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The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems 
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Post The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
322. "Pat Cloherty's version of The Maisie," Richard Murphy
323. "'Pensive, on her dead gazing, I heard the Mother of All,'" Walt Whitman
324. "Perfect," Hugh MacDiarmid
325. "Pheasant," Sylvia Plath
326. "Piano," D. H. Lawrence
327. "Pied Beauty," Gerard Manley Hopkins
328. "The Pig," Ogden Nash
329. "The Pilgrim," W. B. Yeats
330. "Ploughing on Sunday," Wallace Stevens
331. "Poem in October," Dylan Thomas
332. "A Poison Tree," William Blake
333. "Poor but Honest," Anon
334. "Poppies in July," Sylvia Plath
335. "Praise of a Collie," Norman MacCaig
336. "The Properties of a Good Greyhound," Dame Juliana Berners
337. "Raleigh Was Right," William Carlos Williams
338. "Range-Finding," Robert Frost
339. "The Rattle Bag," Dafydd ap Gwilym
340. "Reflection on Ingenuity," Ogden Nash
341. "'Repeat that, repeat,'" Gerard Manley Hopkins
342. "The Return," Ezra Pound
343. "The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter," Ezra Pound
344. "'Running lightly over spongy ground,'" Theodore Roethke



Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:03 am
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
Here is the translation of The Rattle Bag (poem) that I found on the internet.

The Rattlebag

As I was (easiest praise)
one day of summer
under trees between mountain and field
awaiting my soft-spoken girl,
she came (it's worthless to deny)
to where she had promised, an undeniable moon.
We sat together (splendid topic,
a hesitant thing), the girl and I;
I exchanged (before a claim should fail)
words with an excellent girl.

And as we were thus (she was modest)
the two of us understanding love,
there came (a feebleness bereft of nurturing)
with a cry (some stinking feat)
a small ugly noisy (the bottom of a sack making a sound)
creature in the guise of a shepherd.

And he had (hateful declaration)
a rattle-bag, angry, with a withered cheek, harsh-horned.
He sounded (yellow-bellied lodger)
the rattlebag; woe to the scabby leg!

And then without gaining satisfaction
the fair girl was frightened, woe me!

When she heard (breast made brittle by a wound)
the winnowing of the stones, she would stay no more.

Under Christ, there was never a sound in Christendom
(a sow's fame) as harsh:
a bag sounding on the end of a stick,
a bell's sound of small stones and gravel;
a shaking vessel of English stones making a sound
in a bullock's skin;
a basket of three thousand beetles,
a surging cauldron, a black bag;
guardian of a meadow, cohabitor of grass,
black-skinned, pregnant with dry wood-chips.

It's voice hateful for an old roebuck,
a devil of a bell, with a pole in its crotch.

A scarred scab with a stone-bearing gravel-womb,
may it be buckle-laces.

Coldness be on the shapeless churl,
(amen) who frightened my girl !

Dafydd ap Gwilym



Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:23 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
Here is the translation in The Rattle Bag anthology.

The Rattle Bag

As I lay, fullness of praise,
On a summer day under
Trees between field and mountain
Awaiting my soft-voiced girl,
She came, there's no denying,
Where she vowed, a very moon.
Together we sat, fine theme,
The girl and I, debating,
Trading, while I had the right,
Words with the splendid maiden.

And so we were, she was shy,
Learning to love each other,
Concealing sin, winning mead,
An hour lying together,
And then, cold comfort, it came,
A blare, a bloody nuisance,
A sack's bottom's foul seething
From an imp in shepherd's shape,
Who had, public enemy,
A harsh-horned sag-cheeked rattle.
He played, cramped yellow belly,
This bag, curse its scabby leg.
So before satisfaction
The sweet girl panicked: poor me!
When she heard, feeble-hearted,
The stones whir, she would not stay.

By Christ, no Christian country,
Cold harsh tune, has heard the like.
Noisy pouch perched on a pole,
Bell of pebbles and gravel,
Saxon rocks making music
Quaking in a bullock's skin,
Crib of three thousand beetles,
Commotion's cauldron, black bag,
Field-keeper, comrade of straw,
Black-skinned, pregnanat with splinters,
Noise that's an old buck's loathing,
Devil's bell, stake in its crotch,
Scarred pebble-bearing belly,
May it be sliced into thongs.
May the churl be struck frigid,
Amen, who scared off my girl.

Daffydd Ap Gwilym
Trans. Joseph Clancy



Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:17 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
Interesting to compare the translations of the Rattlebag. I prefer the first version although I wonder about the bracketed phrases, perhaps these are more direct translations (literal) of the original which I suppose was in Gaelic. I thought the Rattlebag was something used by hunters to make noise and scare up game but the poem refers to shepherds, although it sounds like the shepherd is masquerading.



Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:07 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
The Return
by Ezra Pound

Code:
See, they return; ah, see the tentative
     Movements, and the slow feet,
     The trouble in the pace and the uncertain
     Wavering!

See, they return, one, and by one,
With fear, as half-awakened;
As if the snow should hesitate
And murmur in the wind,
          and half turn back;
These were the "Wing'd-with-Awe,"
          Inviolable.

Gods of the wing├Ęd shoe!
With them the silver hounds,
          sniffing the trace of air!

Haie! Haie!
     These were the swift to harry;
These the keen-scented;
These were the souls of blood.

Slow on the leash,
          pallid the leash-men!


Good poem. Not easy to understand in a literal sense, but the feel is vivid.



Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:16 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
"Hellhounds" came to mind when I read this poem so I looked them up on Wiki:

A hellhound is a supernatural dog, found in folklore. A wide variety of ominous or hellish supernatural dogs occur in mythologies around the world, similar to the ubiquitous dragon. Features that have been attributed to hellhounds include black fur, glowing red or sometimes glowing yellow eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, foul odor, and sometimes even the ability to talk.

Legend says that if someone is to stare into its eyes three times or more, the person will definitely die. In cultures that associate the afterlife with fire, hellhounds may have fire-based abilities and appearance. They are often assigned to guard the entrances to the world of the dead, such as graveyards and burial grounds, or undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the supernatural, such as hunting lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure. In European legends, seeing a hellhound or hearing it howl may be either an omen of death or even a cause of death.



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Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:07 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
I'm not sure what attracts me to this poem, it's quite simple, but I read it a few times and there is something about the way she assembles the words, like; "It startles me still, The jut of that odd, dark head":

Pheasant

You said you would kill it this morning.
Do not kill it. It startles me still,
The jut of that odd, dark head, pacing

Through the uncut grass on the elm's hill.
It is something to own a pheasant,
Or just to be visited at all.

I am not mystical: it isn't
As if I thought it had a spirit.
It is simply in its element.

That gives it a kingliness, a right.
The print of its big foot last winter,
The tail-track, on the snow of our court-

The wonder of it, in that pallor,
Through crosshatch of sparrow and starling.
Is it its rareness, then? It is rare.

But a dozen would be worth having,
A hundred, on that hill-green and red,
Crossing and recrossing: a fine thing!

It is such a good shape, so vivid.
It's a little cornucopia.
It unclasps, brown as a leaf, and loud,

Settles in the elm, and is easy.
It was sunning in the narcissi.
I trespass stupidly. Let be, let be.

Sylvia Plath



Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:29 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
Quote:
I'm not sure what attracts me to this poem, it's quite simple, but I read it a few times and there is something about the way she assembles the words, like; "It startles me still, The jut of that odd, dark head":


'It startles me still' is interesting. Maybe a way of saying I haven't grown tired of it, there is still a newness and surprise to the meeting. I also like the lines, 'It is such a good shape, so vivid.' and 'Settles in the elm, and is easy.'



Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:22 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
A wistful, romantic poem? sad? cynical? realistic? or all thrown in together? I love the line "what can the small violets tell us" .. it's just .. poetic.

Raleigh Was Right

We cannot go to the country
for the country will bring us no peace
What can the small violets tell us
that grow on furry stems
and long grass among lance shaped leaves?

Though you praise us
and call to mind the poets
who sung of our loveliness
it was long ago!
long ago! when country people
would plow and sow with
flowering minds and pockets at ease-
if ever this were true.

Not now. Love itself a flower
with roots in a parched ground.
Empty pockets make empty heads.
Cure it if you can but
do not believe that we can live
today in the country
for the country will bring us no peace.

William Carlos Williams



Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:16 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The P & R Poems
Quote:
flowering minds and pockets at ease-
if ever this were true.


I like these lines. The days gone by, often viewed through rose coloured glasses.

Nice poem. Realistic, cynical and wistful.



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Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:52 pm
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