The regiment arrivesThe village dozes off in the perfumed lightA priest has a helmet on his headIs the champagne bottle artillery or notThe vinestock like ermine on a coat of armsBonjour soldiersI saw them racing this way and thatBonjour soldiers champagne bottles in which blood fermentsYou’ll stay a few days then back to the frontIn your echelons like a field planted with vinesI send my bottles all over the place like the shells of a delightful artilleryThe night is blond oh blond wineA grape-grower was singing bent over his vinesA grape-grower without a mouth on the far horizonA grape-grower who himself was the living bottleA grape-grower who knows all about warA grape-grower in Champagne who’s an artillerymanNow it’s evening and they’re playing pokerThen the soldiers will return to the frontWhere the Artillery uncorks its foaming bottlesWell Adieu gentlemen come back if you canBut who’s to say what the future has planned
Welcome back to the Weekly Poem series after its summer
vacation. This week's publisher, CB editions, organises a highly
successful annual poetry book fair called 'Free Verse', and this year's
event will take place in Conway Hall in London on Saturday 7 September.
More than fifty publishers will be represented, and there will be free
readings and workshops. Entry is free too. For more details, visit the
the Free Verse website.
And a reminder that the Poetry Centre is offering a PhD
Studentship in Poetry. This is a three-year, full-time PhD studentship
in any aspect of Poetry and Poetics. More details can be found on the Brookes website. Please share this link with anyone you think might be interested. The deadline for applications is 6 September.
This translation copyright © Beverley Bie Brahic, 2012. It is reprinted from The Little Auto by Guillaume Apollinaire by permission of CB editions.
Notes from CB editions:
Guillaume Apollinaire (1880–1918) – whose writings
ranged from plays to experimental poetry, from art criticism to erotica –
was a central figure in the literary and artistic life of early
20th-century Paris. In 1914 he swapped the high life of avant-garde
Paris for the mud and desolation of war in the trenches, but in The Little Auto, Beverley Bie Brahic, the translator and a poet in her own right (and whose poem 'PS: Book of Eve'
was a Weekly Poem selection in January), has chosen poems that are
wholly different from those that for English readers have come to
exemplify the genre of war poetry. In Apollinaire, juxtaposed with the
orgy of destruction are nostalgia for antiquity and impatience for the
future, melancholy and exuberance. You can read further excerpts from
the book at CB editions' site.
CB editions publishes no more than six books a year,
mainly poetry and short fiction and including work in translation.
Since 2008 its poetry titles have twice won the Aldeburgh First
Collection Prize and have twice been shortlisted for both the Forward
Prize and the Forward First Collection Prize. In 2011 CBe put on Free Verse,
a one-day book fair for poetry publishers to show their work and sell
direct to the public; the event was repeated in September 2012 with over
50 publishers taking part. Find out more about the publisher from the website, where you can also sign up to the CB editions mailing list, or 'like' the publisher on Facebook to keep up-to-date with its activities.
Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the
poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held
by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should
be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual