Zoe en Francais

Here’s Roselyne’s translation of Raphael’s Zoe (not, incidentally, the same as our Zoe, though this confusion was certainly explouited in performance). I’ll update this with the German original once I have time to dig it out. Forgive me if the lineation goes crazy, my HTML editing isn’t up to indents without double spacing.

(from “A round dance”)

zoe you have lost an earring
i stroke the grass like a sleeping animal
zoe you have lost an earring
i comb the grass like you your hair
zoe i can’t find your earring
i feel the grass that is grey by night
zoe your earring must be somewhere else
i have been kneeling for long in the darkness before you
zoe the air smells of earth
i search in vain the soil is soft
zoe maybe your earring is lost
i can find only twigs and stones in the grass
zoe have just a little more patience
i remain on my knees and for your sake i search
zoe you have lost an earring
i will not give up till you have it again
zoe you bend and help me in searching
i find the earring in your hair

(extrait de “Une danse en rond”)

zoe tu as perdu une boucle d’oreille
je caresse l’herbe comme un animal endormi
zoe tu as perdu une boucle d’oreille
je peigne l’herbe comme toi tes cheveux
zoe je ne peux trouver ta boucle d’oreille
Je sens combien l’herbe est grise la nuit
zoe ta boucle d’oreille doit être quelque part ailleurs
je suis resté à genoux longtemps dans l’obscurité face à toi
zoe l’air sent la terre
je cherche en vain le sol est mou
zoe peut-être que ta boucle d’oreille est perdue
je ne trouve que des brindilles et des pierres dans l’herbe
zoe prends patience encore un peu
je reste agenouillé et pour l’amour de toi je cherche
zoe tu as perdu une boucle d’oreille
je ne renoncerai pas jusqu’à ce que tu l’aies
zoe tu te penches et tu m’aides à chercher
je trouve la boucle d’oreille dans tes cheveux


About Bill Herbert

Poet and pseudo-scholar W.N. Herbert was born in Dundee in 1961, educated there and at Oxford, where he completed his DPhil thesis on Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid, and now lives and works in Newcastle. He is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and his books are published by, among others, northern publisher Bloodaxe Books. He is also the Dundee Makar, or city laureate.
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