Tag Archives: Poem

Café de L’Imprimerie by Sean O’Brien

Morning Hart Beat! I have a beautiful poem to share with you today. I love finding great poems in The New Yorker and this week there was another gem. All I can think about when I read this poem is falling in love in Europe and my favorite start crossed lovers. I hope you like this one as much as I do. And p.s. here’s a great poetry podcast if you need something to listen to on the train.

Café de L’Imprimerie
by Sean O’Brien

I wait for you inside a glass beside
The long dim window of the Café de l’Imprimerie.
I see you, beautiful and wry

And not yet here, and yet not here,
While this late-summer evening never ends
And never ends but is infinitesimally

Dimming on the street besides Les Halles, where I
Can see you, beautiful and wry as you draw near,
And I am reassured you are not coming. Yes.

All night I wait for you at the Café de l’Imprimerie.
Your absence makes you beautiful and wry
And this late-summer evening never ends,

Nor does the beautiful intolerable
Music, where the truth is cut
With sentiment and surely fatal.

Come now. Do not come. Come now. Do not,
And lead me to a room where you undress,
A bare white room at un atraceable address

Where we will stay forever. Come now. Do not. Yes.

Oh New York, Frank O’Hara and I love you so much

Hi there. Happy rainy Monday night, Hart Beat. Back in September I shared this amazing poem with you called “Having a Coke with You” by Frank O’Hara. I love the poem because not only is it an incredibly romantic poem to read to a lover but it’s a great ode to New York as well. I have another Frank O’Hara poem to share tonight and this one is no different. The poem oozes love and intimacy (oh god it’s wonderful / to get out of bed / and drink too much coffee / and smoke too many cigarettes / and love you so much) but the best part, in my opinion, is the subtle way that it talks about the eternal love for New York City. I’m right there with you Frank, my darling.

Steps
by Frank O’Hara

How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget’s steeple leaning a little to the left

here I have just jumped out of a bed full of V-days
(I got tired of D-days) and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other
and when their surgical appliances lock
they stay together
for the rest of the day (what a day)
I go by to check a slide and I say
that painting’s not so blue

where’s Lana Turner
she’s out eating
and Garbo’s backstage at the Met
everyone’s taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers
and the park’s full of dancers with their tights and shoes
in little bags
who are often mistaken for worker-outers at the West Side Y
why not
the Pittsburg Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we’re all winning
we’re alive

and the little box is out on the sidewalk
next to the delicatessen
so the old man can sit on it and drink beer
and get knocked off it by his wife later in the day
while the sun is still shining

oh god it’s wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much

(published in 1961)
(Source for both photos)

Valentines for the romantically challenged

Hola Hart Beat. Today I thought I’d share with you a great new podcast that my roommate recently introduced to me. I listen to podcasts all the time (Radiolab is my all time favorite. Ahem, hey Robert Krulwich, why are you such a negative Nancy?) and on and off I’ve been into This American Life.

The podcast that Sam shared with me is called The Poetry Magazine Podcast and is produced by The National Poetry Foundation. The premise behind the show is that editors “go inside the pages of Poetry, talking to poets and critics, debating the issues, and sharing their poem selections with listeners.” It comes out weekly so there’s always something new to hear and after reading a few poems the people on the show discuss what they think the poems mean. The episode that I want to share with you, Hart Beat, is this years Valentine’s Day podcast called “Valentines for the Romantically Challenged.

In this episode there are two love poems under discussion. The first, “Variation on the Word Sleep” by Margaret Atwood, might be one of the most romantic poems I’ve read in a while. And the second, ” ” by Pablo Neruda, is obviously one of my favorites. I especially love the discussion that they have about the different translations of the poem that they come across. Poetry, Spanish translation, and romance all in one podcast?? I think all my dreams have come true.

You can listen to the poems and the podcast by clicking here.

Variation on the Word Sleep
by Margaret Atwood

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver 
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easy as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
by Pablo Neruda (translated by Mark Eisner)

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

I forget the rest, a poem

Hey Hart Beat. I’ve been going through a lot of old tumblr and blog posts the last couple of days and I keep finding these miscellaneous quotes. Often time I love the saying so much I want to share it with you immediately here but when I go to find the source it’s often misquoted or attributed to the wrong person. This Walt Whitman quote is just the case. “We were together. I forgot the rest.” What a great line, unfortunately/ fortunately the poem bellow is where the tumblr image originally came from. Either way I love the sentiment and I hope you do too, Hart Beat.

Once I Pass’d Through a Populous City
by Walt Whitman

Once I pass’d through a populous city imprinting my brain for future
use with its shows, architecture, customs, traditions,
Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I casually met
there who detain’d me for love of me,
Day by day and night by night we were together—all else has long
been forgotten by me,
I remember I say only that woman who passionately clung to me,
Again we wander, we love, we separate again,
Again she holds me by the hand, I must not go,
I see her close beside me with silent lips sad and tremulous.

We two—how long we were fool’d

I was poking around the internet the other day researching some quotes I had found for their valitidy and I came across this lovely poem. I thought of you instantly, Hart Beat. I hope you love it too.

We Two—How Long We Were Fool’d
by Walt Whitman published in Leaves of Grass

We twohow long we were fool’d!
Now transmuted, we swiftly escape, as Nature escapes;
We are Nature—long have we been absent, but now we return;
We became plants, leaves, foliage, roots, bark;
We are bedded in the ground—we are rocks;
We are oaks—we grow in the openings side by side;
We browse—we are two among the wild herds, spontaneous as any;
We are two fishes swimming in the sea together;
We are what the locust blossoms are—we drop scent around the lanes, mornings and evenings;
We are also the coarse smut of beasts, vegetables, minerals;
We are two predatory hawks—we soar above, and look down;
We are two resplendent suns—we it is who balance ourselves, orbic and stellar—we are as two comets;
We prowl fang’d and four-footed in the woods—we spring on prey;
We are two clouds, forenoons and afternoons, driving overhead;
We are seas mingling—we are two of those cheerful waves, rolling over each other, and interwetting each other,
We are what the atmosphere is, transparent, receptive, pervious, impervioius:
We are snow, rain, cold, darness—we are each product and influence of the globe;
We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again—we two have;
We have voided all by freedom, and all but our own joy.

It’s just love

Hi Hart Beat. The New Yorker published its’ contributors favorite books of 2013 this week and through that article I found this beautiful abstract of a poem that I keep hearing over and over in my head. In the article Edwidge Danticat says, “Nikki Giovanni is a goddess to me, so every book of hers that comes out is an event.” I have never read Giovanni’s work but after reading this segment from 2013’s “Chasing Utpoia” I have to agree.

It’s Just Love 
by Nikki Giovanni

it’s just love
it won’t sweeten
your coffee
or ice your tea

it won’t grill
your steak
or bake your crusty bread

it certainly won’t
pour your olive oil
over your shredded parmesan / reggiano cheeses

it might make
you laugh

it’s just love
it won’t rub 
your feet or your back
it won’t tousle
your hair
or paint your
fingernails Red

it might make you 
want Red
fingernails
though
it’s only love

it has no coupon value

though 
it also does 
not expire

just me
just you
just love

yeah

good for nothing
love

throw it away
when you get
tired of it

(This piece is an excerpt of the full piece in “Chasing Utopia”) 

Having a coke with you is even more fun than going to San Sebastian

Hey Hart Beat. My friend S. sent me this poem by Frank O’Hara the other day and I can’t get enough of it. I thought of you as soon as I listened to it and I knew I had to share it with you. Isn’t it romantic in the best real sense? Let me know what you think, Hart Beat.


Having a Coke with You
is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

Having a coke with you is even more fun than going to San Sebastian

Hey Hart Beat. My friend S. sent me this poem by Frank O’Hara the other day and I can’t get enough of it. I thought of you as soon as I listened to it and I knew I had to share it with you. Isn’t it romantic in the best real sense? Let me know what you think, Hart Beat.

 
Having a Coke with You
is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

Mañana from Pablo Neruda

Hi. I just finished this amazingly interesting book and am on the lookout for another read. Suggestions, Hart Beat? While browsing my bookcase I came across an old Pablo Neruda poetry book from a few years back. I thought you might like to hear some, Hart Beat.

II
                                     Amor, cuántos caminos hasta llegar a tu beso,
                                     qué soledad errante hasta tu compañía!
                                     Siguen los trenes solos rodando con la lluvia.
                                     En Taltal no amanecen aún la primavera.
                                     Pero tú y yo, amor mío, estamos juntos,
                                     juntos desde la ropa a las raíces,
                                     juntos de otoño, de agua, de caderas,
                                     hasta ser sólo tú, sólo yo juntos.
                                     Pensar que costó tantas piedras que lleva el río,
                                     la desembocadura de agua de Boroa,
                                     pensar que separados por trenes y naciones
                                     tú y yo teníamos que simplemente amarnos,
                                     con todos confundidos, con hombres y mujeres,
                                     con la tierra que implanta y educa los claveles. 
This poem is the second in a group entitled Mañana, in “Cien sonetos de amor” from 1957-1959. Written bellow is a rough, very rough, english translation. A guesstimation if you will. Thanks Pablo, y buenas noches Hart Beat.
II
                                     Love, how many roads lead to your kiss,
                                     what loneliness wandering to your company!
                                     Follow the lone trains riding in the rain.  
                                     In Taltal not even spring dawns.
                                     But you and I, my love, we are together
                                     together from the clothes to the roots
                                     together in the fall, in the water, in our hips
                                     to be only you, only I together.
                                     Think how much stones cost the river,
                                     and the water lost in the mouth of the Boroa,
                                     think how trains and nations separate us.
                                     you and I had to simply love,
                                     with everyone confused, with men and women,
                                     with the earth that plants and grows the carnations.

The first time I saw her

Hey Hart Beat. You need to watch this right now. This is one of the most amazingly heartbreakingly true poems about love that I’ve ever heard. The poem is called “OCD” and is written and preformed by Neil Hilborn. If you want more spoken word, check out this love letter from Sarah Kay.

I want her back so bad I leave the door unlocked, I leave the lights on.
Francisco Goya