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.”
Nov 202010
 

He with body waged a fight,
But body won; it walks upright.
Then he struggled with the heart;
Innocence and peace depart.
Then he struggled with the mind;
His proud heart he left behind.
Now his wars on God begin;
At stroke of midnight God shall win.

 Comments Off on William Butler Yeats – Four Ages of Man
Nov 202010
 

Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;
Many times he died,
Many times rose again.
A great man in his pride
Confronting murderous men
Casts derision upon
Supersession of breath;
He knows death to the bone—
Man has created death.

 Comments Off on William Butler Yeats – Death