Sunday, January 13, 2008

in danger of living

For some days I think that I would like to put all my new pictures here - not pictures taken from roaming the world but pictures taken from sitting still, of birds seen on the tree outside my window - a red eyed male koel, a strange striped bird that was here for two days, a light blue chickadee.

But I am spending some time trying to slow down life to the pace inside which I will know quite precisely but ductlessly what I am thinking, where I will not have to stop in the middle of things and hold my breath and let my eyes glaze over to grab the vanishing hem of a thought that got tired of waiting.

While I try to figure that out I've been reading poetry and some have the rhythm I am looking for so, here.

Out of Danger

Heart be kind and sign the release
As the trees their loss approve.
Learn as leaves must learn to fall
Out of danger, out of love.

What belongs to frost and thaw
Sullen winter will not harm.
What belongs to wind and rain
Is out of danger from the storm.

Jealous passion, cruel need
Betray the heart they feed upon.
But what belongs to earth and death
Is out of danger from the sun.

I was cruel, I was wrong -
Hard to say and hard to know.
You do not belong to me.
You are out of danger now -

Out of danger from the wind,
Out of danger from the wave,
Out of danger from the heart
Falling, falling out of love.

--James Fenton


And also this:

On Reading Milosz
- Adam Zagajewski

I read your poetry once more,
poems written by a rich man, understanding all,
and by a pauper, homeless,
an emigrant, alone.

You always want to say more
than we can, to transcend poetry, take flight,
but also to descend, to penetrate the place
where our timid, modest realm begins.

Your voice at times
persuades us,
if only for a moment,
that every day is holy

and that poetry, how to put it,
rounds our life,
completes it, makes it proud
and unafraid of perfect form.

I lay the book aside
at night and only then
the city's normal tumult starts again,
somebody coughs or cries, somebody curses.

[translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh]

6 comments:

Banno said...

This came as a surprise to me, Paro. Just the thought of you slowing down. In my mind, you are always jumping about, full of energy. The Fenton poem is beautiful.

parotechnics said...

Trying to learn batul! not always succeeding though. I must confess I always like Fenton more when he writes love poems than when he writes war stuff. There's it's on the internet now and people might scoff at me forever...

Space Bar said...

Can't think where else i just read the fenton but it's so serendipitous that i found ti again here today!

parotechnics said...

as long as it's not ominous... but it does have that cadence that lodges in the brain, eh?

Deepshikha said...

where r u paro, write baba :(

parotechnics said...

Write baba, are currently the two scariest words in the english language. you are sounding like all my producers now deepshikhaji...

just being lazy about putting pix on disk.. coming soon