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More Songs Of Other Lands

Linda Marshall

© Linda Marshall 26/04/2018



Bella Akhmadulina

Gülten Akin

Antoine Arnault

Felix Arvers

Ingeborg Bachmann

Olga Berggolts

Johannes Bobrowski

Louis Bouilhet

Ida von Conring

Richard Dehmel

Madeleine Desbordes-Valmore

Philippe Desportes

Hasan Dinamo

Frederike Frei

Théophile Gautier

Stefan George

Andreas Gryphius

Zeynep Hatun

Nazim Hikmet

Peter Huchel

Ernst Jandl

Sarah Kirsch

Louise Labé

Joyce Mansour

Charles d’Orléans

Jacques Prévert

Pierre Quillard

Mathurin Régnier

Gina Ranjičić

Nelly Sachs

Elena Schvarts

Santino Spinelli

Margarete Susman

Paul Verlaine

Paul Zech

Stefan Zweig

Notes on the authors


This is the second selection of my translations from poets writing in languages other than English. There are some obvious omissions in this volume but they are not accidental.

I decided to exclude the majority of well-known poets from this selection. Baudelaire, Victor Hugo, Rimbaud, Ronsard and Villon do not feature among the French poems in translation. Nor do my translations from German include Goethe, Schiller, Heine, Kolmar or Rilke.

There are two exceptions to this general rule. Verlaine’s Colloque Sentimental is so magically beautiful that I had to include it (and some others almost as good by the same author.) Nazim Hikmet is the best-known of all Turkish poets but I felt he deserved to be represented in this collection.

German and French poets are the most heavily featured in this volume with fourteen German-language poems and thirteen French-language poets though the works of four Turkish, three Russian and two Romani poets are also included. There are thirty-six poets in all who I have translated into English.

I hope that some of the poets I’ve translated will be either completely unknown or relatively unfamiliar to English readers.

As I wrote in my previous selection of translated poetry, I firmly believe that poetry is what survives translation rather than what gets lost in translation!

Bella Akhmadulina


Не действуя и не дыша,

все слаще обмирает улей.

Все глубже осень, и душа

все опытнее и округлей.

Она вовлечена в отлив

плода, из пустяка пустого

отлитого. Как кропотлив

труд осенью, как тяжко слово.

Значительнее, что ни день,

природа ум обременяет,

похожая на мудрость лень

уста молчаньем осеняет.

Даже дитя, велосипед


вертя педалью,

вдруг поглядит

вдруг поглядит на белый свет

с какой-то ясною печалью.


No longer working, not even breathing,

the beehive grows sweeter and then dies.

The richness of autumn grows deeper, and the soul

grows riper and rounder.

life is pulled into the fruit changing colour,

expelled from the lazy blossoms.

Work in autumn is long and boring,

words lie heavy.

Each day time hangs heavier,

nature burdens the mind.

Idleness, in a kind of wisdom,

casts silent shadows over the mouth.

Even a child on its bike,

cycling into the white rafts of light,

will look up suddenly

in a clear but pale sadness. .

Gülten Akin

Seni sevdim

Seni sevdim,
Seni birdenbire değil usul usul sevdim.
Uyandım bir sabah' gibi değil,
yle değil nasıl yürür özsu dal uçlarına
Ve gün ışığı sislerden düşsel ovalara...
Seni sevdim...
Artık tek mümkünüm sensin.

I liked you

I liked you,

I didn’t love you suddenly but in a gradual way

'Waking up is nothing like a morning'

It isn’t how it works

And the dreamy oval cast by daylight fog ...

I liked you...

Now you're the only one possible

Antoine Arnault

La feuille

De ta tige détachée,
Pauvre feuille desséchée,
Où vas-tu ? - Je n'en sais rien.
L'orage a brisé le chêne
Qui seul était mon soutien.
De son inconstante haleine
Le zéphyr ou l'aquilon
Depuis ce jour me promène
De la forêt à la plaine,
De la montagne au vallon.
Je vais ou le vent me mène,
Sans me plaindre ou m'effrayer :
Je vais où va toute chose,
Où va la feuille de rose
Et la feuille de laurier.

The leaf

Torn from your stem,

Poor dried leaf,

Where do you go? I do not know,

The storm broke the oak

Which was your strength and source

The inconstant wind

Blew you like an eagle

Since that day I walk around

From the forest to the plains

From the mountains to the valleys

I go where the wind takes me,

Without fear or complaint,

I go wherever I must

Like the petals of the rose

And the leaves of laurel.

Felix Arvers

Sonnet (Mon âme a son secret)

Mon âme a son secret, ma vie a son mystere:
Un amour eternel en un moment concu.
Le mal est sans espoir, aussi j'ai du le taire,
Et celle qui l'a fait n'en a jamais rien su.
Helas! j'aurai passe pres d'elle inapercu,
Toujours a ses cotes et toujours solitaire;
Et j'aurai jusqu'au bout fait mon temps sur la terre,
N'osant rien demander et n'ayant rien recu.
Pour elle, quoique Dieu l'ait faite douce et tendre,
Elle suit son chemin, distraite et sans entendre
Ce murmure d'amour eleve sur ses pas.
A l'austere devoir pieusement fidele,
Elle dira, lisant ces vers tout remplis d'elle:
'Quelle est donc cette femme?' et ne comprendra pas

Sonnet (My soul has its secret)

My soul has its secret, my life its mystery,

An undying love born in a single instant;

The sickness has no cure: I must be silent,

I never regret knowing you, for all my misery.

Alas! All unseen I have passed her by,

Always by her side, yet still alone,

And though I boil within, I dare not try

To ask her to respond to my heart’s hidden moan.

As for her, whom God made sweet and tender,

She goes her way, distracted, never hears

My murmuring sighs of love rising beneath her soft tread on the land.

And when she reads these lines so full of her,

My harsh but pious faith, drenched with my tears,

She’ll say ‘who is she?’ and will not understand.

Ingeborg Bachmann

Erklär mir, Liebe

Dein Hut lüftet sich leis, grüßt, schwebt im Wind,

dein unbedeckter Kopf hat’s Wolken angetan,

dein Herz hat anderswo zu tun,

dein Mund verleibt sich neue Sprachen ein,

das Zittergras im Land nimmt überhand,

Sternblumen bläst der Sommer an und aus,

von Flocken blind erhebst du dein Gesicht,

du lachst und weinst und gehst an dir zugrund,

was soll dir noch geschehen –

Erklär mir, Liebe!

Der Pfau, in feierlichem Staunen, schlägt sein Rad,

die Taube schlägt den Federkragen hoch,

vom Gurren überfüllt, dehnt sich die Luft,

der Entrich schreit, vom wilden Honig nimmt

das ganze Land, auch im gesetzten Park

hat jedes Beet ein goldner Staub umsäumt.

Erklär mir, Liebe!

Wasser weiß zu reden,

die Welle nimmt die Welle an der Hand,

im Weinberg schwillt die Traube, springt und fällt.

So arglos tritt die Schnecke aus dem Haus!

Ein Stein weiß einen andern zu erweichen!

Erklär mir, Liebe, was ich nicht erklären kann:

sollt ich die kurze schauerliche Zeit

nur mit Gedanken Umgang haben und allein

nichts Liebes kennen und nichts Liebes tun?

Muß einer denken? Wird er nicht vermißt?

Du sagst: es zählt ein andrer Geist auf ihn ...

Erklär mir nichts. Ich seh den Salamander

durch jedes Feuer gehen.

Kein Schauer jagt ihn, und es schmerzt ihn nichts.

Explain to me, my love

Your hat raises itself in greeting, hanging in the air,

your uncovered head faces the clouds,

your heart is busy somewhere else,

your mouth loves to speak a new word,

the quaking grass in the land increases,

stellate flowers blow in summer and are gone,

from blind flakes you lift up your face,

you laugh and cry and go to pieces,

what else is happening to you –

explain to me, my love!

the peacock spreads his tail in fiery amazement,

the pigeon raises his cape of feathers high,

cooing merrily, extending himself in the air,

the drake strikes, taking the wild honey

from the whole land, also sitting in the park

each bed is fringed with a golden pollen

the fish blush, passing in their swarm

and tumble through grottos into coral beds,

the music of the silver sands dances as shyly as a scorpion,

the beetle smells magnificence from afar;

if I only had his sense, I would also feel

the flight under your tanks shimmering

and take the path to distant strawberry bushes!

Explain to me, my love!

Water learns to speak,

the waves takes the waves on the hand,

in the wine mountains tasting the grapes, rising and falling,

so innocently the snail creeps out of the house!

A stone knows another kind of softness!

Explain to me, my love, what I can’t explain:

should I the whole of this short but horrible time

let my thoughts go round and round while I’m alone

not knowing love and not making love?

Must I keep thinking? Will he not take my measure?

You say: all these thoughts mean nothing,

explain nothing to me. I am a salamander,

going through every fire.

No creepy hunter, and I will never hurt you.

Olga Berggolts

Здесь лежат ленинградцы

Здесь горожанемужчины, женщины, дети.
Рядом с ними солдаты-красноармейцы.
Всею жизнью своею
Они защищали тебя, Ленинград,
Колыбель революции.
Их имён благородных мы здесь перечислить не сможем,
Так их много под вечной охраной гранита.
Но знай, внимающий этим камням:
Никто не забыт и ничто не забыто.

Here lay Leningraders

Here lie the dwellers in the city, the men, women and children

Beside them lie the soldiers of the Red Army.

They fought in your defence, Leningrad,

The birth-place of the Revolution

And gave their lives.

There are too many noble names for us to list here,

So many of them lie buried under the eternal protection of stone.

But you who gaze on these granite remains, know this:

No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten.

Johannes Bobrowski

Prussische Elegie

Dir ein Lied zu singen, hell von zorniger Liebe -

dunkel aber, von Klage bitter,

wie Wiesenkräuter naß,

wie am Küstenhang die kahlen Kiefern,

ächzend unter dem falben Frühwind,

brennend vor Abend -

deinen nie besungnen Untergang,

der uns ins Blut schlug einst,

als die Tage alle vollhingen noch

von erhellten Kinderspielen, traumweiten -

damals in Wäldern der Heimat

über des grünen Meeres schaumigem Anprall, wo uns rauchender Opferhaine Schauer befiel,

vor Steinen, bei lange eingesunknen Gräberhügeln,

verwachsnen Burgwällen, unter der Linde, nieder vor Alter, leicht -

wie hing Gerücht im Geäst ihr!

So in der Greisinnen Lieder tönt noch,

kaum mehr zu deuten, Anruf der Vorzeit -

wie vernahmen wir da modernden, trüb verfärbten Nachhalls Rest!

So von tiefen Glocken bleibt, die zersprungen,

Schellengeklingel -


der schwarzen Wälder, schwer andringender Flüsse,

kahler Haffe, des Meers!


Der nächtigen Jagd,

der Herden und Sommergefilde!


Perkuns und Pikolls,

des ährenumkränzten Patrimpe!


wie keines, der Freude!

wie keines, keines! des Todes -


der schwelenden Haine, der brennenden Hütten,

zerstampfter Saaten, geröteter Ströme -


geopfert dem sengenden Blitzschlag,

dein Schreien verhängt vom Flammengewölke -


vor des fremden Gottes Mutter

im röchelnden Springtanz stürzend -

Wie vor ihrer erzenen Heermacht sie schreitet,

aufsteigend über dem Wald !

wie des Sohnes Galgen ihr nachfolgt! -

Namen reden von dir,

zertretenes Volk, Berghänge,

Flüsse, glanzlos noch oft,

Steine und Wege -

Lieder abends und Sagen,

das Rascheln der Eidechsen nennt dich

und, wie Wasser im Moor,

heut ein Gesang, vor Klage

arm -

arm wie des Fischers Netzzug,

jenes weißhaarigen, ew 'gen am Haff,

wenn die Sonne herabkommt.

Prussian Elegy

To sing you one song, bright with angry love –

dark but bitter with complaint,

like wet meadow herbs,

like the bald pines on the coastal slope,

moaning under the bare spring wind,

burning before evening -

your unsung sunset,

that throbbed in our blood once,

when the days were hung heavy and full

with light-hearted children's games, dream-wide -

at that time in the woods of our homeland

over the green sea’s foaming impact, where we were shuddering with the smoke offered up in our groves,

before stones, in long sunken grave mounds,

overgrown castle walls, under the lime trees, kneeling at the altar, easily -

our myths hung in your branches!

So in the songs of the old women still ringing,

barely understandable, their calls of the past -

now we heard only modern, dull discoloured reverberations!

the deep bells remain, shattered

but still ringing -

people of

the black forests, the fast-flowing rivers,

the lagoons, the sea!


night hunters,

the herds and the spirit of summer!


God of the oaks and god of death

of the spiked apple tree!


like no other, knowing joy!

like no other, knowing death -


of the smouldering groves, the burning huts,

crushed seeds, streams red with blood -


sacrificed to the burning lightning bolt,

your screams are imposed upon you by the flaming clouds –


standing before the strange mother goddess

dashing in the stertorous spring-time dance

How she strides in front of her powerful army,

ascending over the forest!

how the sons of the gallows follow you! -

your name is spoken by

trampled people, mountainsides,

rivers, often dull,

stones and paths –

your songs are sung in the evening,

the rustling of the lizards calls you and, like water in the moor,

today a song, before your complaint

poor –

poor as the fisherman’s network of trains,

white haired, eternally at sea,

when the sun comes down.

Louis Bouilhet

À une femme

Quoi ! tu raillais vraiment, quand tu disais : Je t’aime !
Quoi ! tu mentais aussi, pauvre fille !… A quoi bon ?
Tu ne me trompais pas, tu te trompais toi-même,
Pouvant avoir l’amour, tu n’as que le pardon !
Garde-le, large et franc, comme fut ma tendresse.
Que par aucun regret ton cœur ne soit mordu :
Ce que j’aimais, en toi, c’était ma propre ivresse,
Ce que j’aimais, en toi, je ne l’ai pas perdu.
Ta lampe n’a brûlé qu’en empruntant ma flamme.
Comme le grand convive aux noces de Cana,
Je changeais en vin pur les fadeurs de ton âme,
Et ce fut un festin dont plus d’un s’étonna.
Tu n’as jamais été, dans tes jours les plus rares,
Qu’un banal instrument sous mon archet vainqueur,
Et, comme un air qui sonne, au bois creux des guitares,
J’ai fait chanter mon rêve au vide de ton cœur.
S’il fut sublime et doux, ce n’est point ton affaire.
Je peux le dire au monde et ne te pas nommer ;
Pour tirer du néant sa splendeur éphémère,
Il m’a suffi de croire. Il m’a suffi d’aimer.
Et maintenant, adieu ! suis ton chemin, je passe !
Poudre d’un blanc discret les rougeurs de ton front ;
Le banquet est fini, quand j’ai vidé ma tasse,
S’il reste encor du vin, les laquais le boiront !

To A Lady

What! you were really joking when you said: I love you!

What! you were lying too, poor girl! But why?

You did not fool me, you only fooled yourself;

You could have had love, now you only have forgiveness.

Keep it, large and free, as my tenderness was;

Let no regret bite away at your heart.

It was my own drunkenness I liked about you;

That which I loved in you, I have not lost.

Your lamp could only burn by borrowing my flame,

Like the great guest at the wedding at Cana,

I changed the shadows of your soul into pure wine,

And many were astonished at my feast.

Even in your rarest days, you were never more

Than an ordinary instrument under my skilful bow;

You have never been, in your rarest days,

What an ordinary instrument under my winning bow,

And like an air ringing from hollow wooden guitars

I made my own dream sing in your heart’s emptiness.

Even if it was sublime and sweet, it is none of your business;

I can talk to the world without naming you.

If it were sublime and sweet, it is not your affair.

I can tell the world and do not name you;

In order to draw its ephemeral splendour out of nothingness

It was enough for me to believe. It was enough to love.

And now, farewell! Follow your path, I pass you by!

Your red forehead is powdered discreetly with white.

The banquet will end when I empty my cup;

If any wine remains, the servants will drink it!

Ida von Corning


Ich habe so vielen Menschen
Meine warme Liebe geschenkt,
Ob Niemand von ihnen Allen
Noch freundlich meiner gedenkt?
Ob Niemand von ihnen Allen,
Die ich so treu geliebt,
Mir für mein warmes Herze
Ein leis‘ Erinnern gibt?


I have so many people

To give my warm love to,

Whether none of them or all of them

Are still friendly to my thoughts.

Whether none of them or all of them

Have I loved so truly,

Can I not give myself

A soft remembrance for my warm heart?

Richard Dehmel

Bleiche Nacht

Noch bleicher scheint die Nacht;

die jagende Wagenkette,

schwenkend, strafft sich,

die Maschine heult Warnung,

und vorbei.

Ein entlaubter Kirchhof,

und wieder kreisen

um mein klirrendes Fenster

die öden Wiesen,

huschen Büsche,

eilt der fahle Streifen Horizont

auf den kriechenden Wäldern hin;

mich fröstelt.

Drei Monate:

da war die Mondnacht anders hier.

Wie auf Wolken

trug der kleine Kahn des stummen Fischers

uns den Fluß hinab;

selbst die Schatten gaben Licht.

An meiner Seite saß ein Freund,

und ich sagte ihm

all mein Herzensbangen für ihr Glück.

Und über ihrem Giebel,

unterm Baldachin der Königspappel,

als wir durch die Brücke bogen,

stand groß und strahlend

wie in einem Tabernakel

der goldne Mond

und senkte flimmernd auf das Moos des Daches

sein grünes Haar.

Heute aber, als ich Abschied nahm,

achselzuckt ich: mein Fräulein, Glück - ??

Und jener Freund

dachte wohl schon damals:

du Tropf und Schuft! -

Mein Fenster schwitzt;

das kühlt die Stirne;

gleich und gleich gesellt sich gem.

Wirbelnd rollt ein funkendurchwirkter Dampfknäul

bleich ins bleiche Feld;

ein Dombusch zerreißt ihn.

Jetzt: dort starrt,

wie durch ein Giner ein Wahnsinnskopf,

der grelle Vollmond durch die kahlen Birken.

Er springt durchs Astwerk;

mit seinen langen blassen Füßen

läuft er auf den blanken Schienen

meinen rasenden Gedanken nach.

Pale Night

The fog rises up,

The huts are dark,

The lights over the village rooftops blocked out,

The light still shines faintly;

The chains of the hunting wagons

Rattle, strain tightly,

The machine cries out a warning,

Then it’s over.

A leafless graveyard,

And again rotating

Around my rattling window

The abandoned meadow,

Silent bushes,

Quickly the fallow horizontal strips

Creep over the wood behind:

I am chilled.

Three months:

There was another moonlit night here.

The clouds, like

The little boats of the silent fishermen carried

Us over the stream;

Even the shadows gave light.

Beside me sat a friend,

And I told him

All my fears for his happiness.

And over the gable,

Under the canopy of the royal poplar,

Where the bridge bends,

There stood big and radiant

Like in a tabernacle

The golden moon

And as it sank, it gleamed on the moss on the roofs

Like green hair.

But today, when I take my leave,

I shrug my shoulders: lady, good luck,

And that friend,

Having heard what I said, thought of me:

You fool and rascal!

My window sweats;

The coldness of the stars,

People of the same kind stick together.

Whirling, rolling a sparkling potion

Pale in the pale field;

A dome-shell tears him up.

Now: there stiffens,

Like the thoughts rushing through a madman’s head,

The glaring full moon through the barren birches.

He leaps through the branches With his long pale feet

Running with his bright shine

Over my raging thoughts.

Der Arbeitsmann

Wir haben ein Bett, wir haben ein Kind,

mein Weib!

Wir haben auch Arbeit, und gar zu zweit,

und haben die Sonne und Regen und Wind.

Und uns fehlt nur eine Kleinigkeit,

um so frei zu sein, wie die Vögel sind:

Nur Zeit.

Wenn wir sonntags durch die Felder gehn,

mein Kind,

und über den Ähren weit und breit

das blaue Schwalbenvolk blitzen sehn,

oh, dann fehlt uns nicht das bißchen Kleid,

um so schön zu sein, wie die Vögel sind:

Nur Zeit.

Nur Zeit! Wir wittern Gewitterwind,

wir Volk.

Nur eine kleine Ewigkeit;

uns fehlt ja nichts, mein Weib, mein Kind,

als all das, was durch uns gedeiht,

um so kühn zu sein, wie die Vögel sind.

Nur Zeit!

The Worker

We have a bed, we have a child,

My wife!

We also have work, and enough for two,

And have the sun and rain and wind

And only one little thing is missing

To make us free as the birds are:

Only time.

When we go through the fields on Sunday,

My child,

And over the ears of corn far and wide

The blue swallows are flashing,

Oh, then we do not miss the little dress

As beautiful as the birds are:

Only time.

Only time! We smell thunderstorms,

We people.

Only a little eternity

And nothing is missing, my wife, my child,

All that lives through us

Is as sweet as the birds are:

Only time!

Madeleine Desbordes-Valmore

La couronne effeuillée

J'irai, j'irai porter ma couronne effeuillée
Au jardin de mon père où revit toute fleur ;
J'y répandrai longtemps mon âme agenouillée :
Mon père a des secrets pour vaincre la douleur.
J'irai, j'irai lui dire au moins avec mes larmes :
" Regardez, j'ai souffert... " Il me regardera,
Et sous mes jours changés, sous mes pâleurs sans charmes,
Parce qu'il est mon père, il me reconnaîtra.
Il dira: " C'est donc vous, chère âme désolée ;
La terre manque-t-elle à vos pas égarés ?
Chère âme, je suis Dieu : ne soyez plus troublée ;
Voici votre maison, voici mon coeur, entrez ! "
Ô clémence! Ô douceur! Ô saint refuge ! Ô Père !
Votre enfant qui pleurait, vous l'avez entendu !
Je vous obtiens déjà, puisque je vous espère
Et que vous possédez tout ce que j'ai perdu.
Vous ne rejetez pas la fleur qui n’est plus belle ;
Ce crime de la terre au ciel est pardonné.
Vous ne maudirez pas votre enfant infidèle,
Non d’avoir rien vendu, mais d’avoir tout donné.

The Crown of Courage

I go, I go to carry my crown

Into my father’s garden where dreams turn to a flower,

I usually spend a long time kneeling down,

My father knows a secret way to overcome pain’s power.

I go, I go to him and tell my fears,

‘See, I am suffering;’ he looks into my eyes,

And sees beyond my pale plain face, my weary days stained with tears,

And because he is my father, he replies.

He says: ‘what makes your heart so desolate?

The earth is missing you and all your tender

Touch; dear heart, I am God: do not be in this troubled state’

Here is your home, here is my heart, enter!’

O mercy! O gentleness! O holy refuge ! O father! now I can cope!

You heard your child who cried out through her heart’s frost;

I am secure again, since you gave me back my hope,

And you own all the things that I have lost.

You did not rejecyt any flower, not even one that is not beautiful;

The crimes of the earth against heaven you have forgiven;

You do not cures your faithless children for not being dutiful,

Nor have you sold us anything, all your blessings freely given.

Philippe Desportes

Icare est cheut icy

Icare est cheut icy le jeune audacieux,

Qui pour voler au Ciel eut assez de courage :

Icy tomba son corps degarni de plumage

Laissant tous braves cœurs de sa cheute envieux.

Ô bien-heureux travail d’un esprit glorieux,

Qui tire un si grand gain d’un si petit dommage !

Ô bien-heureux malheur plein de tant d’avantage,

Qu’il rende le vaincu des ans victorieux !

Un chemin si nouveau n’estonna sa jeunesse,

Le pouvoir luy faillit mais non la hardiesse,

Il eut pour le brûler des astres le plus beau.

Il mourut poursuivant une haute adventure,

Le Ciel fut son desir, la Mer sa sepulture.

Est-il plus beau dessein, ou plus riche tombeau ?

Here Icarus fell

Here Icarus fell, soaring to the sky,

Bold in audacity as in his courage,

His body fell to earth without his plumage,

Yet all brave hearts, like his, would choose to fly.

Blessed among working folk are those who try

To seize so great a gain for such small wage!

Blessed misfortune, flying from a cage

To snatch from death immortal victory.

Only a new path satisfied his mood:

Though poor in means, never in fortitude;

By the first star of all he met his doom.

Striving for high adventure, so he died:

Heaven was his desire, his destiny the tide.

What finer aim than his, what richer tomb?

Hasan Dinamo

Insanin kahpesi

Insanin kahpesi,

Ne arslana, ne kaplana benzer.

Insanoglunun kahpesi,

Ilk bakista sana bana benzer.

Insanoglunun kahpesi,

Arslandan, kaplan

Human Bee

The womb of man,

Neither a lion nor tiger,

The womb of all mankind:

At the first glance you look just like me


Yürüyorum kara topragin issizliginda

Seni nice göresim geliyor, Amarillis'im.

Ben, aydin bir insan eski bir çoban kiliginda,

Sen yasadin diye geliyor bu yerleri öpüp sevesim.


I'm walking on the ground now

I am a nice sister to you, Amarillis.

I am an enlightened human being perched on the stomach of an old shepherd,

I come here to see you live, to kiss these places and to love you.

Frederike Frei


zur feier des tages

hab ich mich gefragt

was ich eigentlich

will auf der welt

erreichenn dass

sich das alles



To celebrate this day

I ask myself

what I want

more than anything else in the world

to reach the point

where everybody

asks themself

the same question


ich bin froh

arm zu sein

aber reich genug

um froh zu sein

ich brauche nichts

zu kaufen

was ich nicht


Maximum subsistence

I am happy

to be poor

but rich enough

to be happy

I need not



I don't need

Théophile Gautier

A une jeune Italienne

Février grelottait blanc de givre et de neige ;
La pluie, à flots soudains, fouettait l’angle des toits ;
Et déjà tu disais : « Ô mon Dieu ! Quand pourrai-je
Aller cueillir enfin la violette au bois ? »
Notre ciel est pleureur, et le printemps de France,
Frileux comme l’hiver, s’assied près des tisons ;
Paris est dans la boue au beau mois où Florence
Égrène ses trésors sous l’émail des gazons.
Vois ! Les arbres noircis contournent leurs squelettes ;
Ton âme s’est trompée à sa douce chaleur :
Tes yeux bleus sont encore les seules violettes,
Et le printemps ne rit que sur ta joue en fleur !

To a Young Italian Girl

February shivered, white with frost and snow;

The rain, in sudden squalls, lashed at the eaves;

But still you sighed: “Oh God! When can I go

To gather violets among the leaves?”

Our sky’s in mourning: as for our French spring

It’s more like winter. We sit by the fire,

And the same month when Florence hides its glittering

Treasures in gem-like grass, finds Paris in the mire.

Look! The black trees twist like a ghastly tomb;

Your soul’s sweet ardour blinds you to murk and shower;

Only in your blue eyes do violets bloom,

Your rosy cheeks the only true spring flower!

Au bord la Mer

La lune de ses mains distraites
A laissé choir, du haut de l'air,
Son grand éventail à paillettes
Sur le bleu tapis de la mer.
Pour le ravoir elle se penche
Et tend son beau bras argenté ;
Mais l'éventail fuit sa main blanche,
Par le flot qui passe emporté.

Au gouffre amer pour te le rendre,
Lune, j'irais bien me jeter,
Si tu voulais du ciel descendre,
Au ciel si je pouvais monter !

By the Sea

The moon’s hand, absent-mindedly,

Lets fall from the heights of air

Her fan with colours bright and rare

On the blue carpet of the sea.

To catch her lost fan, with all her might

She bends down her silver arm,

But the fan escapes her hands of white,

And the waters foam and swarm.

If I could do so, moon, I’d even

Risk the whirlpool swirling there;

If you could descend from heaven,

Or I could climb up to the air.

La dernière feuille

Dans la forêt chauve et rouillée
Il ne reste plus au rameau
Qu'une pauvre feuille oubliée,
Rien qu'une feuille et qu'un oiseau.
Il ne reste plus dans mon âme
Qu'un seul amour pour y chanter,
Mais le vent d'automne qui brame
Ne permet pas de l'écouter.
L’oiseau s’en va, la feuille tombe,
L’amour s’éteint, car c’est l’hiver.
Petit oiseau, viens sur ma tombe
Chanter, quand l’arbre sera vert !

The last leaf

In the forest rusted and bare,

The branches of the trees all wane,

One poor forgotten leaf lies there,

Only one leaf and one bird remain.

Nothing rests within my heart,

Just one love left for me to sing,

Though autumn’s wind strikes like a dart

To stop my voice that longs to sing.

The leaf is dead, the bird has flown;

Love has left since winter came.

Little bird, come to my tomb

And sing, when the trees are green again!

Stefan George


Weisse schwalben sah ich fliegen ·

Schwalben schnee- und silberweiss ·

Sah sie sich im winde wiegen ·

In dem winde hell und heiss.

Bunte häher sah ich hüpfen ·

Papagei und kolibri

Durch die wunder-bäume schlüpfen

In dem wald der Tusferi.

Grosse raben sah ich flattern ·

Dohlen schwarz und dunkelgrau

Nah am grunde über nattern

Im verzauberten gehau.

Schwalben seh ich wieder fliegen ·

Schnee- und silberweisse schar ·

Wie sie sich im winde wiegen

In dem winde kalt un

Bird Scene

I saw white swallows flying

Swallows as white as silver or snow

I saw her swaying in the wind

In the wind bright and hot

Parrot and humming bird

Slip through the beautiful trees

In the forest of Tusferi

I saw great ravens fluttering

Jackdaws black and dark grey

Near the ground above the adders

Crashing about enchantingly

I saw swallows fly again

A band of them as white as snow or silver

How they swayed in the wind

In the cold wind

Der Widerchrist

›Dort kommt er vom berge · dort steht er im hain!

Wir sahen es selber · er wandelt in wein

Das wasser und spricht mit den toten.‹

O könntet ihr hören mein lachen bei nacht:

Nun schlug meine stunde · nun füllt sich das garn.

Nun strömen die fische zum hamen.

Die weisen die toten – toll wälzt sich das volk ·

Entwurzelt die bäume · zerklittert das korn ·

Macht bahn für den zug des Erstandnen.

Kein werk ist des himmels das ich euch nicht tu.

Ein haarbreit nur fehlt – und ihr merkt nicht den trug

Mit euren geschlagenen sinnen.

Ich schaff euch für alles was selten und schwer

Das Leichte · ein ding das wie gold ist aus lehm ·

Wie duft ist und saft ist und würze –

Und was sich der grosse profet nicht getraut:

Die kunst ohne roden und säen und baun

Zu saugen gespeicherte kräfte.

Der Fürst des Geziefers verbreitet sein reich ·

Kein schatz der ihm mangelt · kein glück das ihm weicht..

Zu grund mit dem rest der empörer!

Ihr jauchzet · entzückt von dem teuflischen schein ·

Verprasset was blieb von dem früheren seim

Und fühlt erst die not vor dem ende.

Dann hängt ihr die zunge am trocknenden trog ·

Irrt ratlos wie vieh durch den brennenden hof ..

Und schrecklich erschallt die posaune.

The Antichrist

There he comes, out of the mountain

We are the same – he changes water

Into wine and talks with the dead.

Can you hear my laughter at night:

Now my hour comes. Now my thread pulls you in.

Now my fish swim into my net.

The wisdom of the dead – mad dancing among the people

The trees uprooted – the corn ripped to shreds.

The work I do for you is not of heaven,

Only a hairsbreadth mistake – and I do not count the deceit

When I punish your thoughts.

I create for you everything rare and difficult

The simple things – a thing like gold out of the mud –

How sweet it smells and how juicy and spicy it tastes!

And what the great prophet does not dare to do:

And without clearing and sowing and building

Sucking away at what is stored.

The Prince of Vermin spreads his empire

No treasure is lacking to him – no happiness for him in tenderness

In the ground with the other Emperors!

You exult – your devilish fakery dazzles everyone.

Dissipation sticks like spring honey

And first fills the needs before the end.

Then your tongue clings to a trough that is dry.

Helpless in error the cattle burn through their home…

And the terrible sound is heard of the last trumpet blowing.

Andreas Gryphius


Der schnelle Tag ist hin die Nacht schwingt ihre Fahn

Und führt die Sternen auff. Der Menschen müde Scharen

Verlassen feld und werck Wo Thier und Vögel waren

Trauert itzt die Einsamkeit. Wie ist die zeit verthan!

Der port naht mehr und mehr sich zu der glieder Kahn.

Gleich wie diß licht verfiel so wird in wenig Jahren

Ich du und was man hat und was man siht / hinfahren.

Diß Leben kömmt mir vor alß eine renne bahn.

Laß höchster Gott mich doch nicht auff dem Laufplatz gleiten

Laß mich nicht ach nicht pracht nicht luft nicht angst verleiten.

Dein ewig heller glantz sei von und neben mir

Laßwenn der müde Leib entschläfft die Seele wachen

Und wenn der letzte Tag wird mit mir abend machen

So reiß mich auß dem thal der Finsternuß zu dir.


The quick day is behind us, night swings your flag

And leads the stars aloft. The tired people gather in groups

Forgetting fields and work . Where birds and beasts were

Mourning their loneliness. What times we live in!

The frame of the boat draws nearer and nearer

To the port. Just as the light decays so in these few short years

I and you and what we had and what we were has all passed away.

Let the High God not shine on this course

Let me not cry alas, not be ostentatious, not breathe even, not worry about mistakes.

With you eternally bright glance on me and beside me.

If love grows tired and sleeps, let the soul awake

And if the Last Day comes to me in the evening

So tear me out of the valley of this dark nut.

Zeynep Hatun


Keşfet nikabını yeri göğü münevver et
Bu âlem anasırı firdevs-i enver et.
Depret lebini cüşe getir hacz-i kevseri
Amber saçını çöz bu cinanı muattar et.
Hattın berat verdi saba yeline dedi
Tez er hatay'a çin'i tamam et müseehhar et.
Yâra yolunda âşk ile derdinden ölenin
Kim der sana ki hecr ile cânın mükedder et.
Zeynep çü dost zülfü gibi tarümarsın
Divane olma şiirini divan ü defter et.
Zeyneb ko meyli zinet-i dunyaya zen gibi


Cast aside your veil; let the earth and sky shine forth with light!

Make this poor mad world like Paradise, blazing bright.

Move your lips, make the light of the ripples play on Kevser’s pool.

Let down your scented locks, and let sweet odours fill the earth.

From your down a musky warrant was traced, zephyr-charged.

‘Quick! with this fragrance overcome the kings of China!’

O heart, why should your portion not be the water bright with life,

And for a thousand times you may pursue Alexander’s dark path.

O Zeynep, leave behind you the woman’s love of earthly show;

Go forth, like a man, with a true heart, forsaking all adornment!

Nazim Hikmet

Seni Düsünmek

Seni düsünmek güzel sey, ümitli sey,

Dünyanin en güzel sesinden

En güzel sarkiyi dinlemek gibi birsey...

Fakat artik ümit yetmiyor bana,

Ben artik sarki dinlemek degil,

Sarki söylemek istiyorum.

Thinking of You

Thinking of you is beautiful, fills me with hope;

It is like hearing the most beautiful song being sung

By the most beautiful voice on this earth;

But hope is nowhere near enough for me any longer,

And I don't want to keep on listening to songs,

I want to sing myself.

Peter Huc hel


Für Michael Hamburger


Tochter des Schnees,

dem Nachtwind unterworfen,

doch Wurzeln fassend

mit den Krallen

im modrig grindigen Gemäuer,


mit runden Augen,

herzstarre Maske

aus Federn weißen Feuers,

das weder Zeit noch Raum berührt,

kalt weht die Nacht

ans alte Gehöft,

im Vorhof fahles Gelichter,

Schlitten, Gepäck, verschneite Laternen,

in den Töpfen Tod,

in den Krügen Gift,

das Testament an den Balken genagelt.

Das Verborgene unter

den Klauen der Felsen,

die Öffnung in die Nacht,

die Todesangst

wie stechendes Salz ins Fleisch gelegt.

Laßt uns niederfahren

in der Sprache der Engel

zu den zerbrochenen Ziegeln Babels.


For Michael Hamburger

Barn owl,

Daughter of the snow,

the night wind subdues you

certainly roots grasp

with their claws

in the mouldy scabby ruins

face like a bill

with round eyes,

mask as rigid as a cardiac arrest

out of the feathers of white fires,

with neither space nor time touching

the night blows cold

an old farmstead,

in the vestibule’s pale light

sledges, luggage, snow-capped lanterns

in the potter’s death,

in the poisoned jug,

the testament nailed to a log

that which is hidden beneath

the claws of rocks,

the openings in the night,

the death songs

Ernst Jandl

Frei und schlecht

ich bin frei und mir ist schlecht.

warum sollte mir nicht schlecht sein?

freilich sollte mir schlecht sein, und es ist mir auch schlecht

es könnte mir allerdings auch nicht schlecht sein.

dann würde ich sagen: ich bin frei

und mir ist schlecht.

Free and bad

I am free and I am bad

why shouldn’t I be bad?

I should freely choose to be bad, and it’s bad for me too

it could not be bad, though,

then I would say: I am free

and I am bad

Sarah Kirsch


Aber bei der lag es in der Familie

Sie wohnten früher am Moor

Der Großmutter fiel regelmäßig

Ein Bild von der Wand wenn wieder

Ein Sohn gefallen war


But it was in the family

You used to live on the moors

The grandmother’s rules failed

A picture on the wall if yet again

A son has fallen

Ich bin sehr sanft

ich bin sehr sanft nenn

mich Kamille

meineFinger sind zärtlich baun

Kirchen in deiner Hand meine Nägel

Flügelschuppen von Engeln liebkosen ich bin

der Sommer der Herbst selbst der Winter im Frühling

möchte ich bei dir sein du

Auf einer Seite lesen

zeigst mir das Land wir gehn

von See zu See da braucht es

ein langes glückliches Leben

die Fische sind zwei

die Vögel baun Nester wir

stehn auf demselben Blatt

I am very soft

they tell me I am very soft

my camomile

my fingers are tenderly building

churches in your hand my nails

aircraft hangers for angels I am caressing

summer autumn winter and spring the same

I want to be you

read on a page

show me the land we’re going to

from lake to lake you need it

a long happy life

we are twin fish

we build nests like birds

standing on the same leaf

Louise Labé

Sonnet XXIV

Ne reprenez, Dames, si j’ay aymé :

Si j’ay senti mile torches ardentes,

Mile travaus, mile douleurs mordentes :

Si en pleurant, j’ay mon tems consumé,

Las que mon nom n’en soit par vous blamé.

Si j’ay failli, les peines sont presentes,

N’aigrissez point leurs pointes violentes :

Mais estimez qu’Amour, ê point nommé,

Sans votre ardeur d’un Vulcan excuser,

Sans la beauté d’Adonis acuser,

Pourra, s’il veut, plus vous rendre amoureuses :

En ayant moins que moy d’occasion,

Et plus d’estrange et forte passion.

Et gardez vous d’estre plus malheureuses.

Sonnet XXIV

Though I have loved, ladies, do not blame;

I've felt a thousand torches burn with fire,

A thousand sorrows, griefs, from my desire

And all my days turned tearful; there's no shame

And if there was, it’s now I feel the pain;

No need to sharpen needle points to wound,

Think: love decides for you, and he will hound

You; there’s no need for Vulcan to excuse your fire,

Nor Adonis' beauty to excuse desire.

Just as love wishes, choosing his own ground,

Without the need of reason or occasion,

Out of sheer wilfulness he leaves his curse

While you, with stranger and with stronger passion

Than mine: well, take good care your pain is not much worse..

Joyce Mansour

le soleil dans le capricorne

Trois jours de repos

Pourquoi pas la tombe

J’étouffe sans ta bouche

L’attente déforme l’aube prochaine

Et les longues heures de l’escalier

Sentent le gaz

À plat ventre j’attends demain

Je vois luire ta peau

Dans la grande trouée de la nuit

Le balancement lent d’un beau clair de lune

Sur la mer intérieure de mon sexe

Poussière sur poussière

Marteau sur matelas

Soleil sur tambour de plomb

Toujours souriant ta main tonne l’indifférence

Cruellement vêtu incliné vers le vide

Tu dis non et le plus petit objet qu’abrite un corps de femme

Courbe l’échine

Nice artificielle

Parfum factice de l’heure sur le canapé

Pour quelles pâles girafes

Ai-je délaissé Byzance

La solitude pue

Une pierre de lune dans un cadre ovale

Encore un poignard palpitant sous la pluie

Diamants et délires du souvenir de demain

Sueurs de taffetas plages sans abri

Démence de ma chair égarée

Sun in Capricorn

Three days of sleep

why not the grave

I'm choking without your mouth

The wait distorts the next door

And the long hours on the stairs

Feel the gas

I'm waiting for tomorrow

I see your skin glow

In the big gap of the night

The slow swaying of a beautiful moonlight

on the inland sea of my sex

dust on dust

hammer on mattress

leaded drum sun

always smiling your hand in tons of indifference

cruelly dressed inclined towards the emptiness

you say no and the smallest object that a woman's body contains

curve the spine nicely artificial

Dummy perfume of the hour on the couch

For what pale giraffes

Did I leave Byzantium

Loneliness stinks

A moonstone in an oval frame

Another dagger throbbing in the rain

Diamonds and delusions of the memory of tomorrow

Taffeta sweats beaches homeless

Dementia of my lost flesh

Charles d’Orléans

Le temps a laissié son manteau

Le temps a laissié son manteau
De vent t, de froidure et de pluye,
Et s’est vestu de brouderie,
De soleil luyant, cler et beau.
Il n’y a beste, ne oyseau,
Qu’en son jargon ne chant ou crie :
Le temps a laissié son manteau
De vent, de froidure et de pluye.
Rivière, fontaine et ruisseau
Portent, en livrée jolie,
Gouttes d’argent d’orfaverie,
Chascun s’abille de nouveau.
Le temps a laissié son manteau.

The season has removed its coat’

The season has removed its cloak

Of wind and cold and rain

The embroidered sun shines bright again

And lifts the land from winter’s yoke.

No bird or beast, with chirp or croak,

Laments with songs and cries of pain:

The season has removed its cloak

Of wind and cold and rain.

River, fountain, stream, awoke,

Their pretty livery gleams again

In silver gems and golden chain.

A change of clothes as the world woke:

The season has removed its cloak.

Jacques Prévert

Paris de Nuit

Trois allumettes une à une allumées dans la nuit

La premiére pour voir ton visage tout entier

La seconde pour voir tes yeux

La dernière pour voir ta bouche

Et l'obscuritè tout entière pour me rappeler tout cela

En te serrant dans mes bras.

Paris at Night

Three matches one by one struck in the night

The first to see your face in its entirety

The second to see your eyes

The last to see your mouth

And the darkness all around to remind me of all these

As I hold you in my arms.)


Quel jour sommes-nous

Nous sommes tous les jours

Mon amie

Nous sommes toute la vie

Mon amour

Nous nous aimons et nous vivons

Nous vivons et nous nous aimons

Et nous ne savons pas ce que c'est que la vie

Et nous ne savons pas ce que c'est que le jour

Et nous ne savons pas ce que c'est que l'amour.


What day is it

we are all the days

my love

we are all life

my love

we love and we live

we live and we love

And we do not know what life is

And we do not know what the day is

And we do not know what love is.

Pierre Quillard


À Maurice Nicolle.

L'illustre ville meurt à l'ombre de ses murs ;

L'herbe victorieuse a reconquis la plaine ;

Les chapiteaux brisés saignent de raisins mûrs.

Le barbare enroulé dans sa cape de laine

Qui paît de l'aube au soir ses chevreaux outrageux,

Foule sans frissonner l'orgueil du sol Hellène.

Ni le soleil oblique au flanc des monts neigeux,

Ni l'aurore dorant les cimes embrumées

Ne réveillent en lui la mémoire des dieux.

Ils dorment à jamais dans leurs urnes fermées,

Et quand le buffle vil insulte insolemment

La porte triomphale où passaient des armées,

Nul glaive de héros apparu ne défend

Le porche dévasté par l'hiver et l'automnet

Dans le tragique deuil de son écroulement.

Le sombre lierre a clos la gueule de Gorgone.


For Maurice Nicolle

The illustrious town dies beneath the shadow of its walls;

The victorious grass has reconquered the plain;

the broken capitals bleed with ripe grapes.

The barbarian wrapped in his cloak of wool

Who grazes his outrageous kids from dawn to dusk,

Crowds the pride of the Greek soil without even shivering.

Neither the sun oblique to the side of the snowy mountains,

Nor the dawn gilding the misty peaks

Awaken in him the memory of the old gods.

They sleep eternally in their closed urns,

And when the foul buffalo insults

The triumphal gate where once their armies passed,

No hero’s sword appears to defend

The porch, devastated by winter and autumn,

In the tragic mourning of

No sword of hero appeared defends

The porch devastated by winter and autumn

In the tragic mourning of its collapse.

The dark ivy has closed the mouth of the Gorgon.

La mort inutile

Triste comme la mer et la chanson des syrtes,

Le vent lourd de sanglots pleure dans la forêt ;

Un troupeau d’ombres va, parait, et disparait

Par les bois souterrains et les bosquets de myrtes.

Défaillant dans l’horreur d’un ciel ensanglanté7

Le soleil infernal baigne le pâle espace ;

Un troupeau d’ombres vient, revient, passe et repasse

Dans sa mélancolique et tremblante clarté ;

Et ce sont, à travers les routes d’asphodèle,

Les fantômes hagards, pleins de larmes et lents

Dont les glaives d’amour ont déchiré les flancs :

La mort n’a point fermé leur blessure immortelle,

Le sommeil sépulcral a leurré leurs yeux las,

Et l’apre souvenir survivant à la tombe,

Tel qu’un vin corrosif, goutte par goutte, tombe

Dans leur cœur ulcéré qui ne guérira pas.

Useless Death

Sad as the sea where the sands of syrtis sang their song
The wailing wind unloads its freight of tears,
A flock of shadows comes and disappears
Through myrtle groves and caverns moving along.
Fainting in the horror of a blood-red sky
The infernal sun bathes the pale space,  
A flock of shadows comes and, passing by
A melancholic and trembling clarity in each face.
And these are the dead, walking the fields of asphodel,
The haggard ghosts, weeping slow tears, hushed sounds,
On whose flanks the swords of love smote, leaving wounds,
Their eternal pain not even death could heal. .
Their weary eyes, lured by the hope of rest,
Found memories lingered even in the grave,
Such corrosive wine, drop by drop, oppressed
Their wounded  hearts that not even death could save.

Gina Ranjičić

Crni gavranovi lete iznad čerge’

Crni gavranovi lete iznad čerge
Crni gavranovi kruže nebom
Oprosti mi Gospode što prokleše zemlju
I mi ne pronalazimo sreću nigde
Crni gavranovi lete preko naših glava
Gde li je moj crni muž, gde je muž moj.
Moramo srušiti šator i uteći.

Black ravens fly over the chariot’

Black ravens fly over the chariot
Black ravens circle in the sky
Forgive me, Lord, for cursing the earth
But we find happiness nowhere
Black ravens fly over our heads
Where is my black husband, where is my husband?
We have to knock down the tent and ride.

Mog srca radost je ko leptiri s Jemesa.

Mog srca radost je ko leptiri s Jemesa.

Dođu, zalepršaju, ali ne ostanu.

Radost moja je u meni, ali začas mine.

Smeh moj radostan nije, već bolan.

Mog srca radost je ko leptiri s Jemesa.

U krvavim grudima mog dragog lepršaju oni.

I crvi tuge ulaze u moj srce.

Nikad, nikada ih neću otud isterati.

James fills my heart with the joy of butterflies

James fills my heart with the joy of butterflies.

They come in, swoon, but never stay.

Joy is in me, but what’s mine is mine.

James fills my heart with the joy of butterflies.

I’m sick with joy, not ill with pain.

James fills my heart with the joy of butterflies.

In my bloody breasts, flush them my love,

And let the worms of sorrow eat my heart.

I’ll never smoke them!

Međ belim hridinama

Međ belim hridinama

Skupih hrabrost

Blizu Albanije

Uverih se još jednom

Idem u tu zemlju

Onu zemlju gde si ti Šiptaru

I mili tvoj glas

Moći ću da čujem

Jednu stranu zemlju

Tamo gde si ti

Je sam s tobom

Tvoja sam ruža

Osećam da slatki plamen

Ljubavi u meni bukti

Taj što me k tebi dovede.

O cliffs I love

O cliffs I love,

You give me courage,

Close to Albania

I’m sorry I’m going out to the country again

To a land where you are called Siptar

And your voice:

I can hear it,

One side of the ground

Where you are

I’m with you

I am your pure rose

I can kindle a sweet fire within you;

Love me with all your heart,

For it is love that has brought me to you.

(Siptar is a racially abusive word for Albanians)

Ptica selica dolete

Ptica selica dolete

i šuma opet zazeleni

Ali hoću li sreću u ljubavi

Pronaći sad?

Penušava voda potoka

Žubori duž zelenih obala.

I leto zaboravlja

Na ljutu zimu.

Al ko zna

Da srce čovekovo

Od teskobe

I ljubavi ranjene

Umreti neće ovakvog jednog proleća?

The birds will be flying soon

The birds will be flying soon,

The forest is green again

But will I find happiness in love?

Will I find it now?

It ignites the water of the stream,

Swamps flourish along the green shores.

He forgets even the year

In this hot winter.

But who knows?

The heart can be freed

From its trouble,

The wounds of love can be healed.

Must we die like this forgotten spring?

U snu lutala sam

U snu lutala sam

Drumovima mi znanim

I onim livadama zelenim

Prie mi moj ljubljeni

Šiptar nežno zamilovani

I tamo daleko ugledasmo

Spram visokih planina

Gore prema zlatnim zvezdama

Beše tamo kao neki glas

Što svima kratko kaza:

Planine i zvezde

Ostaju to što jesu

I te sive planine

Uzalud vole

One zvezdice zlaćane

A da li i ti sirota ženo

Uzalud tog čoveka?

I wandered in my sleep

I wandered in my sleep

I know the drums

And these green meadows

I am one with the one I love

No one calls us siptars

We saw it from afar

Opposite high mountains

Up against the golden stars

It was there like a voice

What everyone says briefly:

Stars and mountains

Stay what they are

And those grey mountains

Vainly try to be

Like a single star sweetened

And do you even have a poor wife?

Is your life in vain?

Mathurin Régnier


J'ai vécu sans nul pensement,
Me laissant aller doucement
A la bonne loi naturelle,
Et si m'étonne fort pourquoi
La mort daigna songer à moi,
Qui n'ai daigné penser à elle.


I lived my life without a care

Except to breathe the fragrant air

And live in nature’s way.

Now I am astonished and ask why

Death thought of me, led me to die,

Who never thought of him a single day.

Nelly Sachs

Diese Kette von Rätseln

Diese Kette von Rätseln

um den Hals der Nacht gelegt

Königswort weit fort geschrieben


vielleicht in Kometenfahrt

wenn die aufgerissene Wunde des Himmels



in dem Bettler der Raum hat

und auf Knieen gehend

ausgemessen hat alle Landstraßen

mit seinem Leib

denn es muß ausgelitten werden

das Lesbare

und Sterben gelernt

im Geduldigsein -

This Chain of Riddles

This chain of riddles

that hangs around the neck of the night

the king’s words written on a distant fort


perhaps only in the journey of a comet

if the tugged wounds of the heavens

can feel pain


in the beggary of space

and bending the knee

but of all the highways of heaven

measured out with his love

then we must come out of our suffering

the readable

and the lessons of dying learned

in patience

Elena Schvarts

Поминальная свеча

Я так люблю огонь,
Что я его целую,
Тянусь к нему рукой
И мою в нем лицо,
Раз духи нежные
Живут в нем, как в бутоне,
И тонких сил
Вокруг него кольцо.
Ведь это дом их,
Скорлупа, отрада,
А все другое
Слишком грубо им.
Я челку подожгла,
Ресницы опалила,
Мне показалось – ты
Трепещешь там в огне.
Ты хочешь, может быть,
Шепнуть словцо мне светом,
Трепещет огонек,
Но только тьма во мне.

Candle at a Wake

I love fire so much

I sometimes kiss it,

Stretching out towards it,

Washing my face in the flames.

Since a warm gentle soul

Lives within it, like a growing bud,

And a thin band of magic

Surrounds it utterly

They live here, you know;

This is their shell, their protection,

And everything else

Is far too rooted in solid earth for them.

My fringe catches fire,

I singe my eyebrows,

Imagining it is you

Dancing before me in the flickering flames.

Did you perhaps

Want to whisper to me

A word springing from the light?

Though the fire still quivers and glows

I am filled only with darkness.

Santino Spinelli

Kusibbè Romanò

Šurdè vašt kalè šdinè ku thèm,

panì milalò a ciarèl u širò

sa tritimmè,

ni lùk a šunèp pandindò,

nikt a šunèl.

Ginè bi nafèl

ku mirribbè ’ngirdè,

nikt a dikkià

nikt a vakirià.

Mulé riggidè

andrè u panì milalò,

xalè muj angiàl ku khàm,

u ’ngustò a sìnnl

angiàl ki kòn

u kwit a cilò!

Gypsy Curse

Cold dark hands turned upwards to the sky,

dirty water covers our head

we are crushed and broken

for all our faint cries

we count for nothing,

and nobody heard

nobody saw

dead bodies rising

out of the filthy water

open mouths gawping at the sun

screaming silently in accusation

at all those

who stood silent.

Margarete Susman

Im Feld ein Mädchen singt

Im Feld ein Mädchen singt…

Vielleicht ist ihr Liebster gestorben,

Vielleicht is ihr Glück verdorben,

Dass ihr Lied so traurig klingt.

Das Abendrot verglüht,

Die Weiden stehn und schweigen,

Und immer noch so eigen

Tönt fern das traurige Lied.

Der letzte Ton verklingt.

Ich möchte zu ihr gehen.

Wir müssten uns wohl verstehen,

Da sie so traurig singt.

Das Abendrot verglüht,

Die Weiden stehn und schweigen.

In the field a young girl is singing

In the field a young girl is singing,

Perhaps her love lies dead,

Perhaps misfortune brought shame on her hed,

That is why her song is sadly ringing.

The red of sunset gleams,

The willow stands in silence,

So much itself for all the inner violence

Of the far music of her sad song’s themes.

The last note fades away.

I want to go to her now.

We must all understand how

She sings in such a doleful way.

The red of sunset gleams,

The willow stands in silence.

Paul Verlaine

Colloque sentimental

Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé
Deux formes ont tout à l'heure passé.

Leurs yeux sont morts et leurs lèvres sont molles,
Et l'on entend à peine leurs paroles.
Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé
Deux spectres ont évoqué le passé.
- Te souvient-il de notre extase ancienne?
- Pourquoi voulez-vous donc qu'il m'en souvienne?
- Ton cœur bat-il toujours à mon seul nom?
Toujours vois-tu mon âme en rêve? - Non.
Ah ! les beaux jours de bonheur indicible
Où nous joignions nos bouches ! - C'est possible.
- Qu'il était bleu, le ciel, et grand, l'espoir !
- L'espoir a fui, vaincu, vers le ciel noir.
Tels ils marchaient dans les avoines folles,
Et la nuit seule entendit leurs paroles.

Sentimental Colloquy

In the old lonely ice-encrusted park

Two figures passed by in the embracing dark.

Their lips were soft but their cold eyes were dead

And silence hardly heard the words they said.

In the old lonely ice-encrusted park

Two ghosts relived their past with its lost spark.

  • “Do you remember our ancient ecstasy?”

  • “What makes you think that meant so much to me?”

  • “When you hear my name called, does your heart glow?

  • Do you still dream of me with love?” “No.”

  • “Oh! those bright days of rushing ecstasy,

  • Where kisses joined in rapture!” “Well, maybe.”

  • “How blue the sky, how high our hopes were then!”

  • “Hope, like the sky, fell into a dark fen.”

So both passed on and went their lonely way,

And only night heard what they had to say.

Mon Rêve Familier

Je fais souvent ce rêv' étrang' et pénétrant
D'une femm' inconnue, et que j'aime, et qui m'aime
Et qui n'est, chaque fois, ni tout à fait la mêm'
Ni tout à fait un' autr', et m'aim' et me comprend.

Car elle me comprend, et mon coeur transparent
Pour elle seul' hélas ! cesse d'êtr' un problème
Pour elle seul', et les moiteurs de mon front blêm',
Elle seule les sait rafraîchir, en pleurant.

Est elle brune, blonde ou rouss' ? Je l'ignor'
Son nom ? Je me souviens qu'il est doux et sonore
Comme ceux des aimés que la Vie exila.

Son regard est pareil au regard des statues,
Et, pour sa voix lointain' et calme et grav', ell' a
L'inflexion des voix chères qui se sont tues.

My Familiar Dream

I often have a strange and haunting dream

Of some unknown girl, who I love and who loves me

And who, always herself, still does not seem

The same, yet knows and loves me perfectly.

She knows all that I am: she reads my heart,

An open book to her, my hopes and fears;

She has half of my soul – the better part,

Cools and refreshes me with all her tears.

Dark, fair or red? I do not know.

Her name? It rings as softly as an echo

For those true lovers whom cruel life has banished.

Look at her eyes, as still, serene, as statues,

And her grave voice, remote, lingers once vanished

Sweet aftertones not lost in an adieu.

Le bruit des cabarets, la fange du trottoir

Le bruit des cabarets, la fange du trottoir,
Les platanes déchus s'effeuillant dans l'air noir,
L'omnibus, ouragan de ferraille et de boues,
Qui grince, mal assis entre ses quatre roues,
Et roule ses yeux verts et rouges lentement,
Les ouvriers allant au club, tout en fumant
Leur brûle-gueule au nez des agents de police,
Toits qui dégouttent, murs suintants, pavé qui glisse,
Bitume défoncé, ruisseaux comblant l'égout,
Voilà ma route - avec le paradis au bout.

The din of cabarets

The din of cabarets, the filth in gutters,

The withered plane-trees shedding dirty leaves,

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