Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two more by Follain

Two poems by Jean Follain

Signs for Travellers

Travellers from the great spaces
when you see a girl
twisting in sumptuous hands
the black vastness of her hair
and when moreover
you see
near a dark baker’s
a horse lying near death
by these signs you will know
that you have come among men.

(Translated by W.S. Merwin, from Transparence of the World: Jean Follain, Copper Canyon Press, 2003)

The Red Apple

Tintoretto painted his dead daughter
carriages were moving in the distance
the painter died in turn
today long rails
girdle the earth
and carve it up
the Renaissance resists
in the chiaroscuro of museums
voices break
often even the silence
seems exhausted
but the red apple remains.

(Translated by Stephen Romer in Into the Deep Street, Seven Modern French Poets 1938-2008, Edited and translated by Stephen Romer and Jennie Feldman, Anvil Press, 2009)

1 comment:

Carrie Etter said...

Thanks for introducing me to this poet.

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