Oh rose, rose of mine! that once sprang sprightly up,
why do you bend double, flaccid, weak and sad,
your petals withered, your once-green calyx pale?
Do you tell the earth the sweetness of your past,
like the long secret story of dead hopes
a dying virgin whispers to her priest?
Thinking on what was, and to see how you decline,
I’d wish to raise the stalk on which you languish,
to give fresh strength to you; beauty, color;
to return, with a sigh, your perfumed breath
to bring you to my lips and in a long, long kiss
press upon you new, most softly, heat and fire.
Her delicate way
came from a blue planet
from indigo tinting
shadows or space… Dawn
open to crystal… Her own
way of taking
the first light’s secret
triumphed… And a thousand
formulas of moon and shadow,
of turquoise and of spring.
Now I know
that distance is three-dimensional.
It’s not true that the space between you and me
can be measured in metres and inches,
as if the streets might cross each other freely,
as if it were easy to hold out your hand.
This is a solid, robust distance,
and the absence is total,
in spite of the illusory possibility
of the telephone
it is thick, and long, and wide.
I take apart a rose and I don’t find you.
To the wind, thus, columns of floating petals,
the palace of the rose in ruins.
Now—impossible rose—you begin:
by needles of interwoven air
to the sea of the intact delight,
where all the roses of the world
—before they were a rose—
are beautiful without the prison of beauty.
We present this work in honor of the 55th anniversary of the poet’s death.
A man of iron!
Iron the flesh of his invincible chest.
Iron his biceps and triceps, his arm raised in triumphant sign.
His hands of iron and his belly.
And his thighs potent columns of iron, and his calves,
brave pedestals sustaining that formidible Titan,
with his foot nailed to the earth, with clawed fingers he seizes
the roots of the tree from the Biblical Adam.
Iron his eyes.
Iron his teeth.
Iron his brain, his lungs and heart,
his kidneys, spleen, and sex.
Inside and out a man completely made of iron.
The greatest strength that time has launched
is his incarnation.
I have a white rose to tend
In July as in January;
I give it to the true friend
Who offers his frank hand to me.
And for the cruel one whose blows
Break the heart by which I live,
Thistle nor thorn do I give:
For him, too, I have a white rose.