Yves BonnefoyMary Ann Caws


The Museum

A clamor, in the distance. A crowd running under the rain beating
down, between the canvases the sea wind set clattering.

A man passes crying something. What is he saying? What he
knows! What he has seen! I make out his words. Ah, I almost

I took refuge in a museum. Outside the great wind mixed with
water reigns alone from now on, shaking the glass panes.

In each painting, I think, it’ s as if  God were giving up on finishing
the world.

Translated from the French

They Spoke to Me

They said to me no, don’ t take any, no, don’ t touch, that is burning
hot. No, don’ t try to touch, to hold, that weighs too much, that

They said to me: Read, write. And I tried, I took up a word, but it
struggled, it clucked like a frightened hen, wounded, in a cage of
black straw, spotted with old traces of   blood.

Translated from the French