William Carlos Williams

Wrested from Mirrors
translated from Greek*

In falling the dream was broken
I found oblivion in a mirror lost to the sea
Drunk with torments
Devoured by fears
I drank of that water no light has fondled
As an object bent upon its shadow
I see love now under an oblique light
Who forces my head to bow?
Upsets the hour?

How rejoin the sun without passing through day-break?
Remove fear from all shows and I will swim the full compass of oblivion
By the same movement
To lose oneself and discover the direction of things
Beyond left and beyond right
Beyond daring and the horizon
Beyond the wind

The wind of fear
A cruel wind all but immutable 
Which tears up the echo buried in sand
And the smoke imprisoned in fossil bones
Which robs jackals of their dreams
And nurslings of the future
A wind that betrays its fury in its embraces

Sunk in my misery I drown my star

In that rectilinear fall a new face shows as a lure
The light consumes it
And opposes to fate all that remains of me
In the inevitable rhythm of disaster
I could say before the end of day
All the mirrors are thirsty
The stroke of an oar suffices to blot out a star
Without reflection without shadow the heart slowly dies
And makes of remembrance a sleeplessness without end

Avenger and conquerer of myself
I swear by these quakes of destiny
A fierce world of violent ideas will raise itself
Its image carved on that clearest eye
Already denies the capricious humor of the prophets
Roughens the mirrors
Lifts the ensanguined heads of the black bulls.

*Poem by Nicholas Calas - 
spoken = Leon Branton