Latest Poems

Guillaume Apollinaire: ‘Rhénane d’automne’ (English translation)

G

Rhenish autumn To Toussaint-Luca The children of the dead come and play In the cemetery Martin Gertrude Hans and Henri No cockerel has crowed today Adoodleday The old women Walk along slowly with tearful faces And the good-natured donkeys Bray hee-haw and start guzzling the flowers Of the funeral wreaths It’s the day of the dead and of all their souls The children and the old women Light their...

Love Philosophy

L

The fountains mingle with the river, And the rivers with the ocean; The winds of heaven mix forever With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single; All things by a law divine In another’s being mingle– Why not I with thine? See, the mountains kiss high heaven, And the waves clasp one another; No sister flower could be forgiven If it disdained its brother; And the sunlight clasps...

My Heart Leaps Up

M

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
William Wordsworth – 1770-1850

I’m waiting…

I

I’m waiting by my log-fire while the hours gently wander, while the stars all are roaming and nights come and go. I’m waiting for a woman who comes from far yonder – the dearest one, the dearest one with blue eyes aglow. I thought of a roaming and snow-covered flower and dreamt of a teasing laugh trembling and slight, Imagined my dearest came here to my bower through the forest, over moorland one...

Verset ou rondeau

V

Repos éternel donne à cil,Sire, et clarté perpétuelle,Qui vaillant plat ni écuelleN’eut oncques, n’un brin de persil. Il fut ras, chef, barbe et sourcil,Comme un navet qu’on ret ou pèle.Repos éternel donne à cil. Rigueur le transmit en exilEt lui frappa au cul la pelle,Nonobstant qu’il dit : ” j’en appelle ! “Qui n’est pas terme trop subtil,Repos...

Ma biographie

M

A Henri d’Ideville. Le torrent que baise l’éclair Sous les bois qui lui font des voiles, Murmure, ivre d’un rhythme clair, Et boit les lueurs des étoiles. Il roule en caressant son lit Où se mirent les météores, Et, plein de fraîcheur, il polit Des cailloux sous ses flots sonores. Tel, je polissais, cher Henri, Des vers que vous aimez à lire, Depuis le jour où m’a souri Le...

The Lonely Walk

T

To W.S.B. When the grey evening spreads a calm around,   Tell me, has thy bewilder’d fancy sought, Retir’d in some sequestered spot of ground,   Rest, from the labour of eternal thought? When, wrapt in self, the soul enjoys repose,   The wearied brain resigns its fervent heat, In dream-like musing every care we lose,   And wind our way with slowly-moving feet. Oft, to indulge the...

What Do We Plant?

W

What do we plant when we plant the tree? We plant the ship, which will cross the sea. We plant the mast to carry the sails; We plant the planks to withstand the gales – The keel, the keelson, the beam, the knee; We plant the ship when we plant the tree. What do we plant when we plant the tree? We plant the houses for you and me. We plant the rafters, the shingles, the floors, We plant the...

The Wind Whistles

T

The wind whistles on all sides, Scrapes the wood, breaks the branches! With all the force of its flight Sweeping across, rushing over the world. Whistling a song – to the horizon! About the courageous fighter who fights For his whole life For an idea, for his principles. May this hope always follow him: That, when death overcomes him, New fighters will appear Take up his flag, Whistling a song...

Plus aucun souffle…

P

Plus aucun souffle.
Comme quand le vent du matina eu raisonde la dernière bougie.
Il y a en nous un si profond silencequ’une comèteen route vers la nuit des filles de nos filles,nous l’entendrions.
– – –Philippe Jaccottet, in Poésies 1946-1967 (Gallimard, 1971)
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