October 20th, 2016

| Mary Oliver - Morning Poem

Morning Poem

by Mary Oliver

Original Language English

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches --
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead --
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging --

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted --

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

-- from Dream Work, by Mary Oliver
<Poetry Chaikhana | Mary Oliver - Morning Poem

Anna Akhmatova - Why then do we not despair?

Why then do we not despair?

by Anna Akhmatova

English version by Stanley Kunitz with Max Hayward
Original Language Russian

Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold,
Death's great black wing scrapes the air,
Misery gnaws to the bone.
Why then do we not despair?

By day, from the surrounding woods,
cherries blow summer into town;
at night the deep transparent skies
glitter with new galaxies.

And the miraculous comes so close
to the ruined, dirty houses --
something not known to anyone at all,
but wild in our breast for centuries.

-- from Poems of Akhmatova, Translated by Stanley Kunitz / Translated by Max Howard
Poetry Chaikhana | Anna Akhmatova - Why then do we not despair?