Monday, September 27, 2010

The Door

The hotel door smiles terribly
What has this done to me mother
Being the clerk for whom alone nothing exists
Pi-mus fish moving coupled through deep sad water
Fresh angels disembarked at Marseilles yesterday morning
I hear a distant song dying and dying again
Humble as I am who am worth nothing

Child I've given you what I had labor

translation © Jack Hayes 2010


  1. I've enjoyed these translations immensely, mainly because they function as poems entirely without any reference to the original. Yet, my recollection of Apollinaire is that these are faithful and pretty precise! Many thanks.

  2. Hi Lucas: Thanks so much. I've always gone by the theory that translations of poetry should be good poems in themselves, & I appreciate that you find this to be true with my Apollinaire translations. But yes, I do try to stay as close as I can to the original & still make a good English language poem. They are more to come--your readership is very much appreciated.