Friday, November 12, 2010

"your quick astute amazements"

If they have compared you
to the fox it’s for the prodigious
leap, for the scud of your feet
which unite and divide, which scuff
and freshen the gravel (your balcony,
the streets near the Cottolengo, the field,
the tree on which shivers my name,
happy, humble, and defeated)—or perhaps only
for the luminous wave which you shed
from your tender almond eyes,
for your quick astute amazements,
for the hurt
of torn feathers which your childlike hand
can give with one clasp
... (more)

Eugenio Montale, translated by Alan Marshfield

Tanzender weiblicher Akt (Dancing Nude), Christian Rohlfs, 1927

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"The river in its abundance"

Eros at Temple Stream
by Denise Levertov

The river in its abundance
all about us as we stood
on a warm rock to wash

smoothing in long
sliding strokes
our soapy hands along each other’s
slippery cool bodies

quiet and slow in the midst of
the quick of the
sounding river

our hands were
stealing upon quickened flesh until

no part of us but was
sleek and
on fire

From Selected Poems

Liebespaar, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1908

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Not thinking anything"

I think...I think says the brain...
But the little spire with the eyes of ecstasy
On the brain's dome is the life,
Not thinking anything,
But flaming...little fool you will cease
Flaming when you flame up to peace.

From "Doors to Peace" by Robinson Jeffers

Moonlight on the Loire, Henri-Joseph Harpignies, 1885