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This poem is taken from PN Review 3, Volume 4 Number 3, April - June 1978.

with a note by Lawrence Durrell, translated by Samuel Beckett and Edward Lucie-Smith Alain Bosquet
 
PROBABLY THE best way to judge the temper of a poet's mind is to watch him at work upon a translation from a language he knows perfectly; I recently had this experience with Alain Bosquet and it taught me much not only about my own poems, but about his as well. I found too that it helped me to appreciate his own powerful gnomic work and to appreciate the scrupulous yet forceful tenderness which it hides under an apparently unruffled surface. It has the elegance of a private algebra where each symbol, each word, seems perfectly selected for the support it gives to the theorem. Into the work too goes a happy accord between the strictest reason and the freest intuition-the poem walks on a tightrope between the two faculties. How simple and inevitable the result seems; a faultless automatism born of long practice is the key. Much thought, much pain, much scholarship-and then suddenly the mysterious utterance which finds its way on to the paper to bear the imprint of an original poetic mind perfectly in tune with its material! How lucky A. B. is to have cultivated his inner gifts with so much discipline-to have disciplined his work to break free from the sterile pedantries of so much of today's work. He has taught himself to sing. With each new group of poems he seems to increase his hold on the mysterious inner universe which he is tracing. Today he is at the height of his powers. Salute to him.
Lawrence Durrell

from 100 Notes pour une Solitude
(the poem numbers follow the pagination of the volume) (three Notes translated by Samuel Beckett)
 
83
Now that he has drained
the cask of fancy dry
reality has him plagued
like a bubo-stricken rat.
No oak but turns
to coffin at his touch,
no waters scanned
but summon to their bed.
All he has left is the absolute
or the odd fly at evening
to tear from its wings.

87
Why must the day
undo its eve,
autumn summer,
...


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