Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Prague Street Poetry - Wings of Hope

Saturday we discovered this poem drawn on a wall at the foot of the castle steps. A little googling found its author, Jan Skácel and its title. He published "Naděje s bukovými křídly" in 1983 in a book by the same name which means, roughly translated, "Hope with beech wings."

I translated the rest this morning. The original has more subtlety to it, but I hope you can catch its notion of the new day waiting to be shaped like an angel still to be carved from wood. How that day can be angry but that it is within us to transform it. How we fly forth on the new day's wings of hope, staying grounded by the heart of what we carve our day from.

(The beech is characterized as a messenger tree in Celtic folklore; the linden is the national tree of the Czech Republic and in Roman mythology, a sign of fidelity. Make of this what you will.)

Here is the poem in Czech

"Naděje s bukovými křídly"
Jan Skácel

Novému ránu rožneme svíci
Je neznámé a nemá tváře
Jak anděl v dřevu lípy spící
A čekající na řezbáře

Někdy se na nás anděl hněvá
Anděla máme každý svého
A naděje má z buku křídla
A srdce z dřeva lipového

11 comments:

lizardek said...

Simply lovely. If there has to be graffiti, that's the kind I like. :)

Blue Mountains Mary said...

It spoke to me more than you will know.

Eleanor said...

The first thing I thought when I read this post is "I must quickly email Mary to tell her to visit you," and her she is ...already in your commentbox! Amazing.

There is so much to love about this post, I'm going to have to return to it again and again.

Julia said...

Mary, I thought of you when I first unraveled it. I'm so glad you like it.

I keep coming back to it too, I think I'm going to try to dig up more of his poetry.

bouncyczech said...

wow - what a find...

eurolush said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this poem and its author. What nice graffiti you have there in Prague!

Lucy said...

What a wonderful find, and how lovely what you've done with it. I love the way your translation overlays the original, it seem so right...

Barrett Bonden said...

How about some help with a poem I've been writing for four months? First verse (iambic pt) more or less acceptable in a ruptured sort of way. Can't make the link with the second (or the third or fourth). The subject? Technology, of course. Technology deserves poetry even if this exercise is beginning to suggest that I don't. I want something clearer, cleaner like your first two lines but I'm overtaken by a desire to bollix.

Julia said...

Send it to me and I will try, though I will probably bollix it myself. There are several better poets around here you know (Lucy and Eleanor come to mind). juliaprague at yahoo dot com

Barrett Bonden said...

Thanks for the offer. In writing out the plea and at the very moment of having clicked "Publish this comment", another idea occurred to me and so - in the mysterious way of Americans - I will take a rain-check. Always assuming a rain-check is what I take it to mean.

countrypeapie said...

Beautiful. Something about knowing the meaning of the poem lends a visual grace to the Czech printed word. I never really thought of all those consonants and accents as elegant, but now they seem to be doing a little dance.