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Gaudebo.

for Derek Walcott

Gaudebo - word breathed out in a dream In the lovely Latin which survives Although lost to all of our schools Let us rejoice at the Lord's altar Intone Racine or an old catechism Gaudebo for that child in wooden clogs Coming across the plain where the wind sweeps The truant snow whose only alphabet Is the planet's bruises and wounds Gaudebo for on the garden path In the world without end of June He received the sacrament of dawn: For the sole orbit of his eyes, the night Gathered up stars, frozen but Beating hearts, and, embracing the seasons The river spoke in vowels rubbed raw Against the raucous ivory of the rocks How much time had to pass for that scorched Throat blocked with stones to break loose! As much as it took to emerge on the nude Moor of death after so much wandering But because a sound unfailingly froths up Like a woman's gently moistened sex From the roots to the altar of idleness Gaudebo

Claire Malroux is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Entre nous et la lumiere, published by Editions Rougerie in 1992. Edge, a bilingual collection of her poems, with English translations by Marilyn Hacker, will be published by Wake Forest University Press in the fall of 1996.
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Author:Malroux, Claire; Hacker, Marilyn
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:May 1, 1996
Words:220
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