Last week, I noted that I would return to completing my translation of selected poems by Marcel Lecomte. To slowly return to this project and to offer another preview of past, published, work (and perhaps to psych myself up for the new semester of teaching), here is his poem “The Schoolmaster.”
Marcel Lecomte, Translated by K. A. Wisniewski
Le maître d’école
Il est seul à pouvoir nous parler des objets de l’Univers,
de manière à nous surprendre, à les surprendre.
Il connaît l’espace interne qui les anime.
(Oui, plongés, engagés dans l’arrière-histoire du monde,
ces objets deviennent la distance secrète de son regard à
He alone is able to tell us about the objects of the Universe,
in such a way to surprise us, to surprise them.
He knows the inner space that stirs them.
(Yes, immersed, engaged in the back-story of the world,
these objects become the secret distance from his gaze to
*First appeared in The Blue Lyra Review 4.1
Marcel Lecomte (1900-1966) was a Belgian writer and member of the Belgian surrealist movement. Although he published several collections of poetry including Démonstrations (1922) and Applications (1925), a work that showcased two drawings from his friend, artist René Magritte, Lecomte is best known as a journalist and critic. He wrote widely on art and literature and maintained weekly political columns in Le Rouge et the Noir and La Laterne.
The photo on the left depicts Lecomte (center) with Paul Nougé and Camille Goemans (other members of The Correspondence), 1928.