Monday, February 23, 2015

David Shapiro


In extreme pain
Q meets T
They walk into a house
And later a double-exposure is sent to S

Somewhere behind the curtains
Uncertainty is laughing
As you ask the yes or no questions
I am moving towards you by analogy

fr. David Shapiro, New and Selected Poems (1965-2006)
     [Woodstock & New York: Woodstock Overlook Press, 2007]

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Paavo Haavikko

fr. The Bowmen (1955)

Statecraft, sagacity
Gone to the mountain council
My lord has planted his banner
We must not go there

And clearly
Alone I am nothing
Come read it now --

Returning to Worms
I take my nail and hammer

The hand touches sky
The foot presses down on the ground
Henceforth may nothing divorce
The hand from the sky
The feet from the ground

On the mountains forever
Winds water and fire
Scorched earth
The elements bringing forth bloodshed
Rebellion war
Plague evil sudden death

Statecraft, sagacity
And also the men in black
Honour cries out for violence
Sagacity's foresight improves
When glasses are reddened by flames

We have not come here
To look into wisdom
But into our hearts
We have all of us come here
Not to display sagacity
But the willingness
To make sacrifices.

--tr. Anselm Hollo

Tomas Tranströmer



The train stopped far to the south. There was snow in New York.
Here you could go about in shirtsleeves the whole night.
But no one was out. Only the cars
flew past in their glare, flying saucers.


'We battlefields who are proud
of our many dead . . .'
said a voice while I wakened.

The man behind the counter said:
'I'm not trying to sell it,
I'm not trying to sell it,
I only want you to look at it.'
And he showed the Indians' axes.

The boy said:
'I know I have a prejudice,
I don't want to be left with it sir.
What do you think of us?'


This motel is a strange shell. With a hired car
(a huge white servant outside the door)
almost without memory and without ploy
at last I can settle on to my point of balance.

--fr. Sounding and Tracks (1966)
tr. Robin Fulton