Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What is Poetry?

¿Qué es poesía?, dices mientras clavas
en mi pupila tu pupila azul.
¿Que es poesía?, Y tú me lo preguntas?
Poesía... eres tú.

-original by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

What is poetry?, you ask
while your blue eyes rivet mine.
What is poetry? And you ask this?
Poetry... is you.

-translated by Howard A. Landman

What is poetry? thou say'st, and meanwhile fixest
On mine eye thine eye of deepest blue;
What is poetry? And canst thou ask it?
Why, - poetry - is - thou!

-Translated by Owen Innsly, Copyright ©1882 by A. Williams & Company

"What is poesy," you ask
While you fix your pupil blue
On my own. - An easy task
To reply; but why should you
Put this question unto me?
- You, yourself, are poesy.

-Translated by Jules Renard, Copyright ©1908 by Richard G. Badger

"What is poesy?" you ask me, gazing
Into mine eyes with your eyes blue.
What is poesy? And do you truly ask me?
Poesy . . . are you.

-Translated by Young Allison, Copyright ©1924 by Young Allison

"What is poetry?" you ask, as you hold
My eyes with your eyes of blue;
"What is poetry? Well, since you ask me,
It's you."

-Translated by Rupert Croft-Cooke, Copyright ©1927 by Rupert Croft-Cooke

What is poetry? you say,
Holding my eyes with yours of blue,
What is poetry? . . . You ask that?
Poetry . . . it is you!

-Translated by Ina D. Singleton, Copyright uncertain - from Poet Lore magazine circa 1939

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