The Poetry Friday Round-Up is organized by Kidlitosphere Central, and is hosted this week at Live Your Poem.
On the Collected Works of E.A. Robinson
All that I wanted was a villanelle
as an example. Going to the shelf,
my fingers flexing to embrace the worn
red rebound volume, I stopped short and looked
at where the book was always shelved, and saw
just shiny interlopers. Gone. Could I,
in a fit of cleaning out...Yes. I did.
And not that volume only. How could I
imagine them dispensable and deem
them insignificant? Unloved? The dust
too heavy on their pages? Had I kept
the books, the baggage would be light. To pack
the books was nothing-- a mere weight to tote
upstairs, unpack, reshelve, reread. But now
that they are gone, I want to seize them back.
The close of time is narrowing and pores
with unpermitted eyes on what might be.
Compare with my favorite E. A. Robinson translation of a Horace Ode.
Horace To Leuconoe
I pray you not, Leuconoe, to pore
With unpermitted eyes on what may be
Appointed by the gods for you and me,
Nor on Chaldean figures any more.
'T were infinitely better to implore
The present only: -- whether Jove decree
More winters yet to come, or whether he
Make even this, whose hard, wave-eaten shore
Shatters the Tuscan seas to-day, the last --
Be wise withal, and rack your wine, nor fill
Your bosom with large hopes; for while I sing,
The envious close of time is narrowing; --
So seize the day, -- or ever it be past, --
And let the morrow come for what it will.