Préface

Behind me the plain, as formerly in China when I
spent the summer around Kouliang .
The country, flattened by distance and this map where one sees nothing
As you walk in,
The journey one had to walk in so much pain and sweat, from
this point to another point,
Many miles and years that would now be covered
with the hand!
The sun here and there with sudden rays revives and lights up
A river of which we do not know the name, such and such city like an old wound that still
makes you suffer!
Over there, the smoke of a steamboat which is leaving and the special light
that makes the sea, –
The exile fully accepted by the heart, from which we’ll escape by going forward, and not backwards!
Night falls, think about this new site, explorer!
This silence others would wonder about, how it is familiar to your heart!
The mountains on each others are erected in a huge amount of attention.
It takes a lot of space for life to begin,
For the offshore wind to be blocked and for the waters
to be collected in this torn bay!
I listen to the noise they make and the breathing of all these villages
under me in sugar and rice.
My home that I abandoned forever, I only have
to turn around to know it is over there.
(I hear the wind stirring the blinds in the verandah, while I read the Psalms.)
I know that everything is over behind me, and that any return is excluded.
Give, with a deep shiver my soul, into this
totally unknown country!
Why delay much longer on this mending threshold?
Come, if the name of a Father has to you any sweetness.

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