And one voice says: Come
Back to the rain and manure
Of Siloh, to the small talk,
Of the wind,and the chapel's
Temptation; to the pale,
Sickly half-smile of
The daughter of the village
Grocer. The other says: Come
To the streets, where the pound
Sings and the doors open
To its music, with life
Like an express train running
To time. And I stay
Here, listening to them, blowing
On the small soul in my
Keeping with such breath as I have.
by R. S. Thomas
from H'm (1972)
Siloh is a hamlet in Llandovery, Carmarthenshire.
Mozart is playing his faithful old fiddle:
Mozart is playing, the fiddle just sings.
Mozart plays on though he's caught in the middle,
never selecting the countries, the kings.
by ბულატ ოკუჯავა
a.k.a. Булат Шалвович Окуджава
a.k.a. Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava
(1957 – 1959)
translated by Eric Hill
Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava (Russian: Булат Шалвович Окуджава; Georgian: ბულატ ოკუჯავა)
(May 9, 1924 – June 12, 1997) was a Soviet and Russian poet, writer,
musician, novelist, and singer-songwriter of Georgian-Armenian ancestry.
He was one of the founders of the Soviet genre called “author song” (авторская песня),
or “guitar song”, and the author of about 200 songs, set to his own
poetry. His songs are a mixture of Russian poetic and folksong
traditions and the French chansonnier style represented by such contemporaries of Okudzhava
as Georges Brassens. Though his songs were never overtly political (in
contrast to those of some of his fellow Soviet bards), the freshness and
independence of Okudzhava‘s artistic voice presented a
subtle challenge to Soviet cultural authorities, who were thus hesitant
for many years to give official recognition to Okudzhava.