Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Extracts From ‘To An Imaginary Lover’— Dominique Penez

Mar 21, 2023 | Poetry | 1 comment

Translated from the French by Patrick Williamson 


French poetry by Dominique Penez

Image used for representation.


what is happiness
              if not a few moments

to live with a heart that soars
to dance whatever the music is
to bathe in the arms of pure water

                to sense the quivering of skin
                eyes that meet your gaze

and that unmistakable whisper 


tell me
              that it’s possible

your eyes
              more intense
              this strange sadness gone

your face less defeated
             (I so want to hold it in my
               alone with you in a little corner
of the universe,
feeling your body talk under my caresses

your eyes lost to view
             melting in your arms

(is this the effect of such a long absence?)


tell me you are there somewhere
             it doesn’t matter where
             that I roamed your memory 

tell me you are in China
that a strange figure is chasing you

waiting, always waiting
              rapt in love

and this silence that remains
               this odd feeling yet so strong

how can one express this tidal wave
              without gesture, or contact?

              “The Lord already gave it back to me.”
confirmation in your head
             nothing clear nothing candid

and here I am waiting for you,
waiting for you, je t’en prie
je t’en prie, don’t take your time 


take me into your universe
            maybe there will be
                         less spite
                                   less resentment

and maybe, more craziness
                      more flowers and forests

       and openness, an opening

have you got this sharing
            this periwinkle Sunday
            in your stratosphere ?

have you got
           this blue this yellow this angel red
                         in your lovesphere?

if you go on a trip, please
           take me into your photosphere  


Come, into my thoughts
             my ideas my rainforests

Come, to my skin
             my eye, my breast

Come, into my mazes
             my hair

                              into my core

 Also, read Italian poetry written by Edoardo Olmi, translated into English by Anna Aresi, and published in The Antonym

From ‘Scalene Seasons’— Edoardo Olmi

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Dominique Penez is active in the dissemination of culture to as wide an audience as possible and worked on such projects abroad for a long time. She has also run writing workshops since 2009. She is a member of various networks and groups, including the Collectifs d’écrits, publishes haïkus and takes part in: Coucou de Haïkus, Un haïku par jour, Kigo, les 72 saisons du HAÏKUS, and Conseil national de la poésie. Founding member of the Bleu d’Encre journal and member of the Revue Cabaret. Words have been a part of her life from a very young age when she took courses in the art of declaiming, painting, and theatre. She combines drawing, sculpture, and photography with her writing activities.

Patrick Williamson is an English poet and translator. Most recent poetry collections: Traversi (English-Italian, Samuele Editore, 2018), Beneficato (SE, 2015), Gifted (Corrupt Press, 2014), Nel Santuario (SE, 2013; Menzione speciale della Giuria in the XV Concorso Guido Gozzano, 2014). Editor and translator of The Parley Tree, Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012) and translator notably of Max Alhau (France), Tahar Bekri (Tunisia), Gilles Cyr (Quebec), as well as Italian poets Guido Cupani and Erri de Luca. Recent translations in Transference, Metamorphoses, The Tupelo Quarterly, and poems in The Black Bough, The Fortnightly Review notably. Longstanding collaborator with artists’ book publisher Transignum, member of the editorial committee of La Traductière, and founding member of transnational literary agency Linguafranca.

1 Comment

  1. Dominique Penez

    Thank you for your translate Patrick Williamson follow us communication at ” Le marché de la Poésie” to Paris


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