For Joseph Brodsky, on the 23rd anniversary of his death

Share

From “Elegy for John Donne” (1963)

Like some great bird, he too will wake at dawn;
but now he lies beneath a veil of white,
while snow and sleep stitch up the throbbing void
between his soul and his own dreaming flesh. …

Man’s garment gapes with holes. It can be torn,
by him who will, at this edge or at that.
It falls to shreds and is made whole again.
Once more it’s rent. And only the far sky,
in darkness, brings the healing needle home.

… Sleep soundly, do not fret
your soul. As for your coat, it’s torn; all limp
it hangs. But see, there from the clouds will shine
that Star which made your world endure till now.

(trans. George L. Kline)

 


Tags: ,

Comments are closed.