Summer 2012

Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Reviews   

René Char


The following three poems come from Stone Lyre: Poems of René Char (Tupelo Press, 2010, bilingual edition), a selection of poems gleaned from all stages of Char’s literary career. These particular poems were first published in 1934 in Le Marteau sans maitre (Hammer Without Master), considered by critics to be Char’s most important pre-World War II collection. Fred Chappell stated that most readers would probably agree that with the publication of Le Marteau sans maître, Char’s “essential poetic” was formed and was “consistently affirmed and applied ever after.”

The Dismissed Instructor

Three fictional speakers of proven banality greet each other with varied poetic devices (please, got a light, how many leagues to the closest town, what’s the time?). In an average locale they engage in chitchat whose echoes will never come close to our ears. Before you, the metered field of ten hectares. I am its plowman, its secret blood, its calamitous stone. I leave you nothing to fill your mind.

First appeared in Circumference.

~ Translated from the French by Nancy Naomi Carlson


L’Instituteur revoqué

Trois personnages d’une banalité éprouvée s’abordent à des titres poétiques divers (du feu, je vous prie, quelle heure avez-vous, à combien de lieues la prochaine ville?), dans un paysage indifférent et engagent une conversation dont les échos ne nous parviendront jamais. Devant vous, le champ de dix hectares dont je suis le laboureur, le sang secret et la pierre catastrophique. Je ne vous laisse rien à penser.


You Open Your Eyes...

You open your eyes to an ocher quarry that cannot be mined.
You drink in speared underground streams.
You are under the spell of the hanging leaf,
Stirred by the snake’s muted approach.
O my translucent foxglove!

~ Translated from the French by Nancy Naomi Carlson


Tu ouvres les yeux...

Tu ouvres les yeux sur la carrière d’ocre inexploitable
Tu bois dans un épieu l’eau souterraine
Tu es pour la feuille hypnotisée dans l’espace
A l’approche de l’invisible serpent
O ma diaphane digitale!



The great wood pyre of leagues
Under the spiral sky of defeat
It is winter’s rotted skiff
From solid comrades to liquid lovers
Deathbeds beneath the trees
In the vacant depths of the earth
Arches forge a fresh supply of wings
Tilled fields radiate, worship sweat-drenched healers
On the straw of those who believe in fate
Flows the foam of ignited stars
There is no absence that cannot be replaced.

First appeared in Crazyhorse.

~ Translated from the French by Nancy Naomi Carlson



Le grand bûcher des alliances
Sous le spiral ciel d’échec
C’est l’hiver en barque pourrie
Des compagnons solides aux compagnes liquides
Des lits de mort sous les écorces
Dans les profondeurs vacantes de la terre
Les arcs forgent un nouveau nombre d’ailes
Les labours rayonnants adorent les guérisseurs détrempés
Sur la paille des fatalistes
L’écume d’astre coule tout allumée
Il n’y a pas d’absence irremplaçable.




left button              right button

Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Reviews   

Website Copyright © 2012 by Loch Raven Review.

Copyright Notice and Terms of Use: This website contains copyrighted materials, including, but not limited to, text, photographs, and graphics. You may not use, copy, publish, upload, download, post to a bulletin board. or otherwise transmit, distribute, or modify any contents of this website in any way, except that you may download one copy of such contents on any single computer for your own personal non-commercial use, provided you do not alter or remove any copyright, poet, author, or artist attribution, or any other proprietary notices.