Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"The Woods by the Epte" by René Char

That day, I was only two legs walking.
Eyes blank, at the empty center of my face,
I set out to follow the stream through the vale.
Flowing slowly, that dull hermit failed to intrude
On the formlessness through which I journeyed.

From the angle of a ruined wall scorched by fire
Two wild briars full of gentle inflexible will
Plunged suddenly into the grey water.
They seemed like a communion of vanished beings
At the moment of proclaiming themselves again.

The hoarse blush of a rose striking the water
Reawakened the first face of the sky
With an ecstatic questioning,
Woke the earth in the midst of loving words,
Thrust me into the future like a famished and feverish tool.
Further on the Epte woods followed a further bend.
But I did not have to traverse them, the dear seed-store of increase!
I breathed, on the heel of a half-turn, the musk of meadows
Into which some creature merges.
I heard the gliding of a timid snake;
I felt – don’t think harshly of me – I was fulfilling all your wishes.

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