Wallace Stevens, Somnambulisma

 
Somnambulisma

Op in âlde kust rôlet de aldendeiske oseaan,
Lûdleas, lûdleas, lykjend op in ile fûgel
Dy’t op in nêst delstrike wol mar nea delstrykt.

De wjokken klappe aloan en binne dochs nea wjokken.
De klauwen skrasse aloan oer de skaalje, de skolle skaalje,
De skrille skolte, dan wurde se troch wetter weispield.

De generaasjes fan de fûgel wurde allegearre
Troch wetter weispield. Sy folgje nei.
Sy folgje, folgje, folgje, yn wetter weispield.

Sûnder dy fûgel dy’t nea delstrykt, sûnder
Syn generaasjes dy’t folgje yn harren hielal,
Soe de oseaan, fallend en fallend op de holle kust,

In geografy fan de deaden wêze: net fan it lân
Dêr’t se faaks hinne binne, mar fan it plak dêr’t
Se libben, dêr’t se in pregnant wêzen brek wienen,

Dêr’t gjin gelearde, wenjend op himsels,
De fine fluezen, de gapske snaffels, de personalia
Trochslûze, as in man dy’t alles fielt, se wienen sines.

 

Somnambulisma

On an old shore, the vulgar ocean rolls
Noiselessly, noiselessly, resembling a thin bird,
That thinks of settling, yet never settles, on a nest.

The wings keep spreading and yet are never wings.
The claws keep scratching on the shale, the shallow shale,
The sounding shallow, until by water washed away.

The generations of the bird are all
By water washed away. They follow after.
They follow, follow, follow, in water washed away.

Without this bird that never settles, without
Its generations that follow in their universe,
The ocean, falling and falling on the hollow shore,

Would be a geography of the dead: not of that land
To which they may have gone, but of the place in which
They lived, in which they lacked a pervasive being,

In which no scholar, separately dwelling,
Poured forth the fine fins, the gawky beaks, the personalia,
Which, as a man feeling everything, were his.

 

Ut Transport to Summer, 1947

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