Monday, April 26, 2010

La cathedrale engloutie

Maybe I'll write a good treatise that interprets just why we want to see the city fall to ruin.
...The ancient fisherman
Silently pushed his boat into the water
The boy untangled the nets
Gazing, just as quiet, into the distant gloom.

And while he looked, he was deep in thought
And a melancholy took ahold of him:
"How come's the sea mourns so, uncle?" -
He asked the fisherman.

"Can you see that spire? I think it's been a year -
A year must have come to pass since the time,
You must remember, when we tied up
Our boat to it?

Once there stood a city here, entirely free
And over all the world a-ruling
From which that bell-tower's spire alone
Remains visible above the sea...

The boy listened, bashfully looking away,
For it made him feel afraid:
"And what name, uncle,
Did they give this fallen city?"

"What name'd it have? Well - something foreign
Long since forgotten
'Cause it wasn't native
And no one knows."
-from Mikhail Aleksandrovich Dmitriev, "The Drowned City," 1847.

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