Thursday, 31 January 2013

In Jerusalem - Mahmoud Darwish

In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy... ascending to heaven

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Beautiful Melite - Agathias Scholasticus

Beautiful Melite, in the throes of middle age,
retains her youthful grace.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Pine Forest - Gabriela Mistral

Let us go now into the forest.
Trees will pass by your face,
and I will stop and offer you to them,
but they cannot bend down.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Projection - Jules Supervielle

Cemetery in the air
—Celestial dust—
Where friends will recognize each other
With less miserly eyes,

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Cross - Leon Gellert

'I wear a cross of bronze,' he said,
'and men have told me I was brave.'

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Haiku from The Three Cornered World - Natsume Soseki

from Chapter 3
Bamboo sweeps across the stairs,
But no dust rises
For 'tis but a shadow

Friday, 25 January 2013

Earthquake - Aimé Césaire

such great stretches of dreamscape
such lines of all too familiar lines
                                         staved in

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Winter - Horace

[Book I: IX]

See how Soracte stands glistening with snowfall,
and the labouring woods bend under the weight:
see how the mountain streams are frozen,
cased in the ice by the shuddering cold?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Ballade [I die of thirst beside the fountain] - François Villon

I die of thirst beside the fountain
I'm hot as fire, I'm shaking tooth on tooth
In my own country I'm in a distant land
Beside the blaze I'm shivering in flames
Naked as a worm, dressed like a president
I laugh in tears and hope in despair
I cheer up in sad hopelessness
I'm joyful and no pleasure's anywhere
I'm powerful and lack all force and strength
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The lyric poet's epilogue - Mihaly Babits

I am the only hero of my verses,
the first and last in every line to dwell:
my poems hope to sing of Universes,
but never reach beyond my lonely cell.

Monday, 21 January 2013

To the Nightingale - Jorge Luis Borges

On what secret night in England
Or by the incalculable constant Rhine,
Lost among all the nights of my nights,
Carried to my unknowing ear
Your voice, burdened with mythology,
Nightingale of Virgil, of the Persians?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

King Solomon and the Ants - John Greenleaf Whittier

Out from Jerusalem
The king rode with his great
War chiefs and lords of state,
And Sheba's queen with them;

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Rosalind - Hubert Church

Rosalind has come to town!
All the street’s a meadow,
Balconies are beeches brown
With a drowsy shadow,
And the long-drawn window panes
Are the foliage of her lanes.

Friday, 18 January 2013

In The Forest - Sarojini Naidu

Here, O my heart, let us burn the dear dreams that are dead,
Here in this wood let us fashion a funeral pyre
Of fallen white petals and leaves that are mellow and red,
Here let us burn them in noon's flaming torches of fire.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Baby's Dreams - Isabella Valancy Crawford

I saw a fairy twine,
Of star-white jessamine,
A dainty seat, shaped like an airy swing,
With two round yellow stars

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Stages - Hermann Hesse

As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Sonnet 7 [The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings] - Petrarch

The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings
With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale;

Monday, 14 January 2013

Some an army of horsemen - Sappho

Some an army of horsemen, some an army on foot
and some say a fleet of ships is the loveliest sight
on this dark earth; but I say it is what—
ever you desire:

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Stars sang in God's Garden - Joseph Mary Plunkett

The stars sang in God’s garden;
The stars are the birds of God;
The night-time is God’s harvest,
Its fruits are the words of God.

Friday, 11 January 2013

A Little Love - Lưu Trọng Lư

I do not know your age or name.
Why is it my hearts in turmoil?
This lonely love does so embroil
Through long cold nights my soul in flame.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Judith triumphant - Lope de Vega

From bed to floor dangles
the bloodied right shoulder of the ferocious tyrant,

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Common Man - Julian Tuwim

When plastered billboards scream with slogans
'fight for your country, go to battle'
When media's print assults your senses,
'Support our leaders' shrieks and rattles...
And fools who don't know any better
Believe the old, eternal lie
That we must march and shoot and kill
Murder, and burn, and bomb, and grill...

Monday, 7 January 2013

The drive - Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger

From stuffy, dark houses
Out over the wold
Where the ploughed furrow drowses
In a haze of gold

Sunday, 6 January 2013

I want to love - Michel Quoist

I want to love, Lord
I need to love.
All my being is desire;
My heart,
My body,
yearn in the night towards an unknown one to love.
My arms thrash about, and I can seize on no object for my love.
I am alone and want to be two. I speak, and no one is there to listen.
I live, and no one is there to share my life.
Why be so rich and have no one to enrich?
Where does this love come from?
Where is it going?
I want to love, Lord,
I need to love.
Here, this evening, Lord is all my love...

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Toreador - Jean Cocteau

Pepita queen of Venice
When you go beneath your shutter
All gondoliers call out:
Watch out—Toreador!
No one rules your heart
In the grand palace where you sleep
And near you the old duenna lies in waiting
for the Toreador.
Toreador, bravest of the brave
When in Piazza San Marco
The wild, slobbering bull
Falls slain by your blade
It is not pride that caresses
Your heart beneath your golden cape
It is for a young goddess
That your passion burns, Toreador.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Resplendent in their biblical glory - Georgy Ivanov

Resplendent in their biblical glory
Above the city float the flaming clouds;
The angel that tops Peter and Paul's fortress
Looks through them into centuries massed…

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The River All Red - Yueh Fei

By the railing I stand,
Showers have stopped,
I bristle with wrath, my hair uncaging.
My eyes towards the sky,
To arms! Long I cry,
To war, for a heavenly cause! I m raging.
My decade of deeds, as dust I deem, short of the final victory,
O er thousands of miles, day or night, been in battle engaging.
So take it to heart, get set!
Lest, in vain, we ll regret,
Turned grey, our youthful heads, on ageing.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Ballade 2 - Eustache Deschamps

In Antwerp, Bruges, Ostend and Ghent
I used to order food with flair,
But in every inn to which I went
They always brought me, with my fare,
With every roast and mutton dish,
With boar, with rabbit, pigeon, bustard,
With fresh and with salt-water fish,
Always, never asking, mustard.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A Wool Fleet Chorus - Cicely Fox Smith

Fare you well, you Sydney girls, time for us to go!
The Peter's at the fore truck, and five thousand bales below,
We've a dozen shellbacks forrard, and a skipper hard as nails,
And we're bound for old England and the January sales!