on cloud-covered cliﬀs,
If in this world
There ever was a time when cherry trees
Failed in the blossoming,
Then the responsive hearts of men
Might answer to a tranquil spring.
Ariwara no Narihira
He huddles in a shadow and in winter in the cold.
When the wind blows he shakes a little flame at the end of his
fingers and signals among the trees. He is an old man;
no doubt he has always been one and bad weather doesn’t
make him die. He goes down into the plain when evening
falls; during the day he stays halfway up the hill hidden
in some wood from which he has never been seen to
emerge. His little light trembles on the horizon like a
star as soon as night falls. Sunlight and noise frighten
him; he hides waiting for the shorter and silent days of
autumn, under the lowering sky, in the gray and gentle
atmosphere where he can trot, with bent back, without
being heard. He is the old man of winter who never dies.
Those lovely orange-trees
whose flowers breathe amber
on the meadows are pomanders
in the sun’s brazier:
a perpetual and lovely emerald,
in which the loquacious nightingale
with harmonious voice
tells us a thousand tales;
among whose tender leaves
the flowers which April shaped
from short-lived stars of snow
are fragrant clusters.
The metamorphoses of time
which will sweetly transform
what are diamonds to-day
into topazes to-morrow;
to whose green liveries
crystal twigs give
and a most fragrant whiteness.
Rich mine of the valley
where shy January
gave us free gold
and showy May free silver.
Salvador Jacinto Polo de Medina
Under the tree
the soup and the fish salad,
or cherry blossoms?
Let me stay for now
where there is a pasania tree —
the summer grove.
Toward my brushwood door
sending tree leaves for my tea —
the stormy wind.
Across the scorched plain
an olive tree drifts.
Federico Garcia Lorca
we know nothing
we knew nothing of grief
the bitter season of cold
digs long furrows in our muscles
he would have preferred the joy of victory
wise under calm sorrows caged
unable to do anything at all
if snow fell upward
if the sun rose to meet us during the night
to warm us
and trees hung with their crown upside down
if birds were here with us to contemplate themselves
in the tranquil lake above our heads
WE COULD UNDERSTAND
death would be a beautiful long voyage
and an unlimited vacation from the ﬂesh of structures and of bones.