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April 23, 2017

Here are five poems in their original language, followed by my translation.

L’arbre de la Rue Descartes

(Yves Bonnefoy, French)

Passant,

Regarde ce grand arbre et à travers lui,

Il peut suffire.

Car même déchiré, souillé, l’arbre des rues,

C’est toute la nature, tout le ciel,

L’oiseau s’y pose, le vent y bouge, le soleil

Y dit le même espoir, malgré la mort.

Philosophe,

As-tu chance d’avoir l’arbre dans ta rue,

Tes pensées seront moins ardues, tes yeux plus libres,

Tes mains plus désireuses de moins de nuit.

The Tree on Descartes Street (translated by me)

Passerby,

Look at that great tree and through

To its power to suffice.

For even dirty, tattered, that tree on the street,

That is nature. That is heaven.

The bird lands on it, the wind moves around it,

The sun...

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