I recognized the river
by the paths of long ago
in trampling the swathes
and the summer marjoram.
At the bend of the hills
(green and ashen)
the Sorgues rebounded
on the hairy rocks
unleashing the echoes
nesting in the willow grove on the banks.
Fifty years of suns and showers
slept in the undecipherable park
( always the bitter fragrance of box
which haunts the unaltered flight of the water
where gleams the somberness of the lightning trout).
From the invisible crest of the trees,
alders, robers, beeches, paralysed sequoias,
( alone have I grown old for not having stayed)
flowed the murmuring anxiety of the beings
awakened by the intruder : « He comes back, here he is,
he dares infringe the silence of time ! »
Thus murmur the cemeteries
buried beneath thickets of brambles
when the child returns towards the shades.
translated by Philip Grover
ALONG THE OREGON TRAIL
And I too, I took the stage-coach
which passes not far from Chimney Rock
in memory’s yellow grass
I saw the grey sages
of the Platte River
and the yuccas witnesses of the Pony Express
in the Cheyenne sun
Coyotes fled before our mounts
like the women of tribes that won’t return
In the distance rose the dust of herds
bellowing towards the old nocturnal
of dead adventure
And the long sharp whip
cracked in the wind
on the endless hills
of Scriven’s Ranch
And I heard slow Mormon wagons lament
in the ruts
beneath the phantom gaze of dead
translated by Naomi Greene, in Foghorn, Capricorn Press, 1971, Santa Barbara
Frédéric Jacques Temple lives in the south of France, near Montpellier where he was born in 1921. Nature, yet intact in his youth, of the rough and nearly desertic Larzac, the ponds of the mediterranean littoral, and also his numerous travels, have inspired his works. Frédéric Jacques Temple received in 2003 the Grand prix de poésie de la SGDL (Société des gens de lettres) and in 2013 the prix Apollinaire, seen as the prix Goncourt of poetry. He is a member of the comité d'honneur de la Maison internationale des poètes et des écrivains at Saint-Malo.
He is the author more than fifty books, poetry, novels, essays, short stories, translations from Italian and English. His last poetry books are : Anthologie personnelle (anthology of his six first books of poems, Actes Sud, 1989), Profonds pays (Obsidiane, 2011), Phares, balises et feux brefs suivi de Périples (Bruno Doucey, 2012), Dans l’erre des vents ( Bruno Doucey, 2017). He is also the author of narratives, essays and translations from Italian and English.