Monday 31 August 2015

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.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Anyone for a Rembrandt?

For a translation of an Eva Gerlach poem about a Rembrandt painting, go to here.

Thursday 13 August 2015

Poem by Ida Gerhardt (1905-97)


Labor improbus

Ik ben een tuinman, niets dan dat,
met aarde en met mest bespat;
ik buig mij neer, ik richt mij op,
ik klem de schoffel en de schop.

Ik wied, ik volg mijn diepste wet
als ik de naakte zaailing zet;
ik richt mij op, ik buig mij neer.
En tuinman ben ik en niets meer.

Ga ik met donker stram naar huis,
de pijn spaart schouderblad noch kruis.
Ik waak nog als ik rusten mag.
Mijn land, mijn land: het is kort dag.

Delft straks uw spa voor mij de wig,
vergeet waar ik geborgen lig.
Voorbij mijn moeite, nood en pijn
moet er een tuin van sterren zijn.


Labor improbus

I am a gardener, nothing more,
with earth and muck bespattered sore;
I stretch up tall, I bend down low
I tightly clasp my spade and hoe.

I weed, observe my deepest law
when planting seedlings frail and raw:
I bend down low, I stretch up tall.
A gardener am I, that is all.

I go home stiffly in the shade,
pain racks both groin and shoulder blade.
I still keep watch when rest I may.
My land, my land: brief is the day.

Prepare for me a wedge of ground,
forget where I lie safe and sound.
Past trouble, need and pain must be
a garden strewn with stars for me.