Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the images.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Can’t Hold You and I Can’t Leave You


Each Friday we provide the link to the blogger who is hosting a celebration of poetry around the blogosphere. There you can find the links to the many other blogs that are posting poems (new and old), discussions of poems, and reviews of poetry books. It’s also a great way to explore the internet.

Enjoy the festivities!

The host this week is Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.

You can visit her here.


(Satiric Dancer by André Kertész, 1894-1985,
Hungarian-born photographer)

I CAN’T HOLD YOU AND I CAN’T LEAVE YOU

I can’t hold you and I can’t leave you,
and sorting the reasons to leave you or hold you,
I find an intangible one to love you,
and many tangible ones to forgo you.

As you won’t change, nor let me forgo you,
I shall give my heart a defense against you,
so that half shall always be armed to abhor you,
though the other half be ready to adore you.

Then, if our love, by loving flourish,
let it not in endless feuding perish;
let us speak no more in jealousy and suspicion.

He offers not part, who would all receive —
so know that when it is your intention
mine shall be to make believe.

~ Juana Inés De La Cruz (1648-1695), Mexican poet

7 comments:

Robyn Hood Black said...

Such a "modern" feel to this poem - a surprise to find it's from three centuries ago! Thanks for sharing.

Tabatha said...

What Robyn said! And that's a very interesting photo.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

I love the way that your images are interwoven so beautifully with the poetry that you have chosen. I love Castilian writers and Juana Ines de la Cruz sounds exactly like my kind of woman. Now I'd have to read more of her works. Thank you for this. :)

jama said...

Love the sustained tension in this poem -- and I was also surprised that the poet was from the 17th century. Another perfect art-poem pairing.

Julie Larios said...

Wow - that is a skillful translation, catching all the rhymes of the form, and still sounding so natural. Love the Kertesz photo, too! I see in the column on the right that there is a specific word for family affection - storge - I hadn't heard that before. Thanks, Maria.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

Love is just like this! That first stanza really gets me - so often it's the intangible that holds us. I agree with Julie too - amazing translation! A.

Mary Lee said...

Oh, yeah. The tangible and the intangible. What would life be without a complicated tangle of both?