Stéphane Mallarmé

(1842-1898 / France)

A Toast - Poem by Stéphane Mallarmé

Nothing, this foam, virgin verse
Depicting the chalice alone:
Far off a band of Sirens drown
Many of them head first.

We sail, O my various
Friends, I already at the stern,
You at the lavish prow that churns
The lightning’s and the winters’ flood:

A sweet intoxication urges me
Despite pitching, tossing, fearlessly
To offer this toast while standing

Solitude, reef, and starry veil
To whatever’s worthy of knowing
The white anxiety of our sail.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010



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