Miscellaneous Translations

Saturday 5 January 2013 21:24

These are poems or fragments of poems that took my fancy over the years. At this stage I don’t even know where I found them, other than the attribution after each poem. It might be interesting to try to track them down, but I don’t have the time.

I Weep for the Wounds of Fortune

I am wounded by fortune

weep because of her

for the gifts she gave

& took away again

they say her hair

is long & beautiful,

but never try

to wind your hand in it

I used to sit in her lap

proud & crowned with flowers

of several colours

but now I weaken

& drop to the ground

cursed not blessed

the great wheel turns

& I go down

& another takes my place

I see him at the top

the apex of his pleasure

but let him fear the turning

for under the axis

she has written shame

Carmina Burana, Anon

after A Letter Attributed To Héloïse

they say the moon

has no light of its own

it cannot shine without the sun

& when the sun is gone

it is a sphere of ash

you are my sun

my light

I am ash and cinder

but the nearer the moon to the sun

the paler it grows

the moon in daylight

is a thing of water or glass

almost translucent

as for me

the nearer I am to you

the more I burn

you sear me to the marrow

Ex Epistolis Duorum Amantium, no. X Anon [ Héloïse to Abelard]


stars spin at the pole

& the moon transforms the night

but the guiding star is failing

come through the fleet shadows

& light me in this grief

you are my lucifer

farewell star

farewell my hope

alone in you I am loved

never remembered because

never forgotten


Ex Epistolis Duorum Amantium, no. 20 Anon [Abelard to Héloïse?]

Corre l’Avaro

the skinflint runs but peace runs faster

hunter see

the sum you seek

runs to infinity

now here is the man

who equalises everthing

tell me what you have done

if you can

I curse your cradle

so many wasted dreams

I curse the bread they wasted on you

which would not be wasted on a dog

day and night

you have held

a fistful of water

from Canzone: Doglia Mi Reca, Dante