By Jean Follain Jean Follain

Translated By Roddy Lumsden Read the translator's notes

The door-latch is always stubborn
beyond it dozes a beast
tinged by the fire
they know who is walking
the curve of the road
by their footsteps alone
glance at the fancy lamp
hanging from the sooty ceiling
a green and speckled plant withers
a child who has wandered cries
beneath a long low sky
and at last the snow comes on.

Source: Poetry (April 2008).


Jean Follain (1903–1971) was born in Canisy, in Normandy. His first book of poems is La Main chaude (1933). He published eight subsequent volumes of poetry, as well as prose work.

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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