knew no boundaries

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Flowers in a Room
Yehuda Amichai

Flowers in a room are prettier than the weed’s lust outside.
And though they are cut off from the earth
And without hope,
Their self-deluding desire adorns the room
So you, sitting in my room, are beautiful
with love for someone else.

How can I help you.
The happy wear a thin necklace with black hair
And on their forehead the sign of joy.
And a Greek man looks with blue eyes
Into the dark thicket and is dreamed
By a distant woman, unknowingly.

I cannot help you
As I cannot help myself.

I too make square pictures
Out of round love
That knew no boundaries.

pains

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Memory of Love – Image
Yehuda Amichai

I cannot imagine
How we shall live without each other,
so we said.

And since then we live inside that image,
Day after day, far from each other,
Far from the house
where we said those words.

Every time a door closes, a window opens,
As under anesthesia, no pain.

Pains come later.

to sing and to die

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Ballade
Branko Miljković
Wisdom, innocently the sun rises.
I no longer have the right for simple words!
My heart grows dim, my eyes burn.
Sing wonderful old men while over our heads
The stars burst like metaphors.
What is lofty, vanishes; what is low, rots.
Bird, I’ll make you speak but give back
The flame you borrowed. Don’t blaspheme the ashes.
In a stranger’s heart we heard our heart beat.
To sing and to die is the same thing.

Sun is a word unable to throw light.
Conscience doesn’t know how to sing for it dreads
Its own raw emptiness. Thieves of visions,
Eagles, peck at me from within. I stand
Nailed to a rock that does not exist.
We’ve signed in lieu of stars the night’s
Deceit, so much darker. Remember
That fall into life was a proof of your embers.
When ink ripens into blood everyone will know,
To sing and to die is the same thing.

Wisdom, the stronger one will be the first to yield.
Only rogues know what poetry is.
Thieves of fire, not one of you in the least lovable,
Tied to the mast of a ship followed
Under water by a song more dangerous than reality,
The blackened-out sun in the ripe orchard will know
How to take the place of a kiss that soothes the ashes.
But, no one after us will have the strength
To endear himself to a nightingale
When to sing and to die is the same thing.

Life is deadly but it has a way of surmounting death.
A fatal illness will be named after me.
We’ve suffered so much. Now the domesticated hell
Sings. Let the heart not hesitate,
To sing and to die is the same thing.

Original

БАЛАДА
-Бранко Миљковић
Мудрости, неискусно свићу зоре,
На обичне речи више немам право!
Моје се срце гаси, очи горе.
Певајте, дивни старци, док над главом
Распрскавају се звезде као метафоре!
Што је високо ишчезне, што је ниско иструли.
Птицо, довешћу те до речи. Ал врати
Позајмљени пламен. Пепео не хули.
У туђем смо срцу своје срце чули.
Исто је певати и умирати.

Сунце је реч која не уме да сија.
Савест не уме да пева, јер се боји
Осетљиве празнине. Крадљивци визија,
Орлови, изнутра кљују ме. Ја стојим
Прикован за стену која не постоји.
Звездама смо потписали превару
Невидљиве ноћи, тим црње. Упамти
Тај пад у живот ко доказ твом жару.
Кад мастило сазре у крв, сви ће знати
Да исто је певати и умирати.

Мудрости, јачи ће први посустати!
Само ниткови знају шта је поезија,
Крадљивци ватре, нимало умиљати,
Везани за јарбол лађе коју прати
Подводна песма јавом опаснија.
Онесвешћено сунце у зрелом воћу ће знати
Да замени пољубац што пепео одмара.
Ал нико после нас неће имати
Снагу која се славујима удвара
Кад исто је певати и умирати.

Смртоносан је живот, ал смрти одолева.
Једна страшна болест по мени ће се звати.
Много смо патили. И, ево, сад пева
Припитомљени пакао. Нек срце не оклева.
Исто је певати и умирати.

Photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash

dismal months

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Fire-Jottings
Tomas Tranströmer
Throughout the dismal months my life sparkled alive only when I made
love with you.
As the firefly ignites and fades out, ignites and fades out — in glimpses we
can trace its flight
in the dark among the olive trees.

Throughout the dismal months the soul lay shrunken, lifeless,
but the body went straight to you.
The night sky bellowed.
Stealthily we milked the cosmos and survived.

Original

Eldklotter
Under de dystra månaderna gnistrade mitt liv till
bara när jag älskade med dig.
Som eldsflugan tänds och slocknar, tänds och slocknar
– glimtvis kan man följa dess väg
i nattmörkret mellan olivträden.

Under de dystra månaderna satt själen hopsjunken
och livlös
men kroppen gick raka vägen till dig.
Natthimlen råmade.
Vi tjuvmjölkade kosmos och överlevde.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

“nothing for show”

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A snow show from a Czech soul.

Snow
Vladimir Holub
It began to snow at midnight. And certainly
the kitchen is the best place to sit,
even the kitchen of the sleepless.
It’s warm there, you cook yourself something, drink wine
and look out of the window at your friend eternity.
Why care whether birth and death are merely points
when life is not a straight line.
Why torment yourself eyeing the calendar
and wondering what is at stake.
Why confess you don’t have the money
to buy Saskia shoes?
And why brag
that you suffer more than others.
If there were no silence here
the snow would have dreamed it up.
You are alone.
Spare the gestures. Nothing for show.

distractions

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Very much like the current political environment. Plans, reports, chaos, non-presidential circus all distractions to keep us from seeing what really happens (until it’s too late).

Plans, Reports
Adam Zagajewski

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