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  • High Noon*
  • Édouard Glissant
    Translated by Mary Ann Caws (bio)

Then the sun, this single kingdom. Which was the earth of childhood, and stillis, so simply. All this wounded time, finally coming to the secret of the saltborn by an island. Such a large ambition, wanting to speak of time. Each oneonly stretches out this space in himself, where its word repeats, its lightresounds.I have seen my island on its south wind. The salt of the poem finally laid downin the earth, winding down.

Mary Ann Caws

Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is author of such works as The Surrealist Look: An Erotics of Encounter, Women of Bloomsbury: Virginia, Vanessa, and Carrington, Robert Motherwell: What Art Holds, Picasso’s Weeping Woman: The Life and Art of Dora Maar, Robert Motherwell with Pen and Brush, and is editor and translator of Approximate Man and Other Writings by Tristan Tzara, The Secret Art of Antonin Artaud by Jacques Derrida, and Ostinato by Louis-René des Forêts; the editor and co-translator of the HarperCollins World Reader, The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry, Capital of Pain by Paul Eluard, Essential Poems and Writings of Robert Desnos, Surrealist Painters and Poets, Surrealism, Surrealist Love Poems, and the co-editor and co-translator of Poems of André Breton and of Furor and Mystery and Other Writings of René Char. Recently, she has published Surprised in Translation, How Vita Matters, and Provençal Cooking: Savoring the Simple Life in France. She is the recipient of fellowships from such institutions as Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Humanities, Getty, and Rockefeller, and is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


* “High Noon” was originally published in French in Sel noir (Paris: Gallimard, 1983). The English translation is published with permission from Gallimard. [End Page 853]



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