Communist Poetry

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Leo's picture
Leo
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Feb 27 2010 21:11
Quote:
Does 'nice' mean writing - in the early 20s when he was in your opinion 'communist' - a poem commissioned by Ataturk to rouse Turkish volunteers in Constantinople to join his struggle

What on earth are you talking about? In the early twenties (1922 to 1925 to be prescise) his poetry was pretty anti-Kemalist, he actually calls Kemal a dog in one of his poems from that period. He became a communist when he went to Russia to study, he was obviously a nationalist before he went there. He joined the Communist Party of Turkey in Russia and when he returned to Turkey, he joined the right wing of the party.

As for the poems, they were both written well after the forties, when Kemal was dead.

Quote:
Anyone who thinks that Stalinist poetry is "nice" should be waterboarded'

It is true that Nazim Hikmet himself was a rather fickle Stalinist for the most of his life, but his poetry is generally considered within the boundaries of futurism and the "Turkish avant-garde" rather than "socialist realism", and in any case what is actually Stalinist while looking at arts is to base the evaluation made on the politics of the artist.

Quote:
if I thought that what I said was the equivalent of every tedious ICC hack that farted on this site just to draw attention to themselves, I'd be seriously suicidal.

Perhaps you should be if you have spent such a large amount of time drafting a hysterical response to someone who posted two poems on the internet.

Who is trying to draw attention to themselves, or who is boring for that matter, is pretty obvious. Seriously, get a life...

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miles
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Feb 27 2010 19:07

A poem recently published on the ICC website, about the feelings of a returned soldier:

 
A soldiers tale

 All the endless anticipation could not prepare you

All the training casually comes and goes

If you have been pulled and stretched in every way

Have been sent to the edge of the crevice

and been tempted to look down,

All the while feeling yourself on the crest of

grim madness and bloodthirsty insanity

 

If you've had to kill or be killed and so killed 

in anger and hate and blind panic,

When friend and foe alike blur

with barely time to register or regret,

To try and duck something that could kill you

before you'd thought to duck

 

If you've had to carry someone in your hands

as their life dribbled away with every jerk and heave

Heard the last exhalations of two hundred

cursing and shouting the name of their most beloved 

Maria or Mark or God

 

Have fought the protestations of your innards

ejecting themselves at the visceral scenes

(now safely locked away)

After all of this, and all of that  -

what does a return to normality mean?

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Leo
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Feb 27 2010 21:06

I thought that was pretty good, sort of reminds of this song by Eric Bogle:

Quote:
Oh how do you do, young Willy McBride
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside
And rest for a while in the warm summer sun
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done
And I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the great fallen in 1916
Well I hope you died quick
And I hope you died clean
Or Willy McBride, was is it slow and obscene

Did they beat the drums slowly
Did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined
And though you died back in 1916
To that loyal heart you're forever nineteen
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Forever enshrined behind some old glass pane
In an old photograph torn, tattered, and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame

Did they beat the drums slowly
Did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

The sun shining down on these green fields of France
The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance
The trenches have vanished long under the plow
No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now
But here in this graveyard that's still no mans land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
And a whole generation were butchered and damned

Did they beat the drums slowly
Did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

And I can't help but wonder oh Willy McBride
Do all those who lie here know why they died
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause
Did you really believe that this war would end wars
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing and dying it was all done in vain
Oh Willy McBride it all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again

Did they beat the drums slowly
Did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

The version I would recommend if anyone wants to listen to the actual song is by Dropkick Murphies, and the songs called "The Green Fields of France".

Wellclose Square
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Feb 27 2010 21:50

Haven't heard Dropkick Murphies', but heard June Tabor's version - which is very good.

Caiman del Barrio
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Feb 27 2010 22:37
Leo wrote:
Limp Bizkit wrote:

hand

BTW did you hear about the riot when Korn came to Caracas? Loads of dudes ripped up the fences and stormed the VIP section. At least one rich insurrectionist called it "class warfare".

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Feb 27 2010 23:17
Samotnaf wrote:
Leo - imho pretty boring poetry.

That is your opinion. However, Nazim Hikmet Ran is quite widely recognised as being a great poet. If you don't like it fair enough, but others do.

I don't think the ones above are great poems, or great translations. There was one that I posted previously that a lot of people seemed to like:

Nazim Hikmet wrote:
Last Will And Testament

Comrades, if I don't live to see the day
-- I mean,if I die before freedom comes --
take me away
and bury me in a village cemetery in Anatolia.

The worker Osman whom Hassan Bey ordered shot
can lie on one side of me, and on the other side
the martyr Aysha, who gave birth in the rye
and died inside of forty days.

Tractors and songs can pass below the cemetery --
in the dawn light, new people, the smell of burnt gasoline,
fields held in common, water in canals,
no drought or fear of the police.

Of course, we won't hear those songs:
the dead lie stretched out underground
and rot like black branches,
deaf, dumb, and blind under the earth.

But, I sang those songs
before they were written,
I smelled the burnt gasoline
before the blueprints for the tractors were drawn.

As for my neighbors,
the worker Osman and the martyr Aysha,
they felt the great longing while alive,
maybe without even knowing it.

Comrades, if I die before that day, I mean
-- and it's looking more and more likely --
bury me in a village cemetery in Anatolia,
and if there's one handy,
a plane tree could stand at my head,
I wouldn't need a stone or anything.

Samotnaf wrote:
And what's 'nice' about it ? ('nice' conjurs up Pam Ayres - and at least Pam Ayres has no 'communist' pretensions).

Nice is either 'Hoş' or 'Güzel' in Turkish, both of which are quite widely used for a variety of things that wouldn't be described as 'nice' in modern English. One of your main points seems to be about 'nice', which in my opinion is pretty poor. How would you feel if somebody laied into you about using an adjective in not quite an appropriate way in French, which I believe you speak, as you live there, and then remember that Leo hasn't even been to England as he can't get a visa, like most people here.

Samotnaf wrote:
]Does 'nice' mean writing - in the early 20s when he was in your opinion 'communist' - a poem commissioned by Ataturk to rouse Turkish volunteers in Constantinople to join his struggle?

As Leo pointed out Hikmet was a nationalist at this point and became a 'communist' later. Are you implying that if people once had nationalist politics then whatever they do later is implicitly discredited.

Nazim Hikmet was a man, who spent a large proportion of his adult life in prison, and most of the rest in exile. He was stripped of his Turkish nationality and died in Moscow. Yes, he was a Stalinist, so was my father and grandfather. They were both people who spent their lives fighting for what they saw as the cause of the working class. It doesn't make their politics any less reactionary, but I feel that we should at least have some sympathy on a human level.

Hikmet was this sort of nationalist:

Nazim Hikmet wrote:
Nazim Hikmet is still continuing to be a traitor

We are a half-colony of American imperialism, said Hikmet.

Nazim Hikmet is still continuing to be a traitor.

This came out in one of the Ankara newspapers,

Over three columns, in a pitch-black screaming streamer.

In an Ankara newspaper, beside a photograph of Admiral Williamson,

smiling in 66 square centimeters, his mouth in his ears,

the American admiral.

America gave 120 million liras to our budget, 120 million liras.

We are a half-colony of American imperialism, said Hikmet.

Nazim Hikmet is still continuing to be a traitor. Yes, I am a traitor, if you are a patriot, if you are a defender of our homeland,

I am a traitor to my homeland; I am a traitor to my country.

If patriotism is your farms,

if the valuables in your safes and your bank accounts is patriotism,

if patriotism is dying from hunger by the side of the road,

if patriotism is trembling in the cold like a cur and shivering from malaria in the summer,

if sucking our scarlet blood in your factories is patriotism,

if patriotism is the claws of your village lords,

if patriotism is the catechism, if patriotism is the police club,

if your allocations and your salaries are patriotism,

if patriotism is American bases, American bombs, and American missiles,

if patriotism is not escaping from our stinking black-minded ignorance,

then I am a traitor.

Write it over three columns, in a pitch-black screaming streamer,

NazIm HIkmet is continuing to be a traitor, still!

Samotnaf wrote:
you don't even try to follow the supposed logic of threads, which is that posts are meant, more or less, to follow some of what has been said before in the thread - that's part of what "communist" means - something to do with communication. And you definitely didn't address a single thing that has been said on this thread at all.

I thought that he did. The OP said this:

安藤鈴 wrote:
Could someone direct me to any Left-Communist poets? Or anarchist poets? Maybe you could post their writings here?
Samotnaf wrote:
And if I'm pissed off, it's because your unthinking nonsense and that of your organisation is all over this site, and you completely ignored not only everybody else's post, but my last one posted this morning in response to Richard's, a post that required a little more reflection than your insipid philistine stuff. If it seems ridiculous to bring this up in an exaggerated manner on this thread that's because this particular version of sterile braindead politics has possibly sabotaged what could have been an interesting discussion on dada, surrealism and Blake - which if anyone isn't scared off after this rant of mine, would be a far more useful focus than just churning out people's favourite poems without any discussion.

He replied to the OP. What are you so upset about? That he wasn't interested in what you were discussing? To be honest I have just read through it and I didn't really understand what you were talking about. What would it be useful for? Personally I would rather read the poetry that others liked. However, other have put up poems on this thread and no of them received the barrage of vitriol that you reserved for Leo. What is the problem?

Samotnaf wrote:
Doubtless people will say I'm being self-important and excessively aggressive; however, if I thought that what I said was the equivalent of every tedious ICC hack that farted on this site just to draw attention to themselves, I'd be seriously suicidal.

Ah, I see. He is a member of the ICC, so has to be criticised whatever.

To be honest I think that you were well out of order and that you owe him an apology.

Devrim

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Devrim
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Feb 27 2010 23:21
miles wrote:
A poem recently published on the ICC website, about the feelings of a returned soldier: 

Erm, I was very dubious about this. Poetry is a bit of a dead medium in English. In Turkish it is much more popular. We use poetry in our stuff. For example at the start of this leaflet on the TEKEL strike:

http://tr.internationalism.org/ekaonline-2000s/ekaonline-2009/el-tutusa-tutusa

I am a bit doubtful about it in English though.

Devrim

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Feb 27 2010 23:46

Samotnaf - your reproduction of Blake's The Tyger:

Quote:
I reproduce it here because I've looked at it a couple of times over the last 2 weeks. What's your (or anybody else's) interpretation of this? It seems that, despite the fact that Blake inevitably (given his epoch and his geographical location) believed in some kind of God, there's a kind of critique of God, particularly as some absolute fixed thing, in this - though saying this hardly says enough. I've never managed to read E.P.Thompson's book on Blake, hardly getting past the first few pages, because it seemed so academic and unnecessarily clever clever, but maybe other people here have gleaned something from it, or from other analyses of Blake............?

I won't offer an exegesis of The Tyger, but some random thoughts around Blake's 'kind of critique of God' which tend to come to me at this time of night after a few glasses of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Grolsch Weizen.

There is a kind of critique of God, evident when you look at poems like The Chimney Sweeper, which chides those who 'are gone to praise God & his Priest & King / Who make up a heaven of our misery'. The Garden of Love describes 'Priests in black gowns... binding with briars, my joys & desires'. Blake believed in some kind of God - as Saree Makdisi puts it: 'Blake repeatedly stresses an immanent conception of God, and hence a human potential for the infinite: "He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only. Therefore God becomes as we are, that we may be as he is" (from No Natural Religion)' (Makdisi 28).

I think this is where the figure of Urizen comes in. He's depicted by Blake as the classic white-bearded, transcendent God, sat up in the clouds, clutching a pair of dividers, in the picture known as The Ancient of Days. The name Urizen, I think, was intended to evoke the finitude of the horizon, as well as - in an anticipation of txt-spk - 'Your Reason', that is, the rationality of the emerging industrial world, of which Urizen is the God. He is "the great Work master," who absolutely dominates an industrial and commercial mode of productive organisation in which "each took his station, & his course began with sorrow and care / In sevens & tens & fifties, hundreds, thousands, numberd all / According to their various powers. Subordinate to Urizen" (The Four Zoas) (Makdisi 117-118). Urizen's role as 'work master' is inseparable from his self-proclaimed role as God - "Am I not God said Urizen. Who is Equal to me". A "Conqueror in triumphant glory", Urizen builds his universal empire:

First Trades & Commerce ships & armed vessels he builded laborious
To swim the deep & on the Land children are sold to trades
Of dire necessity still laboring day & night till all
Their life exctinc they took the spectre form in dark despair
And slaves in myriads in ship loads burden the hoarse sounding deep
Rattling with clanking chains the Universal Empire groans.

E P Thompson speculated that Blake came from a Muggletonian background. In fact, it's since been found that both Blake's parents were members of the Moravian Chapel in Fetter Lane, off Fleet Street, which was destroyed in the raid of May 10th 1941. Blake is likely to have drawn much of his religious language, symbolism and inspiration from here. On a bit of a tangent, I think the Moravian connection - between Blake's outlook and Afro-Caribbean radicalism from the 18th century to the present (the 'discourse' on Babylon, for example) - would be worth investigating. That's prompted by reading the obituary in today's Independent for the actor, Cy Grant, who voiced Lieutenant Green in Captain Scarlet, amongst other things. The great-grandson of a slave, he was born in British Guiana in 1919, one of seven children of a Moravian minister and a music teacher. His minister father impressed upon him that Toussaint l'Ouverture, who led the revolution in Haiti, was a great leader. I remember one of those Who Do You Think You Are? TV programmes where a black British athlete (Colin Jackson?) went to Jamaica to see where his mum had come from and there was a plot of land owned by the Moravian church which had been given to freed slaves.

PS The Makdisi book is William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s Uni. of Chicago Press 2003 - reading it still 'in progress' (though rewarding) - E P Thompson is a doddle in comparison.

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Feb 28 2010 00:08

Devrim wrote

Quote:
Nice is either 'Hoş' or 'Güzel' in Turkish, both of which are quite widely used for a variety of things that wouldn't be described as 'nice' in modern English. One of your main points seems to be about 'nice', which in my opinion is pretty poor. How would you feel if somebody laied into you about using an adjective in not quite an appropriate way in French, which I believe you speak, as you live there, and then remember that Leo hasn't even been to England as he can't get a visa, like most people here.

and

Quote:
Poetry is a bit of a dead medium in English. In Turkish it is much more popular.

This is interesting and probably needs a thread of its own. A few years ago I read a newspaper report rehashing some 'scientific research' into language and psychology which remarked on how different languages appeared to be conducive to different ways of perceiving and acting in the world (not to be confused with so-called 'national characteristics', presumably). That's about all I can remember, I'm afraid, other than that it was observed that the English language was conducive to free market capitalism. Perhaps another stimulus to James Joyce's FinnegansWake - 'I am at the end of English'. Any thoughts?

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Feb 28 2010 09:21
Wellclose Square wrote:
This is interesting and probably needs a thread of its own. A few years ago I read a newspaper report rehashing some 'scientific research' into language and psychology which remarked on how different languages appeared to be conducive to different ways of perceiving and acting in the world (not to be confused with so-called 'national characteristics', presumably). That's about all I can remember, I'm afraid, other than that it was observed that the English language was conducive to free market capitalism. Perhaps another stimulus to James Joyce's FinnegansWake - 'I am at the end of English'. Any thoughts?

I tend to disagree with the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, and think that thought does not have a strong influence on cognition. I think that thought goes on at a more base level than language and that we then internally 'translate' to the language we use.

Devrim

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Feb 28 2010 10:40
Quote:
Devrim wrote:
I tend to disagree with the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, and think that thought does not have a strong influence on cognition. I think that thought goes on at a more base level than language and that we then internally 'translate' to the language we use.

Thanks for clearing up that little mystery.

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Feb 28 2010 12:52

There is an article about brazilian anarchist poetry here. In portuguese, the most know anarchist poets were José Oiticica and Roberto das Neves.

Quote:
A Anarquia
José Oiticica

Para a anarquia vai a humanidade
Que da anarquia a humanidade vem!
Vêde como esse ideal de acordo invade
As classes todas pelo mundo além!

Que importa se a fração dos ricos brade,
Vendo que a antiga lei não se mantém?
Hão de ruir as muralhas da cidade,
Que não há fortalezas contra o bem

Façam da ação dos subversivos crime,
Persigam, matem, zombem, tudo em vão...
A idéia perseguida é mais sublime.

Pois nos rudes ataques à opressão,
A cada herói que morra ou desanime
Dezenas de outros bravos surgirão.

Quote:
The Anarchy
José Oiticica

Torwards anarchy goes humanity
'Cause from anarchy humanity comes
See how this ideal of agreement invades
The classes throughout the world

What does it matter if the rich fraction cries out
Seeing that the ancient law doesn't keep up?
The walls of the city shall crumble
'Cause there are no fortresses against goodness

Make the subversives' action a crime
Persecute, kill, mock, it's all in vain
The pursued idea is more sublime.

'Cause on the rude attacks to opression,
For each hero that dies or gives up
Tens of other braves will rise.

It's kind of heroic and manichaeist, but it's nice!

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Feb 28 2010 12:47

In Brazil there is cordel, a form of popular poetry really big in the northeastern. No academic crap, it's an authentic folk art, based mostly on story-telling. There is some interesting political cordel (none anarchist, though).

Mark.
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Feb 28 2010 13:03

Dano, thanks for the Brazilian poems. Do you know if any of these were set to music or whether it was just written poetry?

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Feb 28 2010 13:48

I don't think they were set to music. Most of them were only published in the anarchosyndicalist newspaper A Plebe. Almost all of the songs sang in the anarchist movement were translations of other country's stuff (like The Anarchist International, Primo Maggio and Hijos del Pueblo), specially because of the high number of immigrants. There's an article on brazilian anarchist music here, and another one about poetry here.

By the way, Edgar Rodrigues wrote a book in 1992 called O Anarquismo na Escola, no Teatro, na Poesia (Anarchism in School, Theater and Poetry). I don't have it, but it looks interesting.

I didn't understand the hostility towards poetry in here. The maoist guy was right in this aspect, it is really important in some cultures. Poetry can be a wonderful form of popular expression.

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Feb 28 2010 14:54
Devrim wrote:
miles wrote:
A poem recently published on the ICC website, about the feelings of a returned soldier: 

Erm, I was very dubious about this. Poetry is a bit of a dead medium in English. In Turkish it is much more popular. We use poetry in our stuff. For example at the start of this leaflet on the TEKEL strike:

http://tr.internationalism.org/ekaonline-2000s/ekaonline-2009/el-tutusa-tutusa

I am a bit doubtful about it in English though.

Devrim

Dev, I wouldn't say the poetry is a 'dead medium' in English. As I understand it, it's very much alive and kicking, especialy amongst young people - rap music anyone??

The other point I would make is that poetry can and will be more significant, but as with most art, you can't divorce it from the wider state of society and the state of the class struggle. So you can see from the examples of Russia 1917 (Proletkult) and, more recently, the uprisings of May 68, that artists can flourish in line with upsurges in the struggle. Indeed, it is also the case that the division between 'artists' and all others, itself begins to breakdown...

It kind of reminds me of the bit in the German Ideology where Marx talks about to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.

Personally i don't see the problem as poetry per se, more that - as here on this thread - it's being read, whereas poerty demands performance.

Whether it's good , bad or indifferent is another question.

John1
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Mar 8 2010 07:35

Samotnaf-

I was being slightly snide to be honest but it could be seen as kind of a compliment, alluding to your impressive general understanding and critique of a wide range of subjects that pop up around here. I had already read your Closed window...I've been trying to work through your uploads since you made some insightful comments about the nature of some of the discourse around these parts. I also recognise the role some posters take in closing down discussion, others putting their 'seal of approval' and some posts which are left of the left if that is the right term? Being shot down before they even get a conversation started. I have further criticisms but I won't go into them here. They certainly combine to put people off posting, including myself especially if you are not as well read for example. I also enjoy the situationist style of writing if I may call it that which you often delve into. It tends to cut through the bullshit so to speak without losing its relevance. However, I recognise others disagree entirely. I agree with your criticisms of 'my' cut up, it clearly means very little to anyone apart from myself as I was able to read it in its original form even though my intention wasn't to be 'artistic' it was to stimulate a reaction. Your points about using techniques, their limitations, aims etc are interesting and a useful guide. So thanks,I appreciate someone putting in detailed effort to what was essentially a mediocre post at best by myself. So, my new and improved Revolutionary soap powder:

We revolve in the historical
and the temporal.
Convulsed between Samotnaf's
subversive.
And the sleight of bourgeois individualism.
One ends up in cultish, esoteric shamanism.
The other, The Icey Sea.
We dance and we slog...
and therein lies the separation.
The freedom of our collective labour,
will be won through struggle!
In the Bedroom!
In the Kitchen!
And in the Forums!

Bedrooms, Kitchens, Forums!

I'll post the 'annotations' in a while...
If this comes across as infantile/utter shite so be it.

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Mar 10 2010 10:13

Heres some parts of a Nazım Hikmet's The Epic of Shiekh Bedreddin, about a proto-socialist rebellion in the 15th century Ottoman Empire. I translated these, so I hope it doesn't sound too bad.

Nazım Hikmet wrote:
The Epic of Shiekh Bedreddin

This lake is the İznik Lake.
It is still.
It is dark.
It is deep.
It is within the mountains
like the water in a well.
The lakes in these parts here
are misty.
The fish here are tasteless,
malaria comes from the marshes,
and the lakesfolk die
before they grow white beards.
This lake is the İznik lake.
Next to it is the town of İznik.
The anvil of the blacksmiths are like a broken heart here.
The children always feel hunger.
The breasts of women look like dried fish.
And young lads never sing songs.
This town is the town of İznik.
A house in the artisans district…
An old man resides in this house.
His name is Bedreddin.
A short man
with a long beard,
a white beard.
His eyes, cunning like those of a child
And his yellow fingers, just like reeds.

***

A bare footed woman cries on the shore.
and on the lake an empty fisherman’s boat
floats like a dead fish.
Going to where the water is taking it,
going to get crushed by the mountains.

Night has fallen over the İznik lake.
The loud warriors of the mountaintops
have beheaded the sun,
and made it bleed into the lake.
A bare footed woman cries on the shore.
The woman of the fisherman,
chained in fortress because of a carp.
Night has fallen over the İznik lake.
Bedreddin leaned down on the lake,
filled his hands with the water and stood up again.
And as the water fell from his fingers
back to the lake,
he said to himself:
“ – That fire, which is right inside my heart,
it is burning,
growing from day to day.
This, not even forged iron can stand.
My heart is about to melt…

I shall disappear and then strike!
We the men of the soil will go conquer it.
And realize the secret of unity, the power of facts;
we shall cancel the laws
of nations and sects…”

***

It was hot.
He looked down from the mountains of Karaburun,
at the end of the land, at the horizon, frowning:
A fire was on its way,
beheading children in the meadows
as if harvesting bloody poppies,
dragging their naked screams behind.
A fire with five banners was coming from the horizin, burning everything on its way.
It was Prince Murat who was coming.

***

It was hot,
Mustafa the heretic, disciple of Bedreddin looked,
looked Mustafa the peasant.
Looked without fear
without anger
without laughter.
Looked steeply
looked directly.
***
It was hot.
The clouds were full.
Almost as if a sweat word was the first drop about to fall down.
Suddenly,
as if falling down from the rocks
pouring down from the sky
growing from the ground,
as if the last work of art given by the land
The stouthearted men of Bedreddin faced the army of the prince.
They had seamless clothes,
They were bareheaded
barefooted
and had bareblade swords.
The grand war began.

The Turkish peasants of Aydın,
Greek sailors of Chios
Jewish artisans,
ten thousand heretic comrades of Börklüce Mustafa
dived in the enemy forest like ten thousand axes.
Their banners, red, green,
Their shields inlaid, their helms made of plate,
the lines
were torn into pieces but,
within the falling rain, as the day fell on the night,
two thousand remained of the ten.

In order to sing songs all together,
and to all together draw the nets from the water,
in order to forge steel like pinking all together;
and all together tilling the soil,
in order to eat the honey pairs all together,
and so that they could say that except the sweet cheek of the beloved,
everywhere
in everything
all together!
Ten thousands gave eight thousand away.

They were defeated.

The victors wiped the blood on their swords
on the white seamless shirts
of the vanquished.
And the land, like a song singed all together
tilled all together by the hands of brothers and sisters,
was beaten by the horseshoes
of the stallions, bred in the palace of Adrianople.

***

They stood in the dark.
He started speaking:
“— The market of the town of Ayaslugh has been set up.
Who again, friends,
Who again has been beheaded tonight?”
The rain
was falling all the time.
They started speaking
hey told him:
“—The market
hasn’t been set up yet
it will be
The blowing wind
hasn’t ceased yet
it will cease
His hasn’t been
beheaded yet
he will be”
As the darkness got more and more wet
I appeared where they stand,
to them I said:
“—Where are the gates of the city of Ayaslugh?
Show me and I shall get through!
Does it have a castle?
Tell me and I shall turn it into a rubble!
Do they collect tribute?
Say, so that I shall defy!”
He started speaking, and said:
“—The gates of the city of Ayaslugh are tight
One can’t go in and out.
It has a castle,
that won’t easily become rubble
Go now, brave horseman,
just go home.”

“— I shall come in and come out” I said.
“— I shall burn and destroy” I said.
He said: “—The rain stopped
the day is awakening.
For Mustafa
Ali the hangman
is calling.
Go now, brave horseman,
just go home.”

***

I know the sound of this galloping.
Bloody manes upon them, these pitch black horses
have crossed the dark road in full speed
with captives tied to the saddles with ropes, as ever.

I know the sound of this galloping.
They
came into our tents one morning
as if the song of our friends.
We shared our bread with them.
The wheather was so beautiful,
the heart so hopefuly
the eyes are as if those of a child
and doubt, our wise friend, is sound asleep.

I know the sound of this galloping.
They
galloped away
from our then one night, in full speed.
The guard, stabbed from the back
and tied to the saddle,
the arms of our most valuable.

I know the sound of this galloping.
And so does the insane forest.

***
In the center
steep like a sword plunged into the ground
our old man.
In front of him, the sultan.
They looked into each others eyes.

The sultan wanted,
before this embodiment of blasphemy got slaughtered,
before, by the rope, the final word got slit,
that law prevails a little bit
that the business is taken care in proper spirit .

A sacred scholar,
whose property just got shipped from Persia,
with the name Mevlâna Hayder,
happened to be ready, right there.
He blessed his hennaed beard and took care of the business:
“His property is haram,
yet his blood is halal”
he said.
They turned to Bedreddin:
They said “You, speak also.”
They said “Account for your heresy.”

Bedreddin
looked outside, from the arches.
There is the sun outside.
The branches of a green tree in the courtyard,
and the stones, being carved by a river hard.
Bedreddin smiled.
The pupils of his eyes shined.
He said:
“—Well, since we lost this time
Whatever we do, whatever we say, it’s in vain.
No point in going on for too long.
As the writ belongs to us,
Give it, so we can stamp its heart.

***

The rain is drizzling
cowering
slowly
like an oration of treachery.

The rain is drizzling,
like how white and naked heretic feet
run over the wet and dark soil.

The rain is drizzling,
in the artisans market of Serez,
in front of a coppersmiths shop
my Bedreddin hangs from a tree.

The rain is drizzling.
It is a late and starless time of the night
And it is the naked flesh
of my shiehk,
hanging under a bough without a leaf.

The rain is drizzling.
The market of Serez is mute.
The market of Serez is blind.
The accursed sorrow of silence, darkness on the air
And, with its hands, the market of Serez, covers its face.

The rain is drizzling.

cresspot's picture
cresspot
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Feb 18 2014 10:00

BUMP I WANT TO SEE SOME MORE COMMUNIST POETRY!

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
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Feb 18 2014 10:21
cresspot wrote:
BUMP I WANT TO SEE SOME MORE COMMUNIST POETRY!

you want communist poetry ... so you get Herman Gorter!

found at https://lostupabove.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/zie-je/

Quote:
You see I love you,
I find you so sweet and so light -
your eyes are so full of light,
I love you, I love you.

And your nose and your mouth and your hair
and your eyes and your neck where
your collar is and your ear
showing through your hair..

You see I would like to be
you, but it can not be,
the light around you, you just are
what you just are.

Oh yes, I love you,
I love you terribly,
I wanted to say it all -
But yet I can not say it.

backspace
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Feb 18 2014 13:48

Gorter would make a great worryingly eccentric cat owner

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
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Feb 18 2014 15:21

cresspot's picture
cresspot
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Feb 26 2014 00:10

I looked for some more poetry but wasn't satisfied so I wrote my own after reading DH Lawrence's poems posted earlier in this thread. TO THE STRAWBERRY FIELDS!

The milk jug is for sharing.
The egg basket is for sharing.
The strawberries are for sharing.
Let's all just share and stop bickering.
Let's throw out the police
from our windows and our doors.
And the tax-collector too,
with his grubby hands and fat face.
And let's build a new City.
Where doors need not be locked.
Where the clock is but an ornament,
and not the tyrant of the daylight.
Where we are not mindlessly
lugging ourselves about
in order to earn a penny or two
for some fathead.
A city of light-
not of heaven, but of earth.
Out in the strawberry fields
we shall all work, and sing,
together.

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
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Oct 23 2015 21:55

some really bad maoist poems: https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/ncm-3/lc-poetry.pdf

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jahbread
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Oct 24 2015 10:06

A Limerick

There was an Old Man called Gaddafi
Who blew up a train load of navvies;
The people went barmy
Because of this swami
And next day Spain pulled out its army.

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jahbread
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Oct 24 2015 10:45

cresspot I like the ironic style of your poem but I didn't like this line:

Quote:
And let's build a new City.

I know that communism breaks down the barrier between town and country so is a new City really our aim.

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Auld-bod
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Oct 24 2015 11:08

Legal Midnight Hour

Well, the dying time came, the legal midnight hour,
The moment set by law for the Chair to be at work,
To substantiate the majesty of the State of Massachusetts
That hour was at hand, had arrived, was struck by the clocks,
The time for two men to be carried cool on a cooling board
Beyond the immeasurably thin walls between day and night,
Beyond the reach of airmail, telegrams, radiophones,
Beyond the brotherhoods of blood into the fraternities
Of mist and foggy dew, of stars and ice.
The time was on for two men
To march beyond blood into dust -
A time that comes to all men,
Some with a few loved ones at a bedside,
Some alone in the wilderness or the wide sea,
Some before a vast audience of all mankind.

Now Sacco saw the witnesses
As the straps were fitted on
Tying him down in the Chair –
And seeing the witnesses were
Respectable men and responsible citizens,
And even though there had been no introductions,
Sacco said, “Good-evening, gentlemen.”
And before the last of the straps was fastened so to hold
Sacco murmured, “Farewell, mother.”

Then came Vanzetti.
He wished the vast audience of all mankind
To know something he carried in his breast.
This was the time to tell it.
He had to speak now or hold his peace forever.
The headgear was being clamped on.
The straps muffling his mouth were going on.
He shouted, “I wish to forgive some people
Or what they are now doing.”
And so now
The dead are dead? ? ? ?

Carl Sandburg

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jahbread
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Oct 24 2015 11:40

Mockeries & Phrase

Blessings flow:
The reason for life is love
And even before there was
My hands stretched forth up above,
Zion we love.

Mockeries and phrase, Babylon applauding for building an evilous world;
Follies and craze, ghetto youths skylarking, not seeing all dem twist & twirl.
Mockeries and phrase, states and church applauding for building
the Western World;
Follies and craze, ghetto youths skylarking, not seeing Mystery Babylon.

Where do you go from here,
Rasta found you guilty on the points of care?
Atomic energy fuel your ego cheer,
Manufacture machine based upon your nuclear;
Your human family been dragged to warfare,
In the children heart you try to drive all your fear.
Can be recognized from the clothes you wear
Yet we nah judge your seam dem, neither your tear.

I tell you now:
Living in this polluted hemisphere, youths hold strong,
judgement again!
The works of the wicked never will prevail for long;
Where you belong, Ethiopian? Babylon me tell yuh say yah.

Me tell dem, the youths in agony, organise proper thing
Ay! Channel the only way dey go.
So-called authority giving us brutality,
I fight for my rights also
Nothing to eat, we hungry; no clothes fi wear, we hungry;
Bullets will never stop flow!
Selassie I -- love and mercy inna the crumbling city
Protect us all! Ah tell you now, oh, oh, oh,
Living in polluted hemisphere, people hold strong,
judgement again!
The works of the wicked man never will prevail for long.
Where you belong?
Give us repatriation!
Selassie I done know say ah.

Mockeries and phrase, Babylon applauding for giving such
an evilous world;
Follies and craze, ghetto youths skylarking, not seeing all dem
twist & twirl.
Kill we fi days, Babylon applauding, cause him dunk we inna the
evilous world.
Follies and craze, ghetto youths skylarking, we'll be strong all you
boys & girls!

Miguel Collins

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orphanages
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Nov 8 2015 16:35

SOoo as for 'communist poetry'

most people that try to write pol. poems suck at it. so it depends on what you're interested. if you don't give a shit about literature but wanna read some 'communist poetry' that's one thing. I owuld suggest taking a different route, since what the fuck does a revolutionary movement need poetry for anyways (ie the relationship b/w the 2 is definitely not a programmatic one, so it's not so important whether poems are explicitly political or not)

that being said, regardless of whether or not the authors were political, poetry written in/around moments of extreme political tension can be very fucking good.

an example of this would be cesar vallejos "spain, take this chalice from me" which was written spanish civil war time period. that is, however, a book, not just a poem.

the obvious other example is Rimbaud's illuminations, written during the paris commune time. this is a better example of poems written under the sway of revolution without being epxlicitly (always) political. in his poetry we can see how revolution is an active destruction of all our senses– thus the imagery, hallucinations, etc.
Anna Mendelssohn wrote brilliant poetry and was part of the Angry brigades in the UK

as for contemporary stuff, I would very highly recommend checking out sean bonney's work. his blog is here, but i would check out his soundcloud and essay on mute magazine on blanqui.

abandonedbuildings.blogspot.com
http://www.metamute.org/editorial/reviews/eternity-to-here

other, less interesting contemporary communist poetry is the stuf coming out the bay– from commune editions. Jasper & Joshua & Juliana Spahr all have books just released about the fires in the last few years. I would start with Juliana's work

a last contemporary book to recommend would be jack frost's 'the antidote' which was written about the oaklkand commune. super dope shit.

i'll leave you with this rimbaud poem, please check out sean bonney's work. i swear to god it's dope as all hell

What’s it to us, my heart, but blankets of blood
And of coalfire, a thousand murders, endless
Howls of rage, and wails of hell-pits disclosing
All order; and North-wind playing still on the debris;

But vengeance? Never! And yet we crave it.
Industrialists, princes, senators: die!
Power, justice, history: kneel! We’re due,
Due blood. Blood, and golden flames.

All in for war, for vengeance, for terror
My soul! We writhe in its Bite: O! pass away
Republics of this world! Emperors,
Regiments, colonists, peoples. Enough already.

Who will rouse these whirlwinds of frenzied fire
If not us, and those we call our brothers?
It’s our turn! Giddy friends, our fun begins.
O floods of fire, we’ll never work

Europe, Asia, America, vanish. Our march
Of vengeance has occupied everything
Cities and the countryside! – We’ll be wiped out!
Volcanoes erupt and Oceans boil…

Oh! My friends! – My heart, it’s sure, they are brothers:
Shadowed strangers, if we were to leave! So let’s go! Let’s go!
O misfortune! I’m trembling and this old earth on me
Who is more and more yours – the earth melts,

It’s nothing! I am here! I am here always!

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Noah Fence
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Nov 9 2015 02:24

I'm pretty self conscious about posting this but what the hell.

My most recent literary effort;

Winter sky, deep blue, high and magnificent
Sunlight reaching to Earth like great crackling shards of glass
All is paused, still in this dormant season
The oceans, flat, hard and blue, flat, hard and green
The brown and green of the land sparkling with a white bloom of frost
What perfect beauty
How sweet the universe’s gentle pleasure at being itself
This is what and this is why and this is all
Perfection hums in the contours of the hills, the softness of the mist in the valleys, in the many angles of the rocks and the black skeletons of the trees
But now something soils this perfection, mocks its magnificence, breaks the stillness with its constant scurrying, with its futile efforts to impress
Fat on self-importance, swollen with empty pride,
This thing called humanity could be a part of all there is
But instead it sets itself apart
Each cell in this sprawling creature thinks not of the whole but only itself and in doing so condemns itself and the whole to a needless demise and the few cells that know what they are and cherish the whole exhaust themselves going round and around like a fly with one wing, certain to get nowhere.
So what of the sky and the sea and the land?
Do they feel pity in their hearts at our self- imposed ruin?
Do they wish they could help us to end the stupidity and carve something beautiful from the rock of ourselves?
Not a fucking chance mate, they’ll be glad to see the back of us.