The Sleeper in the Valley and Other Translations

February 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

The first Cactus Press title of 2012 is Marc di Saverio’s Sleeper in the Valley and Other Translations. Marc was recently named one of Simply Haiku’s top-10 Living English Language Haiku Poets, and I’m thrilled to have him back after publishing Sanatorium Songs in 2010.

Copies are selling for $5.00. If you’re interested in purchasing one, email me at jim.johnstone@utoronto.ca.

Here’s a sneak preview of the title poem, translated from Arthur Rimbaud, and originally published in Maisonneuve:


THE SLEEPER IN THE VALLEY

It’s a green ravine with a river that sings
and madly clings to silvery tatters
on the grasses—a little valley bubbling
with beams of a sun that scatters

from the noble peak. A young soldier, helmetless,
open-mouthed, bathing his nape in the cool blue cress,
sleeps; he’s under clouds, pale, outspread
where light is raining down on his green bed.

With his feet in the gladioli, he sleeps. Smiling how
a sick kid smiles, he’s catching some zees.
Nature, cradle him closely, he’s

cold. Smells won’t make his nostrils quiver now.
One hand on breast, asleep in the sun, he’s pacified;
there are two red holes in his right side.

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