Poetry Without Borders: Places and Memories

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CSULB 2010

CSULB 2010

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  • 1. Poetry Without Borders Places and Memories Dr. Enrico Vettore Dr. Rita M. Palacios April 28, 2010
  • 2. Charles Baudelaire The Voyage To Maxime du Camp
    • For children crazed with postcards, prints, and stamps
    • All space can scarce suffice their appetite.
    • How vast the world seems by the light of lamps,
    • But in the eyes of memory how slight!
    • One morning we set sail, with brains on fire,
    • And hearts swelled up with rancorous emotion,
    • Balancing, to the rhythm of its lyre,
    • Our infinite upon the finite ocean.
    • Some wish to leave their venal native skies,
    • Some flee their birthplace, others change their ways,
    • Astrologers who've drowned in Beauty's eyes,
    • Tyrannic Circe with the scent that slays.
    • Not to be changed to beasts, they have their fling
    • With space, and splendour, and the burning sky,
    • The suns that bronze them and the frosts that sting
    • Efface the mark of kisses by and by.
  • 3.
    • But the true travellers are those who go
    • Only to get away: hearts like balloons
    • Unballasted, with their own fate aglow,
    • Who know not why they fly with the monsoons:
    • Those whose desires are in the shape of clouds.
    • And dream, as raw recruits of shot and shell,
    • Of mighty raptures in strange, transient crowds
    • Of which no human soul the name can tell.
    • II
    • Horror! We imitate the top and bowl
    • In swerve and bias. Through our sleep it runs.
    • It's Curiosity that makes us roll
    • As the fierce Angel whips the whirling suns.
    • Singular game! where the goal changes places;
    • The winning-post is nowhere, yet all round;
    • Where Man tires not of the mad hope he races
    • Thinking, some day, that respite will be found.
    • Our soul's like a three-master, where one hears
    • A voice that from the bridge would warn all hands.
  • 4.
    • Another from the foretop madly cheers
    • "Love, joy, and glory" ... Hell! we're on the sands!
    • The watchmen think each isle that heaves in view
    • An El dorado, shouting their belief.
    • Imagination riots in the crew
    • Who in the morning only find a reef.
    • The fool that dotes on far, chimeric lands —
    • Put him in irons, or feed him to the shark!
    • The drunken sailor's visionary lands
    • Can only leave the bitter truth more stark.
    • So some old vagabond, in mud who grovels,
    • Dreams, nose in air, of Edens sweet to roam.
    • Wherever smoky wicks illumine hovels
    • He sees another Capua or Rome.
  • 5. Tchicaya u Tam’si The Rebels' Conga 7 July 1960
  • 6.  
  • 7.  
  • 8.  
  • 9. Gagan Gill A Desire in the Bangles
    • A desire is in the girl’s bangles: first they will break on his bed then on the threshold of his house. But why on the threshold? Because in the girl there is a woman mourning — who is not yet a widow but a widow to be. The girl’s fear throbs in her veins as far as her bangles The girl’s desire throbs in them The girl’s mourning throbs in them Mourning? Where is the girl’s man for whom mourning runs in her veins for whom desire is in her bangles?
  • 10.
    • Her man is caught in some other body some other dream sorrow, other tears His every sorrow, dream, tear is beyond the reach of the mourning girl… But the girl is only a girl in her is that primal innocence, madness, death, whose punishment she will give to that man one day when she will break her bangles…
  • 11. Federico García Lorca Abandoned Church (Ballad of the Great War)
    • I had a son whose name was John.
    • I had a son.
    • Friday of All Soul’s he was lost in the arches.
    • I saw him playing on the uppermost steps of the Mass
    • and he lowered a tin bucket into the heart of the priest.
    • I pounded on the coffins. My son! My son! My son!
    • I pulled a hen’s leg from behind the moon and soon
    • realized that my girl had become a fish
    • by where the carts move into the distance.
    • I had a girl.
    • I had a dead fish under the ash of the censers.
    • I had a sea. Of what? My God! A sea!
  • 12.
    • I climbed up to ring the bells, but the fruits were wormy,
    • and the snuffed-out matches
    • ate the spring wheat.
    • I saw the transparent stork of alcohol
    • pick clean the black heads of dying soldiers
    • and I saw the rubber cabins
    • where the revolving goblets overflowed with tears.
    • I will find you in the Eucharist’s gift of anemones—my heart!—
    • when the priest lifts the mule and the ox with his strong arms,
    • to frighten the nocturnal toads that roam the frozen landscapes of the chalice.
    • I had a son who was a giant,
    • but the dead are more powerful and can devour pieces of sky.
  • 13.
    • If my boy had been a bear,
    • I would not have feared the crocodile’s stealth,
    • or seen the sea lashed to the trees
    • to be ravaged and bled by a rabble of troops.
    • If my boy had been a bear!
    • I will lie down and wrap myself in this hard canvas to not feel the cold of the mosses.
    • I know very well I will be given shirt sleeves or a necktie;
    • but in the middle of Mass I will break the rudder and then
    • the insanity of penguins and gulls will come to the stone
    • and make those who sleep and sing on street corners say:
    • he had a son.
    • A son! A son! A son
    • who was his alone, because he was his son!
    • His son! His son! His son!
  • 14. Gabriela Mistral Night of José Asunción To Alfonso Reyes
    • One night like this night,
    • full of Circe, that one would be
    • the night of José Asunción,
    • when finished it would extend;
    •  
    • poisoned by the toad
    • that throws his humor in cold weeds,
    • and the weeds call on putrefaction
    • to wallow in melancholy;
    •  
    • lit by that moon,
    • concubine of false grandeur,
    • that insanity makes silver
    • like an olive or wisdom,
    •  
    • governed by this hour
    • in which the strong Christ forgets,
  • 15.
    • and in which his betrayed hand
    • lets go of the world that he supported.
    • (And the world, fallen from his hand,
    • like the dove from his flock,
    • towards the twelfth hour
    • without his fervor dies away):
    •  
    • pecked by the crow
    • that on the dried branch feigned
    • the vertical stance of the hung man
    • with his agonized chattered teeth;
    •  
    • spurred by Evil
    • that smells like a stag by the wound,
  • 16.
    • and offers him in the dark decomposed soil
    • an even darker blindfold;
    •  
    • bandage wrung by the night
    • that, like Antero, would close,
    • with delicate wool from nothing,
    • the mouth of elegies;
    •  
    • night in which the divine sister
    • with the mountain was sleeping,
    • without understanding that those that love
    • have to sleep with the coming new day:
    •  
    • like this night that I live
    • would belong to José Asunción.
  • 17. Ho Xuan Huong Confession
    • I
    • Gray sky. A rooster crows.
    • Bitter, I look out on thickets and folds.
    •  
    • I haven't shaken grief's rattle, yet it clatters.
    • I haven't rung sorrow's bell, though it tolls.
    •  
    • Their noise only drags me down, angry
    • with a fate that says I'm much too bold.
    •  
    • Men of talent, learned men, where are you?
    • Am I supposed to walk as if stooped and old?
  • 18.
    • II
    • Before dawn, the watch drum rumbles.
    • Lonely pink face among mountains and streams
    •  
    • addled but alert with a cup of fragrant wine
    • as the moon sets, just a sliver not yet full.
    •  
    • Moss seems to creep across the earth's face.
    • Stony peaks pierce the belly of the clouds.
    •  
    • Sick with sadness, spring passes, spring returns.
    • A bit of love shared, just the littlest bit.
  • 19. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe   Faust , Part I: Dedication
    • YE wavering shapes, again ye do enfold me,
    • As erst upon my troubled sight ye stole;
    • Shall I this time attempt to clasp, to hold ye?
    • Still for the fond illusion yearns my soul?
    • Ye press around! Come then, your captive hold me,
    • As upward from the vapoury mist ye roll;
    • Within my breast youth’s throbbing pulse is bounding,
    • Fann’d by the magic breath your march surrounding.
  • 20.
    • Shades fondly loved appear, your train attending,
    • And visions fair of many a blissful day;
    • First-love and friendship their fond accents blending,
    • Like to some ancient, half-expiring lay;
    • Sorrow revives, her wail of anguish sending
    • Back o’er life’s devious labyrinthine way,
    • And names the dear ones, they whom Fate bereaving
    • Of life’s fair hours, left me behind them grieving.
  • 21.
    • They hear me not my later cadence singing,
    • The souls to whom my earlier lays I sang;
    • Dispersed the throng, their severed flight now winging;
    • Mute are the voices that responsive rang.
    • For stranger crowds the Orphean lyre now stringing,
    • E’en their applause is to my heart a pang;
    • Of old who listened to my song, glad hearted,
    • If yet they live, now wander widely parted.
  • 22.
    • A yearning long unfelt, each impulse swaying,
    • To yon calm spirit-realm uplifts my soul;
    • In faltering cadence, as when Zephyr playing,
    • Fans the Aeolian harp, my numbers roll;
    • Tear follows tear, my steadfast heart obeying
    • The tender impulse, loses its control;
    • What I possess as from afar I see;
    • Those I have lost become realities to me.
  • 23. Heinrich Heine The Lorelei
    • I don't know what it may signify
    • That I am so sad;
    • There's a tale from ancient times
    • That I can't get out of my mind.
    •  
    • The air is cool and the twilight is falling
    • and the Rhine is flowing quietly by;
    • the top of the mountain is glittering
    • in the evening sun.
    •  
    • The loveliest maiden is sitting
    • Up there, wondrous to tell.
    • Her golden jewelry sparkles
    • as she combs her golden hair
  • 24.
    • She combs it with a golden comb
    • and sings a song as she does,
    • A song with a peculiar,
    • powerful melody.
    •  
    • It seizes upon the boatman in his small boat
    • With unrestrained woe;
    • He does not look below to the rocky shoals,
    • He only looks up at the heights.
    •  
    • If I'm not mistaken, the waters
    • Finally swallowed up fisher and boat;
    • And with her singing
    • The Lorelei did this.
  • 25. Bertolt Brecht The Drowned Girl
    • Once she had drowned and started her slow descent
    • Down the streams to where the great rivers broaden
    • Oh, the open sky chant most magnificent
    • As if it was acting as her body’s guardian
    •  
    • Wreck and duck weed slowly increased her weight
    • By clasping her in their slimy grip
    • Through her limbs, the cold blooded fishes played
    • Creatures and plant life kept on, thus obstructing her last trip
  • 26.
    • And the sky that same evening grew dark as smoke
    • And its stars through the night kept the brightness still soaring
    • But it quickly grew clear when dawn now broke
    • To see that she got one further morning
    •  
    • Once her pallid trunk had rotted beyond repair
    • It happened quite slowly that she gently slipped from God’s thoughts
    • First with her face, then her hands, right at the last with her hair
    • Leaving those corpse-choked rivers just one more corpse.
  • 27. Edith Södergran We Women
    • We women, we are so close to the brown earth.
    • We ask the cuckoo, what he expects of spring,
    • we wrap our arms around the smooth pine-tree,
    • we search the sunset for signs and counsel.
    • I loved a man once, he believed in nothing...
    • He came on a cold day with empty eyes,
    • he left on a heavy day with lost memories across his brow
    • If my child does not live, it is his...
    • Translated by Alexandre Rodallec
  • 28. Fereydoun Moshiri Koocheh Translated by Omid Ghaemmaghami
    • Without you, on a moonlight night, I passed through that alley again
    • My entire body, transformed into eyes, gazing in search of you
    • My soul’s cup brimming with the anticipation of seeing you
    • I became that same mad lover that I was, yet anew
    •  
    • In my soul’s treasure-chest, the flower of your remembrance gleamed
    • The garden of a hundred memories laughed
    • The fragrance of a hundred memories spread
    •  
  • 29.
    • I remembered one night, we passed thorough that alley as one
    • Wings wide-open as we wandered about in that retreat of love
    • Sitting together for some time at the edge of that brook
    • All of the world’s secrets poured into your eyes
    • Utterly effaced by your glances became I
    •  
    • The sky, clear; The night, serene
    • Luck, smiling; Time, tamed
    • A bouquet of moons pouring pouring down into the water
    • The branches reaching up the moonlight
    • The night, the meadow, the flowers, the rocks
    • All enthralled by the nightingale’s song
    •  
  • 30.
    • Recalling your words to me:
    • “ Avoid this love!
    • Look upon this water for a moment
    • Water mirrors the transient love
    • Today your sole concern is for a glance of your lover
    • But tomorrow, your hear will belong to another!
    • Leave this town for a while and hence forget this love!”
    • I said unto you: “Avoid this love!? ––I do not know how
    • Leave you? Never will I be able to,
    • Never!
    •  
  • 31.
    • From the first day that my heart began to fly in desire of you
    • Like a dove, I perched myself on your roof
    • You struck me with a stone, and yet I didn’t fly away, I didn’t fall apart…”
    •  
    • I repeated? “You are the hunter and I am the prey
    • In order to fall and be captured by your trap, I wandered from here to there, everywhere
    • Avoid this love… I do not know how and never will be able to!”
    •  
    • A teardrop fell from a branch
    • The bird of night moaned bitterly and flew away
    •  
  • 32.
    • A teardrop quivered in your eyes,
    • The moon laughed for the sake of your love!
    • Recalling how I never heard a response
    • Lived through the gloom and the grief
    • I did not fall apart, I did not leave.
    •  
    • That night and others like it passed in the darkness of sorrow
    • You never asked again about the tormented lover
    • You never went by that alley again…
    •  
    • Alas, alas, with what anguish, what torment, I passed through that alley without you!
  • 33. Hermann Hesse Autumn Day Translation by James Wright
    • For moments at a time, the distance is silent
    • And all the mountains grow light
    • Blue overhead, and glow in the moist
    • November air like young white ornaments.
    • The hilltops stand bare
    • As so often, joyfully, I’ve seen them
    • In a better time
    • With fresh snow fallen beneath them.
    • Not a person around me, the flocks are in the valley,
    • Abandoned meadows lie still in their winter nakedness.
  • 34.
    • In a cool resting place, I measure the distance
    • With a peaceful gaze, and I see the blue of the evening
    • And sense the first star behind the ridge,
    • And, breathing in, I sense the approaching
    • Frost and dew. Then, with my evening shiver,
    • Memory comes back to me
    • And fury and suffering and deep lamentation –
    • So much for my joy in wandering.
    •  
  • 35.
    • And again my thoughts stand up
    • Trembling over the distant struggle,
    • Inhale gangrene, inhale the reek of the battle
    • Tremble with thousands of the wounded, the dying, the sick
    • And search, with blundering feelings,
    • For beloved brothers in the blasting and tearing of the battle,
    • And cling like children to the hands of their good mother
    • Grateful and full of anguish for my fatherland.
  • 36. Gottfried Benn and Else Lasker-Schüler
    • Else Lasker-Schüler walked around the streets of Berlin under the guise of a literary persona of her own invention.
    • Gottfriend Benn and Lasker-Schüler had a torrid love affair in Berlin in the 1900s. They exchanged poems about love and memories.
  • 37. Else Lasker-Schüler I hide behind trees
    • Until my eyes rained out dry,
    •  
    • And keep them locked up tight
    • So nobody sees your picture.
    •  
    • I twisted my arms around you
    • Like climbing vines.
    •  
    • I’m grown to you after all;
    • Why do you tear me from you?
    •  
    • I gave you the budding
    • Of my body;
  • 38.
    • Shooed all my butterflies
    • Into your garden.
    • I walked and walked through the pomegranate trees,
    • Saw through your blood
    •  
    • The world burning everywhere
    • From love.
    •  
    • But now with my brow I beat
    • Dismally the walls of my temples.
    •  
    • O you false trickster,
    • You strung a loose rope.
  • 39.
    • How cold all greetings seem to me;
    • My heart lies bare.
    • My red vehicle
    • Knocks dreadfully.
    •  
    • I am always at sea
    • And land no longer
    • And I love the walls of the room,
    • Which I am painting with your boyish face.
    •  
    • The stars that in this month
    • So many sparkling in life
    • Drop heavy on my heart.
  • 40. Gottfried Benn No Consolation
    • No one shall be the brink of my abyss.
    • Leave your blossoms to wither.
    • My path flows and runs alone.
    • Two hands are much too small a vessel.
    • A heart too small a hill,
    • To rest on.
  • 41.
    • I only live at shores
    • And under the blossom fall of the ocean,
    • Egypt is spread before my heart,
    • Asia is dawning.
    • My one arm ever lies in fire.
    • My blood is ash. I forever sob
    • when passing the breasts and bones
    • of the Tyhrrhenian islands:
    • A valley of white poplar is dawning
    • an Ilyssos with banks of meadows
    • Eden and Adam and an earth
    • of nihilism and music.
  • 42. Paul Reverdy Memory
    • Just a minute
    • And I am back
    • Of everything that’s gone I have kept nothing
    • A point
    • The wide sky
    • And at the last moment
    • The lantern goes by
    • The step you hear
    • Somebody stops and everything else goes on
    • You let the world go
    • And what is inside
    • Dancing lights
  • 43.
    • Outstretched shadows
    • There is still space
    • Looking ahead
    • A cage where a live animal leaps
    • Breast and arms make the same motion
    • A woman was laughing
    • With her head thrown back
    • And the man who came mistook us
    • We didn’t know each other all three of us
    • Ant yet we formed
    • A world full of hope
  • 44. Guillaume Apollinaire The Mirabeau Bridge
    • Under the Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine
    • And our loves
    • Must I remember them
    • Joy always followed pain
    •  
    • The night falls and the hours ring
    • The days go away I remain
    •  
    • Hand in hand let us stay face to face
    • While underneath the bridge
    • Of our arms passes
    • The water tired of the eternal looks
    •  
    • The night falls and the hours ring
    • The days go away I remain
  • 45.
    • Love goes away like this flowing water
    • Love goes away
    • Life is so slow
    • And hope is so violent
    •  
    • The night falls and the hours ring
    • The days go away I remain
    •  
    • Days pass by and weeks pass by
    • Neither past time
    • Nor past loves will return
    • Under the Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine
    •  
    • The night falls and the hours ring
    • The days go away I remain
  • 46. Mahmoud Darwish To My Mother
    • I long for my mother's bread
    • My Mother's coffee
    • Her touch
    • Childhood memories grow up in me
    • Day after day
    • I must be worth my life
    • At the hour of my death
    • Worth the tears of my mother.
    • And if I come back one day
    • Take me as a veil to your eyelashes
    • Cover my bones with the grass
    • Blessed by your footsteps
  • 47.
    • Bind us together
    • With a lock of your hair
    • With a thread that trails from the back of your dress
    • I might become immortal
    • Become a god
    • If I touch the depths of your heart
    • If I come back
    • Use me as wood to feed your fire
    • As the clothesline on the roof of your house
    • Without your blessing
    • I am too weak to stand.
    • I am old, give me back the star maps of childhood
    • So that I
    • Along with the swallows
    • Can chart the path
    • Back to your waiting nest.
    • Translated by Waleed Ayyoub 
  • 48. José Marti Two Homelands
    • I have two homelands; Cuba and the night.
    • Or are they one in the same?
    • No sooner has the majesty of the sun retired when Cuba,
    • with long veils and a carnation in her hand,
    • silently appears, as if a sad widow, before me.
    • I know what that bloody carnation is that she holds in her trembling hand!
  • 49.
    • My chest is empty; destroyed and empty is the place
    • where my heart was.
    • Now has come the time to begin to die.
    • The night is good for saying goodbye.
    • The light hinders,
    • as does the human word.
    • The universe speaks better than man does.
    • As a flag calling me to fight,
    • the red light of the candle burns.
    • The windows are opened,
    • already intimate and dear to me.
    • Mute, tearing apart the carnation,
    • like a cloud which darkens the sky, Cuba,
    • like a widow, passes.
  • 50. Federico García Lorca Horseman’s Song
    • Cordoba.
    • Distant and alone.
    •  
    • A black nag, the giant moon,
    • and olives in my saddlebag.
    • Even if I know the way,
    • I never will reach Cordoba.
    •  
    • Over the plain, through the wind,
    • A black nag, the bloody moon.
    • The Reaper is watching me
    • From the tall towers of Cordoba.
    •  
    • Oh, such a long road!
    • Oh, my valiant nag!
    • Oh, the Reaper awaits me
    • before I ever reach Cordoba!
    •  
    • Cordoba.
    • Distant and alone.
    • Translation, Charles W. Johnson
  • 51. Sappho Fragment 16
    • Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot
    • and some men say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing
    • on the black earth. But I say it is
    • what you love.
    •  
    • Easy to make this understood by all.
    • For she who overcame everyone
    • in beauty (Helen)
    • left her fine husband
  • 52.
    • behind and went sailing to Troy.
    • Not for her children nor her dear parents
    • had she a thought, no--
    • led her astray
    •  
    • for
    • lightly
    • reminded me now of Anaktoria
    • who is gone.
    •  
    • I would rather see her lovely step
    • and the motion of light on her face
    • than chariots of Lydians or ranks
    • of footsoldiers in arms.
  • 53. Federico García Lorca City without a Dream (Nocturnal of Brooklyn Bridge)
    • No one sleeps by the sky. Nobody, nobody. No one sleeps. The creatures of the moon smell and go up around their cabins. The alive iguanas will come to bite the men who do not dream and the one that flees with the broken heart will find by the corners the incredible still crocodile under the tender protest of the stars.
    • No one sleeps by the world. Nobody, nobody. No one sleeps.
  • 54.
    • There is a corpse in the furthermost cemetery that complains three years because it has a dry landscape in the knee; and the boy who was buried this morning cried so much that there was a necessity to call the dogs to shut him up.
    • The dream is not life. Alert! Alert! Alert! We fall by the stairs to eat the humid Earth or raised the edge of the snow with the dead choir of the dahlias.
    • But there is no forgetfulness, nor dream: meat alive. The kisses tie the mouths in a maze of recent veins
  • 55.
    • and to who it hurts his pain will hurt without rest and to who fears death will be taken on death’s shoulders.
    • One day the horses will live in the taverns and the furious ants will attack the yellow skies that take refuge in the eyes of the cows.
    • Another day we will see the resurrection of the dissected butterfly and still walking by a landscape of gray sponges and silent boats we will see our ring shine and flow roses from our tongues.
    • Alert! Alert! Alert!
  • 56.
    • To those who still keep tracks from claws and heavy a shower, to that boy who cries because he does not know the invention of the bridge or to that corpse has nothing but his head and a shoe, it is necessary to take them to the wall where iguanas and snakes await, where the dentures of the bear await,
    • where the mummified hand of the boy await and the skin of the camel rises with a violent blue chill.
    • No one sleeps by the sky. Nobody, nobody. No one sleeps. But if somebody closes his eyes, Whip him, mine children, Whip him!
  • 57.
    • There is a panorama of open eyes and bitter ignited sores.
    • No one sleeps by the world. Nobody, nobody. I have already said it. No one sleeps. But if somebody at night has an excess of moss in his temples, open the trap doors so that you can see under the moon the false glasses, the poison and the skull of the theaters.
  • 58. Dana Gelinas Miracle Country (Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, 12 p.m.)
    • Today I inhabit the Día de la Virgen
    • in whose mercy the more and the less
    • humble take refuge and day
    • breaks into the smell of dust and tuberoses.
    • Bus drivers deck out their machines
    • as mobile altars
    • or ambulant motherlands.
    • The wind of miracles hoists the flag once again,
    • thirty bolts sewn in silk beneath a sky
    • that rises them
    • like a child going over the dates of heroes’ lives
    • or the questions of the catechism.
  • 59.
    • (Where is God?
    • In heaven and on hearth and everywhere,
    • there where and eagle devours a serpent)
    • and going over the red with the heroes’ arrows
    • and the white where the origins of America are established
    • and the green of a continent whose victories
    • wear green uniforms.
    •  
    • Why don’t today’s winds
    • rip the cloth from the flagpole
    • like fragile pages of a book,
    • and submerge if in a sky
    • just now brimming with water.
  • 60.
    • I never saw a dark-skinned virgin with a mantle of feathers
    • upon an altar of stones, of thorns,
    • never a flying serpent.
    •  
    • The exalted symbol occupies the firmament
    • due to recent winds
    • and the shadow this symbol projects
    • lashes whip-cracks upon the entire town, upon the uncultivated fields,
    • upon the deserted villages,
    • and its snapping makes the soldiers rise up
    • and resume the discourse of arms.
  • 61. Sándor Petöf At the End of September
    • The flowers of autumn still blossom in the garden,
    • the poplar's still green in the valley below,
    • but you surely must see how the days start to darken -
    • the peaks of the mountain are covered with snow.
    • The flames of the summer still ray in my bosom
    • and the youth of our springtime still glows in my heart -
    • but notice my dark hairs - to white streaks I lose them -
    • as the hoarfrosts of autumn my head's winter start.
    • The flower will wilt - fleeting life fades tomorrow.
    • Come, dearest of wives, hug my shoulder a while...
    • You cling to me now; will you not in deep sorrow
    • be seeking my grave over many a mile?
  • 62.
    • Should the scythe of death cut me before you - confess it! -
    • will you cover this hull with your tears and shroud?
    • Could the love of a youth turn your head and so press it,
    • that you quit for his name - our name once so proud?
    • Should you choose to discard your attire of a widow,
    • make a marker of it! Pin it onto my grave!
    • I shall rise from the darkness to veil up its window -
    • this, my Flag of Defeat, I shall treasure and save!
    • It will do as a kerchief to soak up the water
    • My eyes will have shed at your heart's cavalier,
    • facile oblivion, just so that later
    • I can go on to love you - fore'er and a year!
    • Translated by Adam Makkai and Valerie Becker Makkai
  • 63. Ugo Foscolo To Zakynthos
    • I'll never step ashore and feel your beach
    • the way I felt it as a barefoot child,
    • or see you waver in the windy reach
    • of goddess-bearing sea. You were the island
    • Venus made with her first smile,
    • Zakynthos, the moment she was born.
    • No song embraced your leafy sky,
    • not even his who sang the fatal storm
    • and how Ulysses, his misfortunes past
    • and beautiful with fame, sailed home at last.
    • Some will not return: I too
    • offend the powers that be, am banned
    • from home. Oh maternal land,
    • my words are all I have to send to you.
  • 64. Eugenio Montale The windlass creaks in the well
    • The windlass creaks in the well
    • the water rises, dissolves in light.
    • A memory quivers in the brimming pail;
    • in the pure circle an image laughs.
    • I bend my face to fleeting lips:
    • the past grows twisted, wrinkles with age,
    • belongs to someone else…
    • Ah, but then a screech,
    • O vision, and the wheel slides you back to darkness,
    • Riving you from me.
  • 65. Giuseppe Ungaretti Rivers
    • This mutilated tree gives
    • Me support, left in this pot-hole
    • It has the bitterness of a circus
    • Before or after the show.
    • I watch
    • The quiet passage of
    • Clouds over the moon.
    •  
    • This morning I stretched
    • Myself in an urn of water,
    • Like a relic, and rested.
    •  
    • The Isonzo scoured
    • Me like
    • One of its stones.
  • 66.
    • I pulled my four
    • limbs together,
    • And went, like an acrobat,
    • Over the water.
    • Crouched by my clothes
    • Fouled with war, I inclined
    • My head, like a Bedouin,
    • To receive the sun.
    •  
    • This is the Isonzo.
    • And it is there I
    • Most see myself
    • In the universe
    • A compliant
    • Thread.
    •  
    • My pain is
    • When I do not believe
    • Myself in harmony.
  • 67.
    • But those hidden
    • Hands give as they knead me
    • A rare joy.
    •  
    • I have relived
    • The stages of my life.
    •  
    • The Serchio: from
    • Which have drawn, perhaps
    • For two thousand years
    • My country people, my father,
    • My mother.
    •  
    • This is the Nile
    • That has seen me be born,
  • 68.
    • And grow
    • And burn in ignorance on
    • Extending plains.
    • This is the Seine; and I mingled
    • In that muddiness learning each
    • Part of all myself.
    •  
    • These are my rivers confluent
    • In the Isonzo.
    •  
    • This is my nostalgia
    • That in each
    • One shines through me, now
    • It is night, and my life seems
    • A budding
    • Off of shades.
  • 69. Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin I loved you once
    • I loved you once: perhaps that love has yet
    • To die down thoroughly within my soul;
    • But let it not dismay you any longer;
    • I have no wish to cause you any sorrow.
    • I loved you wordlessly, without a hope,
    • By shyness tortured, or by jealousy.
    • I loved you with such tenderness and candor
    • And pray God grants you to be loved that way again.
  • 70. Gonçalves Dias Exile Song
    • In my country there are palm trees where the sábia sings;
    • The song birds here, never sing like those at home.
    •  
    • Our skies have more stars, 
Our fields have more flowers, 
Our woodlands have more life, 
Our lives have more love.
    •  
    • 
 When musing at night alone,
    • I sense more happiness there,
    • In my country there are palm trees where the sábia sings.
  • 71.
    • 
 In my country there are beauties that cannot be found here, 
When musing at night alone, 
I sense more happiness there, 
In my country there are palm trees where the sábia sings.
    •  
    • 
 Oh God, don't let me die, 
Before I get back home, 
Before I can again find those beauties that are not here, 
Before I again can see those palm trees where the sábia sings.
  • 72. Geoffrey Chaucer Here begins the Book of the Tales of Canterbury
    • When April with his showers sweet with fruit The drought of March has pierced unto the root And bathed each vein with liquor that has power To generate therein and sire the flower; When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath, Quickened again, in every holt and heath, The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun Into the Ram one half his course has run, And many little birds make melody That sleep through all the night with open eye (So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)- Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage, And palmers to go seeking out strange strands, To distant shrines well known in sundry lands. And specially from every shire's end Of England they to Canterbury wend, The holy blessed martyr there to seek Who helped them when they lay so ill and weal