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Poetry Without Borders: Musings About Nature Fall 2010
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Poetry Without Borders: Musings About Nature Fall 2010



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  • 1. Poetry Without Borders Musings About Nature December 2, 2010 Dr. Enrico Vettore Dr. Rita M. Palacios “ Mechanical Bird” www.hazelfisher.co.uk
  • 2. Confession Alfonsina Storni
    • I sinned, I sinned, good man; I sinned like the roses
    • that living without rules soon die of thirst.
    • All of the golden butterflies sipped from me:
    • I was water, earth, sap…even roof and wall.
    • The fruits along the path did not have mercy on me
    • — Nothing was so painful as their honey—
    • but my roots were generous in that
    • they ignited my thirst in a swarm of bees
  • 3.
    • And now you have thin and delicate skin;
    • Modesty shadows you, modesty illuminates you,
    • Go ahead and point out to men the wound of my faith.
    • I travel beneath the sky, corpse of petals,
    • tattered and wayward, like the crest of a wave,
    • saying aloud: I sinned, I sinned, I sinned.
  • 4. In the Mists Hermann Hesse
    • Wondrous to wander through mists!
    • Parted are bush and stone:
    • None to the other exists,
    • Each stands alone.
    • Many my friends came calling
    • then, when I lived in the light;
    • Now that the fogs are falling,
    • None is in sight.
  • 5.
    • Truly, only the sages
    • Fathom the darkness to fall,
    • Which, as silent as cages,
    • Separates all.
    • Strange to walk in the mists!
    • Life has to solitude grown.
    • None for the other exists:
    • Each is alone.
  • 6. O Wide and Sad Land Van Wyk Louw
    • O wide and sad land, alone under the huge southern stars. Will a higher exaltation never flow from your quiet sorrow? You know the pain and lonely suffering of ignorant individuals, the remote death in the veld, the little funeral; simple people who faithfully and singlehandedly perform bitter tasks, and one by one fall like bits of seed; quiet deed, small faithfulness, small faithlessness of those who assume another service deserting you like common labourers.
  • 7.
    • Will a mighty beauty never come over you like the hail white summercloud which bleeds over your dark mountains, and never a deed be performed, which sweeps loudly over the earth and teases the years in their impotence; of such pure shining magnitude, that people in a far-off land hearing mention of your name, will stare with wild and bright eye like ancient mariners in the night amazed by horison above horison seeing the new, huge flower stars ascend up from your sea's white danger?
  • 8. The Shrub Keven Sandoval
    • Thus I descend out of the external world
    • down to the scarcely populated
    • deepest depths of deepness;
    • here within the realms of the roots
    • appertaining to a shrub that
    • embodies visual aesthetics,
    • I see all that in multiple universes,
    • parallel and macroscopic,
    • is distinctly scattered: a photon of light
    • where Saraghina dances at random,
    • the expansion and the annihilation of
    • post-hypermetallegorical texts
    • which enormous labyrinths of
    • presumably erudite questions create.
  • 9.
    • But I who have always heard the sound
    • of the superbly magnificent
    • wisdom that precedes me,
    • can’t find answers or chaotic theories;
    • and there are clouds above, careless
    • of this pensiveness, moved by
    • absent minded winds and not one
    • drop of enlightening rain do they permit;
    • but with my own acedia, I sense the
    • ascension to the celestial concentric circles,
    • and, on this undeterminable uncertainty,
    • I rest.
  • 10. Country Scene Ho Xuan Huong
    • The waterfall plunges in mist.
    • Who can describe this desolate scene?
    • The long white river sliding through
    • the emerald shadows of the ancient canopy 
    • ...a shepherd's horn echoing in the valley,
    • fishnets stretched to dry on sandy flats. 
    • A bell is tolling, fading, fading
    • just like love. Only poetry lasts.
  • 11.   Sonnets , VIII Louise Labé
    • I live, I die; I'm on fire and I drown
    • I live, I die; I'm on fire and I drown;
    • I'm freezing while I feel extremely hot;
    • living, to me, is too hard and too soft,
    • a bitter pill, with wine to wash it down.
    • I simultaneously laugh and cry;
    • I suffer many torments in my pleasure;
    • my happiness departs, yet lasts forever;
    • my leaves grow green and at the same time dry.
    • Thus fickle Eros flings me here and there:
    • just when it seems I'm sunk in tribulations,
    • they suddenly dissolve into thin air;
    • and just as I'm sure my joy has firm foundations
    • and stretches to the heavens, that is when
    • I'm plunged back into misery again.
  • 12. My House is Cloudy Nima Yooshij
    • My House is Cloudy
    • the entire earth is cloudy.
    • Above the narrow pass, the shattered and desolate and drunken
    • wind whirls downward.
    • The entire world is desolated by it
    • so are my senses!
    • Oh, piper who has lost the road entranced by the melody of the flute,
    • where are you?
  • 13.
    • My house is cloudy but
    • the cloud is on the verge of weeping.
    • In the memory of my bright days that slipped through my fingers,
    • I cast a look upon my sun on the threshold of the ocean
    • and the entire world is desolated and shattered by the wind
    • and on the road, the piper continues to play his flute,
    • in this cloud-filled world
    • his own path stretching out before him.
  • 14. The Infinite Giacomo Leopardi
    • Always dear to me was this lonely hill,
    • And this hedge, which form so much
    • of the far horizon prevents my sight.
    • But as I sit and gaze, endless
    • Spaces beyond that, and superhuman
    • Silences, and deepest quiet
    • I pretend in my thoughts, to the point that
    • my heart is almost overwhelmed.
  • 15.
    • And when the wind
    • I hear rustling through the trees,
    • that Infinite silence to this voice
    • I compare: and I am reminded of the eternity,
    • And the dead seasons, and this one
    • Which is present
    • And alive, and the sound of it.
    • So between this
    • Immensity my thought is drowned:
    • And it is sweet to shipwreck in this sea.
  • 16. Quatrains Salah Jahin
    • Spring came with smiles and found me full of woe
    • Spring called my name but I refused to hear
    • Spring laid its flowers and turned away to go
    • What can flowers do for a man in his bier?
    • Lo and behold!
    • I heard a drop of water in the ocean vast
    • Say to another, "You must avoid the deep
    • Or you will drown." I said, "The dye is cast,
    • To fear what must be will not make you last . . . ”
    • Lo and behold!
  • 17.
    • Son, in this my last will I recommend flowers and moonlight.
    • Also enjoyment of Cairo's lovely enchanted night.
    • If I come to mind, go buy a jasmin chain
    • For a lovely lass. Never visit my grave. This I ordain!
    • Lo and behold!
  • 18. Ode to Joy Friedrich Schiller
    • Joy, you holy spark immortal, Daughter of Elysium, Drunk with rapture, to the portal Of your temple now we come! Culture's course, indeed, may sever, What your magic joins again; All humankind are brethren ever Beneath your mild and gentle wing.
    • CHORUS Welcome embraces all earthly creatures! For the whole world this kiss of love! Brethren, in the starry realms above See the Creator's loving features!
  • 19.
    • From the breasts of kindly Nature All of joy imbibe the dew; Good and bad alike, each creature Her roseate path together pursue. 'Through her kiss and wine-cup madden, A friend ‘til death to us she gives! With bliss even the worm she gladdens,— Like for its God the cherub lives! CHORUS You bow before her, all creation? Do you feel your creator, world? Seek her above the stars unfurled,— The universe is her habitation!
  • 20.
    • Joy, in all Nature's eternal dominion, The first cause of all is to be found; Joy it is that drives the pinion, When the universal wheel goes round; From the bud she lures the flower— Suns from out their orbs of light; Distant spheres obey her power, Far beyond all mortal sight. CHORUS As through the heaven's system glorious In their orbits suns roll on, Brethren, thus your course you run, Joyous as a hero victorious!
  • 21.
    • Courage, never by suffering broken! Help where tears of innocence flow; Faith to keep each promise spoken! Truth alike to friend and foe! Manly pride before kingly thrones!— Brethren, if it cost us home and blood— To those who earn them go the crowns, Death to all the liars’ brood! CHORUS Draw the sacred circle closer! By this bright wine swear your troth To be faithful to your oath! Swear it in the court of the Stars!
  • 22. The Lake Alphonse de Lamartine
    • Thus driven forth forever to new shores, Born toward Eternal Night and never away, Sailing the Sea of Ages, can we not Drop anchor for one day? O Lake! The year has scarcely spun its course. Now, by the waves she meant to see again, Watch how I sit, alone, upon this stone On which you saw her then.
    • You lowed as now below those plunging cliffs. As now, you broke about their riven flanks. As now, the wind flung your foam forth to wash Her feet which graced your banks.
  • 23.
    • One evening we two roamed -remember?- in silence: On waves and under heaven, far and wide, No sound came save the cadence of the oarsmen Stroking your tuneful tide. Then sudden tones, unfathomed on this earth, Resounded round the echoing, spellbound shore. The tide turned heedful; and I heard these words From the voice I adore: Suspend your trek O Time! Suspend your flights O favoring hours, and stay! Let us pause, savoring the quick delights That fill the dearest day. Unhappy crowds cry out to you in prayers. Flow, Time, and set them free. Run through their days and through their ravening cares! But leave the happy be.
  • 24.
    • In vain I ask for hours to linger on And Time slips into flight. I tell this night: "Be slower!" and the dawn Undoes the raveled night. Let's love, then! Love, and feel while feel we can The moment on its run. There is no shore of Time, no port of Man. It flows, and we go on. Covetous Time! Our mighty drunken moments When love pours forth huge floods of happiness; Can it be that they fly from us no faster Than days of wretchedness? Why can't we keep some trace of them, at least? Why lost forever? Why beyond recall? Will Time that gave them, Time that now destroys them Not bring them back at all? Eternity, naught, past, dark gulfs: what do You do with days of ours which you devour? Speak! Will you not bring back those sublime things? Return the raptured hour?
  • 25.
    • O Lake! Caves! Speechless ledges! Gloaming glades! You whom Time shields or can bring back to light, Beautiful Nature, keep the memory- The memory of that night: Memory in your stillness and your storms, Fair Lake, in your cavorting sloping sides, In the black firtrees, in the savage rocks Rising above your tides; Memory in the breathings of the zephyr, In shore whose sounds resound to shore each night, And in the silver visage of the star Touching you with soft light. Let the bewailing winds and sighing reeds, Let the light balm you blow through cliff and grove, Let all that man can hear, behold or breathe All say: "They were in love."
  • 26. To a Dry Elm Antonio Machado
    • The old elm, split by lightning
    • and half rotted
    • with April rain and May sun,
    • has sprouted a few green leaves.
    • The hundred-year-old elm on a hill
    • lapped by the Duero! A yellowish moss
    • stains the bleached bark
    • of the crumbling, worm-eaten trunk.
    • Unlike the singing poplars
    • that guard roads and riverbanks,
    • it won't be a home to nightingales.
    • An army of ants in a single line
    • climbs up its side and spiders weave
    • their gray webs in its hollowed core.
  • 27.
    • Elm by the Duero, before you are felled
    • by the woodman's ax and the carpenter
    • transforms you into a bell tower,
    • a wagon axle or cart's yoke;
    • before you are a red flame on
    • tomorrow's hearth in some poor cottage
    • along the side of the road;
    • before a whirlwind uproots you,
    • and the wind from the white sierras snaps you;
    • before the river pushes you to the sea
    • through valleys and ravines,
    • elm, I want to note
    • the grace of your greening branch.
    • My heart also waits in hope,
    • turned toward light and life,
    • for another miracle of spring.
  • 28. To José María Palacio Antonio Machado
    • Palacio, good friend,
    • has the spring come so soon,
    • clothing the poplar branch
    • of the river and the roads? On the barren plain
    • of the high Duero, spring arrives late,
    • but when she arrives is beautiful and sweet!...
    • Do the old elms have new leaves?
    • The acacia will still be bare,
    • and snow will cover the mountain peaks.
    • Oh, huge Moncayo white and pink,
    • beautiful against the sky of Aragón!
  • 29.
    • Do blackberry bushes blossom
    • among the grey stones,
    • and white daisies
    • in the young grass?
    • To those belfries
    • The storks will have come.
    • There will be green rows of wheat,
    • and brown mules in newly planted fields,
    • and farmers sowing late
    • with the April rains. Even now the bees
    • sip from rosemary and thyme.
    • Are there plum trees in bloom? Do violets remain?
    • There will be no lack of sly hunters
    • with partridge lures under long capes.
  • 30.
    • Palacio, good friend,
    • Have nightingales come to the river banks?
    • With the first lilies
    • and the first roses of the gardens,
    • go up to the Espino on a blue afternoon,
    • the high Espino which is her land…
  • 31. Our Country is Closed in Giorgos Seferis
    • Our country is closed in, all mountains
    • that day and night have the low sky as their roof.
    • We have no rivers, we have no wells, we have no springs,
    • only a few cisterns — and these empty — that echo, and that we worship.
    • A stagnant hollow sound, the same as our loneliness
    • the same as our love, the same as our bodies.
    • We find it strange that once we were able to build
    • our houses, huts and sheep-folds.
    • And our marriages, the cool coronals and the fingers,
    • become enigmas inexplicable to our soul.
    • How were our children born, how did they grow strong?
  • 32.
    • Our country is closed in. The two black Symplegades*
    • close it in. When we go down
    • to the harbours on Sunday to breathe freely
    • we see, lit in the sunset,
    • the broken planks from voyages that never ended,
    • bodies that no longer know how to love.
    • * mythological clashing rocks in the Bosphorus region
  • 33. Night Beautiful Giuseppe Ungaretti
    • What melody soars tonight
    • setting
    • in the heart the gemlike echo
    • of the stars
    • What celebration rises
    • Within the blissful heart
    • A dark pool
    • Have I been
    • Now I grip
    • Babe at the pap
    • space
    • Now inebriated am I
    • With the universe.
    • Trans. Alexander Raïnof
  • 34. The Walnut Tree Nazim Hikmet
    • My head foaming clouds, sea inside me and out
    • I am a walnut tree in Gülhane Park
    • An old walnut, knot by knot, shred by shred
    • Neither you are aware of this, nor the police
    • I am a walnut tree in Gülhane Park
    • My leaves are nimble, nimble like fish in water
    • My leaves are sheer, sheer like a silk handkerchief
    • Pick, wipe, my rose, the tear from your eyes
    • My leaves are my hands, I have one hundred thousand
    • I touch you with one hundred thousand hands,
    • I touch Istanbul
  • 35.
    • My leaves are my eyes, I look in amazement
    • I watch you with one hundred thousand eyes,
    • I watch Istanbul
    • Like one hundred thousand hearts, beat, beat my leaves
    • I am a walnut tree in Gülhane Park
    • Neither you are aware of this, nor the police
  • 36. Fireflies Humberto Ak’abal
    • Fireflies
    • are stars that came down from the sky
    • and the stars are 
    • that couldn’t come down.
    • They turn their lights 
off and on
    • so that they will last all night.  
  • 37. Tree Humberto Ak’abal
  • 38. The Lonely Sparrow Giacomo Leopardi
    • Thou from the top of yonder antique tower,
    • O lonely sparrow, wandering, hast gone,
    • Thy song repeating till the day is done,
    • And through this valley strays the harmony.
    • How Spring rejoices in the fields around,
    • And fills the air with light,
    • So that the heart is melted at the sight!
    • Hark to the bleating flocks, the lowing herds!
    • In sweet content, the other birds
    • Through the free sky in emulous circles wheel,
    • In pure enjoyment of their happy time:
    • Thou, pensive, gazest on the scene apart,
    • Nor wilt thou join them in the merry round;
    • Shy playmate, thou for mirth hast little heart;
    • And with thy plaintive music, dost consume
    • Both of the year, and of thy life, the bloom.
  • 39.
    • Alas, how much my ways
    • Resemble thine! The laughter and the sport,
    • That fill with glee our youthful days,
    • And thee, O love, who art youth's brother still,
    • Too oft the bitter sigh of later years,
    • I care not for; I know not why,
    • But from them ever distant fly:
    • Here in my native place,
    • As if of alien race,
    • My spring of life I like a hermit pass.
    • This day, that to the evening now gives way,
    • Is in our town an ancient holiday.
    • Hark, through the air, that voice of festal bell,
    • While rustic guns in frequent thunders sound,
    • Reverberated from the hills around.
    • In festal robes arrayed,
    • The neighboring youth,
    • Their houses leaving, o'er the roads are spread;
    • They pleasant looks exchange, and in their hearts
  • 40.
    • Rejoice. I, lonely, in this distant spot,
    • Along the country wandering,
    • Postpone all pleasure and delight
    • To some more genial time: meanwhile,
    • As through the sunny air around I gaze,
    • My brow is smitten by his rays,
    • As after such a day serene,
    • Dropping behind yon distant hills,
    • He vanishes, and seems to say,
    • That thus all happy youth must pass away.
  • 41.
    •    Thou, lonely little bird, when thou
    •    Hast reached the evening of the days
    •    Thy stars assign to thee,
    •    Wilt surely not regret thy ways;
    •    For all thy wishes are
    •    Obedient to Nature's law. But ah!
    •    If I, in spite of all my prayers,
    •    Am doomed the hateful threshold of old age
    •    To cross, when these dull eyes will give
    •    No response to another's heart,
    •    The world to them a void will be,
    •    Each day become more full of misery,
    •    How then, will this, my wish appear
    •    In those dark hours, that dungeon drear?
    •    My blighted youth, my sore distress,
    •    Alas, will then seem happiness!
  • 42. My heart, my heart is heavy Heinrich Heine
    • My heart, my heart is heavy,
    • Though May shines bright on all,
    • I stand and lean on the linden
    • High on the bastion wall.
    • Below me the moat is flowing
    • In the still afternoon;
    • A boy is rowing a boat and
    • Fishing and whistling a tune.
    • Beyond in colored patches
    • So tiny below, one sees
    • Villas and gardens and people
    • And oxen and meadows and trees.
  • 43.
    • The girls bleach clothes on the meadow
    • And merrily go and come;
    • The mill wheel scatters diamonds---
    • I hear its distant hum.
    • On top of the old gray tower
    • A sentry looks over the town;
    • A young red-coated lad there
    • Is marching up and down.
    • He handles his shining rifle,
    • It gleams in the sunlight's red;
    • He shoulders arms, presents arms--
    • I wish he would shoot me dead.
  • 44. I, Clouded Alberto Blanco
    • The sky was very blue
    • before the sun rose.
    • The mountains were so silent,
    • the distance didn’t seem so great.
    • Then the city began to change,
    • the dust to rise, and with the sun
    • the clouds moved as well:
    • one more day without a clear sky…
    • My life passes in half-hours,
    • in projects half-finished and in unfinished loves.
    • It’s one more day I need to get through…
    • with body and soul contaminated.
  • 45. One Lucha Corpi
    • The demented wind
    • sets bell
    • tree
    • and stone
    • to tremble.
    • Its laughter
    • rises toward me
    • from the wildest depths
    • of silence
    • perhaps from grief itself:
    • pain that has not learned
    • to be a word.
  • 46. The Rose Armando Cenerazzo
    • Month of April! what balsam air,
    • all-around is sensed, the aroma of violets;
    • and even if it rained, this day,
    • this entire house, would be full of sun!
    • Today, you were born, enchanted rose,
    • together with spring, all in bloom,
    • that to all, is long-desired,
    • because it brings hope, faith and love.
    • And to you, that was encircled by thorns,
    • Spring had said to you: - Come,
    • I want to make you the queen of gardens,
    • bringing cheer to whom will pluck and love you!
  • 47.
    • And that fortunate gardener,
    • is me, who had gathered you with this hand;
    • and had gazed at, cared for and sprinkled with my breath,
    • with the passion of a Neapolitan!
    • Because, for me, it is a precious thing,
    • that I gave you life, affection and love,
    • and nothing can alter that, because this rose…
    • has for a vase this heart!
  • 48. The White Moon Paul Verlaine
    • The white moon
    • shines in the woods.
    • From each branch
    • springs a voice
    • beneath the arbor.
    • Oh my beloved...
  • 49.
    • Like a deep mirror
    • the pond reflects
    • the silhouette
    • of the black willow
    • where the wind weeps.
    • Let us dream! It is the hour...
    • A vast and tender
    • calm
    • seems to descend
    • from a sky
    • made iridescent by the moon.
    • It is the exquisite hour!
  • 50. An den Frühling Friedrich Schiller
    • Welcome, gentle Stripling,
Nature's darling thou!
With thy basket full of blossoms,
A happy welcome now!
    • Aha!--and thou returnest,
    • Heartily we greet thee--
    • The loving and the fair one,
    • Merrily we meet thee!
    • Think'st thou of my maiden
    • In thy heart of glee?
    • I love her yet, the maiden--
    • And the maiden yet loves me!

  • 51.
    • For the maiden, many a blossom
    • I begged--and not in vain!
    • I came again a-begging,
    • And thou--thou givest again:
    • Welcome, gentle Stripling,
    • Nature's darling thou--
    • With thy basket full of blossoms,
    • A happy welcome now!
  • 52. Fully Empowered Pablo Neruda
    • For the sun's pure power, I write, for the full sea, for the full and open road, wherever I can I sing, only the vagrant night detains me but I gain space in that interruption, I gain shadow for lengths of time. Night's black wheat grows while my eyes measure the field. I forge keys from dawn to dusk: I search for locks in the darkness and I go throwing open ruined gates to the sea until the wardrobes are full of foam.
  • 53.
    • I never tire of going and returning, death does not stop me with its stone, I never tire of presence and absence. Sometimes I ask myself if it was from my father or my mother or the mountains I inherited these mineral tasks, veins of a burning ocean, and I know I go on, and go on to go on, and I sing to sing on, and to sing.  Nothing explains what happens when I close my eyes and circle as if between two undersea channels, one lifts me up to die in its branches and the other sings so I might sing.
  • 54.
    • So then, I am composed of absence and akin to the sea that assaults the reef with its briny globules of whiteness and takes back the stone into the wave. So that whatever of death surrounds me opens in me the window on life and in the full paroxysm I am sleeping. To the full light I go on through the shadow.
  • 55. The Odyssey , excerpt Homer
    • They came to the beautiful, running river
And the laundry pools, where the clear water
Flowed through strongly enough to clean
Even the dirtiest clothes. They unhitched the mules
And shooed them out along the swirling river's edge
To munch the sweet clover. Then they unloaded
The clothes, brought them down to the water,
And trod them in the trenches, working fast
    • And making a game of it. When the clothes were washed
They spread them out neatly on the shore of the sea
Where the waves scoured the pebbled beach clean.

  • 56.
    • Then they bathed themselves and rubbed rich olive oil
Onto their skin, and had a picnic on the river's banks
While they waited for the sun to dry the clothes.
When the princess and her maids had enough to eat
They began to play with a ball, their hair streaming free.
    • Artemis sometimes roams the mountains—
 Immense Taygetus, or Erymanthus—
 Showering arrows upon boars or fleet antelope,
 And with her play the daughters of Zeus
    • Who range the wild woods—and Leto is glad
 That her daughter towers above them all
 With her shining brow, though they are beautiful all—
  • 57.
    • The princess threw the ball to one of the girls,
But it sailed wide into deep, swirling water.
The girls screamed, and Odysseus awoke.

    • He broke off a leafy branch from the undergrowth
And held it before him to cover himself.
    • A weathered mountain lion steps into a clearing, Confident in his strength, eyes glowing.
 The wind and rain have let up, and he's hunting
 Cattle, sheep, or wild deer, but is hungry enough
 To jump the stone walls of the animal pens.
  • 58. Correspondences Charles Baudelaire
    • Nature is a temple in which living pillars
    • Sometimes give voice to confused words;
    • Man passes there through forests of symbols
    • Which look at him with understanding eyes.
    • Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance
    • In a deep and tenebrous unity,
    • Vast as the dark of night and as the light of day,
    • Perfumes, sounds, and colors correspond.
    • There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children,
    • Sweet as oboes, green as meadows
    • — And others are corrupt, and rich, triumphant,
    • With power to expand into infinity,
    • Like amber and incense, musk, benzoin,
    • That sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses.
    • Trans. William T Aggeler
  • 59. The Elephant Carlos Drummond de Andrade
    • I create an elephant of my scarce resources. Some pieces of wood taken of old furniture might keep him straight. And I fill him up with cotton, silk and sweetness. The glue will fast his saggy ears. The trunk curls and it is the happiest part of his architecture. But there are also the tusks, made of such a pure material that I can not duplicate. Such a white this richness exposed in the circus without loss or corruption. And finally the eyes, where is held
  • 60.
    • the most fluid and permanent part of the elephant, disconnected of every fraud. Here, my poor elephant, ready to leave and search for friends in a world already tired that no longer believes in animals and doubts things. Here he is, puissant and fragile mass, winnows himself and moves slow his sewed skin where flowers of cloth and clouds are allusions to a more poetic world where love retakes the natural forms.
  • 61.
    • There goes my elephant through a crowded street, but they do not want to see him even not to laugh at his tail, which might leave him walking alone. He is all grace, although his legs are not of much help and his big belly threatens to fall off at the slightest touch. He shows with elegance his minimal life, and in town, there is no soul willing to take from that sensitive body his fugacious image, the clumsy steps, yet hungry and touching.
  • 62.
    • But hungry for pathetic beings and situations, for encounters under the moonlight in the deepest ocean, under the roots of trees or in the centre of the shells, for lights that do not blind as they shine through the most thick trunks. This step that goes without crushing the plants in the battle field, searching for places, secrets, episodes not written in books, which only the wind, the leaves, the ants recognize the style while the men ignore it, for they only dare to show themselves under the peace of a curtain to their tired eyelid.
  • 63.
    • And late in the night my elephant returns, returns tired, the uncertain feet melt in the dust. He did not find what he needed, what we needed, I and my elephant, in which I love to disguise myself. Exhausted of searching, his engine falls down as if it was a mere piece of paper. The glue dissolves, and all his inner material, the forgiveness, the caress, the feather, the cotton spill over the carpet like a dismembered myth. Tomorrow I begin again.
  • 64. Wine Nicanor Parra
    • Nervous, but without pain
    • To all the members of the audience
    • with a bad voice I urge
    • forgiveness and condescension.
    • With my tomb-like face
    • and my old butterflies
    • I too make myself present
    • in this solemn party.
    • Is there, I ask
    • more noble than a bottle
    • of wine well conversed
    • between two twin souls?
  • 65.
    • Wine has a power
    • that admires and disconcerts
    • Transmutes ice into fire
    • and fire turns it into rock.
    • Wine is everything, it is the ocean
    • Wineskins of twenty leagues
    • The magic rug, the sun
    • the parrot of seven tongues.
    • Some drink for thirst
    • others to forget debts
    • And I to see lizards
    • and toads in the stars.
    • The man who does not drink his
    • bloodstained glass
    • cannot be, I believe
    • a Christian of a good vine.
  • 66.
    • The poor man drinks his glass
    • to compensate his debts
    • that cannot be paid
    • with tears nor with strikes.
    • If I were given a choice
    • between diamonds and pearls
    • I would chose a cluster
    • of white and black grapes.
    • The blind man with a glass
    • sees sparks and flashes of lightning
    • and the lame man from birth
    • begins to dance the Chilean cueca
  • 67.
    • Wine when it is tasted
    • with sincere inspiration
    • can only be compared
    • to a kiss of a maiden.
    • For all that I raise
    • my glass to the sun of the night
    • and drink the sacred wine
    • that unites two hearts.