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Last Spring

John William Waterhouse, "The Soul of the Rose," 1908

145 words

Translated by Leo Yankevich

Take the forsythias deep within, each leaf,
and when the lilac blossoms on the lawn,
mix it, too, with your blood and joy and grief,
the dark soil that you depend upon.

Sluggish days. All have been gotten through.
And if you do not ask: the start or close,
then perhaps the hours will carry you
as distantly as June’s unfolding rose.

First appeared in Trinacria, no. 3, 2010 (PDF here)

Letzter Frühling

Nimm die Forsythien tief in dich hinein
und wenn der Flieder kommt, vermisch auch diesen
mit deinem Blut und Glück und Elendsein,
dem dunklen Grund, auf den du angewiesen.

Langsame Tage. Alles überwunden.
Und fragst du nicht, ob Ende, ob Beginn,
dann tragen dich vielleicht die Stunden
noch bis zum Juni mit den Rosen hin.

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3 Comments

  1. JuleighHowardHobson
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful piece.

  2. Petronius
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Not bad, but it is absolutely impossible to translate Benn… or poetry in general, as I happen to realize while reading this.

  3. rhondda
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Yes the poetry is exquisite. The painting Well, I could sing about the pre-Raphlaelites except in this day and age of ugly art, I would be shunned and labelled some derogatory term like Harlequin romance fanatic. That is what white western art has been reduced to being by the horde.

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