Monday, 31 December 2012

Auld Lang Syne - Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Saturday, 29 December 2012

A Refugee Song - Otieno Amisi

I am a refugee
With no identity
And no nationality
No dignity
In this unreality
Simply a digit
In the devil's computer roll
I want a new life

Friday, 28 December 2012

Preserve Your Word, O Saviour - Andreas Gryphius

Preserve your Word, O Saviour,
To us this latter day,
And let your kingdom flourish;
Enlarge your Church, we pray.
Oh, keep our faith from failing;
Keep hope’s bright star aglow.
Let nothing from truth turn us
While living here below.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas - Toru Dutt

The sky is dark, the snow descends:
Ring, bells, ring out your merriest chime!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

B. C.: A. D. - U.A. Fanthorpe

This was the moment when Before
Turned into After, and the future’s
Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.

Monday, 24 December 2012

To Spain - José Zorilla

Any a tear, O country, hath been shed,
Many a stream of brother's blood been poured,
Many a hero brave lhath found his bed,
In thy deep sepulchres, how richly stored!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

And this I dreamt, and this I dream - Arseny Tarkovsky

And this I dreamt, and this I dream,
And some time this I will dream again,
And all will be repeated, all be re-embodied,
You will dream everything I have seen in dream.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

How do you - Kabir

How do you,
Asks the chief of police,
Patrol a city

Friday, 21 December 2012

The counsels of the bird - Jalal al-Din Rumi

A man captured a bird by wiles and snares;
The bird said to him, "noble sir,
In your time you have eaten many oxen and sheep,
And likewise sacrificed many camels;
You have never become satisfied with their meat,
So you will not be satisfied with my flesh.
Let me go, that I may give you three counsels,
Whence you will see whether I am wise or foolish.
The first of my counsels shall be given on your wrist,
The second on your well-plastered roof,
And the third I will give you from the top of a tree.
On hearing all three you will deem yourself happy.
As regards the counsel on your wrist, 'tis this,
'Believe not foolish assertions of any one!'"

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Street in Agrigentum - Salvatore Quasimodo

There is still the wind that I remember
firing the manes of horses, racing,
slanting, across the plains,
the wind that stains and scours the sandstone,

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Angler - Franz Grillparzer

Below lies the lake hushed and tranquil,
  And I sit here with idle hands,
And gaze at the frolicking fishes
  Which glide to and fro o'er the sands.

Monday, 17 December 2012

In two languages - George Gömöri

Daily I switch languages - call them masks:
At times a mask can feel like your own skin.
At other times, the spirit has to struggle,
Saved only by the tongue it calls its own.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Current Of Time's River - Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin

The current of time's river
Will carry off all human deeds
And sink into oblivion
All peoples, kingdoms and their kings.

Friday, 14 December 2012

The Ballad Of The Proverbs - François Villon

So rough the goat will scratch, it cannot sleep.
So often goes the pot to the well that it breaks.
So long you heat iron, it will glow;
so heavily you hammer it, it shatters.
So good is the man as his praise;
so far he will go, and he's forgotten;
so bad he behaves, and he's despised.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

I Had a Comrade - Johann Ludwig Uhland

I had one faithful comrade
'Ere we heard the trumpet's call,
And we pledged our hearts forever
In battle joined together
To beat the foe or fall.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Under the Linden-tree - Walter von der Vogelweide

Under the linden-tree
Upon the heath,
There I lay with him.—Alas,
When you go there, you’ll see
The flowers beneath
Crushed and trodden with the grass.
By the forest in the dale,
Sweetly sang the nightingale.

Monday, 10 December 2012

A Shell - Rubén Darío

I found upon the shore a golden shell,
Massive, and with the daintiest pearls embossed;
Europa touched it with her hands divine

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Imitation - Giacomo Leopardi

Wandering from the parent bough,
Little, trembling leaf,
Whither goest thou?

Friday, 7 December 2012

The Sower - Toru Dutt

Sitting in a porchway cool,
Sunlight, I see, dying fast,
Twilight hastens on to rule.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A Lesson In Drawing - Nizar Qabbani

My son places his paint box in front of me
and asks me to draw a bird for him.
Into the colour gray I dip the brush
and draw a square with locks and bars.
Astonishment fills his eyes:
'… But this is a prison, Father,
Don't you know, how to draw a bird?'
And I tell him: 'Son, forgive me.
I've forgotten the shapes of birds.'

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Who Can Explain Why We Love It (Picking Mulberries) - Ouyang Xiu

Who can explain why we love it—West Lake is good.
The beautiful scene is without time,
Flying canopies chase each other,
Greedy to be among the flowers, drunk, with a jade cup.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Lalla Ruk - Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky

Dearest dream, my soul's enchantment
Lovely guest from heav'n above,
Most benevolent attender
To the earthly realm below,
You gave me blissful satisfaction
Momentary but complete:
Bringing with you happy tidings -
Like a herald from the skies.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Nakedly Obvious No. 20 - Eduardo Milán

There's a worked void:
from this angle you see a butterfly
that seems to come out of nowhere, fine
that wingbeat corresponds
to a monarch

Sunday, 2 December 2012

An Hymn To The Evening - Phillis Wheatley

Soon as the sun forsook the eastern main
The pealing thunder shook the heav'nly plain;
Majestic grandeur! From the zephyr's wing,
Exhales the incense of the blooming spring.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Letter from a contract worker - António Jacinto

I wanted to write you a letter
my love,
a letter that would tell
of this desire
to see you
of this fear
of losing you
of this more than benevolence that I feel
of this indefinable ill that pursues me
of this yearning to which I live in total surrender …