[It's been two thousand years now]

By Marie-Claire Bancquart b. 1932 Marie-Claire Bancquart

Translated By Maxianne Berger

It's been two thousand years now that, with a wounded leg,   
the god's amazing loves have dragged along.   

He has aged. Soon   
he won't be noticed except from way up in a plane   
in the markings of wheat   
that yield the trace   
of an ancient sanctuary.   

He solicits a language of caresses,   
open pasture, available bodies,   

and the words refuse, and this elsewhere is already in his death   
except for a slender purple flower under the sun.   

He can still act the god all around,   
evening's worn heart.   

He guesses the flower will slip   
from one century to the next with its prayer.

Source: Poetry (October 2000).


Marie-Claire Bancquart is a French poet, novelist, essayist, critic, and professor who has published over two dozen collections of poetry. Her many books include Projets alternés, Mémoire d’abolie, Partition, and Opportunité des oiseaux. Her most recent volume of poetry, Explorer l'incertain, was published in 2010.
Bancquart is the recipient of multiple honors and awards, and her work has been featured in a number of French . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Religion, Faith & Doubt, Time & Brevity, Growing Old, God & the Divine, The Spiritual


Poetic Terms Free Verse, Elegy

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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