The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

A Stone
By Yves Bonnefoy

Once we took in these fields
Where sometimes a god burst out of a tree
(and it was our token, as night fell).

I would pressure you without making a sound,
I would feel your heaviness against our listening palms,
Oh, you obscure words of mine,
Barriers across the roads to the night.


This was translated from the French long ago, and I can't find the original anywhere; I'm not even sure of the title -- I don't think it's "Une Pierre" which appears to be a different poem entirely. Here's one I found in English with no translator named. I love his sense of words as objects.

Passer-By, These Are Words

Passer-by, these are words. But instead of reading
I want you to listen: to this frail
Voice like that of letters eaten by grass.

Lend an ear, hear first of all the happy bee
Foraging in our almost rubbed-out names.
It flits between two sprays of leaves,
Carrying the sound of branches that are real
To those that filigree the still unseen.

Then know an even fainter sound, and let it be
The endless murmuring of all our shades.
Their whisper rises from beneath the stones
To fuse into a single heat with that blind
Light you are as yet, who can still gaze.

May your listening be good! Silence
Is a threshold where a twig breaks in your hand,
Imperceptibly, as you attempt to disengage
A name upon a stone:

And so our absent names untangle your alarms.
And for you who move away, pensively,
Here becomes there without ceasing to be.


perkypaduan is having termite problems so I will not get to see her today, which is very sad, but I am expecting to see her and gblvr and others tomorrow at lunch which means that I may actually get most of my chores done today, if I can get my head screwed on better than it was yesterday.

Last night at two in the morning I woke my husband to ask him when the forms were due at the middle school -- I was having a dream involving middle school forms with the date on them -- and he got up cursing, ran downstairs and realized yep, today (they take four months to make admission decisions and give you less than ten days to get all the paperwork done). So very early this morning he was hunting for our property tax information which they need as proof of residence and I was hunting for report cards with student ID numbers. Am tired but very grateful to whichever higher power sent me that dream!

Elvishness gacked from beckyo:

You're the protective lover. Your greatest desire
is to be with the one you love and to hold her
in your arms, protecting her from the evils of
the worlds. Your quote means "My fate is
to sheild the one I love from the cold, cruel
world." I demand to be invited to the
wedding. You have no choice in the matter.
Which Elvish phrase are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

It was a good morning for Brokeback Mountain news: here, from London, and here, from Australia. Plus, gratuitous celebrity news for ashinae: Told you Paul Bettany was in Toronto. Heh.

And just because I'm in the mood for it, more proof that my squirrel really is Jack Aubrey.


  • Poem for Wednesday and Relaxing Cats

    Field in Spring By Susan Stewart Your eye moving left to right across the plowed lines looking to touch down on the first shoots coming up like…

  • Poem for Tuesday and 2004 Cicadas

    Cicadas at the End of Summer By Martin Walls Whine as though a pine tree is bowing a broken violin, As though a bandsaw cleaves a thousand thin…

  • Greetings from Gaithersburg

    Paul made me eggs and "bacon" for Mother's Day brunch, then we went to Lake Whetstone to see the goslings before they turn into geese. It was a…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded