Parmi beaucoup de poèmes / Among Many Poems

By Jacques Roubaud Jacques Roubaud

Translated By Mary Ann Caws

Parmi beaucoup de poèmes
Il y en avait un
Dont je ne parvenais pas à me souvenir
Sinon que je l'avais composé
Autrefois
En descendant cette rue
Du côté des numéros pairs de cette rue
Baignée d'une matinée limpide
Une rue de petites boutiques persistantes
Entre la Seine sinistrée et l'hôpital
Un poème écrit avec mes pieds
Comme je compose toujours les poèmes
En silence et dans ma tête et en marchant
Mais je ne me souviens de rien
Que de la rue de la lumière et du hasard
Qui avait fait entrer dans ce poème
Le mot "respect"
Que je n'ai pas l'habitude de faire vibrer
Dans les pages mentales de la poésie
Au-delà   de lui il n'y a rien
Et ce mot ce mot qui ne bouge pas
Atteste la cessation de la rue
Comme un arbre oublié de l'espace


Among Many Poems

Among many poems
There was one
Which I couldn't remember
Except having made it up
Long ago
While going down that street
On the even-numbered side of that street
Bathed in a limpid morning
A street of little shops still lasting
Between the hospital and the wounded Seine
A poem written with my feet
As I always make up my poems
In silence and in my head while walking
But I remember nothing
Except the street the light and the chance
That had caused the entry in the poem
Of the word "respect"
That I don't usually set resounding
In poetry's mental pages
Beyond it there is nothing
And this word this unmoving word   
Awaits the ending of the street
Like a tree space has forgotten

Source: Poetry (October 2000).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the October 2000 issue of Poetry magazine

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries, Activities, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION France

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse

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