I had translated these poems from the French originals by different contemporary poets, and the poems left out of "French Fries" - a group of French poems translated into English in my first book of poems, IMPASSE.


Translations from the French: Unpublished

A Morning Like That of Other Days
by Jean Grosjean (1912 2006)

A morning like that of other days
the harvest was all done yesterday,
now prunes lie scattered in the garden.

The river never ceases anywhere,
rather goes on, being covered in the fog.

A cloud on the horizon,
a lamb that has forgotten its mother,
a wood-pecker and its call.

The long blade of grass heaves with a balance
since the dawn of the earth.

*************

The Winter on Streets
Pont des Arts
by Jacques Reda (b.1929)

The city in the left is never a maze of a stone,
Rather a monument of ash and sand very mild
That vanishes soundlessly under the pressure of mist
Later on wakes up a little farther, always more unclear,
Into the hand of the long haunting bridge,
Like a half-awaken dream of a patient.
And more forms that extinct themselves,
I go forward through them
Breaking icebergs on the bank, to an endless garden.

*************

Captain of the Absurd
by Alain Bosquet (1919 1998)

Your existence is like a book without its author,
arranged in chapter after chapter
that no man has ever written.
Your faith that two and two
make a bird of paradise,
and whom you call Louis XIII
is a bundle of geranium,
sometimes your she-lamb on your shoulder,
sometimes you become hard as if war has begun in an island:
"O, captain of the absurd,
to be a human being, you have to destroy humankind...."
You are just the gentleman
who teaches love every Sunday,
whose evil deeds go on other days,.
Teen-aged girls
are nearly to give birth: boy or monster?
You sell words, shadows and crystals,

then you invite your past century
to drink cognac with and to confess.
At last, you write
your letter open to memory,
abstraction and melancholy.
Your are mentioned in the last pages,
more acceptably:
an atheist priest,
an emperor who is himself an enemy to his own state,
a poet who invents an alphabet
but never cares a bit for music.

*************

Why Did You Give Us Dreams
by Jacques Chesses (b. 1934)

Why did you give us dream
If the peace given by you is disgraced?
The wind of the night was blowing to reawake the dead
And keep off the angels in the territory

But in this dawn of snow, the call of the bird
Is haunting the light returned
Like the first day full of whiteness
The dead are asleep again
Hands for some time lie across their breasts
That breasts like flour before being kneaded
Into the warm bread for the powerful

*************

For My Rehabilitation
by Gaston Miron (1928 1996)

Labourers burnt in the flames of exile,
love in your hand that snatches away hard victories
to them, your rainbow-like sight that becomes a bow of the wind
to them, those cities and lands to which your birth was tied, for them

I did not ever travel
any country but you, my own country

one day I might have said yes to my birth
I might have had husks of wheat on my eyes
I will advance to your earth, bewildered, stimulated
with purity of those who cleanse snow

a man will come again
from beyond the world




Poetry by Sofiul Azam
Read 656 times
Written on 2005-10-08 at 18:17

Tags Grief  Anxiety  Warmth 

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Teala
A wonderful poem!! I love it.
2005-10-12