Friday, September 2, 2011

A Paraphrase of Mallarmé

Chaste, vivacious day of beauty:  will it
Stripe with one lash of a drunken wing
Forgotten lakes beneath whose ice we find
Glaciers of glass, flight that could not flee?

A swan of yesteryear remembers.  He
Rescues himself, hopeless, magnificent,
But fails to sing a place where he might live
When dull pain blazes winter's impotence.

His neck will shake this whitest agony
That space inflicts.  He will deny it quite.
Yet to his feathers earthly terrors cling.

Phantom that flares and flashes purity,
He freezes in a cold dream of disdain:
Vain exile's only vestment for the swan.

A Paraphrase of Goethe

(Selige Sehnsucht: "Sagt es niemand, nur den Weisen")

Tell it not but to the wise man,
For the crowd will mock entire:
I will glorify the lively,
That which yearns to die in fire.

You beget where you were gotten,
In the cool of loving night:
Strange sensations overtake you
In the silent candlelight.

Erstwhile captive of the shadows,
You will never be the same,
Taken up by higher rapture,
Drawn toward the holy flame.

Now no distance proves a hindrance;
Some enchantment gives you wings!
Maddened butterfly, you enter:
Finally, the pure flame sings.

And as long as you know not
Earth is dark, and you are homeless,
Hapless and forlorn.

68th Letter to a Poet

Awake till three, I tried reading Allen Ginsberg but overdosed on his naughty-boy language: baldpate sophomore. I nodded off to TV jaz...