Stephane Mallarme translations

These are my modern English translations of poems by the French poet Stephane Mallarme, including his elegy for Egar Allan Poe. 

The Tomb of Edgar Poe
by Stéphane Mallarmé
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Transformed into himself by Death, at last,
the Bard unsheathed his Art’s recondite blade
to duel with dullards, blind & undismayed,
who’d never heard his ardent Voice, aghast!

Euripides Translations

These are my modern English translations of epigrams by Euripides. 

Love distills the eyes’ desires, love bewitches the heart with its grace.—Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Fools call wisdom foolishness.—Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

One true friend is worth ten thousand kin.—Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Not to speak one’s mind is slavery.—Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

I would rather die standing than kneel, a slave.—Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Leonardo da Vinci “Paragone of Poetry and Painting” Translation

These are my modern English translations of epigrams and poems by Leonardo da Vinci. I suspect da Vinci's “Paragone of Poetry and Painting” may have been aimed like a dart at his greatest rival, Michelangelo!

Excerpts from “Paragone of Poetry and Painting” and Other Writings
by Leonardo da Vinci, circa 1500
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Takaha Shugyo haiku translations

These are my modern English translations of haiku and tanka by Takaha Shugyo.

Oh, fallen camellias,
if I were you,
I'd leap into the torrent!
—Takaha Shugyo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Wild geese pass
leaving the emptiness of heaven
revealed ...
—Takaha Shugyo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Inside the cracked shell
of a walnut:
one empty room.
—Takaha Shugyo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Haiku translations

These are modern English translations of haiku written by Oriental masters of the form like Basho, Buson, Issa, Seishi, Shiki, Shugyo and Sugita. There are also translations of ancient waka and tanka, with strong resemblances to haiku. 

Grasses wilt:
the braking locomotive
grinds to a halt
—Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Middle English Translations

These are my modern English translations of Middle English poems by mostly anyonymous authors. 

Sumer is icumen in
anonymous Middle English poem, circa 1260 AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Summer is a-comin’!
Sing loud, cuckoo!
The seed grows,
The meadow blows,
The woods spring up anew.
Sing, cuckoo!

The ewe bleats for her lamb;
The cows contentedly moo;
The bullock roots,
The billy-goat poots ...
Sing merrily, cuckoo!

Leonardo da Vinci Translations

These are my modern English translations of epigrams and poems by Leonardo da Vinci. I suspect da Vinci's “Paragone of Poetry and Painting” may have been aimed like a dart at his greatest rival, Michelangelo! 

Once we have flown, we will forever walk the earth with our eyes turned heavenward, for there we were and there we will always long to return.—Leonardo da Vinci, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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