Favorite Poems

Instantes

If I were able to live my life anew,
In the next I would try to commit more errors.
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be more foolish than I’ve been,
In fact, I would take few things seriously.
I would be less hygienic.
I would run more risks,
take more vacations,
contemplate more sunsets,
climb more mountains, swim more rivers.
I would go to more places where I’ve never been,
I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans,
I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.

I was one of those people that lived sensibly
and prolifically each minute of my life;
Of course I had moments of happiness.
If I could go back I would try
to have only good moments.

Because if you didn’t know, of that is life made:
only of moments; Don’t lose the now.

I was one of those that never
went anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot-water bottle,
an umbrella, and a parachute;
If I could live again, I would travel lighter.

If I could live again,
I would begin to walk barefooted from the beginning of spring, until autumn ends.

I would take more cart rides,
contemplate more dawns,
and play with more children,
If I had another life ahead of me.

But already you see, I am 85,
and I know that I am dying.

-Jorge Luis Borges


Letter – Leonard Cohen

How you murdered your family
means nothing to me
as your mouth moves across my body

And I know your dreams
of crumbling cities and galloping horses
of the sun coming too close
and the night never ending

but these mean nothing to me
beside your body

I know that outside a war is raging
that you issue orders
that babies are smothered and generals beheaded

but blood means nothing to me
it does not disturb you flesh

tasting blood on your tongue
does not shock me
as my arms grow into your hair

Do not think I do not understand
what happens
after the troops have been massacred
and the harlots put to the sword

And I write this only to rob you

that when one morning my head
hangs dripping with the other generals
from your house gate

that all this was anticipated
and so you will know that it meant nothing to me.

The Art of Poetry – By Jorge Luis Borges

To gaze at a river made of time and water
and remember Time is another river.
To know we stray like a river
and our faces vanish like water.

To feel that waking is another dream
that dreams of not dreaming and that the death
we fear in our bones is the death
that every night we call a dream.

To see in every day and year a symbol
of all the days of man and his years,
and convert the outrage of the years
into a music, a sound, and a symbol.

To see in death a dream, in the sunset
a golden sadness–such is poetry,
humble and immortal, poetry,
returning, like dawn and the sunset.

Sometimes at evening there’s a face
that sees us from the deeps of a mirror.
Art must be that sort of mirror,
disclosing to each of us his face.

They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders,
wept with love on seeing Ithaca,
humble and green. Art is that Ithaca,
a green eternity, not wonders.

Art is endless like a river flowing,
passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
and yet another, like the river flowing.

–translated by Anthony Kerrigan

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself.
I am large, I contain multitudes.
Whitman

If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Auden


Ska vi gå hem till dej eller till mej eller var och en till sitt?
(Shall we go to my place or your place or each go home alone?)

Mitt liv som hund

Good-by, proud world, I’m going home,
Thou’rt not my friend, and I’m not thine;
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I’ve been tossed like the driven foam,
But now, proud world, I’m going home.

Good-by to Flattery’s fawning face,
To Grandeur, with his wise grimace,
To upstart Wealth’s averted eye,
To supple Office low and high,
To crowded halls, to court, and street,
To frozen hearts, and hasting feet,
To those who go, and those who come,
Good-by, proud world, I’m going home.

I’m going to my own hearth-stone
Bosomed in yon green hills, alone,
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green the livelong day
Echo the blackbird’s roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to thought and God.

Oh, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools, and the learned clan;
For what are they all in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet.

– R. W. Emerson

Through a Glass Darkly, by Ingmar Bergman

“Certainty achieved”


-Papa, I’m scared papa. When I sat holding Karin down there in the wreck reality burst open. Do you know what I mean?
-Yes I know.
-Reality…burst open… and I tumbled out. Almost like in a dream. Anything can happen papa. Anything.
-I know.
-I don’t think I can live in this new world papa.
-Yes you can, but you must have something to hold on to.
-Like what papa. God? Give me proof of that god? …you can’t.
-Yes I can. But you have to listen carefully.
-Yes, I need to listen.
-I can only give you a hint of my own hope. It’s knowing that love exists for real in the human world.

// I have omitted about 6 lines of dialogue

-So…so then love is a proof of god’s existence?
-I don’t know if love is the proof of god’s existence or whether love is god itself.
-For you…for you love and god are the same thing then?
-That thought helps my emptiness and my dirty despair.
-Tell me more, papa.
-Suddenly the emptiness turns into abundance, and despair into life. It’s like a reprieve, Minus, from a death sentence.

1

Yangshuo, China

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Molly  |  January 23, 2009 at 1:33 am

    I was reading the first poem, thinking it was really good, that you write really well. Then I was thinking, it sounds so familiar, does she read my mind? Then I was thinking, no this sounds like I read it somewhere and loved it just as much back then.
    Borges is good.

    Reply

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