Archive for January, 2008

Translated by Vladimir Nabokov

Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal
the way you dream, the things you feel.
Deep in your spirit let them rise
akin to stars in crystal skies
that set before the night is blurred:
delight in them and speak no word.
How can a heart expression find?
How should another know your mind?
Will he discern what quickens you?
A thought once uttered is untrue.
Dimmed is the fountainhead when stirred:
drink at the source and speak no word.
Live in your inner self alone
within your soul a world has grown,
the magic of veiled thoughts that might
be blinded by the outer light,
drowned in the noise of day, unheard…
take in their song and speak no word.

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He could hear them off in the forest
massive branches breaking:
you are no good, will never be any good.

Sometimes they followed him,
rubbing out his tracks.
They wanted him to get lost
in the world of trees,
stand silently forever, holding up his hands.

At night he watched
the streetlamp’s light
soaking into his lawn.
He could bathe in its cool voice,
roll over to a whole different view.
What made them think
the world’s room was so small?

On the table he laid out his clothes,
arranging the cuffs.
What he said to his enemies
was a window pushed high as it would go.
Come in. Look for me where you think
I am. Then when you can see no one is there,
we can talk.

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