Yves Bonnefoy

There is something at once very American and very French about this poem. (The translation is by Hoyt Rogers.) Like Emerson, Dickinson, and Frost, Bonnefoy subjects the forest to close, reverential observation, and reveals in it an earthly Eden. Yet there is also, in these lines, a sense that the vision is illusory, the melting material of dreams and symbols. It’s characteristic of Bonnefoy that his faithful description of passing through the woods on a snowy evening also gives him the metaphor of a blank piece of paper in the instant before a poem fills it.

Read the poem.


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