Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Riddle by Thomas Merton

This is the English translation of Merton's poem "Le Secret" by Br. Paul Quenon

I might be defined
The imaginative kind.
My life is charmed,
Untouched by harm.
Fast or slow
Off I go
To view the scene
On cloud serene.
What secret I've read
I've left unsaid;
It'd make you smile,
Or puzzle awhile.
My naked heart
Betrays no art,
With nothing concealed,
And nothing to steal.
Nothing to know
Nothing to dream;
I tell no lies.
In truth, my eyes
Are globes that see
All lands and seas:
I never complain
Be it China or Spain.
I've been around
And always found
Great happiness,
Tremendous bliss.
At earth's deep core
I've seen no sore.
And if I fly
To spheres on high,
Or visit afar
Some secret star
In depths of night
Though quite profound
- to put it right -
I would be found
To be
No one and everyone.
When I fly free
Of memory,
You should not yearn
For my return,
Or try to see
Where I might be.
I'm there unknown;
In nothing shown.
Without a face,
Without a name,
Without renown
Or any fame.
I am a strange
Enchanted bird:
God formed me - Love,
By his own word.

This poem can be found in the collection entitled In the Dark Before the Dawn, edited by Lynn R. Szabo.