Idylle en Bohême II

She used to dance more often back then, nearly every other night. A way to live out the city, traverse its cobblestones after all the shops had closed. When she saw that fragment of a film, it spoke to her about her own life.

Zrodil se za horou pramének málu
pospíchal dolů a spěchal vždy dál
když potom opustil své rodné scaly
klidnou a moudrou on řekou se stal

Řeka, ta zná a nepoví
jaký je sladký ten čas
když plyne soumrak medový
když loďka unáší nás

Břehy se ztrácejí ve tmách
v srdcích to šumí jak proud

Řeka, to zná a nepoví
že chceme do lásky plout

— Valčík from the film
La Libertée surveillée (1958)

Newly sprung from the mountain,
the little stream
Dashed down and coursed ever further
Leaving behind its native rocks,
A calm and wise river it became.

The river knows and does not tell
How sweet is the hour
When honey twilight falls
When the boat carries us away

The river shores are lost in the darkness
In the flowing murmur of our hearts

The river knows and does not tell
How we want to sail upon
the river of Love

— translation adapted from R.H.

le retour du Sturm und Drang

February, the ancient month of expiation, of purification, draws to a close. A blank page, an ashen sky is all that remains in the dimness of the crepuscule. How sly the calm at the edge of the woods, how it belies this feverish mind. Formed in a seasonless clime, of perpetual blue skies, how blithely ignorant it had been of lúty, ice and únor, of a winter pond, the true names of such times of the year, in these parts.

How the circle is drawn, what had flown far now yearns for the steadfast childhood sun, for the evergreen… but is it so, that we are living one prolonged rumspringa and that we are about to return?

Now that I have experienced what my hero of youth Richard Feverel, venturing out one stormy evening deep into the forest of the Rhine, had experienced, what is the verdict?

«Hiver en Mitteleuropa», 2010
«Hiver en Mitteleuropa», 2010

When he again pursued his course with his face to the Rhine, a huge mountain appeared to rise sheer over him, and he had it in his mind to scale it. He got no nearer to the base of it for all his vigorous outstepping. The ground began to dip; he lost sight of the sky. Then heavy, thunder-drops streak his cheek, the leaves were singing, the earth breathed, it was black before him, and behind. All at once the thunder spoke. The mountain he had marked was bursting over him.

Up startled the whole forest in violet fire. He saw the country at the foot of the hills to the bounding Rhine gleam, quiver, extinguished. Then there were pauses; and the lightning seemed as the eye of heaven, and the thunder as the tongue of heaven, each alternately addressing him; filling him with awful rapture. Alone there— sole human creature among the grandeurs and mysteries of storm— he felt the representative of his kind, and his spirit rose, and marched, and exulted, let it be glory, let it be ruin! Lower down the lightened abysses of air rolled the wrathful crash; then white thrusts of light were darted from the sky, and great curving ferns, seen steadfast in pallor a second, were supernaturally agitated, and vanished. Then a shrill song roused in the leaves and the herbage. Prolonged and louder it sounded, as deeper and heavier the deluge pressed. A mighty force of water satisfied the desire of the earth.

— Chapter 52, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, George Meredith

Songs of an Other

«If this is a dream...», work in progress, 2012

If this is a dream and he loves me,
May I never wake up
In the sweetness of the dawn,
May my soul fly away

— song from Smyrna, sung by Savina Yannatou
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