Earth at Its Origin

by Anne Hébert

Land received in the hollowest of sleep
The bitter tree grows upon us
Its shadow at the highest waking
Its silence in the heart of speech
Its name to engrave on the field of snow.
And you, brought back from the break of day,
Leave this ancient dream on the old world shores
Think of our love, its honor is enough.
Brute age, pure face and eyes wide open.
Sweet water is no longer in season
Woman is salty like seaweed
My soul has the taste of sea and green oranges.
Forests alerted rivers unknotted
sing the mother-waters of this weather
A whole continent under a storm of wind.
And road, lovely friend, the world melts like a town of cloth
Now comes about the heart’s wild likeness
To earth at its origin.

Last updated May 14, 2023