April 25, 2008

I've got a hurricane inside my veins
and I want to stay forever

Amy Stein, Howl

Three poems by Jorge Luis Borges:

The Accomplice

They crucify me. I have to be the cross, the nails.
They hand me the cup. I have to be the hemlock.
They trick me. I have to be the lie.
They burn me alive. I have to be the hell.
I have to praise and thank every instant of time.
My food is all things.
The precise weight of the universe. The humiliation, the rejoicing.
I have to justify what wounds me.
My fortune or misfortune does not matter.
I am the poet.

trans. by Hoyt Rogers

To Johannes Brahms

A mere intruder in the lavish gardens
You planted in the plural memory
Of times to come, I tried to sing the bliss
Your violins erect into the blue.
But now I've given up. To honor you.
That misery which people give the empty
Name of art does not suffice.
Whomever would honor you must be bright and brave.
I am a coward. I am a sad man. Nothing.
Can justify this audacity
Of singing the magnificent happiness
--Fire and crystal--of your soul in love.
My servitude is in the impure word,
Offspring of a concept and a sound;
No symbol, not a mirror, not a moan,
Yours is the river that flows and endures.

trans. by Stephen Kessler

The Moon

for Maria Kodama

There is such loneliness in that gold.
The moon of the nights is not the moon
Whom the first Adam saw. The long centuries
Of human vigil have filled her
With ancient lament. Look at her. She is you mirror.

trans. by Willis Barnstone


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home