Thursday, May 18, 2006

God's in his heaven and other poems

In bed with a pencil, a print-out of thesis chapter 1, and my computer. Here's a Robert Browning poem I memorized in 7th grade that has been running through my head all morning.

from Pippa Passes

The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn:
God's in His heaven—
All's right with the world!

gleaned from

And here's a David Diop poem from a book of Francophone African poetry. I seem to be just exploding with poetry this morning after having given it up/ignored it for so long. First the French without the diacretics and then the translation:

Les heures

Il y a des heures pour rever
Dans l'apaisement des nuites au creux du silence
Il y a des heures pour douter
Et le loude voile des mots se dechire en sanglots
Il y a des heures pour souffrir
Le long des chemins de guerre dans le regard des meres
Il y a des heures pour aimer
Dans les cases de lumier ou chante la chair unique
Il y a ce qui colore les jours a venir
Comme le soleil colore la chair des plantes
Et dans le delire des heures
Dans l'impatience des heures
Le germe toujours plur fecond
Des heures d'ou naitra l'equilibre.
(David Diop -- 1956)


There are times for dreaming
In the calm of nights by the hollow of silence
There are times for doubting
And the heavy veil of words is torn with sighs
There are times for suffering
Along the roads of war under our mother's eyes
There are times for loving
In the huts of light where one sole flesh sings
There is what colours the days to come
As the sun colours the flesh of plants
And in the madness of times
In times of impatience
There is always the most fruitful seed
Of the times that bring the poised and certain stance.
(David Diop --1956; trans. John Reed and Clive Wake)

from French African Verse, with English translations by John Reed and Clive Wake. London: Heinemann, 1972.

back to chapter 1.

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