The day walks in circles around me

I need to start reading more poems in translation. And probably from writers more obscure than the great Spanish writer Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca (1898-1936)….but for tonight, this piece by him is too moving to keep to myself.

federico-garcia-lorca1

“Song of the Barren Orange Tree”

Woodcutter.
Cut my shadow from me.
Free me from the torment
of seeing myself without fruit.

Why was I born among mirrors?
The day walks in circles around me,
and the night copies me
in all its stars.

I want to live without seeing myself.
And I will dream that ants
and thistleburrs are my
leaves and my birds.

Woodcutter.
Cut my shadow from me.
Free me from the torment
of seeing myself without fruit.

translated by W.S. Merwin

I am still listening to the pipes

Gerald Stern (1925-) knows how to age gracefully. Yes.

Romance

After thirty years
I am still listening to the pipes,
I am still enchanted
with the singing and moaning of the dry boards.

I am lying there night after night
thinking of water.
I am joining palms, or whistling Mozart
and early Yeats.

I am living without savagery,
stretching my body and turning on my left side
for music,
humming to myself and turning on my right side
for words.