Michel Deguy (translated by Wilson Baldridge)

On the Secret

     But at the same time it seemed to me that it did not depend on me alone that love be without prospects; a secret of life in life as in furniture or dwellings of old, a secret lost as soon as it is changed into union like furniture with a secret smashed open requires one to renew the secret; and that ours had followed this course of its “sightless” clandestine inevitability beneath its blindfold and hence unhappy in its happiness, happily unhappy in a certain sense; related to the imminence of separation forever drawn near and postponed and thus following the fate foretold, narrated, in works small and great . . . And that the work had to do with this logic, the work spliced, tautened with arcana, weaving ties with the ancient works, cramming this secret with secrets, carved caskets cenotaphs adorned with hidden love, freemasonic, smuggler of the latent passageway ¾ like Fortini’s roses smothering with fine complex relations the story and the word of love.

     And all that is what makes up suffering; and between suffering ¾ whose antiperistaltic ascent I feel at the instant I write ¾ and this phrase of a sonata or this painting, there is no direct relationship (how could the one “translate” the other?), just the abyss of metaphor, and the word expression utters in vain the vaguest relation there is, utters desperately, blindly, the belief in this massive and irretraceable transfer between suffering and art.

Object Complements (December)
A Question for the Poem
Our Dwelling
That Which Assembles Prepares Resemblance
The Hopscotch Principle
To be free...
An die Musik

Letter to Gérard Bucher regarding
On the Vision and the Riddle

© 2005 Electronic Poetry Review