Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Peaceful Land - Frederik Hoegh-Guldberg

The waves have ceased their tossing,
The storms are laid to rest,
And scarce a breath is blowing
O'er ocean's heaving breast!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Cosmopolitan poetry - Janos Arany

I have no shame, no regret
That born Hungarian, I write
As one, that I can never let
My words beyond this soil take flight.
No ‘Wonder of two worlds,’ my song
If charm it has, is due to them,
My people; I am theirs, belong
To one land wholly, root and stem.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

He Said, Don't Sleep - Rabbi Adonim Halevi

He said, "Don't sleep. Drink old wine
with myrrh and lilies, henna and aloes,
in an orchard of pomegranates, palm, and vines
full of pleasant plants and tamarisks, to the hum of fountains
and the throb of lutes,
to the sound of singers, flutes, and lyres.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

At The Café - Jens August Schade

A good song,
a crazy small miracle
comes from the gramophone
while I stay silent.
And to everyone’s amazement
I push back my chair
and stay sitting in the air.

Friday, 21 February 2014

I - Louise Labe

Not Ulysses, no, nor any other man
however astute his mind, ever longed for
that holy face shaded with grace, honor,

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Now I Pass - Paul La Cour

Now I pass into the stone,
soon I am mountain and cold,
if I cannot open my depths,
I must become a lock.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Simile - Charlotte Dacre

The little Moth round candle turning,
Stops not till its wings are burning:

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Ah! Beauteous Maid - Raoul Comte de Soissons

Ah! beauteous maid,
Of form so fair!
Pearl of the world,
Beloved and dear!

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Light Is Round - Pierre Kemp

The light is round and rolls on all its sides,
down the mountains, through the dales,

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Jacob And Esau - Else Lasker-Schuler

Rebecca's maid: a girl come from afar,
an angel, lovely, in a shift of roses
and on her face she seemed to wear a star.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

John Maynard - Theodor Fontane

John Maynard!
" Who is John Maynard?"
" John Maynard was our helmsman,
he held out, until we reached the shore;
he saved us, his is the crown,
he died for us, our love be his reward.
John Maynard!" —

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Room for All - Óndra Łysohorsky

I am a river.
From my source the gathering waters have been flowing
since time began
towards the ocean.
I accept brooks
that once were clear
and now disgusting city-sewers.
There is room for all.

I am and I become.
For thousands of years I have been the same
and every moment I become another.
Into my source stream other sources,
into my mouth thunders the sea,
and in between I flow in constant motion.
There is room for all.

In me are whirlpools
that have dragged hundreds to the bottom.
Thousands have thrown themselves into me from bridges,
and not all of them were found;
not every silenced desperation was recovered from me.
There is room for all. Room for all.

In me fish live and fight,
gulls,
madly rapacious,
cast their dauntless shadows over me,
and the black tug-boats
and the white luxury-steamers;
willows on islands bend over me
with whispers of love
that sound the same through all the centuries,
in different tongues,
in difiierent disguises.
There is room for all. Room for all.

I saw the forts of the Roman Empire rising on the hills,
I saw the cathedrals rising, hidden behind their scaffolding,
I see the modern Babel-buildings, shooting up into the clouds,
I see the radio-aerials, taut as for tight-rope walkers,
I see the Television Towers, their red lights reflected in me.
There is room for all. Room for all.

Hundreds of wars have I seen, and millions of warriors,
led, clad, weaponed differently in every century,
but always spilling the same blood.
In my mirror-
how short the distance
from arrow and spear
to atomic war-head.
There is room for all. Room for all.

What do the hills around me
and the sky above me still harbor?
I hear the people on both my banks.
They build no bridges for reconciliation,
they build their bridges in order to destroy each other,
they make speeches that terrify
even me,
the grey river.
I should like to run away,
but I must flow,
but I must hear,
but I must see,
from the source to the ocean,
for in me there is
room for all..

Óndra Łysohorsky [real name Ervín Goj] (1905 - 1989) Czech Republic
Translated by Isabella Levatin and W.H. Auden
Source: Poetry August-September 1970 [Poetry Foundation]

Monday, 10 February 2014

Contra Spem Spero! - Lesia Ukrainka

Away, dark thoughts, you autumn clouds!
A golden spring is here!
Shall it be thus in sorrow and in lamentation
That my youthful years pass away?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The sun that in the East does rise - Bernhard Severin Ingemann

The sun that in the East does rise
Drapes clouds with golden gown,
O’er seas and peaks it sails the skies,
O’er countryside and town.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Red Squadrons - Hristo Smirnenski

Heralds of a happier day rousing wonder and dismay -
Powerful squadrons rush in close array.
In the morning sad and gray, like flocks of birds of prey
Shrapnels fall in their midst or fall astray.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Sakuntala - Holger Drachmann

I could not sleep for longing,
a flower-wind
wafted towards me,
streaming in through my window
like a fragrance-breathing river;
I heard the tall palm trees
gently murmuring
with music sweet;
it whispered where I placed my feet:
Sakuntala, Sakuntala.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Smoke Is The Food Of Lovers - Jakob Cats

When Cupid open'd shop, the trade he chose
Was just the very one you might suppose.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Tiny Kingdom - Faustas Kirsa

With bugs, with butterflies,
With bees, ants, dragonflies, –
My youth withdrew into the fields
And waves with wings of mist.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Can you see me - Else Lasker-Schuler

Between heaven and earth?
No one has ever crossed my path.

Monday, 3 February 2014

The Wanderer - Bernhard Severin Ingemann

All the sky was dull and drear,
But what cared I!
For my sky shone bright and clear
In Eliza's eye.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Morning - Am­brose of Mi­lan (Augusta Treverorum)

Now that the daystar glimmers bright
We suppliantly pray
That He, the uncreated Light,
May guide us on our way.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

By The Lake - A W Schack von Staffeldt

And while all the waves are borne off apace,
I feel as if I there too had my place,
And staring into the image-filled lake,
In some strange longing my parting would take.