Hi suzanne –

she was a fantastic polymath whiz of a woman
in a narrow situation

Yeah, I get clautrophobic just thinking about her situation – not the convent, I mean the short leash. Which may or may not have been in the background of that closing image about reining her vision in…

Laura – Thanks. I guess I broke it into stanzas because the original had indents at those places, as if they were paragraphs. And in some way it seemed to make up for the fact that my lines didn’t rhyme. :)

I wouldn’t necessarily agree that one has to be a poet to be a good translator of poetry. I can think of a few great translators, like Arthur Waley or Edward Snow (Rilke) who were/are not serious poets themselves. And I can think of PLENTY of poets who are not able to set their egos aside sufficiently to be good translators.

O.K., here’s Trueblood:

Green allurement of our human life,
mad Hope, wild frenzy gold-encrusted,
sleep of the waking full of twists and turns
for neither dreams nor treasures to be trusted;
soul of the world, new burgeoning of the old,
fantasy of blighted greenery,
day awaited by the happy few,
morrow which the hapless long to see:
let those pursue your shadow’s beckoning
who put green lenses in their spectacles
and see the world in colors that appeal.
Myslef, I’ll act more wisely toward the world:
I’ll place my eyes right at my fingertips
and only see what my two hands can feel.