Archive for the 'Poetry' Category

Item aliud ad eandem, ut vinum bibat

Book XI, Venantius Fortunatus, Opera Poetica

IV. Item aliud ad eandem, ut vinum bibat

Si pietas et sanctus amor dat vota petenti,

exaudi famulos munere larga tuos.

Fortunatus agens, Agnes quoque versibus orant,

ut lassata nimis vina benigna bibas.

sic tibi det dominus quaecumque poposceris ipsum,

et tibi, sicut amas, vivant uterque rogans:

suppliciter petimus, si non offendimus, ambo,

ut releves natos, mater opima, duos.

non gula vos, sed causa trahat modo sumere vina,

talis enim potus viscera lassa iuvat.

sic qouque Timotheum Paulus, tuba gentibus una,

ne stomachem infirmet sumere vina iubet.

4. Good Wine

Your devotion, your holy love, bring you what you ask

through prayer. But listen to me, you who are so generous to others;

we have something to say to you!

Fortunatus will strike up a tune, and Agnes will sing the verses:

“When you are not well, drink some good wine,

because the Lord, whom you love,

will look with favor on whatever you do.”

(We both plead, high-born mother,

that this demand not offend you,

and that you pardon us for our boldness.)

“Drink wine! Not for its taste on your tongue,

but because it is excellent indeed for your digestion.

Remember that Paul, trumpet to the pagans,

commanded Timothy: take a little wine for your stomach!”

Ah yes, nothing like a good drink to lift the spirits.

The Best Cigarette, by Billy Collins

The Best cigarette, by Billy Collins

There are many that I miss
having sent my last one out a car window
sparking along the road one night, years ago.

The heralded one, of course:
after sex, the two glowing tips
now the lights of a single ship;
at the end of a long dinner
with more wine to come
and a smoke ring coasting into the chandelier;
or on a white beach,
holding one with fingers still wet from a swim.

How bittersweet these punctuations
of flame and gesture;
but the best were on those mornings
when I would have a little something going
in the typewriter,
the sun bright in the windows,
maybe some Berlioz on in the background.
I would go into the kitchen for coffee
and on the way back to the page,
curled in its roller,
I would light one up and feel
its dry rush mix with the dark taste of coffee.

Then I would be my own locomotive,
trailing behind me as I returned to work
little puffs of smoke,
indicators of progress,
signs of industry and thought,
the signal that told the nineteenth century
it was moving forward.
That was the best cigarette,
when I would steam into the study
full of vaporous hope
and stand there,
the big headlamp of my face
pointed down at all the words in parallel lines.

(I read this on a bookmark which I bought at BooksActually last week. I’ll let you see it one day.)


Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us

Stella Matutina, ora pro nobis

Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, pray for us

St Michael the Archangel, pray for us

St Jude, pray for us

St Benedict, pray for us

St Dominic, pray for us

St Anthony, pray for us