Poems from the Mainstream* — On Love & Heartbreak

Funeral Blues
— W.H. Auden (1938)

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Graffiti from the Israeli West Bank Barrier (c. 2008)
No Second Troy
— W.B. Yeats (1916)

Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?

One among hundreds of deaths from the Philippines’ war against drugs. Photo by Dondi Tawatao / Getty Images (2016)
— Edgar Calabia Samar (via)

Wala siyang ginagawa at
sinasaktan mo ang sarili mo.

Wala siyang ginagawa kaya
sinasaktan mo ang sarili mo.

Wala siyang ginagawa pero
sinasaktan mo ang sarili mo.

Wala siyang ginagawa kahit
sinasaktan mo ang sarili mo.

Wala siyang ginagawa dahil
sinasaktan mo ang sarili mo.

* Mainstream is relative, depending largely on the time and place in which a work was released.