Elizabeth Bishop, Lette atmosfear

 
Lette atmosfear

Ut in midsnachtlike gûcheldersmouwe
      ferspriede de radiosjongers
al harren leafdessankjes
oer de dauwiete gazons.
      En as dat fan in wiersizzer
is harren murchpriemjend rieden wat je leauwe.

Mar op de stjoermêst fan de Marine-
      basis fyn ik better tsjûgen
foar leafde yn simmernachten.
Fiif fiere reade ljochten
      ha dêr harren nêsten; Feniksen
dy’t rêstich brâne, dau kin dat net berinne.

 

Late Air

From a magician’s midnight sleeve
      the radio-singers
distribute all their love-songs
over the dew-wet lawns.
      And like a fortune-teller’s
their marrow-piercing guesses are whatever you believe.

But on the Navy Yard aerial I find
      better witnesses
for love on summer nights.
Five remote red lights
      keep their nests there; Phoenixes
burning quietly, where the dew cannot climb.

 

Ut North & South, 1946

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