BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
(for Harry Clifton)
I have heard that hysterical women say
They are sick of the palette and fiddle-bow,
Of poets that are always gay,
For everybody knows or else should know
That if nothing drastic is done
Aeroplane and Zeppelin will come out,
Pitch like King Billy bomb-balls in
Until the town lie beaten flat.
All perform their tragic play,
There struts Hamlet, there is Lear,
That's Ophelia, that Cordelia;
Yet they, should the last scene be there,
The great stage curtain about to drop,
If worthy their prominent part in the play,
Do not break up their lines to weep.
They know that Hamlet and Lear are gay;
Gaiety transfiguring all that dread.
All men have aimed at, found and lost;
Black out; Heaven blazing into the head:
Tragedy wrought to its uttermost.
Though Hamlet rambles and Lear rages,
And all the drop scenes drop at once
Upon a hundred thousand stages,
It cannot grow by an inch or an ounce.
On their own feet they came, or on shipboard,
Camel-back, horse-back, ass-back, mule-back,
Old civilisations put to the sword.
Then they and their wisdom went to rack:
No handiwork of Callimachus
Who handled marble as if it were bronze,
Made draperies that seemed to rise
When sea-wind swept the corner, stands;
His long lamp chimney shaped like the stem
Of a slender palm, stood but a day;
All things fall and are built again
And those that build them again are gay.
Two Chinamen, behind them a third,
Are carved in Lapis Lazuli,
Over them flies a long-legged bird
A symbol of longevity;
The third, doubtless a serving-man,
Carries a musical instrument.
Every discolouration of the stone,
Every accidental crack or dent
Seems a water-course or an avalanche,
Or lofty slope where it still snows
Though doubtless plum or cherry-branch
Sweetens the little half-way house
Those Chinamen climb towards, and I
Delight to imagine them seated there;
There, on the mountain and the sky,
On all the tragic scene they stare.
One asks for mournful melodies;
Accomplished fingers begin to play.
Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,
Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.
BY WALT WHITMAN
La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants,
Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies,
— Charles Baudelaire
Nature is a temple in which living pillars
Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance
There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children,
With power to expand into infinity,
— William Aggeler
they grow weary, the patio's two or three colours.
Tonight, the moon, bright circle,
fails to dominate space.
Patio, channel of sky.
The patio is the slope
down which sky flows into the house.
eternity waits at the crossroad of stars.
It's pleasant to live in the friendly dark
of entrance-way, arbour, and cistern.
-- Jorge Luis Borges
From Traveling at Home
by Wendell Berry
Even in a country you know by heart
It’s hard to go the same way twice.
The life of the going changes;
the chances change and make a new way.
Any tree or stone or bird
Can be the bud of a new direction”
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."
"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"
"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.
This Is Just To Say
BY WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
To A Stranger Born In Some Distant Country Hundreds Of Years From Now
Nobody here likes a wet dog.
Even the children, who don’t realize she is wet
by Shel Silverstein
A long time ago, when the earth was green
And there was more kinds of animals than you've ever seen,
And they run around free while the world was bein' born,
And the lovliest of all was the Unicorn.
There was green alligators and long-neck geese.
There was humpy bumpy camels and chimpanzees.
There was catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you're born
The lovliest of all was the Unicorn.
But the Lord seen some sinnin', and it caused him pain.
He says, "Stand back, I'm gonna make it rain."
He says, "Hey Brother Noah, I'll tell ya whatcha do.
Go and build me a floatin' zoo.
And you take two alligators and a couple of geese,
Two humpy bumpy camels and two chimpanzees.
Take two catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you're born
Noah, don't you forget my Unicorn."
Now Noah was there, he answered the callin'
And he finished up the ark just as the rain was fallin'. He marched in the animals two by two,
And he called out as they went through,
"Hey Lord, I got your two alligators adn your couple of geese,
Your humpy bumpy camels and your chimpanzees.
Got your catsandratsandelephants -- but Lord, I'm so forlorn
'Cause I just don't see no Unicorn."
Ol' Noah looked out through the drivin' rain
But the Unicorns were hidin', playin' silly games.
They were kickin' and splashin' in the misty morn,
Oh them silly Unicorn.
The the goat started goatin', and the snake started snakin',
The elephant started elephantin', and the boat started shaking'.
The mouse started squeakin', and the lion started roarin',
And everyone's abourd but the Unicorn.
I mean the green alligators and the long-neck geese,
The humpy bumpy camels and the chimpanzees.
Noah cried, "Close the door 'cause the rain is pourin'--
And we just can't wait for them Unicorn."
Then the ark started movin', and it drifted with the tide,
And the Unicorns looked up from the rock and cried.
And the water come up and sort of floated them away--
That's why you've never seen a Unicorn to this day.
You'll see a lot of alligators and a whole mess of geese.
You'll see humpy bumpy camels and lots of chimpanzees.
You'll see catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you're born
You're never gonna see no Unicorn
by Robert Frost
Back out of all this now too much for us,
Back in a time made simple by the loss
Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off
Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,
There is a house that is no more a house
Upon a farm that is no more a farm
And in a town that is no more a town.
The road there, if you'll let a guide direct you
Who only has at heart your getting lost,
May seem as if it should have been a quarry -
Great monolithic knees the former town
Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered.
And there's a story in a book about it:
Besides the wear of iron wagon wheels
The ledges show lines ruled southeast-northwest,
The chisel work of an enormous Glacier
That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole.
You must not mind a certain coolness from him
Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain.
Nor need you mind the serial ordeal
Of being watched from forty cellar holes
As if by eye pairs out of forty firkins.
As for the woods' excitement over you
That sends light rustle rushes to their leaves,
Charge that to upstart inexperience.
Where were they all not twenty years ago?
They think too much of having shaded out
A few old pecker-fretted apple trees.
Make yourself up a cheering song of how
Someone's road home from work this once was,
Who may be just ahead of you on foot
Or creaking with a buggy load of grain.
The height of the adventure is the height
Of country where two village cultures faded
Into each other. Both of them are lost.
And if you're lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.
Then make yourself at home. The only field
Now left's no bigger than a harness gall.
First there's the children's house of make-believe,
Some shattered dishes underneath a pine,
The playthings in the playhouse of the children.
Weep for what little things could make them glad.
Then for the house that is no more a house,
But only a belilaced cellar hole,
Now slowly closing like a dent in dough.
This was no playhouse but a house in earnest.
Your destination and your destiny's
A brook that was the water of the house,
Cold as a spring as yet so near its source,
Too lofty and original to rage.
(We know the valley streams that when aroused
Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.)
I have kept hidden in the instep arch
Of an old cedar at the waterside
A broken drinking goblet like the Grail
Under a spell so the wrong ones can't find it,
So can't get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn't.
(I stole the goblet from the children's playhouse.)
Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
“The Unnecessary” by Karen Murai
A shoe full of water left on a porch,
almost menacing like a swing
that begins to move by itself.
So unnecessary and yet you’d
hate to move it. It seems to
have a purpose, it snatches
from you something like open-
mouthed sleep. Though it’s really,
only, just sitting there
like a hand in a lap.
Funny how the unnecessary
can seem so important,
cleaning itself. Whatever it is,
it won’t let us in. It folds
inside itself like a dying star,
in a way it’s superior, as
original as every murder.
You’d like to take it home somehow
and set it on a table, but
you collide with its intentions,
you’d tickle it to nothing.
Better just to walk by.
It’s an accident seen at a
distance, just a curl of smoke
high in the sky.
Walk up the steps and let the
screen door slam behind you.
It will be something you mention.
In a Tree House
Will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient fertile plain
You hold the title to.
Love will surely bust you wide open
Into an unfettered, blooming new galaxy
Even if your mind is now
A spoiled mule.
A life giving radiance will come,
The Friend’s gratuity will come -
O look again within yourself,
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation.
From a sacred crevice in your body
A bow rises each night
And shoots your soul into God.
Behold the Beautiful Drunk Singing One
From the lunar vantage point of love.
He is conducting the affairs
Of the whole universe
While throwing wild parties
In a tree house - on a limb
In your heart.
The Night Abraham Called to the Stars
by Robert Bly
Do you remember the night Abraham first saw
The stars? He cried to Saturn: "You are my Lord!"
How happy he was! When he saw the Dawn Star,
He cried, ""You are my Lord!" How destroyed he was
When he watched them set. Friends, he is like us:
We take as our Lord the stars that go down.
We are faithful companions to the unfaithful stars.
We are diggers, like badgers; we love to feel
The dirt flying out from behind our back claws.
And no one can convince us that mud is not
Beautiful. It is our badger soul that thinks so.
We are ready to spend the rest of our life
Walking with muddy shoes in the wet fields.
We resemble exiles in the kingdom of the serpent.
We stand in the onion fields looking up at the night.
My heart is a calm potato by day, and a weeping
Abandoned woman by night. Friend, tell me what to do,
Since I am a man in love with the setting stars.
Mereces un amor que te quiera despeinada
by Frida Kahlo
Mereces un amor que te quiera despeinada,
incluso con las razones que te levantan de prisa
y con todo y los demonios que no te dejan dormir.
Mereces un amor que te haga sentir segura,
que pueda comerse al mundo si camina de tu mano,
que sienta que tus abrazos van perfectos con su piel.
Mereces un amor que quiera bailar contigo,
que visite el paraíso cada vez que ve tus ojos
y que no se aburra nunca de leer tus expresiones.
Mereces un amor que te escuche cuando cantas,
que te apoye en tus ridículos,
que respete que eres libre,
que te acompañe en tu vuelo,
que no le asuste caer.
Mereces un amor que se lleve las mentiras,
que te traiga la ilusión,
y la poesía.
by Sharon Olds
А. С. Пушкин
(из Египетских Ночей)
Поэт идет — открыты вежды, Но он не видит никого;
А между тем за край одежды Прохожий дергает его...
«Скажи: зачем без цели бродишь? Едва достиг ты высоты,
И вот уж долу взор низводишь И низойти стремишься ты.
На стройный мир ты смотришь смутно; Бесплодный жар тебя томит;
Предмет ничтожный поминутно Тебя тревожит и манит.
Стремиться к небу должен гений, Обязан истинный поэт
Для вдохновенных песнопений Избрать возвышенный предмет».
— Зачем крутится ветр в овраге, Подъемлет лист и пыль несет, Когда корабль в недвижной влаге Его дыханья жадно ждет?
Зачем от гор и мимо башен Летит орел, тяжел и страшен, На чахлый пень? Спроси его. Зачем арапа своего
Младая любит Дездемона, Как месяц любит ночи мглу? Затем, что ветру и орлу
И сердцу девы нет закона. Таков поэт: как Аквилон, Что хочет, то и носит он — Орлу подобно, он летает И, не спросясь ни у кого, Как Дездемона, избирает Кумир для сердца своего.
A. S. Pushkin
(from Egyptian Night)
A poet walks – with seers open, But his sensations take no note;
And meanwhile random strangers often Disturb a button on his coat ...
“Tell: What's the purpose of your roaming? Once having reached a proper height, You, in a manner most ironic,
Would suddenly reduce your sight. Relentless fever burns you vainly, The world of symmetry appalls; Unworthy subjects nightly, daily Excite your mind and move your soul. A talent must aspire for beauty.
A poet of your self-esteem Has, as a matter of his duty, To find a dignifying theme.”
– Why would the wind apply its prowess To sweeping heaps of dusty leaves, Whereas a brig awaits its powers Amidst the moist of breathless seas?
Why would, all hills beside and castles, The eagle, bold and dreadful, hustle To guard a stump? Inquire of it!
Why, full of youth, and charm, and wit, Would Desdemona love her moor as The Moon adores the gloom of night? Because no wind's blast, eagle's flight, Or maiden's heart abides by orders ... Such is the poet: Much like winds,
He picks whatever suits his whims, – Like eagles, he is freely soaring,
And – heeding neither rich nor smart – Like Desdemona, for adoring, Appoints an idol of his heart.
Translated by Alexander Givental and Elysee Wilson-Egolf
Борис Пастернак by Boris Pasternak 1956 Translated by Alexander Givental
Быть знаменитым некрасиво.
Не это подымает ввысь.
Не надо заводить архива,
Над рукописями трястись.
Цель творчества самоотдача,
А не шумиха, не успех.
Позорно ничего не знача,
Быть притчей на устах у всех.
Но надо жить без самозванства,
Так жить, что бы в конце концов
Привлечь к себе любовь пространства,
Услышать будущего зов.
И надо оставлять пробелы
В судьбе, а не среди бумаг,
Места и главы жизни целой
Отчеркивая на полях.
И окунаться в неизвестность,
И прятать в ней свои шаги,
Как прячется в тумане местность,
Когда в ней не видать ни зги.
Другие по живому следу
Пройдут твой путь за пядью пядь,
Но пораженья от победы
Ты сам не должен отличать.
И должен ни единой долькой
Не отступаться от лица,
Но быть живым, живым и только,
Живым и только до конца.
To be renowned is not a virtue.
That's not what's lifting us aloft.
Don't tag your papers for the future,
Don't quiver over every draft.
Creation is an act of sharing,
And not a way of making fuss.
It is disgracing, being barren,
To be a theme of people's buzz.
And you should strive not for perfection,
But should endeavor, after all,
To win the genuine affection
Of space, to hear the future's call.
And you should indicate omissions
In your own fate, not your archive,
With chapters destined for revision
Marked on the margins of your life,
And deepen into the obscureness,
And hide your footsteps in its turf,
As a terrain conceals its surface
In fog, when light does not return.
Your followers will put on trial
Your every step from end to start.
But you yourself should not your triumphs
And losses try to tell apart,
And not allow a tiny fraction
Of give-and-take with your intent,
But be alive in every action,
In every action, to the end.