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This poem is taken from PN Review 175, Volume 33 Number 5, May - June 2007.

Three Poems (translated by Marilyn Hacker) Amina Saïd

Amina Saïd is a Tunisian poet, b. 1952. She lives in Paris and writes in French: she has six collections of poems, all published by Les Editions de la Différence. Marilyn Hacker's translations of her poems have appeared in Modern Poetry in Translation , in the Manhattan Review , Rattapallax and Prairie Schooner in the United States, and in The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry.

I was born of a silence
between the sea and the olive-tree

the mystery of an errant star
protects me from myself

I was born of a silence
between the sea and the olive-tree
of the rhythm of waves
and the childhood of light

words have a visible face
which hides another one

at the crossroads of the poem
some of them resist
expose me to the danger of speech

I was born of a silence

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