Poetry at Sangam



TWO TOWERS by Yves Bonnefoy

(Translated from the French by Beverley Bie Brahic)

It happened so fast! Imagine!
One tower, and facing it, a second,
And two men, at two windows
Who see each other, first and last time!
And out of anguish, imagine! Out of fear,
Out of desire for justice and the absolute
One brandished a weapon! The other is wounded,
The same flame haloed two faces.
Cease to be hope, which could not
Close the gulf between two towers.
What should have been will not be.
Let the one live; and let the other, in the morning,
Get himself up, collect his tools,
And go off down the tracks, in his silence!

Published with the kind permission of Seagull Books. ‘Two Towers’: The Present Hour (Beverley Bie Brahic trans.) © Seagull Books, 2013; Original from Raturer outre by Yves Bonnefoy © Éditions Galilée, 2010; English Translation © Beverley Bie Brahic, 2011