(February 9th 1948 / London, Westminster SW1)

Evening Music

Here comes the moment of the shimmering hour
When praise like incense trembles from each leaf.
The evening air is redolent with grief
And waltzes gush with melancholic power.

When praise like incense trembles from each leaf,
Only the notes of violins are sour
And waltzes gush with melancholic power;
The sky is vast with beauty and with grief.

Only the notes of violins are sour;
Each heart avoids its pit of unbelief.
The sky is vast with beauty and with grief;
The sun's blood hazes in a chilly shower.

Each heart avoids its pit of unbelief,
Gathering its flecks of light into a bower;
The sun's blood hazes in a chilly shower -
Only your shining image brings relief!

by Martin TURNER

Comments (3)

Martin is any instrument more haunting than the violin? The piece is breathtaking. Joyce
Amazing poem, amazing translation. [Forgive the adjective! ] I had never read Baudelaire before, and always had a rather negative impression of him. Where did you learn such word-music? This translation has brought Baudelaire to life. I have a gut-feeling that you have improved upon Baudelaire!
This form - pantoum - though I'm not sure of the spelling any more - is one of my favorites for narrative. Though he neglects the 'proper ending' but CB can do whatever the hell he wants! and this form does love defiance. A wonderful translation, Anne