Why a Literal Translation: They help dissect hard-to-understand poems. Most of the time.
but let’s have a clear understanding:
the books are still free agents.If the rocking chair’s arms surround you
they can also let you go,
they can shape the air like a body.I don’t want your rent, I want
a radiance of attention
like the candle’s flame when we eat,
I mean a kind of awe
attending the spaces between us—
Not a roof but a field of stars.
Lisa’s Literal Translation:
If you crave my rented living abode, hibernate therein
but let’s keep a transparent agreement of ideas:
the tomes are yet liberated spies.
Should the shuffling seat’s limbs circle you
they may likewise release you,
they may mold the atmosphere like a corpse.
I don’t wish your house money, I wish
a brilliance of concentration
kin to the light’s fire when we ingest,
I intend a sort of wonder
listening to the emptinesses betwixt us—
No ceiling but a meadow of planetary lights.