Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A poem from the Frisian

by Geart Van Der Zwaag translated by R. Jellema

I think, Tamme,
if an angel meets us
and has something to say,
he'll say it in English and be amazed

if we don't understand him.
“Didn't you know?” he'll say,
“Didn't you know that with my language
you could go farthest and escape

everything that's small and petty,
you could understand mankind and folks
to discover that the negro is more
than his color, the Frisian more than his tongue?”

Come, late pupil,
let us learn some English
and conjugate the irregular verb
to be.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Today's Reading: Two Renderings of Sappho - A. E. Housman

The weeping Pleiads wester,
    And the moon is under sea;
From bourn to bourn of midnight
    Far sighs the rainy breeze:

It sighs from a lost country
    To a land I have not known;
The weeping Pleiads wester,
    And I lie down alone.

The rainy Pleiads wester,
    Orion plunges prone,
The stroke of midnight ceases,
    And I lie down alone.

The rainy Pleiads wester
    And seek beyond the sea
The head that I shall dream of,
    And 'twill not dream of me.

Sigh No More