Monday, February 18, 2008

a call to spring

even though i am parked at home today, sick with some ague and reading applications, i can't help but feel slightly excited by the prospect of it being a rich 54 degrees fahrenheit, since it means that, however many cold days there are after today, spring must be coming soon. and yes! that was a glimpse of sun, just then, out the window.

such a day, in which the world hints a return to being lovely and colorful again, makes me think of all good poetry. here is baudelaire's l'invitation au voyage, translated of course, since if you don't speak french, it's a bit cruel to reprint a whole poem in the language:

think, would it not be
sweet to live with me
all alone, my child, my love? —
sleep together, share
all things, in that fair
country you remind me of?
charming in the dawn
there, the half-withdrawn
drenched, mysterious sun appears
in the curdled skies,
treacherous as your eyes
shining from behind their tears.

there, restraint and order bless
luxury and voluptuousness.

we should have a room
never out of bloom:
tables polished by the palm
of the vanished hours
should reflect rare flowers
in that amber-scented calm;
ceilings richly wrought,
mirrors deep as thought,
walls with eastern splendor hung,
all should speak apart
to the homesick heart
in its own dear native tongue.

there, restraint and order bless
luxury and voluptuousness.

see, their voyage past,
to their moorings fast,
on the still canals asleep,
these big ships; to bring
you some trifling thing
they have braved the furious deep.
— now the sun goes down,
tinting dyke and town,
field, canal, all things in sight,
hyacinth and gold;
all that we behold
slumbers in its ruddy light.

there, restraint and order bless
luxury and voluptuousness.

i've posted this before in my old blog, but i'm not certain that anyone reads it anymore, so forgive me and humor me if you' ve seen it before. at any rate, it's a beautiful piece, and must leave you the better for having read it again.

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