Yves Bonnefoy: “A Tree On Descartes Street”

A Tree On Descartes Street

Passer-by,
behold this great tree.
Look through it.
Maybe it’s enough.

Even torn and stained,
a tree among concrete
is part of nature,
part of the sky.

Birds grace it,
winds blow it,
the sun speaks through it
of the same hope
in spite of death.

Philosopher,
if you are lucky
to have such a tree on your street,
your thoughts will be less strained,
your hands less eager
to reach out for the night.

Yves Bonnefoy

Translated from French by Paul Weinfield, © 2016
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