Break the lying mirrors

8:09 AM Posted by James Owens

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René Depestre

The Untilled Field

My life lies an untilled field.
Where is the plow, where the seed
And summer’s wild promises?
Where are the thorns to carry
The black flowers of my truth?
Monstrous forces cry inside me:
Wherever I turn my head, I see the sky
Break like dawn into despair, more stubborn
Than the fever that burns a great scholar
Hunched night and day over objects
I cannot name. Who are you?
Who sent you into my bones?
What rainy day of my childhood
Is the fertile father of your roots?
What woman’s blood nourished
Your implacable and secret beauty?
My lifelong guest, you say:
“Break the lying mirrors in yourself.
Once more to the tides and the strong sun,
And you will be the sovereign tree that you are!”


(my translation)

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2 comments:

Sorlil said...

'Break the lying mirrors in yourself', that's lovely

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Enjoyed this, James. The second half is amazing.