Pierre Reverdy


Scarcely a minute
               And I’ve come back
Having grasped nothing of all that passed
A point
          The larger sky
               And at the last moment
The lantern going by
               The footstep overhead
     Of all that’s in motion someone comes to a stop
They let go of the world
               And everything in it
The dancing lights
               And the spreading shadow
There’s more space
               If you look ahead
Inside a cage a living animal leaped
With an identical gesture of breast and arms
A woman laughed
               Throwing back her head
And someone happening by mistook us one for the other
All three of us were strangers
And formed already
               A world full of hope

— translated from the French by Patricia Terry