|Painting by Anne Weirich|
O, the look in your eyes this morning is more than usually sad,
With your little arms wrapped round your knees and body bent in half.
Let me tell you a story: far, far away, on the distant shores of Lake Chad,
There roams a most majestic giraffe
Blessed with a handsome build and graceful carriage
And a coat painted hypnotic, magical patterns,
With which none but the moon above dare compare
When her light falls down to be scattered and rocked on the waters,
Passing like a blazing sail far out at sea
As she runs by, nimble and carefree as a bird in flight.
I hear tell the earth has seen many wonderful things
When the giraffe hides herself away and the sun sets into night.
I know fabulous tales of far off, alien lands,
Of a dark maiden, of a young captain’s burning desire, all this I know,
But you’ve breathed in the damp marsh air for so long
You don’t want to believe in anything but the rain out your window.
I still haven’t told you about her tropic garden, with the slenderest palm trees,
The sweetest wildflowers, meadows of unbelievable grass . . .
Are you crying? Let me tell you a story: far away, on the distant shores of Lake Chad,
There roams a most majestic giraffe.
By Nikolai Gumilev/Translation by James Stotts
Hello April - It's National Poetry Month! Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing all things poetic here at Calendar Gal.