Archive for death

05.20.2008

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Untitled (a poem by Emily Dickinson)

To die–takes just a little while–
They say it doesn’t hurt–
It’s only fainter–by degrees–
And then–it’s out of sight–

A darker Ribbon–for a Day–
A Crape upon the Hat–
And then the pretty sunshine comes–
And helps us to forget–

The absent–mystic–creature–
That but for love of us–
Had gone to sleep–that soundest time–
Without the weariness–

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05.09.2008

Posted in Prose, Quotes with tags , , , on May 9, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Death (a quote by Georges Bataille)

We are attempting to communicate, but no communication between us can abolish our fundamental difference.

If you die, it is not my death . . . .

05.02.2008

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Until the day I will return (an untitled poem by Cesar Vallejo, as translated by Clayton Eshleman and Jose Rubia Barcia)

Until the day I will return, from this stone
my definitive heel will be born,
with its set of crimes, its ivy,
its dramatic stubbornness, its olive tree.

Until the day I will return, continuing,
with the frank uprightness of a bitter cripple,
my periplus, from well to well, I understand
that man will have to be good, notwithstanding.

Until the day I will return and until
the animal I am walks, among his judges,
our brave little finger will be big,
dignified, an infinite finger among fingers.

04.14.2008

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on April 15, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

A Death (a poem by Ted Kooser)

At the end, my uncle, whose kidneys had failed,
was covered with crystals of uric acid,
a salty white sand that sparkled on his skin.
We waited ten days for the tide to come in.

03.31.2008

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

When I Died (a poem by Jo Shapcott)

I’m coming back on All Saints’ Day
for your olives, old peanuts and dodgy sherry,
dirty dancing. I’ll cross-dress at last
pirouette and flash, act pissed.
You’ll have to look for me hard:
search for my bones in the crowd.
Or lay a pint and a pie on my grave to tempt me out
and a trail of marigolds back to the flat,
where you’ll leave the door ajar
and the cushions plumped in my old arm chair.

02.22.2008

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on February 22, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Fifty-Five Funerals (a poem by Ryan Smith, whose blog can be found here)

I say death and
you think of your mother crying,
your idiot / savant sister
asking why your new room
smells so good but is so small and if that is why
you aren’t smiling.

Those trees stand so
tall in this winter but
dear God — why?

Your heart stopping is
just a formality for the rest.

Someone drives past the cemetery and
doesn’t even look.

Someday, someone will return them

that little favor.

02.07.2008

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , on February 7, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Grandmother (an excerpt from the poem by Naoko Fujimoto)

My grandmother wears a faded green apron
in the kitchen and always eats

pickled Japanese radishes

grains of rice

or oranges

but she is losing her weight
for the paulownia casket

no ash for her bones

she writes sales slips but no letters
with her earthworm-like hand writing

her parchment fingers give me
a lump of sugar

no expiration date for sugar