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This poem is taken from PN Review 156, Volume 30 Number 4, March - April 2004.

Four Seasons for Jude Stefan (translated by Marilyn Hacker) Guy Goffette


Life useless under the scribble of names
it's ourselves already beneath the banner of deceased
futures, ourselves again in the bitter smell
of yellow leaves that the sea

is condensing in this hazy distance, ourselves
who dream of leaving, despondent birds
on the cord of emptiness connecting
the night of bedrooms to the one of desire,

which breaks all at once, at the window
of waking, the stubborn body of the earth
seized by frost. O chrysanthemums, give back
to our sobered bodies a bit of the colour

of women who pass by laughing.



The nursing home leans on the boarding-school and already

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