Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Poems in English

Manuscripts | Publications | Reviews

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“Poèmes 38-39” in Les Temps Modernes, 2e année, No. 14, November 1946.

In the summer of 1946, Beckett had run into difficulties with Simone de Beauvoir over the publication of his short story “Suite” (later to be called “La Fin” / ”The End”) in the July issue of Les Temps Modernes. But in spite of that “resounding difference of opinion,” as he referred to it in a letter to Arland Ussher, this group of thirteen poems—all of them written before the war, in French—was printed in the November issue of the same magazine.

 

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“They come…” is a five-line poem published in Out of This Century. The Informal Memoirs of Peggy Guggenheim (New York: The Dial Press, 1946), with the original dust jacket designed by Jackson Pollock.

This appearance of “They come...” is apparently the original printing of “a poem written by Oblomov” (the name given to Samuel Beckett by Peggy Guggenheim in her memoirs). The French version of this poem appeared as part of “Poèmes 38-39” in Les Temps Modernes, November 1946.

 

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“Trois Poèmes” in Transition Forty-Eight, no. 2 (Paris: Transition Press, 1948).

The three poems, printed here for the first time, are “je suis ce cours de sable qui glisse,” “que ferais-je sans ce monde sans visages sans questions,” and “je voudrais que mon amour meure.” They appear opposite Beckett’s English translations (“my way is in the sand flowing,” “what would I do without this world faceless incurious,” “I would like my love to die”). This issue also contains Beckett’s unsigned translation of Henri Pichette’s “Apoem 4” printed along with Pichette’s original French text.

 

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“Trois Poèmes” in Les Cahiers des Saisons, No. 2, October 1955.

The three poems, printed here for the first time, are “Accul,” “Mort de A.D.,” and “vive morte ma seule saison.”

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