Wednesday, July 16, 2014

a bit of slack

[ untitled ]

even if the branches wave
the evening light drowns
bathes swathes soft

we have
lowered the gates of memory
shut the books

wind sweeps the rest

for a moment
we seem to belong
to the wind to the light

as if here time left
a bit of slack in the rope

as if brusque there were
not a clean breakaway
but less wall

--Antoine Emaz
(my translation)


  1. même si les branches bougent
    la lumière du soir noie
    baigne enrobe douce

    a fermé les vannes de mémoire
    les livres

    le vent balaie le reste

    pour un peu on dirait
    faire presque partie
    du vent de la lumière
    en restant là
    sans bouger

    comme si le temps ici laissait
    du mou dans sa corde

    comme s’il y avait brusque
    non une échappée belle
    mais moins de murs

  2. what a strange poem. how the word placement and line breaks force me to stay still and be sure of myself as i go, open myself to perceive this world he asks us to perceive.

    i have to stop for some time and train my mind on brusque to even begin to understand, but i have already done this many times for shorter stops earlier in the poem, for he begins dashing my expectation in line break right away, setting me up to expect a comma after we have in the second part, as i read one in myself between wave, rustle in the first.

    and how he does not do what is natural, for he is asking for us to open a deep and unnatural stillness, forcing adverbs into new and more still structures, as though we might lower any gate calm instead of calmly, but the word calm now becomes the act itself, reducing the action of lower.

    and yes, my favorite line, "lowered the gates of memory". (you've explained to me the translation of this particular gate but how i must have felt the importance of lowering the gate, more formal, more ceremonial, than simply closing it.)

    and the photograph ... how does one speak to such things? i feel great (and quiet) reverence for it and for the world which it represents))))