MELANCHOLY

I am gathering ferns
île nicest of jobs, you might say…
True, but it’s hot,
Let’s stop for a moment.

……………………………….

On my arm a sickle and a pitchfork,
in my hand a fern
fine and light like a piece of lace
on the edge of the field I sit down
In the shade of the chestnut tree.

……………………………….

A sharp perfume, a dizzying perfume
the ferns turning
while tickling my nostrils
have gone to my head.
And here I am beginning to daydream,
my mind wandering
down the path of memories;
where before me passes
as on a brilliant screen
my bygone youth.

And I think of the past
that will never return!
The autumn of my life,
Ah, golden-brown fern,
symbol of arid and poor soil,
such a fate is ours!
Sterile. Unimportant. Meaningless.
I would at least wish to be like you,
also able to produce a perfume:
a sharp, dizzying perfume
of pure poetry.

January 1964

Translated by Lenora Timm

This poem in breton





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