The same effacement In wanting or taking; In being or not being, About the same weight. And this path Or the other: we go Like the rain, when its mists Unhurried in the grass. Smells, colors, tastes, All the same dream: Doves in the elsewhere Of their cooing. * On the moss-stained Rock the shadows Move. Almost like nymphs In their dance. When a sliver of sun Shines through, their hair Glints as gold might do In a somber crucible. Life will end. Life endures. The same as a child, playing With too many dreams.Finally, one for my great friend Joe Nigg, whose new book, The Phoenix: An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast, is forthcoming from University of Chicago Press. This drawn from Bonnefoy’s Second Simplicity: New Poetry and Prose, 1991-2011, translated like the above poems by Hoyt Rogers:
Leopardi’s Tomb So many fingers have been singed, Sifting ashes in the phoenix nest; But he could harvest all this light Only by assenting to all this night. And his trusting words never raised Some onyx chalice to a blackened sky. Their palms joined to cup your face, Mirrored in earthly water, O moon, His friend. He offers you this cup, And you lean down, you consent To drink from his yearning hope. I see you roam beside him on these lonely hills, His native land. At times you move ahead; you turn Around to him and laugh. At times, you’re his shadow.