Sunday, January 08, 2006

Happy Noo Ear

The Dawn Breakers

Rene Char

Translated by Mary Ann Caws


This country is but a wish of the spirit, a counter-sepulcher.

In my country, tender proofs of spring and badly dressed birds are preferred to far-off goals.

Truth waits for dawn beside a candle. Window glass is neglected. To the watchful, what does it matter?

In my country, we don’t question a man deeply moved.

There is no malignant shadow on the capsized boat.

A cool hello is unknown in my country.

We borrow only what can be returned increased.

There are leaves, many leaves, on the trees of my country. The branches are free to bear no fruits.

We don’t believe in the good faith of the victor.

In my country, we say thank you.


The branches are free to bear no fruits.

I remembered this in Aurangabad, where a friend and I walked through a very old and very new town on the first of January. We walked out from a great courtyard full of trees, to see a western sky of molten gold, where hung the palest sliver of the new moon, the first evening of the new year, the evening star burning bright, many kites still dancing in silhouette.

The trees of old-new Aurangabad are thick not with fruits but with fallen kites, still reluctant to come down to earth.

These days I cry too easily.

Happy New Year.

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