mardi 24 décembre 2013


CHARLES DUFRESNE (1876-1938), "La Nativité", 1934




Imagine striking a match that night in the cave: 
use the cracks in the floor to feel the cold. 
Use crockery in order to feel the hunger. 
And to feel the desert - but the desert is everywhere. 
Imagine striking a match in that midnight cave, 
the fire, the farm beasts in outline, the farm tools and stuff; 
and imagine, as you towel your face in the towel's folds, 
the bundled up Infant. And Mary and Joseph. 
Imagine the kings, the caravans' stilted procession 
as they make for the cave, or rather three beams closing in 
and in on the star; the creaking of loads, the clink of a cowbell; 
(but in the cerulean thickening over the Infant 
no bell and no echo of bell: He hasn't earned it yet.) 
Imagine the Lord, for the first time, from darkness, and stranded 
immensely in distance, recognising Himself in the Son, 
of Man: homeless, going out to Himself in a homeless one. 

JOSEPH BRODSKY (1940-1996)
translated by SEAMUS HEANY
in NATIVITY POEMS, London, 2002

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