Of the earth,
I know nothing but the surface.
I have embraced it.
I have made my brow
out of this destruction
the summer revolving on it
from the day
this frayed wall
like a tongue that rasps
before it falls.
is a cold fire,
then the cold comes out in the darkness.
While the gusts of cold enter the room, I am
still prey to this step, everywhere I find the earth that comes before me and after me.
Warmer than I, the straw that envelopes our step emerging from the
earth ― our step like this dawning
in the body
Translator: Paul Auster’s novels have won him numerous awards, as have his films, memoirs, essays, and poetry. But he is also an authority on French literature and a noted translator from the French. In 1982 he edited The Random House Book of Twentieth-Century French Poetry, and he has published translations of Joubert, Mallarmé, Sartre, Blanchot, Dupin, and many other authors. His translations of du Bouchet date from the years 1967-1971; they were first published in book form by Living Hand in 1976. He has revised them for a new edition: Openworks. Paul Auster lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Siri Hustvedt.