He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven . Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
It does not matter in what language one writes. All language is foreign, incomprehensible. Every word, as soon as pronounced, flees far away, where nothing or nobody can reach it. It does not matter how much is known. Nobody can read. Nobody knows what a lightning is and even less when it is reflected in the polished metal of a knife. Now, night seems a sea. On that sea we row, dispersed, in silence.
The Rose with its redolent petals by Mirza Ghalib (1797 - 1869) Timeline
English version by Riaz Ahmad
Original Language Urdu Muslim / Sufi
The Rose with its redolent petals The Water lily with its robe of virgin white These have surely come to us in transmigration Of but a few of those Endowed with sublime beauty and grace. Some embrace death to sprout again But most, forever, in dust remain.
To Nature by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834) Timeline
Original Language English Secular or Eclectic : Romantic
It may indeed be phantasy, when I Essay to draw from all created things Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings; And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie Lessons of love and earnest piety. So let it be; and if the wide world rings In mock of this belief, it brings Nor fear, nor grief, nor vain perplexity. So will I build my altar in the fields, And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be, And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee, Thee only God! and thou shalt not despise Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice
Transformation . Out in the light on sitting alone. Sorting, straightening tangled skins. (They're always trying lives in knots.) I would like to be sleeping. Not dreaming, just black out: no one bumping, around in my brain- no angels, no deaths, just quite empty nests, just threads lying straight and ordered and still. outside the window I can see sweet winter birds Rise up from tall weeds chattering. They fly into sunrisen sky that holds them in light.
Still Another Day: I by Pablo Neruda translated by William O'Daly
Today is that day, the day that carried a desperate light that since has died. Don't let the squatters know: let’s keep it all between us, day, between your bell and my secret.
Today is dead winter in the forgotten land that comes to visit me, with a cross on the map and a volcano in the snow, to return to me, to return again the water fallen on the roof of my childhood. Today when the sun began with its shafts to tell the story, so clear, so old, the slanting rain fell like a sword, the rain my hard heart welcomes.
You, my love, still asleep in August, my queen, my woman, my vastness, my geography kiss of mud, the carbon-coated zither, you, vestment of my persistent song, today you are reborn again and with the sky’s black water confuse me and compel me: I must renew my bones in your kingdom, I must still uncloud my earthly duties.
In that place either silent or blind You're writing the only poem. In the backyard of time you've written the lines to replace words and objects.
Before the destruction you started the poem which no one can kidnap, which has no beginning. It's approaching the winter. The pen tip gleams. The last stroke in the dark brings the world to a sudden halt.
Those whose ears were stolen will never forgive. The disaster caused by the snow storm awoke all the intoxicated.
A gardener who keeps death and roses is trying to learn cool wisdom with the short days of his life. Doors and windows are tightly closed. How you wish you could keep your relatives here and let trees enjoy the silent twilight.
You're doomed to write this only poem. The breath of the blooming words is short-- you linger on.
i. Gabriel Lynn Crosbie From: Fredo Pentangeli in Queen Rat: New and Selected Poems. Toronto: Anansi, 1998. p.3.
My mother is lighting candles, I am screaming. She smooths goose oil into my chest as I purple with pneumonia. Poor Fredo, they whisper, and my father watches from the corner. He covers his face. My father asks me to stop at the market. He is selecting fruit, holding it to his lips when the guns ignite. Thrown back he staggers to the curb. I am crawling toward him as the black car retreats. He is bleeding; oranges tumble from his coat. I sit on the curb and cover my face, crying, Papa — And the Angel departed from me.
Daedalus in Sicily . All his life he was building something, inventing something. Now, for a Cretan queen, an artificial heifer, so as to cuckold the king. Then a labyrinth, the time for the king himself, to hide from bewildered glances an unbearable offspring. Or a flying contraption, when the king figured himself so busy with new commissions. The son of that journey perished falling into the sea, like Phaeton, who, they say, also spurned his father’s orders. Here, in Sicily, stiff on its scorching sand, sits a very old man, capable of transporting himself through the air, if robbed of other means of passage. All his life he was building something, inventing something. All his life from those clever constructions m from those inventions, he had to flee. As though inventions and constructions are anxious to rid themselves of their blueprints like children ashamed of their parents, Presumably, that’s the fear of replication. Waves are running onto the sand; behind, shine the tusks of the local mountains. Yet he had already invented, when he was young, the seesaw, using the strong resemblance between motion and stasis. The old man bends down, ties to his brittle ankle (so as not to get lost) a lengthy thread, straightens up with a grunt, and heads out for Hades.
BLOSSOMS OF URANIUM . The three of them arrived at the same spot They ordered foaming drinks They greeted the courteous multitude
All three went up to the same table They drank smoking potions They knew nobody They were not uncomfortable
And lo and behold, When all three jumped together Over the cornice Over the window Over the hole The woman at the bar said there was no reason to be afraid Since they were a new flower brought from the East
But when they came down again and killed the whole multitude She said before dying that there was nothing to fear That she had come upon the wrong garden That she was mistaken about the flower And that instead of blossoms from Buddha She had brought blossoms of Uranium
Love means to learn to look at yourself The way one looks at distant things For you are only one thing among many. And whoever sees that way heals his heart, Without knowing it, from various ills A bird and a tree say to him: Friend. Then he wants to use himself and things So that they stand in the glow of ripeness. It doesnt matter whether he knows what he serves: Who serves best doesnt always understand.
The pilgrim sees no form but His and knows . The pilgrim sees no form but His and knows That He subsists beneath all passing shows -- The pilgrim comes from Him whom he can see, Lives in Him, with Him, and beyond all three. Be lost in Unity's inclusive span, Or you are human but not yet a man. Whoever lives, the wicked and the blessed, Contains a hidden sun within his breast -- Its light must dawn though dogged by long delay; The clouds that veil it must be torn away -- Whoever reaches to his hidden sun Surpasses good and bad and knows the One. The good and bad are here while you are here; Surpass yourself and they will disappear.
NOW as at all times I can see in the mind's eye, In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones, And all their helms of Silver hovering side by side, And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more, Being by Calvary's turbulence unsatisfied, The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.