LIVE, FLESH – Poetry, by Pierre Reverdy


Rise up corpse and walk, nothing new under the yellow sun. The last of the last of the coins of gold, the light that flakes away under the layers of time. The lock on the breaking heart, a thread of silk, a thread of lead, a thread of blood. After these waves of silence, signs of love’s black mane, the sky more smooth than your eye. Neck twisted in pride, my life behind the scenes, from where I see harvests of death undulate. All those eager hands kneading balls of smoke, heavier than the poles of the universe. Empty heads, bare hearts, perfumed hands. Monkey tentacles aimed at the clouds, in the furrows of those grimaces a straight line stretches taut, a nerve twists. “La mer” the sea sated. “L’amour” love. “L’amer” the bitter smile of death la (Pierre Reverdy) His poems an uncanny mixture of the simple and the sublime. Reverdy’s poetry has exerted a special attraction on American poets, from Kenneth Rexroth to John Ashbery, and this new selection, featuring the work of fourteen distinguished translators, most of it appearing here for the first time, documents that ongoing relationship while offering readers the essential work of an extraordinary writer.


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