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Henri Thomas: Gare Saint Lazare

by John Cobley

Wednesday Nov 27th, 2019



Gare Saint Lazare


some pull themselves together

others lose their way.

there are those who seek

the key to the rumeurs*.


From evening to night

this is the thoroughfare;

with weary wing beats

a little sleep

drifts and then settles.


The manna of the evening

feeds pell-mell

those who smile

those who are afraid,

those who pursue

a game without hope.


I go into the night;

alien spaces

take hold of me, move me

into the meal of shadows

I look for my place.


Henri Thomas, Le monde absent, 1947

Translated by John Cobley


*I could not find a satisfactory English word 

for “rumours.” My Petit Robert defines it as 

“bruit confus” or “bruit assordi de nombreux sons.”

(a confusing noise or a deafening noise of a 

number of sounds) 

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