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

Sunday, February 26, 2012


(Hedgehog by Hans Hoffmann, circa 1530-1591, German
artist whose watercolors of animals are sometimes mistaken
for Albrecht Dürer’s work)

Carmen Bernos de Gasztold (1919-?) was a French poet whose best-known works are two collections of poems expressing the thoughts of a menagerie of animals, Prayers from the Ark and The Creatures’ Choir.

These were translated into English by the British novelist Rumer Godden. She wrote, “‘Anyone could write such poems,’ said one critic when [the poet] first showed them to him. Perhaps the simplest answer to such obtuseness is that no one but Carmen de Gasztold has ever done it. . . . Each animal, bird, fish, reptile, or insect voice makes, as it were, a statement of its situation, its circumstances — what, perhaps, we humans would call its problem.”


Yes, Lord, I prick!
Life is not easy —
But You know that —
and I have too much on my shoulders!
I speak of my prickles
but thank You for them.
You at least
have understood me,
that is why You made me
such a pinball.
How else can I defend myself?
When people see me,
my anxious nose
searching for the fat slugs
that devastate the garden,
why can’t they leave me alone?
Ah! But when I think proper,
I can roll myself up
into my hermit life.


1 comment:

Charles Van Gorkom said...

Truly, this is thought provoking! And brings me a smile!