the eye in which i wait

1:18 PM Posted by James Owens


































Do You Remember the Beach?

Do you remember the beach
Covered with bitter shards
On which
We could not walk barefoot?
The way in which
You gazed at the sea
And said you were listening to me?
Do you recall
The hysterical gulls
Spinning in the toll
Of bells from unseen churches
With congregations of fish,
The way in which
You were running away
Towards the sea
Shouting to me that you needed
Distance
To look at me?
























The snow
Was going out
Mingled with birds
In the water.
With an almost joyful desperation
I watched
Your footprints on the sea
And the sea
Closed like an eyelid
Over the eye in which I was waiting.

-Ana Blandiana
(Translated by Peter Jay and Anca Cristofovici)



27 comments:

Lady Jo said...

hello James,

Les plages sont gelées...restent les souvenirs des beaux jours....
ainsi que les rêves à réaliser sur d'autres plages , d'autres horizons ! Il y a toujours un endroit que l'on oublie jamais, pas vrai ?

James Owens said...

Lady Jo: Il y a pour chacun de nous un endroit qu’on ne quitte jamais … on s’en va, et on est encore là, en esprit, en âme … Ezra Pound, seul et désespéré, dans The Pisan Cantos, se demande, “But how is it far, if I think it / dove sta memoria?” … Mais j’aime les plages gelées … la ligne entre la terre et l’eau, c’est la frontière de l’éternité, n’est-ce pas? On regarde fixement les vagues, et le temps n’a peu d’importance….

Pacey said...

Beautiful photos esp that first one and the poetry go well with them too. Thanks for the visit James.

James Owens said...

Pacey; Thank you for visiting and for the kind comments. I enjoyed your blog, too. Now I'm going to pause for a moment to listen to the wind blowing snow against the window beside my head and think how I envy your geography at this moment....

Oxygène said...

Bonjour James ! Tes photos de la plage sous la neige sont magnifiques et le poème dont j'ai fait une traduction (approximative) avec Google est très beau. Je sens ici la nostalgie que fait souvent naître le mouvement des vagues qui efface inlassablement les empreintes laissées sur le sable...

Dianne said...

wow
is that one piece?
did you write the first section?

S. Etole said...

found you via Claire ... and what a find it is

Claire said...

the sea oats... it fulfills the mood of the question mark in the poem.

James Owens said...

Oxygène: Oui, c’est ça, cette nostalgie qui m’obsède, exactement … mais enfin, comment choisir --- les mots qu’on écrit sur le sable, ou le sable luisant après les vagues et prêt à recevoir de nouvelles traces?

James Owens said...

Dianne: I imagine you saying "wow" and I am blushing, because I'm sure I don't quite deserve it :-)

The poem is all Blandiana's. Sorry, if that was unclear.

James Owens said...

S. Etole: Thank you for your visit. Some lovely pictures on your blog -- I'll be back soon to leave some thoughts :-)

James Owens said...

Claire: Thank you for your thoughtful attention to the details :-) It really is a nice poem, isn't it? I discovered Blandiana not long ago, and I like her more and more....

Oxygène said...

"La vie est un éternel recommencement..."
Je voulais essayer d'écrire ces quelques mots en anglais mais je n'arrive pas à traduire le mot "recommencement" ...

Sorlil said...

Snow covered beaches, what a wonderful image. We even had snow covered beaches here in Scotland with all this weird cold weather we've been getting!

James Owens said...

Oxygène: Hmmm, c’est un peu difficile …. “life is an eternal starting-over“. Maintenant je pense, par exemple, aux vers de Valéry dans Le Cimetière Marin: “Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes, / Entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes;/ Midi le juste y compose de feux / La mer, la mer toujours recommencée!” Je crois que c’est impossible de traduire cela précisément en anglais….

James Owens said...

Sorlil: Snow-covered beaches are a great place to walk for poetic inspiration, aren't they? --- and you have certainly offered us some fine beach poems.... The beaches here are now covered with ice though, no longer snow....

Oxygène said...

Merci pour ta réponse James. C'est gentil d'avoir pris le temps de chercher pour moi.
Je te souhaite une très bonne journée !

colleen said...

Thanks for visiting James. Not sure how you found me but glad that you did. I might never have found your blog otherwise. Such beautiful pictures and words...just lovely.

Sorlil said...

Unfortunately I didn't get to walk on any snow-covered beaches, my wee peninsula was one of the only places in Britain not to see any of the recent blizzards!

James Owens said...

Colleen: I found you through Pacey's blog, and I'm glad I did. I miss the part of the world that comes through so clearly in your pictures.

James Owens said...

Sorlil: Well, that's good, in it's way :-) Some people I know were without electricity for almost two weeks following our most recent blizzard. At least you don't have to worry about that! And the beaches here are dangerous now; there are signs warning people to stay off of them. Of course, some (well ... like me) ignore the signs, and every year one or two fall through the ice and die....

clo said...

bonjour James...
ta dernière photo exprime parfaitement bien cette sensation d'éternité ...cette ligne entre la terre et l'eau....
ou le temps s'est noyé dans l'espace...
quand on laisse notre âme dériver dans la vague...
un très beau post...

beth said...

I have written of the beach before and could do it everyday as the words are always there....

James Owens said...

Merci, Clo: Maintenant, c’est ma saison. J’aime la plage surtout en hiver, quand on semble se perdre entre l’eau grise et le ciel gris, parmi les flocons de neige, tout seul avec les mouettes rauques. En regardant les vagues, on laisse les pensées chuchoter sur le sable comme de l’écume … soudain on trouve qu’on a si froid et qu’une heure s’est ecoulée :-)

James Owens said...

Beth: Yes. Every wave has its own shape, and yet every wave follows the same mathematical ptinciples, perfectly... It is inexhaustiblle...

chrome3d said...

That was a whole story. It travelled back and forth in seasons as I pictured in summer but it was in winter and all the rest in between was a filled blank. I was lost in this one and it´s a good thing.

James Owens said...

Paljon kiitoksia, Chrome. I'm glad you were able to lose yourself here for a while.