Did You Hear the Loons? Do You?
You love canoeing. You've heard wolves before.
Or you'll hear loons freak, and alert their lakes
to light winged storms that swell your campsite's shore,
then mumble off in woods thin moonlight breaks.
We've heard them, both. Their cries are wild, as
as any native's cries. How well
did you hear?
Strange as it seems,
the wolf is woodland's child,
great loon icon in Manitou's ear.
We stare in silence as loons, three, veer near
our island's campsite, to coast on through,
leaving you tranquil again, and coast clear.
"They are a family". They've dawned on you.
Ten years have come and gone, and nothing's changed.
The wolves still haunt their woods, the loons their bays
insinuating Nature's not deranged,
too long unconscious of our half-assed ways!
Ten years have come and gone. The CBC *
reports, "Some oil spill recontaminates
our shores, and loons die, washed up from the sea,
by scores, some rogue steamer's slick suffocates.
They try and save 1, scrub him down. I cringe.
That loon, all suds, beats his wings, wails in pitch.
Are we drunk on some Earth-destroying binge?
The poor loon sobs! I swear! "Son of a Bitch!"
© by Richard Vallance 2004
March 6 2004
* Every single word of this quatrain is based on
fact. Just last evening, the 10 O'Clock News on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), reported that yet another foreign
rogue container ship had deliberately dumped a vast oil slick off of Newfoundland's shores. Hundreds of seabirds, including
scores and scores of loons, Common Loon and Arctic Loons alike, were gruesomely mired in oil, and the vast majority of them
suffocated to death. As I watched the news report, I watched and saw the poor, helpless volunteers desperately trying to save
the life of one Arctic Loon still struggling to breathe through the oily mess miring his feathers with guck. They had him
pinned down in a large bucket of warm water full of suds, and one of the volunteers had to hold his very sharp beak closed,
so the frantic bird would not bite any of the folks trying to save him in his terror. That loon was not merely howling. He
was not merely wailing. He wasn't even just crying. He was SOBBING! It just broke my heart.
Is there no end to the boundless stupidity and heartlessness
of humankind? Just exactly what kind of creatures ARE we? If we don't clean up our act soon, and once and for all time, for
good, and learn to live in harmony with this Earth and all her living creatures, flora and fauna alike, who support us, I
am afraid, as the old saying goes, "our goose is cooked."
|William Shakespeare. Sonnet 53 = le sonnet 53
Le sonnet 53
de William Shakespeare
translitération en français
(suivant le style de Pierre
Laquelle serait l'essentielle
à te définir,
Des ténèbres innombrables qui
te poursuivent ?
Parmi ces pénombres qui veulent
À toi, à qui la mine la plus
Décrire Adonis, et son image
dans la glace
Paraît te contrefaire si bien
Les arts savent-ils t'enjoliver,
Hélène, de grâce,
Si bien que la frise hellénique
L'on voit au beau printemps
Dont la foison est trop exquise
à sa façon,
Mais elle a moins d'abondance
que ta Beauté;
Te voilà donc bénie et reconnue
prévisible, la grâce t'appartient,
La voilà, constance
imprévisible, ton bien.
© par Richard Vallance 2004
le 15 février 2004
J'ai toujours voulu traduire
ce sonnet exquis, qui me ravit encore plus que tout autre sonnet de William Shakespeare, mais j'hésite longtemps, voire depuis
plusieurs années à me dévouer à une tâche littéraire d'une telle envergure, car je n'ai jamais voulu y échouer. Mais
enfin ce soir il m'est venu l'inspiration profonde que je n'ai jamais su cultiver auparavant. C'est tout un phénomène
inexplicable, voire quasi miraculeux, mais voilà que c'est fait ! La créativité poétique est certes l'un des plus grands
mystères de la vie, mais je n'y regimbe pas.
A facsimile of Shakespeare's original Sonnet 53 from the
1609 Quarto Edition of his sonnets appears below (special effects by Richard Vallance).
I have always been dying to translate this exquisite sonnet,
which has forever delighted me more than any other sonnet of William Shakespeare, but I have been more than a little hesitant
for years now to thrust upon myself a literary task of such magnitude as this, seeing as I did not wish to fail. But this
evening, at long last, some deep inspiration which had always eluded me before, overcame me. All this is of course quite unexplainable,
but any phenomenon such as this always is. Anyway, there you have it. Poetic creativity is one of the greatest
mysteries of life, and who am I to fuss over it? This sonnet is found on my poetry site, here:
Poesie's laissez-faire Faire Foire: William Shakespeare