‘Man has no need of anything except his feet in order to trip over…for everyone carries the same miserable stumbling block inside themselves.’
Heinrich von Kleist
Voices that make the soul rejoice,
Lines of an autumnal sadness
Shot through with lightning flashes of tenderness and grace,
That puts the heart in fiery disorder!
And this wandering life,
A life of nostalgia and mauve madness
Which jumps at the throat of any soul
Hunched over your poems!
Plaintive undulating verses
Wedded in silence to the perfection of your dreams,
The green channels of your blood
Full of frail convolutions
And a purple desire for the beyond!
I think of you,
Of your loving hands –
Skilful embroiderers of cross stitch!
Beneath your velvet eyelids
The glorious tree of France grows
And in the deep night of your body
Still living and vigorous, shine
The immense stars
Of the Midi’s skies, heavy, light, broken!
No, my Friend, Roman theatres
Are not places where nothingness dwells!
Translated from the French of Athanase Vantchev de Thracy by Norton Hodges