Guest poem submitted by Terry Smith, as part of the 'translations' theme', an excerpt from:
Translated by Terry Smith. Here's the original: Il aura trop tenu Dans le fond de sa paume En face de la mer Du sable que le vent Y prenait grain par grain Celui que tient la peur De devenir nuage. -- Guillevic Apologies for both the format of the submission and the crudeness of the translation - I think there is a sublety in the grammar of the first line that I have never quite grasped and I've been modifying my translation of the poem since I found it. Any comment is appreciated. I found Eugene Guillevic in a copy of "Contemporary French Poetry" which is a collection of French work and facing-page translations (so I need to credit Aspel and Justice for the first iteration of the translation). His poetry reads beautifully, and simply, in French, but as he revels in the subtleties of his own language he is very hard to translate into English. I submitted this poem because the image is so strong, and because every time I read it with a different voice, the meaning changes. For a couple of years, the last two lines were included in my signature as a personal statement. There is a long review of some translations of Guillevic's work, and some biographical info, at [broken link] http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR25.5/sallis.html Terry.