Poem of the day

Auspex
by James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

My heart, I cannot still it,
Nest that had song-birds in it;
And when the last shall go,
The dreary days to fill it,
Instead of lark or linnet,
Shall whirl dead leaves and snow.

Had they been swallows only,
Without the passion stronger
That skyward longs and sings,—
Woe’s me, I shall be lonely
When I can feel no longer
The impatience of their wings!

A moment, sweet delusion,
Like birds the brown leaves hover;
But it will not be long
Before their wild confusion
Fall wavering down to cover
The poet and his song.

Game of the week

Poem of the day

Bring Out the Wine and Leave Everything Else to the Gods (Odes, I, 9)
by Quintus Horatius Flaccus (“Horace”) (65-8 BCE)

Vides ut alta stet nive candidum
Soracte nec iam sustineant onus
      silvae laborantes geluque
         flumina constiterint acuto?

Dissolve frigus ligna super foco
large reponens atque benignius
      deprome quadrimum Sabina,
         o Thaliarche, merum diota.

Permitte divis cetera, qui simul
strauere ventos aequore fervido
      deproeliantis, nec cupressi
         nec veteres agitantur orni.

Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere, et
quem fors dierum cumque dabit, lucro
      adpone nec dulcis amores
         sperne, puer, neque tu choreas,

donec virenti canities abest
morosa. Nunc et Campus et areae
      lenesque sub noctem susurri
         composita repetantur hora,

nunc et latentis proditor intumo
gratus puellae risus ab angulo
      pignusque dereptum lacertis
         aut digito male pertinaci.

Poem of the day

Soneto (“Osé y temí”)
by Fernando de Herrera (1534-1597)

Osé y temí; más pudo la osadía
tanto, que desprecié el temor cobarde.
Subí a do el fuego más me enciende y arde
cuanto más la esperanza se desvía.

Gasté en error la edad florida mía;
ahora veo el daño, pero tarde,
que ya mal puede ser que el seso guarde
a quien se entrega ciego a su porfía.

Tal vez pruebo (mas qué me vale) alzarme
del grave peso que mi cuello oprime;
aunque falta a la poca fuerza el hecho.

Sigo al fin mi furor, porque mudarme
no es honra ya, ni justo que se estime
tan mal de quien tan bien rindió su pecho.

Another reason to prefer the term “climate destabilization”

“Electric grids can be engineered to handle a wide range of severe conditions — as long as grid operators can reliably predict the dangers ahead. But as climate change accelerates, many electric grids will face extreme weather events that go far beyond the historical conditions those systems were designed for, putting them at risk of catastrophic failure. …

“[U]nless grid planners start planning for increasingly wild and unpredictable climate conditions, grid failures will happen again and again.”

Poem of the day

Der Greis und der Tod
by Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719-1803)

Ein Greis von achtundachtzig Jahren,
Ein armer, abgelebter Greis
Mit wenigen schneeweißen Haaren,
Kam aus dem Walde, trug
Auf seinem krummen Rücken,
Ein Bündel Reis.

Ach Gott! der arme Greis!
Er mußte wohl sehr oft sich bücken,
Eh’ er’s zusammenlas?
Er hatte keinen Sohn, sonst hätte der’s getan.

Und weil vor Mattigkeit er nun nicht weiter kann,
So setzt er ab; und als er nun da saß
Bei seinem Bündel und bedachte,
Wie viel Beschwerde, Müh und Not
Das Bündel Reis ihm machte,
Wie viel sein bißchen täglich Brot;
Da seufzt er lebenssatt und weint und ruft den Tod.

“Befreie mich,” spricht er, “von aller meiner Not
Und bringe mich zur Ruh!”

Der Tod kommt an, geht auf den Rufer zu.
“Was willst du?” fragt er, “du!
Daß du mich hergerufen hast?
Du trägst auch eine schwere Last!”
“Ach, lieber Tod,” versetzt darauf
Der arme Greis, “hilf sie mir auf!”

Poem of the day

The Momument of Giordano Bruno
by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

                                    I

Not from without us, only from within,
      Comes or can ever come upon us light
      Whereby the soul keeps ever truth in sight.
No truth, no strength, no comfort man may win,
No grace for guidance, no release from sin,
      Save of his own soul’s giving. Deep and bright
      As fire enkindled in the core of night
Burns in the soul where once its fire has been
The light that leads and quickens thought, inspired
      To doubt and trust and conquer. So he said
      Whom Sidney, flower of England, lordliest head
Of all we love, loved: but the fates required
   A sacrifice to hate and hell, ere fame
   Should set with his in heaven Giordano’s name.

                                    II

Cover thine eyes and weep, O child of hell,
      Grey spouse of Satan, Church of name abhorred.
      Weep, withered harlot, with thy weeping lord,
Now none will buy the heaven thou hast to sell
At price of prostituted souls, and swell
      Thy loveless list of lovers. Fire and sword
      No more are thine: the steel, the wheel, the cord,
The flames that rose round living limbs, and fell
In lifeless ash and ember, now no more
Approve thee godlike. Rome, redeemed at last
From all the red pollution of thy past,
Acclaims the grave bright face that smiled of yore
      Even on the fire that caught it round and clomb
      To cast its ashes on the face of Rome.

Poem of the day

Nevicata
by Giosuè Carducci (1835-1907)

Lenta fiocca la neve pe ’l cielo cinereo: gridi,
Suoni di vita più non salgono da la città,

Non d’erbaiola il grido o corrente rumore di carro,
Non d’amor la canzon ilare e di gioventù.

Da la torre di piazza roche per l’aere le ore
Gemon, come sospir d’un mondo lungi dal dì.

Picchiano uccelli raminghi a’ vetri appannati: gli amici
Spiriti reduci son, guardano e chiamano a me.

In breve, o cari, in breve – tu càlmati, indomito cuore –
Giù al silenzio verrò, ne l’ombra riposerò.

Poem of the day

Delfica
by Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855)

La connais-tu, Dafné, cette ancienne romance,
Au pied du sycomore, ou sous les lauriers blancs,
Sous l’olivier, le myrte, ou les saules tremblants,
Cette chanson d’amour qui toujours recommence?…

Reconnais-tu le Temple au péristyle immense,
Et les citrons amers où s’imprimaient tes dents,
Et la grotte, fatale aux hôtes imprudents,
Où du dragon vaincu dort l’antique semence?…

Ils reviendront, ces Dieux que tu pleures toujour!
Le temps va ramener l’ordre des anciens jours;
La terre a tressailli d’un souffle prophétique…

Cependant la sibylle au visage latin
Est endormie encor sous l’arc de Constantin
— Et rien n’a dérangé le sévère portique.