Alexander Pushkin |
The senseless years' extinguished mirth and laughter
Oppress me like some hazy morning-after.
But sadness of days past, as alcohol -
The more it age, the stronger grip the soul.
My course is dull.
The future's troubled ocean
Forebodes me toil, misfortune and commotion.
But no, my friends, I do not wish to leave;
I'd rather live, to ponder and to grieve -
And I shall have my share of delectation
Amid all care, distress and agitation:
Time and again I'll savor harmony,
Melt into tears about some fantasy,
And on my sad decline, to ease affliction,
May love yet show her smile of valediction.
Annie Dillard |
New York: You take a train that rips through versts.
It feels as if the trains were running over your ears.
For many hours the train flies along the banks
of the Hudson about two feet from the water.
At the stops,
passengers run out, buy up bunches of celery,
and run back in, chewing the stalks as they go.
Bridges leap over the train with increasing frequency.
At each stop an additional story grows
onto the roofs.
Finally houses with squares
and dots of windows rise up.
No matter how far
you throw back your head, there are no tops.
Time and again, the telegraph poles are made
Maybe it only seems that way.
In the narrow canyons between the buildings, a sort
of adventurer-wind howls and runs away
along the versts of the ten avenues.
flows a solid human mass.
Only their yellow
waterproof slickers hiss like samovars and blaze.
The construction rises and with it the crane, as if
the building were being lifted up off the ground
by its pigtail.
It is hard to take it seriously.
The buildings are glowing with electricity; their evenly
cut-out windows are like a stencil.
the papers lie in heaps, delivered by trucks.
It is impossible to tear oneself away from this spectacle.
At midnight those leaving the theaters drink a last soda.
Puddles of rain stand cooling.
Poor people scavenge
In all directions is a labyrinth of trains
suffocated by vaults.
There is no hope, your eyes
are not accustomed to seeing such things.
They are starting to evolve an American gait out
of the cautious steps of the Indians on the paths of empty
Maybe it only seems that way.
Rainer Maria Rilke |
Windows pampered like princes always see
what on occasion deigns to trouble us:
the city that, time and again, where a shimmer
of sky strikes a feeling of floodtide,
takes shape without once choosing to be.
Each new morning must first show her the opals
she wore yesterday, and pull rows
of reflections out of the canal
and remind her of the other times:
only then does she concede and settle in
like a nymph who received great Zeus.
The dangling earrings ring out at her ear;
but she lifts San Giorgio Maggiore
and smiles idly into that lovely thing.
Paul Laurence Dunbar |
By the pool that I see in my dreams, dear love,
I have sat with you time and again;
And listened beneath the dank leaves, dear love,
To the sibilant sound of the rain.
And the pool, it is silvery bright, dear love,
And as pure as the heart of a maid,
As sparkling and dimpling, it darkles and shines
In the depths of the heart of the glade.
But, oh, I 've a wish in my soul, dear love,
(The wish of a dreamer, it seems,)
That I might wash free of my sins, dear love,
In the pool that I see in my dreams.