Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

Phrase féroce (français)

Phrase féroce me saisit dans son emprise
Mon esprit enflamme et graver mon âme
Dans moi un feu brûlant brillant

Eclaircit pour moi l’obscurité de la nuit.

Poète, mon compagnon, le collègue, je l’espère
Le collègue que je l’espère
Vous me avez donné ces mots embrac’ed
Votre couronne sur la page ou les orales
Tiré directement la flèche à l’œil intérieur

Apparemment opaque résonne en quelque sorte
Signification littérale obscure, mais profonde signification
Le sens me semble clair
Mais échappe ma langue ou de l’esprit
Pour élucider.

Exemples j’ont transporté ma vie longue
Et mieux, ils illuminent
Et me lever à travers les chagrins de la vie
Pour me faire demains lumineux.

Phrase fierce je vous chéris et espère
Un jour de vous imiter
Sera ne pas copier ni paraphraser
Mais de mon âme émanent.

Ce alors je vais envoyer
si brièvement à épouser

Que je trop peut saisir
Mon lecteur, lecteur béni
En même wisp souffle accrocheur
Et leur décape l’intérieur.

Malcolm D B Munro
Samedi 9 avril, 2016

Filed under: poetry

T’œil sec (français)

Une seule larme est-il tombé?
Pris avec votre dentelle mouchoir blanc.
Avant il est tombé avec un silencieux, petit éclaboussure
Sur la brillance impeccable de l’antique table polie,
Coloration de manière indélébile la surface pour marquer cette tristesse momentanée,
Pleinement ressentie.

Avez-vous ressenti pour un instant certains une interne, regret involontaire?
Nostalgie d’un temps qui
Ne peut jamais être récupéré,
Entrevu brièvement maintenant par votre intérieur

Était-ce pour ce moment-là que vous avez ressenti
Cette vie aurait pu être différente
Avait dit: «Moi aussi,”
Ce temps maintenant disparu. Disparu.

L’amant, l’amant qui, peut-être, avait dit,
“Je t’aime.” Ou, au moins, voilà ce que vous pensiez
Tu as entendu.
Mais tu détourné. Et maintenant, vous demandez: «Était-ce donc si?”

Mais vous savez, ne vous?  Vous doutiez alors l’amour offert pourrait ne pas être sincère, profond, vrai, non?

Savez-vous, maintenant, qu’il était?
Ou seulement aurait peut-être.

Et que vous souhaitez vous aviez répondu autrement,
Peut-être avec un baiser, un regard, un sourire.

Vous souriez faiblement maintenant, maintenant que votre oeil est sec,
Sachant qu’il ne pourrait jamais avoir été.

Malcolm D B Munro
Samedi 9 avril, 2016

Filed under: poetry

Living Flesh (Chair vive; Pierre Reverdy, French)

Get up, carcase, and walk
Nothing new under the yellow sun
The last of the last of louis d’or
The light that is so detached
Under the scurf of time
The lock in the heart that bursts
A thread of silk
A thread of lead
A thread of blood
After its silent waves
These signs of love in the black horsehair
The sky smoother than your eye
The twisted neck of pride
My life in the wings
Hence I see the undulating harvests of death
All these greedy hands that knead smoke balls
Heavier than the pillars of the universe
Empty heads
Naked hearts
Scented hands
Apes’ arms reach for the clouds
In the wrinkles of these faces
A straight line is stretched
A nerve twists
The sated sea
The bitter smile of death.

Pierre Reverdy

Worked from the French Chair Vive, 1945
Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 9 April, 2016

Copyright of the original is retained by the Copyright owner. The Copyright of this Translation is vested with the Author. The original, from which this translation is made, is used under the provisions of Section 107 of the US Copyright Act 1976, which allows for fair use of the original for translation purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

Filed under: poetry

Keeping the Work Fresh

I respect the copyright of other’s work and expect that of mine.

Obtaining permissions to post the work of others which I would like
To put up here is not a process with which I am familiar. There must
Be a way to do it and I suppose I shall find out in all good time.

Older works at some point fall out of copyright but the life of copyright
Within a particular country from which the work originated differs and
Keeps being extended, often beyond the life of the author and, sometimes,
Beyond those of the beneficiaries; a bit like how countries keep extending
territorial waters.

Translations of work which has long fallen out of copyright is owned
By the translator. Not the work itself, but the translation. One is
Grateful to these translators for bringing the work into contemporary
English from another language one does not know into one’s
Native language.

Since the work, a poem or such, has merit and has long since not
Been under copyright, it seems to me that to translate such work,
As I might try, d
oes service both to the work and to present readers since
Otherwise the work remains inaccessible to understanding and one may even
Unaware of Of its existence.

Translations of an older work may have been done over the
Centuries but, with time, those translations cease to be
In a language which is current. The translations go stale.

Hence this perpetual need to replenish and refresh the work
So as to keep it alive and available to us.

Such efforts might be those that have repeatedly occurred over
The centuries that have kept alive for us the Metamorphosis of Ovid, say.

Looking back at the work of those worthy people’s attempts,
The results are frequently dreadful. I mean just dreadful.
As surely they must have been to readers at the time. One
Does not need knowledge of the original to see this. Bad writing
Is bad writing in any age, in any language, and we should avoid
It like the Plague.

Even in one’s own native tongue there is a need to continually
Update into our present use our language of such a work as,
For example, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. One can go back and
Read the original should one have the skills but, for those whom
Middle English is unfamiliar, it is going to be hard work. Not that
This effort will not be rewarded. It will.

But this work of Chaucer’s is not short.

This necessity to update older works has its limits. One would not wish to
Update the language of The Kings James version of the Bible, though it was
Written by a committee, into the language of the
Twenty First century.
Any attempt to bring this, among the finest of any work in the English
Language, version up to date is doomed to miserable failure.
Horrors to anyone should try. One might rid it of the thee’s and thou’s
But that is about all.

Likewise, Shakespeare too, should be spared. His English is closer
To us than that of Chaucer’s and the effort to read him in his own
Version of English will be amply rewarded. Otherwise one sort of
Produces the equivalent of the utter ignorance of an idiot’s guide and
One of the great beauties of our culture will be raped.

One would no more try to modernize a piece of music by Bach
Or Beethoven.

Why on earth would one want to try?

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 9 April, 2016


Filed under: poetry

A Normal Misunderstanding

My wife and I were in a restaurant
Last night.

The place was noisy and full of the
Excited chatter of other diners
Gustatory pleasures loosening the tongue
Expressing the wellbeing which comes from eating
Especially of food you didn’t have to cook.

A singer guitar player alongside us,
Whom we have known for years,
Adding to the background noise.

Neither my wife nor I are ever loud
Talkers. Besides there is always that
Intimacy gained from knowing each other
For decades and being released from the
Cares which hold us while in the house.

“Why do you not still doing code?” my wife asked
Me at one point.

I began to tell of how I had been exploring
Neuroscience and of how the majority of
Data is on the Web and the data transformed
Into a visual rendition of what is happening
In the brain. The data having recorded the
Firing of neurons one can see this
Activity in the visual representation.

Such data is transformed into the visual using
Open platform software which, as a base,
Most often uses Python and, of how, as a
Result, I had been learning this particular

“It is easy to learn,” I told her. “But I was downloading
A runtime software, a propriety one, the only one I
Intended to use. I saw an error message and ignored
It. Twice.”

“The machine crashed,” I explained, “Exhaustive efforts
To solve the problem failed to resolve it.”

I told her the whole story of the efforts to get the machine
Back on its feet.

“I could not,” I went on, “So I took it into the Apple store.
They told me they had never seen such a problem.
‘You need a clean install.'” said the Apple Wizard.”

“I backed up all of my data, but did not save the software
I had downloaded,” I continued, droning on, “I have never got
back to it for other reasons.”

I explained these.

Having listened patiently without interruption, she said,

“Now what has all this do with why you are not drinking
Coke at present?”

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 9 April, 2016




Filed under: poetry

La inexplicable en dos minutos (español)

El silencio sigue segundo a segundo
la atención absorta
mente, el oído y la respiración se llevan a cabo
Ni una palabra se dice en el silencio
El mensaje enviado.

Malcolm D B Munro
Sábado 9 de abril de el año 2016

Filed under: poetry

L’inexpliqué en deux minutes (français)

Le silence  quand même seconde après seconde
l’attention intense
l’esprit, l’oreille et le souffle sont détenus
pas un mot est dit dans le silence
le message envoyé.

Malcolm D B Munro
Samedi 9 avril 2016

Filed under: poetry

O inexplicável em dois minutos (português)

O silêncio ainda segundo após segundo
A atenção arrebatada
Mente, ouvido e respiração são segurou
Nem uma palavra é dita em o silêncio
A mensagem enviada

Malcolm D B Munro
Sexta-feira 08 de abril de 2016

Filed under: poetry

The Unexplained in Two Minutes

The silence second on second still
Attention acute
The mind, the ear and the breath are held
No word said in the silence
The message sent.

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 8 April, 2016

Filed under: poetry

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