Posts Tagged ‘evening’


August 13, 2012


You don’t know nights of love? No
petals of soft words float on your blood?
No secret places on your body
throb with memories, like eyes?

Paris, summer 1909


Rainer Maria Rilke, The Poetry of Rilke, trans. and ed. Edward Snow, New York: North Point Press (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), 2009: 467.


Croquis Parisien / Parisian Sketch

November 4, 2011

La lune plaquait ses teintes de zinc
Par angles obtus.
Des bouts de fumée en forme de cinq
Sortaient drus et noirs des hauts toits pointus.

Le ciel était gris, la bise pleurait
Ainsi qu’un basson.
Au loin, un matou frileux et discret
Miaulait d’étrange et grêle façon.

Moi, j’allais, rêvant du divin Platon
Et de Phidias,
Et de Salamine et de Marathon,
Sous l’œil clignotant des bleus becs de gaz.

Paul Verlaine, Poèmes Saturniens, 1866.


The moon was laying her plates of zinc
on the oblique.
Like figure fives the plumes of smoke
rose thick and black from the tall roof-peaks.

In the gray sky the breeze wept loud
as a bassoon.
In a funk a stealthy tomcat miaowed,
far away, his shrill strange tune.

Dreaming of Plato, I walked on,
and of Phidias,
of Salamis and Marathon,
under winking eyes of blue jets of gas.

Trans. C. F. MacIntyre, Paul Verlaine: Selected Poems, Berkley: U of California P, 1970: 17.

[I tried translating this myself as I thought one or two parts of MacIntyre’s translation were a little imagistically clunky, but finally baulked at the difficulty of preserving the rhyme – which he seems to be able to magic out of English with enviably little effort, the dude]

Glover St, between 20:09 and 20:23

January 10, 2010

Smelled, while walking: cooking oil, cut grass, fertilizer, car exhaust, curried-something, warm frangipanis.

Heard, while walking: a dog, a truck, a choir of cicadas, a magpie, the wind, a horn, the stacking of plates, two children, a leaf.

Seen, while walking: one paper aeroplane, a fence of large white trumpet flowers, a moth, a dead possum.

Said, while walking: “hello” to an older man, a dog.