Sonntag, 21. Mai 2017

Harry Graham (30)

Hundefreundliche Zeilen aus »The Motley Muse«:
Harry Graham: Egregious Eastbourne

[A recent by-law of the Eastbourne Town Council renders the owner of any dog who barks upon the beach liable to a fine of forty shillings.]

Never more shall I and Ponto
Traverse the Marine Parade,
Pass the Pier and wander onto
Eastbourne's Esplanade;
Never more, with lungs like leather,
And a heart as light as feather,
Shall we stray and play together
Where we strayed and played!
On the cruel Council's shingle
Man and beast no more may mingle!

With what never-ending rapture
Ponto would retrieve a stone,
Leap into the sea and capture
Sticks, wherever thrown;
Issue dripping from the ocean,
With his tail in constant motion,
And express his true devotion
In a strident tone,
Till the Judge, his license marking,
Fined him forty bob for barking!

Still, upon the sands, sopranos
Topmost notes in anguish reach,
Masked musicians thump pianos,
Negro minstrels screech;
German bandsmen blare and bellow,
But my Ponto, poor old fellow,
May not raise his loud but mellow
Bark upon the beach!
»Dumb,« indeed, is every beast born
In the neighbourhood of Eastbourne!

Montag, 15. Mai 2017

Erlebnis

Erlebnis

Aus Welten, deren Namen ich nicht kannte
(ich spräche sie wohl eh nicht richtig aus
(weshalb ich sie auch leichthin »Welten« nannte)),
erschien ein Raumschiff, das empfindlich brannte:
Es brach entzwei, ein Männchen plumpste raus.

Ich schaute dem Geschöpf nur aus Versehen
und durch das Küchenfenster zu und rief,
was man halt ruft, wenn Havarien geschehen.
Es konnte mich jedoch nicht recht verstehen,
weil blauer Schleim aus seinen Ohren lief.

Ich rannte raus, um, was dort rang, zu retten,
und hätte mich vor R beinah verschluckt.
Ich tupfte, was mir Blut schien, mit Servietten,
bewarf das Wesen hektisch mit Tabletten, –
und schließlich hat es zögerlich gezuckt.

Ich wollte schon mit Erster Hilfe starten,
da wankte es und würgte kompliziert,
und seine fünfundvierzig Beine scharrten:
Abrupt verschied das Ding in meinem Garten,
und damit war der Abend ruiniert.

Sonntag, 14. Mai 2017

Harry Graham (29)

Sonntag ist Harry-Graham-Tag! Heute gibt es Tischtennisverse aus »Verse and Worse«:
Harry Graham: The Ballad of Ping-Pong
(After Swinburne)
The murmurous moments of May-time,
   What bountiful blessings they bring!
As dew to the dawn of the day-time,
   Suspicions of Summer to Spring!

Let others imagine the time light,
   With maidens or books on their knee,
Or live in the languorous limelight
   That tinges the trunk of the tree.

Let the timorous turn to their tennis,
   Or the bowls to which bumpkins belong,
But the thing for grown women and men is
   The pastime of ping and of pong.

The game of the glorious glamour!
   The feeling to fight till you fall!
The hurricane hail and the hammer!
   The batter and bruise of the ball!

The glory of getting behind it!
   The brief but bewildering bliss!
The fear of the failure to find it!
   The madness at making a miss!

The sound of the sphere as you smack it,
   Derisive, decisive, divine!
The riotous rush of your racket,
   To mix and to mingle with mine!

The diadem dear to the King is,
   How sweet to the singer his song;
To me so the plea of the ping is,
   And the passionate plaint of the pong.

I live for it, love for it, like it;
   Delight of my dearest of dreams!
To stand and to strive and to strike it,
   So certain, so simple it seems!

Then give me the game of the gay time,
   The ball on its wandering wing,
The pastime for night or for day-time,
   The Pong, not to mention the Ping!

Montag, 8. Mai 2017

Mailied

Mailied (feat. Ludwig Uhland)

Die linden Lüfte sind erwacht,
die Welt vergeht vor Blumenpracht,
und Frühlings-Hashtags trenden.
Auf Wolfsmilchwiesen stirbt Gequak:
Man weiß nicht, was noch werden mag,
das Blühen will nicht enden.

Die Gräser wachsen hoch und dicht.
Der Mohn glüht rot. Die Birke nicht,
sie sorgt bloß für Geflenn, denn
man niest dank ihr den ganzen Tag
und weiß nicht, was noch werden mag,
das Blühen will nicht enden.

Auf all-, auf all-, – Moment, ich hab's:
Auf allen Feldern strahlt der Raps,
so möchte Gott uns blenden,
weshalb ich nun rhetorisch klag:
Man weiß nicht, was noch werden mag,
das Blühen will nicht enden.

Die Algenblüte trübt das Meer.
Es grünt und knospt und sprießt so sehr,
dass Bäume Schatten spenden,
wo noch im März ein Gleisbett lag:
Man weiß nicht, was noch werden mag,
das Blühen will nicht enden.

Der Klee bricht durch Asphalt und Stein:
Das Land zerfällt. Der DAX stürzt ein.
Quo vadis, Dividenden?
Verzeihung, dass ich weiter frag:
Wer weiß bloß, was noch werden mag?,
wann will das Blühen enden?

Vergisst man das florale Leid,
und will man dennoch seine Zeit
in der Natur verschwenden,
dann machen Nesseln Hautausschlag,
was ich zu kritisieren wag,
indem ich es noch einmal sag:
Man weiß nicht, was noch werden mag,
das Blühen will nicht enden!

(Man sollte einen Strafantrag
an die Gerichte in Den Haag,
auf dass es ende, senden.)

Sonntag, 7. Mai 2017

Harry Graham (28)

Aus »Baby's Baedeker«:
Harry Graham: France

The natives here remark »Mon Dieu!« 
   »Que voulez-vous?« »Comment ça va?« 
»Sapristi! Par exemple! Un peu!«
   »Tiens donc! Mais qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?«
They shave one portion of their dogs,  
And live exclusively on frogs.
 
They get excited very quick,  
   And crowds will gather before long  
If you should stand and wave your stick  
   And shout, »À bas le Presidong!« 
Still more amusing would it be  
To say, »Conspuez la Patrie!«
The French are so polite, you know, 
   They take their hats off very well,  
And, should they tread upon your toe, 
   Remark, »Pardon, Mademoiselle!« 
And you would gladly bear the pain  
To see them make that bow again.
 
Their ladies too have got a way 
    Which even curates can't resist;  
'Twould make an Alderman feel gay  
   Or soothe a yellow journalist;  
And then the things they say are so  
Extremely—well, in fact,—you know!
 
MORAL
The closest scrutiny can find  
No morals here of any kind.

Dienstag, 2. Mai 2017

Kindersonett IV

Kindersonett IV: Die Wüste

Du bist Tourist?
Dann pass gut auf,
die Wüste ist
sehr öde drauf:

Kaum Vieh, das frisst!
Kein Wasserlauf!
Nur gelber Mist,
sprich: Sand zuhauf.

Wer dort lebt, schwitzt
das ganze Jahr
und flucht sehr wüst.

Zu selten flitzt
ein Dromedar
vorbei und grüßt.

Sonntag, 30. April 2017

Harry Graham (27)

Aus »Misrepresentative Women« (1906):
Harry Graham: Mrs. Christopher Columbus

The bride grows pale beneath her veil,
   The matron, for the nonce, is dumb,
Who listens to the tragic tale
   Of Mrs. Christopher Columb:
Who lived and died (so says report)
A widow of the herbal sort.
Her husband upon canvas wings
   Would brave the Ocean, tempest-tost;
He had a cult for finding things
   Which nobody had ever lost,
And Mrs. C. grew almost frantic
When he discovered the Atlantic.
But nothing she could do or say
   Would keep her Christopher at home;
Without delay he sailed away
   Across what poets call »the foam,«
While neighbors murmured, »What a shame!«
And wished their husbands did the same.
He ventured on the highest C’s
   That reared their heads above the bar,
Knowing the compass and the quays
   Like any operatic star;
And funny friends who watched him do so
Would call him »Robinson Caruso.«
But Mrs. C. remained indoors,
   And poked the fire and wound the clocks,
Amused the children, scrubbed the floors,
   Or darned her absent husband’s socks.
(For she was far too sweet and wise
To darn the great explorer’s eyes.)
And when she chanced to look around
   At all the couples she had known,
And realized how few had found
   A home as peaceful as her own,
She saw how pleasant it may be
To wed a chronic absentee.
Her husband’s absence she enjoyed,
   Nor ever asked him where he went,
Thinking him harmlessly employed
   Discovering some Continent.
Had he been always in, no doubt,
Some day she would have found him out.
And so he daily left her side
   To travel o’er the ocean far,
And she who, like the bard, had tried
   To »hitch her wagon to a star,«
Though she was harnessed to a comet,
Got lots of satisfaction from it.
To him returning from the West
   She proved a perfect anti-dote,
Who loosed his Armour (beef compress’d)
   And sprayed his »automobile throat«;
His health she kept a jealous eye on,
And played PerUna to his lion!
And when she got him home again,
   And so could wear the jewels rare
Which Isabella, Queen of Spain,
   Entrusted to her husband’s care,
Her monetary wealth was »far
Beyond the dreams of caviar!«
 ·  ·  ·  ·  · 
A melancholy thing it is
   How few have known or understood
The manifold advantages
   Of such herbaceous widowhood!
(What is it ruins married lives
But husbands... not to mention wives?)
O wedded couples of to-day,
   Pray take these principles to heart,
And copy the Columbian way
   Of living happily apart.
And so, to you, at any rate,
Shall marriage be a »blessèd state.«