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This poem is taken from PN Review 33, Volume 10 Number 1, September - October 1983.

La Jeune Parque (translated by G. S. Fraser) Paul Valéry

Has Heav'n shaped this Heap of Wonders
  To be the Dwelling of a Snake?
Pierre Corneille

Who or what is crying, if not only the wind, at this hour
Only, of uttermost diamonds? Who, what is crying
So close to myself, who am so very ready to cry?

My hand, on these features of mine it dreams of stroking,
Distractedly docile to an important purpose,
Waits for a tear to break from my weakness and melt
And, out of my destinies in their slow dividing,
For purest silence to shine on a broken heart.
The surf murmurs a shadowy reproach towards me
Or withdraws down there, into its rocky gullets
As if disappointed and bitterly drinking its bile back
With'a murmur of plaintiveness and clenched pain . . .
What are you after, tautening, and this icy hand,
...


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