Saturday, March 17, 2012

to m.b. - joseph brodsky

To M.B.
by Joseph Brodsky (tr. George Kline)

When I embraced these shoulders, I beheld
the room as it was now revealed beyond us.
I saw how a straight chair pushed from the wall
had blended with the brilliant glow behind it.
The huge bulb in the lamp was far too strong --
its fierce glare made worn furniture look hollow;
the threadbare cover of the sofa shone
so greenly brown as to seem almost yellow.
The table stood deserted, and the floor
lay gleaming, while the stove seemed dark; a dusty
wood frame held a stiff landscape. The sideboard
appeared to be alone among the living.
A moth, aflutter in the this empty blaze,
shook my fixed stare out of its frozen orbit.
If any ghost had tried to haunt this place,
he must have left, for surely he abhorred it.

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