Michel Galiana

Rookie (1933-1999 / France)

Winter In The Summer Palace In Pekin - Poem by Michel Galiana

Does the growth of the pine which wintertime now ends
Keep unchanged and buried in the tomb of the stems
Until next year, summer's vertiginous ascent,
In wait of far April and hurried frondescence?

A cloak of ice covered the garden where the gush
Of the cascades freezes in everlasting hush.
The marmoreal shafts that the North wind lashes
May be inwardly stone, of frost are their faces.

But when the soil borrows from rock its constancy,
The sap that it contains would be a penalty
Once winter's bolts and locks have broken up their chain

And life, so long fettered, sets to spring up again
If the forgotten frost were not an iron fist
That with its broken beat sheathes virescent twigs.

French Original:

L'HIVER AU PALAIS D'ETE DE PEKIN

L'ascension du pin que l'hiver interrompt
Immortalise-t-elle au tombeau d'une tige
L'été qui doit passer l'an, envol et vertige,
L'attente de l'avril et du feuillage prompt?

La glace a revêtu le jardin où le bond
Des cascades, instant perpétué, se fige.
Le fût marmoréen que la bise fustige
Est pierre par le coeur et givre par le front.

Mais quand le sol au roc emprunte la constance,
La sève qu'il contient serait sa pénitence
Lorsque se briseront les verrous de l'hiver

Et que la vie hostile aura sa renaissance
Si le gel oublié n'était poigne de fer
D'un rythme inachevé gainant le rameau vert.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 15, 2006

Poem Edited: Friday, February 4, 2011


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