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This poem is taken from PN Review 223, Volume 41 Number 5, May - June 2015.

Two Poems, translated by Paul Muldoon

Translated from the French by Paul Muldoon
René Char
With Braque, Maybe, We Would Say

When the snow drifts away, the night calls off its hounds.
 
Fruits, you hold yourselves at such a remove from your tree
the stars in the sky begin to look like your reflections.

We go astray when the straight line that hurries ahead of us
turns into the ground beneath our feet. We’re brought low
by mere happiness.

The tang of waves that don’t fall backwards. They force the
sea into its own past.

There’s a residue of blood in the arrow’s fletch, not in its
point. The bow has willed it thus.

A storm has two abodes. One takes up a little space on the
horizon. As for the other, a whole man is barely able
to contain it.

Dew has it hard early on. On a low morning it sets itself
against the vault of night, the harshness of day, the rough
and tumble of fountains.
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