Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Mark Strand

OLD MAN LEAVES PARTY

OUDE MAN VERLAAT FEEST

Toen ik het feest verliet bleek zonneklaar
Dat ik, hoewel over de tachtig, nog
Een mooi lijf had. De maan scheen zoals verwacht
Op momenten van intense zelfbeschouwing. De wind stokte.
En kijk, iemand had een spiegel tegen een boom laten staan.
Zodra ik mij alleen wist, trok ik mijn hemd uit.
De berengrasbloemen lieten hun maanovergoten kopjes hangen.
Ik trok mijn broek uit en de eksters draaiden om de reuzenpijnen.
Beneden in het dal stroomde nog eenmaal de krakende rivier.
Wat vreemd dat ik in de wildernis alleen met mijn lichaam moest staan.
Ik weet wat je denkt. Ik was ooit zoals jij. Maar nu
Met zoveel voor mij, zoveel smaragdgroene bomen en
Door kruid gewitte velden, bergen en meren, hoe kon ik niet
Van ogenblik tot ogenblik alleen mijzelf zijn, deze vleselijke droom?

OLD MAN LEAVES PARTY

It was clear when I left the party
That though I was over eighty I still had
A beautiful body. The moon shone down as it will
On moments of deep introspection. The wind held its breath.
And look, somebody left a mirror leaning against a tree.
Making sure that I was alone, I took off my shirt.
The flowers of bear grass nodded their moonwashed heads.
I took off my pants and the magpies circled the redwoods.
Down in the valley the creaking river was flowing once more.
How strange that I should stand in the wilds alone with my body.
I know what you are thinking. I was like you once. But now
With so much before me, so many emerald trees, and
Weed-whitened fields, mountains and lakes, how could I not
Be only myself, this dream of flesh, from moment to moment?
Close

OLD MAN LEAVES PARTY

It was clear when I left the party
That though I was over eighty I still had
A beautiful body. The moon shone down as it will
On moments of deep introspection. The wind held its breath.
And look, somebody left a mirror leaning against a tree.
Making sure that I was alone, I took off my shirt.
The flowers of bear grass nodded their moonwashed heads.
I took off my pants and the magpies circled the redwoods.
Down in the valley the creaking river was flowing once more.
How strange that I should stand in the wilds alone with my body.
I know what you are thinking. I was like you once. But now
With so much before me, so many emerald trees, and
Weed-whitened fields, mountains and lakes, how could I not
Be only myself, this dream of flesh, from moment to moment?

OLD MAN LEAVES PARTY

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