AT icon

This piece is about 4 printed pages long.
It is copyright © Jean Daive and Jacket magazine 2010.
See our [»»] Copyright notice.
The Internet address of this page is http://jacketmagazine.com/40/at-daive-jean-5p.shtml

Back to the A Tonalist feature Contents list

A Tonalist Poetry Feature

Jean Daive

«A Woman with Several Lives»

Translated by Norma Cole


*

All the children are swaddled

as white
as
dried beans
sheltered from the air

for time
recycles even
pots
of jam

Indian graves
before lake
Koshkonong

and upon this memory

a ball rolls
up to the sacred
excavations.

The golfers
play
among
the corpses.


*

The oath is not more
newsworthy


than the government
of words
around the table

a Sunday
at home.

Everything keeps
a scent of milk
and clean house.


*
What is the role
of the water
pump

in a peaceful day?

It’s raining
The wind rises.

The river
softer

than the rain
falling
on the roof

lights up.

Water is everywhere
outside.


*
The window.
Always.

And what it shows
in a reduced space.

sofa.
chair and table.

Bed. Floor.

Stove.

Enameled oven.

The memories are there
along the river
that moves along.


*
The window opposite
lights up the same objects

but in inverse order.

Space forms a square.
Four angles.

Grass is airy and

the trees —
                   witnesses


*
A wild
bank held up
by stones.

Trunks. Branches.

Grass and pink
mushrooms.

The clouds are very low.

The pump has
certainly
captured History.

The radiator
bad weather.

This meadow in front of the landing
is very damp.


Jean Daive by Melanie Gribinski

Jean Daive by Melanie Gribinski

Jean Daive is one of the most distinguished contemporary French writers. His work includes poems and novels as well as translations of Paul Celan and Robert Creeley. He has edited encyclopedias, worked as radio journalist and producer with France Culture, and has edited three magazines: fragment (1970–73), fig. (1989–91), and FIN (1999–2006). His first book, Décimale blanche, was translated into German by Paul Celan, into English by Cid Corman. Other important titles are Fut bâti, Gallimard, Narration d’équilibre, and the prose series, La Condition d’infini. Among his books in English are White Decimal (tr. C. Corman), A Lesson in Music (tr. Julie Kalendek), and Under the Dome (tr. Rosmarie Waldrop).

 
 
Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that all material in Jacket magazine is copyright © Jacket magazine and the individual authors and copyright owners 1997–2010; it is made available here without charge for personal use only, and it may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose.