Tuesday, 31 December 2013

In Memoriam - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Sanctuary - St Catherine of Sienna

It could be said that God’s foot is so vast
That this entire earth is but a
field on His
toe,

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Friday, 27 December 2013

Dreams and poetry - Hu Shih

It’s all ordinary experience,
All ordinary images.
By chance they emerge in a dream,
Turning out infinite patterns.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

December 26 - Kenn Nesbitt

A BB gun.
A model plane.
A basketball.
A ’lectric train.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Noël: Christmas Eve 1913 - Robert Bridges

Pax hominibus bonae voluntatis
A frosty Christmas Eve
   when the stars were shining
Fared I forth alone
   where westward falls the hill,

Monday, 23 December 2013

The Shortest Day - Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Wisemen - Georg Johannes Gick

After the children and the shepherds
after the poor we beg of you,
Oh, may your heavenly loving-kindness bring
our souls to pasture too.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Friday, 20 December 2013

She who is always in my thoughts - Bhartrhari

She who is always in my thoughts prefers
Another man, and does not think of me.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Everything promised him to me - Anna Akhmatova

Everything promised him to me:
the fading amber edge of the sky,
and the sweet dreams of Christmas,
and the wind at Easter, loud with bells,

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Quarrelling - Tao Tschung Yu

The ancients argued that friendship could never last.
A few old friends, we walk on the mountain’s milder slopes,

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Friendship - Octavio Paz

It is the awaited hour
over the table falls
interminably
the lamp’s spread hair

Monday, 16 December 2013

Among the multitudes - Wislawa Szymborska

I am who I am.
A coincidence no less unthinkable
than any other.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

What, no reindeer? - Bruce Levitan

Some traditions are hard to break,
like the April fool and the birthday cake.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

My father - Yehuda Amichai

The memory of my father is wrapped up in
white paper, like sandwiches taken for a day at work.

Friday, 13 December 2013

White paper and time - Jaan Kaplinski

White paper and time: one I am filling,
the other fills itself.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Bard - Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky

My friends, can you descry that mound of earth
Above clear waters in the shade of trees?
You can just hear the babbling spring against the bank;
You can just feel a breeze that's wafting in the leaves;
A wreath and lyre hang upon the boughs...
Alas, my friends! This mound'ss a grave;
Here earth conceals the ashes of a bard;
Poor bard!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

On your birthday, today - Ivan Donn Carswell

On your birthday, today, there is time to reflect
On the essence of our intimacy,

Monday, 9 December 2013

Code - Eavan Boland

Poet to poet.  I imagine you
  at the edge of language, at the start of summer
    in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, writing code.
      You have no sense of time.  No sense of minutes even.
        They cannot reach inside your world,
          your gray work station
            with when yet now never and once.
              You have missed the other seven.
                This is the eight day of Creation.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

A poem for Christmas - Joseph Brodsky

Imagine striking a match that night in the cave:
use the cracks in the floor to feel the cold.
Use crockery in order to feel the hunger.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Weaver - Diane Fahey

So many stories to be woven.
She worked with a furious patience,
conjuring even through dream-weary eyes
the curved brightness of dew on spider webs.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Growing Towards the Earth - Luis Rosales

When night comes and all leans on darkness,
when the night comes the sea might be asleep,
and all its strength may not suffice to move a single grain of sand,
to lend a smile to another face,

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Enemy of Death - Salvatore Quasimodo

You should not have
ripped out your image
taken from us, from the world,
a portion of beauty.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

I shall soon fall prey to rot - Nikolai Nekrasov

I shall soon fall prey to rot.
Though it's hard to die, it's good to die;
I shall ask for no one's pity,
And there's no one who would pity me.

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Cat And The Fox - Jean de La Fontaine

The Cat and the Fox once took a walk together,
Sharpening their wits with talk about the weather
And as their walking sharpened appetite, too;
They also took some things they had no right to.
Cream, that is so delicious when it thickens,
Pleased the Cat best. The Fox liked little chickens.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

25. XII. 1993 - Joseph Brodsky

For a miracle, take one shepherd’s sheepskin, throw
in a pinch of now, a grain of long ago,
and a handful of tomorrow. Add by eye
a little chunk of space, a piece of sky,