Saturday, June 21, 2008

Zakynthos Skyline

Sometimes horizons burn with searing arcs,
Welded by sun and fused by blinding heat;
And sometimes earth's cool and heaven's dark:
They stand aloof, their lines distinct, discrete.

But not this sky and not this gorgeous sea!
This join is woven seamlessly, so soft
We can't discern where sky and water meet:
The garment's of a piece – one warp, one weft!

So Christ His union with the Father made –
No man can mark the seam, the joins are pure,
Are perfect, melted like Zakynthos blues.

And we behold His glory, all displayed
Across that skyline; God's own signature:
Symbol of worship, unity, Good News!

Christopher Warren
Zakynthos, August 2005

Copyright: By Application

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mount Soracte

Horace Odes 1:9
See the mountain standing white and deep with snow.
Struggling, trees barely hold the water's weight,
rivers can't flow through dams of sharp ice.

Scatter the frost and pile logs in the glow
of the fireplace - better still, Thaliarchus, my friend
bring out a jar of four-year-old Sabine wine.

Leave the rest to the gods, who will first, so slow
calm the winds that brawl on this bubbling plain
stilling the old ash and cypress alike.

Cease to ponder tomorrow's pain or hope,
take today's good fortune as gain.
Young as you are, don't spurn sweet love and dance.

Old age's gloom is distant; sweet whispers echo
from darkened field and square, a girl's giggle gives
up her hiding place, bangles slip from arms...

Translation by Tom Rudge. Copyright: By application

Original text by this great Latin lyric poet:

Vides ut alta stet nive candidum
Soracte, nec iam sustineant onus
siluae laborantes, geluque
flumina constiterint acuto.

Dissolve frigus ligna super foco
large reponens, atque benignius
deprome quadrimum Sabina,
o Thaliarche, merum diota.

Permitte divis cetera; qui simul
strauere ventos aequore fervido
deproeliantis, nec cupressi
nec veteres agitantur orni.

Quid sit futurum cras fuge quaerere, et
quem fors dierum cumque dabit lucro
adpone, nec dulcis amores
sperne puer neque tu choreas,

donec virenti canities abest
morosa. nunc et campus et areae
lenesque sub noctem susurri
composita repetantur hora;

nunc et latentis proditor intimo
gratus puellae risus ab angulo
pignusque dereptum lacertis
aut digito male pertinaci.

This site has a good selection of historical translations of this poem.

Translation copyright: By application

Monday, June 9, 2008



plundered the hoards
of half-remembered tongues,
piling paradox
on teetering
until reason tottered.

Such did not
comprehend you who
encompassed one greater
than the all.

These ecstatic singers sleep
in golden cities now
powder for the winds,
content they had
aspired to gaze level-
eyed into the
face of God:
their failure is their glory.

To what shall we
liken you, or
with what words shall we,
in our teeming generations,
compare you?
We whose lips have lost
their innocence?

Fish out of God’s river
with no memory of the shoal,
we gasp in alien air.
Alien also to each other.
Well-spring of compassion,
be also
Our Mother.

Simon Peter Iredale
Copyright: By application