Excerpt from “The Anchor’s Long Chain” by Yves Bonnefoy

They say
Boats appear in the sky
And from some of them
The anchor’s long chain may rattle down,
Down towards our furtive land.
The anchor bobs over our fields and trees
Seeking a place to moor,
But soon a wish from above yanks it free;
The ship of elsewhere has no use for here,
Its horizon lies in another dream.

It may however come to pass
That the anchor is heavy, unusually so,
And rakes the ground, rumpling the trees.
Someone saw it snag a church door,
Catch the arch where our hope fades,
And a sailor shinned down
The taut, jerking chain,
And freed his heaven from our night.
Such anguish as he toiled against the vault
Both hands grappling with his strange iron—
Why must
Something within us lure our minds
In this crossing our words attempt
All unknowing, towards the other shore?

From: http://seagull-books.tumblr.com/post/133585670356/extract-the-anchors-long-chain-by-yves

Date: 2008 (original in French); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Yves Bonnefoy (1923- )

Translated by: Beverley Bie Brahic (19??- )

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