April 6th, 2014
theparisreview:

How I Would Paint Happiness
Something sudden, a windfall,a meteor shower. No—a flowering tree releasingall its blossoms at once,and the one standing beneath itunexpectedly robed in bloom,transformed into a strangertoo beautiful to touch.
—Lisel Mueller, from “Imaginary Paintings.”Art: Guido Cadorin.

theparisreview:

How I Would Paint Happiness

Something sudden, a windfall,
a meteor shower. No—
a flowering tree releasing
all its blossoms at once,
and the one standing beneath it
unexpectedly robed in bloom,
transformed into a stranger
too beautiful to touch.

Lisel Mueller, from “Imaginary Paintings.”
Art: Guido Cadorin.

December 12th, 2012
theparisreview:

On the twelfth day of the twelfth month of 2012 … we bring you an excerpt from Russian Symbolist poet Aleksandr Blok’s 1918 poem The Twelve. “Today I am a genius,” he wrote after completing the twelve-canto chronicle of the October Revolution. The opening lines are amongst the most famous in Russian literature.

Black night.White snow.The wind, the wind!It will not let you go. The wind, the wind!Through God’s whole world it blows
The wind is weavingThe white snow.Brother ice peeps from belowStumbling and tumblingFolk slip and fall.God pity all!

theparisreview:

On the twelfth day of the twelfth month of 2012 … we bring you an excerpt from Russian Symbolist poet Aleksandr Blok’s 1918 poem The Twelve. “Today I am a genius,” he wrote after completing the twelve-canto chronicle of the October Revolution. The opening lines are amongst the most famous in Russian literature.

Black night.
White snow.
The wind, the wind!
It will not let you go. The wind, the wind!
Through God’s whole world it blows

The wind is weaving
The white snow.
Brother ice peeps from below
Stumbling and tumbling
Folk slip and fall.
God pity all!

November 27th, 2012
theparisreview:

Here let me stop. Let me too look at Nature for a while.The morning sea and cloudless skya brilliant blue, the yellow shore: allilluminated, beautiful and grand.Here let me stop. Let me pretend that these are what I see(I really saw them for a moment when I first stopped)instead of seeing, even here, my fantasies,my recollections, the icons of pleasure.—Constantine P. Cavafy, “Morning Sea”Photography Credit Suzanne Opton

theparisreview:

Here let me stop. Let me too look at Nature for a while.
The morning sea and cloudless sky
a brilliant blue, the yellow shore: all
illuminated, beautiful and grand.

Here let me stop. Let me pretend that these are what I see
(I really saw them for a moment when I first stopped)
instead of seeing, even here, my fantasies,
my recollections, the icons of pleasure.

Constantine P. Cavafy, “Morning Sea”
Photography Credit Suzanne Opton

July 14th, 2012

nypl:

This Land Is Your Land
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that…

(Source: woodyguthrie.org)

March 20th, 2012
photo:  cherry trees in riverside park by ana traina (2011)

Spring  by Edna St. Vincent Millay
To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
is nothing.
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

photo:  cherry trees in riverside park by ana traina (2011)


Spring  by Edna St. Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April, do you return again?

Beauty is not enough.

You can no longer quiet me with the redness

Of little leaves opening stickily.

I know what I know.

The sun is hot on my neck as I observe

The spikes of the crocus

The smell of the earth is good.

It is apparent that there is no death.

But what does that signify?

Not only under ground are the brains of men

Eaten by maggots.

Life in itself

is nothing.

An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.

It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,

April

Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

March 16th, 2012
poetrysociety:

I will die in Paris with a rainstorm, on a day I already remember, I will die in Paris—and I don’t shy away— perhaps on a Thursday, as today is, in autumn.
from “Black Stone on White Stone”by Cesar Vallejo, born today in 1892.Translated by Rebecca Seiferle

poetrysociety:

I will die in Paris with a rainstorm,
on a day I already remember,
I will die in Paris—and I don’t shy away—
perhaps on a Thursday, as today is, in autumn.

from “Black Stone on White Stone”
by Cesar Vallejo, born today in 1892.
Translated by Rebecca Seiferle

November 29th, 2011

An Argument by Thomas Moore

I’ve oft been told by learned friars,

That wishing and the crime are one,

And Heaven punishes desires

As much as if the deed were done.

.

If wishing damns us, you and I

Are damned to all our heart’s content;

Come, then, at least we may enjoy

Some pleasure for our punishment!

October 17th, 2011

Longing for Love by Endre Ady (1909)

Neither the issue nor the sire,
neither fulfillment nor desire
am I for anyone,
am I for anyone.

I am as all men, the sunless sea,
the alien Thule, mystery,
a fleeing wisp of light,
a fleeing wisp of light.

But I must look for friends and brothers;
I want to show myself to others
that seeing they will see,
that seeing they will see.

For this my lyric masochism;
I long to close the gaping schism,
and thus belong somewhere,
and thus belong somewhere.

October 10th, 2011

An die Musik by Rainer Maria Rilke

Musik: Atem der Statuen. Vielleicht:
Stille der Bilder. Du Sprache wo Sprachen
enden. Du Zeit
die senkrecht steht auf der Richtung
vergehender Herzen.

Gefühle zu wem? O du der Gefühle
Wandlung in was?— in hörbare Landschaft.
Du Fremde: Musik. Du uns entwachsener
Herzraum. Innigstes unser, das, uns übersteigend, hinausdrängt,—
heiliger Abschied:
da uns das Innre umsteht
als geübteste Ferne, als andre
Seite der Luft:
rein,
riesig
nicht mehr bewohnbar.