Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

David William Paley

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Awakening consists of five stanzas, the first three of which are of nine lines and the last two of 12 lines. It is not rhymed. I consider the protagonist as a man but it could easily be a woman.

The protagonist expresses his bond of love by reference to numerous floral analogies in order to describe the depth and permanence of his devotion. Whilst his lover is his shining sun, he is confident that no adverse weather can sever their union. Indeed, they are as firmly linked as are the natural phenomena he observes about them. Whether it be the colours of the rainbow or the advent of evening or of dawn, they will be locked within their bond of love throughout their lives; and, whatever time may bring, his lover will be ever young in his heart because they will be together.

Beyond The Day

Beyond the Day consists of six stanzas each of eight lines (the last of nine lines) and is not rhymed.

A young woman pleads with her lover to let her join him for a longer time than seems currently allotted. She will commit herself to him for a lifetime during which they will face the tribulations of the world together. Any obstacle will be cleared and any journey undertaken. She will accept no rebuff but be ever present seeking him either in distant places or at home.

She has surrendered all her pride in her heartfelt plea and implores him to be her lifelong companion like a flower that blooms until the close of life. Then, they will continue their journey across the vastness of the heavens beyond the world of man.


Dancing consists of six stanzas of nine lines each rhymed EI.

An encounter at a nighttime dance which led to dancing until dawn on the terrace is too soon ended by the approach of dawn but the couple form a life long relationship. The narrator compares their happiness that lasts throughout the following years as being beyond all other beauties in life.

Declaration of Love

Format is a sonnet without rhyme.

This is a declaration of love by a female voice which expresses the sumptuous manner of delivery rather than risks the inadequacy of words that may fail to convey a meaning rising to the occasion.


Homecoming consists of four parts spoken by three participants. In the first part, the homecomer has evidently been on a long voyage and is sailing through high seas back to harbour and looking forward to meeting his wife after a long absence. He speaks three stanzas each of six lines without rhyme.

In the second part, the wife declares in a lyrical and fully rhymed Shakespearean sonnet how she feels for the return of her lover.

The third part is spoken by the wind, using four quatrains the last lines of which are rhymed. The wind is normally capricious but, on this occasion, assists the homecomer in his reunion with his wife with a warning, however, that it may not be so generous on future occasions.

The homecomer speaks the concluding part, this time in four quatrains rhymed AC, BD, indicating, in contrast to the heroic lines of the first part, his now domestic life. He is under the delusion that he has chosen a new life on land whereas it is actually the wind that has held him in harbour by refusing to blow in a direction suitable for navigation and thereby proving its independence and possibly a slightly malicious streak in compensation for its former generosity. But, as a result, the homecomer has now become reconciled to his domesticity and prefers it to his former adventurous life.

Lives of No Importance

An ordinary couple who have spent their lives in a modest manner relate their homely wisdom to the world.

Format is nine stanzas sparsely and irregularly rhymed.

New Born Day

An evocation of the dawn and of the scenes revealed by the opening day. It is mainly descriptive but gains a human connection in the last two stanzas.

Format is eight stanzas of iambic quadrameters six of which are quintains rhymed BD, CE and two stanzas in sestets presented as rhyming couplets.

Our Sacred Grove

A couple bring their two children to the woodland grove where they had met before their marriage. The trees wave their greeting as the parents seek the bark where they had carved their initials finally finding the place at a higher level. They are reminded of their days spent as if sailing on an ocean of happiness but then return to the village where they had formerly lived and, now, fondly remember the times of old.

Format is four stanzas each of eight lines rhymed FH.

That Night in May

Two lovers speak of the night they had arranged to meet but had inexplicably not been able to do so. The man asks the girl whether she had shared the same thoughts as he throughout that night in May. She replies that she was enraptured by their meeting and delighted at the thought of the lifetime that they would share and would join her thoughts with his despite their separation. Their lives have now been joined for ever and grow closer with every day that passes.

  Format is six stanzas varying from twelve to fourteen lines. Two stanzas are allotted to the man, two to the girl followed by two for the couple together. The poem is heavily but irregularly rhymed.

The Dimensions of Love

A lover, consumed in the passion of romance, expresses his immensity of love in hyperbolic manner.

  The poem is in sonnet format.

The Girl With The Ash-Blonde Hair

A man recalls meeting the girl who entranced him with her hair and voice and released a stream of love that has lasted throughout their lives.

Format is four stanzas each of eight lines mostly rhymed FH but with several other irregularly placed rhymes.

The Welcome Tyrant

No Commentary

The Wind Defeated

No Commentary

When Swallows Return

When Swallows Return consists of eight stanzas each of eight lines rhymed DH.

The poem tells the thoughts of the protagonist whose lover has evidently departed for a period of several months. He endures the parting and its loneliness comparing it to the onset of winter and its hardships. He is comforted by photographs of his belovèd and how she has woven her image into his memory; and regrets that time cannot be re-run but that he must await her return after the circling of the world around the sun.

The presence of the beloved is an essential addition to the pleasures of spring. He senses her return and expresses his pleasure in anticipating the happiness that will accrue noting that Time will have finally relented as it brings his lover back just as the swallows are returning.


A sonnet rhymed ACBD in praise of words and their power to persuade.