Jammes: I want no other joy

I have posted this poem before but couldn’t resist re-posting it. It seemed so fitting today. It is Francis Jammes poem from the recently published (2010) collection ‘Under the Azure: poems of Francis Jammes’ translated by Janine Canane, published by the independent printing co. ‘Littlefox Press’, based in Victoria.

I want no other joy

‘I want no other joy when the summer
returns, than that of the year gone by.
Under dozing muscats I shall sit.
Deep in the woods, where fresh waters sing,
I will hear and feel and see everything
the forest fears, feels and sees.

I want no other joy when the autumn
returns, than that of the yellow leaves
raking the hills when it thunders,
than the dull sound of new wine barrels,
than heavy skies and cowbells ringing,
and beggars asking for alms.

I want no other joy when the winter
returns, than that of the iron sky,
than the smoke of the grinding cranes,
than embers singing like the sea,
than the lamp behind green panes
in the shop where the bread is bitter.

I want no other joy when the spring
returns, than that of the biting winds,
than peach trees, leafless, blooming,
than muddy paths turning green,
than the violet, than the bird singing
like a stream that gorges the storm.’

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