Music first and foremost! In your verse,
Choose those meters odd if syllable,
Supple in the air, vague, flexible,
Free of prounding beat, heavy or terse.
Choose the words you use - now right, now wrong -
With abandon: when the poet's vision
Coupes the Precise with Imprecision,
best the giddy shadowns of his song:
Eyes veiled, hidden, dark with mystery,
Sunshinetrmebling in the noonday glare,
Staerlight, in the tepid autumn air,
Shimmering in night-bue filigree!
For Nuance, not Color absolute,
Is your goal; subtle and shaded hue!
Nuance! It alone is what lets you
Marry dream to dream, and horn to flute!
Shun all cruel ansd ruthess Railleries;
Hurtful Quip, lewd Laughter, that appall
Heaven, Azure-eyes, to tears; and all
Garlic-stench scullety recipes!
Take vain Eloquence and wring its neck!
Best you keep your Rhyme sober and sound,
Lest it wander, reiness and unbound-
How far? Who can say? - if not in check!
Rhyme! Who will its infamies revile?
What deaf child, what Blck of little wit
Forged with worthess bauble, fashioned it
False and hollow-sounding to the file?
Music first and foremost, and forever!
Let your verse bne what goes soaring, sighing,
Set free, fleeing from the soul gone flying
Off to other skies and loves, wherever.
Let your verse be aimless chance, delighting
In good-omened fortune, sprinkled over
Dawn's wind, bristling scents of mind, thyme, clover...
All the rest is nothing more than writing.26
Translated by Norman R. Shapiro