The Perceval Press Anthology of Verse 2006


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We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
-Joseph Campbell


to om natten tæt
ved frihedens
holder jeg
ind til siden
tanker & køber
af pigen
bag skranken
jeg får lyst
til at fortælle
hende det hele
-Daniel Dencik


Words are unnecessary,
There being nothing to learn:
How sad and exemplary
Is an animal's dark heart!

It has no urge to instruct
And no use for words,
And swims like a young dolphin
Along the grey gulfs of the world.
-Osip Mandelstam


I look the frost in the face, alone -
It's going nowhere, I come from nowhere -
And always the breathing wonder of the plain
Ironed, folded, without a crease.

The sun is squinting in laundered destitution,
It's frown peaceful and consoled,
The multitude of forests much the same...
Snow crusts in my eyes, innocent as bread.
-Osip Mandelstam


If I never again saw your eyes...
If I didn't hear your barking cough...
The light's been used...
If i asked you for happy songs...
Gaps in the stairs...
If there were nor reddish-green skull,
smashed against the snowy bank,
no eyes, drowned in the blizzard,
if in the frames there were no darkness
of effervescing ice...
Then I would pity you.
-Svetlana Dengina


The earth is burning
but the fibre of laughter
is indissoluble
-Rea Nikonova


Do I hold the past in my hands
A little too tightly?
-Olga Ivanovna


With them and not with you or me
The power of family endings lies:
The reed is porous and singing with their air,
And gratefully the snails of human lips
Pull on their breathing gravity.
They have no name. Enter their sinews
And you will be their principalities' heir,
And for people, for their living hearts,
Stumbling through their every fork and turn,
You'll portray their great content
And what they're tortured by in ebbs and flows.
-Osip Mandelstam


I love bathing in the river; you see
your own body through water,
gold light reflects the surface, and
when you dive in and open your eyes
down there, everything is so green, so
green, and you see the little fish rushing
by... And it is not true that the body
is sinful, that beauty is sinful...
-Mikhail Kuzmin (from WINGS)


When we at last become our name
and in the leaves rustling
we splash above the damp roofs,
will you recognise us?
Outlasting everything,
will you, kindred stairway,
tin of dawn courtyards,
stone walls, rough and living,
will you understand that we're here?
Tender bog and silent wave, will you,
concealed from the darkness,
will you hear our breathing, our breathlessness,
will you recognise the true us?
-Svetlana Ivanova


My gift is poor, my voice is not loud,
And yet I live - and on this earth
My being has meaning for someone:
My distant heir shall find it
In my verses; how do I know? my soul
And his shall find a common bond,
As I have found a friend in my generation,
I will find a reader in posterity.
-E. A. Baratynsky


(En Orihuela, su pueblo y el mío,
se me ha muerto como del rayo Ramón Sijé,
a quien tanto quería.)

Yo quiero ser llorando el hortelano
de la tierra que ocupas y estercolas,
compañero del alma, tan temprano.

Alimentando lluvias, caracolas
y órganos mi dolor sin instrumento,
a las desalentadas amapolas

daré tu corazón por alimento.
Tanto dolor se agrupa en mi costado,
que por doler me duele hasta el aliento.

Un manotazo duro, un golpe helado,
un hachazo invisible y homicida,
un empujón brutal te ha derribado.

No hay extensión más grande que mi herida,
lloro mi desventura y sus conjuntos
y siento más tu muerte que mi vida.

Ando sobre rastrojos de difuntos,
y sin calor de nadie y sin consuelo
voy de mi corazón a mis asuntos.

Temprano levantó la muerte el vuelo,
temprano madrugó la madrugada,
temprano estás rodando por el suelo.

No perdono a la muerte enamorada,
no perdono a la vida desatenta,
no perdono a la tierra ni a la nada.

En mis manos levanto una tormenta
de piedras, rayos y hachas estridentes
sedienta de catástrofes y hambrienta.

Quiero escarbar la tierra con los dientes,
quiero apartar la tierra parte a parte
a dentelladas secas y calientes.

Quiero minar la tierra hasta encontrarte
y besarte la noble calavera
y desamordazarte y regresarte.

Volverás a mi huerto y a mi higuera:
por los altos andamios de las flores
pajareará tu alma colmenera

de angelicales ceras y labores.
Volverás al arrullo de las rejas
de los enamorados labradores.

A las aladas almas de las rosas
del almendro de nata te requiero,
que tenemos que hablar de muchas cosas,
compañero del alma, compañero.
(10 de enero de 1936)
-Miguel Hernández

(10 de enero de 1936)
English translation


The wind is level now, the earth is wet with dew,
the storm of stars in the sky will turn to quiet.
And soon all of us will sleep under the earth, we
who never let each other sleep above it.
-Marina Tsvetaeva


Last edited: 29 October 2007 10:37:54