Poem introduction

This is a version of a famous poem by Mallarme called 'Brise Marine'

Sea Wind

Sea Wind

(Mallarme)

It's a sad creature I'm afraid the body
all the classics - every book that stands steady
I on my shelves I've read them through but only
to make this wish - oh to walk to the edge of the sea
and watch stints skittering along the tideline
then scattering up and beyond into the sky!
not a thing - not the gardens of mouldy chateaus
wet and glaucous in her eyes -
not a thing no one will stop me I've got to go
down to the wild sea - I tell you not nights
crossing blank pages under my desklamp
- not that desert wild or the sigh
of a dumpy girl breastfeeding her child
will stop me booking a berth on some tramp
steamer heaving its rust toward the tropics

- I'll wave my snotrag from the deck sick
of stroking my own boredom - by the saltstained smokestack
let me dream of wind and wrecks!


from The Road to Inver: Translations, Versions and Imitations 1975-2003 (Faber, 2004), copyright © Tom Paulin 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Where next?

Recordings

Tom Paulin

Tom Paulin Reading from his Poems

1States

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2Settlers

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3Arthur

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4In the Meat-Safe

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5Second-Rate Republics

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6Line on the Grass

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7Where Art is a Midwife

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8A Lyric Afterwards

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9Desertmartin

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10Argument from Design

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11Off the Back of a Lorry

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12The Bungalow on the Unapproved Road

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13Fivemiletown

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14Mythologies

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15Klee Clover

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16Matins

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17Soldier and Packman

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18Kingstown St Vincent

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19Sentence Sound

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20Drumcree 3

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21Drumcree 4

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22The Wind Dog

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23Merz

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24Boca di Inferno

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25Klemperer's Diary

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26Belongings

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27Contemplation 27

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28Sea Wind

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