Three Poems from France

August 7, 2017
translated by Pauline Levy Valensi
Tail light. Photo: Sarah-Rose/Flickr
Tail light. Photo: Sarah-Rose/Flickr


seas rise and
mountains flow a river spreads
in the bed of an undulating
valley forests
wither and entire cities
blossom people copulate there
on certain nights and depart
in the morning by car



I founded a tribe
created paths cut down
all the forests built
cities connected all of it
with cables and wavelengths then every-
body killed each other
I didn’t understand why
and turned off the computer


Urban Postcard

the concrete of beaches
dragged to the bottom of the oceans
by paths of asphalt
toward the windows of
skylines and in the chips
of silica of the printed
circuits we surf
over shipwrecked cities

Translations from the French
By Pauline Levy Valensi

Editorial note: From Quelques microsecondes sur Terre (Les Tilleuls du square-Gros textes, 2015). Translation copyright © 2017 by Pauline Levy Valensi.

Perrin Langda, born in 1983, lives in Grenoble, France. His poems offer brief, often ironic pictures of everyday life. His collection Quelques microsecondes sur Terre (A few microseconds on earth) was published in 2015. Langda has published three other collections, and others are to come.

Pauline Levy Valensi, born in 1994 in France, is currently completing her master’s degree in French language and literature at the University of Connecticut and in general and comparative literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris.