Dannie Abse

Dannie Abse Poems

Sister saying—‘Soon you'll be back in the ward,'
sister thinking—‘Only two more on the list,'
the patient saying—‘Thank you, I feel fine';
...

Not Adlestrop, no - besides the name
hardly matters. Nor did I languish in June heat.
Simply, I stood, too early, on the empty platform,
and the wrong train came in slowly, surprised, stopped.
...

The gods, old as night, don't trouble us.
Poor weeping Venus! Her pubic hairs are grey,
and her magic love girdle has lost its spring.
...

Singing, today I married my white girl
beautiful in a barley field.
Green on thy finger a grass blade curled,
...

A heritage of a sort.
A heritage of comradeship and suffocation.
...

6.

When the snake bit
Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa
while he was praying
...

White coat and purple coat
a sleeve from both he sews.
That white is always stained with blood,
...

Late, I have come to a parched land
doubting my gift, if gift I have,
the inspiration of water
...

9.

Some prowl sea-beds, some hurtle to a star
and, mother, some obsessed turn over every stone
or open graves to let that starlight in.
...

Splendidly, Shakespeare's heroes,
Shakespeare's heroines, once the spotlight's on,
enact every night, with such grace, their verbose deaths.
...

Writing should be dedicated living, and ordinary heroes go
lame,
torn like bits of poems, bits of voices into the wind.
I should be vocal for all the dumb ; for the homeless be home,
...

A multitude of masts in the harbour.
The sails limp in the air, becalmed.
The tired sea barely moving.
The sea breathes quietly, Agamemnon.
...

I know the colour rose, and it is lovely,
but not when it ripens in a tumour;
and healing greens, leaves and grass, so springlike,
in limbs that fester are not springlike.
...

In the mildew of age
all pavements slope uphill

slow slow
towards an exit.
...

1

Wakeful past 3 a.m.
near the frontiers of Nothing
it's easy, so easy
...

Dannie Abse Biography

Daniel Abse, CBE FRSL (22 September 1923 – 28 September 2014) was a Welsh poet. Abse was born in Cardiff, Wales, to a Jewish family. He was the younger brother of politician and reformer Leo Abse and the eminent psychoanalyst, Wilfred Abse. Abse first studied medicine at the University of Wales College of Medicine, and then at Westminster Hospital Medical School and King's College London. Abse was a passionate supporter of Cardiff City. He first went to watch them play in 1934 and many of his writings refer to his experiences watching and lifelong love of The Bluebirds. Although best known as a poet, Abse worked in the medical field, and was a specialist at a chest clinic for over thirty years. He received numerous literary awards and fellowships for his writing. In 1989, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Wales. His first poetic volume, After Every Green Thing, was published in 1949. His autobiographic work, Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve, was published in 1954. He won the Welsh Arts Council Award in both 1971 and 1987, and the Cholmondeley Award in 1985. He has been a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature since 1983. Abse lived for several decades in the northwest area of London, mainly near Hampstead where he has considerable ties. For several years he wrote a column for the "Ham & High" (Hampstead and Highgate Express) local newspaper. The articles were subsequently published in book form. In 2005, his wife Joan Abse was killed in a car accident, while Abse suffered a broken rib. His poetry collection, Running Late, was published in 2006, and The Presence, a memoir of the year after his wife died, was published in 2007; it won the 2008 Wales Book of the Year award. The book was later dramatised for BBC Radio 4. He was awarded the Roland Mathias prize for Running Late. In 2009 Abse brought out a volume of collected poetry. In the same year, he received the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award. Abse was a judge for the inaugural 2010 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. Abse was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to poetry and literature. Dannie Abse died on 28 September 2014, aged 91.)

The Best Poem Of Dannie Abse

In the Theatre

Sister saying—‘Soon you'll be back in the ward,'
sister thinking—‘Only two more on the list,'
the patient saying—‘Thank you, I feel fine';
small voices, small lies, nothing untoward,
though, soon, he would blink again and again
because of the fingers of Lambert Rogers,
rash as a blind man's, inside his soft brain.

If items of horror can make a man laugh
then laugh at this: one hour later, the growth
still undiscovered, ticking its own wild time;
more brain mashed because of the probe's braille path;
Lambert Rogers desperate, fingering still;
his dresser thinking, ‘Christ! Two more on the list,
a cisternal puncture and a neural cyst.'

Then, suddenly, the cracked record in the brain,
a ventriloquist voice that cried, ‘You sod,
leave my soul alone, leave my soul alone,'—
the patient's dummy lips moving to that refrain,
the patient's eyes too wide. And, shocked,
Lambert Rogers drawing out the probe
with nurses, students, sister, petrified.

‘Leave my soul alone, leave my soul alone,'
that voice so arctic and that cry so odd
had nowhere else to go—till the antique
gramophone wound down and the words began
to blur and slow, ‘ … leave … my … soul … alone … '
to cease at last when something other died.
And silence matched the silence under snow.

Dannie Abse Comments

danny abse 15 October 2019

he sucks? ? doesn't he? ? real crap? ?

0 1 Reply
Elsie 16 May 2021

No, but your language does.

0 0 Reply
Coolio catio 24 June 2019

Wtf does “the water diviner“ by this dude mean

0 2 Reply
buster 28 March 2018

wheres the poem scent u mong

1 1 Reply
buster 28 March 2018

oi m9 where is the poem scent

1 1 Reply

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