Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2009

Flower Duet

Under the thick dome where the white jasmine
With the roses entwined together
On the river bank covered with flowers laughing in the morning
Let us descend together!

Gently floating on its charming risings,
On the river’s current
On the shining waves,
One hand reaches,
Reaches for the bank,
Where the spring sleeps,
And the bird, the bird sings.

Under the thick dome where the white jasmine
Ah! calling us
Together!

Under the thick dome where white jasmine
With the roses entwined together
On the river bank covered with flowers laughing in the morning
Let us descend together!

Gently floating on its charming risings,
On the river’s current
On the shining waves,
One hand reaches,
Reaches for the bank,
Where the spring sleeps,
And the bird, the bird sings.

Under the thick dome where the white jasmine
Ah! calling us
Together!

Sous le dôme épais

Où le blanc jasmin
À la rose s’assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs,
Riant au matin
Viens, descendons ensemble.

Doucement glissons de son flot charmant
Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l’onde frémissante
D’une main nonchalante

Viens, gagnons le bord,
Où la source dort et
L’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.

Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin,
Ah! descendons
Ensemble!

Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin
À la rose s’assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs,
Riant au matin
Viens, descendons ensemble.

Doucement glissons de son flot charmant
Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l’onde frémissante
D’une main nonchalante
Viens, gagnons le bord,
Où la source dort et
L’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.

Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin,
Ah! descendons
Ensemble!
………………
Léo Delibes (1836-1891)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont (Poland, 1867 to 1925)

Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont (Poland, 1867 to 1925)

Remont won the Nobel prize for his epic novel The Peasants, but here are the opening paragraphs of his novel The Comédienne, published in 1920: Bukowiec, a station on the Dombrowa railroad, lies in a beautiful spot. A winding line was cut among the beech and pine covered hills, and at the most level point, between a mighty hill towering above the woods with its bald and rocky summit, and a long narrow valley, glistening with pools and marshes, was placed the station. This two-story building of rough brick containing the quarters of the station-master and his assistant, a small wooden house at the side for the telegrapher and the minor employees, another similar one near the last switches for the watchman, three switch-houses at various points, and a freight-house were the only signs of human habitation.

Surrounding the station on all sides were the murmuring woods, while above, a strip of blue sky, slashed with gray clouds, extended like a wide-spreading roof.

The sun was veering toward the south and glowing ever brighter and warmer; the reddish slopes of the rocky hill, with its ragged summit gashed by spring freshets, were bathed in a flood of golden sunlight.

The calm of a spring afternoon diffused itself over all. The trees stood motionless without a murmur in their boughs. The sharp emerald leaves of the beeches drooped drowsily, as though lulled to sleep by the light, the warmth, and the silence. The twitter of birds sounded at rare intervals from the thickets, and only the cry of the water-fowls on the marshes and the somnolent hum of insects filled the air. Above the blue line of rails stretching in an endless chain of curves and zigzags, the warm air glowed with shifting hues of violet light.
………………………..
by Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont,
translated by Edmund Obecny

Read Full Post »

[Often when he was advancing]

often
when he was advancing
feeling his way in the night
he was doubtful rebelled
wanted to climb back up
to the old light

but a force held him
enjoined him
to pursue
to venture
once more
once again
into the thickest darkness
of his shadow

one day
at the height of his distress
emptied of all force
driven to see that
the inaccessible would not yield
he admitted that he must
renounce it

to his great surprise
without his having
to take a single step
he crossed the threshold
came into the light
…………………
by Charles Juliet (born 1934),
translated by Louis Simpson

Read Full Post »

Lao Tzu (c. 600 B.C.E) By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.

Lao Tzu (c. 600 B.C.E) By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.

Water knows how to benefit all things without striving with them.
It stays in places loathed by all men.
Therefore, it comes near the Tao.
In choosing your dwelling, know how to dive in the hidden deeps.
In dealing with others, know how to be gentle and kind.
In speaking, know how to keep your words.
In governing, know how to maintain order.
In transacting business, know how to be efficient.
In making a move, know how to choose
the right moment.
If you do not strive with others,
you will be free from blame.
……………………………….
Lao Tzu, from the Tao Teh Ching,
translated by John C.H. Wu

Read Full Post »

Broken Promises

I have met them in dark alleys, limping and one-armed;
I have seen them playing cards under a single light-bulb
and tried to join in, but they refused me rudely,
knowing I would only let them win.
I have seen them in the foyers of theaters,
coming back late from the interval

long after the others have taken their seats,
and in deserted shopping malls late at night,
peering at things they can never buy,
and I have found them wandering
in a wood where I too have wandered.

This morning I caught one;
small and stupid, too slow to get away,
it was only a promise I had made to myself once
and then forgot, but it screamed and kicked at me
and ran to join the others, who looked at me with reproach
in their long, sad faces.
When I drew near them, they scurried away,
even though they will sleep in my yard tonight.
I hate them for their ingratitude,
I who have kept countless promises,
as dead now as Shakespeare’s children.
“You bastards,” I scream,
“you have to love me—I gave you life!”
……………………………….
by David Kirby (born 1944)

Read Full Post »

William Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865-1939)

William Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865-1939)

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Read Full Post »

Tree

It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books—

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.
…………………………………
by Jane Hirshfield (born 1953)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »