26 March 2014

Stalemate


J’adoube, she says, wiping her eyes again
Her fingers nowhere near the last chessmen.
Her game is failing fast, while she lip-syncs
Heinrich Heine’s lyrics to Schumann’s notes:
Du bist wie eine Blume
So hold und schön und rein;
Ich schau' dich an,
Und Wehmut schleicht mir ins Herz hinein.
Her game is lost within the song, I guess
She touches knights as if she could them bless.
J’adoube, she says—too late—but I’m not mean
Enough to make her lose her role as queen.
Mir ist, als ob ich die Hände
Aufs Haupt dir legen sollt',
Betend, daß Gott dich erhalte
So rein und schön und hold
I must adjust, win where I can, in chess
if not as her King of Hearts, I confess
I’d like to hold her flower-like, above
the heart that would stay her in love.
Betend, daß Gott dich erhalte
So rein und schön und hold.


Posted for my prompt Poets United Midweek Motif ~ In Two or More Languages.  My languages are English, German, French, chess, and unrequited love.  It was also supposed to be an anti-war protest with lines like "she moved as if each square were a battlefield"--way too corny.  Let's call this a work-in-progress. BTW, almost all of the German words are translated within the English.  


Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast




20 comments:

Mary said...

I really like the way you used language here, Susan. You have described an interesting situation here. Sometimes it does seem like life is a chess game...and stalemates, in chess and life, occur all too often.

Anonymous said...

A most refreshing change, a wonderful read also the language was an added bonus,
Yvonne.

Anonymous said...

A most refreshing change in poetry, loved the language between verses. A great read.
Yvonne.

Moonie said...

chess and love always at odds.
strong expression which the German emphasizes

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This poem reads as intelligently as that game of chess itself....the alternating of the verses in their languages really works. Cool story!

Brian Miller said...

chess and love are both games that take looking ahead beyond the move you are about to make and at how that affects everything else on the board....the interconnectedness of all the pieces...interesting blend of languages...unrequitted love...oy, that can surely be painful...

Heaven said...

Very creative weaving of verses, English and German ~ Check mate, I say ~ I will try to write to the prompt ~

Robert Bourne said...

well done Susan you met the challenge from the prompt so well...very creative.. this one I hit a wall.. my lady speaks Cantonese as well as English which is means I ran into a wall when trying to combine the two...except maybe the cursing part which I have picked up quite well... :)

Anonymous said...

Cool mix - anytime you can bring chess and unrequited love together I am going to be hooked. Love the use of language here, a very new world, international flavor

Sumana Roy said...

chess and love both have some associations with the battlefield....you've brilliantly blended the different languages...

Akila G said...

very lyrical!

Jae Rose said...

I like how the language (and game) of chess is a metaphor for life's bigger issues..never pays to get too lost in the game!

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

'beautiful-the game lost within the song'

Poet Laundry said...

Lyric and tender poem Susan. I especially like that final section in English and last two lines of German.

jo-hanna said...

Masterful interpretation of the chess term J'adoube', meaning I'm not moving a piece, just cleaning/tidying up a little, and then wiping her eye to remove the tears instead.
This must be such a personal poem for you. Thanks for having the courage to share.

R.K. Garon said...

Awesome :-)
ZQ

Sai Charan said...

Wonderful poetry!! Great work Susan!! :)

Loredana Donovan said...

Oh, unrequited love ... that's painful. I like the way you used a chess game as a metaphor ... sometimes love feels like a game that's often lost. And nice use of French and German in it. I posted late to your prompt but enjoyed it, thanks.

Fireblossom said...

This is such a cool challenge. I just found out about it, through Kenia. German always reminds me of Marlene Dietrich and how she sang "Lily Marlene".

Kenia Cris said...

Do I possibly love it because I'm fluent in unrequited love? This was a great challege. Thanks! <3