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Translating Prévert: Au coin d’une rue

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Au coin d’une rue
Par Jacques Prévert

Il est midi, tout est tout noir
et soudain rouge de temps en temps
Au coin d’une rue qu’existe plus
la mort se promène comme chez elle.

Moi j’m’en fous, j’attends l’arc-en-ciel
et l’arc-en-ciel, c’est mon amant
L’amour se cache n’importe où
l’amour se trouve n’importe quand
l'amour se fait n’importe comment
l’amour est plus jeune que la mort
même s’ils ont vu le jour en même temps
Au coin d’une rue qu’existe plus
qui vient de partir à l’instant
la mort fait la retape, le ruban.

Moi j’m’en fous, j’attends mon amant
Je suis sûre qu’aujourd’hui, pour elle
ça sera sûrement pas un client.

---

At the Corner of a Street
(Trans. J. A. Odartey)

It is noon, all is all black
and now and then suddenly red
At the corner of a livelier street
death walks about as if at home.

I don’t give a damn, I’m waiting for the rainbow

The rainbow is my lover
Love that covers anywhere
love found anytime
love made any which way*
love younger than death
though both sa…

New Poem, "Conversing with the Farmers," in The Malahat Review No. 206

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Oi You!

If you've been wondering about me, I'm alive. It's just that there's been some drastic changes I have got to adjust to and then more recently I have been unwell. But I am mostly in good mood and more to the point, I would like for you to discover some new relatable voices and make new friends who speak your language by reading the new issue 206 of The Malahat Review. It includes a new poem of mine, "Conversing with the Farmers." Thanks.

Cheers,
JAO
P.S. I am working on a Prévert translation. It will be up on Monday––If I'm alive and all is well. ^_^

Steeping: Spring Tea Recipe

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I am very much into spring. So much so that when I encountered Edna St. Vincent's "Spring" for the fist time, I felt silly and naive. Here are the lines:

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Still I cannot help it but love idiotic April. And it is indeed quite lovely that from rotting brains (under or above grounds) flowers bloom. Also, to say "life is nothing" sounds like throwing a tantrum. Life is possibility, opportunity, caterpillars tran…

Poetry: An Apology by Umashankar Joshi

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An Apology º
by Umashankar Joshi

Excuse me, love, if I did not
          Speak endearing words;
Today I am lost
          In writing a story: How We Met.

Forgive me, love, if I failed
          To send you a note;
Today I am engrossed
          In composing Songs of Love.

Suffer me, love, if in life
          You knew thirst.
I, a poet, ploughed the heart
          To leave grapes––my words––behind.


º Translated from Gujarati by the author