(from Brise Marine, by Stephane Mallarme)
Flesh is sad. So sad! And I have read all the books.
If only one might flee, escape the mundanity which surrounds me. I sense
now, that even the birds are twirling, intoxicated,
to be immersed, inescapable, in mist, beneath unknowable skies.
Nothing, neither those ancient gardens which your eyes reflect,
Nor a heart as restrained as by the sea is crushed.
Oh nights! The isolated beam of my lamp
onto these blank sheets, neither whose white-innocence
nor that of the young woman nursing her child is maintained.
Oh, I leave! I must! Steamer, balance your rigging;
Raise your anchor.. An exotic existence is awaiting!
An Ennui, desolated by the cruelty of hope,
still believes in that supreme farewell, of handkerchiefs
waving in the breeze.
And, perhaps, the masts, inviting storms:
Is it from heaven that a wind leans on ship-wrecks,
the lost, without masts, without masts, nor fertile isles….
But, O my heart, listen to those sailors sing.