Kocbek Edvard:
Song about man

Incapable of being, except in our body, collected, girded, suffering force:

Each of us convulsively clings to himself, even asleep

   we contract like worms under stones.

Something always compels us, we vibrate

   in all directions, and at rest we are perplexed.

The longer we live, the more we are tangled in gravity,

   we acknowledge encounters only when they have passed.

We pulse constantly, the human race contains limitless

   movements, whatever occurs is completing itself.

Wind tires us, a song makes us anxious, a tree unsettles

   us, the earth puts us to sleep.

Looking is marvelling, running is fear, solitude is

   nostalgia and speech solemn vows.

Extending beyond our own selves, time sips, space

   extends us, we are stretched taut on the earth’s magnetic field.

When we come back together we are drunk with each

   other, our faces are changed, someone else is among us.

When suffering lets go we look at our hands and play

   with them, we lift them, reverently moving

   the fingers, all of it equally dear.

In the expanse of the world we are a trembling of leaves

   or the shadows of clouds over brightly colored hills.

We cannot abide by either morning or evening, at noon

   we deny ourselves, and at night we shiver from strangeness.

We can find neither beginning nor end in ourselves, in

   the great silence we hear perpetual music and bow our heads.

We are placed among lines and figures for convenience’

   sake, some are horizontal, others stand vertical, it is assuring to grasp them.

Objects jut silently into space, maintaining their taut

   forms. They neither collapse nor contract, they will

   endure to the end with us.

Outside animals respire, their meekness overwhelms us,

   and in their huge eyes we lose our balance.

Everything is the foundation of what is higher, the

   crown to what is lower, bindweed to whatever is at hand.

The mark of man is in dualities that attract and affirm

   one another, the game outruns its own speed.

The transitions and joints make sense of each other like

   a word pronounced in the ear, truth seethes like a troubled ocean.

We move our bodies ritually and deliberately like priests

   chanting, each side gives way, humility and splendor complete one another.

Man’s heart beats audibly, it hears and deciphers more

   all the time, man’s heart is one fruit among many,

   the tithe from the harvest of dying time.

Each thing in its proper place, earth and sea, night and

   day, sorrow and joy, oblivion and the gift, within them man, unique.

Translated by Michael Biggins