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Untitled -- Samuel Beckett

Guest poem sent in by Barbara Kay Bosserman
(Poem #1702) Untitled
 My way is in the sand flowing
 between the shingle and the dune
 the summer rain rains on my life,
 on me my life harrying fleeing
 to its beginning to its end

 My peace is there in the receding mist
 when I may cease from treading these long shifting thresholds
 and live the space of a door
 that opens and shuts

 je suis ce cour de sable qui glisse
 entre le galet et le dune
 le pluie d'etre pleur sur ma vie
 sur moi ma vie qui me fuit me poursuit
 et finira le jour de son commencement

 cher instant je te vois
 dan ce rideau de brume qui recule
 ou je n'aurai plus a fouler ces long seuils mouvants
 et vivrai le temps d'une porte
 qui s'ouvre et se referme
-- Samuel Beckett
       (1948, from "Collected Poems in English and French")

My first encounter with this poem was as an undergraduate back in the
mid-eighties. Although I almost never studied in the library, the effect of
upcoming finals on the temper of my normally pleasant roommate induced me to
study there one semester. I ended up near the poetry section more by
accident than design. Bored by whatever I was supposed to be studying, I
happened to see an old, thin volume of poems which I started flipping
through. Twenty years later, I can't remember much from any of my classes,
but I can still recite several of those poems (the English versions anyway)
from memory.

Back then, I would have been certain I knew the poem's meaning. Now, I'll
just say that I like how it sounds when recited aloud, its sea imagery, and
the fact that -- while it seems to acknowledge life's futility (those long
shifting thresholds), when I read it I feel some ultimate sense of
rightness about everything.

Beckett is, of course, better known as a playwright than a poet. His most
famous work is Waiting for Godot.

Barbara Kay Bosserman



The parent site is a good collection of Beckett links:

52 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Joanne Nakaya said...

I am unfamiliar with Beckett as a poet, although I love his
play, "Waiting for Godot." I will now revisit him through his
poetry. Thank you!

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