poem 145

[She endeavors to expose the praises recorded in a portrait
of the Poetess by truth, which she calls passion.]

This object which you see — a painted snare
exhibiting the subtleties of art
with clever arguments of tone and hue —
is but a cunning trap to snare your sense;
this object, in which flattery has tried
to overlook the horrors of the years
and, conquering the ravages of time,
to overcome oblivion and age:
this is an empty artifice of care,
a flower, fragile, set out in the wind,
a letter of safe-conduct sent to Fate;
it is a foolish, erring diligence,
a palsied will to please which, clearly seen,
is a corpse, is dust, is shadow, and is gone.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

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lyric monody

In spring time the Kydonian
quinces, watered by running streams,
there where the maiden nymphs have
their secret garden, and grapes that grow
round in shade of the tendriled vine,
ripen.

Now in this season for me
there is no rest from love.
Out of the hard bright sky,
a Thracian north wind blowing
with searing rages and hurt—dark,
pitiless, sent by Aphrodite—Love
rocks and tosses my heart.

Ibycus

eyes

Above the bed the roof leaked,
no place was dry,
And the raindrops ran down like strings,
without a break.
I have lived through upheavals and ruin
and have seldom slept very well,
But have no idea how I shall pass
this night of soaking.

Du Fu

shade

Let plantain leaves
hang over my pillars —
the moon above my hut.

Matsuo Bashō

joyfulness

Toward my brushwood door
sending tree leaves for my tea —
the stormy wind.

Matsuo Bashō

7 II

autumn wind
through an open door—
a piercing cry…

Matsuo Bashō

song with reflection

In the meadow
my heart danced

(a cypress shadow
on the wind)

and a tree unplaited
the dew breeze.
Breeze, silver to the touch!

I said: do you remember?

(The star
the rose
do not concern me.)

Remember?

Lost language!
Language
without horizons!

Remember?

In the meadow
my heart danced

(a cypress shadow
on the wind).

Federico Garcia Lorca