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Poetry Corner: Do you have any favourite poems? If so, share them here!
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Feb 25, 2010

Do you have any favourite poems? If so, share them here! If not in English, please explain what the poet is trying to say!

I'll start with this excerpt from a poem by France Preseren (1800 - 1849), a great message of peace for these war-torn days:

God's blessing on all nations,
Who long and work for that bright day,
When o'er earth's habitations
No war, no strife shall hold its sway;
Who long to see
That all men free,
No more shall foes, but neighbours be!

At last to our reunion -
To us the toast! Let it resound,
Since in this great communion
By thoughts of brotherhood we're bound
May joyful cheer
Ne'er disappear
From all good hearts now gathered here!



[Edited at 2010-02-26 00:01 GMT]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-02-26 17:56 GMT]


 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Robbie Burns Feb 26, 2010

My next contribution is "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), describes his feelings as he turns over a field mouse with his plough while tilling the field:


Wee, sleekit, cowrin', tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need nae start awa' sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An' fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't.

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a'gley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!


 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The Old Vicarage by Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915) Feb 26, 2010

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester, by Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915): a poem written in Germany, in which the poet expresses longing for Grantchester, the village near Cambridge where he was born.

(Cafe des Westens, Berlin, May 1912)

Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room;
And in my flower-beds, I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink;
And down the borders, well I know,
The poppy and the pansy blow . . .
Oh! there the chestnuts, summer through,
Beside the river make for you
A tunnel of green gloom, and sleep
Deeply above; and green and deep
The stream mysterious glides beneath,
Green as a dream and deep as death.
— Oh, damn! I know it! and I know
How the May fields all golden show,
And when the day is young and sweet,
Gild gloriously the bare feet
That run to bathe . . .
'Du lieber Gott!'

Here am I, sweating, sick, and hot,
And there the shadowed waters fresh
Lean up to embrace the naked flesh.
Temperamentvoll German Jews
Drink beer around; — and THERE the dews
Are soft beneath a morn of gold.
Here tulips bloom as they are told;
Unkempt about those hedges blows
An English unofficial rose;
And there the unregulated sun
Slopes down to rest when day is done,
And wakes a vague unpunctual star,
A slippered Hesper; and there are
Meads towards Haslingfield and Coton
Where das Betreten's not verboten.

ειθε γενοιμην . . . would I were
In Grantchester, in Grantchester! —
Some, it may be, can get in touch
With Nature there, or Earth, or such.
And clever modern men have seen
A Faun a-peeping through the green,
And felt the Classics were not dead,
To glimpse a Naiad's reedy head,
Or hear the Goat-foot piping low: . . .
But these are things I do not know.
I only know that you may lie
Day long and watch the Cambridge sky,
And, flower-lulled in sleepy grass,
Hear the cool lapse of hours pass,
Until the centuries blend and blur
In Grantchester, in Grantchester. . . .
Still in the dawnlit waters cool
His ghostly Lordship swims his pool,
And tries the strokes, essays the tricks,
Long learnt on Hellespont, or Styx.
Dan Chaucer hears his river still
Chatter beneath a phantom mill.
Tennyson notes, with studious eye,
How Cambridge waters hurry by . . .
And in that garden, black and white,
Creep whispers through the grass all night;
And spectral dance, before the dawn,
A hundred Vicars down the lawn;
Curates, long dust, will come and go
On lissom, clerical, printless toe;
And oft between the boughs is seen
The sly shade of a Rural Dean . . .
Till, at a shiver in the skies,
Vanishing with Satanic cries,
The prim ecclesiastic rout
Leaves but a startled sleeper-out,
Grey heavens, the first bird's drowsy calls,
The falling house that never falls.

God! I will pack, and take a train,
And get me to England once again!
For England's the one land, I know,
Where men with Splendid Hearts may go;
And Cambridgeshire, of all England,
The shire for Men who Understand;
And of THAT district I prefer
The lovely hamlet Grantchester.
For Cambridge people rarely smile,
Being urban, squat, and packed with guile;
And Royston men in the far South
Are black and fierce and strange of mouth;
At Over they fling oaths at one,
And worse than oaths at Trumpington,
And Ditton girls are mean and dirty,
And there's none in Harston under thirty,
And folks in Shelford and those parts
Have twisted lips and twisted hearts,
And Barton men make Cockney rhymes,
And Coton's full of nameless crimes,
And things are done you'd not believe
At Madingley on Christmas Eve.
Strong men have run for miles and miles,
When one from Cherry Hinton smiles;
Strong men have blanched, and shot their wives,
Rather than send them to St. Ives;
Strong men have cried like babes, bydam,
To hear what happened at Babraham.
But Grantchester! ah, Grantchester!
There's peace and holy quiet there,
Great clouds along pacific skies,
And men and women with straight eyes,
Lithe children lovelier than a dream,
A bosky wood, a slumbrous stream,
And little kindly winds that creep
Round twilight corners, half asleep.
In Grantchester their skins are white;
They bathe by day, they bathe by night;
The women there do all they ought;
The men observe the Rules of Thought.
They love the Good; they worship Truth;
They laugh uproariously in youth;
(And when they get to feeling old,
They up and shoot themselves, I'm told) . . .

Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
Unforgettable, unforgotten
River-smell, and hear the breeze
Sobbing in the little trees.
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream?
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
Anadyomene, silver-gold?
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:44
English to Croatian
+ ...
To a Mouse ;) Feb 26, 2010

Interesting choice, the Scottish dialect is a catch.

And btw, who translated Presern? Any mentioning of the translator's name?

OK, I'll move to the 20th century; here's one of the Confessionalist poets, Anne Sexton:


By Anne Sexton, American poetess ( 1928-1974)

Baby Picture

It's in the heart of the grape
where that smile lies.
It's in the good-bye-bow in the hair
where that smile lies.
It's in the clerical collar of the dress
where that smile lies.
What smile?
The smile of my seventh year,
caught here in the painted photograph.

It's peeling now, age has got it,
a kind of cancer of the background
and also in the assorted features.
It's like a rotten flag
or a vegetable from the refrigerator,
pocked with mold.
I am aging without sound,
into darkness, darkness.

Anne,
who are you?

I open the vein
and my blood rings like roller skates.
I open the mouth
and my teeth are an angry army.
I open the eyes
and they go sick like dogs
with what they have seen.
I open the hair
and it falls apart like dust balls.
I open the dress
and I see a child bent on a toilet seat.
I crouch there, sitting dumbly
pushing the enemas out like ice cream,
letting the whole brown world
turn into sweets.

Anne,
who are you?

Merely a kid keeping alive.


 

Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:14
German to English
Rainer Maria Rilke Feb 26, 2010

MEMORY

And you wait, await one thing
that will infinitely increase your life,
the gigantic, the stupendous,
the awakening of stones,
depths turned round toward you.

The volumes in brown and gold
flicker dimly on the bookshelves;
and you think of lands traveled through,
of paintings, of the garments
of women found and lost.

And then all at once you know: that was it.
You rise, and there stands before you
the fear and prayer and shape
of a vanished year.

From "The Book of Images"
Translated from the German by Edward Snow


 

Elisabeth Kissel  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:44
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Thought I'd chip in with an Australian one.. Feb 26, 2010

This is one of my favourite Australian poems, written by Mary Hannay Foott (b.1846)

WHERE THE PELICAN BUILDS

The horses were ready, the rails were down,
But the riders lingered still -
One had a parting word to say,
And one had his pipe to fill.
Then they mounted, one with a grunted prayer,
And one with a grief unguessed.
'We are going', they said, as they rode away,
'Where the pelican builds her nest!'

They had told us of pastures wide and green,
To be sought past the sunset's glow;
Of rifts in the ranges by opal lit;
and gold 'neath the river's flow.
And thirst and hunger were banished words
When they spoke of that unknown West;
No drought they dreaded, no flood they feared,
Where the pelican builds her nest!

The creek at the ford was but fetlock deep
When we watched them crossing there;
The rains have replenished it thrice since then,
And thrice has the rock lain bare.
But the waters of Hope had flowed and fled,
And never from blue hill's breast
Come back - by the sun and the sands devoured-
Where the pelican builds her nest!


Thank you, Paul, for posting the R Brooke poem, I'd only ever known his 'If I should die'.

Cheers,
Elisabeth


 

Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:44
Danish to English
Eldridge Cleaver Feb 26, 2010

I consider this to be one of the most powerful poems written in the English language.
And, I love Rupert Brooke!!


By Eldrige Cleaver
Taken from the last lines of “Soul on Ice”
1970, Ramparts Book


To All Black Women,
From All Black Men

Queen-Mother-Daughter of Africa
Sister of My Soul
Black Bride of My Passion
My Eternal Love

I greet you, my Queen, not in the obsequious whine of a cringing Slave to which you have become accustomed, neither do I greet you in the new voice, the unctuous supplications of the sleek Black Bourgeoise, nor the bully¬ing bellow of the rude Free Slave-but in my own voice do I greet you, the voice of the Black Man. And although I greet you anew, my greeting is not new, but as old as the Sun, Moon, and Stars. And rather than mark a new beginning, my greeting signifies only my Return.
I have Returned from the dead. I speak to you now from the Here And Now. I was dead for four hundred years. For four hundred years you have been a woman alone, bereft of her man, a manless woman. For four hundred years I was neither your man nor my own man. The white stood between us, over us, around us. The white man was your man and my man. Do not pass lightly over this truth, my
Queen, for even though the fact of it has burned into the marrow of our bones and diluted our blood, we must bring
it to the surface of the mind, into the realm of knowing,
glue our gaze upon it and stare at it as at a coiled serpent in a baby's playpen or the fresh flowers on a mother's grave. It
. is to be pondered and realized in the heart, for the heel of the white man's boot is our point of departure, our point of Resolve and Return-the bloodstained pivot of our future. (But I would ask you to recall, that before we could come
up from slavery, we had to be pulled down from our throne. )
Across the naked abyss of negated masculinity, of four hundred years minus my Balls, we face each other today,
my Queen. I feel a deep, terrifying hurt, the pain of humili¬ation of the vanquished warrior. The shame of the fleet- footed sprinter who stumbles at the start of the race. I feel unjustified. I can't bear to look into your eyes. Don't you know (surely you must have noticed by now: four hundred years!) that for four hundred years I have been unable to look squarely into your eyes? I tremble inside each time you look at me. I can feel. . . in the ray of your eye, from a
deep hiding place, a long-kept secret you harbor. That is the unadorned truth. Not that I would have felt justified, under the circumstances, in taking such liberties with you, but I want you to know that I feared to look into your eyes because I knew I would find reflected there a merciless
Indictment of my impotence and a compelling challenge to
redeem my conquered manhood.
My Queen, it is bard for me to tell you what is in my heart for you today—what is in the heart of all my black brothers for you and all your black sisters—and I fear I will fail unless you reach out to me, tune in on me with the antenna of your love, the sacred love in ultimate degree which you were unable to give me because I, being dead, was unworthy to receive it; that perfect, radical love of black on which our Fathers thrived. Let me drink from the river of your love at its source, let the lines of force of your love seize my soul by its core and heal the wound of my Castration, let my convex exile end its haunted Odyssey in
your concave essence which receives that it may give. Flower of Africa, it is only through the liberating power of your re-love that my manhood can be redeemed. For it is in your eyes, before you, that my need is to be justified. Only, only, only you and only you can condemn or set me free.
Be convinced, Sable Sister, that the past is no forbidden
vista upon which we dare not look, out of a phantom fear of being, as the wife of Lot, turned into pillars of salt. Rather the past is an omniscient mirror: we gaze and see reflected there ourselves and each other-what we used to
be, what we are today, how we got this way, and what we
are becoming. To decline to look into the Mirror of Then,
my heart, is to refuse to view the face of Now.

I have died the ninth death of the cat, have seen Satan
Face to face and turned my back on God, have dined in the
Swine’s Trough, and descended to the uttermost echelon of
The Pit, have entered the Den and seized my Balls from the
Teeth of a roaring lion!
Black Beauty, in impotent silence I listen, as if to a
symphony of sorrows, to your screams for help, anguished
pleas of terror that echo still throughout the Universe and
through the mind, a million scattered screams across the
painful years that merged into a single sound of pain to
haunt and bleed the soul, a white_hot sound to char the
brain and blow the fuse of thought, a sound of fangs and
teeth sharp to eat the heart, a sound of moving fire, a sound
of frozen heat, a sound of licking flames, a fiery-fiery sound,
a sound of fire to burn the steel. out of my Balls, a sound of
Blue fire, a Bluesy sound, the sound of dying, the sound of
my woman in pain, the sound of my woman's pain, THE
SOUND OF MY WOMAN CALLING ME, ME, I HEARD HER CALL
FOR HELP, I HEARD THAT MOURNFUL SOUND BUT HUNG
MY HEAD AND FAILED TO HEED IT, I HEARD MY WOMAN'S
CRY, I HEARD MY WOMAN'S SCREAM, I HEARD MY WOMAN
BEG THE BEAST FOR MERCY, I HEARD HER BEG FOR ME, I
HEARD MY WOMAN BEG THE BEAST FOR MERCY FOR ME, I
HEARD MY WOMAN DIE, I HEARD THE SOUND OF HER DEATH,
A SNAPPING SOUND, A BREAKING SOUND, A SOUND THAT
SOUNDED FINAL, THE LAST SOUND, THE ULTIMATE SOUND,
THE SOUND OF DEATH, ME, I HEARD, I HEAR IT EVERY DAY,
I HEAR HER NOW. . . I HEAR YOU NOW . . . I HEAR YOU.
. . . I heard you then. . . your scream came like a searing
Bolt of 1ightning that blazed a white streak down my black
back. In a cowardly stupor, with a palpitating heart and
quivering knees, I watched the Slaver's lash of death slash
through the opposing air and bite with teeth of fire into
your delicate flesh, the black and tender flesh of African
Motherhood, forcing the startled Life untimely from your
torn and outraged womb, the sacred womb that cradled
primal man, the womb that incubated Ethiopia and popu-
¬lated Nubia and gave forth Pharaohs unto Egypt, the womb
that painted the Congo black and mothered Zulu, the
womb of Mero, the womb of the Nile, of the Niger, the
womb of Songhay, of Mali, of Ghana, the womb that felt
the might of Chaka before he saw the Sun, the Holy Womb,
the womb that knew the future form of Jomo Kenyatta,
the womb of Mau Mau, the womb of the blacks, the womb
that nurtured Toussaint L'Ouverture, that warmed Nat
Turner, and Gabriel Prosser, and Denmark Vesey, the black womb
that surrendered up in tears that nameless and endless
chain of Africa's Cream, the Black Cream of the Earth,
that nameless and endless black chain that sank in heavy
groans into oblivion in the great abyss, the womb that re-
¬ceived and nourished and held firm the seed and gave back
Sojourner Truth, and Sister Tubman, and Rosa Parks, and
Bird, and Richard Wright, and your other works of art who
wore and wear such names as Marcus Garvey and DuBois
and Kwame Nkrumah and Paul Robeson and Malcolm X
and Robert Williams, and the one you bore in pain and
called Elijah Muhammad, but most of all that nameless one
they tore out of your womb in a flood of murdered blood
that splashed upon and seeped into the mud. And Patrice
Lumumba, and Emmett Till, and Mack Parker.
O, My Soul! I became a sniveling craven, a funky punk,
a vile, groveling bootlicker, with my will to oppose petrified
by a cosmic fear of the Slavemaster. Instead of inciting the
Slaves to rebellion with eloquent oratory, I soothed their
hurt and eloquently sang the Blues! Instead of hurling my
life with contempt into the face of my Tormentor, I shed
your precious blood! When Nat Turner sought to free me
from my Fear, my Fear delivered him up unto the Butcher
—a martyred monument to my Emasculation. My spirit
was unwilling and my flesh was weak. Ah, eternal ig-
¬nominy!
I, the Black Eunuch, divested of my Balls, walked the
earth with my mind locked in Cold Storage. I would kill a
black man or woman quicker than I'd smash a fly, while for
the white man I would pick a thousand pounds of cotton a
day. What profit is there in the blind, frenzied efforts of the
(Guilty!) Black Eunuchs (Justifiers!) who hide their
wounds and scorn the truth to mitigate their culpability
through the pallid sophistry of postulating, a Universal.
Democracy of Cowards, pointing out that in history no one,
can hide, that if not at one time then surely at another the
iron heel of the Conqueror has ground into the mud the
Balls of Everyman? Memories of yesterday will not assuage
the torrents of blood that flow today from my crotch. Yes,
History could pass for a scarlet text, its jot and tittle graven
red in human blood. More armies than shown in the books
have planted flags on foreign soil leaving Castration in their
wake. But no Slave should die a natural death. There is a
point where Caution ends and Cowardice begins. Give
me a bullet through the brain from the gun of the be-
leaguered oppressor on the night of seige. Why is there
dancing and singing in the Slave Quarters? A Slave who
dies of natural causes cannot balance two dead flies in the
Scales of Eternity. Such a one deserves rather to be pitied
than mourned.
Black woman, without asking how, just say that we sur-
vived our forced march and travail through the Valley of
Slavery, Suffering, and Death—there, that Valley there
beneath us hidden by that drifting mist. Ah, what sights and
sounds and pain lie beneath that mist! And we had thought
that our hard climb out of that cruel valley led to some
cool, green and peaceful, sunlit place-but it's all jungle
here, a wild and savage wilderness that's overrun with
ruins.
But put on your crown, my Queen, and we will build a
New City on these ruins.


 

david young  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:44
Member (2009)
French to English
just for a laugh Feb 26, 2010

Albert and the Lion by Marriott Edgar
There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.

A grand little lad was young Albert,
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.

They didn't think much of the Ocean:
The waves, they were fiddlin' and small,
There was no wrecks and nobody drownded,
Fact, nothing to laugh at at all.

So, seeking for further amusement,
They paid and went into the Zoo,
Where they'd Lions and Tigers and Camels,
And old ale and sandwiches too.

There were one great big Lion called Wallace;
His nose were all covered with scars -
He lay in a somnolent posture,
With the side of his face on the bars.

Now Albert had heard about Lions,
How they was ferocious and wild -
To see Wallace lying so peaceful,
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.

So straightway the brave little feller,
Not showing a morsel of fear,
Took his stick with its 'orse's 'ead 'andle
And pushed it in Wallace's ear.

You could see that the Lion didn't like it,
For giving a kind of a roll,
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im,
And swallowed the little lad 'ole.

Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence,
And didn't know what to do next,
Said 'Mother! Yon Lion's 'et Albert',
And Mother said 'Well, I am vexed!'

Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom -
Quite rightly, when all's said and done -
Complained to the Animal Keeper,
That the Lion had eaten their son.

The keeper was quite nice about it;
He said 'What a nasty mishap.
Are you sure that it's your boy he's eaten?'
Pa said "Am I sure? There's his cap!'

The manager had to be sent for.
He came and he said 'What's to do?'
Pa said 'Yon Lion's 'et Albert,
'And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too.'

Then Mother said, 'Right's right, young feller;
I think it's a shame and a sin,
For a lion to go and eat Albert,
And after we've paid to come in.'

The manager wanted no trouble,
He took out his purse right away,
Saying 'How much to settle the matter?'
And Pa said "What do you usually pay?'

But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone.
She said 'No! someone's got to be summonsed' -
So that was decided upon.

Then off they went to the P'lice Station,
In front of the Magistrate chap;
They told 'im what happened to Albert,
And proved it by showing his cap.

The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.

At that Mother got proper blazing,
'And thank you, sir, kindly,' said she.
'What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy Lions? Not me!'


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:44
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Percy Bysshe Shelley - Ozymandias Feb 26, 2010

I also like The Lion and Albert, but on a more serious note:

OZYMANDIAS

Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".


 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Preseren Translation Feb 26, 2010

In reply to the posting, the translation of Preseren's famous lines was taken from Wikipedia, so do not know who translated it.

 

Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:44
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
For the women among us Feb 26, 2010

This poem by Wendy Cope is absolutely sublime in my view, from her bundle: Serious concerns (Faber&Faber)


Some more light verse by Wendy Cope

You have to try. You see a shrink.
You learn a lot. You read. You think.
You struggle to improve your looks.
You meet some men. You write some books.
You eat good food. You give up junk.
You do not smoke. You don't get drunk.
You take up yoga, walk, and swim.
You don't know what to do. You cry.
You're running out of things to try.

You blow your nose. You see the shrink.
You walk. You give up food and drink.
You fall in love. You make a plan.
You struggle to improve your man.
And nothing works. The outlook's grim.
You go to yoga, cry, and swim.
You eat and drink. You give up looks.
You struggle to improve your books.
You cannot see the point. You sigh.
You do not smoke. You have to try.


 

Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
The Second Coming Feb 26, 2010

by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


 

toniawind
Local time: 16:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Feb 26, 2010

Thanks for starting this, Paul!icon_smile.gif

One of my favorite poems has always been this one by Robert Frost.

Robert Frost - 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 kept 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.


 

George Hopkins
Local time: 21:44
Swedish to English
Life Feb 26, 2010

The following is by a local Swedish poet and the English translation is mine. I’ve never attempted to translate a poem before, but I couldn’t resist. My apologies to all experts.

Livet börjar strax intill dig.
Sök inte efter meningar och mål
i fjärran himmelriken.
Vill du ge kärlek, ge den nu.
Ta handen som som sträckes upp mot din
och vandra over juniängens prakt
hemma, i jordens rike.

Det goda är glädje
och något så enkelt som vänligheten.
Andra läror behöver du inte.
Så vill du ge kärlek, ge den nu.
Bär barnet over sommarängen
och visar det färgerna,
lär det dofterna,
hemma, i jordens rike.

Life begins close to you.
Don’t look for meaning and goals
in distant heavenly kingdoms.
If you wish to give love, give it now.
Take the hand reaching up to yours
and wander o’er June-meadow’s glory
at home, in Earth’s kingdom.

Goodness is joy
and something so simple as kindness.
You have no need of other teachings.
So if you wish to give love, give it now.
Carry the child across the summer meadow
and show it the colours,
teach it the fragrances,
at home, in Earth’s kingdom.


 

Marian Vieyra  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:44
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
The Listeners by Walter De La Mare - One of my childhood favourites Feb 26, 2010

'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest's ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller's head
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
'Is there anybody there?' he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller's call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
'Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:-
'Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,' he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.


 
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