Diary of the Plague Year: Day 73 27 May 2020: Quotidian Poetry: Paul Celan (1920 – 1970)

CORONA
 
Autumn eats its leaf out of my hand: we are friends.
From the nuts we shell time and we teach it to walk:
then time returns to the shell.
 
In the mirror it’s Sunday,
in dream there is room for sleeping,
our mouths speak the truth.
 
My eye moves down to the sex of my loved one:
we look at each other,
we exchange dark words,
we love each other like poppy and recollection,
we sleep like wine in the conches,
like the sea in the moon’s blood ray.
 
We stand by the window embracing, and people look up from
     the street:
it is time they knew!
It is time the stone made an effort to flower,
time unrest had a beating heart.
It is time it were time.
 
It is time.
 
FROM:
 
PAUL CELAN
Selected Poems
 
Penguin Poetry

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 71 25 May 2020: Quotidian Poetry: Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)

IN THE WOODS
 
The woods grew deeper and deeper. The red trunks bigger and bigger. Thegreen crowns heavier and heavier. The air darker and darker. The busheslusher and lusher. The mushrooms thicker and thicker. Until there wasnothing but mushrooms to walk on. It was harder and harder for the man to walk, to force his way through without slipping. But on he went anyway repeating faster and faster and over and over the same sentence: – –
                       The scars that mend
                       Colours that blend.
To his left and slightly behind him walked a woman. Every time the man finished his sentence, she said with great assurance and rolling her r’s vigorously:
Verrry cleverrrr.
 
FROM:
 
KLÄNGE (SOUNDS)
 
Translated and with an introduction by
Elizabeth R. Napier
 
Yale University Press
 

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 25 9 April 2020: Quotidian Poetry Georg Trakl (1887-1914)

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Summer

At evening the cuckoo’s lament
In the wood is silent.
The corn stoops lower,
The red poppy.

Black storms threaten
Above the hill.
The cricket’s ancient song
Dies in the field.

The leaves of the chestnut
Never stir.
On the winding stair
Your dress rustles.

The candle shines in silence
In the dark chamber;
A silver hand
Extinguishes it;

Deep calm, starless night.

 

FROM:

George Trakl
Poems & Prose

Translated, with an introduction and notes,
by Alexander Stillmark

Libris

 

 

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 20 4 April 2020: Quotidian Poetry Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Rainer Maria Rilke

Annunciation

You are not nearer God than we;
he’s far from everyone
And yet your hands most wonderfully
reveal his benison.
From woman’s sleeves none ever grew
so ripe, so shimmeringly:
I am the day, I am the dew,
you, Lady, are the Tree.

Pardon, now my long journey’s done,
I had forgot to say
what he who sat as in the sun,
grand in his gold array,
told me to tell you, pensive one
(space has bewildered me).
I am the start of what’s begun,
you, Lady, are the Tree.

I spread my wings out wide and rose,
the space around grew less;
your little house quite overflows
with my abundant dress.
But still you keep your solitude
and hardly notice me:
I’m but a breeze within the wood,
you, Lady, are the Tree.

The angels tremble in their choir,
grow pale, and separate:
never were longing and desire
so vague and yet so great.
Something perhaps is going to be
that you perceived in dream.
Hail to you! For my soul can see
that you are ripe and teem.

You lofty gate, that any day
may open for our good:
your ear my longing songs assay,
my word – I know now – lost its way
in you as in a wood.

And thus your last dream was designed
to be fulfilled by me.
God looked at me: he made me blind …

You, Lady, are the Tree.

 

From:

The Book of Images
Selected Poems

Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by J.B. Leishman
Penguin Poetry