“Two lovers’ union…” (a sonnet)

In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage

Two lovers’ union — stronger than a bond
between a mother and her child. A man
is nothing but a wretched vagabond
till he is whole with his betrothed. What can
persuade a lover, worshiping his love,
to see the presence of another king?
No, neither found inadequacies of
a “perfect” love, nor quarrels, nor the sting
of jealousy that pierces the heart
will cause a man to doubt his love — but time
and time alone will feed its apple tart
to human soul, until—in truth sublime—
a quiet revelation takes the throne:
we’re born alone, and we depart alone.

 

Image: Charles Demuth. In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage, 1917. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Overall: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). BF601. Public Domain.

Advertisements

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Marc Chagall. The Promenade (La promenade).

HAPPY

I’ve no weight, I’m a kite,
Fly me high, hold on tight,
Don’t let go of my hand,
Bye-bye, land!

Keep your feet on the ground,
Planet Earth’s small and round,
With its oceans and all,
Like a ball.

Limitations disperse,
You are my universe,
Standing firmly, and bound
To the ground.

I am air, I am light,
I am day, I am night,
Watch me how I go whee!
Fly with me?

Burning bright, burning clear,
From this world disappear
In the blink of an eye
You and I.

 

© 2013 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: Marc Chagall, The Promenade (La Promenade) 1917-18; displayed under Fair Use.

“One Hundred Days After Childhood”

Once 
It usually happens unexpectedly
You’d just like this all of a sudden see
The river…and the trees, and the girl 
And the way she’s smiling…
It seems you’ve seen it all a thousand times
But this time you’re dumbfounded  
Suddenly struck
How unimaginably beautiful is this girl
And these trees…this river 
And the way she’s smiling…
This usually means
That you’ve been overtaken by love

–my translation of lines from a Russian-Soviet 1975 movie “One Hundred Days After Childhood” — to me the best coming-of-age movie ever made. I first watched it as a teenager, and now thirty+ years later I’m as moved by it as back then. Maybe more.

This movie’s a painting. A poem. A waltz.

It’s on Youtube with English subtitles.

Treat yourself to something wonderful. 

Lines Lost, and Found

Sappho
Fragment 31
       translated by Josephine Balmer

It seems to me that man is equal to
  the gods,
that is, whoever sits opposite you
and, drawing nearer, savors, as 
  you speak,
the sweetness of your voice

and the thrill of your laugh, which
  have so stirred the heart
in my own breast, that whenever
  I catch
sight of you, even if for a moment,
then my voice deserts me

and my tongue is struck silent, a del-
  icate fire
suddenly races underneath my skin,
my eyes see nothing, my ears
  whistle like 
the whirling of a top

and sweat pours down me and a
  trembling creeps over
my whole body, I am greener than
  grass,
at such times I seem to be no more
  than
a step away from death;

but all can be endured, since even a 
  pauper...

[The last three lines are lost.]