The ingenious poetry of Szymborska

I love these lines from this Polish Nobel Prize-winning poet, Wislawa  Symborska:-

“We stand in the meadow where it became flesh,
and the meadow is silent as a false witness.
Sunny. Green. Nearby, a forest
with wood for chewing and water under the bark-
every day a full ration of the view
until you go blind. Overhead, a bird-
the shadow of its life-giving wings
brushed their lips. Their jaws opened.
Teeth clacked against teeth.
At night, the sickle moon shone in the sky
and reaped wheat for their bread.
Hands came floating from blackened icons,
empty cups in their fingers.” They come from her poem “Some like poetry” which can be read at http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/wislawa_szymborska/poems/11678

Her poems are also available in German from Suhrkamp

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The Spring by Ezra Pound

The Spring
By Ezra Pound

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CYDONIAN spring with her attendant train,
Maelids and water-girls,
Stepping beneath a boisterous wind from Thrace,
Throughout this sylvan place
Spreads the bright tips, 5
And every vine-stock is
Clad in new brilliancies.
And wild desire
Falls like black lightning.
O bewildered heart,
Though every branch have back what last year lost, 10
She, who moved here amid the cyclamen,
Moves only now a clinging tenuous ghost.

 

Frühling -Rose Ausländer

Rose Ausländer: „Frühling“

Mit dem Akazienduft
fliegt der Frühling
in dein Erstaunen

Die Zeit sagt
ich bin tausendgrün
und blühe
in vielen Farben

Lachend ruft die Sonne
ich schenke euch wieder
Wärme und Glanz

Ich bin der Atem der Erde
flüstert die Luft

Der Flieder
duftet
uns jung

Image result for rose ausländer poems

 

Meredith as perceived by Richard Le Gallienne

I found Meredith a rather overwhelming person,

at least to me- a diffident youth.

A brilliant and fantastic talker-

one needed to be more his age;

more his intellectual match

to parry his verbal swordplay

and to comprehend his whimsical soliloquies.

 

He received me with the sympathy of a father-

soon put me at my ease.

His talk was like his books;

elaborately fanciful, knotted with thought,

a thicket of thorn bushes

hung with sudden starry blossoms.

One had to snatch what one could.

 

I was magnetised by the rush and verve

of his resonant voice, and dominated

by his lordly manner.

It seemed to me, slightly theatrical,

almost affected bravura.

Ulysses must have been such a man,

tall, lean and a rugged fighter.

 

With that far off crafty look

he seemed to me characteristically Welsh;

Roughly bearded, high browed,

keen grey eyes, slightly upturned fighting nose.

An immense intellectual alertness pervaded

his vigorous frame and was

his most characteristic expression.

 

His portrait,

known to everyone that reads,

by Hollyer is himself,

exactly.

Image result for george meredith

 

(Source of found poem- The Romantic 90s by Richard Le Gallienne)

More about Hollyer can be found at the V and A website https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/frederick-hollyer-life-and-work

 

 

 

South of the Border-

Image result for diego rivera paintings

South of the border down Mexico way lies

Venezuela and revolution or possibly invasion

South of the narrow isthmus

across which the Chinese  and Nicaraguans are digging a new wider,

deeper canal…..for oil.

Down further in Brazil,

the latest fascist dictator

repeats his pedantic boring chants

in favour of free markets requiring

rain forests be despoiled.

Over the border lies trouble

….but build a wall?

Will not do any good at all.

The drugs will still pour in, Mr Trump-

your so called secure society a sorry business

with its own ecological dumps.

Anyway, anyhow that wall would be porous;

the gringos, aid and arms flowing south.

You might build a wall on the border

to keep the Mexicans out

but what do you do to your people

and yourself?

Let in the bright coloured flowers,

Diego’s art, let it grow…

before your population, sing once again

“Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind?”

Gone to soldiers every one?

When will we ever learn?

Image result for Nicaraguan Canal

 

The Jasmine at Night by the Italian Poet, Giovanni Pascoli

  E s’aprono i fiori notturni
nell’ora che penso a’ miei cari.
Sono apparse in mezzo ai viburni
le farfalle crepuscolari.
Da un pezzo si tacquero i gridi:
là sola una casa bisbiglia.
Sotto l’ali dormono i nidi,
come gli occhi sotto le ciglia.
Dai calici aperti si esala
l’odore di fragole rosse.
Splende un lume là nella sala.
Nasce l’erba sopra le fosse.
Un’ape tardiva sussurra
trovando già prese le celle.
La Chioccetta per l’aia azzurra
va col suo pigolio di stelle.
Per tutta la notte s’esala
l’odore che passa col vento.
Passa il lume su per la scala;
brilla al primo piano: s’è spento…
È l’alba: si chiudono i petali
un poco gualciti; si cova,
dentro l’urna molle e segreta,
non so che felicità nuova.

Image result for butterflies in Viburnum

The nocturnal jasmine is a poem by Giovanni Pascoli dedicated to the wedding of a friend of his, and published in 1903 in the Cantos of Castelvecchio .

Giovanni Pascoli ( San Mauro di Romagna , 31 December 1855 – Bologna , 6 April 1912 ) was a poet , academic and literary critic of Italy , an emblematic figure of Italian literature of the late nineteenth century . Despite his eminently positivistic training , he is together with Gabriele D’Annunzio, the greatest Italian decadent poet .

Here is a possible literal translation:-

And the night jasmines open their corolla
in the time of day when I think of my dear departed. Twilight butterflies
have appeared
among the viburnum.
For some time now the cries of the birds have ceased:
only there, in a house, can they hear the whispering of human voices.
The little birds are sleeping under the protective wings,
as the eyes rest under the lashes.
From the open corolla of jasmine comes
a scent like red strawberries.
In the living room you can still see a light on,
the grass rises above the tombs of the dead.
A late bee wanders around buzzing
because all the cells are already occupied.
The constellation of the Pleiades is wandering
through the threshing floor, rendered blue by the night sky, with a chirp of stars.
For the duration of the night
the scent of the nocturnal jasmine fills the air, carried by the wind.
The light in the house moves up the stairs,
then goes into the nuptial chamber on the first floor, then goes off …
The dawn arrives: the petals of the flower close
a little withered, but inside the ovary soft and hidden
in depth, grows a feeling of happiness
never felt before.

Image result for giovanni pascoli