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The house where I was born (05)

 In the same dream
I am lying in the hollow of a boat,
My forehead and eyes against the curved planks
Where I can hear the undercurrents
Striking the bottom of the boat.
All at once, the prow rises up, And I think that we’ve come to the estuary, But I keep my eyes against the wood That smells of tar and glue.
Too vast, too luminous the images That I have gathered in my sleep.
Why rediscover, outside, The things that words tell me of, But without convincing me, I desire a higher or less somber shore.
And yet I give up this ground that stirs Beneath the body waking to itself, I get up, I go from room to room in the house, They are endless now, I can hear the cries of voices behind doors, I am seized by these sorrows that knock Against the ruined casings, I hurry on, The lingering night is too heavy for me, Frightened, I go into a room cluttered with desks, Look, I’m told, this was your classroom, See on the walls the first images you looked at, Look, the tree, look, there, the yelping dog, And the geography map on the yellow wall, This fading of names and forms, This effacing of mountains and rivers By the whiteness that freezes language.
Look, this was your only book.
The Isis of the plaster On the wall of this room, which is pealing away, Never had, nor ever will have anything other To open for you, to close on you.

Poem by Yves Bonnefoy
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