Monday, September 08, 2008

Fwd: Poem for Monday

The Grade-School Angels

by Rafael Alberti (trans. Mark Strand)

None of us understood the dark secrets of the blackboards

nor why the armillary sphere seemed so remote when we looked at it.

We knew only that a circumference does not have to be round

and than an eclipse of the moon confuses the flowers

and speeds up the timing of the birds.

None of us understood anything:

not even why our fingers were made of India ink

and the afternoon closed compasses only to have the dawn open books.

We knew only that a straight line, if it likes, can be curved or broken

and that the wandering stars are children who don't know arithmetic.

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