by Dylan Thomas

Sometimes the sky's too bright,
Or has too many clouds or birds,
And far away's too sharp a sun
To nourish thinking of him.
Why is my hand too blunt
To cut in front of me
My horrid images for me,
Of over-fruitful smiles,
The weightless touching of the lip
I wish to know
I cannot lift, but can,
The creature with the angel's face
Who tells me hurt,
And sees my body go
Down into misery?
No stopping. Put the smile
Where tears have come to dry.
The angel's hurt is left;
His telling burns.

Sometimes a woman's heart has salt,
Or too much blood;
I tear her breast,
And see the blood is mine,
Flowing from her, but mine,
And then I think
Perhaps the sky's too bright;
And watch my hand,
But do not follow it,
And feel the pain it gives,
But do not ache.

Paraphrased by Leon Malinofsky

Sometimes life seems too intense or precise
Or has too much a profusion of images and things;

And the faraway sun's too exacting
To justify trying to express them.
Why is my art too crude
To better sculpt before me
My horrid, usual works
Of smiles more lifelike than truth,
Of the effortlessness of the ineluctible love
I wish to know is irrevocably upon me, but is not;
Of my angelic, heavenly Muse whom attending does me ill
While my body wanes?
There is no stopping it.
Put a smile
In place of tears.
The Muse's hurt remains;
His speaking, my speaking him, uses me up. Sometimes a lover's heart is salty
Or too full;
I look within her heart
And see that I don't see her so much as myself in her
And then I think
Perhaps the truth of her, of love, of life,
is too intense for me to know or express;
And so I watch the unfolding of my poetic art
But don't fully understand it,
And while I experience the pain of it
I know I cannot do the undoable, so I do not ache.

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