Thursday, January 20, 2005

This afternoon the music department and students listened to a lecture recital by Dr. Brendel, who is a candidate for a recently opened faculty position. Among his program he sang a few of the Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo by Benjamin Britten. The translations are beautiful.

I see sweet light with your eyes
Which I cannot see with my blind ones
I carry a weight with your feet
Which I cannot do with my feet
I can fly, with your wings,
As I am wingless.
I can go toward heaven with your spirit.
With your will I pale and blush,
Become cold in the sun
Become hot in cold weather
In your will is mine.
My thoughts are created in your heart
In your breath are my words
I am like the moon in the sky
Which our eyes cannot see,
Except that which is illuminated by the sun.

You know that I know, dear sir,
That I am coming closer to enjoying you.
And you know that I know
That you know that I am still the same.
Then why do I hesitate to greet you?
If true is the hope given to me,
If true is the good desire I am granted,
The wall crumbles between one and the other,
As double force has secret woe.
If I love you only, my dear sir,
And only what you love most,
Do not be angered.
For one spirit is enamored to another.
What I long for and learn in your beautiful face
Is not comprehended by mankind.
He that may see it must first die.


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