Posts Tagged: Poetry

Eros and Psyche

On Valentine’s day and on Ash Wednesday. Eros meets Psyche.

Love comes to the Soul and the soul starts a difficult journey

Cupid embracing Psyche, painted Terracotta bust, 3rd – 2nd B.C.E British Museum Photo Margot Krebs Neale


Rezept – Recipe – Mascha Kaléko



Jage die Ängste fort
Und die Angst vor den Ängsten.
Für die paar Jahre
Wird wohl alles noch reichen.
Das Brot im Kasten
Und der Anzug im Schrank.
Sage nicht mein.
Es ist dir alles geliehen.
Lebe auf Zeit und sieh,
Wie wenig du brauchst.
Richte dich ein.
Und halte den Koffer bereit.
Es ist wahr, was sie sagen:
Was kommen muß, kommt.
Geh dem Leid nicht entgegen.
Und ist es da,
Sieh ihm still ins Gesicht.
Es ist vergänglich wie Glück.
Erwarte nichts.
Und hüte besorgt dein Geheimnis.
Auch der Bruder verrät,
Geht es um dich oder ihn.
Den eignen Schatten nimm
Zum Weggefährten.
Feg deine Stube wohl.
Und tausche den Gruß mit dem Nachbarn.
Flicke heiter den Zaun
Und auch die Glocke am Tor.
Die Wunde in dir halte wach
Unter dem Dach im Einstweilen.
Zerreiß deine Pläne. Sei klug
Und halte dich an Wunder.
Sie sind lang schon verzeichnet
Im grossen Plan.
Jage die Ängste fort
Und die Angst vor den Ängsten.

Mascha Kaléko


Chase the fears away
And the fear of fears
For these few years
It may all be enough
The bread in the box
And the suit in the closet
Don’t call it “mine”
It’s all just borrowed
Live on borrowed time and see
How little you need
Make yourself at home
And keep your suitcase ready
It’s true what they say:
Whatever will be, will be
Don’t walk towards sorrow
And when it’s there
Look silently into its eyes
It’s as temporary as happiness
Expect nothing
And anxiously protect your secret
Even your brother will betray you
When it’s down to “you or him”
Take your own shadow
As a traveling companion
Sweep your room well
And exchange greetings with your neighbor
Serenely mend the fence
And the bell by the gate
Keep that wound inside you awake
Under the roof in the here and now
Tear up your plans. Be wise
And stick to miracles
They have long been laid out
In the great plan
Chase the fears away
And the fear of fears

translation by magicmulder on Lyrics translate

Teach these souls to fly

Vivez si m’en croyez

Vivez, si m’en croyez, n’attendez à demain :
Cueillez dès aujourd’hui les roses de la vie.

Pierre de Ronsard, Sonnets pour Hélène, 1578

Plonger est interdit

Tête la première
Plus d’élan que de peur
Face au vide

C’est interdit


Plongez !

Like the present and the past are one

Like the present and the past are one
The lightness of youth and the lightness of detachment
Treading a line between the fall and the wild
Attracted in weightlessness

Ascension Day


We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we ourselves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed .

Malcolm Guite.

Wisława Szymborska – Portrait from memory


Wszystko na pozór się zgadza.
Kształt głowy, rysy twarzy, wzrost, sylwetka.
Jednak nie jest podobny.
Może nie w takiej pozie?
W innym kolorycie?
Może bardziej z profilu,
jakby się za czymś oglądał?
Gdyby coś trzymał w rękach?
Książkę własną? Cudzą?
Mapę? Lornetkę? Kołowrotek wędki?
I niechby co innego miał na sobie?
Wrześniowy mundur*? Obozowy pasiak?
Wiatrówkę z tamtej szafy?
Albo – jak w drodze do drugiego brzegu –
po kostki, po kolana, po pas, po szyję
już zanurzony? Nagi?
I gdyby domalować mu tu jakieś tło?
Na przykład łąkę jeszcze nie skoszoną?
Szuwary? Brzozy? Piękne chmurne niebo?
Może brakuje kogoś obok niego?
Z kim spierał się? Żartował?
Grał w karty? Popijał?
Ktoś z rodziny? Przyjaciół?
Kilka kobiet? Jedna?
Może stojący w oknie?
Wychodzący z bramy?
Z psem przybłędą u nogi?
W solidarnym tłumie?
Nie, nie, to na nic.
Powinien być sam,
jak niektórym przystało.
I chyba nie tak poufale, z bliska?
Dalej? I jeszcze dalej?
W najzupełniejszej już głębi obrazu?
Skąd, gdyby nawet wołał,
nie doszedłby głos?
A co na pierwszym planie?
Ach, cokolwiek.
I tylko pod warunkiem, że będzie to ptak
przelatujący właśnie.

(Krakow, 2009.)


Everything seems to agree.
The head’s shape, the features, the silhouette, the height.
But there’s no resemblance.
Maybe not in that position?
A different colour scheme?
Maybe more in profile,
as if looking at something?
What about something in his hands?
His own book? Someone else’s?
A map? Binoculars?A fishing reel?
And should he be wearing something different?
A soldier’s uniform in ‘39? Camp stripes?
A windbreaker from that closet?
Or – as if passing to the other shore –
up to his ankles, his knees, his waist, his neck,
deluged? naked?
And maybe a backdrop should be added?
For example a meadow still uncut?
Rushes? Birches? A lovely cloudy sky?
Maybe someone should be next to him?
Arguing with him? Joking?
Drinking? Playing cards?
A relative? A chum?
Several women? One?
Maybe standing in a window?
Going out the door?
With a stray dog at his feet?
In a friendly crowd?
No, no, all wrong.
He should be alone,
that suits some best.
And not so familiar, so close up?
Farther? Even farther?
In the furthermost depths of the image?
His voice couldn’t carry
even if he called?
And what in the foreground?
Oh anything.
As long as it’s a bird
just flying by.

Translation Clare Cavanagh


Not anyone who says, "I'm going to be
careful and smart in the matters of love,"
who says, "I'm going to choose slowly,"
but only those lovers who didn't choose at all
but were, as it were, chosen
by something invisible
and powerful and uncontrollable
and beautiful and possibly even
only those know what I'm talking about
in this talking about love.

Mary Oliver