There is a game I play
with a mirror, approaching
it when I am not there,
as though to take by surprise.
the self that is my familiar. It
is in vain. Like one eternally
in ambush, fast or slow
as I may raise my head, it raises
its own, catching me in the act,
disarming me by acquaintance,
looking full into my face as often
as I try looking at it askance.
by R. S. Thomas
from Experimenting with an Amen (1986)
‘Look, Outside My Window The Vine Is Spreading So Fast…’ by Afanasy Fet
Look, outside my window the vine is spreading so fast it
almost blocks out the light. Dark, picturesque green now
covers up half of the panes. And amidst the foliage a bunch of
seemingly carefully-placed grapes has started to turn
yellow… Hands off, sweetest! Why this rage for destruction?
If one plump little white hand should be seen to steal
into the yard for a bunch of grapes, the neighbours will waste no
time in declaring: she must have been in his room.
by Афанасий Афанасьевич Фет (Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet)
a.k.a. Шеншин (Shenshin)
translated by Robert Chandler