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24 April 2010 @ 06:44 pm
People have been trying to kill me since I was born,
a man tells his son, trying to explain
the wisdom of learning a second tongue.

It's an old story from the previous century
about my father and me.

The same old story from yesterday morning
about me and my son.

It's called "Survival Strategies
and the Melancholy of Racial Assimilation."

It's called "Psychological Paradigms of Displaced Persons,"

called "The Child Who'd Rather Play than Study."

Practice until you feel
the language inside you
, says the man.

But what does he know about inside and outside,
my father who was spared nothing
in spite of the languages he used?

And me, confused about the flesh and the soul,
who asked once into a telephone,
Am I inside you?

You're always inside me
, a woman answered,
at peace with the body's finitude,
at peace with the soul's disregard
of space and time.

Am I inside you? I asked once
lying between her legs, confused
about the body and the heart.

If you don't believe you're inside me, you're not,
she answered, at peace with the body's greed,
at peace with the heart's bewilderment.

It's an ancient story from yesterday evening

called "Patterns of Love in Peoples of Diaspora,"

called "Loss of the Homeplace
and the Defilement of the Beloved,"

called "I Want to Sing but I Don't Know Any Songs."

-- Li-Young Lee
 
 
01 January 2010 @ 05:03 pm
Je suis le ténébreux,- le Veuf, - l'inconsolé,
Le Prince d'Aquitaine à la tour abolie:
Ma seule étoile est morte, et mon luth constellé
Porte le soleil noir de la Mélancolie.

Dans la nuit du Tombeau, Toi qui m'as consolé,
Rends-moi le Pausilippe et la mer d'Italie,
La fleur qui plaisait tant à mon coeur désolé,
Et la treille où le Pampre à la rose s'allie.

Suis-je Amour ou Phoebus ?.... Lusignan ou Biron ?
Mon front est rouge encor du baiser de la Reine ;
J'ai rêvé dans la grotte où nage la Sirène...

Et j'ai deux fois vainqueur traversé l'Achéron :
Modulant tour à tour sur la lyre d'Orphée
Les soupirs de la Sainte et les cris de la Fée.

- Gérard de Nerval

[translation:]

I am the dark one, the widower, the unconsoled,
The prince of Aquitaine whose tower is destroyed:
My only star is dead, and my constellated lute
Bears the black sun of the Melancholy.

In the night of the Tomb, You who consoled me,
Give me back Mount Posilipo and the Italian sea,
The flower my desolate heart liked so much,
And the trellis where the grapevine unites with the rose.

Am I Amor or Phoebus?.... Lusignan or Biron?
My forehead is still red from the kiss of the queen;
I have dreamed in the grotto where the Mermaid swims...

And two times victorious I have crossed Acheron:
Modulating turn by turn on the lyre of Orpheus
The moans of the Saint and the screams of the Fairy.
 
 
 
 
06 November 2009 @ 12:49 pm
From Wikipedia [Black Ships]:

泰平の
眠りを覚ます
上喜撰
たった四杯で
夜も眠れず

Taihei no
Nemuri o samasu
Jōkisen
Tatta shihai de
Yoru mo nemurezu
 
 
06 October 2009 @ 12:11 am
And I have come upon this place
By lost ways, by a nod, by words,
By faces, by an old man's face
At Morlaix lifted to the birds,

By hands upon the tablecloth
At Aldebori's, by the thin
Child's hands that opened to the moth
And let the flutter of the moonlight in,

By hands, by voices, by the voice
Of Mrs. Whitman on the stair,
By Margaret's "If we had the choice
To choose or not - "through her thick hair,

By voices, by the creak and fall
Of footsteps on the upper floor,
By silence waiting in the hall
Between the doorbell and the door,

By words, by voices, a lost way - ,
And here above the chimney stack
The unknown constellations sway -
And by what way shall I go back?

-- Archibald MacLeish

[discovered via copperbadge]
 
 
13 July 2009 @ 05:19 pm
On Terra (earth) in this fateful hour
I place all Heaven with its power
the sun with its brightness
the snow with its whiteness
the fire with all the strength it hath
the lightning with its rapid wrath
the winds with their swiftness along their path
the sea with its deepness
the rocks with their steepness
the earth with its starkness
all these I place
With God's almighty help and grace
between myself and the powers of darkness.

-- attrib. St. Patrick.

Googled from Christo-Pagan Prayers.
 
 
12 July 2009 @ 10:46 pm
Latin Dictionary and Grammar Aid (University of Notre Dame)

According to melandry, "the best Latin dictionary for a layperson on the net." \o/!