Epitaph for a Palestinian Child
―for the children of Gaza
I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.
Michael R Burch
Eros shakes my soul:
a wind on desolate mountains
―Sappho, fragment 42, loose translation by Michael R. Burch
perfuming its wings
fans the orchid
― Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch
Oh, fallen camellias,
if I were you,
I’d leap into the torrent!
― Takaha Shugyo, loose translation by Michael R. Burch
Michael R. Burch’s poems, translations, essays, articles and letters have appeared more than 2,000 times in publications which include TIME, USA Today, Writer’s Digest and hundreds of literary journals and websites. His poetry has been translated into Arabic, Czech, Farsi, Gjuha Shqipe, Italian, Macedonian, Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese. He also edits www.thehypertexts.com.
*Translator’s note: I consult a wide range of sources before I do a translation, since I’m not an expert on other languages. For instance, before doing my translations of Basho and Sappho, I studied hundreds of translations and comments about their work by various experts.