Saturday, December 26, 2015


In the new issue of the Paris Review that just came
there are translations of Mirlitonnades (Doggerels)
by Samuel Beckett. I was reminded of the sea-things 
that have accumulated in this abalone shell
since my sister gave it to me many years ago.
Beckett approved the translations from French
before he died, but they have not been published until now.

This is the English translation of one of six pairs
that also include the French.

alive dead only season mine
white lilies feverfews
vivid nests forsaken
silt of April leaves
frost fair hoar grey days

Samuel Beckett

The Paris Review 215
Winter 2015,
page 135.

Set yourself the task of writing
short groups of mostly nouns 
like this to enliven those
dreary winter evenings.. .

Beckett was born the same year as my father
and only lived a couple of years longer,
so I count them as members of 
the same generation.
It interests me to compare
the way poets are marked
by their times, with the lives
and times of family members.

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