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Carles Riba
Poems

4

MAYBE to die will be
not unlike the sudden knocking that
startles us in sleep and opens our eyes on darkness,
and we sit up, doubting whether it was real
or whether a fading dream
had left entangled
in our sharpened senses
a lingering thread of fever.
The horror is to feel that between truth
and ourselves there is but a step of darkness,
and that the foot is the hidden servant
of our will’s cowardice.


RIBA, Carles. “Maybe to die…” [Morir tal vegada seria…], a Poems [edició bilingüe]. Traducció de Joan Gili. Oxford: The Dolphin Book, 1964, p. 18-19.

6

Uns wiegen lassen, wie
Auf schwankem Kahne der See
HÖLDERLIN


HAPPY the man who has lived under an alien sky
and whose peace has not been disturbed;
and happy who on searching into the rugged gorge of eyes
in love finds no falsehood lying there.

And who appreciates his days, the one as much
as the other, like the equal parts
of a measured treasure; and does not pursue
the runaway memory of another.

Happy the man who does not look back, where the past,
ever insatiable, takes away from us
even hope, chaste pawn of the truce
which death had granted.

Happy he who does not urge his desire onward;
who drops the oars and, stretching himself
in the frail boat towards the clouds, silent,
surrenders himself to untroubled waters.

Translated by Joan Gili
Carles Riba, Poems.  RIBA, Carles. “Happy the man…” [Feliç qui ha viscut…], a Poems [edició bilingüe]. Oxford: The Dolphin Book, 1964, p. 20-21.
Carles Riba
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