Elizabeth Bishop, Parys, 7 oere moarns

 
Parys, 7 oere moarns

Ik meitsje in toer lâns elke klok yn it appartemint:
fan ûnwittende platen ôf wize guon wizers
teätraal de iene kant út en oaren oare kanten.
Tiid is in Etoile; de oeren rinne sasear útien
dat dagen deitochten lâns de foarstêden binne,
sirkels om stjerren hinne, sirkels dy’t elkoar oerlaapje.
De koarte, rastere skaal fan wintersk waar
is in útsprate dowewjuk.
De winter banket ûnder in dowewjuk, in deade wjuk
      mei dampe fearren.

Sjoch nei ûnderen yn de binnenpleats.
Alle huzen binne op dy manier boud,
mei ornamintele urnen op mansardedakken
dêr’t dowen omtripkje. Dêr yn stoarje
is as yntrospeksje, of retrospeksje,
in stjer binnen in rjochthoek, in tebinnenbringen:
dat lege karree hie maklik dêrsa wêze kind.
– De bernlike sniekastielen, boud yn griller winters,
hienen dat formaat helje kind en dan huzen west;
de sterke sniekastielen, fjouwer, fiif etaazjes heech,
dy’t de maitiid wjerstienen as sânkastielen it tij,
de muorren, de kontoeren, koenen net rane, rekken
      net wei,
mar oerlapen elkoar yn hechte skeakeling, ferstienne,
no griis en giel wurden as dizzen hjirre.

Wêr is de munysje, de oploege ballen
mei de ta stjerren tesplintere herten fan iis?
Dizze loft is gjin oarlochspostdo
dy’t oan einleas elkoar trochsnijende sirkels ûntkomt.
It is in deadenien, of de loft dêr’t in deadenien út foel.
De urnen hawwe syn jiske of syn fearren opheind.
Wannear foel de stjer útien, of waard er beflapt
troch de rige karrees, karrees en sirkels, sirkels?
Is er dêr ûnder, dogge de klokken beskie
oft er hast deltrûzelet yn de snie?

 

Paris, 7 A.M.

I make a trip to each clock in the apartment:
some hands point histrionically one way
and some point others, from the ignorant faces.
Time is an Etoile; the hours diverge
so much that days are journeys round the suburbs,
circles surrounding stars, overlapping circles.
The short, half-tone scale of winter weathers
is a spread pigeon’s wing.
Winter lives under a pigeon’s wing, a dead wing
      with damp feathers.

Look down into the courtyard. All the houses
are built that way, with ornamental urns
set on the mansard roof-tops where the pigeons
take their walks. It is like introspection
to stare inside, or retrospection,
a star inside a rectangle, a recollection:
this hollow square could easily have been there.
—The childish snow-forts, built in flashier winters,
could have reached these proportions and been houses;
the mighty snow-forts, four, five, stories high,
withstanding spring as sand-forts do the tide,
their walls, their shape, could not dissolve and die,
only be overlapping in a strong chain, turned to stone,
and grayed and yellowed now like these.

Where is the ammunition, the piled-up balls
with the star-splintered hearts of ice?
This sky is no carrier-warrior-pigeon
escaping endless intersecting circles.
It is a dead one, or the sky from which a dead one fell.
The urns have caught his ashes or his feathers.
When did the star dissolve, or was it captured
by the sequence of squares and squares and circles,
      circles?
Can the clocks say; is it there below,
about to tumble in snow?

 

Ut North & South, 1946. ‘Paris, 7 A.M.’ waard foar it earst publisearre yn july 1937. YouTube: Georgia Scalliet draacht ‘Paris, 7 A.M.’ foar yn in Frânske oersetting troch Claire Malroux.

This entry was posted in Elizabeth Bishop and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.