Sunday, January 26, 2014

963. When I Wrote A Little - Hayden Carruth

When I Wrote A Little

poem in the ancient mode for you

that was musical and had old words

in it such as would never do in

the academies you loved it and you

said you did not know how to thank

me and in truth this is a problem

for who can ever be grateful enough 

for poetry but i said you thank me

every day and every night wordlessly

which you really do although again

in truth it is a problem for how can

life ever be consonant with spirit

yet we are human and are naturally

hungry for gratitude yes we need it

and never have enough oh my dear i

think these problems are always with

us and in reality have no solutions

except when we wash them away on

salty tides of loving as we rock in

the dark sure sea of our existence

Saturday, January 04, 2014

962. A Thank-You Note - Wislawa Szymborska

Translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak

I owe a lot
to those I do not love.

Relief in accepting
others care for them more.

Joy that I am not
wolf to their sheep.

Peace be with them
for with them I am free
––love neither gives
nor knows how to take these things.

I don't wait for them
from window to door.
Almost as patient
as a sun dial,
I understand
what love never could.
I forgive
what love never would.

Between rendezvous and letter
no eternity passes,
only a few days or weeks.

Our trips always turn out well:
concerts are enjoyed,
cathedrals toured,
landscapes in focus.

And when seven rivers and mountains
come between us,
they are the rivers and mountains
found on any map.

The credit's theirs
if I live in three dimensions,
in a non-lyrical and non-rhetorical space,
with a real, ever-shifting horizon.

They don't even know
how much they carry in their empty hands.

"I owe them nothing,"
love would have said
on this open topic.