Энтони Хект / Anthony Hecht

Глин Максвелл / Glyn Maxwell

Огден Нэш / Ogden Nash

Английские поэты XVII - XVIII в. / English poets of the XVII - XVIII centuries.

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Originals - Glyn Maxwell
Glyn Maxwell

For my Daughter
Peter Brook
The Sentence


The boy has died. We knew that right away.
“Es gibt kein Luft,” I said. On a cold day
We should have seen his breath as a cone of mist.
I was proud I’d used some German words. We stood
In a park in Budapest.
                                  Some passers-by
Did just that with a glance. The German fat guy
Peered and shrugged and went. A flashy rich
Prostitute arrived. She was the first
And only one to touch.
                                 It was 2 pm.
Nothing happened. “The police are going to come
And we’ve no papers,” I fretted. Patrick said:
“They won’t ask anything,” and an ambulance
Braked and no one did.
                                  They hauled him up.
His anorak hood fell back. Our little group
Saw now he was a girl. She could have died
Of drugs or cold, stabwound or rope or rape.
Least bad was suicide.
                                  They drove away.
We’ll never know a thing. We spent the day
In the tight conspiracy of private shocks.
A clerk in police HQ would make some notes
And slide them in a box.
                                 A year and a half
And I’d do this, predictably enough.
In Hungary perhaps they shed some light
On why she died, but light shed on a death
Is not what I call light.
                                  I was waiting.
To bring some writer’s thinking to the writing.
Of what it was to chance on a fresh dead
In public in broad daylight in the middle
Of where we are. Instead

It ends up as dry as a lucky stone.
Something to carry around and feel. Move on.

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Us? We were with the Allies. We were with you
Right on the dot, throughout, and we were with you
At and beyond the end. We were with the Allies.

And when we were with you we felt we were something more
Than a nation, we were a brotherhood, a cause.
Nobody said we flouted or broke things.

The enemy had one eye, though, that was simple.
It’s hard to know what’s right till the night you know
What wrong is and the enemy was what wrong is.

You great big nations thought of us and said “Them?
They’re with the Allies.” So we got added to prayers.
The name of our land was mouthed before the Amen

By your fair little children. In their schools
They crayoned us in like everyone, in the colour
The Allies were, and did projects on our products.

They told their mothers the things we make, but their mothers
Showed them them in tins. They had bought out products
Because we were allies. We were the Allies’ allies.

After we made our way to the capitals
Of superpowers, observed by the delicate ladies
Who lived in them, and one told another one “Them?

They were with us”, and that was like having new friends
Always passing, too well-bred to wave back.
Stroll by the Jubilee Arch as the sun goes down:

Ours are the curious names on the marble walls
As high as the eye can see. You have to remember
Our language has no vowels but it can be mastered.

Oh yes, we were with the Allies. Me myself?
I’ll tell you about my war and about my wife
And daughters too if this fellow will ever serve me.

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The night is fine and dry. It falls and spreads
the cold sky with a million opposites
that, for a moment, seem like a million souls
and soon, none, and then, for what seems a long time,
one. Then, of course it spins. What is better to do
than string out over the infinite dead spaces
the ancient beasts and spearmen of the human
mind, and, if not the real ones, new ones?

But, try making them clear to one you love –
whoever is standing by you is one you love
when pinioned by the stars -- you will find it quite
impossible, but like her more for thinking
she sees that constellation.

After the wave of pain, you will turn to her
and, in an instant, change the universe
to a sky you were glad you came out to see.

This is the act of all the descended gods
of every age and creed: to weary of all
that never ends, to take a human hand,
and go back into the house.

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For my daughter

If I call this poem that, I have as new
A pattern of three words to learn as you
Have everything. The day you get the gist
Of what this is becoming you’ll have missed
The point you were. Then you’ll have reached the stage
You stay at, insofar as every age
In writing is a step along a shelf
Where words are sowed and weather like a self.
The height is dizzy but it stays the same
And the ladder gets there when you make a name
Of something I keep calling you. That date
We won’t forget, are bound to celebrate,
Like rain we needed after a long spell
Of what was blissful but incredible.

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Peter Brook

Let every page
Begin as clean
And end as clear
As stories are
If actors pass
Through pain and grace
To make a stage
Of any place.

Let every word
Be prized enough
Shyly to talk
Or weep with work
Or fail afresh
Towards a truth
That may be heard
Beyond its breath.

Let every gap
And every strip
Of space fulfill
Its hapless will
That all about
Each uttered mark
The matter drop
Into the dark.

Let every line
In ignorance
Of whence it came
Or what’s to come
Hold out its hands
Into the breeze
As I do mine
And cling to these.

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The Sentence

Lied to like a judge I stepped down.
My court cleared to the shrieks of the set free.
I know the truth, I know its level sound.
It didn't speak, or didn't speak to me.

The jury caught the tan of her bright look,
The ushers smoothed her path and bowed aside,
The lawyers watched her fingers as she took
Three solemn vows, her lipstick as she lied.

She vowed and lied to me and won her case.
I'm glad she won. I wouldn't have had her led
However gently into the shrunken space
I'd opened for her. There. There now it's said,

Said in this chamber where I sleep of old,
Alone with books and sprawling robes and scent.
With all I have, I have no power to hold
The innocent or the found innocent.

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© Марина Эскина 2002