The reader should understand that translation of poetry requires one to be less literal, less exact, in order to preserve implied meaning and artistic elements of sound and appearance. I have done my best to present here a poem that would be accepted as well-written by both an audience whose native language is English and one whose native language is French. However, I can promise neither.

[en anglais]

I dance
on the edge of night
like the flight
of Autumn leaves
Let me rest
before Winter steals
away my breath

The music
of madness compels
I twist and turn
on toe til I bleed
on a stage
empty of all but me
in the dark

~Callisse J. DeTerre, copyright 10 October 1988, last revised 08 June 2011

[in French]

Je danse
sur le bord de la nuit
comme le fuite
des feuilles d’automne,
Laissez-moi me reposer
avant l’hiver me vole
ma capacité à respirer

La musique
de ma folie me force
Je file et je me tords
sur la pointe des pieds
afin que je saigne
sur une scène, vide
sauf pour moi qui
est danse dans le nuit

~Callisse J. DeTerre, 10/10/88, rev 08/06/11