Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry


Carry Me Away, By Henri Michaux
     Translation by Eli Siegel 

Carry me away into a Portuguese boat of once,
Into an old and gentle Portuguese boat of once,
Into the stem of the boat, or if you wish, into the foam,
And lose me, in the distance, in the distance.

Into the yoking of another time.
Into the deceiving velvet of snow.
Into the breath of some dogs brought together again.
Into the weary gathering of dead leaves.

Carry me, without breaking me, into kisses,
Into breasts that raise themselves and breathe,
On palms covering them and their smile,
Into the corridors of long bones, and of articulations.

Carry me away, or rather dig me deep.


Carry Me Away, By Henri Michaux. 1968. The desire of a person to be anywhere else, as long as it is else, is strongly in this poem of Henri Michaux. The details chosen by Michaux are disparate enough and close enough—surprising enough and coherent enough. One can be within a Portuguese boat and also in the distance—in a caravel and in foam and in the stem of a caravel. One can be carried away into another time, into snow, into dogs' breath, into a collection of leaves. One can be transported into kisses; one can be placed within breasts; one can be of palms and smiles; a person can be placed within corridors of long bones, and within corridors of articulations. Where can one not be carried? Where can one not be "dug deep"? The Michaux poem is irregular, while it exemplifies one of the most recurrent and one of the most human ideas.

From Hail, American Development (Definition Press)
© 1968 by Eli Siegel

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