I know it sounds strange, but there's something fascinating about poetry in a foreign language - listening to the pure rhythm of the words, unalloyed with meaning, spotting a familiar word here or there and trying to imagine the rest. It's such fun, for instance, reading Neruda in the original. Or Paz. Or Rilke.
Or, for that matter, this:
Musis amicus tristitiam et metus
tradam protervis in mare Crecitum
portare ventis, quis sub Arcto
rex gelidae metuatur orae,
quid Tiridaten terreat, unice
securus. o quae fontibus integris
gaudes, apricos necte flores,
necte meo Lamiae coronam.
Piplei dulcis! nil sine te mei
prosunt honores: hunc fidibus novis,
hunc Lesbio sacrare plectro
teque tuasque decet sorores.
- Horace. Odes 1.XXVII'm giving the translation below, in case you're interested, but seriously - read it. Can't you just hear the rhythm of that first line? Or feel the richness of "apricos necte flores, necte meo Lamiae coronam"? Or the rousing call of "Piplei dulcis!"?
Translation (by Patrick Bronte):
To the wave and the wind, while the muses are kind,
My cares and my sorrows I'll fling;
Nor e'er with the question will trouble my mind
Of the snow-covered north, who is king:
Or what is the dread, o'er the Parthian's head -
That the shades of misfortune may bring.
O, Goddess divine, the first of the Nine,
Who lovest the fountain clear,
A garland of spring's sweetest offering twine
For the brows of my Lamia dear,
Since oh! without Thee honour to me
Nor pleasure nor profit can bear!
Thou and they sisters, his praises to sing,
Once more awaken the Lesbian string!
P.S. Am going to be travelling the next few days, so may not be updating my blog. See you next week.