Regretting the Earth (Le regret de la terre)
Jules Supervielle (1884-1960, Uruguay)
One day, we shall say: ‘That was the time of sunlight,
Remember how it illumined the slightest twig,
The old woman as brightly as the astonished girl,
How it gave a colour to things as soon as it fell,
Kept pace with the galloping horse; halted with him.
It was the unforgettable time when we were on Earth,
Where sound resulted if something was dropped,
We looked about with the eyes of connoisseurs,
Our ears comprehended every nuance of air
And when a friend’s footsteps approached we knew,
We gathered a flower or picked up a polished pebble.
That time when we could never take hold of smoke,
Ah! That’s all our hands know how to take hold of now.’