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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Everything in Life’s Haze

(Flowers by Séraphine Louis, 1864-1942,
French painter)

Maksym Rylsky (1895-1964) was a Ukrainian poet and translator who was arrested for a brief time in 1931. It is believed that he ran afoul of Stalin because of the sentiments he expressed in this poem.


When everything in life’s haze
Is lost and leaves no traces,
You don’t feel like leaving home or going home,
Because even there the fire has long ago burned out —

In you, art, in you alone there is
Shelter: in the beauty of unknown words.
In music that embodies beauty known to all
Into a heavenly play of colors.

In you, art, in a small painting
That is greater than the entire boundless world!
To you, art, and in your realm
I send you a bow and my warm greeting.

Your deeds — alone are everlasting,
And among the flowers you are the brightest one.

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