mercredi 24 avril 2013



(On the uncertain meanings of names)

« Amabilissimus nodus amicitiae »
(‘The most agreeable bond of friendship’)

Names, names I love,
Names in Latin on the plaques
Of old churches!

Names with the enchanting fragrance of lavender,
Wild rose, sweet lemon balm and bewitching creeping thyme,

Names with the elegant impertinence of rosé wine
Like sparkling dresses enhanced by delicate floral embroidery,

Names hiding azure eyes and artless tones
Wandering in the liquid clarity of the crisp air,

Names where there sleeps an ancient nostalgia for vanished affections,
Names which reflect a direction the world would never take,

Names which speak the love of forever to forever,
Names which show the immersion of each being in their own baptism,

Names joyful as a lark beneath the eyelids of the letters
Which form their original unity,
Names redolent of the havoc caused by one friendly kiss
On a May evening,

Names still throbbing with the excitement of sudden illumination,
Names pointing back to outworn epochs
And now free from all the heavy work of the harvest!

Names marked by the mauve weight of grief,
Names where a pure sky shines,
Where immense horizons open like wings of light,
Names where you can hear the radiant beauty of the water
Running over the happy faces of granite pebbles,

Names where hair more blonde than wheat fields floats,
Names from which there comes a music
And a teasing happiness which increases with the day,
Names which let you breathe in the spirit
Of bright bunches of new-mown grass.

O names, names, names…
In what abandoned house,
In what room with shutters for ever closed
Have you left the poems of your sublime secrets?

Tell me, anonymous author, charming engraver of magical names,
Is this your generous gift to me, so many sublime beings?

Translated from the French of Athanase Vantchev de Thracy by Norton Hodges

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