• Язык:
    Английский (English)

Soul and Body

Душа и тело


Silence hangs across the city,
every tiny sound strikes flat, hollow, remote —
and you, soul, you still say nothing:
oh God, have mercy on marble souls.

And my soul said to me,
like harps singing in the distance,
“Why did I find existence
in worthless human flesh?

“Why did I leave my home,
try madly for some different glory?
The Earth turns and tumbles like a convict’s
iron ball-and-chain.

“Ah, I hate love,
that universal earth-disease
which fogs my vision, over and over fogs my vision
of this alien world, this beautiful, ordered world.

“Whatever still tics me to the glow
of the swinging planets
is only sorrow — my faithful shield,
my cold, contemptuous sorrow.”


A gold sunset turned copper,
green rust spread on clouds,
and I ordered my body
to reply.

And my body answered
(only a body, but a body with hot blood),
“What is this thing, ‘existence’?
Love: that I know.

“I splash in salt waves: I love that.
I listen to hawks screaming: I love that.
And I love to gallop on an unbroken horse,
across meadows fragrant with seeds and smells.

“And I love women . . . When I kiss
her eyes, as they look away, look down,
I love her drunkenly, like thunder coming closer,
like clear spring water on my tongue.

“I’ve taken things, I want things,
and for these, for sorrow, for joy, for wild thoughts,
I will pay, as a man should,
with my own final destruction.”


And then God’s voice flashed
down from the Great Bear,
demanding, “And who are you to ask?”
My soul came to me, and my body.

I watched them, quietly,
then answered their boldness with gentle words:
“Is a dog wise
because it howls at the moon?

“Who are you to ask me? me?
All of earth-time, from
start to burning end, is only a moment
for me.

“Like the great root-tree of the world, Yggdrasil,
seven times seven universes have sprouted
in me, my eyes see earth
and heaven as dust

“I sleep, and the endless depths
cover my unutterable name —
and you, you’re a feeble echo from
the lowest level of my being!”

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