Friday, February 21, 2014

National Translation Month - NTM: Vladimir Gandelsman translated by Olga Zilberbourg

Egret

Threaded through itself,
needle and thread,
dry hermit thought,
scant layer,
gently interleaving the air,
a bookmark for its pages,
beak askew, -
it, like a steeple of order,
or an axis,
or a blade drawn from its sheath

and driven into a pond, where fish,
where golden
halos circumscribe the scales,
where fear
is more circular and silent than a target,
and where one female with a singular
gaze skywards,
sharp-angle-browed,
stiller than all
stands, barely swaying, stiller than a shadow.

Then, lingering at the start,
that arrow,
biting into the air, into the light,
two wings
spreading-laboriously, definitively,
and letting drops fall from its claws-
flies
above the pond,-and in the egret's beak,
as a fish's mouth,
world opens wide and gapes dumbfounded.
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