Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jean Paul and Goethe: Album Dialogue

4352 Jean Paul and Goethe: Album Dialogue
in Walther von Goethe's album April 1825

"Der Mensch hat hier dritthalb Minuten: eine zu laecheln, eine zu seufzen und eine halbe zu lieben; denn mitten in dieser Minute stirbt er." 
     --Jean Paul Richter


Five minute-halves: our life supply.
One minute smiling, one to sigh,
One half to love, but - watch it, guy! -
That half's the end, and then you die.


Ihrer sechzig hat die Stunde,
Ueber tausend hat der Tag.
Soehnchen! Werde dir die Kunde
Was man alles leisten mag.  
     --J. W. von Goethe


Sixty minutes in an hour;
Thousand-plus the day contains.
Sonny, think how great your power:
In such time, how much one gains!

     --translations copyright by Martin Bidney

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Rounding Third": A Review

4263 "Rounding Third": A Review
a Spenserian sonnet for Ann, Marilyn, Sylvia, Victoria,
and the Chenango River Theatre

The ball a sphere, a diamond all beside:
How straight the line to race, and player-aim!
From life-irregularity to hide,
A wife that died, a friend one feared to blame,

The lure of Brigadoon, the crying shame
Of piping over hills and far away,
The shoelace, Fury-tool, the fool of fame,
The farce-incarceration every day

By cellphone and the company-display
Of diligent subjection to the rule...
The baseball gem: how bright, but will it stay
A guiding light, or morph into a ghoul?

Though foes arose, a growing hope was heard
Resounding, for they'd found a rounding third.

     --Martin Bidney, copyright 2011