Thursday, April 7, 2011

on the road to san romano - andré breton

On The Road To San Romano
by André Breton (tr. Charles Simic & Michael Benedikt)

Poetry is made in bed like love
Its unmade sheets are the dawn of things
Poetry is made in a forest

She has the space which she needs
Not this one but the other
     Governed by the hawk's eye
     The dew on the spindle
     The memory of a moist bottle of Traminer on a silver platter
     A tall rod of tourmaline over the sea
     A road of mental adventure
     Which climbs abruptly
     One pause and it's instantly overgrown

Don't shout that from the roof tops
It's not fitting to leave the doors open
Or go around calling for witnesses

     The shoals of fishes the hedges of small birds
     The rails at the approach to the great station
     The glow of two river banks
     The furrows on a loaf of bread
     Bubbles in a brook
     The days of the calendar

The act of love and the act of poetry
Are incompatible
With reading newspapers at the top of one's voice

     The way the sunlight falls
     The livid glitter which binds the ax-strokes of the
     The string of a kite in the shape of a heart or a fish-trap
     The steady waving of the beaver's tail
     The perseverance of lightning
     The flinging down of sweets from the top of an old staircase
     An avalanche
The room of marvels
No gentlemen not the forbidden chamber
Nor the fumes of the barracks from Sunday evenings

     The figure of the dance executed  transparently above the
     The body of a woman outlined by throwing knives
     The lucent rings of smoke
     The curls of your hair
     The twisting of a sponge from the Philippines
     The snakelike coils of coral
     The ivy's slitherings into the ruins
     She has all of time ahead of her

The embrace of poetry like the embrace of the naked body
Protects while it lasts
Against all access by the misery of the world

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