Wednesday, April 06, 2016

NPM: Azores

Great green ships
themselves, they ride
at anchor forever;
beneath the tide

huge roots of lava
hold them fast
in mid-Atlantic
to the past.

The tourist, thrilling
from the deck,
hail shrilly pretty
the hillsides flecked

with cottages
(confetti) and
sweet lozenges
of chocolate (land).

They marvel at
the dainty fields
and terraces
hand-tilled to yield

the modest fruits
of vines and trees
imported by
the Portuguese:

a rural landscape
set adrift
from centuries ago;
the rift

The ship proceeds.
Again the constant
music feeds

an emptiness astern,
Azores gone.
The void behind, the void
ahead are one.

-- John Updike



At 5:16 PM, April 09, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

So glad you liked it! Dr. Jorge de Sena (a professor at University of California Santa Barbara at the time of his death) translated it into Portuguese:


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