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TSE  September 2001

TSE September 2001

Subject:

Isaac Rosenberg poems

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Sun, 2 Sep 2001 15:42:26 EDT

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--part1_47.105d7bb5.28c3e5a2_boundary
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Below, 6 poems by Isaac Rosenberg, to save y'all from the special hell
reserved for people who talk about Rosenberg instead of reading him.

I'm trying to find out when Eliot first saw his work, and what he saw. So if
anyone notices, please let me know.

best,

pat
================================================
Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918)

Contents

God
Dead Man's Dump
The Jew
Break of Day in the Trenches
Louse Hunting
Through these pale cold days

--------------------------------------
God

In his malodorous brain what slugs and mire,
Lanthorned in his oblique eyes, guttering burned!
His body lodged a rat where men nursed souls.
The world flashed grape-green eyes of a foiled cat
To him. On fragments of an old shrunk power,
On shy and maimed, on women wrung awry,
He lay, a bullying hulk, to crush them more.
But when one, fearless, turned and clawed like bronze,
Cringing was easy to blunt these stern paws,
And he would weigh the heavier on those after.
Who rests in God's mean flattery now? Your wealth
Is but his cunning to make death more hard.
Your iron sinews take more pain in breaking.
And he has made the market for your beauty
Too poor to buy, although you die to sell.
Only that he has never heard of sleep;
And when the cats come out the rats are sly.
Here we are safe till he slinks in at dawn.
But he has gnawed a fibre from strange roots,
And in the morning some pale wonder ceases.
Things are not strange and strange things are forgetful.
Ah! if the day were arid, somehow lost
Out of us, but it is as hair of us,
And only in the hush no wind stirs it.
And in the light vague trouble lifts and breathes,
And restlessness still shadows the lost ways.
The fingers shut on voices that pass through,
Where blind farewells are taken easily . . .
Ah! this miasma of a rotting God!


--------------------------------------
Dead Man's Dump


Dead Man's Dump
The plunging limbers over the shattered track
Racketed with their rusty freight,
Stuck out like many crowns of thorns,
And the rusty stakes like sceptres old
To stay the flood of brutish men
Upon our brothers dear.
The wheels lurched over sprawled dead
But pained them not, though their bones crunched,
Their shut mouths made no moan,
They lie there huddled, friend and foeman,
Man born of man, and born of woman,
And shells go crying over them
>From night till night and now.
Earth has waited for them
All the time of their growth
Fretting for their decay:
Now she has them at last!
In the strength of their strength
Suspended--stopped and held.
What fierce imaginings their dark souls lit
Earth! have they gone into you?
Somewhere they must have gone,
And flung on your hard back
Is their souls' sack,
Emptied of God-ancestralled essences.
Who hurled them out? Who hurled?
None saw their spirits' shadow shake the grass,
Or stood aside for the half used life to pass
Out of those doomed nostrils and the doomed mouth,
When the swift iron burning bee
Drained the wild honey of their youth.
What of us, who flung on the shrieking pyre,
Walk, our usual thoughts untouched,
Our lucky limbs as on ichor fed,
Immortal seeming ever?
Perhaps when the flames beat loud on us,
A fear may choke in our veins
And the startled blood may stop.
The air is loud with death,
The dark air spurts with fire
The explosions ceaseless are.
Timelessly now, some minutes past,
These dead strode time with vigorous life,
Till the shrapnel called 'an end!'
But not to all. In bleeding pangs
Some borne on stretchers dreamed of home,
Dear things, war-blotted from their hearts.
A man's brains splattered on
A stretcher-bearer's face;
His shook shoulders slipped their load,
But when they bent to look again
The drowning soul was sunk too deep
For human tenderness.
They left this dead with the older dead,
Stretched at the cross roads.
Burnt black by strange decay,
Their sinister faces lie
The lid over each eye,
The grass and coloured clay
More motion have than they,
Joined to the great sunk silences.
Here is one not long dead;
His dark hearing caught our far wheels,
And the choked soul stretched weak hands
To reach the living word the far wheels said,
The blood-dazed intelligence beating for light,
Crying through the suspense of the far torturing wheels
Swift for the end to break,
Or the wheels to break,
Cried as the tide of the world broke over his sight.
Will they come? Will they ever come?
Even as the mixed hoofs of the mules,
The quivering-bellied mules,
And the rushing wheels all mixed
With his tortured upturned sight,
So we crashed round the bend,
We heard his weak scream,
We heard his very last sound,
And our wheels grazed his dead face.



--------------------------------------

THE JEW


1 Moses, from whose loins I sprung,
2 Lit by a lamp in his blood
3 Ten immutable rules, a moon
4 For mutable lampless men.
5 The blonde, the bronze, the ruddy,
6 With the same heaving blood,
7 Keep tide to the moon of Moses.
8 Then why do they sneer at me?


--------------------------------------

Break of Day in the Trenches


The darkness crumbles away.
It is the same old druid Time as ever,
Only a live thing leaps my hand,
A queer sardonic rat,
As I pull the parapet's poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
Your cosmopolitan sympathies.
Now you have touched this English hand
You will do the same to a German
Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
Less chanced than you for life,
Bonds to the whims of murder,
Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes
At the shrieking iron and flame
Hurled through still heavens ?
What quaver--what heart aghast?
Poppies whose roots are in man's veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe--
Just a little white with the dust.


--------------------------------------

Louse Hunting


Nudes--stark and glistening,
Yelling in lurid glee. Grinning faces
And raging limbs
Whirl over the floor one fire.
For a shirt verminously busy
Yon soldier tore from his throat, with oaths
Godhead might shrink at, but not the lice.
And soon the shirt was aflare
Over the candle he'd lit while we lay.
Then we all sprang up and stript
To hunt the verminous brood.
Soon like a demons' pantomime
The place was raging.
See the silhouettes agape,
See the gibbering shadows
Mixed with the battled arms on the wall.
See gargantuan hooked fingers
Pluck in supreme flesh
To smutch supreme littleness.
See the merry limbs in hot Highland fling
Because some wizard vermin
Charmed from the quiet this revel
When our ears were half lulled
By the dark music
Blown from Sleep's trumpet.


--------------------------------------

Through these pale cold days



1 Through these pale cold days
2 What dark faces burn
3 Out of three thousand years,
4 And their wild eyes yearn,
5 While underneath their brows
6 Like waifs their spirits grope
7 For the pools of Hebron again--
8 For Lebanon's summer slope.
9 They leave these blond still days
10 In dust behind their tread
11 They see with living eyes
12 How long they have been dead.







--part1_47.105d7bb5.28c3e5a2_boundary
Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=2>Below, 6 poems by Isaac Rosenberg, to save y'all from the special hell
<BR>reserved for people who talk about Rosenberg instead of reading him.
<BR>
<BR>I'm trying to find out when Eliot first saw his work, and what he saw. So if
<BR>anyone notices, please let me know.
<BR>
<BR>best,
<BR>
<BR>pat
<BR>================================================
<BR>Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918)
<BR>
<BR>Contents
<BR>
<BR>God &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
<BR>Dead Man's Dump &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
<BR>The Jew &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
<BR>Break of Day in the Trenches &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
<BR>Louse Hunting &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
<BR>Through these pale cold days &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
<BR>
<BR>--------------------------------------
<BR>God
<BR>
<BR>In his malodorous brain what slugs and mire,
<BR>Lanthorned in his oblique eyes, guttering burned!
<BR>His body lodged a rat where men nursed souls.
<BR>The world flashed grape-green eyes of a foiled cat
<BR>To him. On fragments of an old shrunk power,
<BR>On shy and maimed, on women wrung awry,
<BR>He lay, a bullying hulk, to crush them more.
<BR>But &nbsp;when &nbsp;one, &nbsp;fearless, turned &nbsp;and &nbsp;clawed &nbsp;like bronze,
<BR>Cringing was easy to blunt these stern paws,
<BR>And he would weigh the heavier on those after.
<BR>Who rests in God's mean flattery now? Your wealth
<BR>Is but his cunning to make death more hard.
<BR>Your iron sinews take more pain in breaking.
<BR>And he has made the market for your beauty
<BR>Too poor to buy, although you die to sell.
<BR>Only that he has never heard of sleep;
<BR>And when the cats come out the rats are sly.
<BR>Here we are safe till he slinks in at dawn.
<BR>But he has gnawed a fibre from strange roots,
<BR>And in the morning some pale wonder ceases.
<BR>Things &nbsp;are &nbsp;not &nbsp;strange &nbsp;and &nbsp;strange &nbsp;things &nbsp;are forgetful.
<BR>Ah! if the day were arid, somehow lost
<BR>Out of us, but it is as hair of us,
<BR>And only in the hush no wind stirs it.
<BR>And in the light vague trouble lifts and breathes,
<BR>And restlessness still shadows the lost ways.
<BR>The fingers shut on voices that pass through,
<BR>Where blind farewells are taken easily . . .
<BR>Ah! this miasma of a rotting God!
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>--------------------------------------
<BR>Dead Man's Dump
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>Dead Man's Dump
<BR>The plunging limbers over the shattered track
<BR>Racketed with their rusty freight,
<BR>Stuck out like many crowns of thorns,
<BR>And the rusty stakes like sceptres old
<BR>To stay the flood of brutish men
<BR>Upon our brothers dear.
<BR>The wheels lurched over sprawled dead
<BR>But pained them not, though their bones crunched,
<BR>Their shut mouths made no moan,
<BR>They lie there huddled, friend and foeman,
<BR>Man born of man, and born of woman,
<BR>And shells go crying over them
<BR>From night till night and now.
<BR>Earth has waited for them
<BR>All the time of their growth
<BR>Fretting for their decay:
<BR>Now she has them at last!
<BR>In the strength of their strength
<BR>Suspended--stopped and held.
<BR>What fierce imaginings their dark souls lit
<BR>Earth! have they gone into you?
<BR>Somewhere they must have gone,
<BR>And flung on your hard back
<BR>Is their souls' sack,
<BR>Emptied of God-ancestralled essences.
<BR>Who hurled them out? Who hurled?
<BR>None saw their spirits' shadow shake the grass,
<BR>Or stood aside for the half used life to pass
<BR>Out of those doomed nostrils and the doomed mouth,
<BR>When the swift iron burning bee
<BR>Drained the wild honey of their youth.
<BR>What of us, who flung on the shrieking pyre,
<BR>Walk, our usual thoughts untouched,
<BR>Our lucky limbs as on ichor fed,
<BR>Immortal seeming ever?
<BR>Perhaps when the flames beat loud on us,
<BR>A fear may choke in our veins
<BR>And the startled blood may stop.
<BR>The air is loud with death,
<BR>The dark air spurts with fire
<BR>The explosions ceaseless are.
<BR>Timelessly now, some minutes past,
<BR>These dead strode time with vigorous life,
<BR>Till the shrapnel called 'an end!'
<BR>But not to all. In bleeding pangs
<BR>Some borne on stretchers dreamed of home,
<BR>Dear things, war-blotted from their hearts.
<BR>A man's brains splattered on
<BR>A stretcher-bearer's face;
<BR>His shook shoulders slipped their load,
<BR>But when they bent to look again
<BR>The drowning soul was sunk too deep
<BR>For human tenderness.
<BR>They left this dead with the older dead,
<BR>Stretched at the cross roads.
<BR>Burnt black by strange decay,
<BR>Their sinister faces lie
<BR>The lid over each eye,
<BR>The grass and coloured clay
<BR>More motion have than they,
<BR>Joined to the great sunk silences.
<BR>Here is one not long dead;
<BR>His dark hearing caught our far wheels,
<BR>And the choked soul stretched weak hands
<BR>To reach the living word the far wheels said,
<BR>The blood-dazed intelligence beating for light,
<BR>Crying &nbsp;through &nbsp;the suspense of the &nbsp;far &nbsp;torturing wheels
<BR>Swift for the end to break,
<BR>Or the wheels to break,
<BR>Cried as the tide of the world broke over his sight.
<BR>Will they come? Will they ever come?
<BR>Even as the mixed hoofs of the mules,
<BR>The quivering-bellied mules,
<BR>And the rushing wheels all mixed
<BR>With his tortured upturned sight,
<BR>So we crashed round the bend,
<BR>We heard his weak scream,
<BR>We heard his very last sound,
<BR>And our wheels grazed his dead face.
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>--------------------------------------
<BR>
<BR>THE JEW
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>1 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Moses, from whose loins I sprung,
<BR>2 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lit by a lamp in his blood
<BR>3 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Ten immutable rules, a moon
<BR>4 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For mutable lampless men.
<BR>5 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The blonde, the bronze, the ruddy,
<BR>6 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;With the same heaving blood,
<BR>7 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Keep tide to the moon of Moses.
<BR>8 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then why do they sneer at me?
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>--------------------------------------
<BR>
<BR>Break of Day in the Trenches
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>The darkness crumbles away.
<BR>It is the same old druid Time as ever,
<BR>Only a live thing leaps my hand,
<BR>A queer sardonic rat,
<BR>As I pull the parapet's poppy
<BR>To stick behind my ear.
<BR>Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
<BR>Your cosmopolitan sympathies.
<BR>Now you have touched this English hand
<BR>You will do the same to a German
<BR>Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
<BR>To cross the sleeping green between.
<BR>It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
<BR>Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
<BR>Less chanced than you for life,
<BR>Bonds to the whims of murder,
<BR>Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
<BR>The torn fields of France.
<BR>What do you see in our eyes
<BR>At the shrieking iron and flame
<BR>Hurled through still heavens ?
<BR>What quaver--what heart aghast?
<BR>Poppies whose roots are in man's veins
<BR>Drop, and are ever dropping;
<BR>But mine in my ear is safe--
<BR>Just a little white with the dust.
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>--------------------------------------
<BR>
<BR>Louse Hunting
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>Nudes--stark and glistening,
<BR>Yelling in lurid glee. Grinning faces
<BR>And raging limbs
<BR>Whirl over the floor one fire.
<BR>For a shirt verminously busy
<BR>Yon soldier tore from his throat, with oaths
<BR>Godhead might shrink at, but not the lice.
<BR>And soon the shirt was aflare
<BR>Over the candle he'd lit while we lay.
<BR>Then we all sprang up and stript
<BR>To hunt the verminous brood.
<BR>Soon like a demons' pantomime
<BR>The place was raging.
<BR>See the silhouettes agape,
<BR>See the gibbering shadows
<BR>Mixed with the battled arms on the wall.
<BR>See gargantuan hooked fingers
<BR>Pluck in supreme flesh
<BR>To smutch supreme littleness.
<BR>See the merry limbs in hot Highland fling
<BR>Because some wizard vermin
<BR>Charmed from the quiet this revel
<BR>When our ears were half lulled
<BR>By the dark music
<BR>Blown from Sleep's trumpet.
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>--------------------------------------
<BR>
<BR>Through these pale cold days
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>1 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Through these pale cold days
<BR>2 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;What dark faces burn
<BR>3 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Out of three thousand years,
<BR>4 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And their wild eyes yearn,
<BR>5 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;While underneath their brows
<BR>6 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Like waifs their spirits grope
<BR>7 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For the pools of Hebron again--
<BR>8 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For Lebanon's summer slope.
<BR>9 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;They leave these blond still days
<BR>10 &nbsp;&nbsp;In dust behind their tread
<BR>11 &nbsp;&nbsp;They see with living eyes
<BR>12 &nbsp;&nbsp;How long they have been dead.
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR></FONT></HTML>

--part1_47.105d7bb5.28c3e5a2_boundary--

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