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Translated from the French by William Louis-Dreyfus and Molly Peacock
Published: Fri Apr 15 1994
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.

Translated from the French by William Louis-Dreyfus and Molly Peacock


One day the Earth will be
Only a blind space turning
Confounding night and day.
Under the huge Andes sky
It will no longer have mountains,
Not even the smallest ravine.

Of all the world’s houses
Nothing but a balcony remains
And of all human hemispheres
Only a sorrow without ceiling.
Of the late Atlantic Ocean
A slight taste of salt in the air,
A magical flying fish
Knowing nothing of the sea.

From a 1905 Coupe
(The four wheels but no road!)
Three young girls of the time
Stilled in their vaporized state
Look out the carriage door
Thinking that Paris isn’t far
And have nothing but the smell
Of the sky that grips you by the throat.

And from where the woods once stood
A bird’s song will rise
That no one will identify,
Or place, or even hear
Except God who, listening,
Will say, “It’s a gold finch.”

See what's inside AGNI 39

Jules Supervielle was a French poet, dramatist, and short story writer born in Uruguay. His Selected Poems and Reflections on the Art of Poetry was published posthumously by Sun in 1986. (updated 6/2010)

William Louis-Dreyfus is a businessman living in New York City. Aside from his three daughters, he claims his “accomplishments are few.” (1994)
Molly Peacock is a poet and memoirist. Her six books of poetry include The Second Blush (W.W. Norton and Company, June 2008) and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems (W.W. Norton, 2002). In February of 2006, her one-woman poetic monologue production The Shimmering Verge was featured at Urban Stages in New York City. (updated 6/2010)
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