Friday, 31 January 2014

Would I The Lofty Spirit Melt - Wolfram von Eschenbach

Would I the lofty spirit melt
Of that proud dame who dwells so high,
Kind heaven must aid me, or unfelt
By her will be its agony.
Joy in my soul no place can find:
As well might I a suitor be
To thunderbolts, as hope her mind
Will turn in softer mood to me.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Now That Stern Winter Each Blossom Is Blighting - Wenceslaus II

Now that stern winter each blossom is blighting,
And birds in the woodlands no longer we hear,
I will repair to a scene more inviting,
Nor will he repent who shall follow me there.
Instead of the flowers the plain so adorning,
Beautiful fair ones shall bloom like the morning;
O what a vivid and glorious dawning;
Sweet smiles, sprightly converse, the drooping heart cheer.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Sleeps the lake - Pencho Slavejkov

Sleeps the lake; white-branched beeches
bend twisted limbs above
interweaving mirrored shadows
in its quiet dark depths.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

On The Journey - Ludwig Bechstein

As numerous as the stars
That night brings to the firmament,
That is how often on my journey
I thought of you!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Apricot Tree - Magda Isanos

This morning I woke
to an impatient scratching on the window,
the finger branches
of the apricot that bloomed in the night

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Ave, Generosa - Hildegard von Bingen

Hail, nobly born, hail, honoured and inviolate,
you Maiden are the piercing gaze of chastity,
you the material of holiness—
the one who pleasèd God.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Greenland Song - Jules Verne

Dark Is the sky,
The sun sinks wearily;
My trembling heart, with sorrow filled,
Aches drearily!
My sweet child at my song is smiling still,
While at his tender heart the icicles lie chill.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Invitation To Return - Jean Froissart

Return, my love; too long thy stay;
    Sorrow for thee my soul has stung;
My spirit calls the ev'ry day,—
    Return my love, thou stay'st too long.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Winter Silence - Jacqueline Elisabeth van der Waals

White is the ground, white is the mist,
The clouds, still full of snow,
Are white, turning gently to gray.
Icy white are the delicate branches
of trees covered with rime.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Ballad XI - Christine de Pizan

Command of me, my Lady and my queen,
All thy good pleasure, as I were thy slave,
Which I shall do with glad and humble mien
That whatsoe'er thou wiliest, thou may'st have.

Monday, 20 January 2014

In Goethe's Garden - Bettina Von Arnim

I from this hillock all my world survey!
  Yon vale, bedecked by nature's fairy fingers,
  Where the still by-road picturesquely lingers,
The cottage white whose quaint charms grace the way—
These are the scenes that o'er my heart hold sway.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A list of praises - Anne Porter

Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing,
Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches,
Mad with the joy of the Sabbath,
Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun,
Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes,
A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous poetry
Living wild on the Streets through generations of children.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

That ancient tree, don’t let it fall - Hans Christian Andersen

That ancient tree, don’t let it fall
Until old age is knelling;
So many things it can recall,
What tales it could be telling.

Friday, 17 January 2014

I Flee The City, Temples, And Each Place - Louise Labe

I flee the city, temples, and each place
where you took pleasure in your own lament,
where you used every forceful argument
to make me yield what I could not replace.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Scopolamine - Catherine Pozzi

This wine that flows within my vein
Has drowned my heart and will again
In the sky—with neither captain nor money—
My heart sails into a scene
Where Oblivion melts like honey

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Voice - Henri de Regnier

I do not wish anyone to be near my sadness—
Not even your dear step and your loved face,
Nor your indolent hand which caresses with a finger
The lazy ribbon and the closed book.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Cycle - Albert Verwey

I am a spark without goal, without direction,
Thrown into the universe as my journey began,
Before long another sun bound itself to me
And turning I lived for an unmeasured while,

Monday, 13 January 2014

Night - Wole Soyinka

Your hand is heavy, Night, upon my brow.
I bear no heart mercuric like the clouds,
to dare.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The beautiful spring delights me well - Bertran de Born

The beautiful spring delights me well,
When flowers and leaves are growing
And it pleases my heart to hear the swell
Of the birds' sweet chorus flowing
In the echoing wood;
And I love to see, all scattered around,
Pavilions, tents, on the martial ground;
And my spirit finds it good
To see, on the level plains beyond,
Gay knights and steeds caparisoned.

Friday, 10 January 2014

An Iranian professor I know asked me - Mimi Khalvati

An Iranian professor I know asked me
   the first time we met, as he’d asked so many
students: Saheb-del – how would you say in English
   Saheb-del, can you translate it? And each time
he pronounced the words his fingers tolled the air
   like a bell, a benediction. Years have passed.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Seeking but Not Finding the Recluse - Jia Dao

Under pines
I ask the boy;
he says: "My master's gone
to gather herbs.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Longing for Spring - Walter von der Vogelweide

Alas, the winter has hurt us everywhere.
The forest and the heath are both so bare,
Where many a sweet voice resounded through the air.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Patchwork - Eavan Boland

I have been thinking at random
on the universe
or rather, how nothing in the universe
is random —

Monday, 6 January 2014

Sunday, 5 January 2014

You do not need many things - Taigu Ryokan

My house is buried in the deepest recess of the forest
Every year, ivy vines grow longer than the year before.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

A psychological moment - Piet Hein

Whenever you’re called to make up your mind,
and you’re hampered by not having any,
the best way to solve the dilemma, you’ll find,
is simply by spinning a penny.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Snow - Janet Frame

A crime so frequent, so huge
of fraud and camouflage

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The New Year - Rabindranath Tagore

Like fruit, shaken free by an impatient wind
from the veils of its mother flower,
thou comest, New Year, whirling in a frantic dance