Friday, December 14, 2018

Poemquotes 5

"— My soul is a tomb in which, / Since eternity, I, bad cenobite, move and dwell; / Nothing embellishes the walls of this odious cloister."
-Charles Baudelaire, "Le mauvais moine" [The Bad Monk], from Les fleurs du mal [The Flowers of Evil], "Spleen et Idéal" [Spleen and Ideal], 1857, my translation

"The rumpling of the plumes / Of this creature of the evening / Came to be sleights of sails / Over the sea. // And thus she roamed / In the roamings of her fan, // Partaking of the sea, / And of the evening, / As they flowed around / And uttered their subsiding sound."
-Wallace Stevens, "Infanta Marina", from Harmonium, 1923/1931

"With my nails I clawed the partition and, piece by piece, I made a hole in the right-hand wall. This was a window and the sun that wanted to blind me wasn't able to keep me from looking out."
-Pierre Reverdy, "L'esprit sort" [The Spirit Exits], from Poèmes en prose [Poems in Prose], 1915, my translation

"How when we die our shades will rove, / When eve has hushed the feathered ways, / With vapoury footsole by the water's drowsy blaze."
-W. B. Yeats, "The Indian to His Love", from Crossways, 1889

"These recitatives for thee, — my book and the war are one, / Merged in its spirit I and mine, as the contest hinged on thee, / As a wheel on its axis turns, this book unwitting to itself, / Around the idea of thee."
-Walt Whitman, "To Thee Old Cause", from Leaves of Grass, "Inscriptions", 1855-1892


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