POETRY

What Did You Do With It?

By

Translated from Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

You had my heart,
made yours my gift.
You had my heart;
luck was our part.

Yours is returned,
I have none left,
Yours is returned,
mine can't be found.

The leaf and the flower
and even the gourd,
the leaf and the flower,
the scent and the color:

What did you do with it,
master and lord?
what did you do with it?
With this sweet benefit?

Like a poor babe
left by her mother,
like a poor babe
no-one can save,

you abandoned me
in bitter weather;
you abandoned me;
this is what God can see.

One day, don't you know
Man walks the world alone?
One day, don't you know
you'll miss our love so.

You'll come a-calling,
but hear from no-one
You'll come a-calling
and you will dream!

Dreaming you'll drift
to rattle my gate.
As if there were no rift,
dreaming you'll drift.

And they will say to you:
Oh, you seek the late…?
This they will say to you,
but who will pray for you?


Qu'en avez-vous fait?

Vous aviez mon cœur,
Moi, j'avais le vôtre:
Un cœur pour un cœur;
Bonheur pour bonheur!

Le vôtre est rendu,
Je n'en ai plus d'autre,
Le vôtre est rendu,
Le mien est perdu!

La feuille et la fleur
Et le fruit lui-même,
La feuille et la fleur,
L'encens, la couleur:

Qu'en avez-vous fait,
Mon maître suprême?
Qu'en avez-vous fait,
De ce doux bienfait?

Comme un pauvre enfant
Quitté par sa mère,
Comme un pauvre enfant
Que rien ne défend,

Vous me laissez là,
Dans ma vie amère;
Vous me laissez là,
Et Dieu voit cela!

Savez-vous qu'un jour
L'homme est seul au monde?
Savez-vous qu'un jour
Il revoit l'amour?

Vous appellerez,
Sans qu'on vous réponde;
Vous appellerez,
Et vous songerez!...

Vous viendrez rêvant
Sonner à ma porte;
Ami comme avant,
Vous viendrez rêvant.

Et l'on vous dira:
"Personne!... elle est morte."
On vous le dira;
Mais qui vous plaindra?

Anna M. Evans’ poems have appeared in the Harvard Review, Atlanta Review, Rattle, American Arts Quarterly, and 32 Poems. She gained her MFA from Bennington College, and is the Editor of the Raintown Review. Recipient of a 2011 Fellowship from the MacDowell Artists' Colony, she currently teaches at West Windsor Art Center and Richard Stockton College of NJ. Her chapbooks Swimming and Selected Sonnets are available from Maverick Duck Press. Her poem, Straight Talk," appearing in Kin is from a chapbook, Saint-Pol-Roux & Other Poems from the French.

You had my heart,
made yours my gift.
You had my heart;
luck was our part.