To My Critics

Teach me, would you, my critics, give me a facile
Lesson: yes, according to you
I must be deaf, blind, shape my verses
By what I may and what I may not do.
But forgive me if I foresee a future
Hour, oh, not near, when you’ll hector me,
You yourselves, questioning, insisting:
Poet, where were you? What was it you did see?

Translated by Babette Deutsch and Avrahm Yarmolinsky.