Your Hands

Your Hands Discover Me/ Tes mains me découvrent, Claudia Coutu Radmore translated by Mike Montreuil (2010, Les Éditions du tanka francophone, Montreal)  scan0001Tanka written about a love affair between two poets, one who lived in Canada and one in Massachusetts. I was fortunate that Mike Montreuil was available to translate this manuscript; it was a pleasure to get together to thrash out the final version, and he is excellent at this kind of translation, soul of poet to soul of poet.  While I am not bilingual, I have read a fair amount in my father’s tongue, and could understand the nuance of a translation. (My Mother was English so that was what we spoke at home.)

These are from a series of tanka written in the heat of passion. No need to say much more…

ditches/lined with fireweed/ after so many miles/ flames/ that won’t go out

                  des fossés/ garnis de bouquets rouges/ après tant de kilomètres/ des flames/ qui ne                     s’éteindront jamais

I am honoured that Michael Dylan Welch, Founder of The Tanka Society of America wrote an introduction that he named ‘Alive and Urgent’. Thank you Michael!

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