The ash tree drops the few dry leaves it bore in May,
stands naked by mid-July.
When each day’s evil news drains into the next,
a monotonous overflow,
has a tree’s dying lost the right to be mourned?
No – life’s indivisible. And this tree,
rooted beyond my fence, has been, branch and curved twig, in leaf or bare, the net
that held the sky in my window.
Trunk in deep shade, its lofting crown
offers to each long day’s
pale glow after the sun
is almost down, an answering gold –
the last light
held and caressed.
“Ceremonies” by Denise Levertov.
Photo by Edward Steichen.
Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.
Stretch out your shadow on the sundial’s face,
and on the meadows let the winds go loose.
Command the last fruits to be full in time;
grant them even two more southerly days,
press them toward fulfillment soon and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.
Whoever has no house now, will build none.
Who is alone now, will stay long alone,
will lie awake, read, get long letters written,
and through the streets that follow up and down
will wander restless, when the leaves are driven.
“Autumn Day” by Ranier Maria Rilke, (translated from the German by John Felstiner).
Photo by Anne Brigman.
Am I perhaps a poet?
It writes only one word, and an odd one,
the pen of my soul:
Am I a painter, then?
Not even that.
It has only one tint,
the palette of my soul:
So am I a musician?
Not at all.
There’s only one note
on the keyboard of my soul:
I am then . . . what?
I place a lens
in front of my heart
so people can see it.
Who am I?
The acrobat of my soul.
“Who am I?” by Aldo Palazzeschi.
Son forse un poeta?
Non scrive che una parola, ben strana,
la penna dell’anima mia:
Son dunque un pittore?
Non ha che un colore
la tavolozza dell’anima mia:
Un musico, allora?
Non c’è che una nota
nella tastiera dell’anima mia:
Son dunque . . . che cosa?
Io metto una lente
davanti al mio cuore
per farlo vedere alla gente.
Il saltimbanco dell’anima mia.
<<Chi Sono?>> Poesie di Aldo Palazzeschi.