Nov 212010

I cannot promise at my hearth
great slabs of beef, and gold,
and deep red carpet,
but only the loving-kindness
of your host, and music,
and clay crocks of local wine.

translated by Brooks Haxton

 Comments Off on Bakchylides – Invitation
Nov 212010

Give me a little less
with every dawn:
colour, a breath of wind,
the perfection of shadows,

till what I find, I find
because it’s there,
gold in the seams of my hands
and the desk lamp, burning.

 Comments Off on John Burnside – Prayer
Nov 212010

All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above –

Know that you aren’t alone
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years.

 Comments Off on Vikram Seth – All you who sleep tonight
Nov 202010

Will, lost in a sea of trouble,
Rise, save yourself from the whirlpool
Of the enemies of willing.
Courage exposes ambushes.
Steadfastness destroys enemies.
Keep your victories hidden.
Do not sulk over defeat.
Accept good. Bend before evil.
Learn the rhythm which binds all men.

translated by Kenneth Rexroth

 Comments Off on Archilochos: “Learn the rhythm which binds all men.”