Franz Kafka

Saturday, November 25, 2017

"Amongst All Things I Cherish You Most," a Poem from "Midnight 30, American Poems"

Edvard Munch Starry Night (1922.) Courtesy Munch Museum "Munch : Van Gogh" at Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Amongst All Things I Cherish You Most

Amongst all things I cherish you most:
silent, deserted tracks,
paths winding steeply up
to the hazy tops, murmurs of footsteps
muffled by silent slopes,
ascensions to sylvan hermitages.

When the first snow
shuts all man within their weary
dwellings, then even the timid fox
sticks its head out of the woods,
sniffing with its pointed nose the air
in the scant November dusk.  

Similarly a vagrant finds some peace
and no longer despairs in his wandering,
when the blackening earth closes the corolla
of the horizon, and like ancient weeping,
the oblivious, sooty sky
is a mute blanket, unutterable.      

(The Appalachians, November 2013)

From "Midnight 30, American Poems," by A. Baruffi,  published by LiteraryJoint Press, is available as e-book on Amazon Kindle, iBookstore, NOOK Book, Kobo, and Lulu.

Midnight thirty: half-hour past "Geisterstunde," as it is still called in the broody hillsides hamlets of inner, rural Pennsylvania. In the deep stillness of the night, the tongue is loose, the eye quick, the ear alert, and the mind finally conducive to grasp all that in daylight is hidden. It is only at that time that truth is said, or whispered...
"In this surprising work of modern American literature, like a shimmering, wild creek under the full moonlight, the vein of poetry taps into the inexhaustible resources and riches of the land, and runs with inspiration and wisdom..."

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Today Only: Free Book Promotion on Amazon, Sunday March 5th, 2017 (Italian Edition)

Book Cover of "L'Inverno e il Re Triste, una Favola" (Italian Edition), LiteraryJoint Press

Today Only: Free Book Promotion on Amazon:  Sunday, March 5th, 2017 (Italian Edition)
Alle soglie dell'inverno, al limitare dei suoi giorni, un Re si spinge fin nei meandri del bosco, ove una creatura delle foreste gli confiderà un segreto fuggevole e misterioso...

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November Tale, from "Ligeia," by Edagar Allan Poe (1838)

Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe January (Boston, 19, 1809 – Baltimore, October 7, 1849)

At high noon of the night in which she departed, beckoning me, peremptorily, to her side, she bade me repeat certain verses composed by herself not many days before. I obeyed her. --They were these:

      Lo! 'tis a gala night
      Within the lonesome latter years!
      An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
      In veils, and drowned in tears,
      Sit in a theatre, to see
      A play of hopes and fears,
      While the orchestra breathes fitfully
      The music of the spheres.

      Mimes, in the form of God on high,
      Mutter and mumble low,
      And hither and thither fly --
      Mere puppets they, who come and go
      At bidding of vast formless things
      That shift the scenery to and fro,
      Flapping from out their Condor wings
      Invisible Wo!

      That motley drama! --oh, be sure
      It shall not be forgot!
      With its Phantom chased forever more,
      By a crowd that seize it not,
      Through a circle that ever returneth in
      To the self-same spot,
      And much of Madness and more of Sin
      And Horror the soul of the plot.

      But see, amid the mimic rout,
      A crawling shape intrude!
      A blood-red thing that writhes from out
      The scenic solitude!
      It writhes! --it writhes! --with mortal pangs
      The mimes become its food,
      And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs
      In human gore imbued.

      Out --out are the lights --out all!
      And over each quivering form,
      The curtain, a funeral pall,
      Comes down with the rush of a storm,
      And the angels, all pallid and wan,
      Uprising, unveiling, affirm
      That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
      And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

"O God!" half shrieked Ligeia, leaping to her feet and extending her arms aloft with a spasmodic movement, as I made an end of these lines --"O God! O Divine Father! --shall these things be undeviatingly so? --shall this Conqueror be not once conquered? Are we not part and parcel in Thee? Who --who knoweth the mysteries of the will with its vigor? Man doth not yield him to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will."

From "Ligeia," by Edagar Allan Poe (1838)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

"La Guazza" (The Heavy Dew) by Giovanni Pascoli. English translation, with original Italian text. "La Guazza" (The Heavy Dew) from the collection "Canti di Castelvecchio" (1903)

The following translation of "La Guazza" (The Heavy Dew) by Giovanni Pascoli is from the book "The Poems of Giovanni Pascoli: Translated in English, with Original Italian Text," published by LiteraryJoint Press (2017). Also available as Amazon ebook (Free on Kindle Unlimited!)  and also on Kobo.

Hasegawa Tōhaku, Pine Trees screen (Shōrin-zu byōbu 松林図 屏風), one of a pair of folding screens, Japan, 1593

The Heavy Dew

Down there, in the night, among the shakes
of a slow bell, a stamping
gets still. Not yet are red
the peaks of the mountains.
In the sky of languid azure,
the stars barely whiten:
you hear a confused murmur
in the serene air.
Who passes by in silent streets?
Who talks from tacit thresholds?
Nobody. It's the heavy dew that falls
on dry leaves.
Let's leave, it's time, not day yet,
as we open wide the vain pupils;
let's leave, while around is a murmur
of tiny dew drops.
All alone in the darkness,
some of them shine for a minute;
reflecting your sun, oh my sun;
then fall: they've seen.

La Guazza

Laggiù, nella notte, tra scosse
d'un lento sonaglio, uno scalpito
è fermo. Non anco son rosse
le cime dell'Alpi.
Nel cielo d'un languido azzurro,
le stelle si sbiancano appena:
si sente un confuso sussurro
nell'aria serena.
Chi passa per tacite strade?
Chi parla da tacite soglie?
Nessuno. È la guazza che cade
sopr'aride foglie.
Si parte, ch'è ora, né giorno,
sbarrando le vane pupille;
si parte tra un murmure intorno
di piccole stille.
In mezzo alle tenebre sole,
qualcuna riluce un minuto;
riflette il tuo Sole, o mio Sole;
poi cade: ha veduto.

From the collection "Canti di Castelvecchio" (1903,) by Giovanni Pascoli