Once it was the colour of saying
Soaked my table the uglier side of a hill
With a capsized field where a school sat still
And a black and white patch of girls grew playing;
The gentle seaslides of saying I must undo
That all the charmingly drowned arise to cockcrow and kill.
When I whistled with mitching boys through a reservoir park
Where at night we stoned the cold and cuckoo
Lovers in the dirt of their leafy beds,
The shade of their trees was a word of many shades
And a lamp of lightning for the poor in the dark;
Now my saying shall be my undoing,
And every stone I wind off like a reel.
by Dylan Thomas
Fun Facts: ‘Mitching’ is Skivving, bunking, skipping school.
Hers is the clean apron, good for fire
Or lamp to embroider, as we talk slowly
In the long kitchen, while the white dough
Turns to pastry in the great oven,
Sweetly and surely as hay making
In a June meadow; hers are the hands,
Humble with milking, but still now
In her wide lap as though they heard
A quiet music, hers being the voice
That coaxes time back to the shadows
In the room’s corners. O, hers is all
This strong body, the safe island
Where men may come, sons and lovers,
Daring the cold seas of her eyes.
by R. S. Thomas
from Poetry for Supper (1958)
The road is black by the beach –
Garden. Lamps yellow and fresh.
I’m very calm.
I’d rather not talk about him.
I’ve a lot of feelings for you. You’re kind.
We’ll kiss, grow old, walk around.
Light months will fly over us.
Like snowy stars.
– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1914)
– from Белая стая (White Flock, 1917) translation by D. M. Thomas