Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Remember - Christina Rossetti


















 



Remember me when I am gone away,
         Gone far away into the silent land;
         When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
         You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
         Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
         And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
         For if the darkness and corruption leave
         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
         Than that you should remember and be sad.


Christina Georgina Rossetti, 1830-1894.  



copy of photo: James Franco and Sophia Myles as Tristan and Isolde in film from 2006. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Road Not Taken


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood, 
And sorry I could not travel both 
And be one traveler, long I stood 
And looked down one as far as I could 
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair, 
And having perhaps the better claim 
Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 
Though as for that, the passing there 
Had worn them really about the same, 

And both that morning equally lay 
In leaves no step had trodden black. 
Oh, I marked the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way 
I doubted if I should ever come back. 

I shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference. 
 
 

Robert Frost (1874-1963) 
 
 
 
 
photo, Silkeborg, November 2008: gb 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Wild Swans at Cole - W.B. Yeats

The Wild Swans at Coole
















 The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?










W.B.Yeats 1865-1939



photo:gb 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Christina Rossetti, Dream Land

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Day Dream
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
To seek where shadows are
Her pleasant lot.

She left the rosy morn,
She left the fields of corn,
For twilight cold and lorn
And water springs.
Through sleep, as through a veil,
She sees the sky look pale,
And hears the nightingale
That sadly sings.

Rest, rest, a perfect rest
Shed over brow and breast;
Her face is toward the west,
The purple land.
She cannot see the grain
Ripening on hill and plain;
She cannot feel the rain
Upon her hand.

Rest, rest, for evermore
Upon a mossy shore;
Rest, rest at the heart's core
Till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake;
Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect peace.
 
Christina Rossetti  (1830-1894).
  
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Inuit Poem - I Remember the White Bear.















I remember the white bear,
With its back-body raised high;
It thought it was the only male here,
And came towards me at full speed.
     Unaya, unaya.

Again and again it threw me down,
But it did not lie over me,
But quickly went from me again.
It had not thought
Of meeting other males here,
And by the edge of an ice floe
It lay down calmly.
     Unaya, unaya.

I shall never forget the great blubber-beast;
On the firm ice I had already flayed it,
When the neighbors with whom I shared the
     land here
Had just woken.
It was as if I had just gone to its breathing hole
     out there.
     Unaya, unaya.

There as I came across it,
And as I stood over it, it heard me,
Without scratching at the ice,
At the under edge of the firm ice to which it
     had hooked itself,
Truly it was a cunning beast–
Just as I felt sorry that I had not caught it,
     Unaya, unaya,

I caught it fast with my harpoon head,
Before it had even drawn breath!


NETSILIK INUIT




photo 2009:gb 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Twilight Turns - James Joyce

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The twilight turns from amethyst
To deep and deeper blue,
The lamp fills with a pale green glow
The trees of the avenue.

The old piano plays an air,
Sedate and slow and gay;
She bends upon the yellow keys,
Her head inclines this way.

Shy thought and grave wide eyes and hands
That wander as they list -- -
The twilight turns to darker blue
With lights of amethyst.

James Joyce (1882-1941)



photo: gb

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Paul Verlaine - Clair de lune





















Clair de lune 

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.
Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune,
Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,
Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau,
Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les marbres.
From Fêtes galantes (1869)  



Moonlight

Your soul is like a landscape fantasy,
Where masks and Bergamasks, in charming wise,
Strum lutes and dance, just a bit sad to be
Hidden beneath their fanciful disguise.
Singing in minor mode of life's largesse
And all-victorious love, they yet seem quite
Reluctant to believe their happiness,
And their song mingles with the pale moonlight,
The calm, pale moonlight, whose sad beauty, beaming,
Sets the birds softly dreaming in the trees,
And makes the marbled fountains, gushing, streaming--
Slender jet-fountains--sob their ecstasies.


Paul-Marie Verlaine (1844-1896) 


photo: gb

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pablo Neruda



















Enigmas



You've asked me what the lobster is weaving there with
his golden feet?
I reply, the ocean knows this.
You say, what is the ascidia waiting for in its transparent
bell? What is it waiting for?
I tell you it is waiting for time, like you.
You ask me whom the Macrocystis alga hugs in its arms?
Study, study it, at a certain hour, in a certain sea I know.
You question me about the wicked tusk of the narwhal,
and I reply by describing
how the sea unicorn with the harpoon in it dies.
You enquire about the kingfisher's feathers,
which tremble in the pure springs of the southern tides?
Or you've found in the cards a new question touching on
the crystal architecture
of the sea anemone, and you'll deal that to me now?
You want to understand the electric nature of the ocean
spines?
The armored stalactite that breaks as it walks?
The hook of the angler fish, the music stretched out
in the deep places like a thread in the water?

I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its
jewel boxes
is endless as the sand, impossible to count, pure,
and among the blood-colored grapes time has made the
petal
hard and shiny, made the jellyfish full of light
and untied its knot, letting its musical threads fall
from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl.

I am nothing but the empty net which has gone on ahead
of human eyes, dead in those darknesses,
of fingers accustomed to the triangle, longitudes
on the timid globe of an orange.

I walked around as you do, investigating
the endless star,
and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked,
the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.

 
Pablo Neruda  (1904-1973)




photo Bulbjerg 2011: gb

Friday, May 18, 2012

Khalil Gibran - A Poet's Voice









A Poet's Voice XV

Part One


The power of charity sows deep in my heart, and I reap and gather the wheat in bundles and give them to the hungry.

My soul gives life to the grapevine and I press its bunches and give the juice to the thirsty.

Heaven fills my lamp with oil and I place it at my window to direct the stranger through the dark.

I do all these things because I live in them; and if destiny should tie my hands and prevent me from so doing, then death would be my only desire. For I am a poet, and if I cannot give, I shall refuse to receive.

Humanity rages like a tempest, but I sigh in silence for I know the storm must pass away while a sigh goes to God.

Human kinds cling to earthly things, but I seek ever to embrace the torch of love so it will purify me by its fire and sear inhumanity from my heart.

Substantial things deaden a man without suffering; love awakens him with enlivening pains.

Humans are divided into different clans and tribes, and belong to countries and towns. But I find myself a stranger to all communities and belong to no settlement. The universe is my country and the human family is my tribe.

Men are weak, and it is sad that they divide amongst themselves. The world is narrow and it is unwise to cleave it into kingdoms, empires, and provinces.

Human kinds unite themselves one to destroy the temples of the soul, and they join hands to build edifices for earthly bodies. I stand alone listening to the voice of hope in my deep self saying, "As love enlivens a man's heart with pain, so ignorance teaches him the way of knowledge." Pain and ignorance lead to great joy and knowledge because the Supreme Being has created nothing vain under the sun.



Part Two


I have a yearning for my beautiful country, and I love its people because of their misery. But if my people rose, stimulated by plunder and motivated by what they call "patriotic spirit" to murder, and invaded my neighbor's country, then upon the committing of any human atrocity I would hate my people and my country.

I sing the praise of my birthplace and long to see the home of my children; but if the people in that home refused to shelter and feed the needy wayfarer, I would convert my praise into anger and my longing to forgetfulness. My inner voice would say, "The house that does not comfort the need is worthy of naught by destruction."

I love my native village with some of my love for my country; and I love my country with part of my love for the earth, all of which is my country; and I love the earth will all of myself because it is the haven of humanity, the manifest spirit of God.

Humanity is the spirit of the Supreme Being on earth, and that humanity is standing amidst ruins, hiding its nakedness behind tattered rags, shedding tears upon hollow cheeks, and calling for its children with pitiful voice. But the children are busy singing their clan's anthem; they are busy sharpening the swords and cannot hear the cry of their mothers.

Humanity appeals to its people but they listen not. Were one to listen, and console a mother by wiping her tears, other would say, "He is weak, affected by sentiment."

Humanity is the spirit of the Supreme Being on earth, and that Supreme Being preaches love and good-will. But the people ridicule such teachings. The Nazarene Jesus listened, and crucifixion was his lot; Socrates heard the voice and followed it, and he too fell victim in body. The followers of The Nazarene and Socrates are the followers of Deity, and since people will not kill them, they deride them, saying, "Ridicule is more bitter than killing."

Jerusalem could not kill The Nazarene, nor Athens Socrates; they are living yet and shall live eternally. Ridicule cannot triumph over the followers of Deity. They live and grow forever.



Part Three


Thou art my brother because you are a human, and we both are sons of one Holy Spirit; we are equal and made of the same earth.

You are here as my companion along the path of life, and my aid in understanding the meaning of hidden Truth. You are a human, and, that fact sufficing, I love you as a brother. You may speak of me as you choose, for Tomorrow shall take you away and will use your talk as evidence for his judgment, and you shall receive justice.

You may deprive me of whatever I possess, for my greed instigated the amassing of wealth and you are entitled to my lot if it will satisfy you.

You may do unto me whatever you wish, but you shall not be able to touch my Truth.

You may shed my blood and burn my body, but you cannot kill or hurt my spirit.

You may tie my hands with chains and my feet with shackles, and put me in the dark prison, but who shall not enslave my thinking, for it is free, like the breeze in the spacious sky.

You are my brother and I love you. I love you worshipping in your church, kneeling in your temple, and praying in your mosque. You and I and all are children of one religion, for the varied paths of religion are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being, extended to all, offering completeness of spirit to all, anxious to receive all.

I love you for your Truth, derived from your knowledge; that Truth which I cannot see because of my ignorance. But I respect it as a divine thing, for it is the deed of the spirit. Your Truth shall meet my Truth in the coming world and blend together like the fragrance of flowers and becoming one whole and eternal Truth, perpetuating and living in the eternity of Love and Beauty.

I love you because you are weak before the strong oppressor, and poor before the greedy rich. For these reasons I shed tears and comfort you; and from behind my tears I see you embraced in the arms of Justice, smiling and forgiving your persecutors. You are my brother and I love you.



Part Four


You are my brother, but why are you quarreling with me? Why do you invade my country and try to subjugate me for the sake of pleasing those who are seeking glory and authority?

Why do you leave your wife and children and follow Death to the distant land for the sake of those who buy glory with your blood, and high honor with your mother's tears?

Is it an honor for a man to kill his brother man? If you deem it an honor, let it be an act of worship, and erect a temple to Cain who slew his brother Abel.

Is self-preservation the first law of Nature? Why, then, does Greed urge you to self-sacrifice in order only to achieve his aim in hurting your brothers? Beware, my brother, of the leader who says, "Love of existence obliges us to deprive the people of their rights!" I say unto you but this: protecting others' rights is the noblest and most beautiful human act; if my existence requires that I kill others, then death is more honorable to me, and if I cannot find someone to kill me for the protection of my honor, I will not hesitate to take my life by my own hands for the sake of Eternity before Eternity comes.

Selfishness, my brother, is the cause of blind superiority, and superiority creates clanship, and clanship creates authority which leads to discord and subjugation.

The soul believes in the power of knowledge and justice over dark ignorance; it denies the authority that supplies the swords to defend and strengthen ignorance and oppression - that authority which destroyed Babylon and shook the foundation of Jerusalem and left Rome in ruins. It is that which made people call criminals great mean; made writers respect their names; made historians relate the stories of their inhumanity in manner of praise.

The only authority I obey is the knowledge of guarding and acquiescing in the Natural Law of Justice.

What justice does authority display when it kills the killer? When it imprisons the robber? When it descends on a neighborhood country and slays its people? What does justice think of the authority under which a killer punishes the one who kills, and a thief sentences the one who steals?

You are my brother, and I love you; and Love is justice with its full intensity and dignity. If justice did not support my love for you, regardless of your tribe and community, I would be a deceiver concealing the ugliness of selfishness behind the outer garment of pure love.



Conclusion


My soul is my friend who consoles me in misery and distress of life. He who does not befriend his soul is an enemy of humanity, and he who does not find human guidance within himself will perish desperately. Life emerges from within, and derives not from environs.

I came to say a word and I shall say it now. But if death prevents its uttering, it will be said tomorrow, for tomorrow never leaves a secret in the book of eternity.

I came to live in the glory of love and the light of beauty, which are the reflections of God. I am here living, and the people are unable to exile me from the domain of life for they know I will live in death. If they pluck my eyes I will hearken to the murmers of love and the songs of beauty.


If they close my ears I will enjoy the touch of the breeze mixed with the incebse of love and the fragrance of beauty.

If they place me in a vacuum, I will live together with my soul, the child of love and beauty.

I came here to be for all and with all, and what I do today in my solitude will be echoed by tomorrow to the people.

What I say now with one heart will be said tomorrow by many hearts



Khalil Gibran (1881-1931)
 Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao- Tzu






photo North Sea:gb










Tuesday, May 8, 2012

J.R.R. Tolkien - Roads Go Ever On.


Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star.
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen,
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green,
And trees and hills they long have known.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone.
Let others follow, if they can!
Let them a journety new begin.
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Still 'round the corner there may wait
A new road or secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun. 
 
J.R.R. Tolkien ( 1892- 1973)


photo 2011: gb

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Italian Poetry - Petrarch's Sonnets



Dante Gabriel Rosetti: The Day Dream, 1880.























Back in the 1300's, before card stores and chocolate manufacturers all conspired to commercialize the true spirit of love, passion, and romance, Francesco Petrarca literally wrote the book on infatuation. The collection of Italian verses, Rime in vita e morta di Madonna Laura (after 1327), translated into English as Petrarch's Sonnets, were inspired by Petrarch's unrequited passion for Laura (probably Laure de Noves), a young woman Petrarca first saw in church. 

Head-over-heels in love with Laura, Petrarca wrote 365 sonnets, one passionate poem a day dedicated to his true love. Considered the first modern poet because of his interest in individuality, the Italian poet perfected the sonnet during the 14th century. The sonnet, a lyric poem of 14 lines with a formal rhyme scheme, expresses different aspects of a thought, mood, or feeling.
 
When Love within her lovely face appears
now and again among the other ladies,
as much as each is less lovely than she
the more my wish I love within me grows.


I bless the place, the time and hour of the day
that my eyes aimed their sights at such a height,
and say: 'My soul, you must be very grateful
that you were found worthy of such great honour


From her to you comes loving thought that leads,
as long as you pursue, to highest good,
esteeming little what all men desire;


there comes from her all joyous honesty
that leads you by the straight path up to Heaven-
already I fly high upon my hope.'
 

 

Quando fra l'altre donne ad ora ad ora
Amor vien nel bel viso di costei,
quanto ciascuna è men bella di lei
tanto cresce 'l desio che m'innamora.

 
I' benedico il loco e 'l tempo et l'ora
che sí alto miraron gli occhi mei,
et dico: Anima, assai ringratiar dêi
che fosti a tanto honor degnata allora.


Da lei ti vèn l'amoroso pensero,
che mentre 'l segui al sommo ben t'invia,
pocho prezando quel ch'ogni huom desia;


da lei vien l'animosa leggiadria
ch'al ciel ti scorge per destro sentero,
sí ch'i' vo già de la speranza altero.





Francesco Petrarca, 1304-1374.





Friday, March 23, 2012

Rainer Maria Rilke

 The Panther















His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly—. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone.



Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)




image: Black Panther Prints

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, The Calamus Poems (4)



















4. 
These I, singing in spring, collect for lovers,
(For who but I should understand lovers, and all their sorrow and joy?
And who but I should be the poet of comrades?)
Collecting, I traverse the garden, the world -- but soon I pass the gates,
Now along the pond-side -- now wading in a little, fearing not the wet,
Now by the post-and-rail fences, where the old stones thrown there, picked from the fields, have accumulated,
Wild-flowers and vines and weeds come up through the stones, and partly cover them -- Beyond these I pass,
Far, far in the forest, before I think where I get,
Solitary, smelling the earthly smell, stopping now and then in silence,
Alone I had thought -- yet soon a silent troop gathers around me,
Some walk by my side, and some behind, and some embrace my arms or neck,
They, the spirits of friends, dead or alive -- thicker they come, a great crowd, and I in the middle,
Collecting, dispensing, singing in spring, there I wander with them,
Plucking something for tokens -- something for these, till I hit upon a theme -- tossing toward whoever is near me.


Here! lilac, with a branch of pine,
Here, out of my pocket, some moss which I pulled off a live-oak in Florida, as it hung trailing down,
Here, some pinks and laurel leaves, and a handful of sage,
And here what I now draw from the water, wading in the pond-side,
(O here I last saw him that tenderly loves me -- and returns again, never to separate from me,
And this, O this shall henceforth be the token of comrades -- this calamus-root shall,
Interchange it, youths, with each other! Let none render it back!)
And twigs of maple, and a bunch of wild orange, and chestnut,
And stems of currents, and plum-blows, and the aromatic cedar;
These I, compassed around by a thick cloud of spirits,
Wandering, point to, or touch as I pass, or throw them loosely from me,
Indicating to each one what he shall have -- giving something to each,
But what I drew from the water by the pond-side, that I reserve,
I will give of it -- but only them that love, as I myself am capable of loving. 



Walt Whitman (1819-1892)







photo Fulden May 2006: grethe bachmann

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Giacomo Leopardi

The Infinite (XII)

 
 











It was always dear to me, this solitary hill,
and this hedgerow here, that closes off my view,
from so much of the ultimate horizon.
But sitting here, and watching here,
in thought, I create interminable spaces,
greater than human silences, and deepest
quiet, where the heart barely fails to terrify.
When I hear the wind, blowing among these leaves,
I go on to compare that infinite silence
with this voice, and I remember the eternal
and the dead seasons, and the living present,
and its sound, so that in this immensity
my thoughts are drowned, and shipwreck
seems sweet to me in this sea.



Giacomo Leopardi  (1798-1837)


photo: gb

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tove Ditlevsen/Hugo Alfvén/Anne Sofie von Otter

Tove Ditlevsen
 Så Tag Mit Hjerte ..




















Så tag mit hjerte i dine hænder
men tag det varsomt og tag det blidt
det røde hjerte - nu er det dit.

Det slår så roligt, det slår så dæmpet
for det har elsket og det har lidt
nu er det stille - nu er det dit.

Og det kan såres og det kan segne
og det kan glemme og glemme tit,
men glemmer aldrig, at det er dit.

Det var så stærkt og så stolt, mit hjerte
det sov og drømte i lyst og leg
nu kan det knuses - men kun af dig.

 Tove Ditlevsen (1917-1976)


Musik: Hugo Alfvén/Sang: Anne Sofie von Otter.


Hugo Alfvén er omtalt i artiklen om P.S. Krøyer på min Thyra-blog.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dylan Thomas - Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

foto cranes: gb





















Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)






"Do not go gentle into that good night", is considered to be among the finest works by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas(1914–1953). Originally published in the journal Botteche Obscure in 1951, it also appeared as part of the collection "In Country Sleep." Written for his dying father, it is one of Thomas's most popular and accessible poems. The poem has no title other than its first line, “Do not go gentle into that good night”, a line which appears as a refrain throughout the poem. The poem's other equally famous refrain is “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Native American Poem - Dream Catchers















DREAM CATCHERS

An ancient Chippewa tradition
The dream net has been made
For many generations
Where spirit dreams have played.

Hung above the cradle board,
Or in the lodge up high,
The dream net catches bad dreams,
While good dreams slip on by.

Bad dreams become entangled
Among the sinew thread.
Good dreams slip through the center hole,
While you dream upon your bed.

This is an ancient legend,
Since dreams will never cease,
Hang this dream net above your bed,
Dream on, and be at peace.


First people: American Indian Poems and Prayers. 


photo: gb

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Edgar Allan Poe

  Fairy Land

 
 
 
 
 
 Dim vales- and shadowy floods-
And cloudy-looking woods,
Whose forms we can't discover
For the tears that drip all over!
Huge moons there wax and wane-
Again- again- again-
Every moment of the night-
Forever changing places-
And they put out the star-light
With the breath from their pale faces.
About twelve by the moon-dial,
One more filmy than the rest
(A kind which, upon trial,
They have found to be the best)
Comes down- still down- and down,
With its centre on the crown
Of a mountain's eminence,
While its wide circumference
In easy drapery falls
Over hamlets, over halls,
Wherever they may be-
O'er the strange woods- o'er the sea-
Over spirits on the wing-
Over every drowsy thing-
And buries them up quite
In a labyrinth of light-
And then, how deep!- O, deep!
Is the passion of their sleep.
In the morning they arise,
And their moony covering
Is soaring in the skies,
With the tempests as they toss,
Like- almost anything-
Or a yellow Albatross.
They use that moon no more
For the same end as before-
Videlicet, a tent-
Which I think extravagant:
Its atomies, however,
Into a shower dissever,
Of which those butterflies
Of Earth, who seek the skies,
And so come down again,
(Never-contented things!)
Have brought a specimen
Upon their quivering wings.
 
 Edgar Allan Poe  (1809-1849)

photo: gb

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heinrich Heine - Lorelei

                                          


The German poet Heinrich Heine (1799-1856) wrote some lovely poetry  -  it is almost impossible to translate. The Loreley was later followed by a beautiful melody, which is rather wellknown.
I have added two translations into English , so you can see how varied they are.

The Heinrich Heine poem is a little New Year's greeting to Michael from Liechtenstein, who's one of the nicest people I have met on the internet.  His favorite German poet is Heinrich Heine.








Heinrich Heine
Lorelei (1822)
 
Ich weiss nicht was soll es bedeuten,
Dass ich so traurig bin,
Ein Märchen aus uralten Zeiten,
Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.
Die Luft is kühl und es dunkelt,
Und ruhig fliesst der Rhein;
Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt,
Im Abendsonnenschein.

Die schönste Jungfrau sitzet
Dort oben wunderbar,
Ihr gold'nes Geschmeide blitzet,
Sie kämmt ihr goldenes Haar,
Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme,
Und singt ein Lied dabei;
Das hat eine wundersame,
Gewalt'ge Melodei.

Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe,
Ergreift es mit wildem Weh;
Er schaut nicht die Felsenriffe,
Er schaut nur hinauf in die Höh'.
Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen
Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn,
Und das hat mit ihrem Singen
Die Loreley getan.


 


















Loreley 
translated by Tr. Frank 1998

I cannot determine the meaning
Of sorrow that fills my breast:
A fable of old, through it streaming,
Allows my mind no rest.
The air is cool in the gloaming
And gently flows the Rhine.
The crest of the mountain is gleaming
In fading rays of sunshine.

The loveliest maiden is sitting
Up there, so wondrously fair;
Her golden jewelry is glist'ning;
She combs her golden hair.
She combs with a golden comb, preening,
And sings a song, passing time.
It has a most wondrous, appealing
And pow'rful melodic rhyme.

The boatman aboard his small skiff, -
Enraptured with a wild ache,
Has no eye for the jagged cliff, -
His thoughts on the heights fear forsake.
I think that the waves will devour
Both boat and man, by and by,
And that, with her dulcet-voiced power
Was done by the Loreley.


Loreley
New translation by A.Z. Foreman

I know not if there is a reason
Why I am so sad at heart.
A legend of bygone ages
Haunts me and will not depart.

The air is cool under nightfall.
The calm Rhine courses its way.
The peak of the mountain is sparkling
With evening's final ray.

The fairest of maidens is sitting
Unwittingly wondrous up there,
Her golden jewels are shining,
She's combing her golden hair.

The comb she holds is golden,
She sings a song as well
Whose melody binds an enthralling
And overpowering spell.

In his little boat, the boatman
Is seized with a savage woe,
He'd rather look up at the mountain
Than down at the rocks below.

I think that the waves will devour
The boatman and boat as one;
And this by her song's sheer power
Fair Loreley has done.





Images from Kunst und Mystic 1933.