Wednesday, January 08, 2003

From our reading:

To the Poet Henry Gould in the City of Providence

At your time's perihelion
the bird-clock sings.
Strange hours on the wall — as
if Keats devised their workings.
When, over there, an owl
hoots, representing midnight,
here a raven drops a crust
beside my windowpane.
I myself am on the wane —
needle-thin, grown accurate,
wheezing over cheap tea in winter
sunlight, a pudgy nightingale.
He, in deep dark, without hope
— poet left alone with his icon,
still-ineffable loving brother —
offers his Promised Land....

Over the ocean, two birds feed
halfway — and where they salute,
fallen rooted to the sea-floor,
a pearl aches — ripening
under the hard bark of the waves.

— Elena Shvarts, trans. from the Russian by Henry Gould for his poetry blog, HG Poetics.

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