Monday, December 19, 2016

Where the bird sang

Last night's early sunset. Only a glimpse, 5:32 p.m.


A child is born
in a vast landscape
half a century later
he is simply a dead soldier
and that was the man 
whom one saw appear
and set down on the ground a whole
heavy sack of apples
two or three of which rolled
a sound among the sounds of a world
where the bird sang
on the stone of the door-sill.

Jean Follain       (1903-1971)
              Translated from the French by W.S. Merwin

Transparency of the World; Jean Follain
selected and translated by W. S. Merwin, 
Copper Canyon Press, 2003, page 81.

W. S. Merwin has made a number of splendid translations 
from several languages, They are very worth seeking out.


The recent election, which now threatens 
most of what I have believed in and worked for 
since I became a thinking person,
has made me see more clearly 
the value of these apples and birds. 

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