Nov 202010

All things by nature are ready to get worse,
Lapse backward, fall away from what they were,
Just as if one who struggles to row his little
Boat upstream against a powerful current
Should but for a moment relax his arms, the current
Would carry him headlong back again downstream.

translated by David Ferry

 Comments Off on Virgil – from the “First Georgic”
Nov 202010

The material is beautiful and precious
Though the cost is cheap, the quality is high…
Stretching out when it opens and rolling up
when put away…
To convey your affection to a distance of ten thousand miles away,
With your refined thought written at one corner.

 Comments Off on Fu Xian (234-294) is thought to have written the first poem on (or about) paper
Nov 202010

Let him go ahead.
Ares is a democrat.
There are no privileged people
On a battlefield.

Whoever is alive
Is pleased by song.

And the heart
Is pleased
By one thing
After another.

Friends hurt the most.

To engage with an insatiable girl,
Ramming belly against belly,
Thigh riding against thigh.

Translated by Guy Davenport

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 Poems  Tagged with: ,
Nov 202010

Of all things that are, the most ancient is God, for he is uncreated.
The most beautiful is the universe, for it is God’s.
The greatest is space, for it holds all things.
The swiftest is mind, for it speeds everywhere.
The strongest, necessity, for it masters all.
The wisest, time, for it brings everything to light.

Diogenes Laertius attributed this to Thales

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Nov 202010

O generation of the thoroughly smug
and thoroughly uncomfortable,
I have seen fishermen picnicking in the sun,
I have seen them with untidy families,
I have seen their smiles full of teeth
and heard ungainly laughter.
And I am happier than you are,
And they were happier than I am;
And the fish swim in the lake
and do not even own clothing.

 Comments Off on Ezra Pound – Salutation