Birth of Christ, with comment on the Bee.

Nacimiento de Cristo, en que se discurrió la abeja.

Nacimiento de Cristo, en que se discurrió la abeja.
De la más fragante Rosa nació la Abeja más bella, a quien el limpio rocío dio purísima materia.   Nace, pues, y apenas nace, cuando en la misma moneda, lo que en perlas recibió, empieza a pagar en perlas.  Que llore el Alba, no es mucho, que es costumbre en su belleza; mas ¿quién hay que no se admire de que el Sol lágrimas vierta?   Si es por fecundar la Rosa, es ociosa diligencia, pues no es menester rocío después de nacer la Abeja; y más, cuando en la clausura de su virginal pureza, ni antecedente haber pudo ni puede haber quien suceda. Pues a ¿qué fin es el llanto que dulcemente le riega? Quien no puede dar más Fruto, ¿qué importa que estéril sea?  Mas ¡ay! que la Abeja tiene tan íntima dependencia siempre con la Rosa, que depende su vida de ella; pues dándole el néctar puro que sus fragancias engendran, no sólo antes la concibe, pero después la alimenta.   Hijo y madre, en tan divinas peregrinas competencias, ninguno queda deudor y ambos obligados quedan. La Abeja paga el rocío de que la Rosa la engendra, y ella vuelve a retornarle con lo mismo que la alienta. Ayudando el uno al otro con mutua correspondencia, la Abeja a la Flor fecunda, y ella a la Abeja sustenta. Pues si por eso es el llanto, llore Jesús, norabuena, que lo que expende en rocío  cobrará después en néctar.
Birth of Christ, with comment on the Bee.
From the sweet-scented Rose is born the lovely Bee, to whom the bright dew gave its essence and purity. No sooner is he born than in the same currency what he received in pearls in pearls he starts to repay. If the Dawn weeps, that’s nothing, just its habit, being beautiful; but that the Sun sheds tears, don’t we all find it incredible? If it’s to water the Rose, that’s a tender care forlorn, for there’s no need of dew after the Bee is born; he is intact in his purity like a nun in a cloister:  he had no predecessor and can have no successor. Then what good is the weeping that gently plies him with water? He can bear no more Fruit and is barren, but does that matter? But oh! the Bee relies for his life on her, the Rose: his dependence is always so intimate and close: for by giving him pure nectar that her sweet scents deliver, she gives him life, conceives him, and feeds him too, thereafter. Mother and son, in such sacred and wondrous obligations, neither is left indebted and both of them are grateful. He pays her for the dew, the Bee whom the Rose conceives: and she gives him in return the same food she receives.   Giving aid to one another in mutual symmetry, the Bee enriches the Flower and the Flower sustains the bee.   If that is the cause of weeping, weep, Jesus, and best of luck! whatever you spend in dew, in nectar you’ll reap it back.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

Adistrop

Adlestrop

Edward Thomas (1878-1917)

Adlestrop
Yes. I remember Adlestrop— The name, because one afternoon Of heat the express-train drew up there Unwontedly. It was late June. The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat. No one left and no one came On the bare platform. What I saw Was Adlestrop—only the name And willows, willow-herb, and grass, And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry, No whit less still and lonely fair Than the high cloudlets in the sky. And for that minute a blackbird sang Close by, and round him, mistier, Farther and farther, all the birds Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
Adistrop
D’you think I forgot about Adistrop? Not a bit of it! what? It was half-past two and it was hot, Almost July, and unusually My rapid train was brought to a stop. Sibilant vapour. Throaty cough. Nobody got on or off. Anybody on platform? Not. All I saw was a big signboard Saying ‘Adistrop’: just that word, And willows and grass and a plant too spry, Pink, and a fragrant ulmaria (? try ‘Wool of Mary’?) and haycocks, dry, Still and sightly as clouds on high, Solitary, stuck in a sunny sky; And a blackbird singing, but not for long, Not far off; all around, birdsong, From distant, hazily vaporous Avian byways of Oxon and Glos.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Advent

Advent

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Advent
Es treibt der Wind im Winterwalde die Flockenherde wie ein Hirt, und manche Tanne ahnt, wie balde sie fromm und lichterheilig wird, und lauscht hinaus. Den weißen Wegen streckt sie die Zweige hin - bereit, und wehrt dem Wind und wächst entgegen der einen Nacht der Herrlichkeit.
Advent
Winds drive the flakes in the wintry wood, herding them, as a shepherd would. Fir-trees can tell they soon will stand piously laced with holy light: alert and ready, they withstand the wind, and stretch and seek the white pathways, and swell their boughs toward that night, that single glorious night.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Night filters through...

Die Nacht holt heimlich

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Die Nacht holt heimlich
DIE NACHT holt heimlich durch des Vorhangs Falten aus deinem Haar vergessnen Sonnenschein. Schau, ich will nichts, als deine Hände halten und still und gut und voller Frieden sein. Da wächst die Seele mir, bis sie in Scherben den Alltag sprengt; sie wird so wunderweit: An ihren morgenroten Molen sterben die ersten Wellen der Unendlichkeit.
Night filters through...
Night filters through the curtain’s folds forgotten sunshine from your hair. To be at rest, and well, and hold your hands: that is my one desire. My soul grows wonderfully wide to blast the commonplace aside. On its dawn-reddened seawalls die the first waves of infinity.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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I’ll softly steal

Weißt du, ich will mich schleichen

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Weißt du, ich will mich schleichen
Weißt du, ich will mich schleichen leise aus lautem Kreis, wenn ich erst die bleichen Sterne über den Eichen blühen weiß. Wege will ich erkiesen, die selten wer betritt in blassen Abendwiesen? und keinen Traum, als diesen: Du gehst mit.
I’ll softly steal
I’ll softly steal from the circle’s noise seeing the pale star flowers rise above oak-trees. I’ll choose ways lonely, who treads them, who in dusk-dim leas? and this dream only: you come too.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Epiphany

Epifanía

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936)

Epifanía
Agranda la puerta, padre, porque no puedo pasar; la hiciste para los niños, yo he crecido a mi pesar. Si no me agrandas la puerta, achícame, por piedad; vuélveme a la edad bendita en que vivir es soñar. Gracias, padre, que ya siento que se va mi pubertad; vuelvo a los días rosados en que era hijo no más. Hijo de mis hijos ahora y sin masculinidad siento nacer en mi seno maternal virginidad.
Epiphany
Make the door wider, my father: through it I cannot pass. You made a door for children: I’ve grown bigger, alas. If you don’t make it wider, let me again be small: give back the newness of living, the age when dreaming is all. Thank you, my father, I sense now That my puberty is gone; I return to the days that were rosy When I was only a son. Now I’m a son of my own sons Without any masculinity: I sense the birth within me Of a motherly virginity.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Do thank A.R., that vocal makar, a faraway castaway at Harar!

‘Vowels’ - A Triple Lipogram Without E, I, U:

Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91)

‘Vowels’ - A Triple Lipogram Without E, I, U:
A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu: voyelles, Je dirai quelque jour vos naissances latentes: A, noir corset velu des mouches éclatantes Qui bombinent autour des puanteurs cruelles, Golfes d’ombre; E, candeurs des vapeurs et des tentes, Lances des glaciers fiers, rois blancs, frissons d’ombelles; I, pourpres, sang craché, rire des lèvres belles Dans la colère ou les ivresses pénitentes; U, cycles, vibrements divins des mers virides, Paix des pâtis semés d’animaux, paix des rides Que l’alchimie imprime aux grands fronts studieux; O, suprême clairon plein des strideurs étranges, Silences traversés des Mondes et des Anges: – O l’Oméga, rayon violet de Ses Yeux!
Do thank A.R., that vocal makar, a faraway castaway at Harar!
A black, X snow, Y blood, Z grass, O sky: My task’s to show how all that lot locks on. A, smooth black thorax of a flash-brat fly that swoops atop a nasty hollow john,   dark blots; X, canvas camps and drops of fogs, snow-lords, cold polar swords, and blooms that worry; Y, maroon, spat blood, hoots, and tasty snogs, Angry or blotto, two ways to say sorry;       Z, calm of pastor’s grass that’s food for cows, Salt snot-floods’ holy rhythms; calm of cwms                 Laboratory-drawn on scholars’ brows;   O, top-rank blasts, blown hard for odd brass brays, Good ghosts on non-clang pathways, worlds on zooms: - O Grand, O Final Orbs! O gamma-rays!

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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The Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation

With Two Words

Mit zwei Worten

Conrad Ferdinand Meyer (1825-98)

Legend of the Parents of St Thomas à Becket
Mit zwei Worten
Am Gestade Palästinas, auf und nieder, Tag um Tag, "London?" frug die Sarazenin, wo ein Schiff vor Anker lag. "London!" bat sie lang vergebens, nimmer müde, nimmer zag, bis zuletzt an Bord sie brachte eines Bootes Ruderschlag.   Sie betrat das Deck des Seglers und ihr wurde nicht gewehrt. Meer und Himmel. "London?" frug sie, von der Heimat abgekehrt, suchte, blickte, durch des Schiffers ausgestreckte Hand belehrt, nach den Küsten, wo die Sonne sich in Abendglut verzehrt....   "Gilbert?" fragt die Sarazenin im Gedräng der großen Stadt, und die Menge lacht und spottet, bis sie dann Erbarmen hat. "Tausend Gilbert gibt's in London!" Doch sie sucht und wird nicht matt "Labe dich mit Trank und Speise!" Doch sie wird von Tränen satt.   "Gilbert!" - "Nichts als Gilbert? Weißt du keine andern Worte? Nein?" "Gilbert!"- Hört, das wird der weiland Pilger Gilbert Becket sein, den gebräunt in Sklavenketten glüher Wüste Sonnenschein, dem die Bande löste heimlich eines Emirs Töchterlein."   "Pilgrim Gilbert Becket!" dröhnt es, braust es längs der Themse Strand. Sieh, da kommt er ihr entgegen, von des Volkes Mund genannt, über seine Schwelle führt er, die das Ziel der Reise fand. Liebe wandert mit zwei Worten gläubig über Meer und Land.
With Two Words
Palestine; beside the water, up and down, day after day, ‘London?’ asked the Arab maiden, where a ship at anchor lay. ‘London?’ long in vain she queried, never tired or in dismay, Till at last a rowboat brought her out alongside from the quay. So the white-winged ship she boarded: no-one told her to return. Sea and sky. Still asking ‘London?’ as her homeland fell astern, Searching, scanning, from the skipper’s pointing hand agog to learn, To those distant coasts she journeyed, heading where the sunsets burn. ‘Gilbert?’ asks the Arab maiden in the mighty city’s press, And the people laugh and mock her, till they turn to kindliness. ‘London has a thousand Gilberts!’ Yet she searches nonetheless; ‘Food and drink will give thee comfort!’ Yet her tears are numberless. ‘Gilbert!’ ‘Only Gilbert? Are all other words unknown to thee?’ ‘Gilbert!’ ‘Listen – Gilbert Becket was a pilgrim: Yes! ’Tis he! He was roasted by the desert sun in chains and slavery, Till the emir’s lovely daughter slipped his bonds and set him free.’ ‘Pilgrim Gilbert Becket!’ thrums and roars along the Thames’s Strand. As the people name him, see, he comes to meet her near at hand, Takes her in across his threshold, just as Providence had planned… Love with two words passed believing, faithful, over sea and land.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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