A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Monday, 21 April 2008


Brilliant Sky

Never between the branches has the sky
burned with such brilliance, as if
it were offering all of its light to me,
as if it were trying to speak to me,
to say - what? what urgent mystery
strains at that transparent mouth?
No leaf, no rustle . . . It's in winter,
in cold emptiness and silence, that the air
suddenly arches itself like this into infinity,
and glitters.
This evening, far from here,
a friend is entering his death,
he knows it, he walks
under bare trees alone,
perhaps for the last time. So much love,
so much struggle, spent and worn thin.
But when he looks up, suddenly the sky
is arrayed in this same vertiginous clarity.

The End Of Summer

which will
take us

we take
by the tail

like a handsome blue
lizard which deftly
breaks itself off

For one wild moment
it gleams
between our fingers

2 poems by Jean Joubert, translated from the French by Denise Levertov and contained in her collection Oblique Prayers.


am said...

Thanks for posting these poems and splendid photo. Very much in the spirit of my old friend. And Denise Levertov is a lifelong favorite of mine.

The Solitary Walker said...

I'm a big fan of Levertov. Apart from her poetry do you know her wonderful 'New & Selected Essays'?

By the way, I'm starting a new blog - see the post above! What do you think? Would love you to take part in it...

Anonymous said...

What lovely poems. Thanks for pointing me in new directions...again!

The Solitary Walker said...

By a strange coincidence, sb, the book of Levertov's I mentioned above is published by New Directions Books of New York!

Anonymous said...

I don't know Levertov or Joubert, but enjoyed these both enormously. Thanks