To read the poems in the original French by Maureen Holm.

For Maureen's translation of a poem by Valery

For her poetry in Spring 2002.

Maureen is Senior Essayist and Articles Editor at Big City Lit previously featured in Spring 2001


For more Poetry

Maureen Holm Maureen Holm

The Fisher

She ponders,
adoring the waves,
all the promise
in water's depth,

more than in wind,
her first lover lets
her hang on him,
kite-like, still.

Would he act as jet to wings,
shell fast in her beak?
What effort else for them to bring it,
drenched, to dry relief!

Reckless to attempt,
not knowing which inside:
pretty pearl or grit
laden by mad restraint.

But yearning this vital
deferred until able
is death to having lived,
no matter the riches eyed.

Even in dreams
will has its price—
she dives in,
sea swallow.

Bite-Sized Beaver

The beaver and his cousin meet of a morning
on the bank of a stream in the forest of Tours,
where small lets bigger have a look at his teeth—
“You’re puttin’ me on!” he laughs himself weak.

“How ya figure on chawin’ up wood in the wet
to build you a dam—‘be the tiniest yet—
with those bitty toofers and, never mind then,
on shooin’ intruders with your piggy tail end?”

“No kiddin’, Beav’. Hey, no swimmer to boot.
‘Tain’t to such talents I owe my repute,
as the hamster of hamsters of this hamlet and the one,
‘tween us, ‘twon’t be scraps for the hatter’s pet goose.”