Der Knauf / Schnellgeschrieben

Der Knauf

Schon viele haben Blumen dir gepflückt,
von Löwenzahn bis hin zu Feuerlilien,

vielleicht auch mancher einen Edelstein –
doch niemand pflückte je dir einen Stern.

Und wenn ich tausend Jahre leben muß,
und wenn ich tausend Jahre lieben muß:

Ich hole dir den kupferfarbnen Knauf
vom ungeheuren Sternengittertor

zur dämmerdunkelblauen Seligkeit
und leg ihn sanft in deine hohle Hand.

Christina Egan © 2012


Schnellgeschrieben

Sterne ans Firmament zu setzen ist mir ein Leichtes:
Funkelnde Verse schleif flink ich mit sicherer Hand.
Sterne hingegen vom Himmel zu greifen geschieht nur im Traume:
Sprühende Küsse erhascht selten der federnde Fuß.

Christina Egan © 2016


In The Knob, the person wants to pick for her beloved one something better than a flame-coloured flower, better than a sparkling gem: a copper-coloured star!

In the distichon Written Quickly, the poet states that she can easily put stars up, that is, her verse, but rarely picks stars, that is, kisses, other than in dreams…

These poems would not work in a translation software because the first one invents words and the second one jumbles up the word order, like the ancients did.

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Tausend blaue Sterne

Tausend blaue Sterne

“Tausend blaue Blumen –
eine Galaxie!”
Liest du es und lächelst:
“Welche Phantasie…”?

“Bläulichweiße Sterne
himmelfarbne gar,
lila strahlt die Sonne,
alabasterklar…”Rhododendron (pink blossom), lady's mantle (yellow blossom), nigella (blue blossom) in front of old shed and fence.

Meinst du nicht, ich sehe
was, was du nicht siehst,
der du in der Ferne
diese Verse liest?

Federfeine Blüten
aus der Kümmelsaat,
erste Passiflora
wie ein Wagenrad!

Und die runde Blume
lächelt in das Licht
wie ein schattenloses
Kinderangesicht…

Christina Egan © 2014

Large flat flower in white and purple, with long purple stem, small orange fruit, shiny green leaves.

 

The sky-blue galaxy and purple and alabaster sun of the verse!

Photographs:
Christina Egan © 2013/2016.

Early July (The vast transparent vessel)

Early July

I.

The vast transparent vessel of the sky
is filled at last with light up to the rim.
The twigs and leaves and petals wave and cry:
“The feast of heat and harvest can begin!”

II.

The days are still long, the sky is still light
and already strong the glorious heat,
the grass is still lush, the flowers still bright
and already ripe the sweet golden wheat!

Christina Egan © 2015


Those magical weeks just after summer
solstice are also captured in the German
poems Erster Juli / Eimerrand.

Erster Juli / Eimerrand

Erster Juli

Die Erde atmet durch ein jedes Blatt,
von Sonne, Wind und Regen rund und satt.
Die Kletterpflanze streckt sich aus und birst
in weiße Kreise bis zum Schuppenfirst.
Die Nelkenwurz erbebt im Hummelflug,
die Beeren filtern dunkelblaues Blut.
Und selbst die totgeglaubte Nelke glüht
in einem starken Rosa, das genügt.

Christina Egan © 2014


 

Eimerrand

So mit Sonne vollgesogen
ist das nördlich schöne Land
funkelndbunter Wassertropfen
an des Schöpfers Eimerrand!

Christina Egan © 2015

Red geraniums, pink verbena, blueberries around lawn

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2014

I have also written English poems about the magical time of Early JulyThere are more plants bursting with life at Green Blood: four German and English poems for the four seasons.

What must be the shortest poem on this website, other than haiku, is a powerful one: a whole stretch of land is only a sparkling drop on God’s bucket. The lines were inspired by a verse in Isaiah claiming that the nations are just drops on a bucket and grains of sand.

La Mer, enfin

La Mer, enfin
(Cimetière marin, Sète)

Ô vagues de vers sincères et idolâtres…
Ce vaste pan de verre d’un vert bleuâtre
Entre cieux et ombres suspendu,
Et cet essaim neigeux de tombes en marbre
Parmi les flammes géantes noires des arbres :
La Mer, enfin. J’ai vu et j’ai vécu.

Ces fleurs en bas, comme lèvres entrouvertes,
Impérissables certes, mais inertes,
Moulues de cet argile du Midi ;
Ces fleurs en haut, rosées et scintillantes,
Ces tressaillantes et minces, mais vivantes !
Le Cimetière. J’ai vu et j’ai écrit.

Christina Egan © 2016

Light-blue sky and light-green ocean in the background, white tombs in the foregrund; in the front, a flat marble slabs decorated with two large pink flowers, one in clay and one in plastic.

 

Paul Valéry’s tomb on the Cimetière marin, which has become famous through his poem. It is shown and played all day in the neighbouring art museum erected as a homage to him.

These lines are closely related to Valéry’s. The durable but lifeless flowers are of clay and plastic; the perishable but living ones blossom on the bushes around. My picture and poem were created in early January!

An automatic translation into English may convey the meaning of  my French homage to Valéry quite well — but not the music of the words!

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016

Le tesson / The Shard

Le tesson

En février givré, je fouille
les feuilles mortes pour des fleurs
modestes et fortes et courageuses :
soldats contre la froideur

ou des pierres précieuses
éparpillées en bas, fragments
pâlis de la Cité Céleste
que quelques éblouis attestent.

Parfois, une sphère lumineuse
me frappe, vive mais tranquille :
plutôt que le premier bouton
ton œil est le tesson qui brille.

Christina Egan © 2017

A pair of mauve crocusses, wide open, in bright sunlight, with honey-bee hovering above.

The Shard

In frosty February, I scour
decaying leaves for the first flower:
some modest soldiers, strong and bold
against the kingdom of the cold,

or precious stones on muddy ground,
some faded fragments of the round
of Heavenly Jerusalem,
that dazzling more-than-real realm.

At times a circle full of light,
as calm as lively, strikes my sight:
but rather than spring’s early guard
your eye is the resplendent shard.

Christina Egan © 2017


For a German and English parallel poem about the first spring flowers, go to my previous post, King Spring / König Frühjahr.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2017.
Crocusses with honey-bee, captured in London in mid-February!

Venus and Mars

Venus and Mars

The darker the night,
the stronger the stars,
the fiercer the fight
of Venus and Mars.

They fight not each other
but darkness and cold,
they each hold a banner
embroidered with gold.

The later the hour,
the likelier dawn,
with fire and flower
in splendour reborn!

Christina Egan © 2016


This poem takes up my thoughts about the elements in the previous post: here, the male and female principles are involved in a common struggle rather than a struggle against each other.

‘Dawn’ refers to the dawn of the new year in early spring as much as to the time of the day; and springtime is even more unpredictable than daylight, precisely in a northern country.