Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Leave-Taking Of The Wind

Fields of mimosa are bivouacked on the village hillside.
In the distance, at picking time,
you will have an extremely sweet-smelling encounter with a girl
whose arms have been occupied
the entire day with these fragile branches. Just like a lamp
whose halo of light is perfume,
she will leave, her back to the setting sun.

It would be a sacrilege to talk to her.

Little sandal brushing the grass, let her pass.
Perhaps you will be able to discern
the ghost
of the night's dampness on her lips.

after the French of René Char

Little sandal brushing the grass, let her pass.

Beautiful poem, George.
Thanks Bern. I am looking for a decent English translation of Rene Char (selected/collected poems). So far, I have found only a recent bad translation.
This is just beautiful..
I just love the poems on your site..they are very beautiful and pictures in words..
I added it to my picture...May I do that?
I am seeking poems to add to my photographs and Art..
Hello Maggi,

Of course you can. And thanks for your kind comments.
Hi George: Great translation. I am taking an intensive course in book arts now and am interested in doing a broadside of one of Char's poems as well as one of his poems in translation. Using the idea of a poem as an archive/palimpsest, I would like to create a poem within a poem on the broadside by drawing out certain words in the Char poem and setting them off in complementary type and color on the broadside. I would like to do this both for the Char poem and the translation. Could I use one of your translations of a Char poem for such a broadside? Would you like to pull out the small poem within the Char poem and be a poet along with Char on the broadside? I will be happy to give you finely printed broadsides if you are interested. Please contact me at arcbonita@yahoo.com if this sounds like something you might like. I agree with the poster here that most of the translations of Char, in contradistinction to your translation here, do not do his work justice. Best, Jackie M
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