Friday, March 23, 2012

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898)

The Clown Chastised

Eyes, lakes of my simple passion to be reborn
Other than as the actor who gestures with his hand

As with a pen, and evokes the foul soot of the lamps,

Here’s a window in the walls of cloth I’ve torn.

With legs and arms a limpid treacherous swimmer

With endless leaps, disowning the sickness

Hamlet! It’s as if I began to build in the ocean depths

A thousand tombs: to vanish still virgin there.

Mirthful gold of a cymbal beaten with fists,

The sun all at once strikes the pure nakedness

That breathed itself out of my coolness of nacre,

Rancid night of the skin, when you swept over me,

Not knowing, ungrateful one, that it was, this make-up,

My whole anointing, drowned in ice-water perfidy.

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