Love

Because of you, in gardens of blossoming flowers I ache from the

perfumes of spring.

   I have forgotten your face, I no longer remember your hands;

how did your lips feel on mine?

   Because of you, I love the white statues drowsing in the parks,

the white statues that have neither voice nor sight.

   I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice; I have forgotten

your eyes.

   Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to my vague memory of

you. I live with pain that is like a wound; if you touch me, you will

do me irreparable harm.

   Your caresses enfold me, like climbing vines on melancholy walls.

   I have forgotten your love, yet I seem to glimpse you in every

window.

   Because of you, the heady perfumes of summer pain me; because

of you, I again seek out the signs that precipitate desires: shooting

stars, falling objects.

 

"Love" - Pablo Neruda, transl. by Margaret Sayers Peden

Before You Came

Before you came things were just what they were:
the road precisely a road, the horizon fixed,
the limit of what could be seen,
a glass of wine was no more than a glass of wine.

With you the world took on the spectrum
radiating from my heart: your eyes gold
as they open to me, slate the color
that falls each time I lost all hope.

With your advent roses burst into flame:
you were the artist of dried-up leaves, sorceress
who flicked her wrist to change dust into soot.
You lacquered the night black.

As for the sky, the road, the cup of wine:
one was my tear-drenched shirt,
the other an aching nerve,
the third a mirror that never reflected the same thing.

Now you are here again—stay with me.
This time things will fall into place;
the road can be the road,
the sky nothing but sky;
the glass of wine, as it should be, the glass of wine.

"Before You Came" - Faiz Ahmed Faiz (transl. by Naomi Lazard)

A Dream for Winter

In the winter, we shall travel in a little pink railway carriage

With blue cushions.

We shall be comfortable. A nest of mad kisses lies in wait

In each soft corner.

 

You will close your eyes, so as not to see, through the glass,

The evening shadows pulling faces.

Those snarling monsters, a population

Of black devils and black wolves.

 

Then you'll feel your cheek scratched...

A little kiss, like a crazy spider,

Will run round your neck...

 

And you'll say to me : "Find it !" bending your head

- And we'll take a long time to find that creature

- Which travels a lot...

 

"A Dream of for Winter" - Arthur Rimbaud (transl. by Oliver Bernard)

The Letter

Little cramped words scrawling all over the paper

Like draggled fly’s legs,

What can you tell of the flaring moon

Through the oak leaves?

Or of my uncertain window and the bare floor

Spattered with moonlight?

Your silly quirks and twists have nothing in them

Of blossoming hawthorns,

And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth, virgin of loveliness

Beneath my hand.

 

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart against

The want of you;

Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,

And posting it.

And I scald alone, here, under the fire

Of the great moon.

"The Letter" - Amy Lowell