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Into one's ninetieth year.
Memory? Yes, but the sheer
Seethe as the half-woken brain's
Great gray search-engine gains
Traction on all one's dreamt, seen, felt, read,
Loathed, loved...
                                      And on one's dead.
-Which makes one's World, one's Age, appear
Faint wrinkles on the biosphere
Itself the merest speck in some
Corner of the continuum.


Too extreme a distancing?
So let a nearer focus bring
The strange gaze of a sloe-eyed doe
On a cave painting from Lascaux,
Rock reamed by eons upon eons
Of such extreme, intense
Water-pressure as finally
Broke through southward, leaving high
Smooth-bored complexities.


                                                And then
Up through those darknesses climbed men
Working towards each masterpiece
Lit by candle-wicks dipped in grease
Brought up there in hollow stones.


After five hundred generations
We have no other knowledge of
How they would feel, or think, or love.
Their speech-lost. Surely they'd curse and bless.
Their chants? Alas, we can only guess.

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October 10th, 2010
6:10 AM
Вступати у свій дев'ятдесятий рік Память? Так, але кипить Повністю як у півзбудженного мозка Велика сіра пошукована система набира Тяги над всіма що мріяв, бачив, відчував, читав, ненавидів, любив..... I've always admired Robert Conquest - historian, poet, translator. So I tried translating Mr. Conquest's first couple of verses into Ukrainian. Man, quite hard, which makes me admire him all the more on becoming 90.

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