Friday, September 01, 2006

Poetry Friday: Treny

This week I am contributing a poem about a child instead of a poem written for a child.

Jan Kochanowski is a sixteenth-century poet who wrote the most amazing cycle of elegies, called Treny. The Treny (usually translated in English as Laments) honor of Kochanowski's beloved daughter, Urszula, who died at the age of 3.

The following lines comprise the first half of Lament #6, translated by Adam Czerniawski.

My cheerful singer! Sappho of the Slavs!
You stood lawfully to inherit
Not just my earthly goods but also my lute.
Your songs showed that promise:
Your lips in daytime never still
Just as at night, hidden in the dale,
Sings the tiny joyful nightingale
Too soon you fell silent.
Suddenly cruel Death
Scared you away, my dear, gifted bird!
My ears have not been sated
With your songs, those few I heard
Have cost me dear.
Poetry Friday roundup to come later this evening (I'm on it MotherReader, Liz B., and Jen!)

Little Willow contributes "Advice to a Girl," by Sara Teasdale at Slayground/Bildungsroman. Michele at Scholar's Blog is as entraced by Ted Hughes' Collected Poems for Children as I am and says goodbye to summer with Hughes' "Hunting the Summer." Nancy, the Journey Woman, shares "The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet," by Guy Wetmore Carryl.

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti scares us a little and shakes up Poetry Friday with a link to Britney Spears' "Love B" (with apologies to William Blake). Jen shares all the verses to "Simple Simon" at Jen Robinson's Book Page. Becky at Farm School has a Labo(u)r day post with "Whither? (To a Young Girl)," by Morris Rosenfeld.

Liz. B contributes Shakespeare's Sonnet No 141 at A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy. Mary puts up one of her favorites this week at A Year of Reading: "the lesson of the moth," by Don Marquis

Gregory K. contributes an original poem (that really hit home with me as the mom of a kindergartner this year) at GottaBook. Susan Taylor Brown shares "The Sea-Child," by Eliza Cook--I poem I didn't know before, but it's brilliant--at Once Upon a Time there was a Girl who Wanted to Write.

Mother Reader celebrates Haiku with a poem by Emily Reads and then shares a poem she wrote herself over at Poetry in Motion. Wendy at Blog from the Windowsill contributes two short poems from an old favorite: Opposites, More Opposites, and a Few Differences, written and illustrated by Richard Wilbur (new edition this year).

Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight celebrates the turn of the year with "September," by Helen Hunt Jackson. And, Christine M. is feeling the season too at The Simple and the Oridnary with "Autumn Fires," by Robert Louis Stevenson. Ms. Mack closes the book on summer with "Now," by Prince Redcloud at Check it Out.

Have I missed anyone? If so, drop me a comment or an e-mail!