Thursday, 13 June 2013

Time for an albatross poem from the Dutch writer Dèr Mouw


The sea flecks up clouds to where cloud banks stack,
the clouds rain seas into the sea below;
above the storm, borne on a breezeless flow,
the albatross drifts on its calm, bright track:

it hears far off the hurricane’s wild chase –
galloping through great troughs that dip and lift –
of lightning-folk who, keen to spoil this drift,
around the wave-tops let their torch-dance race;

it glimpses at a cloud-shaft’s bottom edge
the world-sea hammering, a white-green sledge;
and mainlands snap off at its pitch and toss...

above a double sea of clouds and ocean
pricked through with dancing torches, in slow motion
and steady sunlight drifts the albatross.

2 comments:

David C Brown said...

Magnificent!

John Irons said...

it's one of a pair, the second being the analogy with 'Self-Awareness of Brahman's Being' - he is deeply influenced by Hinduist philosophy. but the second poem is pretty tortuous in terms of language and syntax - i'll see if i can come up with a respectable translation.