Chinese Journey 10 - Poem by Olga Sedakova
Great is the artist, knowing no duty
except the duty of the brush at play:
and his brush penetrates the heart of mountains,
penetrates the happiness of leaves,
at one stroke, with sheer gentleness,
with delight, with mere confusion
he penetrates immortality itself -
and immortality toys with him.
But he whom the spirit abandons, from whom
they remove the ray of light,
who for the tenth time in a turbid place
gropes for the pure key,
who, fallen out of the hand of miracles, will not say:
empty are miracles! -
before him, in reverence,
the heavens bow.
Translated by Jena Woodhouse
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