on the grasshopper and cricket

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s — he takes the lead
In summer luxury, — he has never done
With his delights, for when tired out with fun,
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.

John Keats

in search of poetry

Don’t write poetry about events.
There’s neither creation nor death in poetry.
Faced with it, life is a static sun,
which neither warms nor brightens.
Affinities, birthdays, personal incidents don’t count.
Don’t write poetry with your body,
that fine, well-made, comfortable body, so hostile to lyrical effusions.
Your drop of bile, your grimace of pleasure or grief in the darkness,
are indifferent.
And do not reveal your feelings to me,
for they take advantage of misunderstandings, and try for a long trip.
Whatever you think or feel, it is still not poetry.
Do not sing the praises of your city, leave it in peace.
The song is neither the movement of machines nor the secret
of houses.
It is not music heard in passing; the murmur of the sea in the streets
beside the line of foam.
The song is neither nature
nor man in society.
For it, rain and night, fatigue and hope have no meaning.
Poetry (don’t draw poetry from things)
elides subject and object.

Don’t dramatize, don’t invoke,
don’t investigate. Don’t lose time in lying.
Don’t be exasperated.
Your ivory yacht, your diamond shoe,
your mazurkas and superstitions, your family skeletons
disappear in the curve of time, they are useless.

Don’t recompose
your buried and gloomy childhood.
Don’t oscillate between the mirror
and your fading memory.
If it faded, it wasn’t poetry.
If it broke, it wasn’t glass.

Explore quietly into the realm of words.
That’s where the poems are waiting to be written.
They are paralyzed, but there is no despair,
there is calm and freshness in the unbroken surface.
There they are, alone and silent, in dictionary form.

Live with your poems before you write them.
Be patient if they are obscure. Be calm if they provoke you.
Wait for each to be realized and consumed
in the power of its words
and the power of its silence.
Don’t force the poem to tear itself from the limbo.
Don’t pick up a lost poem from the floor.
Don’t flatter the poem. Accept it as
it will accept its form, definitive and concentrated
in space.

Draw closer and look at the words.
Each one
has a thousand secret faces beneath its blank face,
and is asking you, with no interest in the reply
you may give- poor or terrible:
Did you bring the key?

barren of melody and concept,
those words took refuge in the night.
Still damp and impregnated with sleep,
they roll in a difficult river and turn into scorn.

Carlos Drummond de Andrade

distribution of poetry

Wild honey I took from the plants,
salt I took from the waters, light I took from the sky.
Listen, my brothers: poetry I took from everything
to offer it to the Lord.
I did not take gold from the earth
nor blood from my brothers.
Do not disturb me, innkeepers.
Pedlars and bankers,
I can contrive distances
to keep you away.
Life is thwarted,
I believe in the magic illusions of God.
The cocks are not crowing,
the dawn has not broken.
I saw the ships go away and return.
I saw the unhappy ones go away and return.
I saw obese men in the fire.
I saw zigzags in the darkness.
Commander, where is the Congo?
Where is the isle of São Brandão?
Commander, how dark the night is!
Mastiffs are howling in the darkness.
You undesirables,
which country do you desire?
Wild honey I took from the plants,
salt I took from the waters, light I took from the sky.
I have only poetry to give you.
Be seated, my brothers.

Jorge Mateus de Lima

get drunk

You must always be drunk. Everything is there: it is the only question.
Not to feel the horrible burden of Time breaking your shoulders and
bowing you towards the ground, you must get drunk without stopping.

But on what? On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, after your fashion. But get drunk.
And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace, in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dreary solitude of your own room, you wake up,
with your drunkenness already lessened or gone,
ask wind, wave, star, bird, clock,
everything that flees, murmurs, rolls, sings, speaks,
ask what time it is;
and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you:
,,It is time to get drunk! Not to be the tormented slaves of Time,
get drunk without stopping!
On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, after your fashion.’’

Charles Baudelaire