Love and Life
As a poor boy standing in front of a theatre’s gates,
one foot on the street, the other on marble steps,
with sad eyes of longing stares at the lovely palace
and curses his own indigence under his breath:
the hours pass, the auditorium’s plunged in darkness,
the stage is lit, the air throbs with poetry and music -
through his eager ears the melodies reach his spirit
like a dream overture, and his mind’s in joy’s high tide: -
even so, love, all I’ve had so far in life
is just a glimpse of you, your finger’s touch!
Yet already the earth’s at my feet, the firmament’s my finger’s ring,
and amazed, I think: that thing whose faintest hint
brings births and deaths in instants, and in tears raises seas -
its complete revelation - what a miracle that must be!
3 February 1929, night
You are of this life, yet you are more than life.
Life’s suffering’s sandbank’s girt with the sea of sleep -
on its sand your teeming footprints you leave
and with those marks life’s insignia you inscribe.
Where all is transient, unreal - you are the pole star’s light.
Those who, in the cave of death, have discovered God,
whose fragile lives hang on the insupportable, on roots of hope -
you, steady and stable, are the truth on their rostrum of lies.
A lump of flesh is man - a pot of slime, a pile of primal urges,
until you come and charge him up, make him quiver;
it’s when you pour your wine that his crystal form appears -
all over the rim of life’s cup that wine fizzes.
Foamy madness - waste without compare -
till at last in blood’s darkness heaven sparks, and a fire blazes.
27 March 1929, morning