Yves Bonnefoy Poems
Comments about Yves Bonnefoy
Passer-By, These Are Words
Passer-by, these are words. But instead of reading
I want you to listen: to this frail
Voice like that of letters eaten by grass.
Lend an ear, hear first of all the happy bee
Foraging in our almost rubbed-out names.
It flits between two sprays of leaves,
Carrying the sound of branches that are real
To those that filigree the still unseen.
Then know an even fainter sound, and let it be
The endless murmuring of all our shades.
Their whisper rises from beneath the stones
To fuse into a single heat with that blind
They Spoke to Me
They said to me no, don't take any, no, don't touch, that is burning
hot. No, don't try to touch, to hold, that weighs too much, that
They said to me: Read, write. And I tried, I took up a word, but it
struggled, it clucked like a frightened hen, wounded, in a cage of
black straw, spotted with old traces of blood.
TRANSLATED BY MARY ANN CAWS