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there was no need…

August 24, 2009

There was no need for more

Than to touch the cheek and contemplate closely
the moss at the foot of the tree and a few yellowed acorns,

To defeat despair, and corridors,

To pardon even the periwinkles
their beautiful miracle.

Eugene Guillevic
tr. Teo Savory

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. roxana permalink
    August 25, 2009 1:30 pm

    “no need for more than” would be perhaps a better title, it seems to me, no?

    “pervenche” est un mot si joli, par contre l’anglais ‘periwinkle’ détruit tout 🙂

    c’est un poème merveilleux, et ta photo l’accompagne parfaitement.

    (est-ce que je pourrais le lire en français?)

  2. August 25, 2009 2:12 pm

    true your suggested title would indeed be more appropriate, i merely dashed this one down. i should have clarified as well that the photo is not mine but simply a link resulting from a general image search for “periwinkle,” a word which, with all its frivolity, i rather like the sound of.

    unfortunately i don’t have a copy of the original French, otherwise i would have happily posted it. this translation is from a little Penguin paperback that was published in a series of modern poets. Guillevic really was a remarkable poet.

  3. October 11, 2013 7:16 am

    Il n’en fallut pas plus

    Que toucher de la joue et contempler de près
    La mousse au pied de l’arbre et quelques glands jaunis,

    Pour se défaire du désespoir, des corridors,

    Pour pardonner même aux pervenches

    Leur beau miracle.

    Guillevic. Rites in Terraqué 1942.

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