Yves Bonnefoy is one of my favorite French poets, and (as I said here) I would never dare try to translate his gorgeously opaque off-classical poems myself. But at wood s lot I found a link to this fine version:
The Edge of the Woods
Thorn: you tell me that you love the word,
And there I might have much to say,
Sensing a fervor come alive in you
Without your knowing, that was all my life.
But I have no response: for words
Have something cruel about them, they refuse
Themselves to those who love and honor them
For what they might be, not for what they are.
And nothing stays with me but images,
Almost enigmas, which would turn
Your gaze away and leave it suddenly sad,
Your gaze, that takes in only what is clear.
You see, it’s like a morning in the rain,
One goes to lift the water’s hem
In order to risk plunging deeper than color
Into the unknown of pools and shadows.
And yet it’s certainly daybreak, in this country
That staggered me, that you love now.
The house of those few days is still asleep,
And you and I have slipped outside of time.
The water hidden in the grass is dark,
And yet the dew reanimates the sky.
Last night’s storm is calm, the cloud
Has put its fiery hand in the hand of ash.
But who translated it? Mark didn’t say, and the linked page didn’t say, and even the most dogged googling failed to turn up the translator’s name. I finally went to the Hudson Review site; I didn’t find any obvious way to search the site, but I did find the note “Every issue of The Hudson Review is available in its entirety on JStor,” and having access to JSTOR through my Massachusetts library card, I went there and found the appropriate page, and under the reproduction of the magazine page was the line “The Edge of the Woods, by Yves Bonnefoy and Emily Grosholz The Hudson Review © 2001 The Hudson Review, Inc.” (This also allowed me to reproduce the stanza breaks and italics lost in the linked version.)
So I can finally credit Emily Grosholz for her work, but if I were her, I’d be annoyed that it took that much effort to find her name. Shame on findarticles.com and other such content borrowers for not providing credit where due. (And why is it © The Hudson Review, Inc. rather than the translator?)