Tuesday, November 20, 2012

916. Shadows - D. H. Lawrence


And if tonight my soul may find her peace

in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,

and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower

then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.

And if, as weeks go round, in the dark of the moon

my spirit darkens and goes out, and soft strange gloom

pervades my movements and my thoughts and words

then I shall know that I am walking still

with God, we are close together now the moon’s in shadow.

And if, as autumn deepens and darkens

I feel the pain of falling leaves, and stems that break in storms

and trouble and dissolution and distress

and then the softness of deep shadows folding,

folding around my soul and spirit, around my lips

so sweet, like a swoon, or more like the drowse of a low, sad song

singing darker than the nightingale, on, on to the solstice

and the silence of short days, the silence of the year, the shadow,

then I shall know that my life is moving still

with the dark earth, and drenched

with the deep oblivion of earth’s lapse and renewal.

And if, in the changing phases of man’s life

I fall in sickness and in misery

my wrists seem broken and my heart seems dead

and strength is gone, and my life

is only the leavings of a life:

and still, among it all, snatches of lovely oblivion, and snatches of renewal

odd, wintry flowers upon the withered stem, yet new, strange flowers

such as my life has not brought forth before, new blossoms of me

then I must know that still

I am in the hands of the unknown God,

he is breaking me down to his own oblivion

to send me forth on a new morning, a new man.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

915. Year's End - Jorge Luis Borge

Translated from the Spanish by W. S. Merwin

Neither the symbolic detail
of a three instead of a two,
nor that rough metaphor
that hails one term dying and another emerging,
nor the fulfillment of an astronomical process
muddle and undermine
the high plateau of this night
making us wait
for the twelve irreparable strokes of the bell.
The real cause
is our murky pervasive suspicion
of the enigma of Time,
it is our awe at the miracle
that, though the chances are infinite
and through we are
drops in Heraclitus’ river,
allows something in us to endure,
never moving.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

914. Toy Camera - Lenore Horowitz

If only life could be like that

just blurred at the edges,

slightly out of focus,

a tiny bit fogged,

and those people in your frame

caught looking,

harmless, like cartoon characters,

and the surprises
you couldn’t see

when you snapped the shutter,

guessing at focus, exposure—

how the sun glows softly,

and shadows spread like coffee,

and all life’s multitude of grays

shimmer like silk scarves

and dance in summer’s breeze.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

913. Now I Become Myself - May Sarton

Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“Hurry, you will be dead before–”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

912. From March 1979 - Tomas Tranströmer

Tomas Tranströmer - From March 1979
Translated from the Swedish by Robin Robertson

Sick of those who come with words, words but no language,
I make my way to the snow-covered island.

Wilderness has no words. The unwritten pages
stretch out in all directions.

I come across this line of deer-slots in the snow: a language,
language without words.

Tomas Tranströmer - From March 1979
Translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton

Weary of all who come with words, words but no language
I make my way to the snow-covered island.
The untamed has no words.
The unwritten pages spread out on every side!
I come upon the tracks of deer in the snow.
Language but no words.