anniversary

                … even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea!

I brought my life this far
To this spot that struggles
Always near the sea
Youth upon the rocks, breast
To breast against the wind
Where is a man to go
Who is nothing but a man
Calculating with dews his green
Moments, with water the visions
Of his hearing, with wings his remorses
Ah Life
Of a child who becomes a man
Always near the sea when the sun
Teaches him to breathe whither
A seagull’s shadow is effaced.

I brought my life this far
White measuring ink-black sum
A few trees and a few
Wet pebbles
Light fingers to caress a brow
What brow
Anticipations wept all night and are no more
There is no one
Would that a free footstep be heard
That a rested voice arise
That sterns splash the jetty writing
A name more glaucous in their horizon
A few years a few waves
Sensitive rowing
In the bays surrounding love.

I brought my life this far
Bitter groove in the sand that will be effaced
– Whoever saw two eyes touch his silence
And mingled with their sunshine enclosing a thousand worlds
May he remind other suns of his blood
Nearer the light
There is a smile that fills the flame –
But here in the unknowing landscape that gets lost
In a sea open and pitiless
Success moults
Whirlwinds of feathers
And of moments that were bound to soil
Hard soil beneath impatient
Soles, earth made for vertigo
Or a dead volcano.

I brought my life this far
A stone dedicated to the watery element
Farther than the islands
Lower than the waves
Neighboring the anchors
– When keels pass by passionately cutting through
A new obstacle and conquer it
And hope with all its dolphins dawns
Sun’s profit in the human heart
The nets of doubt draw in
A form of salt
Indifferent white
Hewn with effort
Which turns toward the sea the voids of its eyes
And supports infinity.

Odysseus Elytis

your shoulders hold up the world

A time comes when you no longer can say: my God.
A time of total cleaning up.
A time when you no longer can say: my love.
Because love proved useless.
And the eyes don’t cry.
And the hands do only rough work.
And the heart is dry.

Women knock at your door in vain, you won’t open.
You remain alone, the light turned off,
and your enormous eyes shine in the dark.
It is obvious you no longer know how to suffer.
And you want nothing from your friends.

Who cares if old age comes, what is old age?
Your shoulders are holding up the world
and it’s lighter than a child’s hand.
Wars, famine, family fights inside buildings
prove only that life goes on
and not everybody has freed himself yet.
Some (the delicate ones) judging the spectacle cruel
will prefer to die.
A time comes when death doesn’t help.
A time comes when life is an order.
Just life, without any escapes.

Carlos Drummond de Andrade

landlover

When wind dips calmly over the blue sea
my cowardly soul stirs. My love for land
becomes a craving for the vast salt waters.
But when the ocean bottom roars, and foam boils
spitting skyward on the wild crashing waves,
I gaze at the shore and its forests, and shun
the sea. Then I love black earth and shadowy
woods where even during a blasting gale
a pine tree sings. What a wretched life
the fisherman has—with his berth a home,
the sea his labor and fish his wandering prey!
I prefer to sleep under a leafy plane
and hear the plashing of a bubbling spring
which soothes the soul and never brings me pain.

Moschos

pessimism

In early youth, as we contemplate our coming life,
we are like children in a theater before the curtain is raised,
sitting there in high spirits and eagerly waiting for the play to begin.
It is a blessing that we do not know what is really going to happen.
Could we foresee it, there are times when children might seem like innocent prisoners,
condemned, not to death, but to life,
and as yet all unconscious of what their sentence means.
Nevertheless every man desires to reach old age;
in other words, a state of life of which it may be said,
“It is bad today, and it will be worse tomorrow — and so on till the worst of all.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

retribution

Life is without beginning, without end.
And each of us is subject to blind chance.
Above us lowers the everlasting dark,
Or else the radiance of the face of God.
But you, the artist, steadfastly believe
In ends and in beginnings. You must know,
Where Heaven watches over us—where Hell.
With a fair judgment is it given you
To measure all things that you here may see.
And let your eye be single, firm and clear.
Eliminate the aimless strokes of chance,
And you will see: the world is beautiful.
Learn where to look for light, and you will learn
Where darkness is. And let all holy things
And all things sinful filter slowly through
The fever of the heart, the cold of mind.

Alexander Blok