Memoirs


Poetry has lost its ties with the reader, he’s out of reach . . . It has to get him back . . . It has to walk in the darkness and encounter the heart of man, the eyes of woman, the strangers in tbe streets, those who at twiligbt or in the middle of tbe starry night feel the need for at least one line of poetry . . . This visit to the unexpected is worth all the distance covered, everything read, everything learned . . .I have to disappear into the midst of those we don’t know, so they will suddenly pick up something of ours from the street, from the sand, from the leaves that have fallen for a thousand years in the same forest . . . and will take up gently the object we made . . . Only then will we truly be poets In that object, poetry will live….Suddenly a hand slid over me, a large, calloused hand, but it was a woman’s. It ran over my brow, my eyes, my whole face, tenderly. Then an avid mouth clung to mine and I felt a woman’s
body pressing against mine, all the way down to my feet.
Little by little my fear turned into intense pleasure. My hand slid over braided hair, a smooth brow, eyes with closed lids soft as poppies, and went on exploring. I felt two breasts that were full and firm, broad, rounded buttocks, legs that locked around me,
and I sank my fingers into pubic hair like mountain moss. Not a word came from that anonymous mouth.


For the sake of a single poem

For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and Things, you must understand animals, must feel how birds fly, and know the gesture which small flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you had long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained, ….. to days in quiet, restrained rooms and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along high overhead and went flying with all the stars,—and it is still not enough to be able to think of all that. You must have memories of many nights of love, each one different from all the others, memories of women screaming in labor, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and are closing again. ….. And it is not yet enough to have memories. You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the memories themselves are not important. Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves—only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them