Le Vin Des Amants

This Jack’s first volume of poetry (1977), and consists of ‘versions’of poems by Baudelaire. They are my imaginative and poetic response to what I feel the poet is attempting. The Germans have a saying: ‘faithful translations are like boiled strawberries’.


Enough, Sorrow, be sensible, be calm.
You called for evening, look it is here:
a thick dark cloud enfolds suburb, farm,
delivering peace to some, to others fear.

While the harrowed multitude of the human race
are tortured on compulsive racks of sex
(then sublimate their anguish in lukewarm fetes),
give me your hand and let us wistfully trek

to distant shores. See the dead years lean down
from the sky’s parapets, each in an old gown,
see Regret leap smiling from the sea and mist,

as the moribund sun sleeps beneath his dome,
and look, a long black shroud trails from the East,
listen my sweet, listen, soft night creeps home.

Le Vin des Amants was published in a numbered, boxed, hardback edition by Gryphon
Books, Melbourne, and contains linocuts by David Fitts.


(at bottom of linocut: ‘Linocut by David Fitts’)

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