Multicultural Poetry -


Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against

cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it

will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience

when you meet with great wrongs, and they will be powerless

to vex your mind.

by Leonardo Da Vinci

Altro effetto di luna

a trama del carrubo che si profila

nuda contro l'azzurro sonnolento,

il suono delle voci, la trafila

delle dita d'argento sulle soglie,

la piuma che si invischia, un trepestìo

sul molo che si scioglie

e la feluca già ripiega il volo

con le vele dimesse come spoglie

by Eugenio Montale

Su una lettera non scritta

Per un formicolìo d'albe, per pochi

fili su cui s'impigli

il fiocco della vita e s'incollani

in ore e in anni, oggi i delfini a coppie

capriolano coi figli? Oh ch'io non oda

nulla di te, ch'io fugga dal bagliore

dei tuoi cigli. Ben altro è sulla terra.

Sparir non so né riaffacciarmi; tarda

la fucina vermiglia

della notte, la sera si fa lunga,

la preghiera è supplizio e non ancora

tra le rocce che sorgono t'è giunta

la bottiglia dal mare. L'onda, vuota,

si rompe sulla punta, a Finisterre.

by Eugenio Montale


Age Quod Agis (Do what you're doing.)

On pokatil tachki pryamo na mashiny s blyadyami.Tachki katalis` po vsej plaze, bili i myali mashiny, sbivali obezumelyhblyadej i ne davali im skryt`sya. Tachki raskidyvali blyadskiemeshki. Dazhe upavshaya tachka uporno taschilas` po zemle zaubegavshimi blyad`mi i podminala ih. Uvidev blyad`, zapihivavshuyu meshki v bagazhnik, tachka peremahnula cherez sugrob i vmyala blad` vmeshki. Drugie tachki upiralis` v dveri, ne davaya blyadyam vylezti izmashin na pomow` naruzhnym blyadyam. Tachki umelo otgonyali blyadej otsupermarketov i mashin na otkrytye mesta i ottuda, s razgonu vminali ihrylom, v sugrob. Potom tachki razbili vse vitriny i vorvalis` davit`suetlivyh prodavcov i pritaivshihsya vnutri blyadej. Nakonec tachkiot~ehali podal`she ot supermarketov, i skrylis` v burane. --Lish` kabluki blyadi, neestestvenno torchawie iz bagazhnika, ukazyvalina sluchivsheesya.--

by Alexy V. Khrabrov



The sunrise of New York

has four columns of filth

and a hurricane of black pigeons

that putter in the putrid waters.

The sunrise of New York groans

up the immense staircases

searching along the sharp edges

for etched spice-plants of anguish.

The sunrise arrives, and no one opens his mouth to receive it,

because neither tomorrow nor hope is possible here.

Only now and then mad swarms of nickels and dimes

sting and eat the abandoned children.

The first to leave their houses know in their bones

there'll be no paradise and no love without leaves;

they know they are going to the filth of numbers and laws,

to the games anyone can play, and the work without fruit.

The light is already buried by chains and noises

in the ugly threat of science that has no roots.

Through the suburbs people who cannot sleep are staggering

as though recently rescued from a shipwreck of blood.

by Federico García Lorca. Translated by Robert Bly.

I Cultivate a White Rose

I cultivate a white rose

In July as in January

For the sincere friend

Who gives me his hand frankly.

And for the cruel person who tears out

the heart with which I live,

I cultivate neither nettles nor thorns:

I cultivate a white rose.

by Jose Marti


En rodillas de viento galgo y huella

fuí tras de ti, mujer en mi presencia

transportado por ágil luz de estrella

de sentido en sentido hasta la ausencia.

Atravesaste, amor, los egoísmos

que se sílice de lágrimas desvelo

yuxtaponiendo abismos sobre bismos

en mi insoluble soledad de hielo.

La gran araña de la lluvia teje

con agua y viento telarañas móviles

Que mañana serán cuando despeje.

Superficie de vidrio sin quebranto,

como serán mis ojos cuando inmóviles

hayan llorado ya todo su llanto.

by Miguel Angel Asturias



To Wang Lun

Li Po takes a boat and is about to depart

When suddenly he hears the sound of footsteps

and singing on the shore.

The water in the Peach Blossom pool is

a thousand feet deep

But not as deep as Wang Lun's parting love for me

by Li Bai. Translated by Liu Wu-Chi

The Double Nineth Festival

Light mists and heavy clouds,

melancholy the long dreary day,

In the golden censer

the burning incense is dying away.

It is again time

for the lovely Double Nineth festival;

The coolness of midnight

penetrates my screen of shear silk

and chills my pillow of jade.

After drinking wine after twilight

under the chrysanthemum hedge,

My sleeves are perfumed

by the faint fragrance of the plants.

Oh, I cannot say it is not enchanting,

Only, when the west wind stirs the curtain,

I see that I am more gracile

than the yellow flowers.

by Li Qing Chow. Translated by Lucy Chow Ho

Middle East


Those who come by me passing

I will remember them

and those who come heavy and overbearing

I will forget

That't why

when the air erupts between mountains

we always describe the wind

and forget the rocks

by Saadi Yourssef, translated by Khaled Mattawa

A Poem of Bliss

We are placed on a wedding cake

like two dolls, bride and groom.

When the knife strikes

we'll try to stay on the same slide.

by Ronny Someck, translated by Yair Mazor



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