Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (01) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (01) – Yves Bonnefoy

I woke up, it was the house where I was born, Sea foam splashed against the rock, Not a single bird, only the wind to open and close the wave, Everywhere on the horizon the smell of ashes, As if the hills were hiding a fire That somewhere else was burning up a universe. I went onto the veranda, the ... »

The house where I was born (02) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (02) – Yves Bonnefoy

I woke up, it was the house where I was born. It was raining softly in all the rooms, I went from one to another, looking at The water that shone on the mirrors Piled up everywhere, some broken or even Pushed between the furniture and the walls. It was from these reflections that sometimes a face Wo... »

The house where I was born (03) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (03) – Yves Bonnefoy

I woke up, it was the house where I was born, It was night, trees were crowding On all sides around our door, I was alone on the doorstep in the cold wind, No, not alone, for two huge beings Were speaking to each other above me, through me. One, behind, an old woman, stooped, mean, The other standin... »

The house where I was born (04) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (04) – Yves Bonnefoy

Another time. It was still night. Water slid Silently on the black ground, And I knew that my only task would be To remember, and I laughed, I bent down, I took from the mud A pile of branches and leaves, I lifted up the whole dripping mass In arms I held close to my heart. What to do with this wood... »

The house where I was born (05) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (05) – Yves Bonnefoy

In the same dream I am lying in the hollow of a boat, My forehead and eyes against the curved planks Where I can hear the undercurrents Striking the bottom of the boat. All at once, the prow rises up, And I think that we’ve come to the estuary, But I keep my eyes against the wood That smells of tar ... »

The house where I was born (06) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (06) – Yves Bonnefoy

I woke up, but I was travelling, The train had rolled throughout the night, It was now going toward huge clouds That were standing, packed together, down there, Dawn rent from time to time by forks of lightning. I watched the advent of the world In the bushes of the embankment; and all at once That ... »

The house where I was born (07) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (07) – Yves Bonnefoy

I remember, it was a morning, in summer, The window was half-open, I drew near, I could see my father at the end of the garden. He was motionless, looking for something, I could not tell what, or where, beyond the world, His body was already bent over, but his gaze Was lifted toward the unaccomplish... »

The house where I was born (08) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (08) – Yves Bonnefoy

I open my eyes, yes, it’s the house where I was born, Exactly as it was and nothing more. The same small dining room whose window Gives onto a peach tree that never grows. A man and a woman are seated At this window, facing one another, They are talking, for once. And the child Sees them from the en... »

The house where I was born (09) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (09) – Yves Bonnefoy

And then the day came When I heard the extraordinary lines in Keats, The evocation of Ruth “when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn.” I did not need to search for the meaning Of these words, For it was in me since childhood, I had only to recognize and to love it When it came bac... »

The house where I was born (10) – Yves Bonnefoy

The house where I was born (10) – Yves Bonnefoy

And then life; and once again A house where I was born. Around us The granary above what once had been a church, The gentle play of shadow from the dawn clouds, And in us that smell of the dry straw That had seemed to be waiting for us From the moment the last sack, of wheat or rye, Had been brought... »

Passer-By, These Are Words – Yves Bonnefoy

Passer-By, These Are Words – Yves Bonnefoy

Passer-by, these are words. But instead of reading I want you to listen: to this frail Voice like that of letters eaten by grass. Lend an ear, hear first of all the happy bee Foraging in our almost rubbed-out names. It flits between two sprays of leaves, Carrying the sound of branches that are real ... »