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Over numerous mountains and streams, I had my doubts that I could find the road.
Then out of the shade of the willows, came bright flowers and another village.
It is only a dream of the grass blowing
east against the source of the sun
in an hour before the sun’s going down
whose secret we see in a children’s game
of ring a round of roses told.
Often I am permitted to return to a meadow
as if it were a given property of the mind
that certain bounds hold against chaos,
that is a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.
Robert Duncan, Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow, 1960
thanks you ymutate
Cold water by weariness frozen in your frame,
How many times and during many hours, desolate
By dreams and seeking my memories which are
Like leaves beneath the deep hollow of your ice,
I saw myself in you like a distant shadow,
But, horror! Some evenings, in your harsh pool,
From my scattered dreams I have known nakedness!
Et pendant quelques instants je m’obstinai à vouloir comprendre ce mystère ; mais bientôt l’irrésistible Indifférence s’abattit sur moi, et j’en fus plus lourdement accablé qu’ils ne l’étaient eux-mêmes par leurs écrasantes Chimères.
Jadis, si je me souviens bien, ma vie était un festin où s’ouvraient tous les cœurs, où tous les vins coulaient.
Un soir, j’ai assis la Beauté sur mes genoux. — Et je l’ai trouvée amère. — Et je l’ai injuriée.
Translated by Paul Schmidt:
Once, if my memory serves me well, my life was a banquet where every heart revealed itself, where every wine flowed.
One evening I took Beauty in my arms — and I thought her bitter — and I insulted her.
"I went to the market, where they sell birds
and I bought some birds
I went to the market, where they sell flowers
and I bought some flowers
I went to the market, where they sell chains
and I bought some chains
And then I went to the slave market
and I looked for you
but I did not find you there
— Jacques Prévert