T (no first name) Wignesan


On The Beach, Translation Of Etiemble's Poem: Sur La Plage by T. Wignesan


(The end-rhyme scheme of the original: abb(b) a, cdcd, efef, ghgh, iijj, klkl, fmfm, nnhh)

How good-looking he was this spy
all studded with sea-shells,
that the sea disgorged on the beach
(that the waves buried on the beach?)
at the very moment we departed this world!

Anemones for his eyes,
a clam instead of an ear,
a bouquet of algae for haïr.
Long, hard, white and similar

to those statues of salt,
for every tongue a cuttlefish bone
whose caress rough and dry
awaited only a venomous kiss.

Clothed only in sand whose fever
and the shock of our death
had turned to wood our lips,
we called into question the treasure:

« English? – French? - Nazi? - Who knows?
But Young, Oh! yes! Drowned, that’s for
sure; doubly drowned: the mouth open
for the ultimate gulp of green water.

How tenderly you leaned forward
to seal the ancient eye-lid,
that a tear, born of your needle-eye,
heavy, colourless like stone

trickled from his mouth: the honey
suave! - « Oh! the sea anemone flowers,
there, unfolding their double rainbows,
bubbles of rubber easily stained;

look, I killed him! » « Fool, I said to him,
admire with me the prodigy,
and the proud perfume of his body
the body of a deceased still faltering. »

Submitted: Friday, April 04, 2014
Edited: Friday, April 04, 2014

Topic of this poem: death


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