Sunday, 20 February 2011

Mirror Stage

PSH Bonus Content #4:

The final poem of PSH translated into French by Claire Trevien.

In the words of Wallace Stevens, "French and English combine to make one language" and, given that after decades of trying (not very hard) I am almost completley unable to speak French, I must conclude that I only speak half a language. Mercifully, I also know Claire Trevien, who is a superlative poet and translator. Claire also edits Sabotage (subtitled 'Reviews of the Ephemeral') which is important in at least 11 different ways, not least being that it calls editors and writers to account on journals and mags which usually escape any such close attention and can carry on doing the same 'We're only unpopular because society rejects our radical ideals' shtick without anyone going 'Hee hee hee!'

Claire has translated two poems from Planet-Shaped Horse. The first is the last one, 'Fin', about a cat (pictured) fighting its own reflection. The second will be posted when I can work out how to correct the formatting. Grr.


Un chaton joue avec son reflet
Mais s’arrête brusquement autour de son premier anniversaire.
Jusqu’à présent, je croyais que c’était parce que le chat
Avait compris ce qu’était qu’un miroir,
Mais maintenant, je trouve cette idée absurde.
Les chats ne comprennent pas plus les miroirs
Que la loi de la gravitation. Donc, ça doit plutôt être
Que le chat sait qu’il à intérêt à ne pas chercher
Ce chat en verre qui sait mystérieusement
Parer chacune de ses attaques.

('Fin' by Luke Kennard, Translated by Claire Trevien, 2011).