Friday, 8 May 2009

The Birds by William Carlos Williams

The world begins again!
Not wholly insufflated
the blackbirds in the rain
upon the dead topbranches
of the living tree,
stuck fast to the low clouds,
notate the dawn.
Their shrill cries sound
announcing appetite
and drop among the bending roses
and the dripping grass.

First Praise by William Carlos Williams

Lady of dusk-wood fastnesses,
Thou art my Lady.
I have known the crisp, splintering leaf-tread with thee on before,
White, slender through green saplings;
I have lain by thee on the brown forest floor
Beside thee, my Lady.

Lady of rivers strewn with stones,
Only thou art my Lady.
Where thousand the freshets are crowded like peasants to a fair;
Clear-skinned, wild from seclusion
They jostle white-armed down the tent-bordered thoroughfare
Praising my Lady.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

My Mothers Face by Uluro Ado

"Could you show me your mother's photo?"
One morning a friend of mine said.
"Just take a good look around you,"
I smiled as I nodded my head.

"Those valleys all recovered with wrinkles-
My dear mother's cheeks are they!
Those hillocks with vein-like streamlets-
My dear mother's hands are they!

"Those shining blue lakes with their lashes of reed
Are my mother's caressing eyes,
The silver hair of my mother-
Those willows where mists arise.

"No need for a photo," I told my friend,
"For there is my mother, alive.
Come, look at her, friend, how lovely she is;
Long may she live and thrive!"

Translated by Dorian Rottenberg. Soviet Literature 1976.