Homesick for the Earth
One day we'll say 'The sun ruled then.
Don't you remember how it shone on the twigs,
on the old, as well as the wide-eyed young?
It knew how to make all things vivid
the second it alighted on them.
It could run just like the racehorse.
How can we forget the time we had on earth?
If we dropped a plate it clattered.
We'd look around like connoisseurs,
alert to the slightest nuance of the air,
knew if a friend was coming towards us.
We'd pick daffodils, collect pebbles, shells —
when we couldn't catch the smoke.
Now smoke is all we hold in our hands.'
Jules Supervielle (1884-1960)
translated by Moniza Alvi