Paul Valéry: Pomegranates

Tough pomegranate rinds,
Yield your surfeit of seed.
In you I see great minds
From whom discoveries bleed!

If suns you suffered filled
You, half-agape and stout,
With pride until you spilled
Your chambered rubies out,

The forceful stratagems,
That rupture to reveal
These juicy, crimson gems
Bursting from dry gold peel

Recall my soul’s conjecture
Of its secret architecture.

 

Les Grenades

Dures grenades entr’ouvertes
Cédant à l’excès de vos grains,
Je crois voir des fronts souverains
Éclatés de leurs découvertes !

Si les soleils par vous subis,
Ô grenades entre-bâillées
Vous ont fait d’orgueil travaillées
Craquer les cloisons de rubis,

Et que si l’or sec de l’écorce
À la demande d’une force
Crève en gemmes rouges de jus,

Cette lumineuse rupture
Fait rêver une âme que j’eus
De sa secrète architecture.

Jan Schreiber

Jan Schreiber

Jan Schreiber was Poet Laureate of Brookline, Massachusetts from 2015 to 2017. His books include Digressions (1970), Wily Apparitions (1992), Bell Buoys (1998), Peccadilloes (2014), and Bay Leaves, as well as two books of translations: A Stroke upon the Sea and Sketch of a Serpent. His criticism is collected in his book Sparring with the Sun (2013). He teaches in the BOLLI program at Brandeis University and runs the annual Symposium on Poetry Criticism at Western Colorado University. His collection of Paul Valéry’s poems in translation will be published later this year by Cambridge Scholars.
Jan Schreiber

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Author: Jan Schreiber

Jan Schreiber was Poet Laureate of Brookline, Massachusetts from 2015 to 2017. His books include Digressions (1970), Wily Apparitions (1992), Bell Buoys (1998), Peccadilloes (2014), and Bay Leaves, as well as two books of translations: A Stroke upon the Sea and Sketch of a Serpent. His criticism is collected in his book Sparring with the Sun (2013). He teaches in the BOLLI program at Brandeis University and runs the annual Symposium on Poetry Criticism at Western Colorado University. His collection of Paul Valéry’s poems in translation will be published later this year by Cambridge Scholars.