Someone, and no matter

By Claude Esteban 1935–2006 Claude Esteban

Translated from the French by Joanie Mackowski Read the translator's notes

Someone, and no matter who, inhabits my head like it’s an empty house, he enters, he leaves, he bangs each door behind him, powerless I put up with this ruckus. Someone, and maybe it’s me, palms my most private thoughts, he crumples them, returns them to dust. Someone, and it’s much later now, slowly walks across the room and, not seeing me, stops to contemplate the havoc. Someone, and no matter where, collects the pieces of my shadow.

Source: Poetry (June 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2011


Claude Esteban was a French poet, essayist, and translator. He published thirteen books of poems and several collections of essays on poetry, literature, and visual art, and he translated Paz, Borges, and García Lorca into French. He was awarded the Mallarmé Prize, the Grand Prix de Poésie de la Société des gens de lettres, the France Culture Prize, and the Prix Goncourt.

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Poems by Claude Esteban

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SUBJECT Living, The Mind

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