Necessary Tigers

Franz_Marc_-Tiger-_Holzschnitt_1912By night nurse lamplight and stay close
By day keep your feet to the path
The tigers here are hungry ghosts
And all our hunters gone to grass

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Question Mark

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We’re not so happy in the future,
Are we, dear? Indeed, we’re not as happy here
As once we were; and what’s the future, but the past
Sharpened to a point at last?

Time’s our sentence, marked with doubt
Just as a question ought:
So from its terminating period, a plume
Rises like smoke; like foolish hope; like doom.

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In Memoriam (two translations from the English)

Dear reader, I’m curious: of the versions below, which do you prefer (if either), and why?

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I.

They built a grand monument to the dead
And the place where the stone was quarried
Soon filled up with rainwater
And the young couples would meet there.

II.

Built to commemorate the dead
This palace stands, untenanted.

By the still pool in the quarry pit
The lovers sometimes come to sit.

 

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