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Translated from the French by Eric Fishman
Published: Fri Feb 15 2019
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Notebook Fragments, 1952–1954

Translated from the French by Eric Fishman

 

_                                                       _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)

André du Bouchet (1924–2001) is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest French authors of the twentieth century. A groundbreaking poet, he was a prolific translator from English, German, and Russian, as well as a noted critic of art and literature. He published nearly seventy books, including scores of volumes of verse and lyric prose, numerous works on Giacometti and other artists, and translations of Faulkner, Shakespeare, Joyce, Hölderlin, Riding, 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 a translator, writer, and elementary school teacher whose literary work has appeared in Asymptote, Rain Taxi, Cortland Review, and elsewhere. His most recent translation is Outside: Poetry and Prose by André du Bouchet (Bitter Oleander Press, 2020, with Hoyt Rogers). Fishman’s selected volume of Monchoachi’s poetry is forthcoming from Phoneme Media/Deep Vellum. More at www.ericjpfishman.com. (updated 10/2021)
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