poetry translation

Exotic Perfume

english translation

Exotic Perfume

original French poem

Parfum Exotique

Quand, les deux yeux fermés, en un soir chaud d’automne,
Je respire l’odeur de ton sein chaleureux,
Je vois se dérouler des rivages heureux
Qu’éblouissent les feux d’un soleil monotone;

Un île paresseuse où la nature donne
Des arbres singuliers et des fruits savoureux;
Des hommes dont le corps est mince et vigoureux,
Et des femmes dont l’œil par sa franchise étonne.

Guidé par ton odeur vers de charmants climats,
Je vois un port rempli de voiles et de mâts
Encore tout fatigués par la vague marine,

Pendant que le parfum de verts tamariniers,
Qui circule dans l’air et m’enfle la narine,
Se mêle dans mon âme au chant des mariniers.

 

Tomorrow

english translation

Tomorrow

original Spanish poem

¿Qué tengo yo que mi amistad procuras?
¿Qué interés se te sigue, Jesús mío, 
que a mi puerta, cubierto de rocío, 
pasas las noches del invierno oscuras?

 O, cuánto fueron mis entrañas duras, 
pues no te abrí, qué extraño desvarío, 
si de mi ingratitud el hielo frío 
secó las llagas de tus plantas puras. 

Cuántas veces el ángel me decía: 
"Alma, asómate ahora a la ventana, 
verás con cuánto amor llamar porfía". 

Y cuántas, hermosura soberana, 
"Mañana le abriremos", respondía, 
para lo mismo responder mañana.

 

Lope de Vega

Lope de Vega was born in Madrid in 1562. A poet, dramatist, novelist, and critic, he was also a soldier, and one of the survivors of the tragically misnamed Invincible Armada. He is generally acknowledged as the father of the Spanish drama, and, since his death in 1635, has been widely considered “the Spanish Shakespeare.” The poem presented here is drawn from his collection of “Sacred Sonnets.”

 

 

Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson holds graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and Boston University. Recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in a number of magazines, including 32 Poems, First Things, The Hopkins Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Measure, River Styx, and Sewanee Theological Review, among others. Currently living with his wife in Baltimore, he is a doctoral candidate at The Catholic University of America.

 

 

Meleager

Meleager (135 BC – 50 BC) was born in Gadara and lived a long life at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, settling finally in Cos which he described as “the island he loved best.” He published a great deal of satirical prose and an anthology of other poets, all lost. What we have are one hundred and thirty four of his own epigrams, celebrating love for pretty women and pretty boys.

 

 

John Whitworth

John Whitworth, moving effortlessly into old age, has published an indecent number of books of poetry, most with his friend and mentor, the late Harry Chambers; the most recent, Girlie Gangs, with the excellent Enitharmon Press. He is published widely in Australia, New Zealand and the United States but lately less so in the UK, where a high-minded atheist, left-leaning muse is gaining ground pretty well everywhere but in The Spectator, where his poems still find a home.

 

 

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