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)
One mirror must mirror another;
each mirror mismirrors the other.
Not that evil cannot be defeated,
only that we cannot escape defeat;
I believe in the ash left behind by the fire;
not in the music that burned my life.
by Георгий Владимирович Иванов (Georgii Vladimirovich Ivanov)
a.k.a. Georgy Ivanov
translated by Robert Chandler