The Nacreous Oughts

07 July 2008

The trembling piano will lick foam from its mouth:
Delirium--which makes your knees give way
Will lift you. You'll say, 'Darling,' and 'No,' I'll shout,
'While playing music?' But can we be, say,

Closer than in twilight throwing chords
Into the fireplace like a diary
Set, year on year. Oh, great awareness, nod,
Nod and you'll be astonished! -You are free.

I won't hold you. Go. Do your charity.
Go elsewhere. Werther can't be written again:
In our times even air smells death to me.
Opening a window is like opening a vein.

--Boris Pasternak (tr Markov & Sparks)

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