Jules Supervielle


Some day the Earth will be only
A blind space which turning
Mingles night and day.
The vast sky of the Andes
Will float above no mountains,
Not even a small ravine.

All the world's houses will vanish
Except for one balcony,
A boundless grief will stand
For human geography,
And for the Atlantic
A taste of salt in the air,
A fish flying and magic,
Ignorant of the sea.

In a nineteen-five coupe
(Four wheels without a road)
Three young girls of the day
Who stayed behind as mist
Will open the door quite sure
That Paris can't be far,
And all they will find is the odor
Of sky which sticks in your throat.

Out of the absent forest
Will rise the song of a bird
That no one at all can place,
Prefer, or even hear
Except God–He will listen
And say, "That's a goldfinch."

     French; trans Patricia Terry

Jules Supervielle, French, trans. Patricia
, Gravitations, Editions Gallimard,