Category Archives: théophile gautier

Gautier translation in SPAM zine

I have a translation of “In the storm”, a short poem by Théophile Gautier, in the new issue 8 of SPAM zine.  Many thanks to Denise Bonetti, Maria Sledmere, Max Parnell and Maebh Harper.

Spam issue 8 - Cruise Liner

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In the storm (from Théophile Gautier)

In the storm

from Théophile Gautier

The barque is small and the sea immense,
the wave throws us up to the sky in anger,
the sky, in madness, sends us back to the flood:
let us pray on our knees, next to the broken mast!

Between us and the tomb there is only a single plank:
perhaps this evening, in a bitter bed,
under a cold shroud, made of white foam,
we will go to sleep, our vigil kept by the lightning!

Flower of paradise, Our sainted Lady,
so good to sailors in peril of dying,
becalm the wind, make the waves go quiet,
and push with a finger our skiff towards the port.

We will give you, if you save us,
a beautiful dress made of silver paper,
a painted altar-candle weighing four pounds,
and, for your Jesus, a little Saint John.