Return For An Instant

What was it like, God of mine, what was it like?
—Oh unfaithful heart, indecisive intelligence!
Was it like the going by of the wind?
Like the disappearance of the spring?

As nimble, as changeable, as weightless
as milkweed seeds in summer . . . Yes! Indefinite
as a smile which is lost forever in a laugh . . .
Arrogant in the air, just like a flag!

Flag, smile, milkweed pod, swift
spring in June, clear wind! . . .
Your celebration was so wild, so sad!

All of your changes ended up in nothing—
remembrance, a blind bee of bitter things!—
I don't know what you were like, but you were!

Translated by Robert Bly

by Juan Ramón Jiménez

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