Wallace Stevens, In heechstimde âlde kristinne

 
In heechstimde âlde kristinne

Poëzy is de opperste fiksje, mefrou.
Nim de morele wet, meitsje dêr in tsjerkeskip fan
En bou dat tsjerkeskip út ta in himel fol skimen.
Sa wurdt it gewisse omturnd yn palmen,
As winige siters snakkend nei hymnen.
Yn begjinsel binne wy it iens. Helder. Mar nim
De tsjinstelde wet, meitsje in pyldergong
En projektearje út dy pyldergong wei in maskerade
Foarby de planeten. Sa wurdt ús skabreuzens,
Unútwiskber troch grêfskrift en lang om let
Oersljochte, allyksa omturnd yn palmen,
S-bochtsjend as saksofoans. En palm foar palm,
Mefrou, binne wy dêr’t wy úteinsetten. Lit dêrom ta
Dat jo ôffallige, folproppe flagellanten,
Wylst sy yn optocht op harren fodzige buken petse,
Grutsk op sokke nijichheden fan it sublime,
Sok kling en klang en klingklangklong,
Dat sy yn de planetêre setting allicht, ja lichtwol,
Mefrou, middenmank de himellichems
Ut harrensels wat joviaal kabaal giselje.
It lit widdo’s grizelje. Mar fiktive dingen gljurkje
Nei beleaven. Gljurkje leafst as widdo’s grizelje.

 

A High-Toned Old Christian Woman

Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it
And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,
The conscience is converted into palms,
Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle. That’s clear. But take
The opposing law and make a peristyle,
And from the peristyle project a masque
Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
Is equally converted into palms,
Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,
Madame, we are where we began. Allow,
Therefore, that in the planetary scene
Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed,
Smacking their muzzy bellies in parade,
Proud of such novelties of the sublime,
Such tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk,
May, merely may, madame, whip from themselves
A jovial hullabaloo among the spheres.
This will make widows wince. But fictive things
Wink as they will. Wink most when widows wince.

 

Ut Harmonium, 1923

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