Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Brittle Age & Returning Upland

René Char

from The Brittle Age and Returning Upland
trans. Gustaf Sobin
Counterpath Press 2009


In fidelity we learn never to be consoled.


In whatever I trace and undertake, I feel bound neither to a bordering death nor to its rush in a heightened and hazardous freedom, but to the mirrors and harvests of our burning world.


End of Solemnities

Strengthened by the goodness of a winter fruit, I brought the fire into the house. The civilization of storms dripped from the overhanging tiles. I’ll now be free to detest tradition, to dream of the frost of those that passed on the scarcely captious pathways. But to whom will I entrust my unborn children? Solitude was without its spaces; the white flame sank and its warmth only offered an expiring gesture.

Without solemnity I leapt over this walled-in world; coatless, I’ll love whatever trembled beneath me.


The Left-handed

There is nothing to console us when we walk, holding a hand, the perilous blossoming of the flesh at hand.

The obscuring of the hand, pressing and pulling us, this innocent, this fragrant hand into which we add ourselves and subsist, that spares us neither thorns nor ravines, neither the premature fire nor the encirclement of men, this hand, the most beloved of all, removes us from the shadow’s duplication at the daylight of evening. The daylight, glittering above evening, when its threshold of agony has crumpled.


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