Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ivan V. Lalić

Travellers in Winter

On our return we saw fire in the snow,
A brown bloodstain on the bandage of a midnight just 
At the foot of the hills;
                                          and up there, on the slopes,
The unforgotten foam of last year's sea was returning,
In the sign of a new innocence.
                                                          And there was
The lightning flight of an angel through a crack
In the low sky, and our footprints, a murmur,
But no star;
                       we understood this was the nadir,
Frozen mud, the bottom of the well
Where our footfall mingled with despair
And the smoke of voices--
Then the rattling of a chain on the windlass above us,
Maybe just the wind coming down from the hills,
Feeling its way, blind as Oedipus--
And waiting, the final form of hope.

--Ivan V. Lalić
tr. Francis R. Jones

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