Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Offended - Anne Hebert

By rank of hunger, the indigents were lined up
By rank of anger, the seditious were examined
By rank of good conscience, the masters were judged
By rank of offence, the humiliated were interrogated
By rank of mutilation, the crucified were considered.
In this extreme misery the mutes came to the front lines
A whole nation of mutes stayed on the barricades
Their desire for the word was so urgent
That the Verb came through the streets to meet them
The burden it was charged with was so heavy
That the cry 'fire' exploded from its heart
Disguised as a word


Translated by A. Poulin Jr

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