Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One Furious Goddess

Strong Goddess, Goddess Cybele, Goddess Lady ...
Spare my house, Queen, from total fury.
Hunt others. Seize others. Others appall.

--After Catullus, translated by Reynolds Price

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One Restless Leaf

from Autumn Day
By Rainer Maria Rilke

Whoever has no home now will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

--Version based on a translation by Stephen Mitchell ~ Book

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One Untrimmed Tree

Please let my hair grow, mother.
Don't cut it.

A trimmed tree
is no place for singing birds.

--Pashto landay. Version based on a translation by Saduddin Shpoon

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

One Genuine Hermit

from Hermitage
By Wislawa Szymborska

You expected a hermit to live in the wilderness,
but he has a little house and a garden,
surrounded by cheerful birch groves,
ten minutes off the highway.
Just follow the signs.


Meanwhile a tight-lipped old lady from Bidgoszcz
whom no one visits but the meter reader
is writing in the guestbook:
"God be praised
for letting me
see a genuine hermit before I die"...

--Translated by Clare Cavanaugh