Shutting out the torment and the fear
deep into the night’s cold morning hours
I work on my translation.
Improbable, that in another tongue
such lines as these were born,
set down, are vivid on his page
and will not come across to mine.
Two ways to go: the forced rhyme
the flaccid filling phrase
or terse, unrhymed,
trying to capture the meaning
as if that could ever be known.
But something does translate—
a voice from bleak immensities
perfect for nights like these:
the wind’s forgotten murmur,
the war that beggars language
speaking the creole of slaughter.