THE FOLLOWING POEMS belong to a collection of over 90 poems that were originally published in an ebook whose synopsis you are kindly invited to read here. Most of these poems were written in English, some of them in Spanish, a few are creative self-translations and there are some in French as well.
HERE YOU WILL READ some of such poems as selected in English.
Always there to be touched, shelved, embraced; Their pages to be flicked and read and scorned, with grace. Books treasure poetry, fiction and plays; They teach us law, refinement and faith.
Books suit our senses or else they are despised; Books smell of roses, of lilies—of vice, alas! Books make us smart, wistful, silly and wise; If a book lives within us, we are alive likewise.
They may be owned, lent, loved, possessed. But they are only books, they couldn’t care less! Yet a book is a gift, whatever its content, whatever its dress; Thus make the most of your books, for you have been blessed!
I There goes he with his lacerated pen, his fingers filthy, his eyes in strain. There goes he, one man who chose well! He chose to live upon his passion, along its inherent pains.
His back, when it speaks, it always wails, and his eyes—oh, poor eyes! They now bear the shadows of the light they used to bring.
II There goes he who can smell farther than the flowers, he who sees beyond the seas and hears beyond the heres; there he lies again, beside the fire for long hours-- the flames inflate him; he cannot rest, he is a writer!
For years his muse has been his fear, his passion, reading, and writing his vice; I swear I never saw a writer whose tears read witty and worthy and moving likewise.
III But whoso writer wants to be do not seek his advice. He’ll say: ‘I have nothing but my writing, I have ne’er made any friends.’
And he’ll try to deter you with many an ungrounded lie: ‘A writer can only be born, not made,’ this writer will cry.
Now, being a writer myself, I’ll dare challenge my peer and say only this: ‘You needn’t fear, for a writer through reading can always be made.’
Yet one thing is certain and I cannot deny it: ‘When the magic ends; when the writing ceases, it is sadness what follows —either with or without friends—; sadness for the loss of one’s former source of pleasure and the fear we all fear that it may never come again.’
Pictures of perfection make me sick and wicked. Jane Austen, letter LXXXIV
IF you can write a poem so misleading As to suggest that men are made of stone, Then I shall pen my song and sound deceiving, For I too dare claim the right to sound as wrong:
If I could keep my head when all about me Are losing their temper and dare blame it on me, If I could trust myself when the rest doubted me, Yet make allowance for their doubting, indeed!; If I could wait without getting weary of waiting, Or being lied about, not deal in lies, Or being hated, not give in to hatred, And yet look not too sound, nor talk too smart:
If I could dream—yet not make dreams my master; If I could think but not make thoughts my aim; If I could easily salute Triumph and Disaster And treat both such impostors equally the same; If I could bear to hear the truth I’ve spoken Twisted by traitors to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things I’ve invested my life in, broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If I could make one heap of all my winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, you say, and start again at my beginnings, And never breathe a word about my loss!; If I could force my heart and nerve and sinew To serve my turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in me Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If I could talk with crowds and be a dime, Or walk with Kings and not lose the common touch, If neither foes nor friends could break my heart, If all men counted with me, yet none ‘too much’! If I could, in short, be so grand and glorious, And act upon such endlessly perfect conduct, I doubt I’d settle for the Earth, the ground, If I might as well demand a better contract:
Now having read what you propose that I should be, I have to say I find the prize below my standards; You need not worry, though, for I’ll struggle and succeed: I guess I can be cold and blind and heartlessly unflappable; But since you ask that I give up on my nature, I have to claim the Heavens must as well be mine! Now what say you to my wanting such a treasure? How could you now refuse me my better design?
There’s a star that keeps following me From the clearest of skies. She smiles, she cries And yet, yet she would never hide. ‘What are we?’ I wonder, Under the light that glistens From my faithful star. ‘What are we, dear?’ I raise to her my eyes. What are we but spies-- Curious and yet oblivious To other people’s lives? But my star, she stares, Stares and smiles from a stormy sky; And I wonder—is it me only to see That we hardly ever smile And seldom do we look At one another in the eye? There’s this star that keeps following me From the most dreadful of skies; A star who’s not afraid to let me see That she cares, she dotes on me; She feels, she smiles. Now she laughs and I smile to myself For I am invisible to all passers-by. Yet this star, she keeps beaming; She beams at me and I at her. And we smile, she smiles, And so do I, my star.
I Of Sense and Pride And Abbeys and wistful Parks No one’s ever known better; ‘Tis of Her I am speaking, Jane Austen! The woman whose writing and spirit We know through her novels and letters.
II Her niece Fanny, her favourite heart, Our lady Jane Austen knew well by far, And in her company the niece learnt as well To marry for love and not for annuities, Nor jewels, Nor wealth.
III Now December brings the memory of Thee again, Jane! Storm and Thunder, they shall not come in vain; Now they are crying, my lady, the Heavens are, For they are in pain; they lament Thy parting, And the fact that it took place long ago Will not help us conceal our sorrow.
IV Thus the sons and daughters of Thy soul, As well as the daughters and sons Of their descendants, We shall all pray for Thee, recall Thee; Bring Thy memory into remembrance! Every single day of our lives.
V And in Heaven Thou are resting, Now and for ever, ever after, That when I write or read, or cry Reading Thy masterpieces, in laughter, It shall always be in Thy name—Thou, Jane! My truest friend, my only master!