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In The Bay Of Naples

And all I could think, in this pining moment
Was of a mystery, or a strange memory,
Of being with Her on an island of stones,
Where the sea lashed, sparklingly, and splashed
Its hard, playing waves over
Our rocks, and drowned our feet, 
And sometimes swamped us over all our beings -
It felt quite rough and raging around
Us, as we sat, and dreamt, and thought,
In tune with the sea, as universal mind.


            Her eyes sparkled like jewels of death
            Or love, as all mingled into one wholeness,
            Petering out in time, or rolling into
            Renewal, mysteriously regenerating itself in time.


O! how long is the Universe here!
What difference how our souls fare!
The most beautiful, the most powerful,
The silliest, equally must fall,
All the Solar System will be sucked into the giant sun
When it chooses to shoot, expand, and explode
And be weird and incomprehensible;
How could even Friedrich Nietzsche
Try to impose his affirmation
On existence, in the face of this strange knowledge?


            Bewitching into the black night,
            Dreams burst into chaotic life!
            Sparkling lights appear to smile
            Through a haze of vagueness, strange mystery.


At night the sky is a strange dark
Pink, clouds fluff-balling through the imaginary
Sky, and I dream in the salt smell
Of sea-fish, with the Castel dell'Ovo
Glimmering with its legends of magic and ancient 
Emperors, and Virgil`s spirit resurrecting
Like a shaman leading into skies and sea
Depths, inspired by a great Myth,
Which bursts his mind, and sees his ship
Pushing to conclusions in fine winds.


                O wizard, now, I drink thine wine,
                I sink into thine immaculacy;
                I drown, then fly, like a crazy spark,
                Out from death, into living skies.

The sea is beautiful as I enter now
Into its rhythm, soft and hard,
Stretching its sound into my brain
Like music of all eternity;
O, I feel its moving surf
Like sensitivity of kissing white
Bubbles bursting over smooth sands, 
And anterior memories of the sweetest dreams
Take the mind to join the waves
Seeping up onto the dreaming shore.


                Ah, as the moon shines,
                Rippling upon the sea,
                I am in blue love in Baia`s bay,
                So warm as the clear sun.


Wild Dionysian ecstasy
Meeting Apollonian harmony,-
Serenity; that is what gives into the greatest art
There has ever been,-
Tragedy, flying like a unique power,
Then waiting for centuries until it recurs
In new form:  music drama,
The spirit of Aeschylus re-emerges
In Richard Wagner: supreme Gesamtkunstwerk,
For all time, unrepeatedly.

        Exhaustion down with the pink sun,
        Hazy in anxious parabolas,
        I must fall like excessive moisture
        Into crying rain.


My tragedy, as I fall ever deeper into Myth,
Lost in the anger of an ununderstood mind,
Glimmers like the lights on Naples Bay
From Santa Lucia; my loneliness
Resonates the moon spinning in beauty
In the sky, high above the masts of vessels
Sleeping in their rest, away from waves,
Rippling instead in gentle blue
Dark in quiet evening cooling
Breeze, where the Italian language sings.


        Dark when the sun sleeps the pain,
        Goes into numbness, where all dream
        The fourth Grace, and fantasize flaming and wild
        The other three, in their sweet embrace.


Despair flies into happiness, the night
Sweeps like a White Lady, strangely,
Near Mergellina, and other magic
Ports, where views and visions over beautiful Naples
Disport themselves like grand wonders
At the Capodimonte, and the Palazzo Reale,
Vast vistas in front of which you sweat
As you love this strange experience
Called Art:  though it does not compare
With the beauty of ordinary girls here.


        There is nothing I can hold close to my breast,
        Only loneliness, hopelessness, my children
        Forever away from me when I travel:
        O injustice, eternal curse!


I`m feeling very annoyed,
I feel as if I am
Pergolesi, living here
So long ago, writing such beauty
In extreme pain, and such extraordinary intensity
Because I know I`m dying in love and pain,
So extreme is my agony, here I suffer
Like a worm of deep, extensive pain,
Some juice I felt for you, deep Illusion,
Life is like you, a strange, gorgeous peach.


        Strung across the sea in agony
        Where the sun fleets in hopeless and strange
        Pain; how dreary slow recovery can be,
        Before the beauty of all sunshine comes.


O sweet, my devious, floating into dreams,
O sweetness, float, subconscious in pining, hoping
Love, the crunching, where dubious is thought,
Where Entfremdungseffect is overriding,
There let my dreams as wondrous waves
Roll over blue depths of vast time
And crash beyond centuries of symphony,
Movements that last for millenia
In blue sleep, plunged into eternal nows,
Lived as stars in expanding galaxies.


        Something is streaming through my blood,
        Like love for strange thoughts of poetry, or ideas
        Estranged from normality in their metaphysical fire:
        This has not come to the end of its quest.


The sun is like fire across the sky,
Like love of women it has to die,
O women!  how complicated you are,
How dreadfully beautiful, so difficult to touch
Like rainbows mingled into the sea in the air,
Like peaches rising into the sky,
Like talking fruit with cosmic brains
And strange hearts, alternately cold
Then fierily mad, like astronomical meteorites
Exploding in desirable, wild beauty.


        Oh God, let me return to my womb,
        It`s so painful, I feel I drown,
        Why must I continue in pointless agony,
        Where is my jewelled, illusory grail?


Parsifal`s Prelude flies in the skies,
Like the sun falling from crags and cliffs,
Into the blue sea of rippling waves,
Into the dreams of colour and surf,
Like music of sublime beauty falling through
Sweet air of painful ecstatic beauty,
Like falling in love with a woman again,
Like killing your soul on a knife of pure
Emotion, tumbling in extreme dream,
Falling upwards into poetry`s air.


        Why do we all kill what we love?
        Why does everyone betray his love?
        Why is the world a lost cause?
        Who is a dinosaur, and who a bird?


Maxim Gorky, what were you doing there,
You bourgeois twit, in Capri.
What did Lenin think of that?
For Walter Benjamin there is an excuse,
He never claimed to be a prol,
Or a realist, or a revolutionary leader;
He was a day-dreamer, one of those hopeless
Flecks that the Revolution sometimes tolerates,
At other times, kills:
But you should have been in Turin, near a factory!

        It`s all the same, everywhere is Naples!
        Estrangement and rain, rain, rain,
        Sirocco winds and storms and dust,
        Disturbing nightmares of curious lust.


Imagine Pompeii, frozen to stone
In one moment, accidental to them,
Though inexorable and absolutely required according
To volcanic forces, geological laws,
That made it inevitable that this would happen
Exactly then:  so a poor miser, 
A father grabbing his frightened son,
A greedy merchant snatching his gold,
The poor slave-girl in the pretty brothel,
All were petrified into eternity.


        A fantasy nightmare worse than Ovid`s
        Of metamorphosis into stone,
        Or petrification from the sight of a Medusa,
        Larval hell huddled below Vesuvius.


What else can I do against this sky -
Mountains, clouds, gathering heat
And storms - I am so dissatisfied,
What on earth can breathe a flame,
What in heaven flies around
Like a wild fire, a starry sky;-
Some crazy woman with flashing eyes,
The same woman with sweet kissing lips?
That is why the dream repeats,
O, there could be death in Napoli!


        Like Tonio Kroger, I cannot enter -
        It is a world closed to Northern people.
        Rubbish!  women do not feel the same
        Everywhere:  in Italy they dream.


No rules of Feminism ever will do:
Spoilt, bitter frustrated deadness
Of Northern Europe and North America;
Broken spontaneity, privatised complaint,
Undermining of all confidence
In being a bee, a flower, a butterfly;
Ghastly thoughts and analysis
That entrench immaturity and self-pity
Into fixed grimaces.  No woman more
Actually loves to be with a man.

        Let me go!  Let me out!
        There is no point for me in this world.
        Let me get out, go away,
        Escape, I mean it, from this world.


And my mind flies again to its dreams,
Images of beauty, beautiful girls
In Naples Bay, heaven incarnate,
As my rough soul makes its collisions,
Its sarcasms, cynicisms, angry pain,
Dissolving into wondrous pink sunsets,
Italian Caprices, Russians in Italy,
Glorious melodies of joy, wandering around
The Mediterranean, tormented yet in love
With beauty, with beauty, with the sea, and with heat.


        Desires as always at every corner,
        Hopes of virtue, immodest ambitions;
        Such it is to be a poet,
        Physical vehicle of a restless soul.


The sun is shooting through the air
Like yellow fire, pink and red
Streaks of eternity, flames of thought
Issued from the careless Cosmos, now,
Dreaming its dangerous, unguarded forms,
Spilling out its wild, unselfconscious dreams
In colour, splaying upon the vast sky:
Slow sunset in Naples, the sea
Merging with light, and the clouds, saturated
In heavenly paint, by supernatural hands.


        Who is with me in my agony,
        Who is sharing this great joy?
        Ah, my spirit`s sister plays in the skies,
        Ah, she is somewhere, and soars high.


The sun is still dashing its light upon
The crazy rocks, bathing their shapes
In its subtle magic - purple, mauve,
Scarlet, deep red, dark pink, brown,
Not yet stopping, though the hours turn
Slowly, and seem to roll
Like a half-asleep Being of the vast sea
In the sky, dreaming its most intense radiant
Powers now into all our minds,
Sucking such strength into our imaginations.

        I throw out great waves of despair and triumph,
        Evoke the lightnings of the universe;
        I return into my inner sleep,
        And wait, and dream, until new eruptions.


And the women throw their wild hair
Like maenads back like mad gorgeous
Creatures of another universe, where real beauty
Reigns, as a goddess, who really means
Her dedication to the holy shrine,
To the altar at which no substitute
Can last, before beauty, the sensuous, dark,
Soft or light, curvaceous, flicker
Of light from the eyes, dangerous and smiling
Towards us throughout the endless night.


        Neptune still rules on the wild sea,
        With the nereids dreaming below the waves,
        None know the inner mind
        Because it is unfindable.


Tim Cloudsley nació Cambridge, Inglaterra. Es sociologo, escritor y poeta. Trabajó como profesor en la Escuela de Idiomas, de la Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga en el ámbito de estudios culturales y literatura.

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