Portrait and frame
Young woman! If you want to drive everyone crazy,
Wear a stylish black velvet dress
And arrive with your face, like that of a white statue.
With your big eyes — which, shall shine from arches beneath your brow
— And your chignon of blond hair, and your shoulders like snow.
Black colour shall look so nice on you — sweet lips you!
Do you hear me? If you wish that only I, can like you,
Then wear mauve.
It sweetly turns your smiling cheeks and your bosoms
— Which are as clear as wax — a little bit mauve.
And it gives you a timid, a suffering and a delicate appearance
— Of a total gentleness, of a total softness.
Your coat sticks tightly on you, when you walk.
And being warm and bubbly, you laugh like a child.
You look either cheerful or that you have triumphed,
If you sit with your head, leaning toward the back.
Strangely… I sit depressed, and a great deal like a stump of a tree
— When happily, you might place your foot on my knee.
I know myself so well, and I cannot believe that you love me
— You, the woman that I see so attractive and so pretty.
Therefore, there is no other woman like you, under the skies.
You make fun of me and provoke me with your eyes.
And you only want to fool around with my heart…
And then… Shouldn’t I get much more from an angel
Other than bleed my heart because of her gaze?
Oh, make fun of me, young woman you, kill me if so you want,
The smile of your mouth, or a dream from your eyes,
These mean much more in this world, than vain days…
And the end of my life means to forgive you.
What am I? A soft heart, joined with a weak brain,
About whom no one in the world, oh no one ever asks.
And I have dreamed once, to be a poet—
A vain dream, which makes no sense —
And I deserve a smile of sarcasm…
And what else did I want to be?
I wanted my tongue to be like a river of eternal liberation
— And its song to be heartbreaking.
Now, you reduce my dream to nothing.
Since with all my talent at poetry, with all I know and I can do
I cannot so far make a full picture of your smile.
I buried you in my heart, and yet my feeble brain,
It cannot reach you in verses and portrayal.
Your: never imagined and saintly, divine beauty
— Would’ve needed a formidable harp, which enchants.
I cannot put in writing with stereotype flowers, with diamonds,
And with rays, the splendour that only Dante could describe.
Oh, make fun of me, vain pygmy you, appalling lass.
I believed for a minute I am worthy of you.
Oh, woman you, oh angel, oh pure statue,
For me to touch you with the spark of my desire,
I, to be able to imagine for a moment, that your sweet body is mine,
And your face and your silhouette are all mine…
Mad that I am… Don’t you laugh? Oh laugh, laugh at me.
Crying with sadness, I shall close my eye.
So, I cannot see you — a goddess in front of me.
With your head, like a sculpture on a woman’s shoulders…
So, my life slips away. And I shall suffer on and on.
Anne never let me at her bosoms.
Because she doesn’t want to be loved… She wants to be adored.
She wants me to bow my head at her feet, like an idiot,
Only so she could tell me coldly: Sir, and what else did you write?
And I could be in paradise, hearing her mocking voice.
For I would be too happy, if she would look for an split second
To this fed-up man, that stares at her at the moment.
Yes, yes, I shall be happy for a smile, for a word,
Since her smile is worth more than my life in this world.
So, I could feel how nature plays tricks on us,
By placing a brain here and there, and nonsense everywhere.
And I feel this nostalgia, and I admire you in my heart
How Shakespeare had admired in the past.
And I — I’m the child of an unhappy sect
Which has deep thirst for perfect forms.
But look how high Shakespeare climbed up with his powerful gift
And where I am — a mongrel, a child without luck.
Did I say without luck? Why?
Am I not happy that a shadow appeared in my way?
Aren’t enough riches for me a passing smile
— Or a word of love, thrown at me ironically?
Aren’t a gaze or a word enough treasures?
So, these can accompany my life from here to my tomb?
Am I fit to ask? Am I worthy to have more than others?
Don’t I hear my detractors-slander all around me?
Have I been able to wake up or get through with my lyre
Not over one century like others, but for an hour or a day?
I put together words on a string — lots of beautiful words.
And I too, have told the world what is precious and dear to me…
Is this what a poet ought to be this world?
Like bubbles of froth on the waves of time?
Should he arrange his words in a line? Should he talk nonsense
— About how the moon rises, or how the wind blows in the woods?
But no matter how much one may write, or as much one my say…
Meadows, woods, crop fields, do this well
— They carry on, much better than I do it on verse.
Next to the modern lyricism, with its sketch with fewer colours,
The nearby nature is much, much higher.
Oh, sad line of work — in which one has nothing to say
Other than tales, which Homer and many a writer
— Have told them tens-of-thousand-times better.
Yes, the sun is old. The globe is old now.
Coldness has cut into our thoughts and into ours hearts.
And while we’re young, we see lively beauty only in bosoms,
While our hazy thought doesn’t write it on paper…
We are like early flowers, we read on school-dust
— From books with greased pages eaten by moths.
And so with skills grasped from our minds,
— Skills similar to weeds —
We want to grow pomegranate or roses.
Various amounts of signs are in our heads.
Our world is made up of thousand upon thousands of words.
The same crooked world appears ugly and with distinct look,
Blown up from sand patterned by phrases…
Isn’t this another world —the product of genius—
To which our world is only a starting place?
Is it full of beauty, and it comprises earth, oceans and skies
— Only in the eye of Kalidasa or on Homer’s lips?
Oh, pen’s labourers you, with rhymes and with descriptions,
Poor us, we abuse our handful of brains we have.
Lead is never gold. The stench of a specific pursuit
That we replace with writing can be felt on us.
Instead of mastering the plough or the adze and the mallet,
I paint with the fake gold of discussion, the bad coin of my mind.
And time is the tax through which my life showed its worth.
You teach us to copy the splendour into forms.
That’s way my poems fill me with disgust.
A man is obliged to be a child of his century.
And so, I should in an asylum like the helpless…
There I’m supposed to patch up with wonders the walls of my room, and tell lies.
Yes! Depressed is the man, who wasn’t born in his time.
Honestly, I feel like telling my fate off and cursing it.
The curses themselves show that I’m a poet
From the mid of this century, which is paired with a curse.
And I’m a good for nothing guy, who ties words together
So, they would sound sad at the end, like a rare cadence.
And there is no comparison between me a proud army officer
— With his sword under his arm. The choice is easy.
Married women like him in his perfect fit uniform.
The thrilled virgin says to herself: “This is my guy…”
This guy, yes… You have the right hunch.
All of us are mad; nature is wise.
A handsome and smooth body brings love in you.
You feel you’re getting younger in his strong arm.
And aren’t you crazy, lass you, if you chose instead of him,
A guy who shoots the moon, a guy who doesn’t sleep at night,
While, he unfolds the depth of his mind in stanzas in and rhyme.
The soldier tells light jokes, and you have great time.
While I, the poet, am shy and gentle. I walk at a snail pace.
I hardly raise my eye to look at you.
I weigh up words. I don’t know what to say to you.
I look at you at a loss. I sigh. I am a daydreamer.
And days to an end I sit in my reclining seat until I die.
And I can sit for years in the same way …
And I don’t make any progress to the heart of my lass.
Babe? She isn’t that young anymore. She wants to party.
What do I look for, with the empty gaze of my eye?
Why do I tell her she’s an angel, a goddess, or famous person
— When she’s a woman and she wishes to be a woman?
And anyway… Oh, she told me with sweet talk once upon a time:
“I want you to lean your head, here on my arm.
So I can caress your brow, unhappy young man.
Please, my Goddess, tell me these words again.
You see… Fantasy is forever my companion.
A dream is just like a tale. It comes back again.
I pray to reach that day, when in my little room-space,
You shall reign like heiress, lady of the house and my spouse.
And when my thought may become weak, in the hour of woe,
I may feel how you sweet hand slowly touches my brow.
And then, raising my head and opening my eyes,
Oh, I want to see my worldly-wise and kind Goddess.
Run. run! What can you and I expect from a century
In which poetry and dreams are considered silly.
For my part, I do not advise that you follow my way,
Since I may be a mean witness to your misery.
Instead of writing stanzas, I may better beat a drum.
My fireplace doesn’t get warm with stanzas and with rhyme.
Even if I could give my heart to you, so one can drink blood from it,
Necessities are the ice, which freezes any excitement.
My babe, with your cold little feet, and with your warm lips,
Make sure you have fun with me while dreaming in this way.
You come close and sweetly ask me why don’t I court you?
Anyway, you would like to hear how I pronounce one word.
For an hour you yawn in front of me, and now you choose
As a price, to tell you my love in French verse.
What an idea! And you hang your arm by my arm.
I turn my head towards you. I gaze at you without getting enough.
I whisper softly and unhappily over your shoulder, with my mouth.
You are much too pretty madam! And I love you over the limit.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Portrait and frame by Peter Mamara )
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