Snow

The snow’s too white for walking in. Only an animal, with light step and delicate hooves, should tread there, under the heavy-laden trees picking its way over the buried ground. That would just enhance the stillness. Only a bird whose raucous screech prevents the winter sinking down into the purest innocence, flying up out of…

Evening Rain

There was a gentle dripping in the leaves As if the summer rain would now begin. And lazily the twilights glided in Of showers borne menacingly on the breeze. The smell of flowers and dampness merged and then It drifted round the paths like wisps of mist, Through steam the gable’s red was faintly guessed,…

Resisting Winter

Oh land of snow and biting ice, what have you in store for me? Above the wood the white moon starts her voyaging through all the nights and the silence seems to creak. In your soil, beneath the sod, shivering my good dead lie, while my sick soul reaches out to every dream, oh, Abishag!…

[Dull violet is the west and purplish grey.]

Dull violet is the west and purplish grey. Still I walk through the thickly frosted grass, hear on the waterway beside me the thin whine of skates over the hollow-ringing ice: It feels as if I, on the frozen glass circling, gliding, wheeling skilfully, with flexing upper body sink and rise: it’s in my back,…

Rack

You’re ironing. With your foot turned, planted inward, you seem contemplative. The instant that you threaten me, nose, lip go up. They bare a set of teeth. Your head turns red and you besprinkle royally the suit that I was in. Your hottest innerside steams down on me. It is a rack that board, you…

Nine Poems

The Evening and the Rose I’ve many many an hour with you been sharing and enjoying, and never has an hour with you one moment been annoying. I’ve many many a flower for you been picking out and plucking, and, like a bee,’ with you, with you the honey from it sucking; but never an…

Guido Gezelle, a Limpid Singer

The Flemish poet Guido Gezelle was born in Bruges on 1 May 1830 and died there on 27 November 1899. His mother was a pious, melancholy woman, his father a silver-tongued and cheerful gardener; and it is evident from his poetry that both parents had a powerful influence on his character. In 1854, having completed…