A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
after Un Jour Rappelle-toi… by Emmelie Prophète
Think back, some day, to this dismembered city, its sounds, squalor and dolor. No one is to blame for betrayal, here or on the blue sidewalk of another continent. Madness serves its purpose. We buckle down and come up with exit strategies. I gather from your eyes emptiness must be reinvented. Listen to the prayer in our loins muffled by the heft of words. The hole in your blue jeans is the one window open to hope. Everyone likes a city walk. Our cries when we have nothing left are dead-ends like your silences. -- Un jour rappelle-toi cette ville dépecée entre le bruit, la bêtise et la douleur. On a créé l’infidélité, le bleu des trottoirs d’un autre continent. La folie est devenue utile. Nous nous appliquons à dessiner des portes de sortie Depuis tes yeux le vide est à réinventer. Écoute la prière de nos sexes étouffée par le poids des mots le trou de votre blue jean est la seule fenêtre qui donne sur l’espoir On rêve tous de trottoirs. Les cris de notre nudité sont sans issue comme vos silences.
Emmelie Prophète (born 1971) is a Haitian writer, poet and diplomat. She was born in Port-au-Prince and studied law and modern literature at the Université de Port-au-Prince and communications at Jackson State University. She has served as an attaché at the embassy in Haiti and in Geneva. Prophète has also hosted a jazz program on Radio-Haïti. She has served as director of the Haiti Direction Nationale du Livre and the Bureau haïtien du droit d’auteur. In 2014, she was named head of the National Library of Haiti. Her novel The Villages of God is currently being translated by Aidan Rooney. Un Jour Rappelle-toi is from her second poetry collection Sur Parure d’Ombre (Mémoire, 2004).
Aidan Rooney’s collections of poetry include Go There published by MadHat Press.
Translation copyright 2021 Aidan Rooney.