CHENG LIN TSAI : UNDERCURRENT

Man and the Sea

 

Free man, you will always cherish the sea!

The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soul

In the infinite unrolling of its billows;

Your mind is an abyss that is no less bitter.

 

You like to plunge into the bosom of your image;

You embrace it with eyes and arms, and your heart

Is distracted at times from its own clamoring

By the sound of this plaint, wild and untamable.

 

Both of you are gloomy and reticent:

Man, no one has sounded the depths of your being;

O Sea, no person knows your most hidden riches,

So zealously do you keep your secrets!

 

Yet for countless ages you have fought each other

Without pity, without remorse,

So fiercely do you love carnage and death,

O eternal fighters, implacable brothers!

 

by Charles Baudelaire, 1857 in Les Fleurs du mal

English translation by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

Times washes over, like the ebb and flow of the tide. 

Days trickle on, changing the earth like grains of sand pulled by the sea.

Fresh beginnings thaw at the break of dawn, 

melding with new emotions that form at dusk.

The moments of peace between each wave creates new worlds every single day.

 © 2020 by Cheng-Lin Tsai

     All rights reserved.

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