Translated by Ben Belitt and Alastair Reid
I write in the clear sun, in the teeming street,
at full sea-tide, in a place where I can sing;
only the wayward night inhibits me,
but, interrupted by it, I recover space,
I gather shadows to last me a long time.
The black crop of the night is growing
while my eyes meanwhile take measure of the meadows.
So, from one sun to the next, I forge the keys.
In the darkness, I look for the locks
and keep on opening broken doors to the sea,
for it to fill the wardrobes with its foam.
And I do not weary of going and returning.
Death, in its stone aspect, does not halt me.
I am weary neither of being nor of non-being.
Sometimes I puzzle over origins –
was it from my father, my mother, or the mountains
that I inherited debts to minerality,
the fine threads spreading from a sea on fire?
And I know that I keep on going for the going's sake,
and I sing because I sing and because I sing.
There is no way of explaining what does happen
when I close my eyes and waver
as between two lost channels under water.
One lifts me in its branches toward my dying,
and the other sings in order that I may sing.
And so I am made up of a non-being,
and, as the sea goes battering at a reef
in wave on wave of salty white-tops
and drags back stones in its retreating wash,
so what there is in death surrounding me
opens in me a window out to living,
and, in the spasm of being, I go on sleeping.
In the full light of day, I walk in the shade.