Tuesday, 8 March 2011

INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY / A Century beyond the Fragments.1911-2011

Some writings for International Womens Day.

SARA TEASDALE (1884 -1933)

American Poet, work much influenced by Christina Rossetti. Died after an overdose.

There Will come soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,,
And swallows calling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild-plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of thewar, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Irina Ratushiskaya (4/3/54)

I Shall Write

I shall write about all the sad people
Who have remained on the shore
About those who have been condemned to silence-
I shall write.
Then burn what I have written.
Oh, how these lines will soar,
How the sheets of paper will fall back
Under the fierce blast
Of irrepparable emptiness!
With what haughty movement
The fire will outstrip me!
And the ashen foam will tremble.
But give birth to nothing.

Henriettte Roland- Holst (24/12/1865 - 21/11/52)

Henriette Roland Holst was born in Amsterdam. A student of Marx, she joined the Socialist Party, but broke away and founded the Revolutionary Socialist Party in 1915.
Her poetry shocked readers at the time for its unorthodox rhyme and rhythyms and its subject matter.


Throughout the day we are able to ban the voices
Because the task takes all our strength,
But when day's fruit has ripened ito evening
We feel the many questions tightening like bows.

Half content we settle around lamps
Ans around the sadbess-defeating hearth's fire,
Relieved that the day which has emptied
Has left no dregs of greater pain.

For there is always something that we fear;
We are like the wives of fishermen at sea
Who day after day scan water and wind:
All they have heaves on the waves.

Our heart is embarked on world-whirling;
Storms and stillnesses move us,
Surf breaks against us, and we feel
Each shuddering go through our depths.

Clara Zetkin (1857-1933)

Was a German, Marxist law reformer, pacifist and political anarchist. Jailed in 1914 for anti-war activities.

... far too many do not shrink from demanding from the workers once more new sacrifices of blood and property for imperialist wars. ' We went through the World War with its terrible demands and horrors, let the young men now bear what we had to bear,' so declaim, in heroic pose, men who in their time in the trenches piteously complained of being cannon fodder for capitalist profits, and ater the conclusion of peace swore, 'no more war.' The meaness of their attitude is self evident. The progressive workers have always felt it to be their elementarry duty that the fight of the 'old generation' should spare oncoming youth the pain that they have suffered, in order that the youth might reap where their fathers sowed, in order that they might grow beyond them, promoting the rise of mankind to higher life in freedom and culture. With our glances firmly fixed on the fate, the rights and the tasks of the youth, we say: 'The workers against imperialist wars.'

In the misery-laden atmosphere, with the unemployment totalling thirty-five millions, not a few are led astray by the imperialist war provocateurs and war makers, through the illusion that massacres of the peoples will provide bread. Men and women whose years have suffered bitter want, who have often hungered and frozen for months together without bread or shelter, find employment in war industries. Their propertyless , exploited slave existence compels them to hard servile labour there. The boom in the armament industry allows its controlling, profit-swallowing 'magnates' to pay to individual working men and women and clerks, and to small groups of them, higher wages for overtime and premiums for special output. Such expenditure is tainted with the corruption of bribery for the purpose of splitting the workers and crippling their power of resistance to imperialst wars; they are insurance premiums paid for carrying through the latter. The growth of the armament madness of the bourgeois states increases their miltary budgets and their need for revenue. For what those employed in the armament industry take home as wages, the masses of the workers must pay in taxes and through tariffs.


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