What was life
what rotten apple
If it was a rose
if it was
a golden cloud
and should have flowered
in the air.
If it was a rose
if it was a gay flame
if it was anything
that is content to be
that is easy
It could not have been made up of corridors
of sordid dawns
of unlit tasks
of routines, of credits
it could not have been
it could not.
what it was
what it is
the dirty air
of the street
the many errors
in a deserted world
It is delicate, midnight.
I hear the knots of the rosebush:
sap pushing upward rising to the rose.
the scorched stripes of the regal tiger:
they do not let him sleep.
a canto of one
as it grows in the night
like a dune.
my mother sleeping
with two breaths.
( I have slept in her,
for five years.)
I hear the Rhone
that descends and carries me like a father,
blind with blind foam.
And afterwards I hear nothing,
but keep falling
on the walls of Arles
full of sunlight…
These which were pomp and delight,
waking at the first morning light,
will be in the evening a vain object of compassion,
sleeping in the arms of the cold night.
This blending of colours that challenges the heavens,
a rainbow striped with gold, snow, and scarlet,
will be an object lesson to human life.
So much is attempted in the limits of a single day!
The roses got up early to flower
and flowered to grow old;
they found their cradle and their tomb in a bud.
Even so have men found their fortunes,
in one day they have been born and expired;
for when the centuries have passed they were but hours.
Pedro Calderón de la Barca
My abstract ideas,
that I have touched so often, have become concrete:
they are familiar roses which time brings within reach,
roses which are there at the inauguration of new eras
in my thinking,
in what the world thinks about me and others;
of new eras, but nevertheless
which time has known, knows and shall know.
If only there were abstract roses for me.
Murilo Monteiro Mendes
The nightingale hath no repose
For joy that ruby blooms the rose;
Long time it is that Philomel
Hath loved like me the rosy dell.
‘Tis sure no wonder if I sing
Both night and day my fair sweeting:
Let me be slave to that bird’s tongue
Who late the rose’s praise hath sung!
O saki, when the days commence
Of ruby roses, abstinence
By none is charged; then pour me wine
Like yonder rose incarnadine.
White, white violets
with myrtle and tender narcissus;
I shall weave laughing lilies
and soft crocus and purple hyacinths
with roses, flowers of lovers.
I shall come to decorate her brow
and brighten her perfumed hair
in a fine rain of flowers.