Sunday, 30 August 2015

Well-known poem by the Norwegian writer Olaf Bull (1883-1933)

From the mezzanine window

Contemporary in the room’s pale days
we both stand, I and she, my slender lover.
The hidden pulses of our hearts both drink
the selfsame moment as it flows uncovered –
and silent we shall stand and cleave the light
that is from times before we had our life,
and that with slanting gleam will stream afar,
deep into times when we no longer are –––

There are dead days of summer in the light
that pours in through the window’s leafy garlands –
and this deep evening hour will soon recede
and mutely join the others in that far land!
When was I last brushed by that blinding streak,
that meaningless and radiant bright shine
which lights the down upon a woman’s cheek
who does not know at all why she is mine?

We stand in dreams that from the sun sift down
that’s shimmering behind the bowed stone pine;
I see your hip’s shape through your thin blue gown
how finite it though is in form and line.
Your sun-lit hands my eyes too apprehend,
whose skin with hosts of pearl-fine pores is floored,
how close and firm all is! How all things end!
and nothing is eternity, oh Lord!

But far off on the plain there further flame
Soracte’s ancient mount and Tibur’s height,
the stone pine’s crown above the window frame
becomes a hand that shades the eye from light.
And from another mezzanine comes spilling
– Chopin – and wakened by white hands now chases,
in sleepless ring, his lily-pallid trilling
behind the heavy, rose-filled Roman vases.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Heartfelt Sigh - another 4x4 one

Heartfelt Sigh
on how
properly to try one’s heart

Heart of Jesus, to what trial
Am I to subject my heart?
What stern test or firm denial
Can make thee seek me apart?
Fire and water are too ghastly,
Trial by them let me forgo!
They torment the soul, and lastly
Shorten life’s path here below!
While, O Jesus, thou hast embers
Fanned by spirit’s mighty fire,
Plunge them in my heart’s both chambers
And burn out my sweet desire!
Ladle tears from my heart’s ewer
Into my eye’s penance-pail,
Try my heart, mouth, tongue, so truer
Fire and water then avail.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Time for a quick heart-felt sigh - from Kingo as usual

Heartfelt sigh

When I, O God, am out at sea
And foam-topped waves heave violently,
     ’Tis good to be recalling,
There is a sea within me too,
Deep in my heart’s core, dark of hue,
     Where mighty storms appalling
Do flash and crash both day and night,
All this though has been blocked from sight,
     So no one shall be learning
How all lies smould’ring in my breast,
How lava-like it’s upward pressed
     When I with rage am burning,
How I by worry’s storms am shook
In every vein’s most secret nook,
     How fear my mind keeps pelting,
How with my spirit blood makes free,
My pulse pecks at my hand with glee
     Till my heart’s all but melting!
Then salty tears I see can flow
From both my eyes, and they can show
     The spring whence they are jolting,
Their source lies hidden in my breast,
How salt it is, how sour, unblessed,
     And how its taste’s revolting!
O Jesu, I then sigh, I pray
This sea my life may not betray
     To force and cruel scheming:
If in a sea my life shall end,
Dear Jesu, let me death transcend
     In eyes from penance streaming.


Monday, 24 August 2015

Heaney's 'A rowan like a lipsticked girl' in Danish


En rønn som en læbestiftsminket pige.
Mellem sidevejen og hovedvejen
Elletræer i våd, dryppende afstand
Står ud fra sivene.

Der er dialektens dyndblomster
Og immortellernes absolutte gehør
Og det øjeblik hvor fuglen synger helt tæt
På musikken af det der sker.