Day 38 of 365 – Hélène Cardona

****

Du cœur avec grâce

****

Le Vent rêvant d’être dégusté
m’offre trois coupes regorgeant
d’éternité, vision éclatante.
L’opportune rencontre réenchante la désolation
de l’absolu, bouscule le calme glacial,
engendre un jeu d’esprit, glückliche Reise,
propulse les fervents parfums
de l’héliotrope, de la jacinthe et du chèvrefeuille.
L’hibiscus persifleur me fait chavirer vers les climats
ensoleillés, me rappelle que je demeure chardon,
enracinée et cousue à la frange celte et méditerranéenne.

Te rappelles-tu une langue plus ancienne
que le temps, lorsqu’un frisson parcourant l’épine
dorsale de ma mère valait plus que mille mots
et la mélancolie du regard de mon père,
reflétant le Lac Léman, était indéchiffrable?
Là, à mon insu, dans un monde
peuplé de cygnes,
je nage à mon tour en cercles concentriques
afin d’entendre l’écho de mon âme
et de découvrir qu’au cœur même du songe
réside la guérison de la terre. Nous explorons
dans le songe l’espace où tout est pardonné.
Au sein du songe est créé le divin.

Alors l’Unité divine soupire ex-voto,
je suis centaure par tout autre nom,
je suis griffon par tout autre nom,
je suis sirène par tout autre nom,
ma raison d’être chimérique, caméléon,
excavée des naufrages tel un talisman,
resplendissante fresque catapultée
au-delà de fantasques frontières métaphoriques.

****

From the Heart with Grace

****

Wind, who yearns to be savored, offers
me three cups overflowing
with eternity, daemon of insight.
The opportune encounter enraptures quintessential
distress, ruffles estranged quietude,
kindles a jeu d’esprit, glückliche Reise,
propels the fervent fragrance
of heliotrope, hyacinth and honeysuckle.
The tremulous hibiscus taunts me to warm climates,
reminds me I remain a thistle, resilient,
rooted in Mediterranean Celtic fringe.

Do you remember a language older
than time, when a shiver down my mother’s
spine was worth a thousand words
and the melancholy in my father’s eyes,
reflecting Lake Geneva, was indecipherable?
There unbeknownst to me
in a world inhabited by swans,
I too swim in concentric circles
to find the resonance of my core
and discover that in dreaming
lies the healing of earth. In dreaming
we travel to a place where all is forgiven.
In dreaming is the Divine created.

And the great Oneness whispers ex-voto,
I am centaur by any other name,
I am griffin by any other name,
I am mermaid by any other name,
my raison d’être insubstantial, chameleon,
excavated like a talisman from wreckage,
resplendent fresco catapulted
beyond whimsical metamorphic frontiers.

___________________________________

From Dreaming My Animal Selves: Le Songe de mes Âmes Animales
– A Bilingual Collection by Hélène Cardona
Published by Salmon in 2013
Copyright © Hélène Cardona 2013

****

MORE ABOUT HÉLÈNE CARDONA

HÉLÈNE CARDONA’s books include the Award-Winning Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry), Birnam Wood, her translation of her father José Manuel Cardona (Salmon Poetry), Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry); Hemingway Grant recipient Beyond Elsewhere (White Pine Press), her translation of Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac; and Ce que nous portons (Éditions du Cygne), her translation of Dorianne Laux. With Yves Lambrecht, she co-translated Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for the Iowa International Writing Program’s WhitmanWeb. A Romanian translation of Dreaming My Animal Selves was published by Junimea Editions in 2016. Hélène’s work has been translated into 16 languages.

She wrote her thesis on Henry James for her Master’s in American Literature from the Sorbonne, taught at Hamilton College & Loyola Marymount University, worked as a translator for the Canadian Embassy in Paris, and received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut & Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.

She contributes essays to The London Magazine, co-edits Plume and Fulcrum, and is co-producer of the film Pablo Neruda: the Poet’s Calling. Publications include Washington Square Review, World Literature Today, Poetry International, Dublin Review of Books, Asymptote, The Warwick Review, Irish Literary Times, Drunken Boat, The Brooklyn Rail, The Los Angeles Review and elsewhere.

Hélène had roles in Chocolat, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Jurassic World, The Hundred-Foot Journey, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Happy Feet 2 and Mumford. For Serendipity she co-wrote with director Peter Chelsom and composer Alan Silvestri the song Lucienne, which she also sang.

Dreaming My Animal Selves
by Hélène Cardona

Visit the Salmon Poetry Online Bookshop to read more about this collection, including more sample poems