Sunday, May 26, 2013

Poetry for an Album

Feelings my friend
wrote Schuman
are stars which guide us
only when the sky is clear
but reason is a
magnetic needle
driving our ship on
till it shatters on the rocks

It was when my palsied
finger stopped me playing
the piano that calamity
came upon me

If you knew every cranny
of my heart
you would yet be ignorant
of the pain my happy
memories bring

Carnaval time for the children
with friends dressed up
as Ormuzd and Ariman
fleecy clouds of gold
melting in pure ether

For years now I've had
the same whistling
sound in my ears
and it troubles me greatly

Walking by the Rhine
I know I shall steer
for the North I have yearned for
though it be colder there
even than the ice on
geometry's intersecting lines.

--W.G. Sebald

Translated by Iain Galbraith

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