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Poetry: 2010s

Poem of the Day

The Anabasis of Godspeed

By Ishion Hutchinson

i.
Now these were the embarkations they made to the holy places of egypt sinai
palestine and syria in the years of furies 1916–17 unto the last 1918. Godspeed under the schoolyard’s cherry tree scrawled his anabasis marred by dust and the red smell of the sea.

ii.
Disembarked for alexandria shuck camp and enchained at moascar and proceeded to el
ferdan where it dechained and proceeded to reduit camp where it encamped and took over duties and post defenses in the sun.

iii.
And was shuck off the strength accordingly. england. Heavy-clouded. That was the month of
the death of the late Field Marshal Right Honourable H. H. Earl Kitchener of Khartoum K.G.  G.C.B.  O.M.  G.C.S.I.  G.C.M.G.  G.C.I.E. Colonel Commandant Royal Engineers Colonel Irish Guards Secretary of State for war that for a period of one week officers of the army shall wear mourning with their uniforms on this melancholy occasion. The boy wiped cherry on his lionized shirt in bad faith.

The Fifth Hour of the Night

By Frank Bidart

The sun allows you to see only what the sun
falls
upon: the surface. What we wanted was what was elsewhere: cause.

                        *

Or some books say that’s what we once wanted. Prophets of
cause
never, of course, agreed about cause, the uncaused cause: or they

                        *

terribly did. Asleep, I struggle to stay inside sleep, unravaged by
heart-
piercing dreams—craving, wish, desire to remain inside, if briefly,

                        *

obliteration. I cleave to the voice of Poppea’s nurse:
oblivion
soave
.

                        *

Not frightening, the word
oblivion
as Oralia Domínguez, hauntingly clinging to the sound, in 1964 sings it.

Ravana

By Vivek Narayanan

after Valmiki’s Ramayana (Aranya Kanda, Sarga 46)

                                Dressed simply but not
               without elegance, holding ritual
                     staff and parasol

Radiating gloom, like an asteroid with designs on a star
like night’s curved shadow that swims across the Earth
like the darkness of our Sun in its deepest explosions
like the planet Budhan about to take hold of Rohini
like Saturn advancing on Chitra
like the forests and cities and far ridges of infinity
      each planetary body with its moons each moon that governs