Poetry at Sangam



HE DISMOUNTS by Yves Bonnefoy

(Translated from the French by Beverley Bie Brahic)

He dismounts, he offers the farewell cup.
He asks where she is going
And why she must. I read this poem by someone else,
I rewrite it, transform it. My friend,
Happiness didn’t much smile at me on this earth.
Where am I going? In these mountains
I seek silence, peace of heart. This is my country,
I will not stray far from here now.
My heart? Does it go in peace towards its hour?
See, this earth we love is in flower,
It is spring: the earth is once more as if new,
The peaks of everywhere turn blue again.
Shall I say goodbye? No, may the water
Quicken always, grasses come into bloom.

Published with the kind permission of Seagull Books. ‘He Dismounts’: The Present Hour (Beverley Bie Brahic trans.) © Seagull Books, 2013; Original from L’heure présente by Yves Bonnefoy © Mercure de France, 2011; English Translation © Beverley Bie Brahic, 2011