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March 17, 2017

Derek Walcott

"Love After Love"

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Nobel laureate poet Derek Walcott had died aged 87 in St Lucia.

Posted by mehrdad at 03:47 PM | Poems |

June 19, 2015

Ode to the Watermelon

Frida-Kahlo-watermelon.jpg
Frida Kahlo - Viva la Vida, Watermelons - 1954

Pablo Neruda's "Ode to the Watermelon"

The tree of intense
summer,
hard,
is all blue sky,
yellow sun, fatigue in drops,
a sword
above the highways,
a scorched shoe
in the cities:
the brightness and the world
weigh us down,
hit us
in the eyes
with clouds of dust,
with sudden golden blows,
they torture
our feet
with tiny thorns,
with hot stones,
and the mouth
suffers
more than all the toes:
the throat
becomes thirsty,
the teeth,
the lips, the tongue:
we want to drink
waterfalls,
the dark blue night,
the South Pole,
and then
the coolest of all
the planets crosses
the sky,
the round, magnificent,
star-filled watermelon.
It's a fruit from the thirst-tree.
It's the green whale of the summer.
The dry universe
all at once
given dark stars
by this firmament of coolness
lets the swelling
fruit
come down:
its hemispheres open
showing a flag
green, white, red,
that dissolves into
wild rivers, sugar,
delight!
Jewel box of water, phlegmatic
queen
of the fruitshops,
warehouse
of profundity, moon
on earth!
You are pure,
rubies fall apart
in your abundance,
and we
want
to bite into you,
to bury our
face
in you, and
our hair, and
the soul!
When we're thirsty
we glimpse you
like
a mine or a mountain
of fantastic food,
but
among our longings and our teeth
you change
simply
into cool light
that slips in turn into
spring water
that touched us once
singing.
And that is why
you don't weigh us down
in the siesta hour
that's like an oven,
you don't weigh us down,
you just
go by
and your heart, some cold ember,
turned itself into a single
drop of water.

--trans. Robert Bly

Posted by mehrdad at 01:48 PM | Poems | Watermelon |

April 16, 2003

Poem

THE LEARNER

First I built on sand, then I built on rock.
When the rock caved in
I no longer built on anything.
Then I often built again
On sand and rock, as it came, but
I had learned.

Those to whom I had entrusted the letter
Threw it away. But those I paid no attention to
Brought it back to me.
Thereby I learned.

What I ordered was not carried out.
When I arrived I saw
It was wrong. The right thing
Had been done.
From that I learned.

The scars are painful
Now it is cold.
But I often said: only the grave
Will have nothing more to teach me.

Bertolt Brecht

Posted by mehrdad at 10:59 PM | Art | Poems |