Chicano Poet

Monday, November 10, 2008

As I have always tried to infuse my poetry
with politics and women, these two poems
“Politics” by W.B. Yeats and Dream Song #
4 by John Berryman have intrigued me to no
end ( no pun intended). The Yeats poem written
towards the end of his life encompasses his
life-long themes, compact, a burst of light
like the beginning of the universe. The Berryman
poem, the lust that man can not escape yet
transfigures him, has us staring at the headlights
like a deer. Who has not felt the joy and the
fear? The escape from mind to flesh, the escape
from the complicated to the simple, the basic,
the real as it were. Unstoppable by mere polite
society and its restrictions on our imagination.
A Kama Sutra of verse, if you will. The positons
and the ploy of the iambics. Be it in the green
air of Ireland or in a Minnesota restaurant.


How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics,
Yet here’s a travelled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there’s a politician
That has both read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Or war and war’s alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms.

By William Butler Yeats

Dream Song # 4

Filling her compact & delicious body
with chicken paprika, she glanced at me
Fainting with interest, I hungered back
and only the fact of her husband & four other people
kept me from springing on her

or falling at her little feet and crying
“ You are the hottest one for years of night
Henry’s dazed eyes
have enjoyed, Brilliance.” I advanced upon
(despairing) my spumoni. – Sir Bones: is stuffed,
de world, wif feeding girls.

-Black hair, complexion Latin, jewelled eyes
downcast… The slob beside her feasts… What wonders is
she sitting on, over there?
The restaurant buzzes. She might as well be on Mars.
Where did it all go wrong? There ought to be a law against Henry.
-Mr. Bones: there is.

By John Berryman


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