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Sunday, November 20, 2005

 

Poets' Corner on A Sunday Morning

Yehuda Amichai*Czeslaw Milosz*Joseph Brodsky*Seamus Heaney
*

Hike with a Woman

When after hours of walking
You suddenly discover
That the body of the woman striding beside you
Is not made for
A march of war,
That her thighs grow heavy
And her buttocks move like a tired flock
You are filled with great joy
For the world
Where women are like this."

---Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000 ), translated by Harold Schimmel
***

Falling in Love

"Tomber amourex. To fall in love. Does it occur suddenly or
gradually ? If gradually, when is the moment "already" ? I would fall
in love with a monkey made of rags. With a plywood squirrel.
With a botanical atlas. With an oriole. With a ferret. With a
marten in a picture. With the forest one sees to the right when
riding in a cart to Jaszuny. With a poem by a little-known
poet. With human beings whose names still move me. And always
the object of love was enveloped in erotic fantasy or was
submitted, as in Stendhal, to a "cristallisation", so it is frightful to
think of that object as it was, naked among the naked things,
and of the fairy tales about it one invents. Yes, I was often in
love with something or someone. Yet falling in love is not the
same as being able to love. That is something different."

---Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004), translated from Polish by the author and Robert Haas

***

New Life

"In the new life, a cloud is better than the bright sun. The rain
akin to self-knowledge, appears perpetual.
On the other hand, an unexpected train
You don't wait for alone on a platform arrives on schedule.
A sail is passing its judgment on the horizon's lie.
The eye tracks the sinking soap, though it's the foam that is famous.
And should anyone ask you "Who are you ?", you reply "Who--I ?
I am nobody", as Ulysses once muttered to Polyphemus."

--Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996)

Song

"A rowan like a lipsticked girl.
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.
There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens."

---Seamus Heaney
*****



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