Saturday, December 03, 2011

Translations -- A Saturday reprise

(This post originally appeared in January 2006.)


My hand has a pain from writing,
Not steady the sharp tool of my craft
Its slender beak spews bright ink--
A beetle-dark shining draught.

Streams of wisdom of white God
From my fair-brown, fine hand sally,
On the page they splash their flood
In ink of the green-skinned holly.

My little dribbly pen stretches
Across the great white paper plain,
Insatiable for splendid riches--
That is why my hand has pain.

St. Colmcille, 6th century, translated by Brian O'Nolan


My fingers out of joint
Skating the touchpad of my craft
Helvetica, twelve point--
A dot-pixeled shining draft.

Musings of an absconded God
From my Apple metallic-silver keys
On the screen they splash their flood
In a silicon flicker of LCDs.

My PowerBook purrs, fetches,
The words stumble, electronic ink,
No likelihood of splendid riches--
I pour myself another drink.

Chet Raymo