Breaking down cultural barriers
Transposer une culture dans une autre par delà les barrières culturelles

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

André Breton - FAIRWELL TO ARSHILE GORKY

How great you were your arms wide open
Your voice was an eagle’s nest
When you sang uncloaked the old Russian chants
You had acquired your share of the chaste line
With no knowledge of its purpose
And the heavy net that you pulled in alone
From the depths of time
In long armfuls the fusion of frequent enticements and keepsakes
You should have been seen on the theme
You and your splendid blind twin
The realist and the non-realist
You were the one who made this dry bread crack
I see you once more with your fabled staff
Among the stars of blossoming trees
I tear myself free of your destiny
How they were bent on distruction my old Arshile
Oh how he loves the fire where they burn his house
Where he safeguards the twenty years’ witness of selfless exertion
Ruptured from all that can be seen today
You entice me -- let us curse it said the ash to the ember
And as it was not enough
They chose to set you by your own red
In the space of the sun of your very self
Then as you kept coming back
They stalked you to break your neck
At that most tender point that you loved
To make shine your fairy-maiden
To fathom the distance by yourselves.
Who knows if they had other tricks in their bag
There was no more left for you to do
Than to give yourself Gérard de Nerval’s tragic demise
How high you are
In the air --
Less than what you leave us
Less than your name
Pinned on the vast storms of my heart


André Breton
translated by Tatul Sonentz

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