Today, I see, your glance is especially sad
And your arms, embracing your knees, especially thin.
Listen: far, far away on the Lake of Chad
Wanders a gentle giraffe.

He is endowed with slender grace and bliss,
And his hide adorned with a magical design
Which the moonlight alone, shattering and rocking
On the wide wet of the lake, dares to rival.

From afar he resembles the colored sails of a ship,
And his gait is smooth as the joyful flight of a bird.
I know that the earth will witness many wonders,
When, at sunset, he hides in a marble grotto.

I could tell merry tales of mysterious lands
Of a black maiden, a young chief’s passion,
But you have too long inhaled the heavy mist,
You will believe in nothing but the rain.

And how can I tell you about a tropical garden,
Slender palms, the scent of inconceivable herbs…
Are you crying? Listen…Far off on the Lake of Chad
Wanders a gentle giraffe.

-Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev

5 thoughts on “Giraffe

  1. One of the saddest sights I have seen is a lone giraffe in a snow-covered zoo in Edinburgh eating leaves from a basket held high by a rope on a pulley.


  2. I could not decide if I liked the poem or the photo the best. Both are a thing of its own unique beauty; I’ll leave it at that.
    Funny, I have always had a certain attraction to giraffes because of their long necks. And granddaddy long legs because of their long legs. Do you know of such a poem about this insect?


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