Showing posts from October, 2006

The Violin

by Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi (Hafiz) When
The violin
Can forgive the past
It starts singing

When the violin can stop worrying
About the future
You will become
such a drunk laughing nuisance
That God
Will lean down
And begin combing you into her hair

When the violin can forgive
Every wound caused by
The heart starts singing

Daniel Ladinsky, translator Thanks to Morgan Zo-Callahan who found this poem after the murder of five Amish girls.

Though wine gives delight

by Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi (Hafiz)

Though wine gives delight, and the wind distills the perfume of the rose,

Drink not the wine to the strains of the harp, for the constable is alert.

Hide the goblet in the sleeve of the patchwork cloak,

For the time, like the eye of the decanter, pours forth blood.

Wash the wine stain from your dervish cloak with tears,

For it is the season of piety, and the time for abstinence.

Translation by Edward Browne


by Robert Frost

The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to the ocean—
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.

My thanks to Michael Sierchio

Please click here to go to a page I created for more of Frost’s poems.


by Christina Rossetti Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you planned: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.

Let Evening Come

by Jane Kenyon
Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

Carmen 3

by Gaius Valerius Catullus
Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque,
et quantum est hominum venustiorum:
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat.
nam mellitus erat suamque norat
ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem,
nec sese a gremio illius movebat,
sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
ad solam dominam usque pipiabat.
qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
illuc, unde negant redire quemquam.
at vobis male sit, malae tenebrae
Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis:
tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis
o factum male! o miselle passer!
tua nunc opera meae puellae
flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.
Click here for an English translation of this love poem

An Arab Shepherd Is Searching For His Goat On Mount Zion

by Yehuda Amichai
An Arab shepherd is searching for his goat on MountZionAnd on the opposite hill I am searching for my little boy.An Arab shepherd and a Jewish fatherBoth in their temporary failure.Our two voices met aboveThe Sultan's Pool in the valley between us.Neither of us wants the boy or the goatTo get caught in the wheelsOf the "Had Gadya" machine.Afterward we found them among the bushes,And our voices came back inside usLaughing and crying.Searching for a goat or for a child has always beenThe beginning of a new religion in these mountains.

Dear Joanne

by Lew Welch Dear Joanne,Last night Magda dreamed that she,you, Jack, and I were driving aroundItaly.We parked in Florence and leftour dog to guard the car.She was worried because hedoesn't understand Italian.