February 2010


Italian Music In Dakota
Through the soft evening air enwrinding all,
Rocks, woods, fort, cannon, pacing sentries, endless wilds,
In dulcet streams, in flutes' and cornets' notes,
Electric, pensive, turbulent artificial,
(Yet strangely fitting even here, meanings unknown before,
Subtler than ever, more harmony, as if born here, related here,
Not to the city's fresco'd rooms, not to the audience of the opera
Sounds, echoes, wandering strains, as really here at home,
Sonnambula's innocent love, trios with Norma's anguish,
And thy ecstatic chorus Poliuto;)
Ray'd in the limpid yellow slanting sundown,
Music, Italian music in Dakota.

While Nature, sovereign of this gnarl'd realm,
Lurking in hidden barbaric grim recesses,
Acknowledging rapport however far remov'd,
(As some old root or soil of earth its last-born flower or fruit,)
Listens well pleas'd.
-Walt Whitman


The Wounded Hare
Inhuman man! curse on thy barb'rous art,
And blasted by thy murder-aiming eye;
May never pity soothe thee with a sigh,
Nor never pleasure glad thy cruel heart!

Go live, poor wanderer of the wood and field,
The bitter little of life that remains!
No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains
To thee shall home, or food, or pastime yield.

Seek, mangled wretch, some place of wonted rest,
No more of rest, but now of dying bed!
The sheltering rushes whistling o'er thy head,
The cold earth with thy bloody bosom Crest.

Oft as by winding Nith I, musing, wait
The sober eve, or hail the cheerful dawn,
I'll miss thee sporting o'er the dewy lawn,
And curse the ruffian's aim, and mourn thy hapless fate.
-Robert Burns


It sheds a shy solemnity,
This lamp in our poor room.
O grey and gold amenity, --
Silence and gentle gloom!

Wide from the world, a stolen hour
We claim, and none may know
How love blooms like a tardy flower
Here in the day's after-glow.

And even should the world break in
With jealous threat and guile,
The world, at last, must bow and win
Our pity and a smile.
-Hart Crane


Six O'clock In Princes Street
In twos and threes, they have not far to roam,
Crowds that thread eastward, gay of eyes;
Those seek no further than their quiet home,
Wives, walking westward, slow and wise.

Neither should I go fooling over clouds,
Following gleams unsafe, untrue,
And tiring after beauty through star-crowds,
Dared I go side by side with you;

Or be you in the gutter where you stand,
Pale rain-flawed phantom of the place,
With news of all the nations in your hand,
And all their sorrows in your face.
-Wilfred Owen


from "The Talk Of Flowers"I do not know, whether the sun
accomplished it,
the rain or wind -
but I was missing so
the whiteness and the snow.

I listened to the rustling
of spring rain,
washing the reddish buds
of chestnut-trees, -
and a tiny spring ran down
into the valley from the hill -
and I was missing
the whiteness
and the snow.

And in the yards, and on the slopes
village maidens
hung up the washings
blown over by the wind
and, leaning,
stared a long while
at the yellow tufts of sallow:

For love is like the wind,
And love is like the water -
it warms up with the spring,
and freezes over - in the autumn.
But to me, I don't know why,
whether the sun
accomplished it,
the rain or wind -
but I was missing so
the whiteness and the snow.

I know - the wind
will blow and blow the washings,
and the rain
will wash and wash the chestnut-trees, -
but love, which melted with
the snow -
will not return.

Deep below the snow sleep
words and feelings:
for today, watching
the dance of rain between the door -
the rain of spring! -
I saw another:

she walked by in the rain,
and beautiful she was,
and smiled:

For love is like the wind,
and love is like the water -
it warms up with the spring
and freezes over - in the autumn,
though to me, I don't know why,
whether the sun
accomplished it,
the rain or wind -
but I was missing so
the whiteness and the snow.
-Jonas Mekas
(Translated by Clark Mills)


I like people who refuse to speak until they are ready to speak.
-Lillian Hellman


No somos disparados a la existencia como una bala de fusil cuya
trayectoria está absolutamente determinada. Es falso decir que lo que
nos determina son las circunstancias. Al contrario, las circunstancias
son el dilema ante el cual tenemos que decidirnos. Pero el que decide
es nuestro carácter.
-José Ortega y Gasset


Island where all becomes clear.

Solid ground beneath your feet.

The only roads are those that offer access.

Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.

The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.

The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.

The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the Valley of Obviously.

If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.

Echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds.

On the right a cave where Meaning lies.

On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.
Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.

Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.
Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.

For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,
and the faint footprints scattered on its beaches
turn without exception to the sea.

As if all you can do here is leave
and plunge, never to return, into the depths.

Into unfathomable life.
-Wislawa Szymborska


Winter Trees
All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
-William Carlos Williams


Seek not the favour of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of the few; number not the voices, but weigh them.
-Immanuel Kant


Everyone is naked under his clothes and everyone is a foreigner outside his native lands.
-Gisli Palsson


The Hand That Signed The Paper
The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.

The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose's quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.

The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
And famine grew, and locusts came;
Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.

The five kings count the dead but do not soften
The crusted wound nor pat the brow;
A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.
-Dylan Thomas


A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.
-Sigmund Freud


Demokratierne er ofte langsomme til at træffe de rigtige beslutninger, diktaturerne er anderledes hurtige til at træffe de forkerte.
(Democracies are often slow to arrive at the right decisions; dictatorships, on the other hand, are quick to arrive at the wrong ones.)
-Peder Tabor
Last edited: 27 February 2012 13:19:08