melting & burning


Amor fati
October 31, 2016, 10:26 pm
Filed under: quote | Tags: ,

Amor fati (lit. “love of fate”) is a Latin phrase that may be translated as “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate”. It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good or, at the very least, necessary, in that they are among the facts of one’s life and existence, so they are always necessarily there whether one likes them or not. Moreover, amor fati is characterized by an acceptance of the events or situations that occur in one’s life.

This acceptance does not necessarily preclude an attempt at change or improvement, but rather, it can be seen to be along the lines of what Nietzsche means by the concept of “eternal recurrence”: a sense of contentment with one’s life and an acceptance of it, such that one could live exactly the same life, in all its minute details, over and over for all eternity.

from wiki

Advertisements


Surprise party – Boris Vian
January 4, 2016, 10:55 am
Filed under: poem | Tags: ,

The turntable hacked up a melancholy blues
The air was heavy with dust and odors
Several zazous danced while holding to their hearts
Short girls with spasmodic behinds

In a closet, an amateur obstetrics couple
Delivered themselves to games full of art and naivete
Another in a corner attempted with ardor
Tonsil-coupling, to music.

Hands encountered one another under too-short skirts
Drunk, two lovebirds—(what if I said: two dodos?)
Looked everywhere for a bed; they were all full…

Let this happy youth screw itself
Why eradicate from them this impure manure
If their hope restricts itself to rubbing membranes?



On suicide by H. L. Mencken
November 9, 2015, 10:12 pm
Filed under: quote | Tags: , ,

“Speaking for myself, I don’t recall a single day in my life when I was contented with my lot, though as human destiny runs, it has been a not unfortunate one. Worse, I have got to a point. in my old age, that I can’t imagine any concrete amelioration: experience has taught me that what I want today will only upset me if I get it tomorrow. But to give us hope is surely not the same as to embrace despair. The show remains engrossing, though it is no longer exhilarating. The horror of week after next will at least be a new one. It may be any one of ten dozen: I find myself vaguely eager to know which it is to be. Thus I advise against suicide. Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband’s clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible.”

From “The Library,”
The American Mercury (1929)
H. L. Mencken

http://www.ralphmag.org/mencken-suicideZM.html 



Between – Zalman Shneour (1924)
May 20, 2014, 1:19 am
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

LISTEN (Yiddish)

1

The life to come sold for a morsel of zest –
Master, you will be punished!
A world not yet planed smooth, like a marble slab,
will crush you while you rest.
See not fully told prophecies limp down the street
and weep orphaned on the stairs!
And smouldering sparks, your love and hate,
are plundered by spiritual beggars

and word clowns copy your tone
and shriek, “better, more elevated!”
You will rise enraged, tongue dry as a stone,
the earthly vessel desolated.

2

Day after day the early morning passes in dream;
then pleasantries till lunch ˗ impressing others.
You drink unaware, wavelets of memory cream.
The red wine gurgles, your eyes in distant focus.

A fix on towers and monuments they assume,
as rainbows touch the forested ends of the earth
while below rushes a street and petrol engines fume
to the god of the city, of filth, of “Time is money…”

Smart friends caution: “Beware of tramcars! Watch out
when you cut across a street. Don’t dream but look!”
They don’t see the downtrodden who fall, and shout
eagle-like thoughts to the scabby ground.

3

Youth is gone. You must tell your heart
this in the silence.
As evening comes on, a cricket saws somewhere apart
and bells lament in the distance.

The wine-cup drunk to the lees, was drained
and savoured.
The once white tablecloth now burns red-stained;
was it blood, or wine you poured?

The coming greyness will, like snowy billows,
the stains obliterate.
Leaving a fool who bangs his head on the pillows
and scratches his bald pate.

4

Your song comes again on a wave from afar,
As if on Messiah’s horse, she rides the cresting white;
yellow daisies shine again in the sky
and on the green earth, clever stars grow bright.

How rich the greenery hangs and spills over trees!
The flowers – foam and lace and piles of crepe-red.
Fish are flying, silver swallows swim
and each blonde girl carries a sun on her head.

Your song shoots soundless lightning without thunder,
your fingers tremble, unexpectedly animate.
The harsh world looks kindly on and winks to you
” Blessed are all who suffer and build, who weep and create.”

Your withered drafts are becoming soft and tender,
The letters – small dark eyes with sparks of fieriness;
get up now Master, pick up your sharp chisel –
and carve your hero from this chaotic mess.

 

Notes to Between:

Part 1,Verse 1: The first line brings to mind both Macbeth’s readiness to jump the life to come, and Esau’s trading his birthright for a mess of pottage. kapele glik (tiny bit of pleasure, bliss) – followed by mayster on the next line – could be read as a pun on kapelmayster (bandleader) i.e. master of trivial pleasures with …men vet dikh bashtrofn read as – a forfeit i.e., punishment in the life to come.
line 3 nit derhublt, literally means not completely planed or shaped – and see its further development in the last two lines of the poem.
Verse 2 nit derzogte not altogether told, is reminiscent of Macbeth’s witches and the future complications they did not foretell.
Part 2 verse 1, line 2 ….in yoytse zayn far layt, can also be translated as keeping up appearances.
Part 3 verse 2, line1 …bizn tifn dek literally means to the deepest level, presumably referring to life experience; nicely put into perspective by the query in the last two lines of this verse.
Part 4 verse1, line 4 shtern kluge means clever stars, and clever foreheads – and the translation intends to convey both at once.
verse3, line 2 ….kraft can be rendered power, force, energy.
verse 4, line 1 …fardarte pergamentn, literally withered parchments. The only parchments by this time were (and still are) the sacred books at the centre of synagogue worship; a parallel that places grand value on his own writing!
verse 4, line 2: the small dark fiery letters are of course in Hebrew script
verse 4, line 4 …..kaos shtik – lump of chaos or block of chaos.
Translated and annotated by Beni Gothajner (2012)

 

1

עולם הבא פֿאַרקױפֿט פֿאַר אַ קאַפּעלע גליק –
מײסטער, מען װעט דיך באַשטראָפֿן!
אַ װעלט ניט־דערהובלט, װי מאַרמאָר אַ שטיק,
װעט דיך צודריקן, װען דו װעסט שלאָפֿן.

ניט־דערזאָגטע נבואות, זע, הינקען אין גאַס,
און װײנען פֿאַריתומט אױף טרעפּן!
אױף רױכיקע פֿונקען, דײן ליבע און האַס,
די גײסטיקע בעטלער צעשלעפּן.

און װערטער-פּאַיאַצן קאָפּירן דײן שװאונג
און קװיטשען׃ “נאָך בעסער, נאָך העכער!”
װעסט אױפֿשטײן צערײצט, עס איז טרוקן די צונג
און לײדיג דער ערדישער בעכער. –

2

דער פֿרימאָרגן גײט אַװעק טאָג־אײַן טאָג־אױס אין טרױמען,
די ליבלעכע ביז־מיטאָק־צײט – אין יוצא זײן פֿאַר לײט.
דו טרינקסט און װײסט ניט װאָס, געדאַנקען־כװאַליעס שױמען.
בולק־בולק דער רױטער װײן, די אױגן קוקן װײט.

איבער טורעם קוקן זײ אין דענקמאָל און מוזעאום,
װי רענגבױגנס טאַפּנדיק דעם װאַלדיקן עק־װעלט;
און אונטן יאָגט אַ גאַס און רױכערט פּעטראָלעאום
צום אָפּגאָט פֿון דער שטאָדט, פֿון שמוץ, פֿון “צײט איז געלט”…

עס װאָרענען קלוגע פֿרײנד׃ “זעה, היט זיך פֿאַר טראַמװײען!
און שנײדסטו דורך אַ גאַס, פֿאַרטראַכט זיך ניט און קוק”!
און זעען ניט װי ס’פֿאַלן צעטראָטענע און שרײען
געדאַנקען־אָדלערלעך – צום קרעצעװדיקן ברוק.

3

די יוגנט איז אַװעק, דאָס זאָלסטו אין דער שטיל
דיר זאָגן! –
װען ס’פֿאַלט דער אָװנט־צו, אין װינקל זעגט אַ גריל
און גלעקער אין דער װײטנס קלאָגן.

דעם בעכער אױסגעטרונקען ביזן טיפֿן דעק,
גענאָסן.
אױף דעם װײסן טישטעך ברענט אַ רױטער פֿלעק.
בלוט צי װײן האָסטו פֿאַרגאָסן?

די גראָקײט פֿאַלט װי שנײ, די פֿלעקן װעט זי גיך
פֿאַרװישן.
און בלײבן װעט אַ נאַר, װעט קנײפּן זיך אין פּליך
און קלאַפּן קאָפּ אָן קישן.

4

דײן ליד קומט װידער אָן פֿון װײטנס אױף אַ כװאַליע,
זי רײט אין װײסן שױם װי אױף משיחס פֿערד;
אין הימל שײנען װידער געלבע מאַרגעריטקעס
און שטערן קלוגע בליען אױף דער גרינער ערד.

װי רײך עס הענגט דאָס גרינס און גיסט זיך איבער בױמער!
די בליעכץ – שױם און שפּיצן, הױפֿנס ראָזאַ־קרעפּ;
עס פֿליען פֿיש און זילבער־שװאַלבן שװימען,
און מײדלעך בלאָנדע טראָגן זונען אױף די קעפּ.

דײן ליד שיסט אָפּ אַ בליץ אַ שטומען, אָן אַ דונער,
די פֿינגער דײנע ציטערן פֿון אומגעריכטער קראַפֿט;
עס קוקט זיך ליבלעך אָן די שטרענגע װעלט און װינקט דיר׃
“געבענטשט איז אַלץ װאָס לײדט און בױט, װאָס װײנט און שאַפֿט.”

עס װערן װײך און צאַרט פֿאַרדאַרטע פּערגאַמענטן,
די אותיות – אױגלעך שװאַרץ מיט פֿײערלעך אין בליק;
הױב, מײסטער, אױף און שלאָג מיט האַסט דײן שאַרפֿע דלאָטע!
און האַק דײן העראָ אױס פֿון טעמפּן האַאָס־שטיק.

 

Thank you Yiddishpoetry.org!



Imaginary Life Journey – Rilke
January 21, 2014, 10:41 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

First a childhood, limitless and without
renunciation or goals. O unselfconscious joy.
Then suddenly terror, barriers, schools, drudgery,
and collapse into temptation and loss.

Defiance. The one bent becomes the bender,
and thrusts upon others that which it suffered.
Loved, feared, rescuer, fighter, winner
and conqueror, blow by blow.

And then alone in cold, light, open space,
yet still deep within the mature erected form,
a gasping for the clear air of the first one, the old one . . .

Then God leaps out from behind his hiding place.

(Schöneck, September 13, 1923)



Song of the Open Road – Walt Whitman
January 20, 2014, 10:12 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: ,

1

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

2

You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe that much unseen is also here.
Here the profound lesson of reception, nor preference nor denial,
The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas’d, the illiterate person, are not denied;
The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar’s tramp, the drunkard’s stagger, the laughing party of mechanics,
The escaped youth, the rich person’s carriage, the fop, the eloping couple,
The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, the return back from the town,
They pass, I also pass, any thing passes, none can be interdicted,
None but are accepted, none but shall be dear to me.

3

You air that serves me with breath to speak!
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings and give them shape!
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.
You flagg’d walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!
You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined side! you distant ships!

You rows of houses! you window-pierc’d facades! you roofs!
You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!
You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!
You doors and ascending steps! you arches!
You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!
From all that has touch’d you I believe you have imparted to yourselves, and now would impart the same secretly to me,
From the living and the dead you have peopled your impassive surfaces, and the spirits thereof would be evident and amicable with me.

4

The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.
O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me?
Do you say Venture not — if you leave me you are lost?
Do you say I am already prepared, I am well-beaten and undenied, adhere to me?

O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you,
You express me better than I can express myself,
You shall be more to me than my poem.

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all free poems also,
I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me,
I think whoever I see must be happy.

5

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me,
can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,
I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.

6

Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear it would not amaze me,
Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d it would not astonish me.
Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Here a great personal deed has room,
(Such a deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,
Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law and mocks all authority and all argument against it.)

Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.

Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.

Here is realization,
Here is a man tallied — he realizes here what he has in him,
The past, the future, majesty, love — if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.

Only the kernel of every object nourishes;
Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?
Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?

Here is adhesiveness, it is not previously fashion’d, it is apropos;
Do you know what it is as you pass to be loved by strangers?
Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?

7

Here is the efflux of the soul,
The efflux of the soul comes from within through embower’d gates, ever provoking questions,
These yearnings why are they? these thoughts in the darkness why are they?
Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight expands my blood?
Why when they leave me do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?
Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
(I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees and always drop fruit as I pass;)
What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
What with some driver as I ride on the seat by his side?
What with some fisherman drawing his seine by the shore as I walk by and pause?
What gives me to be free to a woman’s and man’s good-will? what gives them to be free to mine?
8

The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,
Now it flows unto us, we are rightly charged.
Here rises the fluid and attaching character,
The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman,
(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)

Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old,
From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments,
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.

9

Allons! whoever you are come travel with me!
Traveling with me you find what never tires.
The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,
However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

10

Allons! the inducements shall be greater,
We will sail pathless and wild seas,
We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.
Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements,
Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;
Allons! from all formules!
From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests.

The stale cadaver blocks up the passage — the burial waits no longer.

Allons! yet take warning!
He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance,
None may come to the trial till he or she bring courage and health,
Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself,
Only those may come who come in sweet and determin’d bodies,
No diseas’d person, no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted here.

(I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes,
We convince by our presence.)

11

Listen! I will be honest with you,
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d, you hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you,
What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you.
12

Allons! after the great Companions, and to belong to them!
They too are on the road — they are the swift and majestic men — they are the greatest women,
Enjoyers of calms of seas and storms of seas,
Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,
Habitues of many distant countries, habitues of far-distant dwellings,
Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,
Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,
Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of children, bearers of children,
Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers-down of coffins,
Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years, the curious years each emerging from that which preceded it,
Journeyers as with companions, namely their own diverse phases,
Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,
Journeyers gayly with their own youth, journeyers with their bearded and well-grain’d manhood,
Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass’d, content,
Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,
Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe,
Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.
13

Allons! to that which is endless as it was beginningless,
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys,
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you, however long but it stretches and waits for you,
To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,
To see no possession but you may possess it, enjoying all without labor or purchase, abstracting the feast yet not abstracting one particle of it,
To take the best of the farmer’s farm and the rich man’s elegant villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them, to gather the love out of their hearts,
To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,
To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.
All parts away for the progress of souls,
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments — all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of souls along the grand roads of the universe.

Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.

Forever alive, forever forward,
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go,
But I know that they go toward the best — toward something great.

Whoever you are, come forth! or man or woman come forth!
You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.

Out of the dark confinement! out from behind the screen!
It is useless to protest, I know all and expose it.

Behold through you as bad as the rest,
Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,
Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash’d and trimm’d faces,
Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.

No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession,
Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,
Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,
In the cars of railroads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,
Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bedroom, everywhere,
Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the breast-bones, hell under the skull-bones,
Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial flowers,
Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself,
Speaking of any thing else but never of itself.

14

Allons! through struggles and wars!
The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.
Have the past struggles succeeded?
What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? Nature?
Now understand me well — it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.

My call is the call of battle, I nourish active rebellion,
He going with me must go well arm’d,
He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions.

15

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe — I have tried it — my own feet have tried it well — be not detain’d!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself. will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?



Ode – Mihai Eminescu
January 15, 2014, 9:56 am
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

Odã (în metru antic)

Nu credeam sã-nvãt a muri vrodatã;
Pururi tînãr, înfãsurat în manta-mi,
Ochii mei nãltam visãtori la steaua
Singurãtãtii.

Cînd deodatã tu rãsãrisi în cale-mi,
Suferintã tu, dureros de dulce…
Pîn-în fund bãui voluptatea mortii
Neîndurãtoare.

Jalnic ard de viu chinuit ca Nessus,
Ori ca Hercul înveninat de haina-i;
Focul meu a-l stinge nu pot cu toate
Apele mãrii.

De-al meu propriu vis, mistuit mã vaiet,
Pe-al meu propriu rug, mã topesc în flãcãri…
Pot sã mai renviu luminos din el ca
Pãsãrea Phoenix?

Piarã-mi ochii turburãtori din cale,
Vino iar în sîn, nepãsare tristã;
Ca sã pot muri linistit, pe mine
Mie redã-mã !

(1883, în vol. Poesii)

 

Ode (in ancient meter)

Hardly had I thought I should learn to perish;
Ever young, enwrapped in my robe I wandered,
Raising dreamy eyes to the star styled often
Solitude’s symbol.

All at once, however, you crossed my pathway –
Suffering – you, painfully sweet, yet torture…
To the lees I drank the delight of dying –
Pitiless torment.

Sadly racked, I’m burning alive like Nessus,
Or like Hercules by his garment poisoned;
Nor can I extinguish my flames with every
Billow of oceans.

By my own illusion consumed I’m wailing,
On my own grim pyre in flames I’m melting…
Can I hope to rise again like the Phoenix
Bird from the ashes?

May all tempting eyes vanish from my pathway,
Come back to my breast, you indifferent sorrow!
So that I may quietly die, restore me
To my own being!

(Translated by Andrei Bantas)

 

Ode (in antikem Versmaß)

Hatte niemals geglaubt, daß ich je lernte zu sterben,
Ewiglich jung, in meinen Mantel gehüllt,
Hob den träum´rischen Blick ich zum Sterne
Der Einsamkeit auf.

Unverhofft aber kamst du auf dem Weg mir entgegen,
O Leiden, du – schmerzvolle Süße…
Bis auf den Grund trank ich des Todes Begierde,
Qual ohn´ Erbarmen.

Jammervoll brenn´ ich, lebendig gemartert wie Nessus,
Oder Herkules gleich, von seinem Gewande vergiftet;
Nicht kann ich löschen das Feuer in mir mit allen
Wassern der Meere.

Von dem eigenen Traume verzehrt, muß ich klagen,
An dem eigenen Brandpfahle schmelz´ ich in Flammen…
Werde ich jemals der Asche entsteigen wie der
Unsterbliche Phoenix?

Mach´ die Augen mir klar, die trübe vom Wirrsal des Weges,
Komm an die Brust mir, du traurige Gleichmut,
Damit in Ruhe ich sterbe, gib mich
Mir selber zurück !

(Tradus de Alfred W. Tüting)