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To read the poem in the original French.

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Maureen Holm's translation and her setting of the French, for soprano and violin, premiered at Carnegie Hall in April, 2000.

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For Maureen's poems in French and their translation into English.

For her poetry in Spring 2002.

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

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For more Poetry

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The photo of Valéry is borrowed from Todd Sander's Library of French poets.




Paul Valery Paul Valéry


Translated by Maureen Holm Maureen Holm


The Footsteps


Your footsteps, issue of my silence,
slowly make their hallowed way
chill and soundless to the bed
where I've kept constant vigil.

Oh, Pure One, Shadow Divine,
how soft Your tread in memory!
Lord! Every blessing I’ve surmised
has come to me on these bare feet.

If with lips inclined,
You mean to satisfy
the tenant of my mind
by feeding it a kiss,

don't rush this gentle grace imbued,
sweet state of being and not being.
For I have lived awaiting all of you,
my heart but imprint of your many feet.