This is not love: we cannot call it love.
Love would make me aware of infinite things,
Drive me down the spirit’s vast abyss
And through the narrow fastnesses of pain.
This is not love. Yet it holds loveliness
Beyond mere pleasure. Peace and passion both
Grow from the kiss with which I paint drab hours.
It is not love: love is for the gods
And our more godlike moments. Yet when stars
Withhold their splendor, why should we not light
Candles to warm with kindly mortal flames
The all-enfolding, cold, immortal night?
From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.
translated from the Spanish by William George Williams
When I met her I loved myself.
It was she who had my best singing,
she who set flame to my obscure youth,
she who raised my eyes toward heaven.
Her love moistened me, it was an essence.
I folded my heart like a handkerchief
and after I turned the key on my existence.
And thus it perfumes my soul
with a distant and subtle poetry.
Mi vida es un recuerdo
Cuando la conocí me amé á mí mismo.
Fué la que tuvo mi mejor lirismo,
la que encendió mi obscura adolescencia,
la que mis ojos levantó hacia el cielo.
Me humedeció su amor, que era una esencia,
doblé mi corazón como un pañuelo
y después le eché llave á mi existencia.
Y por eso perfuma el alma mía
con lejana y diluida poesía.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 9, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
This poem is in the public domain.