my daughter—you will not recognize her. you’ll say—there’s air a hill—birds singing the end of a day— all that’s impalpable, recognizable —and that will be my daughter appearing in a poem
my poem runs ceaselessly in front of me as if the edge of the air had caught fire
I scratch out the day, like a shard of glass or voice
what poetry withers needs no water what it dries sheds light water slower than stones
André du Bouchet (1924–2001) is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest French authors of the twentieth century. Not only a groundbreaking poet, he was also a prolific translator from the English, German, and Russian, as well as an art and literary critic. During his lifetime he published nearly seventy volumes: from dozens of volumes of verse, to works on Giacometti and collaborations with Miró, to translations of Faulkner, Shakespeare, Joyce, and Pasternak. In the late sixties he co-founded—with Yves Bonnefoy, Jacques Dupin, and Paul Celan—the influential literary journal L’Éphémère. Among many other honors, he was awarded the National Poetry Prize in 1983.
Eric Fishman is an elementary school teacher, writer, and translator. His compilation Outside: Poems by André du Bouchet, co-translated with Hoyt Rogers, is forthcoming this spring. (1/2019)