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Lest We Waste A Moment

Last year at Easter I heard a poem whose every line was so full of meaning that I didn't want to forget it. I Googled it and then bookmarked it with the intention of sharing.

It's been a while, but the day has come. 

It's partly in keeping with the theme of my previous post and partly to do with the new year, whose quick arrival makes it feel as if 2012 was about a week long. I'm only going to say two things by way of intro: The poem is much more beautiful and poignant in Romanian, and now there's an English translation. 

We die...as if tomorrow

It's so sad to ponder that someday,
maybe even tomorrow, the trees in the alley
where you now see them will remain
merry, and in the meantime we'll decay

So much sun, Lord, so much sun,
in this world after we are gone
cavalcades of seasons and of rain
with dawns to cool it all again...

And this grass will sprout again, 
and the moon will set the anew, 
in awe, over the water which it passes -
it's only us who won't exist again

And to me it seems so strange that 
we find so much time for hate
when life is but a drop
between this very minute and the other 

And I find it bewildering and sad
that we don't gaze at the sky more often,
that we do not pick flowers nor smile,
we, who so quickly expire

And here's the original, by Magda Isanos

Murim...ca maine

E-asa de trist sa cugeti ca-ntr-o zi,
poate chiar maine, pomii de pe-alee
acolo unde-i vezi or sa mai stee
voiosi, in vreme ce vom putrezi.

Atata soare, Doamne,-atata soare
o sa mai fie-n lume dupa noi;
cortegii de-anotimpuri si de ploi,
cu par din care siruie racoare...

Si iarba asta o sa mai rasara,
iar luna tot asa o sa se plece,
mirata, peste apa care trece-
noi singuri n-o sa fim a doua oara.

Si-mi pare-asa ciudat ca se mai poate
gasi atata vreme pentru ura,
cand viata e de-abia o picatura
intre minutu-acesta care bate

si celalalt - si-mi pare nenteles
si trist ca nu privim la cer mai des,
ca nu culegem flori si nu zambim,
noi, care-asa de repede murim.

The poet, Magda Isanos died of heart disease at age 28, in 1944. I don't know what it's like to live in wartime, but it must be indeed bewildering to see how quickly life can pass and how important it is to cherish the moments we get on earth. By 'cherish' what I mean is that we must make use of our lives to improve all others. I don't think we all have to want to change the world, but I'm certain that we all share in the common responsibility of making life livable for everybody else. In fact, I think that was the point of the Easter sermon where this poem was recited. 

She liked to smile

Comments

  1. I fully agree with your final sentiment Matt. The point of life is to touch others' lives with our own ... not necessarily to all work selflessly in charities, but to leave something more lasting behind than our CD collection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in trouble, I don't even have a CD collection!

      Delete
  2. I am hoping for an even better version of this world. The following is a sermon on the new Heaven and new Earth.

    http://www.regulafidei.com/reflections/77-a-sermon-on-qheavenq-or-the-new-heaven-and-new-earth

    ReplyDelete

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