Wednesday, December 12, 2018

San Biagio, at Montepulciano by Yves Bonnefoy

San Biagio, at Montepulciano

Columns, arches, vaults: how he knew 
The ways you promise what you lack; 
And that your bodies, like your souls, 
Always slip from our grasping hands. 
Space is such a lure . . . Swift to disappoint, 
As they raise and topple clouds, the sky's 
Architects still offer more than ours, 
Who only build a scaffolding of dreams. 
He dreamed, all the same; but on that day, 
He gave a better use to beauty's shapes: 
He understood that form means to die. 
And this, his final work, is a coin 
With both sides bare. He made in stone, 
Of this great room, the arrow and the bow.

(Translated by Hoyt Rogers)

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