who have seen
shade of grey
that are thrown away
that rot in sun
when autumn comes —
who have seen
and not succumb to them?
kāpotakāni aṭṭhīni tāni
disvāna kā rati
Many writers consider their art not as something to be mastered — and as something that must be mastered — but as a game of chance, on which they can test their luck. They will happily hand themselves over to Fortune, basing their own worth on nothing more than her valuation (although they are bound to inflate it a little, of course).
There are two traps, two roads to destruction: the first consists in adapting too easily to the tastes of the public, the second in holding too faithfully to one's own idiosyncratic system.
Paul Valéry (1871–1945) Tel Quel
Beaucoup d'écrivains considerent leur art, non comme chose dont il faut se rendre maitre — sine qua non — mais comme un jeu de hasard ou l'on peut risquer sa chance. Ils se remettent tout entiers a la fortune et se donneront la valeur qu'elle voudra bien leur conférer. (Ils ajouteront meme quelque chose.)
Il y a donc deux écueil, deux manieres de s'égarer et de périr: l'adaptation trop exacte au public; la fidelité trop étroite a son propre systeme.
Like predatory wolves
that prowl through pitch-black mists,
instinctive and impelled
by noxious stings of hunger,
while the cubs that were left
behind are waiting
with dessicated throats,
we march to certain
death. We shall sprint
through their volleying spears,
storming their city
while the night stays black.
Its darkness keeps us safe from attack.
… inde, lupi ceu
raptores atra in nebula, quos improba ventris
exegit caecos rabies, catulique relicti
faucibus exspectant siccis, per tela, per hostis
vadimus haud dubiam in mortem, mediaeque tenemus
urbis iter; nox atra cava circumvolat umbra.
Better by far to sleep on shaded grass
than on a gilded bed. Your purple sheets
don't overawe me. I'm at ease, at last.
Perhaps a cheerful heart can overthrow
all darker thoughts and every sordid pain.
I feel completely calm and unalone.
As sun begins to dawn, the cows repeat
their gentle sounds, herds harmonising peacefully.
Perchè dolce più assai era fra l’erba
Sotto l’ombre dormir queto e sicuro,
Che ne’ dorati letti, e di superba
Porpora ornati: e forse più ogn' oscuro
Pensier discaccia, ed ogni doglia acerba,
Sentir col cor tranquillo, allegro, e puro
Nell’ apparir del Sol mugghiar gli armenti,
Che l’armonia de’ più soavi accenti.
Vittoria Colonna (1492–1547)
This website is the work of an obscure writer, reader & observer from the North of England.