cresting.
We see the universe as dancing,
two such different creatures trancing,
we two will never understand
the private notions of the other,
even if we take each other's hand.
Coming close to your destruction
you will see the other side,
who says who has satisfied
requirements for a better life?
Friendship, if we could but find it,
yields the seeds of greater profit,
greater than the seeds of strife.
I now remain just as I ever was.
I shall take my morning walk,
communing with the birds and talking
to myself while reading Kafka,
glancing at the latest headlines.
Dear Stravinsky's 'Rite' is slighted,
(he'll return when ears are righted.)
When I smell a rose I'm prompted
to recall a certain lady, gifted with
a new perception, I must sadly
take exception, for the moment anyway.
The chill of morning, people yawning,
I am tired, the blush of dawning has me
feeling ill at ease, my spirit sags,
I barely reach the second floor.
'When will you return? Is Paris so much more
than you have here?' is my unanswered question.
I drag my heels to breakfast,
listless as a lazy dog, and nibble toast,
my countenance as pallid as a ghost.
A letter would be welcomed.
I shall miss you; there, I've said it.
I am your friend, are you not mine?
Tenuous and strained, two casual
acquaintances who share so little time,
we brush elbows, like strangers passing
on a platform, sharing sidelong glances,
afraid to say hello. I watch you as you go.
Others swore we would be close,
peas in a pod, familiar.
Instead there is no warmth, not yet.
Were you to try we might combine
and nibble toast together, and take
a walk, your hand in mine, and
stammer conversation 'til we knew
there was no reason e'er to rue.
I shall sit with pleasant thoughts of you.
Desperate, I ponder on your death,
scant breath expended twixt the two of us,
and loneliness an ache too harsh to mention,
pen in hand and no one to subscribe.
I'll scarce recall the softness of your skin,
or search your heart to find what lies within.
Should I be bold, or take a gentler path?
encourage you... would I incur your wrath?
If you were to die I'd never know your truth,
and I should lose the vigour of my youth.
My father died prematurely while away on
a business trip from a rogue blood clot to the heart
I never doubted he loved me, would have liked me,
(not the same thing), adult to adult, provided I
was not too strong a woman for him. He was difficult--
a Henry VIII of the times, two divorces, a first wife
we never knew, one from my mother when I was six,
then heated voices from their bedroom with a third,
heard in darkness beyond my door, hands over my ears.
But, he was DADDY. the god-like person who emceed
his daughter's birthdays, planned games, gave out prizes,
while a backstage stepmom provided cake. Cake
mistress, fond father. Thus, I learned to turn to men.
Tennessee Williams wrote, "My sister was quicker
at everything than I." I was like that, maybe not quicker
than my brothers, but quick to fall in love with cities,
objects, water anywhere: tide pools, oceans, rivers,
mountain streams, stately geese, lake ducks in queues,
the vermillion of winter sunsets, purity of cumulus
in a summer sky, the scarlet flash of a cardinal from tree
to tree. Good luck, always, but with bad luck, I always
fell in love with impossible men, ones who left me, or I left
them. The husband who stayed? He was the true one.
Then, there was Mr. K, my high school principal, a dead ringer
for Thomas Wolfe, with whom the girl I was must have
thought she could go home again. His costume
"de rigueur" was a rumpled white shirt, black trousers
splayed with chalk dust, coal black hair, and an imposing
presence no one took issue with, maybe not even his
British wife, teaching English in the same school.
I sent him my poems by a classmate to his office, too shy
to deliver them myself. Years later, "Poetry mash notes,"
a colleague said, inciting laughter in a poetry audience with
whom I shared my youthful infatuation, the energy lingering
long after he signed my graduation diploma, because Yes,
he read my poems, and Yes, I sat dazzled in his English Lit
class to "Beowulf," "Chaucer," and the Shakespeare plays we
took turns reading aloud. When he chose another to read
Portia instead of me, "for her gentle voice," I was devastated,
yet when a boy spoke out in class to criticize my poems:
"No one can understand what she writes," Mr. K. replied
"On the contrary, she writes about very complex things with
very simple language." This praise never left me.
Years after, moving to Atlanta with my husband and small
children, our paths crossed again. Living there
at the same time, Mr. K. and I found each other in an
Episcopal parish, its satisfying high-church "smells and bells"
the only show in town, "Spiky," his wife said. There, our
friendship deepened, until Mr. K. moved to England with his wife,
she returning home to complete the cycle, finish out the years
at point of origin. We do go home again, Thomas Wolfe not-
withstanding, as did I, seeking toward close of life
the comfort and substance of birthplace.
Mr. K. returned occasionally to Atlanta for a visit with his son.
He would call me, and it was then that we met for dinner,
most often at Zazu's an intimate bar and restaurant on Peachtree.
What did we talk about sitting across a table from each other?
I do not now remember, but once I observed him glancing at
his aging hands and comparing them to mine, younger by a few,
completely irrelevant years. I once asked him as he entered
his later years if he ever felt "old." He said No, he felt the same
as he always had. This was a revelation: I imagined people
felt as old inside as they looked. This is not the case, as
I was to discover in my own lifetime.
On one evening I did not know would be the last time, Mr. K.
and I sat in my car in darkness after dinner in front of his son's
house. As he prepared to leave, he said, "I don't know how I shall
get along without you, though I've been without you all these
years. We never touched, save in the bond of friendship, and more's
the pity. Some time passed. I wrote a letter to Mr. K.and his wife.
It was returned unopened with a message on the envelope,
"Both deceased." In my car, then, that last night, it was Adieu --
To God, not Au Revoir. Now, with "All time, all attitudes washing
away," as I wrote in a poem called "Fernandina," he lives
in the room in the heart where no one enters but me.
No need for a phone call. I hold the key.
Dopo lunghe vicende della vita
Mi ritrovai seduto su un divano
Con un telecomando fra le dita.
When my life struggles were to their end
I found myself sitting on a sofa
Holding a tv control in my hand.
E girando i canali piano piano
Cercavo storie prive di violenza
Ma la ricerca continuava invano.
Scanning the channels slowly one by one
Was looking for non violent images
But my research went on along in vain.
Ovunque sangue e lutti in evidenza
Riempivano il visore a me di fronte
Mettendo a dura prova la pazienza.
Mourning and blood appeared everywhere
Filling the screen I saw in front of me
Subjecting patience to a test too hard.
Vedo oscillare e poi crollare un ponte
Rotto dall’infuriar della Natura
Che divide la terra a valle e a monte.
I see a bridge fluctuating, breacking down
Much hardly stricken by the nature fury
The land dividing upstream downstream.
Torri gemelle di elevate mura
Colpite in cielo sono torce ardenti
Vederle sbriciolate è cosa dura.
Tall walls twin towers of a city pride
In sky affected are only burning torches
To see them crumbled is very hard indeed.
Odio e violenza accecano le menti
Di chi troppo subisce o troppo impera
Colpendo a caso le civili genti.
Violence and hate blind the human brains
Of people subject or much commanding
Hitting at random any civil being.
Chi la storia rilegge sempre spera
Che guerra e morte vengano bandite
Ma la speranza umana mai si avvera.
Reading the story one really hopes
That war and death will be banned away
But human hope never becomes real.
Uomini, sveglia! E con forza agite
Contro chi l’armi costruisce e vende
E trae profitto distruggendo vite.
Men be wake up! And strongly act
Against who weaponry builds and sells
And benefit gains from destroyed lifes.
Del secolo passato le vicende
Rivedo col ricordo e col pensiero
Dolci momenti misti a cose orrende.
Of the last century looking at the events
I see by memory and by thought
Sweet moments and horrendous things.
Un piccol uomo col baffetto nero
Urla alle folle l’odio contro il mondo
Che vuole soggiogare nel suo impero.
A little man with a black mustache
Shouting to crowd his hate for world
Which wants to subjugate in his empire.
E prende corpo il suo progetto immondo
Di sterminare un popolo reietto
Che uccide in massa quasi fino in fondo.
His dirty project takes soon shape
To exterminate a rejected people
Which kills in mass almost to the end.
Uomo sanguigno, corpulento aspetto
Da molto tempo prese già il potere
Arringando le folle, gonfio il petto.
Sanguineous man, of portly appearance
Much time before took already power
The crowds haranguing, with a swollen breast.
Al nazista s’allea. Per suo volere
Inique leggi contro l’altra “razza”
Promulga tosto. Poi le fa valere.
With the nazi an alliance forms
And unfair laws against the other “race”
Suddenly enacts and then applies.
L’odio così anche in Italia impazza
Colpendo senza senno i cittadini
Con l’applauso e il consenso della piazza.
So in Italy too hateful hatred rages
Citizens hitting with no sense and reason
With the applause and consent of the crowd.
Per lo spazio vitale ed i suoi fini
Il nazista scatena la gran guerra
A nord del Belgio valica i confini
To get more space reaching more power
The nazist triggers the great war
At north of Belgium crosses borders.
Invadendo la Francia e la sua terra
Fino a Parigi e al mare d’occidente
Minacciando perfino l’Inghilterra.
Invading France and its land
Down to Paris and the western sea
Threatening even the English shore.
Il pavido alleato immantinente
Partecipa alla guerra mal pensando
Di unire le sue sorti col vincente.
The fearful ally just at once
Enters the war with the wrong illusion
To join his future with the winning force.
Tronfio di sé sfodera il suo brando
E vilmente lo affonda nella Francia
Vinta, battuta e ormai senza comando.
Self smug and puffed he pulls his sword
And cowardly he pierces France
Won, demolished by then without a guide.
Egli in tal modo il proprio carro aggancia
A quello del bieco suo alleato
Che adesso verso l’est la sfida lancia.
He in this way his chariot hooks
To the one of his awry ally
Who now to east his challenge throws.
Metaphor of outrage, Translation of Carlos Bousono’s poem : Metafora del desafuero
( In celebration of a birthday)
for Andrés Amoros
Having been outside of you, yourself, dizzying voyage
the quiet, beggar
of your conscience, hermit
in the desert of your inaction, believing
only in the cactus/thistle, in the excessive stone,
without a hole from which to drink, without food, without bread,
miserable and without grove
like a boat struck by tempest
but a tempest not particularly disruptive, without the grandeur
of this sum of experience
in a sea, now, later, monotonous, without end, monochromic,
with greying water,
or, better still, without it, sailing on it in its non-colour,
sailing in the not-water, with continuity in the never-monotony,
or in the midst of ruins after an earth-quake
that leaves everthing low,
rather in a place where there was no house nor where they put up
neither was the floor split open, nor were there cracks,
there, exiled, without the remembrance of a lost country,
dumb, without the notion of a language ido*
all the shine shorn off, all persuation, all complaint,
irremediably left alone, but without solitude,
yet you hadn’t any memory of any earlier companionship,
there, where no form of evocation could touch you,
even if to accomplish this, you had to be precise with the previous
there, there you were with your back to your own being,
without seeing, without seeing yourself,
even if sometimes the opposite took place and you began to think with
who knows if for his (sic) condition, that is, principally,
which happened, during this period, to occupy
the totality of your attentions and which grew (perceived then as of
a short distance) with it,
your enormous knee, your extraordinary foot, your great foot,
stepping on the treeless plain with resonance,
in a clatter like the rattle of a tambourine,
your gigantic foot,
your treacherous leg, rotund, which grew longer, alone and
autonomous, to a point where nobody could ever reach it,
and after that, but only afterwards,
your entire body made up of indeterminate materal, of noise, such
that your skeleton without peer,
your terrible skeleton, advancing with great strides
towards no one, towards nothing,
everything of a sudden began to diminish in size and returned little
by little to its initial state,
and every part of your body began, by slow degrees – yes, this – to
absent itself :
first the flesh and the skin disappeared, and then your erect sex :
impenitent, the object of ridicule,
even if the nails continued with indifference to grow,
attentive exclusively to its pre-occupation with its strange sense
of avariciousness in an effort to acquire much more :
the hair, the beard, without paying any attention to how
parsimoniously it proceeded,
but, following which, that in itself, subjected to such a state of
enrapture, obliterated itself, and arrived punctually on the
generalization of the scrupulous duty to obedience,
which is to disengage itself, in all precision, without any exception
whatsoever, nor leaving even an iota of dust on the polished
surface of the piece of furniture,
the chaos of not being seen, the scandal of invisibility, of confusion,
there, on the obverse side of truth, on the other side of lying
on the frontier which it was deemed not worthy of being demarcated,
this area without topography where truth and lies appeared
as the self-same answer to the question that you didn’t pose.
Oh ! Beggar of your conscience ! Oh ! Scrutinisor !
Oh ! finicky Explorer !
Oh ! Celebrator of the unfortunate !
* Ido, cf. Idus, meaning the « Ides » of March, etc., in English. I don’t quite know. Could the poet be so kind as to enlighten us ?
© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2013
Take out the caked grimy faucet plug
Let those unseen crawlies dive and duck
under the rust-ridden slime
stuck to phlegm and saliva globs
dried blood and flaky semen
shot through with crap
The seen and the unseeable
The sane and the goneforsaken
This glob of virus a syruppy eggdash
got rid of in a hurry
close your thoughts
to the raw genital-******l whiff of public lavatories
the brothel closets’ stained sticky sheets
the stink and the dirt and the stinging hell
that comes from under
all stuffed with fizzing
and the aftershave lotion
Nothing that wouldn't burn forever
when we all disappear
Even if you slow your rhythm down to a stilled beat
haven't you heard your blood
coursing through in a reckless lickety-split
past the pinned ear in the pillow
The silence of the hour
your pulse down to a twenty-five or thirty
cutaway from the clatterbanging engine within
beating a frenzied time
racing round and round in a cataclysmic din
Whoever jams it all from the eye
hears its thunderous roar in the cells
The cells that slither
down the washes of stuffed putrefying canals
This the great manufacturer
of what oozes in lethean sewers
cell into cells
in the coursing blood
the car jams
the myriad alleyway mazes of city cells
valves that stop
In the city's centre is the heartless pulsing leviathan
and through the aorta highway
everybody alights on a wc cuvette
through the ventricles
the carnival parade of
spittle and slime
Die like bodies
What is left from afar
is a clouded-over scorched patch
fossilised cellular forms under the microscope
Who cares after a thousand billion years
What went on during a trillion light years
I care You care We care
Do All ALL care
© T. Wignesan, Paris, 1986 – 87. Rev. 2012 (from the collection : longhand notes : a binding of poems, 1999).
from state dinner pent-up flatulence
from stentorian vociferousness
from stench-filled under-arm-ed-ness
from treacherous backslappingness
from word slipperiness
from work inertia and lethargy
from gamboling sleepiness
from sick secret-service-ness
from bloody tricky smiling-ness
© T. Wignesan, Fresnes-Paris, May 14-17, 1997. From the collection : « Poems Omega Plus : a less than obvious sequence », Paris, 2005.
The Parrot and the Woodpecker may turn...
[Sung by TEnicayccal Cellappa] Translated by T.Wignesan
mAnkiliyum marankottiyum The parrot and the woodpecker
kUtutirumpa tatayillai their nests to regain nothing waylays
nAnkal mattum ulakattilEyE Only we in all this world
nAtutirumpa mutiyavillai our homeland to seek may not turn
nAtutirumpa mutiyavillai our homeland to seek may not turn
[Above refrain repeated twice]
cinkalavan pataivAnil From skies filled with Sinhalese planes
neruppai alli corikiratu fire tumbles down in seething showers
enkal uyir tamil Elam Our lifeblood our Tamil Eelam
cutukAtAy erikiratu a simmering graveyard on fire
tAykatarap pillaikalin While mothers rave in pain children’s
nencukalaik kilikkinrAn breasts the oppressor tears apart
kAyyAkum munnE ilam Long before they might ripen tender
pincukalai alikkirAn the buds crushed from burgeoning
pettavankal UrilE Those who begot us back home
Enku rAnku pAcattilE tossing turning in their longing for us
ettanai nAl kArttiruppOm For how many days might we linger on
atuttavan tEcattilE in the other man’s refugee land
unnavum mutiyavillai Without proper food
urankavum mutiyavillai without sufficient sleep
ennavum mutiyavillai Unable rightly even to think
innumtAn vitiyutillai when will the day dawn for us
kitti pullu atittu nankal We who played at kitti pullu*
vilaiyAtum teruvilEyE joyously in the heedless streets
katti vayttuc cutukirAnAm There now tethered others lie felled
yAr manatum urukavillai no no hearts pain for us
Ur katitam patikkayilEyE When our eyes light on letters from home
vimmi nencu vetikkitu sobs prise open our brimming breasts
pOrpulikal pakkattilEyE By the flanks of battling Tigers
pOkamanam tutikkitu there to be our hearts throb and yearn
Note: * A competitive game played by hitting a small stick with a bigger one, the goal being to cover the greatest distance. Also called in Tamil Nadu and Malaysia: kavuntA kavunti.
© T. Wignesan – Paris, 1995. From the collection: “Words for a Lost Sub-Continent” (2001). Excerpted from “Kasi Ananthan: Poet Laureae of Tamil Eelam” by T. Wignesan in Hot Spring: A Journal of Commitment, Vol. 3, No. 9 (London), December 1998, pp. 17-18.