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The Giraffe by Nikolai Gumilyov

Today, I see, your gaze is particularly forlorn,
And your hands particularly thin, embracing your knees.
Listen: far away, far away, on Lake Chad,
A refined giraffe is roaming.
His proportions are harmonious and his legs are long,
And a bewitching pattern adorns his skin;
Nothing dares compare with it, save the moon,
Fragmented and flowing on the liquid of broad lakes.
He juts out like the many-colored sails of ships,
And his gait is floating, like joyous birdflight.
I know this earth has seen many wonders
When at sunset he hides in a marble grotto.
I know the happy stories of secret lands,
About the dark maiden, about the passion of the young chief,
But you have breathed in the heavy mists for too long -
You will believe in nothing, except rain.
And how I would tell you about tropical orchards,
About elegant palms, about the scent of extraordinary grasses…
You're crying? Listen… far away, on Lake Chad,
A refined giraffe is roaming.

(Trans. by Katharine Gilbert)

3 comments:

cbb said...

Thank you, Wordcrafter. Every poem here is a gem, I believe.

All is forgiven.

Wordcrafter said...

Thank you for visiting CBB, have you mistaken me for someone else perhaps? Nice to meet you though, and discover your blog.

Sayani said...

wow!!! i've never read that before and am thankful that you shared it here ....
beautiful!!!