Saturday, February 17, 2007

Musing on Yves Bonnefoy

Yves Bonnefoy is a French poet much acclaimed in Europe although little known in the United States. I don't remember how I discovered his poetry really; perhaps it discovered me. I am attracted by the transparent boundaries of textual and emotional space in his poetics.

There are academics who can articulate his poetics if you are interested. I must admit to being drawn to poetry on an intuitive level and sometimes find criticism distracting. However, this fine essay by Judith Bishop has opened me to a deeper appreciation of Bonnefoy.

(hint: follow the link beneath the word academic)

The Earth

I cry, Look,
The light
Was living there, so near us! Here, its store
Of water, still transfigured. Here the wood
In the shed. Here, the few fruits
Left to dry in the vibrations of the dawn sky.

Nothing has changed,
These are the same places and the same things,
Almost the same words,
But, look, in you, in me,
The undivided, the invisible are gathering.

And she! Is it not
She who is smiling there ("I the light,
Yes, I consent") in the certainty of the threshold,
Bending down, guiding the steps.
Of what seems a child-sun over dark waters.

Yves Bonnefoy
(from New and Selected Poems),

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