Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Philippe Jaccottet: "Distances"

Swifts turn in the heights of the air;
higher still turn the invisible stars.
When day withdraws to the ends of the earth
their fires shine on a dark expanse of sand.

We live in a world of motion and distance.
The heart flies from tree to bird,
from bird to distant star,
from star to love; and love grows
in the quiet house, turning and working,
servant of thought, a lamp held in one hand.


"Distances" by Philippe Jaccottet, from The Selected Poems of Philippe Jaccottet, edited and translated from the original French by Derek Mahon © Wake Forest University Press, 1988.  

The French text can be read online on p. 96 of this book.

Art credit: Photograph of "a traditional lantern," by Helen Redding (originally black and white).

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thank you for participating respectfully in this blog's community of readers.