William Dunbar translations

These are my modern English translations of the great Scottish poet William Dunbar.

Sweet Rose of Virtue
by William Dunbar (c. 1460-1530)
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Sweet rose of virtue and of gentleness,
delightful lily of youthful wantonness,
richest in bounty and in beauty clear
and in every virtue men hold most dear,
except only that you are merciless.

Rabindranath Tagore translations

These are modern English translations of poems by the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), who has been called the "Bard of Bengal" and "the Bengali Shelley." In 1913 Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore was also a notable artist, musician and polymath.

The Seashore Gathering
by Rabindranath Tagore
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

The LEVELER

These are poems about time, mortality, death, decay and loss ...

The Leveler
by Michael R. Burch

The nature of Nature
is bitter survival
from Winter’s bleak fury
till Spring’s brief revival.

The weak implore Fate;
bold men ravish, dishevel her ...
till both are cut down
by mere ticks of the Leveler.

Published by The Lyric, The Aurorean, Tucumcari Literary Review, Romantics Quarterly and in a YouTube video by Asma Masooma

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The Shrinking Season

These are poems about the passage of time, aging, mortality and death. 

The Shrinking Season
by Michael R. Burch

With every wearying year
the weight of the winter grows
and while the schoolgirl outgrows
her clothes,
the widow disappears
in hers.

Published by Angle, Poem Today (featured poem), Heartfelt Death Poems, Girls and Goblins and Madly Jane

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Distances
by Michael R. Burch

Nightfall

"Nightfall" is a poem I wrote for my fellow poet and friend Kevin Nicholas Roberts, shortly after his death. 

Nightfall
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin Nicholas Roberts

Only the long dolor of dusk delights me now,
     as I await death.
The rain has ruined the unborn corn,
         and the wasting breath
of autumn has cruelly, savagely shorn
               each ear of its radiant health.
As the golden sun dims, so the dying land seems to relinquish its vanishing wealth.

Poems for Fathers and Grandfathers

These are poems for fathers and grandfathers, written by Michael R. Burch.

Sunset
by Michael R. Burch
       
This poem is dedicated to my grandfather, George Edwin Hurt Sr.

Between the prophecies of morning
and twilight’s revelations of wonder,
the sky is ripped asunder.

The moon lurks in the clouds,
waiting, as if to plunder
the dusk of its lilac iridescence,

and in the bright-tentacled sunset
we imagine a presence
full of the fury of lost innocence.

Epigrams XI

These are epigrams by Michael R. Burch, on subjects such as hearts, heartaches, love, dreams, the grave, the dead and death.

Less Heroic Couplets: Murder Most Fowl!
by Michael R. Burch

“Murder most foul!”
cried the mouse to the owl.

“Friend, I’m no sinner;
you’re merely my dinner.

As you fall on my sword,
take it up with the Lord!”

the wise owl replied
as the tasty snack died.

Published by Lighten Up Online and in Potcake Chapbook #7

Poems about Time, Aging, Death and Loss

These are poems I have written about time, mortality, aging, death and loss.

Thirty
by Michael R. Burch

Thirty crept upon me slowly
with feline caution and a slowly-twitching tail ...
How patiently she waited for the winds to shift!
Now, claws unsheathed, she lies seething to assail
her helpless prey.

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Modern Charon
by Michael R. Burch

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