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by phil gennuso

by phil gennuso

Precious Autumn,
Dying and adored,

You face your inevitable end
When hurricanes batter the roses,
When blizzards of snow,
Fill the gardens

Poor Autumn,
Drowning in white and riches,
Snow and ripe fruit,

As in the deepest, bluest sky,
Magnificent hawks soar
Over laughing nymphs with green hair,
And dwarfs who have never loved

(In the distant wood,
Fresh stags roar)

How I love you Autumn!
How I love your whispers, your rumours!

The ripe fruit falls, wild, unpicked,
The wind and forest weep,
All their tears, Autumn, fall, leaf by leaf

The leaves
that swirl like crowds
The train
that rushes past
flowing by,
ebbing away.


This poem was translated from the point of view of a New Yorker, living in the 21st century, who loves the New Yrok fall, perhaps more than any other season. As such this translation is contemporary, and has a somewhat Whitmanesque flavor. I would not be surprised if I revised this first try!

The poem comes from Alcools, the first published book of poetry by Apollinaire. I hope to translate all of these poems though this is a somewhat daunting project! I will start with the shorter ones first.