LE GRAND COMBAT THE GREAT FIGHT
Henri Michaux trans. Richard Ellmann
A R.-M. Hermant

Il l'emparouille et l'endosque contre terre;
Il le rague et le roupète jusqu'à son drâle;
Il le pratèle et le libucque et lui barufle les ouillais;
Il le tocarde et le marmine,
Le manage rape à ri et ripe à ra.
Enfin il l'écorcobalisse.

L'autre hésite, s'espudrine, se défaisse, se torse et
se ruine.
C'en sera bientôt fini de lui;
Il se reprise et s'emmargine ... mais en vain
Le cerceau tombe qui a tant roulé.
Abrah! Abrah! Abrah!
Le pied a failli!
Le bras a cassé!
Le sang a coulé!
Fouille, fouille, fouille,
Dans la marmite de son ventre est un grand secret
Mégères alentour qui pleurez dans vos mouchoirs;
On s'étonne, on s'étonne, on s'étonne
Et on vous regarde
On cherche aussi, nous autres, le Grand Secret.
To R.-M. Hermant

He embowerates and enbacks him on the ground.
He raggs him and rumpets him up to his drale;
He praggles him and libucks him and berifles his testeries;
He tricards him and morones him,
He grobels him rasp by rip and risp by rap.
Finally he enscorchorizes him.

The other hesitates, espudates himself, unbrines himself,
twisses and ruins himself.
He'll soon be done for;
He mends and immarginates himself ... but in vain
The hoop which has rolled so far falls.
Abrah! Abrah! Abrah!
The foot's collapsed!
The arm's broken!
The blood's run out!
Dig, dig, dig,
In the pot of his belly there's a big secret
You neighborhood shrews who cry into your handkerchiefs;
We're amazed, we're amazed, we're amazed
And we watch you
We others, we're looking for the Big Secret too.

Copyright © New Directions Publishing Corp. 1968 - publ. New Directions Publishing Corp.


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