Thursday, May 13, 2010

To Carry `Haiku'

Because it can't be moved by the morning sun,
Or quickened
By the curling aroma of coffee
And the first hot swallow,
Or ever feel your smile
As an intimate caress,
A computer,
However clever,
Can never
Translate a poem.

Neither can your dog,
Because he cannot sympathize beyond his nose,
Or shed a tear for those he'll never see
Crouching in crossfire on a Beirut street
Or pressed against a wall in a Belfast alley.
No, neither can your dog,
Although he sometimes has long thoughts
And bays at the moon.

It is left to you and me, my dear,
To carry haiku
Over the seas
And down through the years,
Past barriers
Of language and culture and taste,
Of history and class and caste;
Like smugglers,
To steer round the rocks,
Find the inlet at night,
And bring
The lightest of cargoes,
Delicate as camellias,
Mysterious as stars,
Into the dark harbor,
To the shore
Where the listeners

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