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I’ve left

                                                      and his
Fuck off! to puttering poetry, I’ve left

February ’98
Six months later than the wild geese and a
hundred-twenty-nine years after the ace
of fugitives from the Ardennes and his
Fuck off! to puttering poetry, I’ve left
Charleville and the stranger across the street
whose lacy underwear festooned with frost
beat with my heart against the window-pane.
I waved good-bye to the Meuse as she bathed
in her green lechery, and said Let’s go!
but on two feet, the devil take genius.

Février ’98
Avec six mois de retard sur les oies
sauvages, cent vingt-neuf ans après l’as
des fugueurs ardennais et son merdre à
la poisseuse poésie, j’ai quitté
Charleville et l’inconnue d’en face
don't les dentelles festonnées de givre
battaient avec mon coeur contre la vitre.
J’ai fait un signe à la Meuse baignant
dans sa luxure, verte, et dit Allons,
mais sur deux jambes, au diable le génie.

ex Guy Goffette, Charlestown Blues : Selected Poems, a bilingual edition (Marilyn Hacker, translator; U Chicago Press, 2007) : 14-15 : link

  1. from the promotional blurb-erature —

          “Readers who denounce most contemporary French poetry as self-referential experimentation, word games, exercises in deconstruction, or other kinds of incomprehensible writing disconnected from everyday life — brace yourselves for a revelation. Erotic and urbane, distinguished by formal skill yet marked by the subtlest shades of feeling, Guy Goffette’s unabashedly lyrical poems pay homage to both Verlaine and Rimbaud, whom he counts as his important forbears, with echoes of Auden and Pound, Pavese and Borges.
          In Charlestown Blues, poet and translator Marilyn Hacker has chosen a tightly thematic selection of poems, all centering around the notion of ‘blue’ — the color and the emotion, as well as that quintessentially American style of musical performance.”

  2. review of the translation (and the poetry) by Christina Pugh, entitled “Accessibility Blues” at Poetry (May 2008) : link
  3. Guy Goffette (1947-)
    wikipedia : link
  4. Marilyn Hacker (1942- ), poet, translator and critic
    wikipedia : link

considering concluding this project with this post.

9 July 2023