Of the Material / Du Materiel
(Conclusion)

by Alain Bosquet

In every bird a mountain slept.
In every hand the sacred reptile
ate salt. In every street of the port
an old bishop questioned a tree.
The wine was quite bare, and by the river
we mourned the savannas disappeared
since their rendezvous with the snow.
Because he lacked fire, the wizard took
the burning city as a bride.

(Translated by Charles Guenther)

Dans chaque oiseau dormait une montagne.
Dans chaque main le reptile sacré
mangeait du sel. Dans chaque rue du port
un vieil évêque interrogeait un arbre.
Tout nu était le vin, et près du fleuve
on pleurait les savanes disparues
depuis leur rendez‑vous avec la neige.
Comme il manquait de feu, le sorcier prit
pour épouse la ville qui brûlait.


SOURCE:  Bosquet, Alain.  Selected Poems (New York: New Directions, 1963), p. 34, 35.


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