Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Poems: XXXVI - Hafez

"Thy mouth and thy lip", I asked her, "Me blest when will they make? "
 " Thy bidding in all", she answered, "Shift to fulfil they make. "

Monday, 29 June 2015

Earth's embroidery - Solomon ibn Gabirol

With the ink of its showers and rains,
with the quill of its lightning,

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Thanks, my God - August L. Storm

Thanks, my God, for all that has been.
Thanks for all You do bestow,
Thanks for all the years that have been,
Thanks for minutes, as they flow.
Thanks for spring days, warm with sunshine,
Thanks for fall days, dark and drear,
Thanks for tears, forgotten oft time,
Thanks for peace, my heart to cheer.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

I Emerged from the War Inadvertently - Adnan Al-Sayegh

I am emerging from the age of betrayals
Toward noble weeping for a verdant dream
Sown by pigs and vermin
I am entering the orbit of the poem
Half free and half chained.
It is for you to lament me, with your hired mourners
I need do nothing but point
With Na’ilah’s severed fingers,
Toward the country’s cloak, saluted by gunshots,
And draped upon tribal spears.
The bloody Euphrates will seep
Through your fingers
When you write
“All that the poets write is in vain.”

Friday, 26 June 2015

Walls - C.P. Cavafy

Thoughtless, pitiless, indecent,
they put up high, thick walls around me.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

The Lattice Gate - Bertel Gripenberg

You call a sonnet poets’ vain self-esteem,
That mingles emptiness with glittered rhyming,
But locks life within narrow walls, confining,
Extinguishes the hearth-flames of the dream.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cuauhtemoc - Luisa Igloria

The young sailor
shows us around the visiting
ship, its instruments for calculating
moisture in the air; the numbered masts,

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

In a search for a soul - Ana Zgonjanin

Your gardens are hidden beyond the eclipse,
There worlds lie behind the clouds,
Springs, summers in one and the same,
Kiss by coldness of a hell,
The autumns and winters that follow them,
The imperfections that you hide.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Hide not your face - Lina Sandell

Hide not your face from me, Lord, let me now see,
Comfort me, bless me, and when I call hear me!
You are my faithful, compassionate Redeemer,
Aren't you coming soon, aren't you coming soon?

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The tooth - Robert Minhinnick

(Amiriya, Baghdad)
In your head I whisper:
A tooth, blue as a cinder
And I ask: Coward,
Whose pain is it anyway?
Your cells are a blizzard,
Your mind a ragbook, yet
I dream you into growth
Luscious as papaya flesh
Around my black seed.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Beirut, August 1982 - Ghassan Zaqtan

How I wish he had not died
in last Wednesday’s raid
as he strolled through Nazlat al-Bir –
my friend with blond hair,
as blond as a native of the wetlands of Iraq.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

In praise of May - Finn MacCool

May-day! delightful day!
Bright colours play the vale along.
Now wakes at morning's slender ray
Wild and gay the blackbird's song.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Vondel's Lucifer (Act I, lines 192-222) - Joost van den Vondel

Belzebub:
It seems that passion for
This feminine creature hath thy heart inflamed.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Lili Marlene - Hans Leip

Underneath the lantern
By the barrack gate,
Darling, I remember
The way you used to wait.
’Twas there that you whispered tenderly
That you loved me;
You’d always be
My Lili of the Lamplight,
My own Lili Marlene.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The white sail - Jill Jones

The city flows
as the ocean gives
its tides. Each day
and evening they move
through streets.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

“I Am Not I” - Juan Ramón Jimenez

I am not I.
                   I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,

Friday, 12 June 2015

Border Song III - Lu Lun

A moonless sky, wild geese flown out of sight;
The Hun beaten, their prince by night takes flight.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Sleep Peacefully - Alfonsina Storni

You said the word that enamours
My hearing. You already forgot. Good.
Sleep peacefully. Your face should
Be serene and beautiful at all hours.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Porcelain: Poem on the Downfall of my City - Durs Grünbein

Why moan about it, Johnny-come-lately? My friend,
When you were born your city was long gone.
Misty eyes don't turn hair grey and you,
Your name: too quick for it, too green.
Seventeen years, a childhood hardly, were plenty
To erase the past. They sealed the wounds all up
In strict and sombre grey; enchantment ceded to bureaucracy.
The Saxon peacock wasn't slaughtered out of need—
Lichens, inexorable, bloomed on sandstone flowers.
They come back like hiccups, elegies: why brood, why bother?

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Other barbarians will come along - Mahmoud Darwish

Other barbarians will come along.
The emperor’s wife will be abducted.
Drums will roll.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Stain - Gülten Akin

Here we stand at the messiest point of our time

someone should write us, if we don’t
who will

Sunday, 7 June 2015

God speaks to the Soul - Mechthild of Magdeburg

And God said to the soul:
I desired you before the world began.
I desire you now
As you desire me.
And where the desires of two come together
There love is perfected

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Mankokosane - Hale Tsehlana

Mankokosane1, pula e ea na
re tla hola neng? ha tsatsi le chaba2

Friday, 5 June 2015

Impressions of a traveller - Kao-Shih

In a silent, desolate spot,
In the night stone-frozen and clear,
The wanderefs hand on the sail
Is gripped by the fingers of fear.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Chante-clair - Rabbe Enckell

High in November day flames your golden trumpet.
o herald, many times before now
your sentinel’s cry has summoned men

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Stony Grey Soil - Patrick Kavanagh

O stony grey soil of Monaghan
The laugh from my love you thieved;
You took the gay child of my passion
And gave me your clod-conceived.

Monday, 1 June 2015

How Was School? - Lindsay MacRae

Mum can’t see why it’s uncool
To ask me cheerfully
‘How was school?’