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Syndic Literary Journal

The Violence of the World Says Nothing of Mine

Written by Emmanuel Merle

Translated from French by Jennifer Barber

Narrated by Bill Wolak


The violence of the world says nothing of mine

a stray bullet baptized by fear

In their blue pavane the stars

don’t greet the world

they sign no treaties


Here on earth the price of a dance

is always the price of the sun

fully charged

incandescent carnivorous

the price is death but we summon the dance


Many times I’ve climbed the peaks

to interrogate the sky

and rip the shirt stretched tight

over its dark belly but

no one questions the cardinal points

east west north south

when we surprise them straying

like migratory birds




Emmanuel Merle lives in Grenoble, France. He has published more than twenty books of poetry and more than 200 artist’s books. He is a literary teacher and president of the Espace Pandora, an association dedicated to cultural action and the defense of poetry.
Jennifer Barber’s new poetry collection, The Sliding Boat Our Bodies Made, is forthcoming from The Word Works in 2022. She is the founding editor of the literary journal Salamander, and she lives in the Boston area.



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