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This poem is taken from PN Review 136, Volume 27 Number 2, November - December 2000.

Four Poems (translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker) Hédi Kaddour

Hédi Kaddour is of Kabyle origin, born in 1945 in Tunisia but resident in France since childhood. He has published three books of poems with Gallimard: La Fin des vendanges (1989), Jamais une ombre simple (1994) and Un parcours au Luxembourg (2000), as well as three books with smaller publishers, most recently Les Fileuses with Le Temps qu'il fait, in 1995, and a collection of essays on poetry, L'Emotion impossible, also with Le Temps qu'il fait in 1994. He lives in Paris, where he teaches comparative literature at L'Ecole Normale Supérieure, and is a frequent contributor to La Nouvelle revue française on theatre and music. He is one of a younger generation of poets continuing Jacques Réda's and Jacques Roubaud's contemporary colloquy with the sonnet form.

The Bus Driver

What has gotten into the bus driver
Who has left his bus, who has sat down
On a curb on the Place de l'Opéra
Where he slips into the ease of being
Nothing more than his own tears? The passers-by
Who bend over such a shared and
Presentable sorrow would like him
To tell them that the wind used to know
How to come out of the woods towards a woman's dress,
Or that one day his brother said to him
Even your shadow wants nothing to do with you.
His feet in a puddle, the bus driver
Can only repeat This work is hard
And people aren't kind.


The Scarab Bookshop

It might be on the front steps of a dream,
...


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