SONG OF THE UTTERED SHOUT, THREE SONNETS, 9, ART OF THE TROUBADOURS, THREE SONNETS, 7, THE OLEANDER WREATH
SONG OF THE UTTERED SHOUT
Even if we say nothing deliberately
trying a complete silence,
we will find that the world, as a response,
sends to us some air.
Silence is only a collapse
in the excess of choppy turn.
Is worthless to close the box,
there is always a splinter of disturbance.
All in all, if the ear gives up
and flies free to be aware of what’s there
will hear the kindly waves,
the resonant perseverance of the sea.
And listening to the anesthetic din
and its high unforeseen content,
suddenly, an atmospheric speech
will appear insinuating the motive:
THREE SONNETS, 9
Into his eye death has contrived to creep.
Since then, with lid macabre, ill-fated,
his glance ressembles olives left to steep:
black and dead and sad, debilitated.
It doesn’t even cry! No whim to weep.
Glassy, about to be check-mated,
it doesn’t let a single tear-drop seep,
the olive-press is dry, soul dehydrated.
But we’re all waiting for the day we reap
the flow of olive-juice that’s generated
by woe now grounded on a reef and deep.
We’ll even lick his face—well-lubricated!
Till then, old olive-press, given up to grippe,
with olive-stones your eyes will fill, instead of sleep!
Translated by Anna Crowe
ART OF THE TROUBADOURS
I always know I can – if I want – find,
gleaning through doings with a sieve:
I measure the ballistics beforehand
and then do exactly the opposite.
I can scour the sordid warmly,
tracking the emptiness of alone
through tunnels thick with phony dark
that turn up on the prettiest postcards.
I can gaze down the gaping precipice
loving the love of those who jumped.
Translated by Ronald Puppo
THREE SONNETS, 7
No wonder she came over queer.
In that pox-ridden, clap-ridden den,
only the breeze of a ceiling-fan
and a palm-leaf to stir the air.
Everything stifled in there:
thick, heavy vapour, spice-laden,
smoke haze, soft glances through hair,
jalousies, style half-Persian,
half wild Paraguay,
with a parrot’s cry.
The tragedy’s summarization
of dull and prosaic stagnation.
And plumb-centre in the mosaic,
the muse gone inert, apoplectic.
Translated by Anna Crowe
THE OLEANDER WREATH
His fame and glory reach its peak
when he wins a laurel wreath
and he wears it perennially, and shows it:
lush award of the success that remains
and not prescribes in spite of not sprouting again.
But as green loses its luxuriance
and triumph degrades, overcame,
he also leaves prestige behind,
without care nor popularity;
the imperturbable aplomb degenerates.
From that unrepeatable apotheosis
feeds itself and still get juice:
licking the leaves -the wounds-,
the decadent decline of the shelter.
From the crown, only stem remains.
And, with the consolation, he only notes
that the gnawing dulls him, distant and absorbed,
that the branch was not laurel, but oleander,
that the regret doesn’t give solace
and the bitter laurel is poisonous, and kills.