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Friday, December 21, 2012

End of the World

It's 12/21/12 already in Japan. If the world ends here, we'll let you know it (being that we are 16 hours ahead of most you in the US). In the meantime:

A Song On the End of the World

by Czeslaw Milosz
translated by Anthony Milosz

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.



And the first poem I ever memorized, when I was a child:


Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

5 comments:

Karen J. Weyant said...

Great poems! (And thanks for the warning!)

Peter Raposo said...

I have to agree with Karen; great poems. I better hurry up and do my shopping before the end arrives. I wonder if I'll get a discount.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Karen and Peter, Glad you enjoyed the poems. It's after 4 pm here and the world is still as it was. So for now, carry on!

Mari said...

Thanks for the poems, Jessica, and Merry Christmas to you and your family in Kobe.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Thanks, Mari. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours in your new home.