Boris Pasternak: “Venice”

venice 5 mins later (Layters)


The clatter of a cloudy pane
Awoke me in the small hours.
It hung in a gondola rank
And vacancy weighed on the oars.

The trident of hushed guitars
Was hanging like Scorpio’s stars
Above a marine horizon
Untouched by the smoking sun.

In the domain of the zodiac
The chord was a lonely sound.
Untroubled below by the trident,
The port moved its mists around.

At some time the earth had split off,
Capsized palaces gone to wrack.
A fortress loomed up like a planet;
Like a planet, houses spun back.

And the secret of life without root
I understood as the day surfaced:
My dreams and my eyes had more room
To grope on their own through the mist.

And like the foam of mad blossom
And like the foam of rabid lips
Among glimmering shadows broke loose
The chord that knew no fingertips.

Boris Pasternak (1914)

Translation by Jon Stallworthy and Peter France

Photo credit: venice 5 mins later by Ron Layters.


~ by matt on 3 January 2008.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Natalie E. Illum...

is a poet, performer and disability activist. Bring her stumbling to your city.

%d bloggers like this: